Friday, August 30, 2013

Guest post from a lovely

I will not even pretend to be a "blogger" anymore :)  Clearly.  One of my dear friends had something she wanted to share and I am honored to share some of her wisdom.

She is the girl that I went on a walk with 2+ years ago and said, "Wouldn't it be awesome if God let us be pregnant at the same time?"  Well, her daughter Emma and our daughter Ruth are three days apart...pretty lovely.  And she was the one who on the day after her daughter was born (at home!!! She's nuts but amazing :)), said that she knew beyond the shadow of a doubt, we were having a girl-EVERYONE thought boy.

Alas, here she is:

Five simple ways to meaningfully enter into the fall

September is one of my favorite months. Though I grieve the end of summer sun, and mornings wearing little more than a t-shirt drinking coffee on my balcony, I welcome the magic that is fall.
The air changes. New winds blow in, bringing with them an ancient kind of wisdom: September through November are months to let go, and let fall what no longer serves us or brings us life.
September actually marks the start of the new year in the Hebrew calendar, and can't you feel it?
Since I was a kid, and the rhythm of the school year dominated my life, September has always felt like the proper new beginning of the year. Yes, the big date changes in January, but in many ways the winter only marks a half way point, because the new routine began back in fall.
It's been decades since I have ridden a school bus (or have been bought a new fall wardrobe), but seeing the excitement my son has for school to begin again triggers something in me.  
I think my heart still hungers for September to be what it once was to us: a time to start again. A time to let go of the old year and grow intentionally into the new. Do you feel it too?
With this in mind, here are five simple ways to meaningfully enter into a new season. Take advantage of the fact that this time right now, this last week of August,  is a "land between" lending itself to you as natural time to go within and reflect. 
Make time this evening to consider with pen in hand and journal before you what is working in your life right now and what is not working. The months ahead are there for you as a work space. With His help, gracefully you can shift habits and routines to shine more grace and peace or add more romance and adventure into your daily rounds.

Free screen savor September 2013
Right click to download. Created for you to use as your desktop background this month. Thank you for pinning to share with your friends!

1. Reflect on the posture of your heart

Posture sets the tone for everything else. The posture of your heart reveals what you are orbiting around. For a journal exercises think about what you are thinking about.  What topic/subject/issue gets the most air time in that beautiful brain of yours? Are you happy with the amount of energy being dedicated to that thing? Would you be happier if your focus was something else? Reflecting on the posture of our heart helps us to know what direction we need to shift, if shifting would be more life-giving to us than staying put. Take a look at the values your daily actions and decisions are aligning with. Do they align with your deepest beliefs and faith in what is highest and best? Or is the alignment off?
I have found in my own life that a heart posture that is open and surrendered and lifting towards God is one that brings me more fruit. When I am I closed off, and my back is turned on my faith, my world gets uber-small and suffocating. My actions and my words don't align with who I want to be. But when my posture is open and humble, I am always surprised by the joy that enters in. Circumstances of my day or week don't have to change and yet there is peace. Romance appears out of no where and obstacles shape-shift into adventures.

2. Quietly declare a personal purpose for the season

What woud give this season meaning and significance to you? Taking a look at the ways your life isn't working well, what specific thing would you like to see change? Set some goals. Or set a seasonal intention, something to keep you focused and inspired on using this time well.
Right now I am on the pursuit of discomfort. The season ahead of me is a pilgrimage of uncommon romance and adventure where I am exploring tough issues close to my body, heart and soul. Having declared that this season will be dedicated to this purpose helps me frame each day in a way that affirms the journey. It is a journey and there will be hard days, but declaring in advance that this time is set aside for such a purpose is a powerful way to keep me from giving up.

3. Plan your weeks and your day

Failing to plan is planning to fail. You know how fast the weeks fly by. You know that Monday comes way to abruptly.  (I am talking to myself, here, not just you).
You can have a million plans to make magic happen this Fall but if you don't take your ideas seriously enough to stake on a calendar, you and both know what will happen.
Nada. The season will pass in a fog of Pumpkin lattes with not much to show for it except a big dent in your coffee budget.
I took the Strength Finder's test awhile ago and learned that one of my greatest strengths is that I love ideas. (This was kinda of a no-duh! for me: I knew I love ideas).
Ideas fuel me. Carrying those ideas out to completion? Not so much.
I need help with this big time. Most of us do.  And here is what I have learned:
The most consistent, effective, reliable help readily available to help me successfully bringing my intentions and ideas to their intended experience in reality is planning. Making old fashion use of an old fashion calendar. A large desk calendar works best for me. One I can hold and mark up in all sorts of Pentel colored ink.

4. Make time to play in the seasonal delights

Every season is special. Saying so is trite and true.
Fall offers to us once-a-year opportunities to engage and delight in being human. So does Winter and Spring and Summer. But Fall's delights happen in Fall. Not Winter. So don't miss them.
Pay attention to the  festivals, foods and traditions that are unique to each season.  You've seen the fun stuff pop-op on your rader only after the opportunity to enjoy them has passed.
There is no real point in apple picking when four different varieties of apples are available to you at your local grocery store...but apple picking is FUN.
And you definitely can enjoy a glass of wine without putting any work in.... but grape stomping is FUN.
Most importantly, you've promised yourself not to let another year go by without taking the family out to make a memory in an orchard or in a vineyard. So honor your promises. Go play. 

5. Pray

You don't have to do this alone. You don't have to be your own guide. You can delegate up.
I have learned that if I am serious about bringing greater significance and meaning to a season, I must be equally serious about prayer. 
Because what do I really know about what is best for me? I can think I know exactly what I need to grow and mature, or to find peace and to create more happiness in my life, but personal history has taught me better: I lead myself astray with astonishing reliability.
If it was up to me to figure out all the how-tos of brining peace and meaning into my life I would surely fail.  So now I have learned to ask for help.Ask our Lord for eyes to see what currently is hiding in your blind spot. Abide in the presence that fills eternity with love and wisdom and ask for what you need. Ask also for the grace to not miss out on the inner workings of everyday miracles.  Ask for a heart to pay attention to what this new season has for you everyday as it unfolds.

Morgan lives in Portland, Or with her handsome husband and their two kids. Walking through a family and personal history of anxiety and depression, and single motherhood, Morgan learned how to find the wonderful in the imperfect. Now she helps women come alive despite their circumstances so that they too can create their own lives of romance and adventure. She writes at

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Thanks for stopping by! xoxo, A momma and her baby (babies!)