Category Archives: Fall

Glowing Great+Full

As I opened my blinds this Thanksgiving morning, the freshly-wet-from-rain, brown-orange-golden view made me pause. Millions of leaves lay disarray covering the ground in their final resting place. A few still clung to their branches, the trees almost appeared to be aching for them to finally let go. Each piece prepping for dark and stillness. Until next year…

The scape was simply stunning. The leaves going out with a bang. The scene made me recall a quote I had come across recently: “What are you going to do with all that dark?” “Find a way to glow in it.”

This year has been a life altering year. Having been put in situations I would have never dreamed of, there have been some dark moments. It’s been a time of crumbling, a time of changing, a time of letting go of a tree I was so deeply rooted in. Much of this year I have felt like a withered fall leaf floating, bouncing around controlled by a strong wind, trying desperately to find the ground – someplace firm to land – to finally rest.

Sipping my morning tea while trying to enjoy my favorite coffee cake and the view, I feel a sigh escape my body. In no way do things remotely resemble how I imagined them to be. It saddens my heart. I feel full. Full as in ‘that’s enough, please no more’. I need a breather. Can someone else tag in for a bit?

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As those feelings are toying with me, I glance down. My wrist reminder pulls me back. ‘Athas’ the Irish word for ‘Joy’. A token from a trip I took this year. A reminder. A saving grace. A word I fell in love with years ago. That word makes me crack a smile. I love when I see it pop up in life. It always makes me pause and take another look.

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So I look again and when I look this time, instead of full I see great. My beautiful view. My little boy. My favorite coffee cake. A beautiful fall. The smell of a turkey smoking. My family. Pictures I adore that make my heart smile. A sweet four-legged little girl. The amazing ladies I work with. Trips with fun and fabulous people. Laughing. On point memes. The sun shining. My favorite tea in a mug that warms my heart. The massive amounts of texts of love and support I receive daily. My tribe. My fierce tribe. I am greatly full.

The year has been a harder one. Autumn is not an easy season as it is for my family. And where I am ‘full’ things are still ‘great’. My current state may be floating aimlessly through the dark in an uncontrollable wind, but there is still spark and color. I see it. I feel it. And I will find a way to glow in it. So many ‘great+full’ moments still ❤

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You’re Here…

“When I look to the sky, something tells me you’re here with me.” ❤

I awaken early this morning which isn’t abnormal, but instead of rolling over to go back to sleep my heart all ready aches. The weight of November 28th always stings. I know my mind won’t let me fall back asleep, my thoughts are all ready too consumed of you. I get up. I have a task to do for a turkey anyways. Season it. My mood is grumpy. This time of year is usually emotional now. I feel cheated. The holiday season doesn’t ever feel complete anymore. Something always seems ‘off’.

It’s challenging. November 26th is my anniversary. A wonderful time, a happy time, a cherished time followed two days later by my least favorite memory. How do I not steal moments from my marriage with the impending dread of November 28th? I try hard to be more present during this time so I can focus on the moment I’m in, but it’s always there. I’ll find myself snappy or impatient or just plain grumpy, and at first I’m not sure where it’s coming from. When I stop to gain control of my emotions, I quickly realize it’s sadness speaking out.

Back to this turkey. Season it. I’m tiredly and admittedly cranky seasoning this turkey. I feel like the naked bird – bland. Wish I could throw some salt, pepper, garlic, thyme and sage on me and VOILA! Transformed. As these thoughts are running through my head, the sky through my kitchen window catches my eye. “Beautiful.” I mumble to myself. I finish my task, grab my phone and tea, and head for my safe haven – the back porch. It’s quite nice outside to be so late in November. I snap some pictures. I let the moment soak in. You’re here. This is you saying good morning. Thank you for coming on the morning I need it most. I feel a little uplifted.

Back inside I decide to make your trademark breakfast, oatmeal. But not the same this morning, with a twist. Spice it up. Season it. Transformed. (Btw- it was good. Link here: http://www.foodista.com/recipe/64CFRJ68/baked-smores-oatmeal)

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After getting dressed, we decide to go pick out a Christmas tree. I snap a picture of course making the 5 year old pose in front of the selected tree. I see the sun rays coming in on the image, but when I get home to really check it out one ray shines brighter than the rest. Yes, I see you. Thank you. We’ll take this tree home and season it too. Transformed.

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As I’m riding back home the car in front of me catches my attention. The last kind of car you drove. You’re definitely here, especially today.

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The rest of the day provided more distraction than emotion. Which is a nice and needed break. You knew that too, didn’t you? You sat back, you watched, you smiled. You enjoyed seeing the laughs and grins and hugs throughout the day.

