Before this season had ever lifted off the ground I had a word pinned to it. Launch. The word brims with action and indicates any sort of beginning. Our church launched a second campus, our kids started a new school, and I entered that long-awaited season of having all three kids in school a couple days a week.
I launched a new series this fall, and I shared how I love beginnings but hate admitting I’m a beginner, mostly because it means admitting I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. But I’m so thankful for the brave steps of ordinary beginners who take a risk and release something new into existence one shaky step of faith at a time.
Here are FIVE things I’m loving for fall… one for each of your five senses. All can be traced back to certain a place of origin, a simple dream, idea, or passion. Every beautiful one has its own precious beginning.
// T o S E E //
My friend Julie began this blog with one hope: to capture and communicate beauty. The images she collects from her everyday paths have quietly invited me to notice the beauty I pass by without a second glance. Her latest post on unity gifts us all a pair of fresh eyes. Her simple conversational style leaves me hungry for more of this beauty she seeks, then speaks.
// T o H E A R //
Every Tuesday I exhale as I press play and soak in the audible words of the world’s most peaceful voice. Emily’s amiable honesty inspires me, and her willingness to search for the place her voice fits best blesses me. I didn’t realize until half way through the fifth episode that I was arranging my schedule around each new fifteen-minute increment of pure soul food week to week. It will become your favorite Tuesday habit, too.
// T o S M E L L //
The sparrows at Redeemed Ministries launched an amazing bath and beauty product line this year. Every gorgeous bar of handmade soap, every chic tube of lip balm, and every tub of whipped body butter is 100% organic and exploitation free. Not only will you enjoy the beautiful scents paired in these products, your shopping list will make a difference in the lives of survivors and simultaneously spread the word about sex-trafficking.
I never used to be one of those people who bought Christmas presents and Halloween candy at the same time. But when my youngest was due just weeks after Christmas, I figured I didn’t have much choice. When she arrived three and a half weeks early (exactly eight days before Christmas), I was surprisingly prepared.
You can make a difference and let these amazing fair trade products help you whittle down your gift-giving list long before the rush begins. Teachers, coaches, dance instructors. Neighbors, community helpers, and all the people who make your life a little brighter.
Here you go, and you’re welcome.
The peppermint lavender lip balm is one of my favorites and perfect for stocking stuffing. I’ve set aside some of my favorites, including the orange coconut body butter and handmade soaps, so I can give away a product I believe in on an everyday whim.
If you are already so far ahead that Christmas shopping is a big check mark for you, Sparrow House Botanicals has some amazing new pumpkin products perfect for the month of November. There are so many people in my life who deserve a little pumpkin spice pampering. Maybe that someone is you.
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I’m all about “Team Pumpkin Spice,” but I hold the position that not all things need pumpkinizing. When you rip through the wrapper of a Reese’s Peanut Butter pumpkin, you taste nothing but chocolate peanut buttery goodness… all in a darling pumpkin shape. I can handle that. Oh, and because these aren’t jack-o-lanterns, you can go ahead and enjoy these for the whole month of November… or until you officially declare it’s Christmas season.
// T o F E E L //
It began as a bribe on the days my tiny one cried all the way home after dropping the big kids off at school. I taught her to plow the huge mound of dough together with her palms, then squeeze it tightly into a ball. “Push then squeeze; push then squeeze,” I’d hear her say in a sing-song way as I’d slip off to the sink to rinse out my coffee cup.
I’ve come to enjoy our morning play-dough routine. As her tiny hands grip the rolling pin, her eyes light up when she realizes she’s flattened the dough all on her own. When I made this “play clay,” as the recipe calls it, I didn’t much think about the color. I grabbed the food coloring we had the most of: bright orange.
Feeling the soft play-dough take on a new form in my hands has reminded me that God is molding me and changing me and that new beginnings are part of His plan. Mornings at the kitchen table with orange play-dough have been the highlight of my fall. And witnessing my littlest soak it all up has been everything I’ve needed to embrace this season of beautiful beginnings.
What beginnings are you celebrating this fall?