Pumpkin Spice Lattes & Prayers

It’s September, and in my world that means that fall weather is on its way and teachers, students and families are beginning to settle into new school year routines. I’ve woken up each morning this week in the foggy dawn to go to work as the sun rises. The school buses make their appearance on my block as I leave home, engines grinding through the narrow neighborhood streets, gathering up and spilling out their gaggles of children like a mother hen.

Parents keep themselves busy picking up and dropping off kids from sports, theater, dance, piano, violin – activities to the max. My piano students are weighed down under their new school schedules. I see them in the afternoons and evenings and try to keep them sane. My husband and I eat frozen pizza or leftovers for dinner, thankful for quick meals and a few minutes of rest.

The sun sets a little earlier than it did a month ago when we could stay up late and go for walks at dusk, not having to worry about setting a morning alarm. Now we go to bed early to get as much sleep as we can. It’s always an adjustment getting back into the school year but I’ve found that there are lots of little things that make the transition smoother, like pumpkin spice lattes for instance.

coffee

This summer was the most free I have felt in years! Just a few hours of work a day, lots of traveling, seeing friends and family, along with almost weekly events to look forward to kept me refreshed and cheery. What an enormous blessing! I wish everyone had the opportunity to experience summer the way I did this year. Of course, all good things must come to an end. By the end of the summer, I was ready to get out of my house and out of my own head and start being productive again. I’m thankful that the jobs Eric and I have allow us to enjoy a laid-back couple of months each year. Teaching is such a blessing in many ways, but summer is probably my favorite perk right now.

We have lots of good things to look forward to this year. A move is in the works, hopefully to a house of our own. Thinking about this keeps me entertained for days. I couldn’t be more excited to finally have the household conveniences I’ve gone without for so long! I am fully aware that this is a first world problem, but there’s no shame in anticipating the improvements to come, right? A bathtub. Our own laundry room. An oven. A dishwasher. A closet, for heaven’s sake. All these things we’ve gone without for almost two years. I know a lot of people don’t have these things and some even opt for pared down apartments like this, and there’s certainly something to be said for minimalist living. Less appliances, smaller spaces, less to worry about I suppose. Simplicity appeals to me, but so does taking a relaxing soak in the tub.

All this to say, we are eagerly awaiting the day we get to begin house shopping! Many of our friends have begun having babies, but we are perfectly content to be saving up for a cute little bungalow.

bungalow
What I dream about…

Despite having lots of dreams for the future, one of my goals this year is to be more settled. In the process of change and growth (whether personal or professional), it’s easy to lose yourself and your connection to the holy.

When I got married I thought that “settling in” would be a natural process. I’m talking about the kind of settling in that brings peace, knowledge of self, understanding and acceptance of others, and a general sense of contentment. It seemed like that was something the married people I looked up to possessed, and I wanted it.

But I found out that exchanging vows doesn’t magically change how you look at life. It takes effort to be the person you want to be, not just a ring and a new name – although having a supportive, caring husband has been incredibly life giving. I want to close with a prayer from a book I’ve been reading through daily by Stormie Omartian, “Prayers for Emotional Wholeness.” This year I’m learning to look to God for the guidance I need to live a more whole, loving, settled kind of life, and this little prayer book on my desk has been the perfect companion along the way.

In the midst of change and growth, may you take time to see the good in every situation and cultivate your life in love.

September 6

Lord, fill me with Your love so that it overflows from me to others. Help me to not become cynical and lose my joy. Help me to not be a complainer but instead to see Your good in every situation. Teach me how to love the way You do. Nothing I accomplish on earth will have any lasting value unless I walk with love in my heart for You, Lord, and for others.

“Though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing,”

-1 Corinthians 13:2

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