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An Open Invitation

An Open Invitation

Fall made its opening debut early this week, enticing us with crisp, clear mornings and crystal blue skies. They say fall is a southerner’s reward for surviving the summer. Ah… sweet relief. Of course, as Texans, we know these chilly mornings are just teasers. We surely have more than our fair share of warm afternoons in store before winter settles in.

Autumn doesn’t arrive in Texas in a brilliant procession of glory like it does in Maine or Vermont. Here, it slips in more subtly in the form of pumpkins on porches and football games and fall flavors on the Starbucks menu. Instead of blazing reds, oranges, and yellows, our landscapes are colored with soft golds and amber waves and crunchy browns. But it arrives, nonetheless, to an enthusiastic welcome from all of us who absolutely love this time of year.

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In late September, my good-sported husband brings down my umpteen bins of fall decorations from the attic. This is one of my favorite days of the year. I have an entire day to myself to get our house ready for fall. No appointments or time frames or responsibilities. I wake up before my alarm goes off and practically jump out of bed. No snoozing on this day! This is the day I will turn Pandora to the Nat King Cole station and keep the coffee pot on while I pull out the fragrances and colors of fall and let them fill our home.

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I know. It sounds hokey. But for me, this day symbolizes the first beginnings of the holiday season. Fall is when the year begins to wind down. It turns my home into a reminder that the season of Thanksgiving is here – a call to reflect and to give thanks in every moment.

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I’m going simpler this year, choosing to bring nature inside wherever I can. I do this as an act of worship. It’s my way of paying attention, of taking note and giving thanks for the harvest of the year. Not a frantic, driven frenzy to create the perfect Pinterest-worthy scene, but simply an outpouring of gratitude and a celebration of the bounty.

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Something in this process stirs in me a longing to gather, to open my doors to friends and neighbors, to linger around the firepit well past bedtime. Fall is not the time of year to spend indoors and isolated. The cold days of January or the furnace that is July and August… perhaps. But not October and November. These are the days that draw us out and remind us that we are part of a community, connected somehow more visibly during these shrinking days to the people around us.

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So friends, in the spirit of fall and community and celebrating the season, the ladies at TheSpaceWeShare are hosting The Backyard Gathering. Imagine farm tables filled with hearty lasagna, roasted veggies, and warm bread… live music by Matthew Bell & the Next of Kin… s’mores around the firepit… pumpkins and candles and twinkle lights… a photo booth and cool raffle item giveaways… old friends and new friends just hanging out, savoring the evening.

If you are reading this blog, you are invited. We welcome you to join us in this space we share. We are selling tickets to this event – not because we’re trying to make money from it – but because we are sending the money to our friends at Redeemer Christian Foundation to help them raise the funds to expand their small Christian school in the Middle East. (To read more, go here.) (Or send me a private note at janaschmitt3200@gmail.com. I’m very passionate about this cause and more than happy to talk with you about it!)

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Space is limited and we do expect to sell out, so RESERVE YOUR SPACE NOW if you would like to join us for a delightful evening and support the sweet kiddos at Redeemer.

 

Look forward to seeing you there!

xo,

Jana

 

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