Fall. In the United States, it begins with the announcement of pumpkin spice lattes and takes us through Thanksgiving. For me, autumn has been a time filled with a flurry of activities—the kickoff of the school year, football games, fall festivals, and plans leading into the holidays. Honestly, if I am not careful, I will miss the beauty of autumn.
Like me, you may need a reset of rest built into your fall so you don’t miss the season and how the Lord is wanting to work through it. Here are some reset ideas to help you slow down, relax, and reclaim some rest during fall and leading into the holiday seasons of Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Welcome the Season
Fall is the season associated with harvesting. It is the time to gather the ripe crops from the fields. Like harvesting crops, we need to take time to enjoy the reaping of what we have sown. Take time to look back over your year. How have you grown? Worshiped? Laughed? Instead of seeking to accomplish something new, take time to celebrate what has already been accomplished. Thank God for the abundance in your life—family, friends, church, job, food—the ways God meets your needs daily. Embrace the present. Savor it. Prepare your heart for Thanksgiving with a posture of gratitude for the provisions God has already provided.
Let’s welcome the season of fall with these words from Psalm 95:1-7.
Come, let’s shout joyfully to the Lord,
shout triumphantly to the rock of our salvation!
Let’s enter his presence with thanksgiving;
let’s shout triumphantly to him in song.
For the Lord is a great God,
a great King above all gods.
The depths of the earth are in his hand,
and the mountain peaks are his.
The sea is his; he made it.
His hands formed the dry land.
Come, let’s worship and bow down;
let’s kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God,
and we are the people of his pasture,
the sheep under his care.
Watch for Winter
In the fall, animals prepare for winter by storing food and creating cozy hibernation spaces. Farmers collect reserve crops so they have enough to eat during winter. How will you cultivate a safe, cozy, warm, and comforting space this fall in preparation for winter? Enjoy the present season as you await the winter by making those seasonal fall recipes or craft projects. Take time to read a good book with a warm drink. Enjoy a slower pace in your comfy space by journaling or spending time in prayer. Fall illustrates the beauty of letting go as we think about the outdoors, falling leaves, and the temporary nature of everything around us. Take time to pause and reflect as the year comes to a close. It is not easy to slow down and sit, but remember that rest is good for your mind, body, and spirit.
Just as the Lord protects, provides, and cares for the animals and crops as fall turns to winter, He cares, protects, and delivers His people in some of the most desolate seasons of life. The Israelites had received help from God, and they knew they had experienced His undeserved favor and grace. Psalm 107:1-9 records how God’s people were thankful for His deliverance and grace.
Let’s reset this fall and watch for winter by praising the Lord and thanking Him for salvation and grace through Jesus.
Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
his faithful love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord proclaim
that he has redeemed them from the power of the foe
and has gathered them from the lands—
from the east and the west,
from the north and the south.
Some wandered in the desolate wilderness,
finding no way to a city where they could live.
They were hungry and thirsty;
their spirits failed within them.
Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
he rescued them from their distress.
He led them by the right path
to go to a city where they could live.
Let them give thanks to the Lord
for his faithful love
and his wondrous works for all humanity.
For he has satisfied the thirsty
and filled the hungry with good things.
Psalm 84 is a beautiful reminder of how God’s people, the Israelites, longed for God’s house. They longed for fellowship with God—to spend time with Him, to be in His presence, and to be in the presence of His people. The Israelites sang this pilgrimage psalm as a cry of desperation as they returned to Jerusalem to worship at the temple. (See Ps. 84:5-6.) Regardless of what season or what life brought their way, God’s people depended upon Him and longed for His presence. They had a desire to worship Him. They remembered the truth about God and worshiped Him. Psalm 84:10-11 is a great reminder of the sacredness and rest that comes from spending time in God’s house and with His people.
Better a day in your courts
than a thousand anywhere else.
I would rather stand at the threshold of the house of my God
than live in the tents of wicked people.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield.
The Lord grants favor and honor;
he does not withhold the good
from those who live with integrity.
Let’s reset our lives this fall with spiritual growth as we spend time with other believers and worship Jesus.
It is never too late to spiritually reset. Regardless of the season, God wants us to focus on His goodness and grace—He wants us to remember the joy of our salvation and His faithfulness. Let’s not miss all that He has for us to enjoy this fall, but mostly, let’s not miss Him. Take time to reset this fall by welcoming the season, watching for winter, and worshiping God with a heart full of thanksgiving for Jesus. Let’s praise Him with the words of Psalm 100—and maybe a pumpkin spice latte!
Let the whole earth shout triumphantly to the Lord!
Serve the Lord with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Acknowledge that the Lord is God.
He made us, and we are his—
his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him and bless his name.
For the Lord is good, and his faithful love endures forever;
his faithfulness, through all generations.
Michelle Hicks is the managing editor for Journey devotional magazine with Lifeway Women. Michelle served as a freelance writer, campus minister, and corporate chaplain before coming to Lifeway. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Michelle has a deep hunger for God’s Word and wants others to discover the abundant life they can have with Jesus as their Lord and Savior.