Glimpses of Fall are all around, even though in Texas you can never be sure if it’s going to stay for certain. To try and help it out I have had a spiced candle burning the last few nights, fall recipes are being researched, and gatherings of friends by a fire pit are being planned. October has been my favorite month for years and though I’m not sure when it started, I have seen it consistently make my heart skip a beat like no other time of year. So here are a few of my favorite things:
- Expectancy of change is in the air
- Family time together for the holidays is right around the corner
- The weather is welcoming in a new wardrobe (layers!!)
- Boots (need I say more)
- Fall home decor is warm and yummy
- All the Fall colors (once again, not as much in Texas)
- Christmas gift planning begins – getting just the right gifts for each person!
- Pumpkin spiced lattes
And that’s just to name a few!
I really feel like God made October just for me. Like it’s our month. It’s when He seems to speak the loudest and give me the best gifts. Gifts that are more for my heart than my hands, but that I wouldn’t trade for the world. October is when I seem to dream the most. It’s when things seem to come alive in my heart that have seemed dormant. It’s when I seem to see more clearly. I start praying and planning for the next year in October. It’s just far enough away that I don’t feel rushed, and it’s before the holiday craze so I actually have the time. The pace of October is shifting – no longer maintaining or getting through the summer heat – but it’s a steady pace. Like a steady dose of grace before the pull a busy season to come. Maybe that’s it – it feels like a steady pace of grace realized and grace received.
It’s typically during October that I make planned out decisions about how I will spend the holiday season. There’s the practical – where will I be, what is my budget for presents and travel, how can I be more creative in my giving, etc. But then there’s the heart of it all – who will I choose to be this season, how can I give of myself and not just take and receive, how can I create and live out good traditions not just obligatory or religious sentiments, how will I invite others into family and community instead of just taking my own for granted, how will I truly let the focus of the season be on Jesus and not on all the other good competing things.
I’ve found if I don’t take the time to think these out I tend to get lost in the tug-a-war of the season – to spend and buy too much just because, to overeat because it’s what we do, to say yes to everything and be exhausted. Yep, I love this season, but I can easily get lost in it all. But what if I scrapped all of those things, the spending and over-exerting and simply said yes to the simple things of being – loving others authentically well, listening more, creatively giving my time, opening my home, praying for others more often…I wonder if the pace of October could extend into the rest of the year. It’s definitely my hope and prayer – each year getting a little closer. Though I probably fail more than succeed at this point, I know this time of intentional preparation is key. This planning out who I want to be, more than what I want to do.
So how can I look more like Him? What would that look like this year? God gave the most wonderful gift of all and He continues to blow me away with His giving – this sacrificial, unconditional, caring, kindness, exuding from who He is. How do I give that away more this year than last year?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you plan for the holidays intentionally. How you live authentically amidst the hustle and bustle of it all.
And I’ll leave you with this, after lots of October thoughts, here are some warm and cozy fall inspirations to hopefully trigger your heart as much as they do mine!