Here in Mississippi, summer held on with sweaty fingers well into October. Gradually and belatedly, the morning air cooled and crisped, the leaves bled firelight and sunshine, and pecans and leaves crunched underfoot. And suddenly, here it is, December around the corner and the trees are still showing off, although shedding more and more everyday. Fall seemed to come and go so quickly this year. Before saying goodbye and moving into winter, I wanted to pause along with Emily and friends for a glance back at a few things I learned during the fall.
1. Nesting has been a vital part of the adoption process for me.
We’ve been in the midst of this adoption process for over a year now. And to be completely honest, there have been moments (more than a few) when it’s been a struggle to keep the big picture in mind. Paperwork and waiting have mostly loomed before us as the only rewards for a year of emotional and mental ups and downs. But lately, as the end has gradually crept closer, paperwork and waiting have been joined by shopping for bedding, gifts from family and friends, picking out bedroom colors, painting, making window dressings, and organizing bedrooms. And it’s all made it seem ever so slightly more real and exciting. These bedrooms will soon be filled with LIFE…and I’m getting pretty excited about it.
2. Our dog is a pear-lover.
Basically, Piper loves any food that exists in our hands at the moment (or at least, she thinks she does). But pears (and apples) hold a special place in her heart. So this fall, as our pear tree in the backyard dropped fruit here and there, she was in doggy-heaven. To the point that she basically filled up on pears instead of doing her business when she was let out and then proceeded to whine to be let back out again once inside. #viciouscircle #notthatbright
3. The story God is writing with our lives is so much bigger than we realize.
For the second year in a row, I participated in the Write 31 Days challenge during the month of October. As I chronicled what God had been teaching me throughout our adoption process, I realized over and over again that our smaller life stories are really part of a much bigger story that God is writing with our lives. It was challenging, rich, rewarding and eye-opening. Once again, I realized that writing helps me stop and notice God moving around and in me in ways I would otherwise miss.
4. Pitch Perfect 3 is happening.
I am cautiously excited about this. You know how Home Alone was a classic, Home Alone 2 was good but not as good as the first one, and Home Alone 3 should never have happened? I’m a little worried that’s what will happen here. My husband and I were hold-outs on Pitch Perfect for a while…it just didn’t seem like it was in our wheelhouse. Then some of our college students at church convinced us to watch it….and we laughed our faces off. We also loved Pitch Perfect 2, and have re-watched them both. So, fingers crossed for #3.
I think it was C.S. Lewis who first coined the phrase “comparison is the thief of joy.” I’ve copied it down in my journal multiple times, in multiple seasons of life. God has been pressing the word ‘joy’ into my heart throughout this year, and with it has come the realization of some of the things that rob my joy – comparison being a major contender. Still on the learning curve with this one.
6. Voxer is magical.
Voxer is a free app that basically acts as a walkie-talkie for your iPhone. You can also use it to send text messages, pictures and gifs, but the voice messaging feature is my favorite. My ‘tribe’ of girlfriends and I have a Voxer group where we basically keep a running conversation going with voice messages and goofy gifs. It brings joy to my soul. I’ve also been able to connect with some Hope*Writer friends over Voxer, chatting about writing and offering prayers and advice back and forth. We’ve never actually met in person, but they have been such an encouragement and blessing.
7. The ‘Do Not Disturb’ setting on iPhones is also magical.
I’ve had my iPhone 2+ years now, and I’m just learning that I can tell my phone when I do and don’t want to receive messages. This is a big deal. I have lost count of how many times I had just dropped off to sleep, only to be wakened by the phone ringing or beeping with a message at 10pm, 11pm or even later (we start drooping around 9pm around here…we’re hip like that). My husband can sleep through pretty much anything, but me being the light sleeper that I am – well, cue 30 more minutes of trying to get back to sleep. NO MORE. Our phones are not the boss of us. Thank you, DND setting, for uninterrupted sleep once again.
All the praise hands. I’m one of those who can listen to Christmas music in June (don’t judge), but for some reason it was really hard for me to get in the holiday mood this year. Part of it had to do with the fact that we didn’t know if we’d be traveling for the adoption during the holidays, so it was just hard to plan. Discovering this radio station, and listening to “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” as I ran errands helped usher in some holiday magic in the middle of the everyday.
What about you? What have you learned lately?