Closing the Book

So loveys, another sign that summer is coming to a close: We just finished our book club. The book club that I'm part of has been going through Bread and Wine (one of my all time favorite books by Shauna Niequist) for the last five or so weeks, and it's been fantastic. Made more fun by the fact that it's been a dinner club as well, to go along with the theme of the book. We finished up the book by having dinner at my house this week. (Melissa, those enchiladas were to die for!)

I'm on the hunt for a good Christmas novella for fall, so if you've got ideas, send 'em my way. I was at a friend's house yesterday for a playdate and she made me a dark chocolate/peppermint latte. And it totally felt like fall! My mother sent me a pumpkin spice candle this week. I'm being sucked into fall and I'm starting to like it! :)

Lily's asleep at the moment. I'm thankful for this little nap, brought on by my precious baby getting up three times last night. Good grief. She's hit a growth spurt or something because she's waking up a lot again. Jeff and I are back in a cycle of red-eye weariness. This morning I woke up to the feeling of Ashtyn taking over my pillow and Lincoln's legs thrown over me. First thing every morning, the kids come into our room (all bleary-eyed and whining for breakfast) and they hop in our bed and take up all the space. As long as it's not before 6--I'm good with it. And I wake up feeling my babies all around me and my heart is full even before the day begins, tired or not. It's a good life.

With the coming of a new season, I think it's good to set goals for myself, don't you, lovey? What do I want out of this fall season? Last summer we were living in a rental house, and I wanted to do lots of activities. We hiked, went to the pool, went to local attractions, picnicked--so many little adventures around home. Every week we did something. This summer I had different goals. I knew I'd have a brand-new baby, and I wanted to be able to stay home a lot. Let the kids play out in the backyard and have ice pops. Hold Lily and sit at my table and drink coffee while the kids watched movies, in pajamas! I needed an easy summer and it was great. But we're moving into fall. Time for new goals. We've got a wedding to go to in October, which is doubly exciting. But after that trip, I'm expecting a quieter holiday season for us. I love fall and I don't want to let it rush by without making it count.

My goals for fall? Deepen my faith. Have a grateful heart. Pray more. Have meaningful experiences with the people we're in community with. Be reflective.

People are driven by all sorts of things. Maybe always wanting more. A bigger house. Prettier things. More stuff. Or maybe they're driven by perfection. Or driven by obsession. People obsess over things.

I think we're meant to live free.

Free from always wanting. Free from obsession. Free from being ruled by our emotions. (Confession: That last one is the hardest one for me.)

What would it look like to be driven by gratitude?

There are a lot of great moms who live around me. I've noticed that helping each other out, and receiving help, is a huge blessing. And I think it stems from being grateful we're in each other's lives. Grateful someone trusts us enough to ask for help. Grateful we have people to be there for us.

I'll just be real with you guys--Jeff and I had a rough couple of days this week. I always find myself praying more when these kinds of weeks happen.

And after going through a war of emotions, things quiet for me, and my heart and spirit remind me--What if you were alone? What if you didn't have a partner to go through life with? It's not perfect, but it's really good.

The push from my God is soft but it's there. Be grateful.

I know what God expects of me. And I'll take a deep breath and hold on tighter. Give what I can. It's not easy, but it's doable.

And then you know what happens? After a rough few days, we're joking about something before we go to sleep, and I tell Jeff, "Well, at least you've still got me."

He doesn't laugh. He reaches over and takes my hand and says, "You matter more than anything else."

I wonder what it would look like if all my decisions for the fall were driven by gratitude? If I offer love and help and myself wherever I can. If my automatic response is always love.

I don't think that's easy, but with faith, it might be possible. I bet it would make for a beautiful life.

Summer is coming to a close. We've got Linc's birthday this weekend. The kids are back into a school routine. I'm going to light my pumpkin spice candle.

I'm setting gratitude as my goal for fall. What's your goal, loveys? What do you want to get out of this season? Who do you want to be?

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