As fall has closed and winter blows in (quite literally here), I consider What I Learned this past season.

Friendships need pursuing – they don’t just happen.

I know this, but the reality is playing out in my life in unique relationships and these past months I’ve seen it quite clearly.

No one is going to make me do what is necessary to fulfill my dreams.

Those ideas which become goals that you flesh out in plans and schedules and to dos – it’s on you to actually do them. No one is going to check in with you each day. Did you call that friend? read that book or do that study? write that chapter? clean that room? run that mile and do those stretches? hug your kids or kiss your spouse? Whatever it may be that will move you towards the fulfillment of your dream or call, you are the one to move yourself to take steps forward.

Maybe you are fortunate to have a someone or a couple someone’s ask you about it. But those people that will regularly, faithfully “hound” you about them, even after you get upset and tell them to back off – those people really may not exist. I don’t have them in my life. I have encouragers, but they do that encourage – not bug me to stop procrastinating and just get to the task at hand!

So what I learned – I need to add a few of these people into my life. How I am going to do so, and who they will be is still in the idea stage. Spending some serious time praying over these thoughts and jotting down ideas of what this type of group would look like and how we would act in real life.

Bullet journaling just may be the perfect solution to my planner quest.

Those who bullet journal, know there is nothing more to be said. If you are not familiar bullet journaling you can see a quick video here. I have found it to be a wonderful balance between journaling, planning. A balance I have craved without realizing it. I enjoy using it, and the flexibility of the system is wonderful for my ever changing needs and wants.

Don’t rush to fill the quiet moments.

Do what is needed, but when the quiet comes, let it be quiet!

As much as I value recognizing what I have learned over the last few months, I am looking forward to the Winter Season. Here are a couple of things I am most eager for.

Keeping the Christmas season simple

A deep desire is in my heart to know and acknowledge God’s Presence in our home this Christmas. I am doing a Jesse Tree reading of Unwrapping the Greatest Gift with my kids each day after school. Though we have only done it a few days so far, already wow! I am praying it will impact them as it already has me.

Advent

We never emphasized Advent growing up and today the church I attend does not celebrate it formally. I am however intrigued by the idea. Having done several different things over the last few years to mark off Advent days, I am giving it more consideration and study this year. I am enjoying learning about the traditions of Advent, am eager to bring some of those traditions into our home, and celebrating as we seek to have a calm and God-centered Christmas Season.

Here a couple of the links I found in my reading which were helpful:

Living on Purpose

That is, being intentional with my routines and moving thoughtfully through our days mindful of the ebb and flow of our time and energy. Simple things like following a morning and evening routine, “scheduling” my days at home with certain things to be done on certain days, blocking off time and keeping those commitments for family or friends. All these will play a part. I have begun simple things like lighting a candle or two as we move into the evening, working errands and such so we are home and together as it is dark outside, making time to chat with each of the kids, and sit and visit with my husband after dinner. Nothing major, just little things that I hope will add up to allowing us to feel more relaxed and fulfilled with the intentionality of our days.

Music

More and more I am appreciating the impact of music. I have found music to be one of the most effective influences on the atmosphere of our home. With online resources like Spotify and Pandora, combined with our favorite CD’s, Christmas music will be flowing in our house this year.

As you move from one season to the next, may you enjoy a few moments to reflect on where you have come and look forward to what lays before you.

What I Learned: Fall 2016
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