Creative Ways to Serve, Play and Pray this Fall (Downloadable PDF)

Creative Ways to Serve, Play and Pray this Fall

Searching for creative ways to play, pray, and serve with your family this Fall?

Let’s set aside the TV, phones, and other devices because Fall is just around the corner, offering crisp winds, punkin’ patches, football, and fur-lined boots. Yes, please!

Gather the family—whether two or twenty—and choose a favorite activity to boost your time together and with the Lord. After all, a family that serves, plays, and prays together stays together.


Creative Ways to Serve Together

🍁 Host a yard sale and give the proceeds to a church fund, missionary, or charity.

🍁 Donate to a local missions store. Skip the yard sale and spend time together as a family gathering clothes, housewares, and toys to donate. Make plans to stop by for a treat on the way home.

🍁 Treat an elderly or disabled friend to a yard cleanup day. Rake leaves, trim shrubs, or pull weeds. Yard work offers service opportunities for all ages. Want to go a step further? Leave a bucket of mums or another fall floral arrangement behind to brighten their porch.

🍁 Bake pumpkin bread together. Wrap up the loaf and attach a small note with Psalm 34:8, “Taste and see that the LORD is good.” It’s sure to brighten the day of a lonely neighbor or friend when you hand-deliver it with a smile.


Creative Ways to Play Together

As a family, brainstorm twelve activities that won’t require much prep or money. Write each one on a slip of paper and put it in a “Fall Fun” jar. Draw one slip (or more!) every week and decide the best day to carry it out. Some ideas might be:

🍁 Take a nature walk to engage your senses. What catches your eye? How does a particular leaf feel? (Steering clear of poison ivy, of course! Leaves of three, leave them be. Thank you, Girl Scouts.) What scent fills your senses? What do you hear? (Silence counts!) As you walk, gather color-coated leaves, rocks, acorns, and evergreen branches to decorate your mantle or tabletop when you return home.

🍁 Go on a picnic. Choose a lovely location. Maybe it’s beside a creek, on a mountain, in a park, or your backyard. Children can help plan the menu and prepare the food for the picnic. Or plan to pick up a bucket of chicken. It’s not the food that matters but the memories created. Don’t forget a blanket/tablecloth, utensils, napkins, and bug spray.

🍁 Game night! Whoever chooses this slip of paper can choose which game the family plays. Turn off the TV and turn on the laughter.

🍁 Popcorn & Puzzles. Create a designated table to work on a puzzle throughout the fall season. On the nights this slip of paper is drawn, plan to serve popcorn, lemonade, or any family favorite food/drink.


Creative Ways to Pray Together

Teaching our children that meaningful prayer can be simple and enjoyable is a gift they will carry throughout adulthood. Here are a few ways to get the creative juices flowing when praying as a family:

🍁 Walk & Pray. Before you set out as a family, discuss various ways to pray for your neighbors, such as God’s blessings, God’s healing, for them to draw closer to God, for wisdom as a family, etc. Perhaps some neighbors need specific prayer. Share how God is the only One who truly knows what each person or family needs but that He honors our desire to pray for them. Then, take a walk around your neighborhood. You can pray quietly as you pass neighbors’ homes or silently while keeping your eyes open. This helps children to learn that while closing our eyes during prayer helps us concentrate, it’s also okay and biblical to pray with our eyes open.

🍁 Journal as a family. Purchase or create journals for every person in the family. Set aside a few minutes each night to journal together. Consider lighting gas logs or candles while you write. Younger children will enjoy coloring during their time. Setting aside fifteen minutes each night (or weeknights/weekends only) will help develop a pattern that will bless your children for many years to come.

🍁 Create a prayer board. Hang a designated “Prayer Request Chalkboard” in an accessible place in your home. When prayer requests arise, write them on the board and pray for them after dinner.

In a culture defined by division, intentionally creating togetherness is refreshing. 

So, what idea could be added to the above list, and/or which one will you try first? We’d love to know! 

Keep this list handy! Download your PDF copy here.

Additional Seasonal Prayer Posts:


(If you received a copy of “31 Ways to Pray for Your Children” or “Praying Throughout Your Home”, you’re in the right place. Welcome!)



