I love the beginning of a new month. The ability to look back and remember the prior month. The beautiful parts amidst the hard parts. Because if you are anything like me, it is oh so easy to remember the hard, rushed, messy parts. They jump out at me immediately. They suffocate the good and beautiful memories. But those beautiful memories, the special moments where we truly lived and felt loved – those moments are so hard to remember over those ugly, rushed ones.
So every month I practice remembering. I gather my calendar, my phone (because where else would all of my pictures be), and my gratitude journal and I spend time remembering the past month. I remember the beauty, the smiles, the love. And I remember the grace in it all. As I usher in a new month, filled with new activities, I pause and I remember the blessings of the past. I remember God’s faithfulness in what seemed hard. And I cling to that past faithfulness as I walk into the next hard thing. And even the next easy thing. Because life is always surprising me.
Looking back, it’s clear, September was a time of celebration. Perhaps it is actually the first month of a season, or seasons, of celebration. But no matter the grammatical details, September was a month of celebrating.
We ushered in the new school year and are still adjusting to it. We have celebrated new classrooms, new schools, new teachers and new friends. We have celebrated the new beginnings that come with a new school year and are still learning how to navigate new friends. And even old ones.
We celebrated birthdays. A lot of birthdays. Baby boy turned two. Boy Child turned four. My niece turned five. And my sister turned thirty! September is a month of celebrations, and a big part of that is all the birthdays. You have to celebrate when most of your family was born in September!
We celebrated new friendships, fun play dates, and the feeling of being known that comes with real community. We enjoyed nights out and savored friendships that has spanned decades and tons of life change. We were blessed by friends that care for our family as if they were their own. And we enjoyed time with our neighbors. Even in the midst of a downpour. We celebrated friendships that last after a move. And we remembered a dear friend and the legacy he left us all. We celebrated life and life lived in community.
We enjoyed the start of new activities. We celebrated soccer victories and the learning experiences that come with playing a team sport. We celebrated with Goose as she twirled and leaped in her ballet classes. We rejoiced at the start of Awanas and MOPS; activities that fill our hearts and create a whole new community for us.
We celebrated rest as we spent a weekend away with friends at their family farm. We savored true friendship and the quiet of nature. We adventured and lived fully. We were blessed abundantly and generously. (And I cannot wait to share more of this special place with you all!)
We enjoyed family time. Purposeful and intentional moments celebrating us. It was times of laughter and goofing around, because with four littles, we believe laughter is pretty important. We spent time exploring and adventuring at the local Children’s Museum and arboretum. We enjoyed fun meals out and delicious chocolate shakes.
We celebrated the completion of summer reading logs with Big Hero 6 and lots of ice cream coupons. We encouraged one another as we continued to push ourselves to reach our goals. We enjoyed time at the kid’s first book fair. And we came home with our first inspirational cat poster.
We celebrated the start of fall with the first fall yard cleaning of the year. It was hard work, but it was beautiful work. We sweat and felt exhausted, but we showed our children what hard work looks like. We celebrated our home and taught our children how to care for our blessings. We reminded children of our duty to care for this earth, and that this starts in our own backyard.
September was filled with celebrations. It was a month filled with beautiful time spent in community. The community of our family, our closest friends, our neighborhood, and even new community. These celebrations reminded us, in the midst of one of our busiest time of the year, to pause. These celebrations reminded us of the grace found in community. These celebrations reminded us that a life lived well, is one that is lived intentionally. These celebrations reminded us to seek Him and to celebrate Him.
There were other small, seemingly ordinary moments that made it into my daily gratitude journal. And a few of them, I had to share with you:
738. I am thankful for the spontaneous stop for root beer floats with Greg. And laughing together as I tried to take a selfie.
744. I am thankful for reading Harry Potter #2 with Man-Child. I love these quiet, small moments with him.
748. I am thankful for a night out with friends. Until midnight. Even though it felt like no time had passed at all.
759. I am thankful for a grace filled call with an old friend that changed my entire day. A friendship that lasts time and distance. One where we are known by one another and one where grace is given freely.
765. I am thankful for the words and truth found in a song. (‘God I look to You’ by Bethel Music, if you were wondering.)
788. I am thankful for cheese curds from Culver’s. Thank you PTO fundraisers at Culver’s. You give me a reason to head over and not feel glutenous.
801. I am thankful for Boy Child joining me as I exercised. PiYo with a preschooler is the best, by the way.
805. I am thankful for shared laughter with a friend. In a Starbucks parking lot because they closed early.
815. I am thankful for Man Child’s passion for photography. And the idea to ‘hire’ him to take pictures at the September birthday party. He loved it. And so did my heart.
820. I am thankful for the words in a simple birthday card to Boy Child. From a dear friend of mine. Reminders that others see who he is clearly. Perhaps a bigger blessing to me than even to him.
Have you spent time remembering your September, as we move into October? What are you thankful for? I would love to hear!
Today I’m jumping in for Friday Favorites with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, & Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog.Today I’m jumping in for Friday Favorites with Andrea at Momfessionals, Narci at Grace and Love Blog, & Erika at A Little Bit of Everything Blog.