Then God said, “Look! I have given you every seed-bearing plant throughout the earth and all the fruit trees for your food. And I have given every green plant as food for all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, and the small animals that scurry along the ground — everything that has life.”
And that is what happened.
Genesis 1:29-30 (NLT)
Every autumn of my childhood, my family would drive to an orchard far out in the country. It felt like a magical place. We’d sit on hay bales placed on a flatbed trailer and pulled by a tractor through the rows of Honeycrisp, Gala, Macintosh, and Cortland apples — each variety noted with a colorful ribbon tied to the trees. We’d hop off the trailer when we were good and deep in the orchard, then run the rows, climbing into the trees to get apples off branches above our heads.
They had a fantastic bakery featuring these amazing caramel apple puff pastries and cider donuts. They pressed cider there in the big barn, and if we were well-behaved, our mom would let us walk up an old wooden stairway leading to an observation deck above the press. We’d watch the apples travel down their runway, go into a washer, bounce along into a platform that seemed to jiggle the dirt right off, go through a peeler, and end in an enormous vat that somehow magically transformed the apples into the delicious cider we took home in gallon jugs. It was one of my favorite days of the whole year, and it had little to do with the apples. (Now the donuts are another story. I would drive hours for those donuts.)
The food and apple picking were a perk of the whole orchard experience – the real joy was found in enjoying creation together with my family.
The Lord has given us everything that has life – including apple orchards, animals, and each other. With one breath God created all that moves and breathes and sings, dances and argues and speaks, swims and jumps and runs. That includes you and me. On the days when we feel tiny, insignificant, small, and as though we don’t matter very much, we need to remember that each and every breath we take was given by God.
This breath was also gifted to your spouse and your kids. To that guy who cut you off in traffic this morning. To the co-worker who never holds the elevator. It was given to your pastor. Your neighbor. Your college friend who riles people up daily on Facebook. God gave life to each and every person who crosses our paths and to each changing leaf, ray of sunshine, raindrop, and tree branch. Ours is a God of creativity and fun. I see it in our golden retriever, in our young children, and in every autumn visit to the orchard. Where do you see the creative work of God?
In case you’re curious, we do still visit that orchard. One year, we showed up for our annual apple orchard day, and it was closed. We were devastated. The next year we received an email telling us that a family had purchased the orchard, and they would be reopening in the fall! We drove up on opening day, and I inhaled a cider donut the minute they handed it to me over the bakery case. All was right with the world again.
If you don’t already have a tradition of going to an apple orchard, start now! Pack a bag with water bottles, wet wipes (apple picking can get sticky), and a fully-charged phone for picture taking. Take a drive, enjoy picking the apples, indulge in cider donuts at the bakery and apples straight from the trees, and have fun!
Creative God, thank You for making everything that has life. Thank You for including me and my family among those wonders. Help us glorify and praise You with the very breath You’ve given us. Amen.
Adapted from Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul: 25 Devotions for Autumn, by Anna E. Rendell. Copyright © 2018. Published here with permission. All rights reserved.
Anna E. Rendell, the Digital Content Manager (and a regular contributor) here at (in)courage, is the author of Pumpkin Spice for Your Soul: 25 Devotions for Autumn. If you’re a fan of crunchy leaves, chilly days, bonfires, hayrides, and all things pumpkin, this is the devotional for you! On each of the twenty-five days in Anna’s book, you’ll find a Scripture verse, a brief devotion, a question to ponder, and an “extra shot” – inspiring quotes, recipes, and fun autumn ideas — like espresso for your soul!
Here’s to experiencing soul-deep, heart-filling moments this season. Here’s to spending intentional time with our family and friends during the season of gratitude. Here’s to pumpkin-flavored everything! Get your copy right here.On the days when we feel tiny, insignificant, small, and as though we don’t matter very much, we need to remember that each and every breath we take was given by God. - @annaerendell in #pumpkinspicebook: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Michele Morin says
I can think of so many women who (like me!) thrive on all things autumn! This book is a terrific gift idea, and can I just say that I LOVE that picture of your little girl clinging to your leg while you beam for the camera with your book!
Anna Rendell says
Thank you thank you, Michele! I love how that little photobomber turned out.
Kathy Cheek, Author ~ First Breath of Morning says
Fall comes late in Texas so I am still waiting for the leaves to change their color and for crisp autumn breezes, and while I wait I enjoy all the colorful pumpkins in the yards around me decking front porches and yards.