Pauses for the Vacationing Soul Mountain Devotional Guide

Join the Scripture-Based Spring Scavenger Hunt + Amazon Giveaway Prize!

Scripture Based Scavenger Hunt

Who doesn’t love a good scavenger hunt?

There’s something about seeking out specific items within a certain time limit that puts a pep in our step! Granted, most hunts are minutes long but this one is more about slowing our pace, encouraging us to pause and to see simple objects in the light of God’s Word.


We started creating scavenger hunts in the Creative Pauses Facebook Group last year and we’ve never looked back.


So here’s the scoop!

  • It begins today and ends Saturday, April 2nd, at noon EST 6PM EST
  • Finish all five hunts by Saturday and you’ll be entered into a $25.00 Amazon gift card giveaway.
  • When you finish all five, come back to this blog post and leave a comment saying you’re finished. (We’d also love to hear what you enjoyed most about the hunt.)
  • If you like, snap photos of the items as you go and post them in the daily 1 PM “Share your pictures here” posts in the Facebook Group. Everyone enjoys seeing the various pictures but they’re not required to win. Have fun!


Hunting for objects + pause + reading the living and active Word + pause + meditating on His Word = a much-needed oasis for the heart, soul, and mind.



Download a printable version here.

If you’re a woman who loves Jesus and desires to grow in Christ in biblical community, join the 2K+ women in the Creative Pauses Facebook Group today!


Engage Your Five Senses this Winter and Behold the Wonders of God

Engaging our five senses opens us to moments of wonder we might otherwise miss.


“God has strewn our paths with wonders and we certainly should not go through life without seeing them.” Alexander Graham Bell


An eight-foot-long window on the north side of the tiny house faces mountain ranges skirted in native trees. Just a glimpse of the majestic peaks stirs this heart to wonder.

And then there’s the joyful chirping heard from nearby Robins as they swoop down in search of late-bearing fruit. Birds, in general, remind me of God’s care.


“Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are?” Matthew 6:26


But to hear their chirping praises to the Lord reminds me to be joyful and content with His provisions.


Pausing to celebrate even the tiniest of God’s wonders, prompts our heart to worship throughout the day.


Perhaps winter is the ideal season to cultivate the art of slowing down long enough to take note of God at work around us?

It begins with prayer.


A prayer for our five senses to bring God glory


And heightening our awareness of God’s wonders may also require practice.

“Great are the works of the LORD, they are pondered by all who delight in them.” Psalm 111:2

Below is a list of fun observations made over the past couple of weeks. It’s a simple way to train the brain in becoming more intentional to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste the wonders of God. What will you notice this week?


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  • Red cardinals on bare branches. Bright spots among the bleak.
  • Forgotten homes, abandoned buildings, and barns normally hidden behind foliage. What stories did they once hold?
  • Here in the south, the blessing comes in what we don’t see…mosquitoes. That reason alone is cause for praise!
  • Words, sentences, and paragraphs. Reading while curled up beneath a chunky knit blanket and hugging a warm cup of tea = a perfect winter oasis. (Here’s what I’m reading now. And let’s just say she’s found a life-long fan in me.)


  • Squeals of joy from nearby slopes as children slide on sleds.
  • The hefty crunch of boots when stepping on frozen ground.
  • Zipping up heavy coats.
  • Puzzle pieces snapping into place.
  • Snow-fall silence. A glorious deafening indeed.
  • Tiny crackles of static when removing toboggans.
  • A whistling tea kettle, assuring us of a soon-to-be pause.
  • Thumps of wood being tossed into the fireplace.


  • Blankets – heavy but soft, combining to bring warmth and comfort.
  • Heated car seats. Need I say more?
  • Smoother hair – fewer frizzies thanks to the lower humidity.
  • Snow – a wintry delight (for those of us in the south), possessing the power to transform grown adults into giddy ten-year-olds.


  • Propane (gas logs).
  • The sharp scent of cedar when split for kindling.
  • Candles with the rich fragrances of fir, evergreens, and spices.
  • Lemon, frankincense, and eucalyptus essential oils misting the room to help keep everyone healthy.
  • Freshly-washed flannel sheets that hold a hint of Downy.


