A little late for my glance back at November, once again. But I am so very glad I waited until now. Today is one of those days where I need to remember. One of those days where I need to pause and remember God’s faithfulness. His truth. And if you’re having one of those days (or weeks), I encourage you to take some time and remember too. Practice gratitude.
November was a full month. Full of time with friends. Pink leotards and my dancing ‘Goose.’ Full with hockey sticks and hockey nets. Full of coffee. Full of time with family. It was a beautiful kind of full. The kind that leaves you feeling filled up and loved. The kind that leaves you feeling grateful.
November also saw the kids home. A lot. It wasn’t quite as imperfect as I had planned. Or rather, it was more imperfect than I had planned. So today, as I sit down with my daily calendar, gratitude journal, and phone (because that’s where all my pictures are) I also take along grace. Because without it, I’m a mess. Really, without Him, I’m a mess.
“I love you, O Lord, my strength.
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer,
my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge,
my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2-2)
‘Goose’ turned six in November. She celebrated lavishly…and we did too. Though, much to her chagrin, we did not wish her a happy birthday the days after her birthday. She danced her heart out to Disney princess songs. She overcame fear. I watched as my daughter grew this November. And it was beautiful. It leaves me anticipating her growth over the next years. I stand secure, steadfast, knowing her growth will continue to be beautiful and life giving.
“Make me to know your ways, O Lord;
teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me,
for you are the God of my salvation;
for you I wait all the day long.” (Psalm 25:4-5)
Sweet Boy Child potty trained this past month. Talk about glorious. And even though diaper-free doesn’t necessarily mean mess-free, I’m pretty ecstatic. It was also a month that forced me to reconcile how I have changed as a special needs mom. I’m not as “free” as I once was. I don’t do messy. We tend to avoid crowded or busy events. Truthfully, it’s hard seeing the differences of how I parented before Sweet Boy Child and after. But it’s also grace filled. You see, Baby Boy doesn’t know he’s “missing” anything. The older kids are learning that others are more important than them. And one of these days I’ll write more on this, but for now, I’m left remembering that Boy Child, his story, is part of each of our stories. And it’s a beautiful part. Filled with growth and strength. Filled with love.
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness,
that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
O Lord my god, I will give thanks to you forever.” (Psalm 30:11-12)
We enjoyed time with friends. Family friends. Play times. Play dates. Coffee dates. Book studies. And even PTO meetings. I don’t know about you, but I need time in community. Not just any community, but my community. A place of deep relationship. A place where we can be silly and joke, but where we also share the depths of our hearts. Our souls. A place where those depths are treasured and can be shaped. And so time with this community, these people that remind me of truth and guide me in grace, is always tops on my lists of gratitude.
“For you, O Lord, have made me glad by your work;
at the work of your hand, I sing for joy.” (Psalm 92:4)
We celebrated Thanksgiving well. I have no pictures to share (hence this warm weather picture) because it was a time of calm. A time of relaxing with family. The people that I have grown up with. And we all enjoyed it. With tons of delicious food. It doesn’t get much better than that.
“I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart…” (Psalm 111:1)
And right after Thanksgiving, my precious niece was born. I got to hold and cuddle her. …And be totally okay knowing I will not be having another baby. (Number one sign you know you’re really done having babies.)
“The heavens declare the glory of God,
and the sky above proclaims His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1)
November also saw me surpass 1,000 gifts. If you have been following along with me, you know I have been counting 3 gifts, 3 things I am thankful for each day. Some days I only had one, other days I had five. But on November 30th, I passed 1,000!
“Oh, how abundant is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you
and worked for those who take refuge in you…” (Psalm 31:19)
I am also reading through the Bible again. I am technically doing a 3 month Bible reading plan. But I’m pretty far behind because I journal and re-write Bible verses like crazy. And because I love writing and re-writing, I am continuing to do it and will finish when I finish. November saw me finish Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, and Isaiah. And I loved them all.
“The unfolding of your words gives light;
it imparts understanding to the simple.” (Psalm 119:130)
And so, as November runs into December, I pray that you find time to pause. To reflect and remember. What a beautiful gift this season is, guiding us, nudging us towards more. Ever so subtly.