Readers may remember that a few years back (2016) I did a couple of posts about planning for fall. They were inspired by a wonderful post that I had read by Christa at Brown Sugar Toast about The Importance of Saying No to Good Things. Christa wrote about a fall planning workbook she had been using. It's by Jess Connolly and can be downloaded for free here: Fall Into Freedom. I downloaded this and found it very helpful. (If you try to download it, it will tell you there's an error. But you can still find it by doing a search as instructed here: "You can try searching for the content you are seeking by clicking here.")
Christa had challenged her readers with the question, "Have you taken time to think through your next season of life?" She wrote, "Taking time to pray and write out goals for the next months can be a very grounding experience as you prepare for upcoming responsibilities, potential changes, and holidays. As you think through what the Lord has given you to accomplish during this next season, take time to pray through what He wants you to say NO to…even if it’s a good thing.".
That was wonderful advice then and I believe it is even more so now. With every passing year, I become more conscious of how swiftly our lives pass and how important it is to use our time wisely, to the glory of God. So I decided to use this download again this fall. Maybe you would like to consider doing the same.
Don't hesitate because "fall is already here." According to the calendar, fall only began in late September. We get so used to thinking that fall is all of September, all of October, and all of November -- or starting anytime after Labor Day-- but that's not the case. I get as enthused about cooler weather and all things apple cider and pumpkin spice as the next person, but I'm going to take Christa's wise advice and pray and prepare for this season.
I myself am actually really slow about working through it this time around, because I spent much of September not feeling top-notch. We had a lot of activities planned for near the end of the month, and any energy I had (which wasn't much) went into trying to participate in those. So I didn't really sit down with my workbook pages until last Saturday afternoon when we made a little campfire over at our cottage.
I had made a brief note earlier as to what my three words would be, but no real journaling had yet taken place.
Again this time around, I began by doing as Jess suggests in her Fall Into Freedom workbook, picking three words that I would like to describe my fall season, words that can set the tone for the season. Again this time around, I found this to be a tough assignment, but I had to do it to get started. After thinking it through a little, I came up with these three:
Restorative -- as mentioned, I spent all of September sick with a "long cold". (Yes, it seems that's a thing.) Although I kept going as best I could and we still did a lot of our planned activities, I wasn't hitting on all cylinders or enjoying things to the fullest. I'm so thankful to be feeling better! There are good times planned for the fall, times of Bible study, women's fellowship, times with friends, and much more. They will all be restorative in various ways. (Interestingly, this was also one of the words I chose in 2016!)
Productive -- During the time I was ill, I was most decidedly not productive. I kept up with laundry and meal prep, but that was about it. I tried very hard to rest, get fluids, and do anything else I could think of to help with recovery. Now that I'm better, I hope to accomplish a lot of decluttering this fall and am thrilled to say that I've already begun -- cleaning out a large, open front kitchen cabinet and also an area near my computer desk that was in desperate need.
Also, my hubby cleaned the cellar -- something he's never fully done before, though he has decluttered areas of it. He had 3 young friends coming to help him to get the winter's firewood in the cellar -- hence, the cleaning spree!
Another thing I'm doing is trying to stay far ahead working on my Sunday School lessons. And -- I promise I didn't look back at 2016's words -- but "productive" was also one that I had chosen that time around.
Creative -- While ill, much of the time I was too miserable to feel like being creative. I worked at Scripture Sunday blog posts because I didn't want to let readers down, and picked away at a few simple craft projects (like crocheting dishcloths). But most of my creativity went into thinking of ways to get better, and trying to remember to actually do them.
Now I'm ready and anxious to do more creative blogging, and to tackle some new craft projects. Maybe I'll even work on the cookbook I started last year, who knows? God has made me a creative person and I so enjoy exercising that gift.
So there are my three words for fall. Stay tuned for the rest of my "Fall into Freedom" thoughts, coming soon!