Single for Christmas

It’s the beginning of December, and the Christmas season has officially begun. I love the Christmas spirit, but I am feeling a little blue at the moment. It’s hard being single in the first place, and it’s hard being single this December. 

Do you find yourself desperately wanting to mean the world to someone? And do you feel like that is not the case?  I’m here to say I know what it’s like. I understand that feeling of desperately wanting to go on a date. I’m feeling it strongly after having spent two weeks in quarantine. It gets lonely, really lonely, even if you have girlfriends or roommates. And sometimes a girl just needs to dress up and spend the evening with a nice guy. Not that I know anything about it, really.  

I know that feeling of not being chosen. It’s not like you’re visibly rejected, because you’re not being dumped, but it is rejection all the same. It’s being passed over, and it hurts. It causes those of us with sensitive natures and insecurities to wonder what is wrong with us. Naturally, one of the main things I wonder is if I’m not pretty enough. Or maybe I’m too weird. I am weird, I admit it, mainly due to the fact that I’m hopelessly old-fashioned. But I like that part of me! Honestly, I couldn’t fit in if I tried. It does seem like it just might have an effect on my lack of popularity, though. 

I live with a tenacious hope, trying to believe in happily ever after. And yet, in the depths of my soul, I’m afraid. Afraid that because I want this so badly, that God will keep it from me. Afraid I’ll always be single. Afraid the right kind of man is never going to want me. And yet, in spite of all the fear, that relentless spark of hope keeps glowing.

I confess I cling to people tightly. At any given time in my life, I believe there’s always been at least one other person that I’ve attached myself to desperately. Is it healthy? No, it’s not. Yet I continue to do it. Old habits die hard, it is said. Underneath my crazy committment, I think there might be a little girl begging for validation. I’m sure we could dig deep into my past and figure out  what happened to make me so needy of the approval of others. But for the purpose of this post, it is sufficient to say the need is there. 

What can we do with our very real longing? There are plenty of cliche answers out there. If you’ve been single most or all of your life, you are undoubtedly sick of cliche answers. Because ultimately those answers are not what we want to hear. I don’t have any new or brilliant advice to offer, but I can sympathize. I’m walking the road of singleness, too, and it is hard.

It’s hard when your friends get married. Of course, you’re happy for them, but the struggle of jealousy is real. And it happens again when your friends get pregnant. You long for a baby of your own, and you aren’t in a position where it would be morally right to have one. So, you go to the weddings… you buy baby gifts… and your heart feels empty. You are happy for them, just sad for yourself. It’s hard when you wonder if you’ll have to buy a house alone or when you live the struggle of working more than one job. It’s hard when you know there’s not a husband and kids to decorate the tree with. I wonder how many women actually dream of living an independent life. I’m sure they exist, but if all women were honest, I’d venture to guess that the number is smaller than it seems. 

Christmas is supposed to be the season for miracles. And if you watch any Christmas movies at all, you’ll know in your heart that it’s also the perfect time of year for romance. 

I want a relationship this winter- somebody to start some new Christmas traditions with. If my life was a Hallmark movie, and it’s obviously not, this is where some nice guy would accidentally bump into me at a coffeshop, spilling coffee all down the front of my coat. He would apologize and buy me another coffee to make things right. And it would just so happen that I’d run into this guy again out looking for a Christmas tree. He’d notice me struggling to get my tree into my car (a tree would never fit in my little car!) and would offer to put it in the back of his truck and drop it off at my apartment. Of course, he’d wonder if I was needing someone to take me to the annual town tree lighting, and I’d graciously accept. And so the story goes… and of course by Christmas Day, I’d be meeting his family, and by next Christmas, he’d propose to me at the coffeeshop where we first met. Hey, maybe I should write these movies- terribly predictable and always with a happily ever after.

Making up unrealistic stories about what could happen isn’t going to cure the loneliness though.  

If you’re single today, I’m sorry. Hang in there. And whatever happens, don’t throw away that spark of hope. There is a God who does see the desire in our hearts, and He is not oblivious to the hurt. And who knows? Maybe Prince Charming will show up in that little coffeeshop tomorrow. Unlikely? Yes. Impossible? No.

