Friday, November 30, 2012

saying goodbye to autumn

It's hard to believe that November is already coming to a close. It's been a good month...autumn leaves falling off the trees, spending time together as a family, and drinking cups of apple cider. But, here in the sunset of November 2012, I have some thoughts on the things this last month has held.

Some thoughts from this month: 

i. I found myself especially thankful this Thanksgiving (and month in general) for everything that has happened this year--from surgeries, to adoptions, to moving, adjustments, and learning to be this family of eight. There have been some hard days lately, though, where I am reminded of how difficult adoption can be. It is not all smiles and laughter. The Lord has been convicting my heart to be more patient and more loving towards the boys--even when I don't feel like it. It has been exciting to see them explore their new lives, and learn how to be a part of our family. But then there are the days where they miss China, and my heart aches. Because, I know this is not just hard for me to get used to--it's hard for them, too. The fact is: things are not what they were like this time last year. It's different, and that's not a bad thing. It's just hard to get used to.

ii. This month, I officially decided that Autumn is my very favorite season. The weather is neither hot nor cold, and I love watching the leaves change color and drop from the trees. I love drinking hot cups of tea and devouring bowls of soup. I don't think I could ever get tired of wearing scarves and long sleeve shirts or plaid button-ups. I love the way the air feels outside and I love watching the sun slip behind the mountains earlier and earlier. It's a precious thing to watch the seasons change. Though, I'm not sure how I feel about the coming of winter. I relish the snow, but the frigid temperatures and icy roads aren't things I enjoy as much. At the same time, though, I do love Christmas and all the things that come with it--maybe Winter won't be so bad after all.

iii. This November, I've been learning a few things: I've been learning to live in joy, to pray with expectation, to place my focus on the things that are truly important, and to be thankful in all circumstances.  I've been learning to trust God more and more with my future. It's an ironic thing that I have trouble with entrusting it to Him, because the reality is that He is the one that is in control, I am not--and never have been, in charge of my future. I think God has really used this whole year of hard things to teach me to grow closer to Him, and to trust in Him with my whole heart. His plans for me are so much better then anything I could ever imagine.

iv. I have been increasingly grateful this month for the gift of friendship. Long, honest and authentic conversations late at night, and breathless fits of laughter are things I never tire of. I love the feeling of a hug from a close friend right when you really need it, and the reassuring words of a friend when I need encouragement. I'm thankful that I have opportunities to sit at my friends' kitchen table, with a cup of coffee and just talk. I love having these people that are always there for me, and remind me of God's everlasting love.

November has been a good month of learning for me. It's sad to say goodbye to autumn, but I'm generally excited about December and all it will bring. I hope you've all had a good day today. Happy Friday, y'all!