  • Snow cream! Fresh snow, pure vanilla, and cane sugar (blended with memories of my grandmother making it for me) creates the sweetest of concoctions.
  • of Spring…when bright crocuses emerge and ole-timey Witch Hazel shrubs blossom the color of sunshine.
  • Hot cocoa made with whole milk, topped with puffs of chalky white goodness.
  • Homemade soup, like this family Chicken Noodle recipe. 

Want to become more intentional in noticing the details this week? Here’s a handy guide created just for you!


What winter observation sparks your spirit to praise the wonders of God?




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We’re women who love Jesus and desire to encourage and be encouraged through biblical fellowship.

Each day, holy pauses are shared in the form of prayer, God’s Word, gatherings, or free downloads that help us to connect (or re-connect) with God and others.

We’re women who believe in the power of intentional holy pauses in our day. We’d love for you to join us and share the group with your friends!


* **If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy “Engaging Our Five Senses this Spring 2020”.

6 Christmas Gifts for the Hurting + A Giveaway for You


Christmas gifts come in all shapes and sizes.

Many believe the best ones are hidden beneath a lit-tree. But I think⏤especially this year⏤the best gifts will be shown, demonstrated, and offered, from intentional hearts.

In my last post, I shared specific ways to celebrate togetherness despite the separation many of us will experience this year. Some of our separations will be temporary but others will not. Whatever hurt we experience during the holiday season seems to weigh more, sink deeper.


And yet, our hope in Jesus Christ creates a buoyancy of joy that no circumstance can overcome.


As Christ-followers, we have the privilege of coming alongside the hurting and demonstrating this truth. The good news is that we can do this in simple but thoughtful ways:


Christmas Gift Ideas for the Hurting


  • Be present, as much as you and the recipient feel comfortable. If a physical visit isn’t possible, consider calling, or face-timing. Time, energy, and a listening ear are gifts no one will return.
  • Find practical ways to offer assistance. Perhaps a widow could use help decorating her home, addressing Christmas cards, or running errands.
  • Do you have special memories of a loved one missing this season? Write each one down, being as specific as possible. Mail, record, or share them verbally with the recipient.
  • Gift a beautiful Christmas candle. Keep the scent on the mild side for those who might have allergies. Attach a card: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5 NLT)
  • Donate a Bible in their loved one’s memory. Gideon International sends beautiful cards to the recipient and delivers their Bible(s) around the globe for the cost of a cup of coffee. It’s truly the gift that keeps on giving.
  • For those quarantined in assisted living homes or homes, consider caroling as a family outside his/her window. Or gift a bird feeder outside the window, including seeds on a regular basis. In a card, remind her of God’s intimate care for birds (Matthew 6:26)  and how much greater He loves her. Every time you fill-up the feeder, seeing you will be another “gift” for the quarantined.


And Merry Christmas to You!


Does one idea, in particular, spark your interest? Or maybe you have a new idea to add! Either way, I’d love to hear about it in the comment section below. Share, and you’ll be entered into a giveaway for a $10.00 Starbucks gift card!


This post closes out 2020 for the Creative Pauses blog, but I’d LOVE for you to join me over @ the Creative Pauses Facebook Group where the conversation continues. Each day, you’ll find a quick but meaningful (and often fun) pause and who couldn’t use this in December? It’s an oasis for many, and we’d love to welcome you too!

Join the Creative Pauses blog community by subscribing below or in the sidebar, and receive your Family Advent Calendar 2020 as my way of saying thank you. 

Family Advent Calendar


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Thank you for stopping by Creative Pauses from The Tiny House on the Hill!

Bi-weekly posts invite you to come in from the craziness of life, take a seat, and pause awhile, allowing your soul to be refreshed with God’s truth and promises.

Each month, subscribers of this community receive a letter from The Tiny House on the Hill that includes:

  • Practical but meaningful ways to draw closer to God
  • Creative ways to show God’s love to your family, friends, and strangers
  • The latest happenings at the house, my books, and ministry
  • What I’m reading in the Book Nook
  • A favorite (often family) recipe
  • A FUN giveaway…and more!

