Hints of autumn are in the air. I feel it. Maybe it’s the less sticky breeze at night, the more orange tint of the full moon, or the emergence of the love bugs here in Florida, but its teasing sets my heart fluttering in expectation and nostalgia. I light my pumpkin spice candles, scour through baking recipes, read more poetry, and scatter the pumpkins the week after Labor Day hoping to usher it in faster. I am done with the weary heat of summer. I imagine God anticipating brushing His bright hues over the woodlands for us to delight in His mastery.
It is this season I miss the most since moving to Florida 29 years ago. Each year I must unfortunately fly north to witness the autumn colors. Growing up in Virginia, I spent fall days riding my horse, raking leaves into huge piles, and throwing a log onto the fire at night. I remember Momma taking my sister and I along, to gather from the farming fields. We loaded our wagon with the dried corn stalks remaining after the harvest. She stacked them on either side of our front door—along with the pumpkins and bales of our horse’s straw—and made our entryway welcoming to those who wanted a hot cup of coffee and a slice of apple cake. It was Momma who taught me the practice of “gathering” in the art of homemaking.
Creating a Life Giving Home:
With the modern aesthetic of current interiors turning towards white, clean, and minimalistic, I can’t help but wonder if we’ve lost something valuable by making our homes anemic. Have we whitewashed all the life out of our homes? Will our children feel nestled and cherished in such a sterile environment?
In the book The Lifegiving Home: Creating a Place of Belonging and Becoming by Sally and Sarah Clarkson, the mother and daughter team examine how to create a home that gives life to those who occupy it. They point out that a life-giving home nourishes, inspires, provides comfort, healing, rest, and laughter. It is a place grown kids remember with longing and later attempt to replicate for their own children. The home provides knowledge with books, creativity with art, wisdom with Biblical guidance, and connection around the table.
So, as we store away the seashells and break out the pumpkins, think about other ways we can bring life to our own homes. Here are some simple things I’m putting into practice in mine—and if you enjoy the art of fluffing your nest, you can soon check out this season’s coffee table vignette ideas.
- Keeping a basket in our living room, at the ready, for Bella and I to knit together. (I’ve been teaching her how to knit hats on a loom.)
- Keeping a “no technology at the table” policy.
- Baking something sweet, weekly.
- Keeping a stack of library books handy for after school reading.
- Planning meals for the week on Sunday.
- Keeping Bella’s art supplies on a rolling cart.
- Reading a Bible story with Bella each night in her bed.
May your home be a life-giver.