Photo Journey of an Apple Pie

I love my cutting board. And big knives are the greatest in the kitchen! Slicing the apples for the pie…
The sliced apples covered in cinnamon, sugar, molasses, and a bit of salt
I keep my most frequently used flour in this crock now. It’s purely for the asthetic appeal, and because it’s so vintage. Smiley face.
This is one of the best kitchen tricks ever that someone taught me for biscuits, and it works for pie crust, too. Grate your butter into the flour, rather than using a pastry cutter or a fork. So helpful!
Nice crumbly flour and butter crumbs
Pie crust ready to be formed into a ball to roll out
Rolled out
The pie filled up
Upper crust put in place
Edges pinched and the pie is ready to be brushed with egg.
All brushed, or as I refer to it when I’m with the little girl: painting the pie
While the pie bakes, I’ll use the leftover dough to make Hanswaschlin. We used to make these at home once in a great while. Roll out the dough and add some jam.
Roll it up, and cut into little pieces. A piece of dental floss works amazing to cut them. Slide the floss underneath, cross it on top, and pull.
Ta da! Now they can go into the oven as well.
While they bake, I’m going to clean up the mess. No dishwasher in this apartment, so all our dishes get washed by hand.
And they are finished!
Have a piece of pie! Smiley face.

A Dozen Thanks Givings

1. Hedgehog cookies. Aren’t they the most adorable cookies you’ve ever seen?

2. The headline this morning about the Supreme Court’s decision concerning the houses of worship in New York. I am encouraged to know that our right to gather in freedom to worship is being upheld, pandemic or not. I believe the gathering of believers is essential; we need each other. Of course, be courteous and stay home if you’re sick.

And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

-Hebrews 10:24-25 NKJV

3. A Thanksgiving text from a friend whom I haven’t heard from in a long while.

4. God’s provision.

5. Coffee. I love coffee! And I love my winter coffee mug.

6. Our delayed winter this year… It’s been a gorgeous fall. And if the snow could just stay away a little longer; my snow tires are on the way (I know, I should’ve been ready earlier).

7. Growth. It’s always encouraging, since I’ve had a rocky past, to look back and see the growth that has happened in me over the years.

8. This cozy apartment. No, it’s not my dream house by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s home for now.

Home is where your books are.

-Erica Jong

9. My books.

10. My people. Those people I can count on. The ones that choose to do life with me. The ones who have captured my heart. And the ones who have helped me in this story of life.

11. Lights on the Christmas tree. And the upcoming Christmas season.

12. My little red car, Dorrie.

Second Dose of Quarantine Activities

I’ll confess, I’m not really feeling the motivation today. It’s Day Ten of Quarantine, and life is tasting a little stale at the moment. I like very much to have a day off now and then, honestly. But to have endless days off, that’s not healthy for me, either. Day Ten of Quarantine and Day Four since I actually got sick… The past three days have felt extremely unproductive to me. Too much screen time, too much couch time, too much sleeping time, but I’ll have to give myself a little grace. I was sick, after all. However, I am on the mend, and I need a little pep talk to remotivate myself. It’s so easy to fall into depression when you’re isolated from real life. 

Some more ideas for quarantine: 

Idea Seven: If you are feeling ill, it’s completely permissable to rest. I have trouble being okay with unproductivity, and this makes it a little inconvenient when I’m sick. There are times, though, when our bodies need a break so they can recuperate. So, make that cup of tea, and wrap up in a blanket. 

Idea Eight: Read books. This is a perfect thing to do on any cloudy November day. You might try a book that isn’t just mindless reading- something with substance- and in this way, you can exercise your brain muscles. I recently read  In Order to Live, by Yeonmi Park. It was a recommendation from my roommate, and gives us an insider’s view of North Korea. It’s not the kind of book I’d typically pick up, so it stretched my horizons. I’m also reading How to Read a Book, by Charles Van Doren and Mortimer J. Adler, which is an intellectual look at the different levels of reading. It’s definitely an educational book, rather than one for entertainment. The other day, I picked up The Fellowship of the Ring again. I started rereading it quite a while ago, but as often happens with books I read, I’m better at starting them than finishing them, so they get some kind of bookmarker and get laid aside. Typical INFP that I am, it’s normal for me to be in the process of reading more than one book at a time.  

