Autumnal Equinox | JOY for Today

(Updated 3.24.2023)

When I lived in a place that had no truly definable seasons, the season I most missed was fall. There's something in the changing air that adds comfort and joy to my life. While change in life is rarely comfortable, it can lead to JOY when you learn where to look for it. Like choosing to embrace the splendor of autumn leaves, finding joy amid change helps shift our perspectives.

Orange and yellow autumn leaves on a tree comprise the background. Text overlay reads: "'The glass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever.'; -Isaiah 40:8 CSB; Fall Equinox; Varies Annually
September 23, 2023

Autumnal Equinox Topics:

Did You Know:

  1. Some people believe catching a leaf as it falls brings good luck? One such belief suggests for every falling leaf you catch, you are destined for one day of good luck. (Best Life Online)
  2. There really is a distinct fall scent? Contributors to the smell: dying leaves and cooler air. In addition, the first fall rain smell has its own name: petrichor.  (Best Life Online)
  3. Chickadees experience swelling in their hippocampus during fall? The hippocampus controls spatial reasoning, an essential part of the brain needed for hiding seeds in the fall then relocating them during winter months. (Best Life Online)
  4. Squirrels' fall forgetfulness contributes to reforestation? During the fall months, squirrels collect and hide nuts to prepare for the winter. But squirrels forget where they bury 74% of the nuts. These nuts, aided by protection and nutrition from the fallen leaves, sometimes grow into new trees. (Best Life Online)
  5. Babies born in the fall are more likely to see their 100th birthday? Of 1,574 Americans who lived to see a century, most of their birthdays fell in the September to November months. (Best Life Online)

We'd Love to Know:

Which fact most surprises you?

Wolfe Stew Connects

There are certain subtle seasonal changes that fill me with JOY: the crispness of the air, the splendor of vibrant colors, the satisfaction of pumpkin, the crunching of fallen leaves, the comfort of heavier clothes, and the warmth of hot beverages. No one needs to draw my attention to them; they are instinctual. And without notice, my spirits lift.

Changes in our life often come this way: subtly, yet wholly transforming. When we take the time to look, we see evidence of the change, but cannot pinpoint the precise timing of it.

To understand life changes, it is logical to rely on an unchanging source of wisdom: The One who exists beyond and throughout time. The One who makes everything happen in His time. The One who whittles you, sculpts you, molds you - subtly, yet wholly. When you look back, you see the pieces fitting together. 

Change is always jarring, beyond our understanding, and never easy. To better understand and accept the process, it helps to defer to the wisdom of The Creator. Like the falling of the leaves, we can allow our own theories to fall away and instead grow as trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, when we choose discernment.

Discernment is an ability to grasp the unseen, the difficult concepts, the questions that we may never have the "right" answer to in an almost instinctual manner. Discernment is made easier when we seek and acknowledge the treasure troves of God's wisdom and resist our faulty way of thinking. Training in discernment is our GROWTH focus next week. We'll be studying a passage on discernment in I Corinthians and contemplating how relying on our own interpretations can lead to trouble. If you'd like to join us in training with short, but impactful, Bible-based daily exercises, we'd love for you to join us. Let's together transform from falling leaves into trees of righteousness, Warrior!

We'd Love to Know:

The subtle fall change you are first to notice?

Bible Verses and Quotes 

Bible Verses

  • "To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven." - Ecclesiastes 3:1 KJV
  • "The grass withers, the flowers fade, but the word of our God remains forever." - Isaiah 40:8 CSB
  • "They do not say from the heart, 'Let us live in awe of the Lord our God, for he gives us rain each spring and fall, assuring us of a harvest when the time is right.'" - Jeremiah 5:25 NLT
  • "And as I watched, the clay vessel in his hands became flawed and unusable. So the potter started again with the same clay. He crushed and squeezed and shaped it into another vessel that was to his liking...O people of Israel, can I not do the same to you as this potter has done? You are like clay in My hands - I will mold you as I see fit." Jeremiah 18:4&6 VOICE
  • "Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing, concealed even from the birds in the sky...God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells, for he views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens." Job 28:20-21 & 23-24 NIV


  • "The leaves fall, the wind blows, and the farm country slowly changes from the summer cottons into its winter wools." - Henry Beston
  • "Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower." - Albert Camus
  • "I notice that autumn is more the season of the soul than of nature." - Friedrich Nietzsche
  • "The heart of Autumn must have broken here and poured its treasure out upon the leaves." - Charlotte Bates
  • "Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons." - Jim Bishop

We'd Love to Know:

Which verse or quote would you add to your autumn adornment?


Activity Suggestions

Find ways to welcome fall into your homes, classrooms, story times, and discussions.

Our Nephew's Suggestion:

Carve a pumpkin.

We likely won't carve a pumpkin until October, but we will get a few for decorating.

Our Suggestions:

From Previous Years
Books We're Reading this Year
"Would You Rather...?" Questions to Discuss. Download my current work-in-progress for daily holiday themed Would You Rather questions that will eventually include three questions for each September, October, and November day.  I will continue updating it on OneDrive as I work toward completing it. Would you rather...
  • It was always autumn or always winter?
  • Drink apple cider or hot chocolate?
  • Go on a hayride or navigate a corn maze?

We'd Love to Know:

What is your favorite thing about fall?

We’re excited to share one more day with you and wish you JOY for Today and HOPE for Tomorrow. Come back next week for...Johnny Appleseed Day!

Fighting the Good Fight with You,

Red stew bowl with steam rising from top. Wolfe Stew crawled on front.

Find even more JOY for Today in our monthly calendars, holiday, and seasonal posts.


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