As I have written about before, I love fall. I am one of those people that like pumpkin-flavored things. I know some of you are rolling your eyes right now, but there are many of us! I want a pumpkin latte, a pumpkin cookie, pumpkin muffin, pumpkin crunch dessert. Well, I believe you are getting a picture of my love for this season.

It is not just the flavorings of fall that make me happy, it’s the beauty of the season. God paints a masterpiece with transforming our woods, trees, forests, and more into something only artists could see in their mind’s eye! If that were not enough, I am also a football nut, so this is in full swing now.

All of those things are great, but what I like about fall is pausing to be thankful.

We run through our lives, complaining at every turn. The drive-through was too slow. The waitress messed up my order. Gas prices are going up. People are rude at the store; have you been shopping on a Saturday lately? Oh my! People can be heard to say:

“My kids don’t call.”

“My kids only call when they want something.”

“It is cold outside, and I wish it were summer.”

“It is hot outside, and I wish the heat would stop.”

“I hate the snow.”

“I hate leaves.”

“I do not like ...”

A vicious circle of what we do not like can be seen and heard throughout the land. People seem to want to complain.

Joy is a choice! Choose joy!

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!

Romans 12:12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.

So, what is the Lord calling you to notice and be thankful?

I try every day to thank the Lord for three different things. Some days those three things are so easy — a text from one of the children, a great lunch made by someone else, and time alone with my hubby. Some days I have to dig deeper. What matters is that I look throughout my day for the “silver lining,” you might say. I am one of those people that does 30 days of thankfulness for November. In this life, there is so much to be thankful for — friends, family, a warm home, a good job, the sun on your shoulders on a hot day after a long winter, the first snowflake while Christmas music plays are just some from my journal!

Join me this November and beyond! Start your gratitude journal!

The Rev. Tracey Zimmerman serves at Fremont United Methodist Church and Nevada Mills United Methodist Church

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