Once again....to fold and tuck the summer-y clothes into lines of storage bins on the shelves in the basement...

a chore, no doubt, when completing the task for 8 (the teens have enough room in their own dressers not to swap out clothing so that makes it 8 rather than 10)...and yet, fun; taking out cardigans and favorite hoodies that have been forgotten about since last year; almost like getting new clothes!

It's time...

to put the dishes and jars of seashells back in the big zip-lock bag that stores them in the cupboards of our garage until next summer.

Tiny traditions...nothing fancy...and yet, the children are so quick to notice if I don't follow through one year.

The fresh Zinnia and Cosmos and Black-eyed Susan-bouquets must now give way to artificial flowers. (I've seen these frowned upon on "fancy decorating" shows,and yet, my children and husband love them...so, why not?)

Perhaps we will hang a garland of Autumn leaves.

And, once again...it's time...

for the strawberry or citrus-smelling candles to make their exit so that the apple-cinnamons and pumpkin spices can take center stage.

The mornings are greeted with delight as swarms of children stand on porches and decks, freezing in their pajamas but willing to endure the icy-ness of it all just so they can "see their breath" in the air!!!!

We haven't quite turned a full corner of seasons...there is no "frost" on the tips of the blades of grass...

but it is coming.

We can feel it.
We can smell it in the air.
We can sense it.

It's a slow and gentle change, but at the same time, it seems as though we go to sleep one day and wake up the next with everything new.

This reminds me of our souls.

They are forever and always going through change...bit by bit...lesson by lesson...trial by trial...season by season.

We don't always notice it but we know it is happening.

Sometimes, when we allow God's grace to permeate our being; when we confess our sins; when we accept His love and mercy; we wake up one morning and tangibly feel the newness of our spirit.

Like the little decorations of our home, we are "different"...refreshed, renewed, and shining forth in the beauty of a "new season".

There is a sacred beauty in the quiet rhythms and routines and customs of family life.

It's not really about the "decorations".

It's about the process...the bonding...the care and attention and love that we give to our family and the blessings of our home.

I think that God delights in these little things as much as we do.

While we are checking sizes of sweaters, donating some things to those in need, putting warm-colored cloths upon our tables and whatever else we do...

He is smiling upon us and clothing us in His presence.

The change of seasons reminds me that...

It's time.

It's time to de-clutter and re-organize and refresh...

Not only our home...but our souls.

Copyright 2011 Judy Dudich