Special Guest: Karen Rhoades

Karen B&WAutumn is a very special time of year for me. A different feeling and attitude comes over me and makes me want to reminisce and be thankful by counting my blessings. It’s a pleasant feeling, not at all melancholic. I love to gaze at the leaves as they lazily drift off the trees, in their burnished gold, orange, and green colors. The days are a buttery sunshine, and even though the air is cooler, there is something magical about it all. Even on the rainy, blustery days, it just seems right to light a candle and breathe in the fragrance of a freshly baked dessert, be it oatmeal cookies or banana bars. And after all the cool, refreshing summer iced teas and lemonades, it is wonderful to drink the warming, comforting beverages of fall—pumpkin spice hot tea, Earl Gray, warm apple cider, cappuccino, or hot chocolate. It’s as though the weather is giving me permission to sit curled up in a chair wrapped in a cozy blanket and read a good book, journal, plan menus, or work on a craft. It’s a lovely time of preparing my soul for winter, a time of harvesting the good things in life, so I can hold them close during the winter.

Autumn leads my soul cheerfully to Thanksgiving, a time spent with family. I enjoy this holiday because it requires nothing more than being where loved ones are—no need to bring gifts (although a hot dish or dessert wouldn’t be turned down). It teaches me to appreciate some of the small gifts God gives—the few last days of going outside without a coat, that singular aroma in the air of dying leaves that urges me to look upward for a last glimpse of them on the trees, the opportunity to finish last minute outdoor tasks.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us this season to enjoy, to reap, to be introspective, to be grateful to you for supplying all our needs and even some of our wants. Thank you for your mercy and compassion that is new every morning. Truly, your faithfulness is GREAT! May all that you are urge our souls to be faithful to you. Let our lives bring joy and fruitfulness to you and shine forth your love to all we meet.

“Summer and winter, and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above
Join with all nature in manifold witness
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.

Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see;
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided—
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!”

Thomas O. Chisholm, 1866-1960

Karen Rhoades is a wife, homemaker, and copyeditor.

©Copyright 2014 Karen Rhoades

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