Day 31: A Song for Harvest Time {Really, It’s for You!}

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It’s the last day of this year’s Write 31 Days Challenge- and I made it!!! I wrote every single day of October here on the blog. Just in case you didn’t know, if you click the pic just above this paragraph, it’ll take you to the home page of the 31 Days of Enjoy series, so in case you missed any, they’re all conveniently listed right there just for you!

Speaking of just for you, I wanted to take this last day of the series to share a song I’d written some time last year about autumn (and love… and life… basically I wrapped up every profound subject in this one song. Just kidding, I didn’t, but for a second it sounded that way, didn’t it?)

Harvest TimeI don’t have fancy recording equipment of any kind, and decided only in the last couple of days to record it and share here, so this is just a rough video. But I’m hoping this can be one of those “It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful,” moments. I also put the lyrics below, too.

Autumn sun is sinking low
The spark in the air is one I know
Something grand will soon begin
Something’s coming in, something’s coming in
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So come along with me
Let’s run away to the place we go
When October rolls around and the winds may blow
But I’ll hold you close, I’ll hold you close
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{Chorus}
Bright autumn days remind me
Rejoice in this harvest timing
The earth is ablaze, earth is ablaze with the light
In the harvest time
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Everything’s aglow
Trees and fields aflame as if they know
That it’s time to burn bright
And time to find a voice
Time to rejoice, time to rejoice
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Springs and summers may come
Winters may go, but in my heart it’s fall
It’s the one I like best of all
Though we’re blessed in them all, blessed in them all
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{Chorus}
Bright autumn days remind me
To rejoice in this harvest timing
The earth is ablaze, earth is ablaze with the light
In the harvest time
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Like light in the darkness shining
There is a harvest inside me
Seasons may change but you stay the same
And bring life, you bring harvest time
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I confess, I’ve loved every minute of this challenge! I hope you’ve enjoyed it as much as I have! (See what I did there??) 
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Please feel free to share this song with others, and you can also visit my youtube channel for more songs here (provided you aren’t a Judgey McJudgeypants… the quality of that video is how the others are too. Also, my piano resides in my daughter’s nursery, so prepare yourself for a lot of pink stuff in the background.)
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 I realized only in the last couple of days that while I’ve talked about music a couple of places in this series, I hadn’t shared any of my own. I struggle to be brave enough to do this, because of all the disclaimers I am prone to make (you know, like in that last paragraph), and because I always feel like I could do better. But making music is just my favorite beyond favorite thing to do. Even more than blogging, or art, or- gasp!- eating. (I did manage to share a few songs last month, because that was a huge, amazing thing that happened to me. But it still took some mustering of courage to share, somehow.)
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Really, I hope this can just be an encouragement to you, to boldly enjoy the gifts God has given you- often I think those are made to be shared with others. So, share! Create!
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Enjoy!
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(And thanks for reading/commenting, whether you’ve been with me every day, or only on a few. It’s a huge blessing and encouragement to me!!)

Day 7: Enjoying Surrender.

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As Communications & Events Director for If Then Movement, I have had the privilege of attending and helping with a few ITM events since I took on the job almost a year and a half ago. (I usually just say Communications Director… but the official title sounds schmancy right?) Each one I go to speaks to me differently, as I see God working in both my life and the lives of those who attend.

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(Their decor was ON POINT, people. It was a fabulous fall explosion. But in a good way. Though, come to think of it, I can’t really imagine how fall could explode in a bad way…)

This weekend’s was no exception. It probably held greater depth for me in part because it took place at the church where I grew up, watching my parents minister on staff. I love that place!

And I love seeing what God does through our retreat called “So Be It: Brave Surrender to God’s Call Every Day”.

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This is my favorite retreat that we do. Because it gives women a chance to dig deep and let their hearts open up to the truth that surrender is how we experience the goodness God intends for us.

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Sometimes I have a hard time yielding to that process. Sometimes, all I can do is put one foot in front of the other, rejoice in simple things like autumn wreaths, incredible things like God’s grace, and continuously surrender moment by moment. And sometimes, surrendering is putting pieces of a necklace together that function as a small, beautiful, brave stake in the ground for the kingdom of God.

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That’s what attendees got to do together this weekend. My dear friend chose this necklace, and I confess that the phrase is one of my favorites. (I have a necklace with this same artwork in it… because we’re the same person. We even wore matching colors.)

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What you don’t see in the picture is the small piece of paper that gets buried behind the artwork and the glass tile; that piece of paper serves as a place to write something you feel God laying on your heart to surrender to Him, or a verse He’s leading you to cling to, or a person you need to keep praying for, etc. I love that it’s a tactile, tangible representation of the message.