It’s pithy but packed with grace-filled goodness.

So, come on over and sit a spell. I’d love to get to know you!

Photo by Uby Yanes on Unsplash

25 Ideas for Your Fall Bucket List + Coloring Sheets!


If there’s a season to fill our want-to bucket, it’s Fall, right?

Fall pinches every sensory to our delight⏤what we see, hear, touch, smell, and taste! So grab that bucket and fill it up with one or all of these ideas for you, your family, and friends!

“Listen! The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves.” Humbert Wolfe



  1. Binge on Hallmark Fall Harvest Movies showing every weekend and some weeknights.
  2. Wait! Did I lose you at #1? Try this instead: Pack for a day trip. Find every back road possible, roll down the windows (take your Benadryl), stick your arm out, and “ride” the waves of wind. See where the roads take you!
  3. Hike in your nearest National Park.
  4. Invite friends to pack picnics and join you at the park. It’s the perfect way to practice social distancing while munching on yummy food and laughing with friends.
  5. Get a family picture made.
  6. Go to the pumpkin patch and fetch a few pumpkins for you and a neighbor. This year has been one of distance, so simple acts of cheer mean more than ever.
  7. Invite a friend over to bake these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip muffins. Divvy ’em up, and both families will have a yummy treat to enjoy.
  8. Purchase bags of individually wrapped candy and donate them to local churches that are holding fall festivals.
  9. Start a new book. It’s the perfect weather to curl up, which leads to…
  10. Try a harvest-flavored tea! Grab the book, slip under a chunky blanket, and pour a cup of tea. Wait. Is that an “ahhhh!” I hear? Scoot over; I’m in!
  11. Throw a “BYOM” (Bring Your Own Mug – filled with your favorite tea, coffee, or cocoa!) gathering with friends in your backyard.
  12. Visit a working farm.
  13. Bake fresh apple turnovers! Here’s an easy recipe.
  14. Host a bonfire. #bringyourownsmores
  15. Stargaze. Bundle up, pour cups of cocoa for the kids, and head outside. If you’re not sure what to look for, this might help.
  16. Enjoy a craft day with the kids. Fall crafts + a meaningful message can be found over at Meaningful Mama.
  17. Collect larger, whole leaves. Write the name of one person you would like to pray for on a leaf. Place a candle in the middle of your dining table and surround it with your “prayer leaves.” Light the candle before dinner (representing the Light of the World – John 8:12), choose a leaf, and pray for a different person each night.
  18. Feed the birds. Lots of easy and fun ideas can be found @ The Homeschool Scientist.
  19. Find a Fall Prayer Partner. I’ll blog more about this in a couple of weeks, but in the meantime, find a partner, set guidelines (how often to touch base), and share simple ways to pray for one another.
  20. Go camping or glamping! Even if it’s in your own backyard.
  21. Purchase canned goods and deliver them to your local food bank as a family.
  22. Play “The Monster Mash” and dance like Frank.
  23. Change to flannel sheets.
  24. Read a different section of Psalm 119 every night. Tammy Mashburn of Redefining the Wilderness, is taking readers through a journey of this Psalm.
  25. Encourage-a-person-a-day through Thanksgiving. Handwritten notes, sweet treats, scripture, praise music, a book, written prayers, voiced prayers, and yellow mums on a front stoop. Just some ideas to get those creative juices flowing!

Click here to download a printable version.

With the definition of “normal” being challenged this year, it’s comforting to know that some things never change.

So, is there a favorite idea you’d like to toss in your bucket first? (Or add your own!)




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Thank you for stopping by Creative Pauses from The Tiny House on the Hill!

Bi-weekly posts invite you to come in from the craziness of life, take a seat, and pause awhile, allowing your soul to be refreshed with God’s truth and promises.

Each month, subscribers of this community receive a letter from The Tiny House on the Hill that includes:

  • Practical but meaningful ways to draw closer to God
  • Creative ways to show God’s love to your family, friends, and strangers
  • The latest happenings at the house, my books, and ministry
  • What I’m reading in the Book Nook
  • A favorite (often family) recipe
  • A FUN giveaway…and more!

