I’ve finally caved.
I held off as long as I could, longer than I ever have before.
But I’ve done it.
I’ve taken down the summer wreath from my door, the one in nautical blue and white stripes with seashells and an anchor.
In its place, I slipped up the fall wreath, a sign to everyone who comes to my door that I’ve finally accepted the end of summer.
Usually, I’ve baked two or three batches of pumpkin bread, ginger spice cookies and pumpkin pie by now. Maybe I’ve made baked apples in the Crock-Pot.
Not this year. Not one pumpkiny, gingery, cinnamon-heavy, apple-based dish so far.
But I did finally pour the steaming hot water into my mug with a pumpkin spice tea bag as a treat before bed.
And, I’m stocking up on baking supplies and the chocolate, graham cracker, and marshmallows we’ll need for S’mores.
I stopped burning the honeysuckle and wildflower scents in my wax burner and pulled out ‘cashmere’ and ‘apple spice.’
Maybe I’ll even make this all official by unpacking my leaf-and-pumpkin decorations and dotting them around the house.
Fall is my favorite season. I could be happy in sweater weather all year long. The pumpkin patch is my happy place. Baking season is heaven to me.
Walking among the crunching leaves, tucking away acorns and pine cones as treasures, smelling the scent of fireplaces carried by the wind, is deeply healing to my rushed soul.
But this year, unlike any year I ever remember, I’ve been holding onto summer with both hands, my feet firmly planted. The calendar is all-out dragging me along and you can see the grooves in the dust where my feet refuse to move.
School is in session, but I’m pretending it isn’t. I’m going through the motions: homework, agendas, reading logs, packing lunches. But my brain is still thinking beach, daytrips, rest.
I can’t recall any time I’ve gripped so desperately to a passing season.
And there’s the thing, the essential truth in all of this: These seasons, they do pass. It’s this inevitable moving on in life.
Usually, I’m a move-on kind of girl.
Sometimes, though, we are so trapped by looking back that we’re missing the beauty of now.
Maybe that’s me. Yesterday, it was 66 degrees outside for my morning walk.
Yet, what if I stubbornly refused to enjoy it, whining and complaining all the while about the lack of bathing suits, a water park, and the long summer nights?
Well, I’d miss this, of course. I’d wake up one morning to temperatures below freezing, I’d be hurled into snow days, icy road conditions, and the layers and layers and layers of clothing I’d need to put on my children before sending them out to the school bus in the morning.
Maybe we hold onto seasons because we don’t like change. Any change.
Maybe we just ‘know’ that what’s coming isn’t as beautiful as what’s been.
Maybe I woke up one morning after my oldest daughter’s ninth birthday 9 and realized I’m halfway to her leaving my home and heading off into independence and college and a world with less mom in it.
So, what mom wouldn’t want summer to last just a little bit longer when that same girl is now starting her last year in elementary school?
But I read this in the Psalms:
May the Lord be praised! Day after day He bears our burdens; God is our salvation. Selah (Psalm 68:19 HCSB).
Day after day, God is at work in me. Day after day, He is bearing burdens for me, lifting me up, helping me forward, walking alongside me.
This daily gift tells me that anywhere I go, any season I’m in, every time I leave something behind and begin anew, He is right there with me.
The blessed place isn’t where I’ve been; it’s anywhere He is.
I’ve been re-reading the story of Ruth lately, how she left her home in Moab and traveled to Bethlehem, to a foreign nation and a strange people with her mother-in-law after the death of her husband, her brother-in-law and father-in-law.
She could have stranded herself in mourning or imprisoned herself in the past.
She could have arrived there with Naomi and holed herself up in her room, crying from homesickness and wallowing in loneliness.
Instead, when she arrived in Bethelehem, she asked Naomi:
“Let me go to the field and glean among the ears of grain…” (Ruth 2:2 ESV).
She fully engaged in the act of living in this place at this time in this very season.
She basically pulled out the pumpkin spice tea, nailed up the “bless this harvest” sign, and baked a loaf of pumpkin bread.
So, that’s what I’m doing, too.
Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader. Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness. Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now! To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.
Copyright © 2015 Heather King