Idea Nine: Go on a walk. Just make sure you find a place where there aren’t other people. Fresh air can do so much for you. It makes you hungrier, and this time of year, it can leave you a little chilled, which makes it so much nicer, then, to come back inside and drink hot chocolate. Or coffee. Or tea, for that matter. It’s also really good for your mental health to get outside, which, when in quarantine, is especially important. 

Idea Ten: Scrapbooking! This particular form of art is therapeutic for me, but it doesn’t have to take exactly that form for you. Some people prefer cardmaking, or painting, or sketching. Art is an expression of yourself, so it will look a little different for everyone. I am almost finished scrapbooking an album that’s destined as a Christmas gift; I think I will limit myself to one more page and call that project complete. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t other pages to work on! I don’t work on pages or photos chronologically; I’m spontaneous in this as I am in so many other areas of my life, and my mood has a lot to do with what I work on. 

Idea Eleven: Write a story. This one I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to follow to fruition. Yes, I have one I’m working on, but that kind of writing takes a lot of time and creativity and committment, if you’re going to end up with something really worth reading. I’ve exposed myself to some great literature over the years, and it’s intimidating, for how can I compete with that? Maybe I try too hard. Some things are better when they’re not forced, and I think writing can be that way. 

Idea Twelve: Bake something unexpected. I might just try this tomorrow. I was scrolling Pinterest and found a recipe for adorable hedgehog cookies. Who doesn’t love a cute hedgehog? Fun fact: Baby hedgehogs are actually really ugly. My sister showed me a picture of them, and they look awful! Pink like baby mice, but with prickles… shudder. Back to the baking- often, we have our go-to recipes we make, the favorites that turn out well. Throw in some variation, some surprise, try something totally different. We don’t discover new favorites unless we try new things.

Happy Quarantine!

Quarantine Activity Ideas

If you are stuck in quarantine and are needing some inspiration for how to spend your time, this is a post for you.

Idea One: Plan your wedding. No, I’m not getting married. My goodness, I don’t even have a boyfriend! This might seem, then, like a pointless waste of time, however, it is quite entertaining. I have decided to have a lavender and wheat wedding- both the colors and the plants. It really captures my personality quite well. And I plan to serve sourdough bread. Yes, I even came up with a menu! Are you amused? Exactly. Sometimes, when things in the world around us look depressing, which seems to be the case all the time now, we need a little humor inserted in our lives. Humor and hope…. The story of the life of a single woman.

Idea Two: Make a wreath. I did this without going shopping for supplies, which of course is the appropriate thing to do when you are in quarantine. I bought an undecorated wreath last year, which looked really cheesy and quite terrible, but the point was, it was cheap. So, I took off the greenery (it was not worthy of being called greenery), and was left with the wire ring. I had some nicer artificial greenery to replace the old. Then my sister and I strung microwavable popcorn. It was unnecessarily buttered, but it was what we had. My string ended up on the wreath, for even after two bags of popcorn, my sister’s attempt wasn’t going well, due to her putting quite a lot of popcorn in her belly rather than on the string. Side note: She ended up eating what she had strung as well, as it really wasn’t long enough to use for anything else. The only other additions to the wreath were lemon, orange, and apple slices that I tried to dry in the oven. I think it turned out quite pretty, with a very Colonial Williamsburgish look.

Idea Three: Do that mending. I know, it’s been piled in your room for a long time, and you’ve been procrastinating. After all, you have time for social media, but there is never any time for sewing up clothes. Why is it that we tend to procrastinate on things that would take so little time if we just did them? Well, if you’re me, who doesn’t have a lot of patience for sewing, that would explain a lot of things. I feel quite housewifely and vintage when I do pull out a needle and thread. I should probably do it more often.

Idea Four: Reorganize your books. I’ve seen the idea to organize books by their colors, and quite frankly, it’s not an idea I was really sold on. I like to have mine organized more by size and author and subject. But, I had time, so I’m giving the color method a try. It does look nice, I have to admit. Does anybody else seem to have the problem of not enough bookshelf? I suppose the problem could also be too many books, but how is that possible?

