I’m waiting for the Autumn version of Spring Fever… that energetic, creative surge of ability to get things done. The kids clothes need sorting, with outgrown items being, you know, handled somehow… my own clothes need sorting, as I’ve actually lost a lot of mommy-weight since last year’s winter clothes were on active rotation. The house itself needs a good solid under-the-stove-type cleaning, my writing projects desperately need attention, and my preschool-homeschool ideas and curriculum plans need some organization. My recipe books are out of order and overflowing (especially with all the jelly/jam/preserves/pickle/etc canning recipes I used this summer!), and at some point I’d really like to plan out meals a few weeks in advance rather than just keep the basic ingredient necessities on hand and scurry to get supper together based on an ephemeral “what do I feel like cooking” feeling each day. Sigh.
With Autumn’s first frosts looming ever closer, however, I find myself out sniffing the gloriously blooming rosebushes, petting my herbs to release their fragrances, encouraging still more production from squash and cucumber and green bean and eggplant and tomato plants… I’m not ready for summer’s bounty to end! I’ve still got boxes of apples to peel, core and process into applesauce, apple butter, apple pie filling, apple pound cake and apple fritters – all healthy versions of course. I’m turning in articles by the deadlines by the skin of my teeth and running two or three loads of laundry folding behind as my food processor runs almost daily processing food into freezer-sized portions ready for winter’s consumption, and jewel-toned jars of fruit preserves cool on the counter.
OK I realize that not everyone out there is a farmgirl throwback and enjoys gardening and preserving foods the way I do – that’s ok, we all have our favorite reasons to enjoy each season. I actually adore Autumn with it’s crisp days and cool nights (sometimes cold – shut that window!), trees turning glorious shades of color and jackets being hauled out of the closet. So with a pumpkin-scented candle burning and a cup of hot tea at hand, I pulled out my concordance to check out God’s ideas about seasons, Autumn itself, and the harvest.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so.” Genesis 1:14-15 Obviously, God knew about our “planet Mom” theme in MOPS this year long before 2009 clocked in, and this Autumn season… and He meets us here in it.
“Six days you shall labor, but on the seventh day you shall rest; even during the plowing season and harvest you must rest.” Exodus 34:21 This is despite the boxes of apples and foot-long zucchinis languishing in the produce bin of our refrigerators… God knows that we need to take a day of rest (such as it is, being Mom) and gives us not only the OK, but the command. We need rest to refresh, to rejuvenate, to allow Him to restore us.
“So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today–to love the Lord your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul–then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.” Deuteronomy 11:13-14
“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 Our lives aren’t supposed to be a treadmill – we are taught and shown how to enjoy the seasons, to appreciate the differences between autumn’s vibrant colors and winter’s sleepy white comforter, spring’s green-so-green-it-hurts-the-eyes and summer’s growth and strength.
“As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.” Genesis 8:22 He promises us that the world won’t stop turning, that we can depend on the seasons and embrace them.
“Then the land will yield its harvest, and God, our God, will bless us.” Psalm 67:6 Is there anything on earth or above the earth or under the earth that is better than God’s blessing?
“The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” Psalm 85:12
Then God takes the harvest principle to another level – the harvest of souls. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” Matthew 9:37-38As mothers, this is right up our alley, down our street, and on our job description!
“I will utter hidden things, things from of old—what we have heard and known, what our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell the next generation the praiseworthy deeds of the Lord, His power, and the wonders He has done. He decreed statutes for Jacob and established the law in Israel, which He commanded our forefathers to teach their children, so the next generation would know them, even the children yet to be born, and they in turn would tell their children. Then they would put their trust in God and would not forget his deeds but would keep his commands. Psalm 78:2-7As a mother, I find this particularly appropriate to motherhood – “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Galations 6:9, as well as “No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11 These Words tell me that I have a God-assigned job – the education, discipline and guidance of my children, and that these responsibilities have an eternal result.
So, this Autumn, as flames seem to engulf our Yellowstone valley as trees turn shades of red, orange, yellow and gold, as nights turn cold and days get shorter, I’m going to put up my canning supplies and gardening tools, and focus more on the harvest of righteousness and peace that God is leading us toward.