For the love of October

I love October.

We live in an area where there are plenty of cider mills, hayrides, clean playgrounds, & other outdoor activities.

Over the last week I’ve gone from anxious to content. It wasn’t easy … and I’m not foolish enough to think that I won’t have to labor to rest.

I woke up with peace.
I went through my day with peace.
I plan to lie down in peace.

Although I didn’t feel my best this morning, I wanted to take my kiddos out after school to celebrate the last few days of my dear friend October.

We played frisbee in the park.
We took a stroll along a brook.
We met new friends at a neighboring playground.
We drank hot cider & cocoa and strolled through a local town marveling at the various Halloween decorations.
We even stopped at the cider mill to grab a few spice donuts for tonight’s dessert.

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Soon October will sleep
And snow will replace autumn’s earth floor of fallen leaves.
Winter is coming.
But today … We enjoyed October.

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anti-aging.

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I have always had an appreciation for other people’snatural beauty.

My Nana’s dainty hands that reminded me of a ceramic doll. She was 70 something when she passed & she still had the most beautiful hands I’ve ever seen.

The dimple in my husband’s chin. It’s nothing short of perfect. My favorite place to kiss.

My sister’s sparkly green eyes that are met with freckled eyelids.

And then there’s Anthony Hopkins. Even as an older man with a bit of a belly, I find him hauntingly attractive.

I can appreciate the imperfections of others….but often; not my own.

I’d recently noticed my complexion didn’t seem as bright as it once did. And the dark spots under my eyes tell the story of the struggle I have with broken sleep.

I made a mental note to began the war on age.

Someone recently told me that caffeine has been proven to age a person’s skin faster than any other element. (Say whaaaat? ) But since, I cannot function above zombie level without a cup of coffee (or 3) , I concluded an at home facial would be a good start.

Coincidentally I began Day 2 of the James study headed up by shereadstruth.com . After reading this passage the Holy Spirit dealt with me in loving correction.

“Consider it a sheer GIFT when tests and challenges come at you from all sides.
“So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do it’s work so you become mature and well developed, not deficient in any way”. {James 1:2,4} MSG (emphasis mine)

My mind drifted back to my ability to embrace imperfections in others but so quick to get rid of mine. So it is in the spirit. I’ve been quick to pray diligently for others in trials & hold on to the promises God made them in spite of the circumstances they are facing. But in my own corner of life I’ve been fighting the “aging” process instead of rejoicing IN the process.

Lord, get me out of this!

instead of….

Lord, strengthen me IN this.

Every trial, every issue, every circumstance …. has the ability to teach us, prepare us & empower us …. If we are willing to endure.

Embrace the wrinkles, freckles & dimpled places. In God’s time…everything is beautiful.

Off.

I was shaking uncontrollably by the time we landed.
My hands were cold & sweaty.
My heart raced & my head spun.
After a whirlwind trip to Atlanta {which included 4 delays, 1 cancelled flight, multiple gate changes, savory Chicken & Waffles , a vocal blend out of this world & the opportunity to once again sing behind a gospel legend}
I was done.

I had smiled, laughed, cried & talked myself into exhaustion.

Once home I made a cup of coffee & plopped {literally} down on the couch.
And then I built up enough courage to take a deep breath and turn OFF my phone.

Yes….OFF.

For 1 hour this afternoon I turned my phone OFF and gave my mind & body a chance to be still.

I read a magazine about fine cuisine & trips to far off places with both historical architecture, romantic restaurants & scenery that causes one to believe in God again.

I listened closely to the sound of the dishwasher.
I watched the leaves fall from the dying oak in our front yard.
And although far past nap time & too close to bed time….I drifted in & out of sleep.

For 1 hour I turned the
Music
Worries
Responsibilities
Ideas
TV
Phone
OFF.

It was hard to be still.
It was hard to be selfishly focused on my need to rest and nothing else.
It was hard & I can’t wait to do it again.