I'm writing this on the last day of August. I got up early for Bible study this morning and noticed that it was the first Thursday morning since last spring that it was still dark when I left the house. The clouds are thick, there's a chill in the air, and I'm once again craving soups and scarves and everything fall. Transitions are good for me, as I'm always inspired to reset and regroup here at home, but it's always hard to say goodbye to summer. Slow mornings are replaced with a sprint to get out the door on time, I'm back to a busier schedule and a few more hats to wear, and our simple time at home shrinks due to late afternoon meetings, soccer practice, and other commitments. BUT, there's good in this transition, too. The kids have reunited with friends and are once again loved by all the good people who spend time with them during their days. I've reconnected with co-workers, friends, and my college girls over lunch dates and freezer meal prep parties.
And most of all, I've found we are more intentional with our minutes at home now that we have less of them. It's all about my mindset and how I'm doing my best with the places God has me planted, whether I'm teaching a class of college students, reconnecting with Mila's daycare teachers, or spending time with Beau and the kids at home. And I'm surely not alone in this place! One of the best ways I can cultivate a mindset that looks for the good, the opportunity in my everyday, is to take time to write down all the blessings God sprinkles throughout my days. I have kept my gratitude journal within my sight especially since starting the semester, determined to record my joys as I see them. And what's beautiful is the more I record, the more my eyes seem opened to a truly beautiful world. After seeing so many sad images of the Harvey devastation in Houston this week, one of my Instagram friends posted a video of someone driving on the interstate to Houston, passing truck after truck after truck, with boats behind each one. The boats went on for miles, people from out of town, out of state, all determined to do the same thing. There's good people, and good things, all around us, in every season and every day. And there's a good, good Father behind it all.
From my gratitude journal as of late...
553. One of our last days of summer break, my journal under a shade tree, feeling the afternoon breeze on my face, and listening to my little people giggle on the curly slide.
554. Discovering the cup'shake' from Scratch.
556. When the kids play so hard they crash.
557. The flowers in the window box that show through Mila's bedroom window.
558. Starting Saturday off with a clean house and a hot cup of lemon water.
559. Dinner on the deck and Mila's prayers that go like this: "Thank you, God, for making our world and our beds."
560. How excited Cruz and Mila are to see each other after being separated at school. The first day I picked them up, they held hands in the car the whole way home.
561. Back to school routines and nesting; rearranging kitchen cabinets and wiping counter tops. Finding lost library books, three weeks overdue.
562. The kids (and neighbors) laying on each other on the trampoline an hour past bedtime. Mason's adorable voice. When they hang out on our deck and make up their own comic books while making music requests through the screened door.
563. Nights after dusk. A backyard of beautiful, velvety grass, three years in the making. Barefoot walks around the house, pulling a few random weeds in the flower garden, and popping a fresh strawberry or tomato in my mouth.
564. Pulling carrots with my little harvesters. Fresh mint in my smoothies and a fresh tomato with my eggs. Nothing tastes more like summer than a tomato right from the garden.
565. My new garden gathering basket, a birthday gift from Kate.
566. All four of us laying on our backs in the green grass under a blue sky on Sunday.
567. An unexpected afternoon rain shower and all the kids wanting to stay outside. Mila got her rain boots and the boys immediately started looking for objects to race down the gutters.
568. Sharing supper with the Susong's on their first Monday in their new home. Dropping by to welcome an old friend to her freshman year of college and checking in with her mom afterwards. Lunch dates with Erica and Syd and a family date night to outdoor BASIC.
569. When going back to work just makes you want to squeeze 'em like crazy when you get home at the end of the day.