Tuesday Victories | 9.26

September has been quite the month! It’s been filled with games and traveling and conversations and needed moments of rest here and there. I’m so thankful for every moment, and here’s a collection of victories from the past several weeks for this Tuesday. 

donuts

1. Longs Donuts: Matt and I live five minutes from one of the best donut places. It’s a small, unassuming cash-only bakery with amazing pastries that are super cheap. We hadn’t been in awhile, and decided to a few weekends ago before a soccer game and it was so. good. Donuts? Fall? Done.

2. Free of Me by Sharon Hodde Miller– I’ve mentioned Sharon on here before because her writing has been such an encouragement and challenge to my faith, and her first book is releasing on October 3! I preordered it a few months ago and downloaded the pre-order gifts last week, which included the introduction and first chapter of the book. I read them yesterday on the bus to an away game and oh friends, it’s going to be a good one. Miller focuses on how everything in our lives is better when we stop constantly looking at ourselves and instead on Christ, the way we’re called to live in the first place. I cannot wait to read the rest of the book in just one week! If you want to preorder the book, go here and then receive your pre-order gifts here.

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3. Honey crisp apples- I love fall. Every stereotypical part of it. And I’ve had a honey crisp apple in my lunch every day for the past week and I look forward to it everyday. They were on sale at the grocery store, so Matt picked up a bunch and we’ve been savoring them!

4. This sermon– Steve DeWitt is the pastor of my home church in Crown Point and this sermon from this past weekend is fantastic. He talks about the history of the Reformation and why it’s so crazy dangerous to add anything to the Gospel. I’ve always been fascinated by the Reformation and this is a great overview of some important historical moments for the Protestant church.

5. The Lone Bellow- Matt and I went to Nashville over Labor Day weekend and stumbled upon a few free music festivals. The Lone Bellow was playing Saturday night at one of the festivals and it was the best. They put on such a great show! If you’re looking for some new music, check them out!

pumpkin

6. White pumpkins- now that it’s officially fall, I’m loving all things festive and these white pumpkins are my current favorite. I found some mini ones at Trader Joe’s for 70 cents, which was a steal compared to Target or Hobby Lobby (granted– they are real and will only last for this season). My wallet and home are happy now.

7. This download from Christianity Today- this is a special edition collection of articles about women and discipleship and church and I devoured it this past weekend. Such wisdom from women who have been there, studied it, and can write well about their experiences and findings. I highly recommend it!

Finding Good in the Cornfields

I absolutely love everything about fall. It’s always been my favorite; I love the low, overcast clouds and cool air and changing leaves. I love the refreshment fall brings after a long, hot summer filled with activity and movement and sun. It’s a time to settle down and be cozy, preparing to move from outside to inside for a season.

Because of the way my student teaching schedule worked, I had the past two weeks off. After a short summer and my first student teaching experience, these two weeks to enjoy my favorite month were celebrated and enjoyed. During this time, I reflected on the past autumns, especially the ones I’ve spent at Taylor. It hit me how this is my last fall here. Fall in Upland is one of my favorite things and knowing I won’t be able to experience it the same way after this year feels like I’m on the verge of losing something big.

I’ve been asked before if I like going to school in the middle of the cornfields and my answer is always yes. I’ve come to love every season here, but fall in the midst of cornfields has it’s own beauty that I cannot get tired of. It’s open here, there’s space to explore and to slow down and to build relationships with those we live with and those we learn from.

This place is built around community and creating relationships with those we share space with. And during this particular fall, I am reminded of how my relationships here carry more meaning and life and joy than I realized.

I’ve felt that the past few months I’ve spent in Upland living in the brick house with some of the best women I know has been idyllic, almost like a dream. We talk together and laugh together, sing together, cook together and run together. We come from different places and have different desires, but we aim to live well and authentically, seeking to glorify God on the way.

The community I’ve experienced with my housemates is safe and challenging, fun and peaceful and alive. In the midst of excitement from the change to come, my heart hurts while I think towards graduation, moving somewhere new, and leaving this space with these people.

It’s hard for me to imagine a community quite as good as what I’m experiencing right now.

I think back to how I got here, to this house with these four women. God provided. God provided so well in the best way possible. I’m happy here with these people. I’m learning from the way they live and the way they see the world. Living with them pushes me to love better, to laugh fully, and to think about myself less.

Sometimes it’s hard to be fully present in all the good. I sit on our porch or in our living room or at the table with my people and wish these moments wouldn’t end, that I wouldn’t have to stop living them after this year. I think about the longing I’ll experience for this community once we graduate and live in different corners of the world.

But thinking this way, thinking about future longings robs me of the ability to be present and soak up all the beautiful things happening right now. I don’t know where I’ll be after graduation, but I do know that God will provide me with a space to live and a community to share life with just as He has this year.

I don’t want to look towards my future with disdain and fear because of what I may or may not experience again. God is too good for that. He promises us His best, to think He won’t provide His best again in a different space with different people creates this limited box in our minds of His power and plans. We have to trust that Jesus will provide for us tomorrow just as He has today. We have to start waking up every morning in thankfulness and rhythmically be reminded of His love and grace and ability to provide for us in every moment.

Right now, as I sit on my porch and look up at the changing leaves and overcast skies, I’m thankful for where I’m at because I’m happy here. I’m safe here, I laugh here, and I love well here. I’m grateful for the women I live with and the amount of joy they’ve brought to my life. I’m thankful that the Lord has given me this year with these people to learn and to love and to live life together.

Give thanks for the people the Lord has given you and live well in that community, investing in your friendships and trusting that Jesus has tomorrow covered, that He promises you His best even when you think it may end.