I’m starting with all the clichés: I intended to publish this post on Wednesday, but my real, everyday life is sucking all my energy. I’ve been making white space on my calendar intentionally, but people (especially the youngest ones of this household) still require brainpower and emotions. Meanwhile, how is October over? That’s five-sixths of the year done and gone. I know the holidays are coming. I know the daylight is disappearing. I know the truth the calendar tells me. But my heart is having a hard time believing it.
Y’all, I’m basically just living in that tension of heart and head matters. I know, I was just talking about time and now I’ve turned to a more serious corner. But, it’s true. I may be 40 years old, but I’ve been learning about and processing feelings in a new way. It’s been hard to get here, even surrounded by a blessed life, good friends, and truth. But I’m glad I’m here, finally.
Being content in a tension where opposite feelings co-exist is hard for me. Navigating deeply rooted assumptions and expectations feel unnatural for me. Naming and recognizing and processing feelings is work for me because it’s time-consuming. But knowing emotional seasons change like the leaves on the trees is freeing for me. It’s a little scary too. And that’s okay.
And that’s where I am, here at October’s end. (And I wrote a little more about that on Instagram.)
Well, of course, Disney World and Universal Studios were the highlights. What a fun trip – even with the rain and the crowds. See? Both of those things can be true: fun and rainy; fun and crowded. That’s just a hard place for me to land for some reason, or probably lots of reasons. But I did write recaps of both the Disney part and the Universal part. And I’m always happy to talk about Disney and amusement parks, if you’ve got questions or want opinions.
Then the weekend after our Fall Break trip, some friends came to visit for Murray State’s Homecoming. There were seven extra people in our house – and it left me so satisfied. I wrote about that on Instagram, of course.
And can I admit I’m a little sad soccer season is over for Ben and Rachel? For the sake of our free time, I’m happy not to be at the soccer fields usually three days a week. But as a mom, I truly like watching them play and make friends. And if they were going to excel in a sport, I’d choose soccer.
This was the first time Rachel had played, and I wondered if I’d regret starting her before she officially turned four. But I didn’t. She did well grasping the concept of scoring in whatever goal her team was going toward and enjoyed being with her new friends. Plus, she looked awfully cute in her tall, rainbow socks and pink cleats.
Oh, and yes, we swam on Oct. 2 and today my kids are wearing winter coats for the first time this season. I’m telling you, October had all the tension, went by too fast, and managed to surprise me some.
Slugs & Bugs Show – Randall Goodgame has written so many songs that have incorporated themselves into our lives. They’re sometimes silly and always filled with truth. Now there’s a wonderful show (13 episodes!) that incorporate those songs and the characters we’ve come to love through them. He teaches scripture and valuable lessons while singing and playing his songs with his friends. (More on that.)
Jason Gray’s devotional – I’ve told you before about how I really love Jason Gray’s new music that has been speaking so much truth about transformation into this season I’m in, making it more bearable and understandable. Then I saw online he had a free five-day devotional that went along with those songs and it’s truly fabulous. His words resonated with my soul and pointed me to the only One who can truly bring order to the chaos of this world. (Get the devotional here.)
New insulin pump – Last week I started using a new insulin pump, and I really love it. I’m excited for the advanced technology that helps me manage type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed in January 2004 and then started using a pump instead of needles in September 2011. I don’t talk a ton about diabetes online, but I’m always happy to discuss this, if anyone wants to know more.
From the bookshelf
“Everyone is Beautiful” and “Things You Save in a Fire” by Katherine Center – I took these two actual library books on our Disney World trip. I know, it’s easier to take my slender Kindle, but it’s been easier on my soul lately to look away from the screen. I finished “Everybody is Beautiful” on the plane ride down. Then I read bits of “Things You Save in a Fire” each night in our hotel and then finished it on the way home today. Katherine Center creates characters who remind me why our stories matter. Maybe we tell our spouse something he’s never heard or share a hard time with a friend. Our stories shape who we are and can change the people around us too. Plot wise, I liked “Things You Save in a Fire” better, but they both were enjoyable reads.
And here’s a quote from Katherine Center in “Things You Save in a Fire”:“Telling the story changed the story for me. Not what happened — that, I could never change — but how I responded to it. It was like I’d been averting my eyes from that memory for ten solid years, but I’d finally forced myself to look again. And what I saw, at twenty-six, was so different from what I remembered from when I was sixteen. Even though nothing about the story had changed, I had changed.”
“Becoming Us: Using the Enneagram to Create a Thriving Gospel-Centered Marriage” by Beth & Jeff McCord – I’m in the middle of this right now. The Enneagram has been good for me to understand myself and people around me, and this book takes a deeper dive into what that could do for a marriage. I’m also excited about these type-specific journals Beth McCord put together. I’ve already preordered mine and one of a gift.
“Strong, Brave, Loved: Empowering Reminders of Who You Really Are” by Holley Gerth – As a writer, Holley Gerth’s encouragement has been a gift. She wrote a beautiful endorsement for my book and has cheered for me. As a person, Holley’s words have truly been life-giving. They’ve spoken to me in various seasons of growing and living. They’ve been important to share with others. And they’ve gently offered truth and hope in a bossy, noisy world. I’m grateful for Holley’s newest devotional “Strong, Brave, Loved.” I can’t wait to dive in. The pages are beautiful inside and I know I will hear Holley’s sweet voice echoing everlasting truths God wants me to remember.
On the screen
We’ve been glad to catch up with President Elizabeth McCord and her crew on “Madam Secretary” and Raymond Reddington on “Blacklist,” which started this season with a bang!
How’s your October been?