One Question Autumn Asks

by | Oct 24, 2015 | 31 Letters from London

This is day 24 in a series: 31 Letters from London. In October, I’m doing something a little different and writing to you about the realities of life as an expat; finding the nearness of God through random experiences with new culture. It’s important to begin here and find the collection of letters here. We’re breaking for Sabbath every Sunday.


Last year, in October I felt a deep disappointment about missing autumn in London. I’d assumed we would be living in England by the time the leaves turned golden but instead, we were in the midst of another delay.

As I walk around the city this week, I’m captivated by a chameleon landscape; leaves once verdant bleed crimson, pumpkin and yellow. Heels on my shoes crunch through a carpet of gold and sienna.

We have entered the season of harvest; the time of a pregnant pause between summer’s abundance and winter’s barrenness.  Autumn asks if you are faithful. Will you trust resurrection is coming when hope isn’t yet evident?





Last night, H and I pulled on boots; we slipped coats over sweaters and tied scarves around our necks. We walked under starlit sky holding hands and remembered how it feels to be playful.  Anonymous somebodies left us separate envelopes holding bills and warm wishes.

After seven months living in London, we finally enjoyed a date night! I couldn’t bring myself to write a blog post. I’ve officially broken a promise to myself about writing every day this month but I’m actually okay with that.

Winding our way through quiet streets lit by incandescence beaming through large bay windows, we rode the Central Line to Oxford Circus and clicked up the stairs like children opening doors into Narnia. Hints of Christmas cheer were hanging off buildings everywhere like I was standing in a snow globe waiting to be shaken.





I awakened on Saturday with an addiction to making the house feel cozy. And then I remembered the unopened box in the garage with “Thanksgiving Decorations” written in black ink. What grace!

All day, I donned an apron. I cooked, polished, decorated and lit candles while singing. Autumn is a pregnant pause for nesting; deep preparation that comes instinctively before giving birth to a new season.

As the sun goes down at 5pm and we gain an extra hour of sleep tonight, creation forces us to Sabbath just as God intended. Rest is the clarion call of autumn.


Happy Sabbath Friends!

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  1. Lynn D. Morrissey

    Autumn is one of my favorite seasons, Shelly, and I love that the English call it just that and not “fall.” Yes, the leaves are falling, but there is something more eloquent about just mouthing the word autumn. It’s God’s grace that in His timing you are where your heart is in the autumn that He desired for you to be there. I know you are reveling in color, grace, and rest–all gifts “falling” 🙂 upon your head in England. Besides the lovely prose and the beautiful pictures you have given us here, I especially love that you are giving *yourself* grace and not fussing over whether or not you made those thirty-one days of posts. Your heart was in the right place, but Sabbath allows you room for breathing and grace and not beating yourself up over lack of utter perfection. Just as autumn begins the emptying process for new growth, Sabbath makes room for acceptance. Enjoy your Sabbath weekend. I’m surely enjoying all you are writing!

  2. Pam

    Such a lovely word picture mingling with your equally heart-stirring photos today, Shelly. I love that you’ve received a surprise from His hand allowing you to go on your date… to find your Thanksgiving box… to start nestling in with candles and song. In some ways, your post echoes back to mine this day 24 – that Autumn holds a love letter waiting for us, that God is yearning for us to discover and hold close. How He treasures us!

    Was wondering about the photo of the arch where red flowers are drooping in the center (like a Christmas wreath, as you said) – is that the way it is naturally growing? Or someone’s plan for it to look like that?

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