I felt you once again this evening. Watching my brother, at 29, tackle a new sport, hockey. Oh, you smirked (quite a few times), I felt it. Your presence was so close, a couple of times I thought I’d turn to my right and you’d be sitting there leaning back, arms crossed, long legs stretched out in front, with that smirk on your face you got when you were really tickled at something. You loved it. And were proud of your son (and probably slightly impressed too). My brother chose to try something new. Season it. Transformed.

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Five years. Five. Has it really been five years since I’ve hugged your neck, held your hand, curled up in your lap (yes, even at 27 years old I would curl up in my daddy’s lap) or pecked those lips (yes, we’re ‘that family’ that goes for the lips)?

With blurry eyes as I’ve written this, a tear finally escapes and slides down my cheek just now. It makes it all the way to my neck. A chill sets in deep. To try and explain how time passes when a close loved one is lost is hard. Time flies by, as it often does in life, but at the same time it feels as though laughter or a touch or tears were just shared with the one suddenly missing. Wasn’t it just yesterday…

“Time heals all wounds.” I’m not particularly fond of this saying. When a wound heals, it leaves a scar, a reminder. You do get used to this new life without this special person, but time doesn’t make the loss any easier.

I saw a quote not long ago, “The wound is the place where light enters you.” It caught me where I least expected it to. There is truth here. But only if you allow it. I felt the light all day. It doesn’t take the pain away, but I smile through the tears. And I’m left – transformed.

Consider the Ravens

A black mass, they twist and swirl and swoop down, then back up. Their formation is astounding. I find myself mesmerized and slightly terrified at the same time. It’s become a tell-tale marker of cooler times coming. They start forming in October when reds, yellows, oranges, browns, pumpkins, emptying fields and floating leaves create one last splendor for the eyes and soul. It’s as if the year is giving one final burst of life before relinquishing itself of earthly duties and going into hibernation.

Just a bit ago, I found myself carefully watching this mass of blackbirds as they swooped across the field. There’s something intriguing about their movement. It brings a new meaning to ‘birds of a feather flock together’. I first noticed the birds do this back in college. I was working outside as an after school counselor and I remember feeling slightly as though I were in an Alfred Hitchcock film.

Where it can be disturbing on many levels and rather perfect for the spooky time of year, I do find myself curious and the next thing I knew I was Googling…apparently, this is a common phenomenon, especially for winter. The birds create a super flock for protection, food gathering and communication purposes. I began humming “Consider the Ravens” by Dustin Kensrue (lyrics below). Next I was on YouTube…

This song, introduced to me a couple of years ago, immediately became a favorite. It was presented to me with the bible verse: Luke 12:24 “Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds!” Currently, the devotion I’m reading speaks about letting God be our fulfillment, our satisfaction. Not people, nor possession, nor position. Verse 23 says, “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” And verse 25 states, “And which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life’s span?” Time should be coveted and spent wisely. Why do we live so wastefully? My favorite line in the song is “So Father give me faith, providence and grace.” #amen I would much rather live that way. God’s got us. #trust

I won’t deny – it’s so much easier said than done. Resting in God is tough. #anyoneelsestubborn ?? But it brings a great peace. My faith journey has been dark like a swirling mass of crazy blackbirds and it’s been bright like their captivating motions and formations amazing swoops conquering leaps and bounds. What I’m finding now is it’s more like their purpose – a super flock working together, trusting and protecting. And I am finding peace even in those dark, swirling moments ❤

I will leave you with my morning devotion verse that has popped out at me all day long: “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace.” Luke 1:78-79

Always remain in a soul search and along your journey, wherever you may be at the moment, don’t forget to consider the ravens.

I’ve got bills to pay

Taxman on my tail
Just keep prayin’ that
The check’s in the mail

There are times it seems
When everything’s lost
And I’m moaning, I’m tossed
And I see..

Between the river and the ravens I’m fed
Between oblivion and the blazes I’m led
So father give me faith, providence and grace
Between the river and ravens I’m fed
Sweet deliver, oh you lift up my head
And lead me in your way

I’ve grown sick and tired
Of trying to stand still
I’ve learned to let the wind
Pull me where it will

Throw myself into
The will of the wait
I can never be great
’til we’re free

Between the river and the ravens I’m fed
Between oblivion and the blazes I’m led
So father give me faith, providence and grace
Between the river and ravens I’m fed
Sweet deliver, oh you lift up my head
And lead me in your way

Although I’m walking through
The valley of the shadow of death
Evils all around
It’s coming from the right and the left

Trust that I will see
The glory above
Oh, your banner of love
Flies over me

Between the river and the ravens I’m fed
Between oblivion and the blazes I’m led
So father give me faith, providence and grace
Between the river and ravens I’m fed
Sweet deliver, oh you lift up my head
And lead me in your way