A Nature Walk in October

October marks the beginning of my favorite time of the year! Holiday goodness around every corner. A pumpkin spice latte and the smell of autumn wreath candles burning in my home is enough to put me in a good mood. I'm a simple gal.

Of course, born and raised in Florida, I have never experienced what a true "fall" looks like. Instead, October is just another warm month with some extra fun festivities! Pumpkin patches, corn mazes, fall festivals... we still get to enjoy all of those fun things. While sweating through our leggings. And praying for an occasional cool morning or evening to enjoy too.

Now that it's October, that also means we have made it two months into our first "officially unofficial" year of homeschooling. And really, it has been one of the best decisions ever. Of course, I still question if I'm doing it right... (because should school be this much fun?) and I'm still figuring out how my children learn best. Especially Micah. I don't put a lot of pressure on Hannah to join us, since she's still only three, but she usually wants to. And though I have tried to stay as structured as possible (by using Sonlight's pre-Kindergarten curriculum and a teacher lesson planner) we have drifted off the "textbook schedule" at times and took a few weeks off in September due to Micah's birthday, Hurricane Irma and going on vacation. But that's the beauty of homeschooling! Life happens, and we can adjust. 

Another beauty of homeschooling, for me, is the spontaneity of it. I love waking up and deciding that today feels like a good day for a nature walk! Which was exactly what happened today.

I printed out a nature walk worksheet I found online that would give them some things to look for while we were on our walk. And then, I improvised and used a brown paper gift bag I found tucked away in our pantry - cut it in half and stapled the worksheet to the front and a ziplock to the back of it for them to collect leaves and flowers that they found. 

They loved to "check" things off the list. :)

We took a break and ate lunch at a picnic bench, and then after our walk, we loaded back up in the car and headed to the local gas station for slurpees! As we drove home quietly enjoying our sweet treats, I thought about all that was going on in the world at large. The devastation that had just occurred in Las Vegas. And how, my children are still too young to really comprehend everything just yet. I felt the weight of the responsibility I am carrying like a ton of bricks. It hit me, heavy.

One day these little people will grow up to be influencers in this world. How do I prepare them? How do I teach them to love and value God's creation? And see very person as loved and valuable to God? A nature walk in October seemed like the right place to start. 

What a Wonder-full World

Have you ever wondered?

That’s not an incomplete sentence.
I mean it, completely.
Do you ever just stop and wonder, anymore?

wonder (v.): 1. Desire or be curious to know something. 2. Feel admiration and amazement; marvel.

As a little girl, I remember spending a great amount of time outdoors, swinging and... just wondering. About life, about my future, about what my friends may be doing in that moment. In fact, I spent so much time wondering that I would end up filling in the blanks with my imagination. I was known as “the daydreamer” of the family - losing myself in thought and often dreaming of what life may be like outside of the small town we lived in.

I have been thinking about this idea of “wonder” lately. And how we are ever so rapidly losing it in our culture today. In an age of instant communication and Google at our fingertips - there is rarely any question left unanswered. And rarely any patience left for wondering, anymore.

We are quick to silence our thoughts, by reaching for a device. And then we fill our thoughts with an abundance of information that we may or may not need. Instead of filling our curiosity on interests that make up who we are - we are letting culture transform and change our interests into what they want them to become.

Ignorance is our worst enemy.

Irrelevance is our greatest fear. 

And then, the only thing we are really left wondering - is why there is so much anxiety and depression? Loss of passion and desire? Why do we feel so empty, when our days and hours are so full?

Google doesn’t have the answers for that.
And believe me, I’ve tried.

When we stop and let ourselves wonder, I believe we find a world that is full of it. The wonder of creation, for instance, is something I will never get over. How did the mountains form? How do the clouds spread across the sky like cotton candy? How does every living thing have a purpose and function in the ecosystem?


Every single time I draw deeper into wondering and discovering the world we are living in, I draw deeper and closer to the God who created it. And I believe it was designed that way for a purpose.

For it is in the wonder that we find His fingerprints.

For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities - his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
— Romans 1:20