Well, not really an "Ode" - but I am so savoring this month already. I'm sitting in my bedroom, it's dreary outside, and the thermostat says it's 66 degrees in here (maybe that's why my fingers are cold, and how better to warm them than with some fresh decaf. mmmmm). Along with the smell of buttercup squash, the taste of chocolate covered macademia nuts, laundry in the dryer, slippers, and knowing that Trevor is similarly loving his day spent in fields of pheasant - well, as my bro would say, it's not a bad day.
So much not bad in fact, that I feel a little clouded in this state of comfort, and I need to try to articulate what I'm feeling, knowing that my thoughts are too embedded in my mind and heart to communicate fully. I think it started yesterday with a conversation about grace, spurred by the book "The Ragamuffin Gospel." In a word, I feel like this last week has been humbling in a lot of ways - I've realized anew how much I take for granted in everyday life, and at the same time I feel almost guilty for such a plethora of good "stuff" in my life. Anyways, all this was compounded by a good discussion at youth group this morning. The lesson began with a dialogue about the influence of generosity and ended with talks of the potential we all have to influence the world with our own acts of generosity. The morning was basically a firm reminder of how cared for we are in so many ways, and the responsibility that comes with such abundant provision. I will always remember something told to a missions team I was with in Guatemala - advice to not feel guilty about living in abundant provision, but to remember to use all blessings to bless others. It sounds trite, but I also fully realize that just by having our physical needs met doesn't mean we're necessarily more peaceful or content. As another tangent on this topic of influence, I recently listened to part of an interview of Gary Haugen (founder of International Justice Mission), and to hear of his efforts to end human trafikking is such an example of the power of one when looking to God for empowerment. So yeah, I sit here in complete comfort, and yet there is a discomfort in being this comfortable. And I believe that's a good thing, discomfort can lead to action and change.
These past few weeks have brought constant reminders of said blessings - I'm struck by how when I sit down to think of any remarkable events, what sticks out are the weekends. Probably not a remarkable reflection, but I don't want to only live for the weekends! But wonderful weekends they have been, including much anticipated "hunting trip" to Bismarck. For the record, it was teh 9th annual duck opener camping trip (I wasn't invited, but I heard it was great fun!). A special portion of this trip involved going through my "life in boxes" that were lovingly stored in my parents' basement. I felt joy to revisit memories through relics such as art projects, music boxes, dolls, journals, books, letters, certificates, and school papers. I'm always amazed at the meaning we so readily attach to material things, and I affirm the value in holding on to such sentimental objects. Bismarck is such a comforting place to be, and we are awed by all the love we come home to. Thanks to all who truly make Bismarck home!
Recent adventures in Mpls. have included the downtown farmer's market (huge and so character filled!), walks at Lone Lake park and Lake Calhoun, and vehicle misadventures and adventures. Of course, the pheasant hunting today is probably something to "write home about" but I guess I'll have to wait to hear from the guys on that one. Of course, just in case, there's chicken in the oven and apple cider in the fridge. Yes, fall is here. One question I have, is do people in warmer climates still drink hot apple cider and decorate with pumpkins? Our home is filled to overflowing with a variety of pumpkin manifestations from the "fall decorations" rubbermaid bin and such simple things make this season all the more enjoyable. Not a bad day.