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The other thing that gets buried in this necklace is a tiny seed, which represents the fact that in order to bear fruit, the seed itself must die. This stands out to me especially, because God has been reminding me that even if I’m afraid of losing or surrendering something to him, doing just that is what bears fruit.

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(This is a candy bar. Get it?)

For someone who professes to be a creative person, I can be really uncreative when it comes to looking past what I think is good and instead trusting that God’s best is better. (Or best… or something.)

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Later in this series, I plan to dig up what God says about enjoyment, but for today, I end with this verse:
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
you give them drink from your river of delights.
                        – Psalm 36:7-8

Day 6: Laziness vs. Leisure

31 days of Enjoy squareLeisure is an important part of enjoyment. But sometimes, leisure gets a bad rap. Because we’re human and imperfect, and that often translates to taking something like leisure and turning it into laziness.

I struggle with this like any person does. Remember back when I wrote about how Netflix plays an important role in marriage? Well, obviously there was a degree of the facetious in that post, along with the serious (as is common here). And I confess, sometimes, binge-watching stuff on Netflix renders me incapacitated, and the thought of getting up off the couch to get more cookies seems as daunting as climbing Mt. Everest.

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That’s how laziness ruins leisure. There’s nothing evil about leisure in and of itself. But laziness? It renders me whiny and self-absorbed in a matter of a few pajama-clad, cookie-filled hours. At that point, am I really enjoying anything?

In those moments, maybe what I really need is some intentional enjoyment. That’s just another reason I love fall; I find myself doing specific things like going to covered bridge festivals, showing colorful leaves to my daughter, buying pumpkins (after laboriously looking for the one with the most character- aka warts and such), etc. And it’s not even that those activities are somehow better than watching Netflix.

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It’s just the searching and seeing that takes place when I experience those things.

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I develop an awareness of beauty; I tune my heart to the blessings of a moment. And even though fall comes every year, the awareness still- always- brings me delight.

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It’s a holy enjoyment.

So, with that said, may your leisure lift you up this season. May you become more aware of the unearthly beauty that graces the earth so generously with itself. Breath it in deep. Enjoy… whether you find yourself pajama-clad and cookie-filled, or wandering through a pumpkin patch.

Kara Faith Photography- Autumn Leaves

Today’s glorious pictures are brought to you by Kara Faith Photography!

31 Days of Enjoy

Welcome to 31 Days of Enjoy!!!
Scroll Down to read day 1::Click to read the other days, I’ll be adding a link to each day once it goes live.

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Day 2: That Epic Autumn Wreath!
Day 3: Spice Up Your Weekend Pinning
Day 4: Autumn Mornings
Day 5: It’s Autumn at Ebenezer Designs (a giveaway!)
Day 6: Laziness vs. Leisure
Day 7: Enjoying Surrender.
Day 8: Enjoy Holiness
Day 9: Three Secret Weapons for Autumn Decor
Day 10: A Walk with Lucy
Day 11: May You Enjoy Your Smudges
Day 12: The Frost is on the Pumpkin
Day 13: How to Paint Leaves (And Other Awesome Things)
Day 14: When You Need to Laugh (Really. Really. Hard.)
Day 15: Rejoice! (Free Printable! Not for Mrs. Trunchbull.)
Day 16: What the Bible Says about “Enjoy” {Part 1}
Day 17: How to Enjoy a Simple Saturday. 
Day 18: Some Depth on a Sunday.
Day 19: Covered Bridge Festival!!!
Day 20: When You Don’t Have a Mantle {Or a Porch}
Day 21: Hand-Drawn Christmas Cards!
Day 22: Artist of the Month- Andrew Peterson
Day 23: Have Courage and Be Kind
Day 24: Kara’s House
Day 25: Homecoming! {Or… Lucy Goes to Milligan: Part 1}
Day 26: Homecoming! {Or… Lucy Goes to Milligan: Part 2}
Day 27: What the Bible Says about “Enjoy” {Part 2}
Day 28: Enjoying Coffee. {And Catching Up.}
Day 29: 10-ish Favorite Pieces from my Fall Wardrobe
Day 30: Fall Family Photos
Day 31: A Song for Harvest Time {Really, It’s for You!}
31 Days of Enjoy has begun!!! Are you ready? Ok.
For my very first 31 Days of Writing ever, I chose a very simple word to focus on. And that word is “Enjoy.”
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Dictionary.com (that’s right, I’m going all wedding-toast on y’all) defines “enjoy” as:

