The softness of my four-year-old granddaughter’s voice was a stunning contrast to the clatter of dishes as I cleaned the kitchen after dinner with the family last week, yet it succeeded in arresting my attention. “Nama, I have an interesting idea!” she began, eyes wide with inspiration. “Can you come and sit outside with me for a little while…?”
Her request took me by surprise, as it was already dark out, and the late-September night air was cool. It was also close to her bedtime, yet she enthusiastically continued, “We could light the big star candle, and we could make some hot chocolate with marshmallows in it, and we could eat some apples…” and I was convinced.
Raeme and I grabbed our sweaters and went outside on the deck under the stars and the full harvest moon – just the two of us – with our hot chocolate and apples, the little flame of the candle flickering in the darkness. We listened to nighttime crickets and talked about where stars came from. “I wish I could just reach up and grab part of the moon!” Raeme wistfully imagined, and I asked her what she’d do with it. After thoughtfully pondering, she said, “Make Moon Cake!” and we both giggled.
Honestly, can life possibly get any better than this, I wondered?
Autumn. With its breathtaking reds and golds and deep greens, full moon and star-studded skies, refreshing brisk temperatures slowing our pace as we celebrate the ripe fruit of harvest with amazing gratitude and awe, the evidences of God’s incredible, undeserved blessings in our lives.
What’s more, I am finding myself in the autumn of my life, and it’s wonderful… like a song waiting to be sung! I’m amazed at this season of celebrating “harvested fruit”…the wonderful “fruit” of having invested 36 years of hard work and faithful commitment to a marriage that’s become far too valuable a treasure to handle carelessly; of the satisfying “fruit” of raising children who have brought us much joy, who with their wonderful, godly marriage partners are now faithfully raising their own little ones to the glory of God; and above all, of the sweet “fruit” that ripens after years of growing in an ever-increasing understanding of true “Theo-centric,” (i.e. God-centered) faith. This season is happily celebrated because of Jesus Christ, in whose amazing grace we live and move and have our being.
Titus 2 commands the “autumn” women to be the necessary encouragement, help, and strength to those who are still in their wheat fields, working hard in their “summer” seasons. The fruit of the autumn season will be evident. Autumn women will either discourage others by their self-focused frustrations and bitternesses, or, by providing God-centered examples of women with purpose, they will become the beautiful Song of Autumn to younger women, helping them to find the joy and fulfillment of loving their husbands, loving their children, and lovingly managing their homes to the glory of God.
One of the greatest burdens of my heart is that, by God’s grace, I might faithfully be a messenger of that Autumn Song, and that God will raise up many, many other Autumn women who are willing and able to hold up the hands of the younger ones. In the days ahead, this blog will communicate ideas of encouragement, help, and strength for this purpose. When other women and other families succeed in reflecting the glory of God in their homes and families, we all succeed.
Everything is beautiful in its season, and autumn is certainly no exception. It’s a time to rejoice, to sing, to celebrate the fruit of your labor. One day, it’ll be my granddaughter who is the godly Autumn woman cheering on the younger ones. Looking into her sparkling eyes as we sat giggling together under the autumn stars, it all became so clear.
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