Ever since I was a girl, I have loved autumn. I love the fall colors, the cozy clothes, pumpkin goodies, corn mazes, and the brisk air. Who doesn’t?
But I think there is something deeper that makes me love this time of year. My dad said once that autumn makes him feel like he is really alive. I never forgot that, because it is also exactly how I feel. There is something in the air at this time of year.
I have so many vivid memories associated with autumn, through so many life seasons. I remember stacking bails of hay with my family as a girl and drinking apple cider. I remember my first semester of college and wearing my school sweatshirt when the air was turning chilly, nervous and excited about starting classes. I remember being newly married, with both my husband and I unemployed, job hunting and house-sitting for a little extra cash. I remember being pregnant with my first baby and sorting through sweaters to see which ones would still fit over my growing belly.
As I was thinking about all my fall memories the other day, it occurred to me that through all the changes that life brings, I have had a constant – and that constant is Jesus. It’s such a comfort to me that no matter how much things have changed or will change in my life, God never changes.
Autumn focuses my attention on God’s power and creativity through nature, and it makes me think of God’s faithfulness through changing seasons. I think that is why Autumn makes me feel alive, because it provides so many reminders of the One who has given me life!
Now, as my kids are getting old enough to appreciate the change in seasons, I want to use this opportunity to pass on autumn memories and start new traditions together – and it’s even better if I can also use those traditions to point my kids to God! I’ve been brainstorming about ways I can incorporate these lessons into our favorite fall activities, and these are a few ideas that came to mind.
The changing weather and colorful leaves that we all love provide the perfect opportunity to talk about God’s creation – how He is the creator and sustainer of everything that we see. Take your kids on a walk and gather colorful leaves. Talk about how there is a time and season for everything under heaven, and how God orchestrates the changing colors.
If you take a trip to the pumpkin patch this fall, let your kids have fun exploring and picking out their pumpkins. At home, carve the pumpkins and roast the seeds in your oven. Then read The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs. This is a great book for teaching kids about God’s timing and faithfulness in our lives. I also love that there are Bible verses on every page – I love that all the Scripture in this book is another chance to soak more of God’s word into their hearts.
One of our favorite fall activities is going to our local corn maze and letting ourselves get lost. Take your family to wander through a corn maze, and as you are wandering, point out the corn maze employee in his tower (or in his crane bucket, as is the case at our local maze). Talk about how you have no idea where you are going, but the corn maze “guard” does because he sees the whole maze. When we can’t see the purpose is in different circumstances we face, we can be confident that God will guide us, because He planned this “maze” of our lives and He sees the big picture. He also gave us a “map” – His Word!
Autumn is the perfect time to teach kids that seasons and people and situations change, but God is always faithful. Amidst all the fall activities this year I also want to remember to focus on that truth.
If any of you can think of other ways to incorporate conversations about the Lord into your fall traditions, I would love to read your ideas below!