important nothings

An Inspired Season: Create + Reflect

Catching up on An Inspired Season this morning! Won’t you join us?

Tuesday’s prompt: Pick a verse for your season and create something based on it.

Well, let me just go ahead and tell you that Tuesday was a circus around here. I had big plans for this post. I’d found a printable from (in)courage and had printed it out, gathered art supplies, and planned to make a bookmark with that verse on it. The next few books on my list are non–Kindle editions*, so a bookmark would be a good reminder for me right now.

* Seriously, self? “Non–Kindle editions”? So they’re just normal, print books, the way they’ve existed since Gutenberg, and you feel the need to call them “non–Kindle editions.” Sigh.

See? Good intentions.

bookmarksupplies

However, my plans got a bit derailed when I found a chair on the side of the road—yes, in someone’s garbage, more on that later—and decided to rip off the fabric, strip the wood, stain it, and recover it, a project I started on Monday night and continued Tuesday morning . . .

. . . right about the time the air conditioner broke. Creepy that I *just* wrote about enjoying air conditioning and overlooking blessings on Monday.

While I wallowed in my sweat and misery and waited for the AC repairman, I realized the bookmark craft plans for the afternoon were probably not going to happen. I decided to choose joy instead and focus on what I did get done, which was to make good progress on the chair, even in the heat.

And when I looked over at it, the first thing I thought of was “Behold, I am making all things new.”

chairstep2

So how’s that for creating something from a verse for this season? wink.

springbuds

Today’s prompt: Take a look back at the past year. What are some highs and lows from this season? What were some surprises? What advice would you give yourself if starting this year / season anew? (Feel free to choose one, any, or all of these questions!)

I decided to focus on highs and lows, and I’m ecstatic to report that I thought of a million highs right away and had to search for lows! Crazy. Good crazy, but crazy.

Let’s get the lows out of the way, shall we?

Houses that didn’t work out. We started looking for a house around Thanksgiving and put in offers on three different houses between December and March. For various reasons, none of them worked out, and it was discouraging to go through that process numerous times. Even though you know it isn’t true, you start to feel like you’re NEVER going to find the right place (and the walls of your tiny apartment start to feel like they’re closing in on you . . . or maybe that’s just me). And while I kept telling myself not to fall in love with a place until it was ours, that was difficult to do.

Letting comparison creep in. I know I’m the eight millionth blogger to talk about the evils of comparison, but the truth remains that it is the thief of joy. I’m enjoying the season I’m in, but when I get caught up in other people’s seasons, I suddenly feel unsatisfied. I can think of a few times I’ve let that happen this season, and man, were they ugly times.

Not traveling internationally this summer. Oh, please. How are you even taking me seriously right now, gentle reader? Woe is me! We didn’t get to go to Europe! Ugh. I can’t stand myself for having written that. In short, it isn’t a good season for us to travel. We have a beautiful new house to decorate (and, you know, pay the mortgage on) and had two family trips this summer. Get over it, self. You sound ridiculous.

And on to the highs!

The house that DID work out. We love it! Home ownership was one of those “adult milestones” I felt like we were behind on, and even though we were doing what made the most financial sense and was setting us up to purchase something really great instead of settling for good enough, it was difficult, especially when people would say, “Wait, you’re renting?” with looks of horror. But now we’re here and it’s better than we imagined. Hooray!

Family time. We’ve had some really wonderful time with our families this season. I’m not sure why the last year or so has seemed even sweeter; we’ve always lived near our families and have spent time with them, so it’s not as though anything has really changed. Maybe my nieces and nephew are at particularly fun ages, or maybe the destination wedding with my husband’s extended family was just particularly fun, or maybe something else is at play here. In any case, we’ve had lots of fun family times recently.

Teaching part–time. That has been such a blessing. It was definitely the right move to make, and it not only gave me more time for my life outside of school, but it also helped me to love teaching again. I’m thankful that has worked out and has shaped my season in such a positive way.

I’d love to hear about your season, friend. Feel free to share a link or your thoughts on your season in the comments!

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