Gratitude Day 146 – What I Learned in October

Wed., Oct. 31, 2018

Ecclesiastes 3:1 – Everything on earth has its own time and its own season.

It is so easy to blow through life, not reflecting below a surface level of what is really happening in life. At the end of September, I shared a few lessons I learned (or re-learned) during September, which you can read here.

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As October winds down, I pause and reflect upon another season changing: a season outside my window as well as within my life. Here’s what I’ve discovered this past month.

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  • Get to know your extended family. I have never lived very close to my cousins, aunts or uncles. I didn’t grow up with those huge extended family gatherings for every holiday. For a few years, one family lived about two hours from our farm. This was the closest we ever had extended family live near my immediate family, other than when my Grandmothers lived in the same town as my parents at the end of their lives. Shortly after college, I lived near an aunt and uncle for several months, which was also a great blessing. The moral of the story? I have only known my cousins at arms-length my entire life. In October, Hubby Rick and I hosted several cousins and some of our family to a weekend at our house. IT. WAS. GREAT. So often, we speak of doing something like this … but it often doesn’t happen. We had very little planned for the weekend, but everyone had a great time. I wished we would have done something like this years ago. Yet, I am optimistic it won’t be another 15 years before we try to hang out together again. It’s true: we don’t get to choose our family. What we do choose is how we interact with our family. Thanks, Sowers cousins, for making our get-together my highlight of October.

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  • There is nothing like a deadline to get things done. In preparation for our cousin’s weekend, Rick and I were dedicated to getting some projects at our house closer to completion. There is nothing like a deadline to spur some action! We are in the process of creating a master suite in the upstairs of our house. Rick built a walk-in closet and we reconfigured the master suite to now include a hallway. Once the wood floors are refinished (sometime in November) and we configure storage in the walk-in closet, these rooms will be completed! Winter projects will be completing ghe master bathroom and a washer and dryer closet upstairs. With family help, a new washer and dryer are now upstairs, closer to the closet. The downstairs bedroom has been “sorting central” for months, as I have worked my way through about 30 boxes and totes of things from my Mom and family. I had boxes and totes waiting for family members to go through during our cousin’s weekend … and lots left our house!

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Sometimes, I am my mother’s daughter. Before a confirmation or graduation celebration, my Mom would often embark on a “big” house project. I tend to follow this pattern. With Rick’s help, we got the projects as far along as we could before family arrived. Even though the projects are mid-stream, it feels good to have chunks completed. P.S. – I promise to show pictures once the floors are completed. If you are sick of hearing about our remodeling projects, sorry … it’s the “season” we are in.

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  • A $2.21 purchase. In the last months, I have rid our house of so much: donated loads to charity, filled the garbage can regularly and sent and given boxes of trinkets, treasures and photos to family. As I currently sort through my own “treasures,” I carefully choose what to keep and what to get rid of. I have sworn off bringing more into the house. Yet, I yearn for something fun to add to my fall wardrobe. With cooler weather, my standard “uniform” is a long-sleeved shirt underneath some type of sweater anchored by jeans and comfortable shoes. My closet is shrouded with tons of grey, black and neutral colors. Years ago, I wore a brighter colored outfit to church one Sunday. A lovely lady named Mary said to me, “It’s about time you wear something other than neutral colors.”

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Neutrals are my go-to colors. Is it any surprise my house is filled with various shades of gray, black and white?

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Rick insists nothing can come into this house unless something leaves, which I am trying faithfully to follow, including my wardrobe. I’ve resigned to recycle what I have for another “season.” Except my this $2.21 find.

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One day, I found this $5 necklace. I decided it was a steal. What I didn’t notice is that it was 60% off, which became $2.21, tax included. While a few new actual clothing pieces would be fun, this necklace is my new fall transition piece. The lesson? Sometimes little things do make a difference; especially when they cost $2.21.

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As you dump candy into a bowl or wait for the doorbell to announce a trick-or-treater tonight, pause and think of a lesson you’ve discovered this October. For everything, there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. What have you discovered or re-learned in this last season?

For the opportunity to learn daily, I am thankful.

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Holy God – thanks for never looking at us and thinking, “This person is too old to learn.” Guided by your Spirit, may we find opportunities to discover new seasons in our lives regularly. Amen.

Blessings –

Dianne

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