I am so excited! It’s officially fall, my favorite season of the year.

I love the cool, sweater weather, the beautiful colors of the changing leaves, football, Thanksgiving and all things pumpkin. I am also amused at the conglomeration of Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas decorations that pack the aisles of the stores these days. It seems we haven’t even gotten to the first holiday and two others are out there to enjoy, all together.

As funny as it is to see skeletons, pumpkins and Christmas trees sitting beside each other, that is exactly how my life seems during this season of the year – a mixed-up calendar of events.

You see, as a minister of The Salvation Army, I begin before Halloween taking applications to assist families in need at Christmas. And weeks before Thanksgiving arrives, we’ve put Christmas “Angel Trees” out into the community with names of boys and girls on them who are hoping for a Christmas miracle.

But what really blesses my soul during this time of year is the caring spirit I see from the people around me. This community has a caring heart.

I see it every year as individuals and groups volunteer to ring bells for us, hold canned food and toy drives and pick those angels off the trees to buy Christmas gifts for boys and girls they’ve never even met.

I am so blessed to be a part of such a caring community.

As I pull out those fall sweaters and get ready to enjoy the brisk autumn weather, I’m reminded of God’s word in Colossians 3:12 (NIV): “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”

In this mixed-up, busy season of the year, I pray that we would all clothe ourselves with this kind of a caring spirit. Sharing is caring!

Susan Rodgers is a major with The Salvation Army in Florence.

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