Idea Five: Freak out. There are so many things to freak out about! When will I be able to go back to work? Am I getting sick? Am I not getting sick? What is my purpose? I typically like time off, so why do I feel so empty? When will this stop? Yeah, freaking out is probably something I should try NOT to do. It’s not beneficial. Idea Five Revised: Trust God. But it’s so hard!! Trust God. Trust God. Trust God. Trust God….

Idea Six: Actually read the Bible. There is such a limitless amount of growing we can do in God’s Word. And I desperately need truth. Right is seen as wrong, and wrong is seen as right too often in today’s world. How are we supposed to stand for truth when we don’t know truth? Besides, perhaps in reading the Bible, some of this anxiety will go away.

And remember! Quarantine will not last forever. Let’s use it well.

Quarantine Thoughts

It’s snowing dancing snowflakes, millions and millions of them, and I’m not going anywhere today. The lights are shining on our baby Christmas tree. I have coffee and blankets and lots to keep me busy. It’s a good day to be stuck in quarantine. This is what we dream of- a day off in a warm house as winter settles in outside. Can I pause and see the beauty? Embrace the opportunity? If course the circumstances aren’t ideal, but are they ever really?

Snow on Main Street

My sister tested positive for Covid, but she’s feeling better, and I’m not sick yet. Of course I’m dreading getting sick, but to worry about it isn’t going to help me or anybody else. Can I just rest today? There have been several really stressful days recently trying to deal with life as it is right now, and I desperately need some real rest in Jesus.

The LORD also will roar from Zion, And utter His voice from Jerusalem; The heavens and earth will shake; But the LORD will be a shelter for His people, And the strength of the children of Israel. -Joel 3:16 NKJV

These days, it seems like the earth is being shaken. We are in month nine of the pandemic, and it feels like fear and confusion is what has been birthed, along with plenty of frustration. We are tired of all the drama. Let’s not even talk about the election… And in our personal lives, unexpected and stressful things happen.

There is still truth, though, if we are willing to accept it. This verse holds an important fact: In Jesus, we are sheltered. Not sheltered as in nothing bad will happen to us, but sheltered as a child held in their daddy’s arms is sheltered, though bad things are happening all around. I am sheltered today, in this cozy house, and in the strength of Jesus.

#coziness

If I had to work today, I’d be stressed about the weather, because I don’t have snow tires on my car yet. But my car can stay in the parking lot all day, and it’s one less thing to worry about at the moment. It can snow all it wants to today, which is exactly what it looks like it’s going to do. And I can breathe. I need to breathe. It’s my normal to be stressed. So can I please have a little abnormality and just let it all go today?

Maybe God knew I needed recharging time, a break from the busyness. I’ve been really busy the past several months, and it’s been wearing me down. This is a forced vacation. Maybe it’ll help me to reestablish some much needed perspective on life. “It is what it is,” as a friend of mine would say. There is unfortunately nothing we can do to make the present reality go away, so we’ll have to come to some level of acceptance with it. Perhaps it can be a time of making positive memories- and there’s even the possibility it could be a time of great productivity.

I tried to convince my sister that we should start a Youtube channel. We even came up with a name for it: Commonsensical. However, she would like to preserve her reputation, and as usual, she finds the idea to be rather unrealistic. It might be realistic if we had WiFi in the apartment, but we don’t. So, I suppose I shall try to defer to the voice of reason. I have a blog already; how would I maintain a Youtube channel anyway?

There are other ways to be productive, and the homemaker within me will find things that need to be done. When you live in and care for a home, even if it is only an apartment, there are all manner of things to do. My creativity will also have a chance to prove itself, in the departments of cookery, scrapbooking, and writing. Maybe I’ll read more. And I can bake all the sourdough bread I like. The only problem is that someone will need to eat all that bread, and I’m pretty sure the neighbors wouldn’t appreciate loaves that have come from a covid-infected house. So perhaps I should rein in my Breadmaking obsession a little bit and do some sewing instead. Ugh. Or maybe I’ll just keep procrastinating on the sewing.

So Much Sourdough

I think the hardest part of this quarantine will be in missing people. I don’t need many people, but the ones I need, I hold pretty close. My child I babysit, for instance. Nannies and babysitters can become very attached. It’s not just a job; it’s a commitment to loving and helping to raise the child or children. And my church family- I will miss them. This spring when we weren’t having actual church services, that was one of the hardest things for me about the new requirements. I need church, and I think that’s supposed to be the way it is.

