DEVOTIONAL stories from the heart
by Erin L.I picked the October newsletter because that is my month. The month that begins all my favorite things. I am a sucker for any and all things fall. I’ve never been a summer girl. I hate to sweat and I am way too pale to pull off shorts and tanks, unless I am wearing tanner....tanner that will rub off on anyone that accidentally rubs up against me because of the 95+ degree KC heat. I endure the summer months because I know right around the corner there will be crisp mornings and the most beautiful hues of dark reds and deep oranges decorating the tree lined streets of Johnson County. As I sat down to write all about my love for this season and encourage each of you to find your love for fall and embrace all its goodness, my favorite writer and blogger posted her Comforts of Fall. Kelle Hampton has a beautiful story of her journey to motherhood and mothering a child with Down Syndrome. I have been following her story for seven years and every time she writes it’s eloquent, authentic and inspiring. I decided to share her post. It will make you want to run through the seasonal aisles of Target, grabbing all the faux pumpkins and cinnamon candles that can fit in your cart. So, light a candle, warm up your coffee and enjoy her fall inspired words.
The Comforts of Fall
by Kelle Hampton
I take comfort in our inward huddle this time of year, maybe because we’re so tired come October, but even so, I like it. I take comfort in the way we craft a little more, bake a little more, curl up on the couch a little more for watching movies or reading books to kids in jammies who are splayed over our laps like lazy cats. I take comfort in the nesting genes that arouse the last three months when I mother bird the living heck out of our place to make it as cozy as cozy can be–stringing twinkle lights, fluffing pillows, stirring chili, tucking bed sheets picked out special for this very time of year. I take comfort in planning all the festivities saved for the calendar’s grand finale–the costumes, the parties, the family dinners, the traditions that remind me what a gift this period of time in my family’s life is and to be grateful for all the hidden treasures. I take comfort in making lists that I’ll likely forget to ever look at again, but the making of the lists in itself feels satisfying. I take comfort in the sensory explosion–the scent of cinnamon and apple in the kitchen, the crackling of our first fire when that long awaited cold front finally makes its way, the box of leaves from Michigan that will arrive in a few weeks and make me cry with the good kind of homesickness. I take comfort in grounding routines and schedules that sometimes overwhelm me but remind me that the best things in life come with effort and discipline and, yes, sometimes tears. I take comfort in the adjustments that follow the tears–saying no when my cup’s too full, saying yes to self preservation. I take comfort in silly things that might not matter in the grand scheme of things but matter to me when I want to feel good–things like the perfect fall print in a skirt that swishes or chic boots that make me feel so put together, I even remember not to slouch. I take comfort in friend dates and family movie nights and the joy of being able to call both my parents and hear them answer on the second ring. I take comfort in putting check marks on our fall bucket list and feeling like completing “Host a Soup Spectacular” and “Watch Harry Potter with Homemade Butterbeer” is as important and productive as “Write Another Book” or “Respond to Every Unanswered E-mail.” And I take comfort in knowing that at the end of the day during this busy time of year, what didn’t get done is okay, and what did get done is good enough.
Talks I’ve had with my kids have been when it’s just one of them and me in the car. I start asking questions and the conversation goes somewhere beautiful or important, and we never would have gotten there another way. Same thing with Chip and me. The car is often where we connect, process, and to get up to speed. Or we roll down the windows and let the music play, and that’s just as good! LAUNDRY: This is and always will be a hard one for me. It seems as though I am washing enough clothing for a small nation. And yet in the mounds is a clear blessing. The fact that we even have such an abundance is enough to stop any griping. Beyond that, there is something about the smell of fresh laundry, the hum of the washing machine, and the warmth of linens straight from the dryer. These are small things, but the daily recognition makes them less small. They become a way of seeing the world, a way of acknowledging all of life with thanks and eyes to see the good. It’s always there. It just sometimes gets a bit buried under the filthy baseball uniforms.
I bet you have your own list of little daily grievances. Instead, maybe find the blessing hidden in the chore. Or try looking at a current trial with fresh eyes. Sometimes a change of perspective is all it takes to let gratitude run free in every area of our lives. Once that happens, nothing ever looks the same again: Everything starts looking like a thankyou.