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Encouragement for September: Every Season Has Its Perks

I’ve finally accepted the truth. It’s over.

Summer’s over. (cringe)

I tried to ignore the signs – the leaves changing color, the days getting shorter, the nights getting cooler, and kids starting back at school. For a brief time, I didn’t want to acknowledge that summer was coming to a close.

But then I came to a realization.

That's not such a bad thing! The season that's upon us, autumn, is just different from what we’ve gotten used to these last few months. And not only that, it turns out that autumn is actually a wonderful time of year, I just temporarily forgot (duh)! There are many perks of fall – going apple picking, getting cozy in front of a warm bonfire, the aroma and sight of beautiful bright red, orange, yellow, auburn and golden leaves getting tossed around in the air, the comfort of snuggling up in sweats and the satisfying taste of warm chai tea (or a pumpkin spice latte). :)

It’s just hard letting go of one season to grab hold of another.

A few days ago I was with my 2 ½ year-old nephew watching the Polar Express (I know, it’s totally out of season, but he insisted we watch it!) and I got an empty feeling, the same kind I felt when thinking about transitioning to fall. “Why is this adorable movie making me feel sad?” I wondered. “It’s because I’m no longer a child,” I realized. The wonder and magic of believing in Santa Claus, and the safety and comfort of being a young child with no responsibility is no longer there.

But I reminded myself that that’s ok, and that life is still full of wonder and joy even now in adulthood. There’s still the wonder of the beauty of the earth, the sky and the incredible intricacies of the human body that point to the existence of an awesome God; there's still the joy that comes from relationships with family and friends; and, should you choose to experience it (and I highly recommend that you do), there's still the joy of acting silly and laughing your bum off, which my nephews often remind me to do! As an adult you don't always feel safe and comfortable, but you get to experience the adventure of making your own decisions and choosing the kind of life you want to live. Adulthood just a season of life that could very well be as great as (or greater than) the season of childhood.

Dr. Kelly Turner makes a great point in her book, Radical Remission: Surviving Cancer Against All Odds (a great resource for cancer patients and their families). In one of the chapters Dr. Turner talks about releasing suppressed emotions, and I was surprised to learn that just like negative emotions, positive emotions, such as those tied to memories from our past, can be suppressed and have a detrimental impact on our well-being. The idea is that nostalgia, or holding onto positive memories of the past, can take away from the joy of living in the present moment. And that made a lot of sense to me as I processed my thoughts from watching the Polar Express.

Like me, maybe you’re reminiscing about the good ‘ol days of your childhood, the summer, or friendships you wish you still had; maybe you wish you were going back to college this semester; that you were ten, twenty or thirty years younger; or that your family dynamic were what it used to be. If there’s something you’re holding onto, whatever it is, try looking at what’s in front of you instead. Make a mental list of all the great things about the season you’re in, and I’ll do the same. :)

Every season has its perks.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens… He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (Ecclesiastes 3)

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