Thursday, September 26, 2013

On Autumn

The brisk chill of autumn air combined with the perfectly earthy smells of changing leaves invariably causes a swell of homey, fall-related feelings to flood my house. Well, maybe not my whole house... maybe it's just me. But because I'm the vocal one (and the one who decorates), my family is shoved onto the autumn bandwagon, whether they were ready to say goodbye to summer or not.

Of course, the return of fall beverages and the arrival of pumpkins in the supermarket parking lot help to usher in my beloved season. It's not uncommon to have to remind myself that ALLPUMPKINEVERYTHING is not an appropriately balanced diet. I don't know why, but something about the changing weather, the rich colors, the reintroduction of school routines... there's just a nostalgia to autumn. And I could do drink of it deeply.

But this year, I'm trying to keep my fall obsession under wraps a little bit. Not because I don't think it's the most wonderful time of year, but because I've noticed this nasty habit... that when I am obsessing over something, I tend to throw my money at it frivolously. They're only $0.97, so I won't think twice about tossing those faux-mini gourds into my shopping cart. They'll look great on the mantle. But oh! They're not enough to complete a whole mantlescape... let's go find some dried flowers to put in a vase (well, two vases, because a good mantle is symmetrical). And I'll need a centerpiece for the table. And wreaths for the front door. Should I buy mums for the yard?... You get the picture. Don't get me wrong, this girl's got no problem with decorating. But my issue is that I tend to give myself too much freedom at spending money (that I ought to be accountable to my husband about). And that I (quite literally) buy into the lie that making my home look more beautiful will make me happy.

But it won't.

Stuff will never make us happy. It can't fill the holes of inadequacy or insecurity. Even the warmest and deepest sentiments will only satisfy for a moment, leaving us thirsty for something much richer than a pumpkin spice latte.

So perhaps there's a more productive way to channel my autumn-craze than to just plaster my house with seasonal decor and fritter away my allowance on lattes. Maybe I can choose to look past the tangible, and drink in more of Jesus (and less apple cider). Maybe I can remember that, just as the leaves die and fall to the ground, my Savior gave up his body and descended below on my behalf. That he, like the looming winter, lie cold in the grave, only to be raised in glory. Can I use this favored season to see the gospel all around me? I think so. I just need to choose to look deeper. Past the hype of caramel apples and visits to Sinkland Farms, and into the very heart of God. He, after all, is the one who invented this incredible season anyway.

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