We are approaching autumn, my favorite season! To me, it's a season of rest, harvest, bounty, family, and gratefulness. The weather is changing, the bustle of summer has subsided, there are delicious drinks and seasonal treats to enjoy, and the colors of the leaves are refreshing to the soul. 

It's also a time of reflection upon all of the good things we enjoy. In fact, the first day of autumn also happens to be World Gratitude Day. Whether it's family, friends, our homes, our health, God's creation, or one of his many other provisions, we can all think of things to be grateful for.

Being grateful has several benefits related to our physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Psychology Today identifies seven scientifically proven benefits of gratitude. The list includes more relationships, improved physical health, improved psychological health, enhanced reflection, reduced aggression, better sleep, improved self-esteem, and increased mental health. 

This is why God instructs us to be grateful repeatedly throughout the Bible. 

“Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus" (1 Thessalonians 5:18 NIV). 

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2 NIV).

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness” (Colossians 2:6 NIV). 

So what are you grateful for? We asked our staff and got the following responses: 

“God's grace - undeserved favor; giving us blessings we don't deserve instead of punishment we do deserve. Variety - whether in people, nature, flavor, music, or art, I'm amazed at how creative God is and how he's made us to be creative.” - Adam

“I'm grateful for my job (that I love!) which allows me to bring my daughter and therefore be able to keep homeschooling. It also allows me to continue my freelance editing business that I love doing. I'm grateful God has provided opportunities like these so I can be with my daughter a lot which not every single parent gets to experience." - Kayli

“My sweet family, God’s beautiful creation, being hemmed in before and behind by God, a loving and hospitable home, amazing friends, and the fact that I can serve others out of the fulness I have been given. I’m so grateful for the hope of God’s great plan for this world through His people and His great love.” - Rachel

“I'm thankful for the rain, Jesus' love, great music, wonderful narratives, the support of family and friends, community, the hope of a better world that we have in Christ, the opportunity to help people who are struggling and be helped, myself, in the process, and many more things!” - Kalene

“I'm grateful to be on Jesus' mission. Even now, Jesus is on the move bringing the gospel to those who have never heard his name before. Even now, Jesus is lifting up the impoverished and giving them hope. Even now, Jesus is renewing our world. To be on that mission with Jesus is a great honor. And no matter what difficulties we may face, Jesus promises to be with us.” - John

We would love to hear from YOU, our reader, what you are grateful for. We believe in the importance of gratefulness and want to rejoice with you! Would you post your own list in the comments?

Beleaf it or not, it's already time to get ready for fall, and we have just what you need. From notebooks and book bags for classes to scarves and autumn jewelry to new kitchen towels to freshen up your home, we have the products to set you up for fall. Here are a few of our favorites, but check out the Fair Trade Shop for more wonderfall options.