1. to experience with joy; take pleasure in

2. to have and use with satisfaction; have the benefit of

3. to find or experience pleasure for (oneself):

4. to undergo (an improvement)
It’s such a simple word. And yet, I often tend to attach a lot of guilt and disclaimers and caveats that frequently prevent me from truly just- enjoying. Can you relate??? I’m a striver. So much striving. Striving to be perfect, to be right, fretting over my thoughts, or fretting about fretting over my thoughts. You know- the common kind of crazy.
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And I imagine Jesus next to me saying, “Martha, Martha. You are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed- or indeed only one.” After which he reminds me of all the verses about anxiety and cares and worry etc.
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I didn’t grow up learning the Westminster Catechism, but I’ve always loved this particular declaration from it which says, “The chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.”
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Doesn’t that sum up a good bit of what we’re called to do in our lives as believers? And for this 31 Days focus, it fits in perfectly. Have you ever thought about your chief end being to glorify God and to enjoy him? Most of the time, I think of serving God, or pleasing God, or listening to God- all of which are good things. But altogether, they seem to me to stem from a heart of worship.
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I think worship itself is a manifestation of doing just that- glorifying God and enjoying him. And we’re supposed to be worshippers always. As is says in Romans 12:1,
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
We’re also supposed to rejoice- always.
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!”
– Philippians 4:4
I believe God is a God who delights in and enjoys, and I think we are made to delight in and enjoy as well. However, much of the time I agonize over my desires not being worthy enough or godly enough or something. It’s like I punish and subsequently deny myself joy just because I can’t let go of my own need to be perfect and/or life to be perfect (an exercise in futility if ever there was one).
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I don’t know about you, but for me, this annoying way of thinking taints my enjoyment in general because I’m so preoccupied with trying to not enjoy something, or trying to enjoy the right way, or whatever ridiculous over-analytical way my brain frames it. Plus, that kind of thinking is still All. About. Me.
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But.
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What if, instead, I just enjoyed the Lord, enjoyed the grace I receive through being covered by Christ’s perfection? By enjoy, I here mean- “experience with joy, take pleasure in.” How could that change my life- even in enjoying small things?
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So, these next 31 days will be full of focusing on this renewed way of looking at enjoyment and delight. Specifically, I’ll be focusing on enjoying these three areas:
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1. Life- Yes. I want to enjoy life. (Have I rocked your world with my unique and epiphanical thinking? Epiphanical, I’ve decided, is a word. As of now.) But seriously, this is a time to take a breather and enjoy some things. And plus, this is Lucy’s first fall when she will actually be cognizant of her surroundings- play in leaves, hear them crunch under her boots (side note- little girl boots?! Eeee!), explore pumpkin patches or apple orchards… or both, drink cider. You know- enjoy all the things! And I want to be right there with her, enjoying. Which is why there will be a sincerely unapologetic stream of autumnally-themed posts, most likely involving at least one about a fall wreath and certainly a lot after that regarding decor in general.
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2. this blog- I want to “have and use with satisfaction; have the benefit of” it. Work my blogging muscle. Blogging is another way for me personally to process my own story, but also to be intentional- when you’re sharing your story and your heart, you want to present your best self… Or maybe it’s not so much your best self, so much as the self which is best at sharing those things. This blog forces me to articulate, to think, and to be accountable. This is why blogging is not just for the readers, it’s for the writer. (At least, in my case it is.) 
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Don’t worry, not all my posts will be long. Some will probably just be a picture and a thought, or a question or something- huzza for simplicity! (And brevity… I could call this 31 Days of Brevity, because obviously that’s something about which I know nothing. However, that would be significantly less fun. So, I’m not doing it.)
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3. Ebenezer Designs- Here I am talking about definition #4, “to undergo (an improvement)” I don’t know why, but that definition of “enjoy” brings me particular excitement. Maybe it’s because I’m thinking of it in the context of my etsy shop. Regulars around here will remember that I just launched this shop back in March– and that was a brave step for me!  SO prepare yourself. I’ll be launching a new line of various seasonal lovelies over at the shop and I’ll be sharing them over the course of our 31 Days of Enjoy!!!
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I hope you’ll join in the enjoying. And I ask that if you’re willing to share these posts with others, that you would do so! I want you, dear friends, to come along on this journey as well as take part in fostering a community of storytellers, apple cider-drinkers, beauty-seekers and makers… which is to say, a community of those who glorify God and enjoy him forever.