But… today is beautiful, and God is good. At work lately, the little one has been loving three songs, two of which happen to be “Goodness of God” and Jamie Grace’s “Beautiful Day.” Both of them carry messages I need to hold on to in this time. Listen to them if you have a moment today; it’ll be good for your heart.

Obsessed with Homemaking?!

Are there any single ladies who are a little obsessed with homemaking? Are there really unmarried women who follow wearethehomemakers, rememberingtheoldways, and thehomemakingmomma on Instagram? Yes, I’m guilty as charged. Not that it’s a bad thing to do, but it might be a tad peculiar.

There’s something about having a space that you, as a woman, can be the preserver of. The Bible tells wives in the book of Titus to be “keepers at home.” What does that actually mean? Just a quick search online and I find that this phrase is the Greek word oikourgous, which, according to Strong’s Concordance, means “working at home.” The home is our domain. It’s written on our hearts, ladies. As a single woman, I long for this kind of life. I know, we live in a career-driven age, and it’s not exactly popular to want this thing that’s been written on our hearts. But, if you, like me, have a dream of a cottage with a garden and a husband and babies, I understand. It’s an old-fashioned dream, and that’s just fine.

I may be a little obsessed with homemaking; I’m also a little obsessed with Breadmaking. The smell of yeast, though, isn’t it synonomous with traditional housewives? I love rubbing the top of still hot bread with butter and wrapping it up in a towel to keep it soft. It’s a little bit like putting a baby to bed. Then there are things like biscuits with flaky layers made from scratch and sour cream muffins toasty brown and warm from the oven. Don’t they just delight your soul? If you’ve never made an apple pie from start to finish, beginning with picking up the apples from under the apple tree and ending with pulling the pie from the oven, you have missed out on such a satisfying feeling. Preparing food, it’s a basic skill of life, and we still need hands willing to make the food.

Did you know that cleaning can actually be relaxing? Please don’t misunderstand me; I am not volunteering to come clean your house. I used to clean houses, and it can be such tiring, hard work. But when it is your own home you are cleaning, it feels so rewarding. Also, as a nanny, I used to have about a two hour time span each afternoon while the little one slept, in which I would often clean and cook. I find, as she no longer naps every day, that I miss those times of cleaning. It was a break for my mind to have simple, routine things to do that required little mental energy. If you’re a mom, or you care for children, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. Sometimes, our brains just need a rest, too.

Cooking, cleaning, babies. I held a new baby today. He’s only six days old. I know we’re living in a time where the debate rages hot about abortion. Let me just say this: abortion is enabling women to kill the very dearest dreams of other women. Some of us long for a baby to hold, to feed, to love, to protect. It’s an amazing fact that our bodies, as women, were designed to produce life. It’s a gift we have; let’s not destroy that gift. We get to be the ones to have babies! We get to nourish them and help them grow, kiss their little heads and tell them we love them, and watch them become adults with dreams of their own.

Excuse the poor artwork here- I’m a writer, not an artist, but hopefully you can see the message I’m trying to convey with the picture.

I’m glad God made me a woman, even with all the unfulfilled longings that come with that right now- that deep desire to have a home and family of my own. And even with the crazy emotions and the kind of mind and heart that will continue to be mystifying to the men until the end of the world!

Unapologetically Old-fashioned

I’m old-fashioned. It doesn’t take much skill to discern that fact. I used to want to teach in a one-room schoolhouse, and there was also my desire to live without electricity. Among my possessions, I still have the very worn-out sunbonnet I had as a child. Well, time machines aren’t real, and I never did get to teach school in a one-room schoolhouse back in the days of Laura Ingalls. The privilege of living without electricity was also not to be mine- a fact for which I am now grateful. It sounds idyllic and fun in theory, but in reality, I like being able to switch a light on if I wake up before dawn. I am very fond of running water and indoor plumbing as well. Yet, even though as an adult I can see the impracticality of trying to live behind the times, I have not lost my love of things old-fashioned.

