Usually you think of fall as a cozy season, one to bundle up, kick back in a recliner, and sip hot chocolate or apple cider while watching Hallmark Christmas movies, right? That’s my dream, but it’s not exactly reality at the moment (at least not completely… I definitely have those moments and days!). So far, for me this fall has been a busy season (as you can tell by my lack of blogging lately).
And it has been CRAZY, especially the last two weeks of October. I was spending long work days stocking up our products over at Par la Grace (click here to check out the cuteness!). And then this past week I started a new babysitting job, 9 hours a day 5 days a week. But that’s not so bad – I get to cuddle a sweet newborn all day. 😉 Definitely a job to envy at the moment.
In the midst of all the craziness of going here and there, working a ton at home, and starting a new job, God’s been bringing something to mind: it’s the little things that make the memories, and the little things that can make a difference.
So I’ve been trying to purposefully do some “cozy little things” this fall, even on the days when signs had taken over our house and dishes were piled in the sink. And you know what? It’s been amazing how cozy and fun this fall has been, even when my stress level is at its max. Sure, there have been moments and days that weren’t fun in the least bit, but taking the time to make memories has been something special that has made a difference in my life.
I would challenge you to do the same. Take some time out of your busy schedule to do just one or two little cozy things a week. It doesn’t have to be anything big… and here are some ideas, some of which I’ve done and some of which I haven’t!
- Make homemade hot chocolate and French toast for supper… or breakfast… or lunch…
- Bake cookies
- Have a lazy day in pajamas and watch movies and eat snacks (coziest when it’s cold and rainy outside)
- Do a bonfire
- Decorate for Thanksgiving
- Light a candle
- Play Christmas music (sure, maybe it’s early… but I did see an article that said that studies have shown that people who listen to Christmas music early are happier, sooo… ;P)
- Open the windows, even if it’s cold, and bundle up
- Take a walk or sit outside and enjoy the fall colors (or snow, depending on where you are)
- Curl up and read a good book
The key to it really being fun, though, is to do it with other people. My family, and especially my sisters, are my best friends, so I’ve been doing most of my cozy things with them. Somehow it’s just not as much fun when you don’t share… although I have definitely made myself a single-serve cup of homemade hot chocolate and curled up on the swing outside when I was having a bad morning. It’s amazing what comfort a mug of hot chocolate can give…
And don’t forget the most important thing to take time out for – your relationship with Christ. That’s another thing that I’ve been struggling with during this busy season in my life, but I don’t want it to be a struggle. I want to have purposeful time with God every morning, and sometimes it’s hard to find time, especially when other things feel more important at the moment. But nothing is ever more important than God and His Word, and I’m slowly learning to prioritize my life, with Him at the top. One of the things I have found that works the best is to take that time before starting your work day or sometimes even before doing your chores. I have to eat something as soon as I wake up, so before I started my job I would get up, eat breakfast, and then read my Bible. Now that I’m working and have to leave at 6:20 AM, I get up, pull everything together, eat a quick breakfast, and head out the door… but I try to read my Bible one of the first things after I get there, if the baby is happy on his play mat on the floor.
I will admit… sometimes I just read a chapter and that’s it. I don’t really get much from it. But I’m learning to be more purposeful. I would encourage you to have a notebook on hand while you’re reading, to jot down a verse that stands out or a thought that comes to mind while you’re reading. And remember – even when it doesn’t feel like you’re getting much out of your Scripture reading, God’s Word never returns void. I have to keep reminding myself of that, especially right now while reading through all of Moses’ books in the Old Testament. Sometimes I read a Psalm or a chapter from one of Paul’s books to get a little something to meditate on during the day.
The most important thing is to just do something each day, even if it’s just reading a few verses in the morning. Allow yourself time to learn and room to grow, but just don’t do what I’ve been doing and use that as an excuse to not do what you’re supposed to do. :\ Remember that God’s grace is always sufficient… and find something to thank Him for each day. And do something cozy every once in awhile. 😉 Take time out of your busy season to focus on what’s most important – your relationship with God and your relationship with your family and other people. It’s been a blessing to me, and I know it will be to you too.