The following is a guest post from Susan at Busy ‘Lil Homemaker. I was thrilled when she agreed to be a guest blogger for my Focus On Thanksgiving series. Susan’s blog is a wonderful source of inspiration and encouragement. She covers topics like parenting, homeschooling, faith, recipes and more. Stop by her blog, say hello and take a look around. I know you’ll be blessed.
Fall is one of our families’ favorite seasons of the year. It’s the time of year that we truly enjoy getting out into God’s creation and just being “in it”. Our favorite activity as a family during the fall is hiking. We have many beautiful parks in our area and love visiting each one when we can to see how the landscape changes as summer begins to fade and fall weather begins.
What do we love about God’s creation during the fall? Here are some of the reasons we love hiking during this beautiful time of year.
The air seems crisper and cleaner. The leaves are showing off their gorgeous colors of deep red, burnt orange, and gold right at the beginning of the season. Once the leaves begin to fall to the ground, they make that wonderful “swish-swish” sound as you walk through them. Then, as they dry out, they crunch beneath your feet creating a whole new sound as you walk or run through them. Even the dark brown hues the leaves turn after they fall are so very pretty.
Only God could create such distinctive seasons with which we associate specific things in nature. Everywhere you look there is something new and interesting to see or to learn about! We love finding the “woolly bears” on the path and watching them move along ever so slowly. They feel so soft to the touch too! Of course, we like to see if they’ll curl into a ball when we gently touch their backs.
The canopy of trees above you thins out gradually as fall comes and the leaves begin to fall. It’s really quite beautiful to stand still in the middle of the woods and look directly above you to see how the tree limbs fan out across the sky above you. If you’ve never tried it, please do! I usually hold on to my husband or lean against a tree so I don’t fall down (smile).
One of the parks we visit often has a creek running through it – this is one of our girls’ favorite stopping points. They like to jump across the rocks, explore the banks of the creek, and see if there is anything moving in the water. Creeks even look different during the fall season. The water isn’t running very quickly and the creek is usually filled with leaves that have fallen from the trees above. They make their very own beautiful pattern in the water when they land.
My husband always takes the time during our hikes as a family to point out something we see, smell, or hear and connect it to the Lord and His creation. He has a wonderful gift for talking to the girls about Him and relating it to their lives in a very real way. As we hike, they are all ears and we believe they take a lot of it into their hearts and minds when we are out in the woods. What better time to impart wisdom into their hearts than when we are in the midst of His creation? I love that my husband does this with them.
Another way we enjoy God’s creation during the fall is to decorate pumpkins. Our girls are 8 and 11 years old this year and they still had a great time digging into the pumpkin and pulling out the seeds so they could place a candle down inside. Who else but God could create a food that looks pretty in the patch, has such interesting shapes, and can be used in so many ways? We toasted the pumpkin seeds, which were delicious and a healthy snack. We enjoyed seeing the pumpkins sitting on the picnic table for a few days – until our local squirrels found them! I’m sure they thought we had provided a smorgasbord just for them! Ah well, I’m sure they are putting the seeds to good use.
We also enjoy God’s creation by using those fruits and vegetables He created to bless others. The girls and I love baking pumpkin bread, banana bread, and chocolate zucchini bread to give to friends and family during this time of year. This is the time of year when we all seem to gravitate toward the comfort foods and the scents wafting through the house are heavenly too.
These are just a few of the ways we appreciate and enjoy God’s creation in the fall. I’m sure you have your very own traditions for how you enjoy this beautiful season of the year. Enjoy and praise the Lord for His creation and His goodness!