“All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.” -J.R.R. Tolkien

I was listening to a podcast recently, and one of the hosts only seldom reads books written by authors that are currently alive. It may sound silly to many people, but I also find that many times, the books that are best are the old ones. As the world becomes more and more modern, our language has grown less sophisticated and beautiful. Kids say, “Whatev. Legit. IDK.” Without Autocorrect, many people wouldn’t even be able to spell half decently. I like books that use big words and complicated sentences- meaty books that stretch your mind rather than the ones that are written for today’s adults on a fifth grade reading level. I’m talking about great authors like Jane Austen, Louisa May Alcott, Charles Dickens, Harold Bell Wright, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Lloyd C. Douglas. I am beginning to feel that there are many other old books I should read also, classics that I have not exposed myself to. The possibilities are vast. I appreciate old books, as in, books that have been well-loved, the kind where the covers are worn and the pages are noticeably aged. They have a beauty different from the beauty of a fresh, crisp book from Barnes and Noble. Believe me, I do like new books, but old books can be appreciated in a way that new books cannot. 

My taste in clothes is often decidedly vintage. My wardrobe is rather haphazard at the moment, and it most certainly is not one of those ideal situations where each item is purposefully chosen. Maybe someday… If I could construct a wardrobe heedless of practicality and cost, there would be linen and adorable retro style dresses for starters. Some lace certainly would be a must, not overdone, you understand, but a touch here and there. I find it unfortunate that crinolines ever went out of fashion. No, they probably weren’t very practical, but I think they were charming, very feminine and beautiful. My sister and I did an impromptu photo shoot recently, and I went armed with a shawl, a hat, a book, and high-heeled boots. She thought I was a little weird. Well, maybe more than just a little weird. I will admit my tastes are rather odd in this comfort-crazed day in fashion, but that’s okay. 

Modern art is not for me. I like the picturesque, other era paintings, like “Young Girl Reading,” done by Jean-Honore Fragonard. Those pictures that depict a woman in the garden picking flowers or a woman with her baby in times long gone are the kind of pictures that are likely to capture my attention. “Breakfast in Bed,” by Mary Cassatt, is adorable. There is something about the simple beauty of women in a time when the woman was primarily a wife and mother that is synonymous with my beliefs and values.

In the movie world, I also tend to gravitate toward those stories that tell of life in England or America long ago. The 2009 BBC version of “Emma,” with Jonny Lee Miller and Romola Garai is so good. I watched and rewatched and rewatched that movie. “Pride and Prejudice” starring Colin Firth is epic. “Little Women,” PBS 2017, is so well done. If you’ve read previous blog posts of mine, you’ll also know that I am a fan of Middle Earth and the Peter Jackson LOTR movies. I suppose those don’t really fit in the genre of the other movies I mentioned, but still, it tells of a different time in a non-modern world. Yes, I admit I sometimes get the urge to watch a lame Hallmark movie, with a predictable plot line, but I do not consider those to be masterpieces by any stretch of the imagination. Except (there’s always an exception) “The Bridge,” based on the book by Karen Kingsbury. I didn’t really like the book much after watching the movie; it was one of those instances where the movie is actually way better than the book. That is a modern-day movie, which I really loved. It had me all inspired to start a bookstore! But then again, consider- a movie that focuses on a bookstore plus romance- how could I not love it? 

Does anyone else love sealing wax? I do. Or letters? There’s nothing else quite like a hand-written letter. Text messages just don’t compare. For centuries, news was exchanged using the simple method of writing words on real paper and sending the missile off to be delivered to the party concerned. Why, oh why, was it not sufficient? Why do humans forever have to be “improving” on the old tried and true methods? What could be more romantic than love letters, with perhaps a rose pressed between the pages. Okay, now I’m dreaming… Honestly though, would you rather receive a text saying, “Wud u go out with me Fri night?” or a letter addressed to Miss _____, asking if it would be agreeable to the young lady to accept an invitation to dinner? Tastes may differ, but I know which sounds more romantic. It’s not the text message. 

