A season for change
Happy Autumn! Actually the official first day of the season was a few Tuesdays ago, but my kids and I have been celebrating every day since. The highlights: leaf art projects, a much anticipated tea party, and a pile of fall picture books. The shrinking paper chains hanging in each of the kids’ bedrooms counting down to the day only added to the excitement.
For me, this new season is welcoming in more than just cooler temperatures and colorful leaves. More than usual I’m embracing change. All of it.
I’ve found myself restarting heart and soul projects and picking up past hobbies. Also, to my complete surprise, mornings now begin with books and maps and math equations. (In what world would I ever have imagined choosing to homeschool then falling completely in love with it?!) My want for change has even found its way to our walls and shelves, now filled with more DIY holiday decorations than I've ever been up for making in the past five years combined. I’ve even switched around the throw pillows on the couch for good measure.
Best of all, I’m celebrating finally feeling ready to write again.
I’ve missed this—writing you monthly letters, I mean. Technically it’s only been a few word-free months but still I’m relieved to feel my writing mind waking up again. A new season, for sure.
What can I say? Months and months of being tossed around by all the uncertainty and turmoil has left me aching for a change of pace.
I know some people are already back to regular life as if nothing has changed, but with a body that doesn't tolerate a slight upset stomach, much less an unpredictable virus, my little family and I are okay protecting my health and everyone else's by staying close to home. Not afraid, just choosing the course that feels best for us.
Though I’d love for change to look like today’s troubles melting away, I realize that I can only control what I can control.
Whatever I ask for, in other words, I must also be prepared to work for.
In the past I might have shown up to this season hungrily demanding a healthy helping of calm and global kindness plus a generous side dish of real, live up-close visits and hugs, for goodness sake! Only to watch another unpredictable season unravel and leave me disappointed by the absence of it all and painfully hungrier than before.
But isn’t that what it means to grow? To give when we’d rather receive… and graciously receive when we’d rather give. To find within ourselves what we are sure we don’t have. Then offer it up as a gift, however imperfect and small it may be.
We give compassion to our dearest friends even on our own dark days.
We share an encouraging word despite inner sadness and lend a helping hand despite utter tiredness.
We contribute our last ounce of optimism to a conversation of negativity even while we search for our own beacon of hope.
And we try, we really truly try, to give understanding to our regret filled 4-year-old (when we quite simply are at a loss) as we clean up another batch of clothes and another soaked floor when the toilet is yet again just a little too far away.
So despite the urgent ache for comfort and ease, I’ve promised this season grace and a solid dose of determination. No expectations. No demands. Just me bringing what I can to the table—curiosity, creativity, and lots of faith.
As I say in my book, Something to Savor, instead of focusing on what this season does or doesn’t bring, I want to intentionally open my heart to the feelings I want to experience. Then search for them in every possible nook and cranny.
The plan: Add chapters to my next book, line by line, and discover productivity (and joy) along the way. Embrace a fresh start with piano pieces once again played and calligraphy once again penned. Spark creativity with new recipes and new projects (more on this very soon!). And smile each and every time the kitchen table becomes home to another craft with my kiddos.
In short, I plan to infuse this season with the feelings I need most. I hope you will too, friend.
It may not be the makings of the feast you and I had in mind, but with heaven’s help our small, imperfect offerings will fill us up far more than waiting and wishing ever could. And in the end, the effort always turns out to be more than enough to fill our own hungry hearts and thirsty souls, and amazingly… mercifully… miraculously leave us with plenty to pass along to another's empty plate.