Autumn Family Rhythms

September 06, 2021 · by Whitney Gothra

If you have young children in school or are in school yourself, you may be finding the shine of the back-to-school season growing a bit dim. Buying all the supplies, trying on new outfits, and stepping into a new routine is exciting … until it’s not. Newness has a short shelf life. My daughter has been in school for a few weeks, and while she absolutely adores it, I’ve been trying to settle into the early mornings, drop-off and pick-up lines, and preparing all the snacks and homework papers.

Back-to-school is an adjustment for the whole family, and I’ve been working to develop some rhythms to help get us all on the same page. While routines are structured events or ways to carry out your day-to-day activities, I prefer rhythms that are more gentle and keep everyone to the same beat.

The first family rhythm that we make a priority in autumn is peace.

  1. Make Peace the Foundation

School can be hard, work can be hard, and figuring out how to balance everything can be hard. Home should be the one place where peace can be found no matter what. I make it a priority to have peaceful mornings for my school-age daughter. The night before we lay out all of her clothes, get her backpack ready, pack a snack, and decide what we’ll have for breakfast. Then when morning comes, I wake her up gently with enough time for her to get ready. She loves to take her time and dawdle, so I’ve learned to wake her up early so I don’t have to nag her and create a frustrating environment first thing in the morning.

Keeping a peaceful home can take a lot of effort. It’s not just sweeping problems and issues under the rug - it’s creating an environment where everyone can be seen and heard. Home is our safe space to ask questions, be vulnerable, and shed any stress from our day when we walk through the doors.

2. Celebrate the Season

The excitement of autumn doesn’t end with the back-to-school rush. There are so many amazing things about this season! I feel that if God created a world so intricate and beautiful, I want to give Him glory by enjoying and soaking His creation in.

There are a few things that we do in our home to mark the season change. I have a playlist that I made specifically for autumn. We have speakers around our home, and I love to let the beautiful music fill the rooms. Whenever I hear one of the songs from our playlist in other seasons, it always makes me feel cozy and brings back the feeling of autumn.

We also bring a lot of nature inside. Last year one of my favorite memories was searching for the perfect fall tree to cut a clipping from and stick in a big vase on our table. My older daughter was so excited to help me look and our car rides were full of glorying over the beautiful leaves that God “painted.” You don’t have to spend a lot of money at Hobby Lobby to make your home feel seasonal - cut some clippings, fill a bowl with some apples, and simmer some spices on your stove.

3. Have Clear Priorities

The best way to insure that your family is moving to the same beat this autumn is to realign your priorities. As we head into fall and then the Christmas season, we are just going to get more and more busy. Take the beginning of autumn as a checkpoint to make sure your family is focusing on the same vision.

It is so easy to fill our schedules with good things but get to the end of the week and realize we missed the important things. On their own, clubs and sports and small groups can be perfectly fine. Yet, if your family is so overwhelmed with events that keep you out of church or keep you from having any time together, you might need to prioritize what goes on your calendar.

God created the family unit, and He desires to use your family to show His glory and accomplish His will. When each family can become united with the same purpose and priorities, there’s no telling what God can accomplish through you!

These are just a few rhythms that help us go about our days in a way that brings joy and, prayerfully, glory to God. What about you and your family? What are some things that you do to transition into the autumn busy season? Let us know in the comments or on our Instagram post. Let’s help each other succeed! Any time spent setting your family up to flourish will not be wasted in the Kingdom!

Whitney Gothra

About Whitney Gothra

Whitney Gothra and her husband Timothy have been married for around fifteen years, and they have three sweet and spicy girls, Ruby, Selah, and Marigold. They pastor the Apostolic Church of Wabash in Wabash, Indiana. You can connect with her on Instagram @theflourishstudio or online at whitneygothra.com.