Monday, November 18, 2013

Ann V - Boring

I'm a huge (and grateful) fan of Ann Voskamp. If you're looking for a quick read this holiday season for your car trips or lay-overs, consider her book "10,000 Gifts."

I follow her blog, a holy experience, and was more than intrigued by the title of  her November 15th entry, "The Real Truth about 'Boring' Men - and the Women who Live with Them: Redefining Boring".

Her words touched my heart and challenged me to notice and appreciate the every day romance David shows to me.

I started to write my take-aways from her post, but I felt like she does such a better job elaborating on this point than I could....

So, follow the link, and I hope you get as much out of her post as I did.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Savoring The Season

Could it really be time for the holidays already? Are many of you like me, looking at the calendar realizing the month of November is half way past, and another holiday season is upon us? Where did 2013 go? How did it go by this quickly?

I sip my guilty-purchase from Fresh Market (Salted Caramel Coffee) as the soundtrack from "Home Alone" plays through my iPad's Pandora App. It's dreary outside today. Overcast, drizzling, and cold. I had popped into a few local businesses this morning seeking out sponsors for my Mary Kay unit's Adopt-A-Grandparent project for Christmas. "Weren't we wearing t-shirts and shorts a month ago?" I had thought as I got in and out of my car wishing I had worn a thicker coat instead of my black blazer.

The salted caramel coffee is festive and warms not only my hands but feeds the holiday spirit inside of me ready to deck the halls.

This holiday season is going to be very busy for me and David. We have a lot of traveling to do, family to visit, and people to celebrate exciting times with. I'm tempted to pull the Christmas decorations out this weekend, even though it's not yet Thanksgiving.

I used to be an avid, "No Christmas till Thanksgiving" person, but I feel like this year, if I wait until after Thanksgiving, Christmas decorations just won't happen at the Warford House.

David's worked so hard this semester... Really, all year. When Fall semester ends, he'll get his first real break in a year. I don't want to rush around trying to get things done, check the boxes off our lists, and make it through the holidays. I want to savor them. I want to enjoy the visiting, and the celebrating. Enjoy the people who matter most to us. The fellowship with loved ones. The camaraderie found in joining together, stopping and remembering why we have a holiday season to begin with. I want to savor the holiday time...

Before we know it, the season will have past. It will be January, and we'll put putting the decorations away, and we'll comment, "I can't believe it's 2014. Where did the time go?"

I want to do better at savoring where I am today. This season the Lord has us in now. Our law school season. The barn house season. The Sperry is driving me nuts while I try to make work calls from home season...

One day we'll look back at this season of our lives and say, "It went by so fast."

There is so much to savor here and now. Sure, I'm ready for the next season of our life to be here. For school to be over, for babies to be on their way, for my business to grow, for the next step in David's career to be taken... But, the future is like the holidays. The future is wonderful and exciting, and I can't wait for it to be here. But, there's a lot to savor getting there. And, one day we'll look back at this season and recognize the sweetness we're surrounded by now. Instead of waiting to look back and recognize, is it possible to stop and recognize now as well?

I finish my coffee and head to the laundry room where the Christmas decorations have been stored. "Deck the halls," plays through my iPad. I hear David opening the door into the kitchen from the garage as he gets home from class. I pull the box down and carry it into the kitchen. It's time to start savoring.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Fall Leaves

David dedicated last Saturday to tackling the yard. You know, weed hacking, grass mowing, leaf bagging... I had genuinely told him I'd help. But, as he was heading out the door to get started, I decided I needed some coffee first. Well, by the time I was done with my coffee, he had already finished the back yard. (I might have ended up FaceTiming with the family in Atlanta...)

Coffee drank, spirit lifted, old fleece sweater pulled over, and gardening gloves slid on, I made my way out of the house to help my help mate. 

He had just finished raking the entire front yard and was bagging leaves by the side walk. 

I gave him an apologetic smile for bailing on him, and ever so sweetly he responded he was glad I had gotten some family FaceTime. 

I started to help bag leaves, and when we were done, I turned my attention to the front garden. 

When we were finished, the yard really did look great. David had high hopes that it'd be awhile before we had to go out and tackle the yard again.... 

Almost a week has gone by. Pulling into the driveway this afternoon I could hear him sigh before deciding, "We need to take a break from yard work this weekend. We'll tackle this next weekend."

We got a lot of rain this week, and a good bit of wind. I think there are more leaves on the ground now than there were last Saturday.

I adore my husband. I didn't want to tackle the yard again either. But, I was already adding it to our to-do list for Saturday anyway.

I'm very much GO GO GO. I do too much too often. And he is so good about reeling me back in. Showing me (not telling me) when it's time to slow down. Time to stop. Time to rest. Time to be present in the present. 

Isn't that part of what the leaves of Fall remind us to do anyhow? Fall is one of the most beautiful times of year. So much change, so much excitement. Many of us can't wait for the upcoming holidays to get here. But the beauty of Fall demands our attention. Demands that we stop. Demands that we marvel at the transformation. No matter how busy we are a red leaf, a mountain of colorful trees, a single orange birch tree ... each can stop us in our tracks. 

It's good to stop and soak it in. 

If we keep going going going, doing doing doing, it's very likely that we'll miss the beauty God's placed all around us this time of year. Missing out on something as beautiful as the Fall leaves would be unfortunate. So we'll leave them in the yard for another week. And as we pull out and into our garage each day, we'll marvel at their beauty, at the beauty of Fall, and we'll remember that it's good to stop and be present.