|thank you for one last chance to go sockless before the rain really sets in|
By 7pm it was already dark and by the time I got home from work (and drinks at Red Hills Market) the rain was really starting to come down.
Autumn has come with its trademark flourish and even though we're all in just enough denial about the fact that this rain probably won't break again for at least six months, I'm beside myself with glee at the thought of my favorite time of year taking its rightful place in the hierarchy of seasons.
Right. On. Top.
Breaking my boots out for the first time, actually needing a scarf, pumpkin everything... If you could get inside my head right now you'd hear a constant soundtrack of Vince Guaraldi and the smell of hot apple cider and bourbon would be outdone only by a whiff of dry leaves and fireplaces being lit for the first time this season.
1. Thank you for dinner nights with The Camaraderie! Last night I went over to Shamoo's (soon to be referred to once again as "Jared & Shamoo's" when the Indy Kid gets home in less than a month!) after work and as we worked our way through a bottle of Dry Riesling, I busied about making Baked Pumpkin Fettuccine Alfredo with Fried Sage Leaves. Oh sweet Moses. If you like pumpkin at all you need to try this. But that wasn't the best part - the best part was Dean and Robin coming over and the four of us filling our bellies with autumn-flavored happiness while watching "An American Werewolf in London". Haven't seen it? Look into it.
2. Thank you for a sweet old friend's faith. A friend from high school recently posted on Facebook an absolutely gut-wrenching story about an unspeakable loss her family is facing. My heart has broken and tears have fallen for these people, but even in insurmountable grief she and her loved ones have held strong. She has alluded to her questions, her fears, her lack of understanding as to why a horrifying thing has happened and yet... And yet she has not lost faith. And I am amazed and inspired and strengthened by her. I have found in my own life that when everything seems lost, He finds you and even when (especially when) you are forced to let go, He is still holding on to you. One thing especially that stood out among her posts was a bit of wisdom from a friend of hers: "Lean in and listen and trust. If an answer doesn't come, grace and love will." If those aren't words to live by, I don't know what could do better.
I would ask here that no matter what you believe, please, if you get a moment, please hold a sweet family in your heart - pray for them, send love and healing, lift them up and ask that some glimmer of peace finds them soon.
3. Thank you for so many of my friends (in real life and in blogland - which let's face it, is just as amazing a world of friendship as "real life") who are about to be mamas! Whether it's for the first time or not, it doesn't matter - it's always so exciting!!! There is one mama in particular whose news kinda made me cry in the middle of the craft store (though let's face it - among the uh, traditional craft store crowd I probably wasn't the first person to break down in the yarn aisle) (though I may have been the first one to do it while not wearing a Care Bears sweatshirt). I won't say who just yet in case the cat's not fully out of the bag yet! On a related subject, thank you all for having babies so that I don't have to yet - happy to be an auntie again and again for now!
Can I just tell you all how much I appreciate you? Your sweet comments and encouragement on these Weekly Gratitude posts always mean so much to me - I want you to know that.
In church this morning we talked at length about choosing joy. Not letting circumstance dictate whether we will rejoice in life but making the conscious decision to be joyful and choose happiness over worry and anxiety.
I've said it before how it's not always easy to count blessings, but I do it anyway. No matter what. I refuse to let anything or anyone steal joy from me.
Because even if it doesn't come as easily as it probably should (because really, what do I have to complain about?) when I make the choice to be happy and praise the One who makes all this possible and step back enough to marvel at the life He is revealing to me.... Well shoot.
All of a sudden it seems that in my search for joy, it was actually the joy that found me.
Ah, life... You get me every time.