“…When pain is to be borne, a little courage helps more than much knowledge, a little human sympathy more than much courage, and the least tincture of the love of God more than all.” — C.S. Lewis
Here we are in December and although fall really travels until December 20th, I’m joining in with Emily Freeman to share my list of what I learned & loved in the fall. Because really nothing feels more wintery than Christmas, and we need to properly say farewell to fall. Here’s what I learned.
Jennifer Garner is my favorite (and possibly only,) celebrity instagram follow. Have I said this before? She is a delight. The fact that *Sidney Bristowe* saved the world and now stands in her kitchen, roasting a chicken– I’m a super fan. And I LOVE that she is a mom but never, ever posts about her kids. When she posts a photo with Ina Garten, my little culinary heart explodes.
Sometimes it’s more than just hair.
In September, I got a pretty drastic haircut. Well, really it was just bangs– but it was so different for me, that it felt drastic. It still feels drastic when I see people I haven’t seen in awhile and I have to introduce myself. At first I wasn’t sure I would even keep my haircut even though I LOVED it, because not everyone around me did. (One of my children cried and the dog barked and all that jazz.)
Our family all adjusted to this silly thing that was just hair and I discovered something– I was smiling at myself in the mirror way more. Maybe you smile at yourself in the mirror all the time. I don’t. I’m usually giving a slightly critical, appraising look to whatever needs to improve, but smiling? Not exactly with regularity. I should smile more, if only to show my gratefulness for this life I’ve been given. And the fact that I’m still holding on without hair color for a little bit longer. #praisehands
My mom recently realized she’s allergic to dairy. I know. I was given the birthright of loving cheese from HER. But, she realized she feels much better without it. So she avoids all of it. At first, I was slightly annoyed FOR her because of all the things I knew she couldn’t have. I was annoyed? Not her? Nope. Because she knows how much healthier she is without it.
I say all this to say, if suddenly you realize that you would like yourself better, or be healthier, or just be a better version of who you were created to be– if you did xyz– figure it out, and don’t be afraid to say “Actually… I…”
It’s okay to know yourself. It’s not selfish to recognize that avoiding bread or dairy, or ordering a salad on pizza night, or choosing not to skip the gym just because everyone else is, or getting up before the sun to read, is good for you. If something isn’t immoral or adversely affecting your people and just a matter of you-ness— do what makes you the best version of yourself. That is a gift to everyone who knows and loves you.
So yeah. I’m keeping the hair for the foreseeable future. And I’m happily buying the best darn almond milk I can find when my Mom comes to visit.
I learned that we can choose to welcome both joy and grief, recognizing we have two hands— one for joy, one for grief—to hold both at once. Lance and I lost someone we loved dearly in November and though it stirred up so many conflicting emotions in us both, they were all equally welcome gifts. I wrote more on this here.
Favorite Moments of the Fall
- Chatting with Jacqueline Heider on her podcast, Anchored Souls.It’s been a while since I’ve been on any podcasts, and I truly enjoyed talking with my friend Jacqueline on hers.
- Picking apples whilst needing a jacket in Blue Ridge.
- We celebrated eight years of living in the garden city. We celebrated with Mummy Dogs on our front porch and then trick-or-treating with our neighbors as the leaves began to dance down from the trees.
- Seeing beautiful Estes Park, Colorado for the very first time with a sweet team of co-workers and having an exciting job change which still, miraculously allows me to be home with my people. All gifts.
Fall on the BlueHouse Bookshelves
Once We Were Strangers by Shawn Schmucker.
A true account between the author and a Syrian refugee who came to the United States with his wife and sons, Once We Were Strangers was intriguing and compassionate. I was changed with the first quote from the first page, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”
What this book is not: a sensationalized, embellished story which either deifies or land-blasts the US people or its government. It is a factual account with heart, because it is the story of an actual man and his family. It is the story of a friendship which changed more than one life.
Because I am a hopeful idealist who also happens to be an enneagram 9, I wanted a happy ending. This book doesn’t end with a bow and a complete and total resolution— it just ends, but I didn’t feel that was a negative thing at all as I recognize that the story is on-going.
Once we were Strangers opened my eyes to many things I’ve never seen about the refugee crisis. The author does not write to forcefully convince, he only writes to tell a story that needs to be told. More stories just like this are out there, and I hope they will be written as well as they allow us a greater capacity for compassion.
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton
Another luxurious novel by Kate Morton. My favorite still remains The Lake House, though the Clockmakers Daughter (which I’m currently reading,) is crazy good so I may change my mind about that!
Well, that’s all for fall! I may have been quiet here lately, but it’s only because I’m working on something fun for the late winter/ early spring. If you aren’t on my list of email friends, please hop up there and join so that you will be the first in the know!
And as always, please feel free to reply or comment and tell me what you learned & loved in the fall!