I’m not even going to pretend to understand how today is the last day of November or how it’s time to cut down a Christmas tree! Y’all, seriously, it’s almost 2018. Okay, I know, let’s not get ahead of myself. So, back to November. It was a fun whirlwind and before it’s totally gone, here are Six Things I Learned in November.
1. My book is at the library!
2. Two favorite foods combined are delicious!
Cracker Barrel has Cinnamon Streusel French Toast on its seasonal menu. We were driving home from Texas and I intended to get done vegetables at Cracker Barrel. But then I didn’t. Because cinnamon rolls and French toast are my favorites and I couldn’t resist having them combined.
3. Counseling is valuable.
I’m an external processor who doesn’t have much alone time so sitting down weekly this month with a third party has been valuable as I process some things about my personality, where I came from, where I want to go, and how so many are twisted together in my mind. Specifically, I’m navigating some parenting stresses.
Like I shared on Instagram the other day, I’m a Type A perfectionist and for so long I’ve channeled my personality into being efficient and productive. But here I am a decade into motherhood with a tween girl who requires deeper conversations as she learns how to process her emotions, a middle boy who requires training and guidance related to his behavior and choices, and a toddler girl who is into and onto everything with no fear.
Honestly, it’s stressful sometimes because my default is to micromanage them. Except that doesn’t work. Then I find myself stressed. They’ve got their own personalities and defaults. I come into this season with experiences that have influenced and warped my perspectives.
Right now I’m undoing and rebuilding and processing this new work God is doing in my heart. It’s taking some time because I’m stubborn and set in my own (sometimes unhealthy) ways, but I believe God is at work here. I’m grateful for the process that includes counseling and for the hope that is found in Jesus, who ushers peace into the chaos and light into the darkness.
4. A gratitude challenge was what my soul needed.
Jennifer Dukes Lee initiated a #30DaysOfGratitude challenge that has been good for me. It’s prompted me to remember the details that matter and gain some perspective about how truly blessed we are. (I posted each day on Instagram and Facebook, so follow me there, if you don’t already.)
I’m also excited about the Project Life collage I’m going to put together to document these 30 days of naming specific things for which I’m thankful.
5. Two trips in less than two weeks is a lot.
But we had fun in (and around) Austin the second (long) weekend of the month and then in Branson, Missouri, for the long Thanksgiving weekend.
When we weren’t traveling those two weeks, Greg squeezed in a lot of work, we hosted Friendsgiving, we celebrated Ben’s 8th birthday, and we had our kitchen floor tiled. Yep. It was a busy month.
6. I need to be less like a factory.
I listened to Jason Miller preach about seasons, fields, and factories on a podcast Annie Downs referenced on her podcast. I started listening while I was driving one day, but I had to wait and listen one morning at my kitchen table so I could take notes.
But if you don’t, basically, faith and life journeys are more like fields, where there are variables we have to discern as we prune and plant and grow. Too often I function more like a factory, where there’s a system in place that controls all the variables and produces the same thing every time.
On repeat in my head: I need to be more flexible than a factory.
(And, yes, this ties back into what I’ve been learning through counseling too. God is coming at me from all angles with the same messages!)
It’s been a fun month sharing our story across the internet for National Adoption Awareness Month as I’ve hosted others’ stories here …
- Makenzie Shewcraft: How God Surprises
- Monica Bidwell: How God Adopts Us
- Caitlin Dunbar: How God Has a Plan
- Melody Hester: How God Makes Beauty
… and shared pieces of our story elsewhere.
- The Holy Ordinary at Kayse Pratt’s Intentional Moms blog
- Practical Ways to Support Adoptive Families at Ashleigh Slater’s blog
- How Cate Accepts Her Story at Caitlin Dunbar’s blog
- Giving Thanks for Adoption & Community at Kathleen Guire’s Whole House blog
- How Open Adoption Built My Faith at Emily Wood’s Splashes of Joy blog
- How Cate Was Adopted Twice at Jennifer Jackson Linck’s blog
I also have autographed copies of my book available if y’all still need to get one. Just let me know!