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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

What I learned this fall

The model volcano is finally as done as it's gonna be. The kids are in bed and I finally have a few moments to share what I've been learning lately...

What I learned this fall is you can't control the seasons. I know that this probably seems obvious. But it has been a struggle for me.

I was writing to someone who I hoped could take a look at my writing and told them that November is my most productive month of the year and I hoped I'd have something substantial to show her by the end of the month.

Yeah, so I have spent basically zero time doing any substantial writing. I guess I hadn't taken into account how emotionally exhausting Grayson's surgery would be for me. I guess I hadn't taken into account how time-consuming homeschooling has been. So I'm looking at this season as a big chunk of basically non-productive time.

So here I sit, looking back at this season, feeling a bit disappointed but as I sit with it I am slowly learning this - you can't control the season you are in. I can't make this season be what it's not. It has been all kinds of intake but it has been not a lot of output. I guess I'm just going to have to be okay with that at this particular moment. I want my literal harvest season to be my spiritual harvest season but it doesn't always work like that. Sometimes things need to just sit a bit longer. Sometimes you have to be patient a bit more. I feel like this is the lesson I come around to again and again and again. I just have to be faithful in the space I am in and trust God to move me on when it is His time.

Other things I have learned this fall - Facebook Live is kinda' harder than I thought it would be. I did my first virtual Bible study meeting on my Facebook page this month and it was exhausting. I basically sat on my couch and did nothing the rest of the day. I am learning a lot through this study - mostly about myself. If you would like to join our study we are just a tiny little group of women, mostly moms, taking a few moments to sit with God and the stories in the Bible. At our last meeting we talked about Hannah who grew brave in her asking. This Thursday we'll be talking about Hagar who was brave in her wilderness. (Click here to download Week 2 homework).

I also fell in love all over again with doing photography sessions. You can see some of my latest work over on my photography page. It has been a real joy to get to go do these sessions. I had forgotten how much I really love photography so it has been nice to remember that.

A photo posted by faith raider (@faithraider) on

I love doing these "Read - Watch - Listen" re-caps and have been looking forward to sharing this one all week.

I was blessed with a copy of It's Not Fair by Melanie Dale. The subtitle of this book is totally awesome "Learning to Love the Life You Didn't Choose" and this is exactly what the book is about. It's about when life takes a left turn (and it feels like the road heads off a cliff) what now? The book is like getting coffee with your funniest friend. I was laughing and crying by the end of the first chapter. It's not a lot of heavy lifting theologically but sometimes you don't need a pastor or a therapist when it all hits the fan - what you need is a girlfriend. She co-habitates the dark spaces of grief and disappointment with tons of grace and humor. Not everyone is going to love it, but I did. I really really loved it.

I started reading a few other things which I'll be sure to write about soon(ish).  I finished a fantasy novel a friend gave to me and re-discovered that I actually do have more time to read, hidden in the little corners of my life, than I had given myself credit for so I'm hoping that in December my "books I've read" list will be longer.

This has been a month of watching. We watched Nerve at the beginning of the month and it was so good. Daniel had seen this with my oldest girls and they were excited to see it again with me. The ending is just so redeeming.  As soon as we got home from the hospital after Grayson's surgery I got a massive cold and ended up in bed all day one Sunday. That day I watched the entire first season of The Crown on Netflix. It is so beautifully produced. The plot seemed to move really slowly and some of the episodes lacked drama, but in a culture that tends towards over-dramatization I think a series like this is a good one. I heard that there is another season coming out and I will definitely be interested in watching that. Also on Netflix I watched Mission Blue. You can watch the trailer on YouTube here. It is a beautiful, eye-opening documentary on oceanographer Sylvia Earle. On the theme of life in the ocean, we also watched Finding Dory this month. I didn't have high hopes but was pleasantly surprised. I've also been watching the Netflix series Chef's Table. My favorite episode so far has been episode 2 with Dan Barber. I watched the Netflix movie Tallulah. It is rated TV-MA and has a mature scene at the beginning and had some salty language but it all felt very appropriate for the circumstances they were in and at the end of the movie I was glad I'd watched it. It was so emotional. We also watched Sing Street. You've got to watch the trailer  on YouTube. I thought it was a family film but it really isn't. It's rated PG-13 and totally deserves that rating. Over Thanksgiving break we watched Into The Woods - we watched it twice and you will find most of the females in the family singing the songs from it at random times. I wasn't sure my kids would go for a musical - they totally did and I have a feeling that someone will find this movie under the proverbial Christmas tree this year. This weekend my oldest and I went out to see Arrival and it is absolutely the best movie I have seen all year. It was everything I hoped it would be, plus a little. I was worried it would be too scary but it wasn't. It was weird, but it was beautiful. And Amy Adams was amazing.

I'm attempting to get into the Christmas spirit, especially in the music department. I've been listening to Thrill of Hope by Christy Nockles. You can listen to it on YouTube here. I have loved everything from Christy Nockles - from Watermark to Passion but I think this may be the most beautiful album from her. Maybe ever. I've also been listening to the new Pentatonix Christmas album. Honestly, I think I liked their older one better, but it is still a really good mix.

What are you reading/watching/listening to these days? I want to know!

I'm linking up with Emily Freeman as we share what we learned.

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1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed reading what you learned and checking out some of your lovely photography. My family and I really enjoy photography, too. I appreciate your reminder about accepting and trusting God in the season we're in. I also found your read, watch, listen information helpful, as it's difficult to sort out and find good entertainment material. (Joining you from Emily's link-up today). :)