Dear October

Dear October,

Hey favorite month of mine. Thank you for being the bright, breezy, yellow part of 2016. I love you most because you always start with days on the Mountain and gigantic hugs from some of my favorite people. We sing Far Up in the Hills of Georgia and frown at all the folks who don’t yet know the words by heart. This year we finally braved the traffic to watch the Old Mill turning over water and making cornmeal. It was worth a dirty car and a few more minutes in the heat that is synonymous with Martha’s birthday.

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A few days later we said goodbye to Turner Field and I said hello to a new job. And just after that the world was made aware of this little life we are so darn excited about: Sunshine Gang second generation. Life in this season has a way of turning like a leaf, the way they float and flutter end-over-end through fall breezes finally here. Legacy has been the word on my heart.

What’s the impression you leave behind? What are the memories stirred upon thought of you? And what, in this tumultuous world, will be the breath you pass on to the sweet new lives entering here?

A few weeks after Susan told us the news about this sweet new baby on the way I had a dream about it all. Well, it was more of a snapshot – a Polaroid. We were all standing there, perhaps in the hospital or a home, holding this little one in front of us and the one word whispered in the quiet of night was legacy. (I had, in this moment, the undeniable feeling that she’s having a girl, but…we’ll find out in the spring. #teamgirl) The next day I heard this song by Nicole Nordeman and obviously had the emotions about it all. Walking Wedding seasons alongside my sisters has been the most wonderful honor and joy of my life. Entering this new one fills my heart with more love and appreciation for them than I could imagine.

One of my biggest struggles in this season you bring, October, is learning to balance living loved and desiring community. I love my people with a fierce love and that can be overwhelming. In some seasons, like you, I get all nostalgic and so desperate for the memories made under brightly colored leaves that I’m easily swayed toward fulfilling life in the wrong places. Love and acceptance are things we were made to need in a desperate way, but where we get those things should only be from the One who created all of this in the first place. If coffee were Love & Acceptance, God would be Luke Danes: giving endlessly to those He loves. (Poorly placed Gilmore Girls reference, but I’m mid-season 3 of a binge before The Fated Day so bear with me.) I care a lot and I know my heart was made in such a special way to love this big love, but I feel like a superhero who hasn’t quite mastered their superpowers yet.
“Your greatest strength undisciplined is your greatest weakness.” – Tara Leigh Cobble

October, you gave great gifts this year like Christmas Music Mondays in the basement with a side of yoga and cleaning. I love yoga because it challenges me to slow down, take deep breaths, and simply exist for a little while. It’s hard for me to get there on my own some days, but seeing the way practice increases strength reminds me how crucial time in the Word and in prayer are to becoming.

You also gave things like 24-hours home with brother bears & parents, complete with a week’s worth of taco soup and a new hammock to replace my “see-through-thin” one that carried me around the world and back in the last four years. You gave us a Cubs win which led to a fierce battle for the Pennant and a great reminder to the entire country that it’s possible for us to unite for the sake of something grand. I’m a baseball fan simply because it brings the most diverse crowds together for the sake of a diamond, a glove, a bat, and a ball.

And, October, I’d say you tied up nicely with a bow. Bethday2016 was a restful day full of Gilmore Girls reruns, breakfast in bed, and sitting around couches in costumes with some of my favorite folks enjoying a donut or four and a glass-bottled Coke. My favorite gifts this year were earrings. I’ve only had my ears pierced for eight months and it was the most fun opening boxes and bags to find cute jewels for my ears.

Though there’s been a war around us like a tornado and all we’ve done is prayed for rain and nice words, you’ve been such a bright warm light in this dismal “have it your way” year, October, and I’m thankful to live in a place where you exist. Thanks for having sweet gems tucked into your Tuesdays and twelve-hour workdays. You have been so filled with joy.

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