I’d never gifted anyone with a pumpkin before. It seemed sort of strange really, but once the idea presented itself, I was irrationally struck by it.
I’d gifted pots of flowers in the spring or chosen a hanging basket as a Mother’s Day present. I’d delivered floral arrangements and arranged bouquets myself to brighten someone’s day. Pumpkins, though, weren’t really on my radar.
Until the day they were.
A slight breeze met me as I opened my car door and swung my feet onto the pavement. It couldn’t have been a lovelier autumn day. Exactly the type I’d order if it was up to me. Bright blue skies swirled together with crisp air creating a perfect backdrop for all things fall! Pumpkin spice was definitely right in season! Walking the short distance across the parking lot, I entered the grocery store doors. I did a mental run-through of my list as I pulled my phone from my pocket and opened my Listonic app.
My friend was smack dab in the middle of a difficult season and I hoped to deliver a bit of cheer and hope her way.
Wrangling a shopping cart from the cart corral, I began navigating up and down the aisles. I pulled items from the shelves and placed them in my cart, checking them off the list as I went.
Wracking my brain to think of one or two more food items to include in a breakfast box, as well as something to add a bit of beauty, I focused on what I might enjoy receiving if the roles were reversed.
What about a pumpkin? I loved having a few every autumn to adorn my table, my porch, or the piano in our living room.
Heading toward the produce section, I began to dig through the large box of assorted pumpkins, squash, and gourds. I held up a blueish-gray one comparing it to a flat Cinderella with cream and tan tones. What was that squatty one back in the corner? Stretching to reach, I pulled it out, surveying it with a critical eye. Further down, a pale, pink Cinderella pumpkin shyly winked at me too.
The other shoppers were choosing carrots, potatoes, or lemons, and paid me no mind. As no one seemed to be waiting for me, I took my time.
I liked the shape of the blue-gray, but the stem was broken off and it really did look much better with a cute stem attached. The squatty one had an adorable air about it, but the Cinderella shaped pumpkins were definitely drawing me in. With a bit more deliberation, I made my choice. Into the cart went the pale pink Cinderella pumpkin.
It nestled between the orange juice and bag of grapes. It winked cheerily up at me and I felt it could tell it was on a mission of blessing and was happily pleased about it.
When I’d checked out and heaved all the groceries, plus the pale pink pumpkin into the back of my Yukon, I headed home.
At home, with groceries put away, I pulled out two skillets and commenced to frying sausage and eggs. I scrambled and layered, adding cheese and seasonings. Placing it all in a baking dish, I assembled the breakfast casserole to gift to my friend.
As I went through the familiar motions of fixing food, I mused about the importance of feeding ourselves in three different ways.
Our physical bodies need nourishment every day. Without, we soon begin wasting away. We may survive on very little. Possibly for a long period of time, yet not in a healthy way. We survive, but we do not thrive.
Our spirits need everyday refreshment from Jesus. We flourish and grow as we sit in stillness with Him, as we pray, and as we dig deep into the Bread of His Word.
Our souls need space, creativity, and beauty to bring a restorative balm to our being and days.
All three work together to make us who we are as we live in human form. Each one is important.
As I looked at the items I’d gathered together to gift to my friend, I realized they were offering her hope and comfort in all three ways.
The eggs and orange juice and grapes and coffee would feed her physically. While at the same time, refresh her soul and spirit through the aromas and flavors as they communicated caring and compassion to her.
Laying on the table, tied up in a turquoise ribbon, was a devotional. What Your Heart Needs For The Hard Days by Holley Gerth would offer words of encouragement, speaking life into her spirit and hugging her soul with tenderness.
The pink pumpkin beamed proudly beside a chocolate bar in pretty paper. I tucked a nosegay of roses into the turquoise ribbon around the book. A bit of beauty would help dispel the drab ache of uncertainty and waiting.
I’d penned a note and carefully handlettered Psalm 31:24 along the bottom edge of the Really Woolly notecard. “Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord.”
Food for the physical.
Words pointing us to Jesus.
Beauty to breathe into our souls.
It all mattered.
Resting my hand on my chin, I gazed out my kitchen window, noticing the puffy cloud passing by.
To really thrive, not just survive, we needed to breathe in good in all areas.
That’s why the pumpkin idea had resonated so deeply with me without me understanding why.
On our best days, we need good food, good time in the Word, and beauty to behold.
During the difficult days and the days when the clouds of disappointment and discouragement hang low, we need it even more. We need the gift of beauty whispering to us of hope. Telling us that even in the broken, despite pain and overwhelm, joy shines through.
Sometimes hope and happiness shine brightest through the beauty of a humble pink pumpkin!