Most of all this October, I am enjoying the release of my own devotional book which is now out! You can read about it right here!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
My husband and I took pumpkin spice cookies to the kids at the bus stop this am. as we walked our faithful beagle, Topper. I LOVE everything fall. Your post brought back memories of me skinning my knees to climb the 5 big apple trees that grew in our back yard. When the apples were still green, they were great for apple battles, but when they turned red and juicy….nothing like the sweetness of a fresh-picked apple dripping down your chin 🙂 Fall is harvest time when we gather in the crops and what a great time to gather God’s creation in with ALL our senses. The sight of an awesome palette of colors in the leaves, the smell of a pumpkin spice latte, the sound of leaves crunching beneath your feet, the feel of the cool crisp breeze that begs for a sweater, the taste of honey crisp apples….Yum! I’m with you, Anna, in wanting to gather it all in. Your devotional looks great – right up my alley! Happy Fall y’all!
Anna Rendell says
There is just so much to take in during this beautiful season!!
Heather L. Mattern says
Oh, Anna, I so wish an orchard were an easy car drive away, so that my family could do this. We are the Deep South, as far down in Alabama as you can go without hitting water. I will research this, though. Surely there is an orchard we could get to on a weekend. The donuts alone would convince my husband of the trip’s value. I also love all things fall. I am patiently waiting for our constant blanket of heated humidity to drop and let the cool dry air in. (Presumably we are expecting a “cold “ front to push through after this hurricane. I may be able to wear long sleeves next week!)
I love your reminder that ever breath is a gift from Him. Life is to be savored, and God has been showing me this so many ways lately, including your post today. Thanks for the reminder! Heather
I so love this! I live on the Gulf Coast of Texas and always looking for an Apple orchard each Fall season. Sadly, I’ve not found any near us, even within a few hours of diving. We lived in Illinois for a few years and I so miss he changing seasons and it felt as it Fall was so much more there. It’s also my favorite time of year.
Also, in Southeren Cali, as a young teen and adult, we would go to an Apple orchard as well, I love the Apple Cider , donuts, etc…and just the family fun and bonding. I can taste them all now after reading your story.
Here, I tend to find a few Pumpkin Patches, that offer hayrides, etc, so it’s usually my go to for Fall here. That reminds me, I need to get my Fall decor out this week as the cool front is supposed to be here today or tomorrow.
Thankful for God for all of these things in life ….
Anna, you are from the Twin Cities and that looks like the Minnesota Harvest Apple Orchard? We went to the Pine Tree Orchard a weekend ago, and we were disappointed due to their closing of apple picking since we brought our son who is here, temporarily, to continue the traditional Fall outing since he was 8 years old. And yes, those donuts are yummy!!! Just giggled to see your lovely Twins cap! What beautiful family! Thanks for sharing this lovely post and your book.
Anna Rendell says
I am! It is! Hi, fellow Minnesota mama!!!
This was so refreshing to read, thank-you, and congratulations on your new book.
Have a blessed day all,
Anna Rendell says
Thanks so much, Penny!
Myra Wells says
Hey, Anna! Thanks for causing me to remember a great autumn tradition from my family. We’d go to a favorite apple orchard, which like you felt way out in the country. In one of those amazing twists of fate, as an adult, I moved into the same town where the apple orchard was located. The first couple of years there, the family who owned the orchard kept a few trees, but eventually sold off the land for development. Talk about disappointment! My heart sank because the next generation wouldn’t be able to have the fantastic memories I had. My orchard didn’t have donuts, but I still remember all the wonderful apple pies we made from our pickins!
Becky Keife says
I need to get to an apple orchard STAT!
Oh, friend. I just love the way you tell a story and bring us all right along with you. Pumpkin spice for my soul, indeed. Love all photos too! Happy happy fall to us!
Beth Williams says
What a story you have to share. Fall is by far my favorite season. You can see much more of God’s creativity this season. I love fall colors, cool breezes & nip in the air. “On the days when we feel tiny, insignificant, small, and as though we don’t matter very much, we need to remember that each and every breath we take was given by God.” Thank you for the reminder that we all matter to God. Some days it feels like no one sees us or cares what we do. Life gets hard & messy. Choices we make sometimes leave us feeling stuck or down on ourselves. We feel we were made for more, God knows our hears & made us in His image. Praising God for the beauty of fall on the mountains, & pretty colorful leaves. Definitely a time for pumpkin spice, apple doughnuts & hay rides.
Congratulations on the book. It will definitely bless many women!!