While I am a huge fan of routine (yet another sign I am aging!), there is something lovely to me about passing from one season to the next. I am always ready for the changing leaves, the crisp morning air, and the sweatshirts of autumn. Eventually I long for the chill and bite of a winter walk, and I pray for a little dusting of snow in the South! And, of course after the hibernation of winter, I long to see the blossoms and promise of spring. The transition of season to season always feels a bit sacred to me - a good time to reflect and dream about the new days to come. Laying in bed last night, unable to sleep, I thought of some things I want to do this fall. None of these are profound, but each appeals to my heart in different ways.
1. Go for a walk. Instead of sitting down after dinner or picking up where I left off with housework, I want to be intentional about going for walks. We live in a great neighborhood for walks - we have walking trails, a beautiful pond, and gorgeous scenery. And let's face it, Marshall the dog could use the extra exercise. There is a special blessing that comes when our family goes for walks in the evenings. We take time to really look at and listen to each other, and we are reminded as our feet touch the pavement that we are highly blessed. Perspective always comes on a walk.
2. Face to face more, Facebook less. I admit it. My name is Ann, and I am a Facebook addict. ("Hi, Ann.") There are lots of cool things about Facebook when you live 12 hours from your families. I like being able to share pictures and little tales of life in our world, and I enjoy getting glimpses of my friends' and families' lives. There is so much good in Facebook that it is easy to forget the downside of typing your relationships. Mark and I are a part of a really amazing new church in our area, and God has brought together a group of people for us to "do life with". While I like the quick connection of Facebook, I am going to be more intentional about spending time face to face with the people God has put in my life right now. I know I will be blessed.
3. Dig into the Word. I am starting another great Precept Upon Precept Bible study on the book of Nehemiah, and I want to spend the fall really soaking in God's Word. I have never not been changed by studying God's Word and hearing His truths directly from Him, and I want to remember what an amazing opportunity this is. It is so easy to get lost in the details of life and forget the big picture. There are millions of people who don't have access to the Scriptures or can't study them openly for fear of persecution. That's the reality for many believers in the world. With a thankful heart, I want to be faithful with the blessing I've received.
4. Eat to Live. I am going to write more about this in another post, but I am feeling so convicted lately about my eating habits. I am an emotional eater, and lately, well...I've been emotional. :) In talking to a dear friend this weekend, I realized I need to address this in my life. Those of you who have read my blog for a few years know I was doing really well eating healthy awhile back. Let's just say I've fallen off the horse - the chocolate covered, caffeinated, sugar laden horse. I want to honor God with my eating habits just as I want to honor God in the other areas of my life. I'll be honest, I don't want to really put this out there, because then there might be accountability in the McDonalds Drive-Thru, but I need to be honest about it. I want to eat to live. Not live to eat.
5. Read Good Books and Drink Great Tea. While I am committed to spending time in the Word, I also want to be intentional about turning off the TV and picking up a good book. Right now, I want to read some good Christian fiction instead of watching another "killer diller" show on TV. I have not always been a fan of Christian fiction, but it seems like so many mainstream books lately either give me the creeps or make me blush as I read them (and it's not easy to make me blush!). Plus, I think there are a lot more interesting, funny, engaging authors writing about people who wrestle with the day to day challenges of walking out their faith. Some of my favorite authors are Karen Kingsbury, Francine Rivers, Kristen Bilerbeck, and Lee Henderson. I love the thought of curling up in sweats and a warm sweatshirt with a cup of tea and a good book. I would love to hear what authors and books other enjoy - I just got a list of recommendation this weekend and I can't wait to check them out!
I know this fall is unique in that we are recovering from tonsil surgery, preparing to travel to Latvia this winter (God willing!), and managing the day to day chaos of running a household and family. But in all that busyness I hope to find time to do more of these five things.