From Apple Pie to Wonder Woman – What I Learned (Fall Edition)

Hi friend.  I’m joining up with Emily and friends today for What We Learned, where we pause to look back over the lessons learned from the previous season – from silly to sacred to practical – before moving into the next.

Here are seven things I learned this fall, in no particular order:

1.  I tend to draw my boundaries tighter than I need to.

It’s a bit of a long story, but I’m realizing that I tend to be very cautious in what I think I can handle – whether that’s time commitments, doing things on my own (hello, single for 30 years…what’s that about?), getting to know people, or letting them get to know me – when in reality, I can usually handle more than I think I can.  I’m kind of a creature of habit, and saying ‘no’ has become almost something of a rut I’ve fallen into.  A rut that I’m asking Jesus to help me climb out of. 🙂

2.  I am a fan of pie for breakfast.

We hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year for the first time since we’ve been married (over 6 years).  One of the perks of hosting Thanksgiving that no one ever told me about, besides missing out on all those hours of traveling in a car, is the fact that you are left with copious amounts of Thanksgiving food in your fridge.  In my world this means no cooking for days (all the praise hands).  It also means pie for breakfast, which is just as glorious as it sounds.  Apple pie + coffee = breakfast of champions.

3.  Double checking dates and events that have been scheduled far in advance is always a good idea.

The last weekend in September, I happened to be browsing Facebook, as one does, when I noticed a family member commenting on a reunion we had coming up at the end of October – a month away.  I thought it was weird that this person kept mentioning the fact that it was coming up “in just a few days” but just figured maybe they measured time differently than I did.  To each his own, right?  Upon further investigation, however, it turned out that the family reunion I had put on the calendar – back in July – for the last weekend in October was actually happening the FIRST weekend in October – hence, “in just a few days.”  Luckily, we didn’t have anything major planned for that weekend, although I’m sure you can imagine the flurry of packing, meal planning and dog care arrangements that took place over the next “few days.”

4.  Wonder Woman made me cry.

I grew up LOVING Wonder Woman (Linda Carter circa 1970’s anyone?), and even had the action figure doll whose cuffed arms flew up when you squeezed her legs.  I was SO cool.  So needless to say, I was super excited to see the movie when it came to Redbox (we like our movies cheap, even if that means waiting a couple months).  Y’all.  It did not disappoint.  What I didn’t expect, though, was how it moved me, literally to tears.  Courage, bravery, love, fighting for justice…I was hooked and will unashamedly watch it – and probably cry – all over again.

5.  Organization is not my strength…but I do love an organized system.

I kind of already knew this about myself, but it was reinforced when my husband made a kitchen island for me recently and spent an evening reorganizing the kitchen to incorporate the new island while I was working.  At first I was dubious, thinking I would need to come behind him and change everything so it made sense to me.  After a few days of figuring out where things now lived, I discovered that it’s perfect.  He’s great at organization and setting up a system.  I’m great with working within an already organized system.  Shine where you’re gifted, people.

6.  I’m becoming a Marvel movie nerd.

Speaking of my husband, he’s been trying to get me to watch the Ironman movies for forever.  I always hemmed and hawed and voted for something else because comic book/super hero movies have never really been my wheelhouse (except for the aforementioned Wonder Woman…and X-Men.  I do like X-Men.  Who doesn’t like Wolverine?).  I’ve always been more of a rom-com girl.  And then I watched Avengers.  And then the second Avengers.  And all the Ironman movies.  Before I knew it, I found myself fangirling over an Avengers 3 teaser on Facebook the other day and I knew I was hooked.  But don’t ask me to remember the names of everyone or even what each movie is called.  That’s a little much for this rom-com girl.

7.  We can get Netflix!!!

Ever since we moved to our house three years ago, we’ve done without cable TV.  We have a DVD/VHS player and watch movies and TV series that way, but it was pretty limited.  A little by choice and because we didn’t want to pay for cable channels we’d never watch, but also because our internet out here in the country has been sketchy at best, and streaming was never an option.  Until recently.  All of a sudden, the heavens opened up, our internet provider offered unlimited data, the signal magically got stronger and WE. HAVE. NETFLIX.  You may need to start praying for my self-control right now.  The Crown, The Office, Parks and Rec, The Great British Baking Show, Lost, White Christmas – they’re all on my list.  I’ve already blown through Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life (just a year late!) and am currently obsessed with The New Girl.  It’s like a whole new world, y’all.  And yes, I just heard the Aladdin song in my head.

Your turn.  What have you been learning?  Any must-watch shows that I need to add to my Netflix list?

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After the Fighting Words

So.

Some of you may have noticed that my Write 31 Days series became a little….uh, abbreviated during the last half of October. A few of you even reached out wanting to know if there was something you were missing – like maybe you didn’t get the whole email?  Or maybe the Internet managed to work it’s insidious magic and deleted part of the post before it reached your inbox?

Yeah, about that.

First of all, thank you for reaching out.  Your words were very encouraging during, well, a time of a lack of words on my part.

Secondly, no, you weren’t missing anything.  I deliberately shortened my posts to only an image and a verse – no commentary on my part – mostly because I had lost the will to comment.  I felt like I had nothing left to offer in the words department, or at least nothing encouraging.

My husband, God bless him, may have gotten more than his fair share of complaining/tired/frustrated/defeated/discouraged words over the past few weeks.  But encouraging words, much less fighting words?  Those have been few and far between.

It’s almost as if the enemy, upon seeing a spark of resolve in my heart to do a little fighting back, thought, ‘Well.  Let’s just keep the blows coming and see how much fighting she feels like doing.’  Go figure.

I realize that all of this probably sounds very dramatic, and truthfully, if you’ve seen me in person the past several weeks, you probably wouldn’t have guessed all this was going on underneath the surface.  Yes ma’am, I can smile and pretend and say the right things with the best of ’em.  I’ve had practice – and lots of it – often at church, sometimes with family, or even in my marriage.

But somehow, when it came to writing a series on fighting words, clamming up and saying nothing seemed a hell of a lot easier than opening my mouth and letting what frankly felt like bullshit come out.  I was worn out and frustrated and sick and tired of trying to think of encouraging things to say when all I wanted was to….I don’t even know what I wanted, honestly.  I just knew I was tired of fighting the enemy and his lies on what felt like every front – home, work, church, relationships, the adoption (a big one) – and I COULD NOT muster up anything that felt remotely encouraging.

So I clammed up and decided to let the Word speak for itself.

And honestly?  I just went through the motions of getting those 31 days of posts up here.  Done.  Checked one more thing off the list.  And my entire life somehow morphed into a checklist.

Quiet time – check.

Office work – check.

Laundry – check.

Errands – check.

Go to church, look happy, fix supper – check, check, check.

And in checking things off the list of life, I’ve felt my heart and desire and emotions slowly begin to shut down.  Doing things, yep.  I’ve been checking ’em off the list, baby.  But my heart hasn’t been in it.  Just get through with one thing and move on to the next, like a durn robot.

But that’s not how I want to operate, or who I want to be – or who God created me to be – anymore.

And so here I am.  Writing from my heart – unfiltered and not pretending.  Sorry for the swear words.  But right now, I know that being real is healthier than pretending, and I’m clinging to the truth that God already knows what’s on my heart, He isn’t shocked by it, and He still loves me anyway.

Maybe those are some fighting words after all.