It’s pithy but packed with grace-filled goodness.

So, come on over and sit a spell. I’d love to get to know you!



Photo by Unsplash

Engaging Our Five Senses this Spring!

Never was Spring more welcomed than this past March.

Longer lit days, the promise that when one season closes, another will open.

I wonder if we’ll notice more this spring as we work, play, and do school from home. If the necessary pause in our society will heighten our awareness to God’s goodness in ways we all experience — salvation, biblical community, a baby’s birth, nature — as well as the way He personally ministers to us through His Word, prayer, and even our God-given senses.

My hope is that we don’t see the following only as a list to check off or something to look for, but also, opportunities to praise our Maker.


This is one way we slow our soul down to a holy pace.


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What We See:

  • Leaves unfolding from a long winter’s nap.
  • Daffodils and other memory-making flowers. (It’s hard to pass a patch of these tiny trumpets without thinking of my grandmother. She loved old-timey varieties that held a touch of sweetness.)
  • Song Birds gathering twigs, mud, and feathers for their nests.
  • Kites catching spring winds and riding them across the sky.


What We Hear:

  • Bird songs, especially early in the morning before their day begins. “In the trees nearby, the birds make their nests and sing.” Psalm 104:12 GNT
  • Lawnmowers (and if you have four acres, you’ll hear it for hours).
  • A personal concert created by wind chimes stirring to rhythmic winds.
  • Collisions of unstable air, moisture, and lifting in the atmosphere, producing spring storms that hold the power to jolt us from our bed. And on those days you might enjoy “Engaging Your Five Senses on a Rainy Day.”


What We Smell:

  • The sharp, distinct scent of a freshly mowed lawn.
  • A musky mingling of soil and air when the shovel turns its first scoop onto the ground. It’s the fragrance of spring!
  • The savory fragrance of meat on a grill.
  • A clean home, but not perfectly so. A comfortable home creates a sweet fragrance that lingers long after any cleaning product is gone.
  • Spring flowers, heavy with the scent of victory, for they survived the winter.


What We Touch:

  • Tufts of green moss carpeting the woods nearby.
  • Sandals instead of boots. Light sweaters, not heavy. Bye, bye bulky.
  • Spring breezes that scoot through open windows.
  • Pool water, because we want to believe it’s warm enough for a swim.
  • Feathery fern fronds, lacy Japanese Maples, bristly pine needles, and smoothly textured leaves.


What We Taste:

  • What have we not tasted during this quarantine? Sweet mercy!
  • Strawberries (Subscribers, watch your inbox today for a simple, old-timey Strawberry Pound Cake recipe from my namesake, Catherine Edwards. Did I mention there’s icing involved?)
  • Fresh produce. Now’s a great time to support our local farmers.
  • Is it safe to say we could be tasting a bit of loneliness? Being apart from those we love, our church gatherings, and perhaps even from the loss of normalcy. It’s okay, you’re not alone. But distance doesn’t have to distance us where it matters.
  • God’s goodness. Every moment, every day. Memorizing a Scripture verse is one of the most powerful ways to engage our season, both in spring and life. Click here to download spring-inspired verses.


“This is what the LORD says⏤he who made you, who formed you in the womb, and who will help you: Do not be afraid, Jacob, my servant Jeshurun, whom I have chosen. For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on dry ground; I will pour out my Spirit on your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants. They will spring up like grass in a meadow, the poplar trees by flowing streams.” (Isaiah 44:1-4)


So tell me, what’s your favorite part of spring?

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Thank you for stopping by! I hope you’ll decide to stay awhile. If you’d like to become a part of the community, simply type your e-address in the righthand sidebar. >>>> Bi-weekly posts offer a pause of goodness to your busy days, and once a month, you’ll also receive a newsletter chock-full of the latest happenings in the Tiny House on the Hill, along with ideas on ways we can draw near to God and love others well.

So, come on over and sit a spell. I’d love to get to know you!


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