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cleaning out the mushy gushies

It’s beginning to feel a lot like…fall time! The cold front blew in and we actually had to wear jackets! I love it! It makes me feel alive! It’s snowing where my parents live but I will take what I can get down here on the Gulf Coast.

Have you been to a pumpkin patch to celebrate this time of year? Have you enjoyed a warm cup of pumpkin spice latte? Eaten pumpkin bread? We visited a pumpkin patch a few weeks ago and picked out some pumpkins to carve. I must mention that I, being the super mom that I am, tried to make the most of the trip and dressed us all up to take some family photos while there. Sounds like a great idea, but when the girls have pants and long sleeves, and my oldest has on a fur vest, and the day ends up being a literal 80-something degrees outside, it went to a bad idea really quickly. We did end up with photos, despite some irritability and red faces. We enjoyed jumping on hay bales and sliding down the pipe slides. And, afterward, headed to Sonic for a cold drink! Not what I had in mind, but still fun!

We carved our pumpkins last night, which thrilled the girls. We bought a book called The Pumpkin Gospel, aimed toward young children, that uses carving jack-o-lanterns to illustrate the Gospel of Jesus. You may have heard the story your entire life. You might have heard it but not understood. No matter where you come from, there is much to take from the simple book.

The girls begged for time to “clean out the mushy-gushies” of their pumpkins, so we were finally able to take the time last night. We were able to discuss how Jesus cleans us out just like the pumpkins. Linley did not enjoy cleaning out the yucky as much as she thought she would and insisted on using a spoon. For us, let us not forget, we are filled with yuckies. The sin. The bad stuff. The stuff we hide and hope nobody else sees. Some of us hide it well. Some of us have those thoughts we would never want anyone else to see. Our deceptive junk. Jesus came to save us from that. To completely change us and clean out all that garbage. According to Romans 6:18, Jesus cleanses us from all sin! Great news! Let’s celebrate that!

When He is through cleaning all that nasty out, we have room for His light to shine through our faces just like the jack-o-lanterns! We can “let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). We carved big, silly faces on our pumpkins and were able to visually see how lights can shine from within the pumpkin to people outside. We, no matter how old we are, can show Jesus’ hope and love to those around us; even my preschoolers!

I realize for some, this may seem simplistic. It should be miraculous every time we hear it, really. Our big God cared enough to clean us from the inside out and allow us to shine for Him! Think about His miraculous saving grace and patience with us this week! Enjoy a cinnamon dolce latte! Love you friends!

Love, Charis

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