I love this time of year—from the cool, crisp days, to the layers of crunchy fall-colored leaves scattered across hibernating front lawns.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas plans under way and a love of baking in the kitchen with my two girls, the aroma of cinnamon and nutmeg spices never grows old and seems to create the perfect mixture. I longingly look forward to the autumn season weeks before it arrives.
My husband enjoys it for other reasons…the fall season for him means camouflage hunting attire, the ideal rifle of choice, and a deer permit with high hopes of filling a tag with a trophy buck.
But it also proves to be a busy time of year for our family. It can be easy for us to become distracted from the routine of everyday life as we tend to shuffle in a few extra plans for the holidays and if I’m not careful that alone can complicate our lives.
As a homeschool mom I have to be sure I’m not trailing to far away from my necessary “routine” schedule, or stress builds and attitudes fly. In keeping an overbooked calendar I stand at the risk of not finishing school work in a timely manner during the school year to allow for a more freed up summer break.
Ready or not this time of year does bring about a little more crazy to our already busy lives, therefore I try to mindfully make plans in effort to enjoy rather than overwhelm, that way potentially healthy memories aren’t shattered by chaotic ones instead. Many times a booked agenda (no matter how hobby-filled it is) can feel like work rather than enjoyment.
There’s a very fine line dividing “work” and rest and sometimes the idea of fun and pleasure can distort the two.
In Genesis 2:2 we read that after ‘God had created the heavens and earth and everything in them the seventh day came and God rested from his work. He blessed and declared that day holy because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.’
God our creator showed the importance of work followed by rest; here these two opposites are combined to compliment one another.
Years later God chose Moses to lead the ‘complaining Israelites’ out of their 400-year long captivity in Egypt to the Promised Land (a task that must have felt like an intense amount of work). Moses wandered who would go with him, and the Lord responded, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” (Exodus 33:14)
And later yet, in Mark 6:30-31, we see Jesus mimic the same attitude with the emphasis of rest in mind—speaking to his apostles (disciples) who were ministering at the time, he told them, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat.
God designed our bodies with rest in mind. To stay in alignment with God’s will we must follow His example by doing the same.
To rest means to refresh.
Like leaves on many trees during the autumn, once they lose chlorophyll they begin to change color and eventually separate from the branches. Throughout the winter months the trees are left in a “resting stage” but once spring comes visual “work” can be seen—buds sprout and within weeks little leaves cover the trees….beauty and life as a result of rest.
This holiday season although my “plate” will surely be full of all the good things, I will be conscious to not over-fill it with too much hustle, bustle, and rushed deadlines so as to not spoil precious memories. And during this season and the many to follow, I will continue to make rest in the Lord a sweet and necessary priority!
Hoping you and your family enjoy a blessed and “restful” Thanksgiving and Christmas this year!
God, Thank you for the gift of holidays, fun, and rest. Help me combine the three to create a healthy mixture of family memories. Amen.