a walk on campus

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love affair

I confess, this is the season of a love affair.

As an October baby, it’s almost destiny that it happen this way. The first few brightly-colored leaves flirtatiously catch my eye, and from there, it’s a domino effect leading to weakened knees. The breeze ruffles its fingers through my hair. Wool socks cuddle close to my feet, hidden beneath boots. Morning fog whispers to come chase it through the dew. Cricket songs join with the symphony of falling foliage, and a certain pleasant chill sweeps through open doors and windows to settle on our wood floors.

My God woos my heart through each piece of this season. He catches my attention, teaches me to slow my steps and smell the scent that is distinctly autumn. His presence meets me as I zip up my fleece and take a walk with Him. There is no time of year where I know His presence so clearly as I do now. He is always faithful to capture my heart.

And it’s only fitting that He also provided this as the season I fell in love with my husband.

With walks through the park and collecting leaves and drinking hot chocolate, God began to weave our romance throughout an October and November setting. Our first date – carving pumpkins underneath strung twinkling lights. The first time I told him, “I like you.”** The first time we held hands. The first time I looked into his eyes and thought about forever. It was this time of year.

Then a full year later, our love story was once again turning a page, and we got married beneath a canopy of red and brown and orange.  That same breeze rustled through our vows, and the symphony of falling leaves celebrated our kiss. We were pronounced man and wife, and a gray sky held off rain to witness our union.

My heart quickens at the thought of each new day and the magic I will find therein. I know I have a God pursuing me, drawing me to Himself and to a celebration of Who He is as Creator. It’s the best kind of party, with crunchy leaves and apple cider, and I am dizzy with His love.

 

**I actually was too embarrassed to tell him, so one night we were playing Mad Gab, and after he left to go home, I sent him a text in Mad Gab form : “Aisle Haiku,” and let him translate it.

treasure

leaves

october is typically one of my most prolific months of writing. so many treasures translate to words during this time of year. but for some reason this year, the words aren’t flowing.

and i am learning to be okay with my days that feel “off.”

so hopefully i will be in a place to write soon, but for now, i am just pressing on

story writing

I read about cinnamon tea once in a book. It sounded so delightful and romantic that I went out and bought some, then snuggled on the couch with my book and pretended like I was the heroine of the story.

Today, as the first day of October, seemed like the perfect opportunity to pull out the cinnamon tea and sip.

I love to picture myself as the heroine in a book. I narrate in my head what the writer would say about particular circumstances – everything from the constant creaking of our 4Runner  as I drive around town to my emotions at the end of the day’s events.

In real life, lately, I have felt more like the victim.  And I am realizing it is because I characterize myself as such. The perspective I take on the story affects how I see the story being played out. If every situation seems to fall short of what I wish would happen, I don’t see any progress in the story. The current is against me, and I can’t swim upstream. And I victimize myself so much that I end up hopeless, surrendered to despair and doubt of my purpose in the plot.

All of this – my perspective on myself and the story, the characterization I have assigned myself, the attitude I use to react to life’s lemons – is a reflection of how I view God. Because He is, after all, the author.

It all of a sudden changes from, “Things aren’t going my way” to “God doesn’t care about what I want. His plan isn’t good enough. He must not really love me, or I wouldn’t have to walk through this chapter.”

But I would never say or think that.

Not intentionally, anyway.

What do I actually believe about God?

  • Do I believe that He offers me rest? (Matthew 11:28-29)
  • Do I believe that He cares for me? (1 Peter 5:7)
  • Do I believe that He will provide the desires of my heart? (Psalm 37:4)
  • Do I believe that He will establish my steps? (Proverbs 16:9)
  • Do I believe that He knows where I am going, even if I can’t see? (Job 23:8-10)

Unless I put that head knowledge into practice, I will go through life as a victim – I will feel alone and hopeless and directionless and vulnerable to each and every attack.

I cannot change the fact that there is a villain in the story.

But I can change the way I approach this enemy – I can remember that, as a heroine, I am not alone. I am desired by the God of the universe, and protected by the Almighty Father.

My course has been mapped out by the ultimate story writer, but it is up to me to change my perspective on where the story is going.

He is plotting something great, and it’s okay that I can’t figure out what will happen next. That’s the thrill of reading a book.

beauty of transition

It hasn’t hit yet.

But it is getting close. I can taste it in the air.

I can’t help but get this slighty giddy feeling in my stomach, as if I am about to embark on a new adventure. Almost the same feeling I had when I first started dating Eric : anticipation for the next day, hopefulness for the unknown, a longing for time together yet afraid of it passing by too quickly.

Of course, dating my husband was better, because that led to marriage. Which means spending the rest of our lives together. So he is a much better version of fall.

There is something so splendid about fall : the nip in the air, the feeling of an oversized sweater, a mug of hot tea warming my hands, and burrowing in sleep into the blankets on our bed (which have previously been kicked off the bed for the last three months). I want to take long walks and move through my day a little bit more slowly.

It also sends this craving through me for more time with the Lord. I really see God’s nature come alive. It’s like every single one of my five senses are engaged with Him during this time, and I would be perfectly content to simply sit alone with my journal and the Word. Other times of the year, I can’t stand to be by myself for extended periods of time, introvert I am not.

As it is approaching, though, I am already worried about missing it. Worried about the leaves changing too quickly and the weather becoming too cold. Worried about not getting to be outside enough and not savoring this special feeling.

But I don’t want to be so worried about the moment passing that I don’t enjoy the moment, too caught up in my concerns to not catch the beauty of the transition around me.

And I don’t want to be so entangled in what seems to be my personal thorns-in-the-flesh that I miss this season of life.

I am too easily bogged down with the things I am dissatisfied about. My focus turns towards the negative, even if it is something I can’t fix. And I know that this time is passing me by. Eric and I are almost at the one year mark of marriage, and for the past four months, I feel like I have characterized our time as this deep valley – I have been constantly clambering to get out of this pit, and it seems like the only thing I get in return is dirt in my fingernails from trying to climb out.

But this is a significant time in our marriage.

I have heard so many people say that they look back on the early stages of their marriage – when they are dirt poor and have no clue what they want to do with their lives – and they remember them being some of the happiest times of their lives. I don’t want to just look back and remember being happy; I want to recognize it in the present.

I don’t want to regret that the leaves will fall before they even change colors.

Carpe diem, I suppose. Everything is a transition into something new.

Seize the moment. Seize the adventure. Even if it’s not where I think I want to be right now. Each piece of autumn is beautiful, whether the beginning or end. And I know God is writing my story the same way.