Let’s not rush throwing away those old books, those old styles, even those old ideas. New is not always better. Sometimes, in our haste to run from the old, we throw away valuable, timeless wisdom and peace. Take, for instance, the matter of faith. Faith in Jesus Christ is a belief that has been around for 2000 years, and long before that, there was the expectation of the Messiah, the belief that He would come. Yes, to some people, faith sounds outdated. But tell me, has our world grown kinder and more at peace in this age of science and godlessness? Much has been lost in rejecting faith. Before you scoff at and throw away the old things, consider what will be lost when they are gone. 

You don’t need to be a lover of old books or vintage clothes. That kind of life isn’t for everyone. But do yourself a favor. Don’t run to the newest ideas and the latest in technology, the most modern house on the street and the most recent fad in apparel. Search for the beauty that is to be found in that which has aged well, in the things which have “stood the test of time.”

Autumn Anticipation

I get really excited about autumn. It’s my favorite season, without a question, and it never lasts long enough. I sipped my first pumpkin spice latte of this fall mid-August, while browsing in a local furniture and decor store. They are already displaying their autumnal merchandise, and it inspired me to come home and get out my fall decor. My roommates think it’s a little early, but they are tolerating my mood. I believe there’s a subtle difference between tolerating something and embracing something, but that’s okay.  

Call me crazy, impatient, or just a little overly enthusiastic, but fall makes me happy. There’s a video on Youtube that I feel a kinship with. The lady is so exuberant in her love of and anticipation for fall; she’s a true kindred spirit (let’s overlook the fact that she’s only an actress). It’s the little things in life that delight people like us. And our delight in those little things is slightly more, um, shall we say: obvious, than it is in the average person. That’s okay with us. We’re okay with being a little eccentric and odd- well, part of the time.

If you need some fall reading to go with your next Pumpkin Spice Latte, check out “When the Frost is on the Punkin” by James Whitcomb Riley. I love this poem and actually memorized it once upon a time. It has such an irresistible rhythm, and besides, it really captures the best of the season.  You can read it online at https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/44956/when-the-frost-is-on-the-punkin

I bought an adorable pair of light brown boots at the mall this summer. They have heels, which make boots so much more feminine, stylish, sophisticated. They were on clearance for seven dollars! One of those finds that is unexpected and blissfully fun. Even so, I was quite indecisive as to whether or not to buy them. I decided yes, and I’m so glad I did. It was a great thing to spend some tip money on. Those boots- my brown dresses- fuzzy sweaters and scarves… autumn colors are my happy. They are warm and cozy colors, reminiscent of the autumn that we as humans long for, but so often are deprived of, in this fast-paced, modern, urban world. 

There was a time when pumpkins grew in backyard gardens, rather than being mass produced for shopping centers. Fall foliage was a natural part of life, instead of being a weekend sightseeing trip. When was the last time you walked among the goldenrod and asters; how long has it been since you experienced the satisfaction of picking up buckets of apples? 

Harvest is the gift given to us at the end of summer. For while we can help in the work of harvest, we cannot produce it. Only God can do that. Nevertheless, our souls are fed by being a part of the transformation from seed to fruit. I do realize that we can’t all experience harvest, and thus, autumn, as it was meant to be experienced. I have no garden this year. My home happens to be an apartment, and my yard is basically a parking lot. The same is true for multitudes of people in the world. But even when our circumstances don’t allow for an ideal picture of fall, let us not forget what it really is. Harvest= a gift, a provision, needs met. In the spring, hope is sown. In the autumn, that hope is fulfilled. And we are thankful. 

It’s going to be easy for me to become overwhelmed during these next several months. My schedule has been busy, and I am the kind of person that gets overwhelmed far too easily. Will I make a conscious choice to savor the sights, sounds, and smells of autumn? Will I enjoy the tastiness of Pumpkin Spice Time? May I not be too distracted to fully delight in this most beautiful time of the year! 

To Do List for Fall 2020 

  1. Order pumpkin spice lattes from the nearby coffee shops. 
  2. Be intentionally grateful. 
  3. Go somewhere I’ve never been to see fall foliage.
  4. Listen to fall folk music.
  5. Visit an actual pumpkin farm. 
  6. Scrapbook a “Favorites” page for fall.
  7. Write a fall-themed piece of poetry. 
  8. Bake a pumpkin pie (or several!).
  9. Read something new.
  10. Remember to embrace the moments.