The Start of Fall

It has been a busy, full weekend.

I can say weekend, because I had yesterday off. It is a non-attendance today. My Jewish friends are celebrating their new year. And I appreciate a school district that respects our religions to give us “non-attendance” days, so we may celebrate. (Yes, Good Friday is a non-attendance day too. And for that, I am grateful.)

We headed down to mom’s for the weekend to enjoy the official kickoff to fall, the Pumpkin Festival. And as a bonus, Arta (adopted grandma) was in town from New Mexico. Rob got his first taste of the fest with pumpkin pancakes and sausage Saturday morning. And we returned later for pumpkin ice cream and the entertainment of the pie eating contest. We also stopped off at Ackermans to pick up some pumpkins for our porch. All things that signal the start of fall. And this week I will slowly take out my fall decorations. I will hopefully make some new ones. And the Zanettis will snuggle into the blessed time of autumn.

I love the fall. I love all things pumpkin, butternut squash and the freedom to put cinnamon and nutmeg on just about anything. I love that I can unpack my fall clothes. They’re warm and cozy and the right color for my skin tone. I love the smell of bonfires in the air. I love a good football game, and a warm beverage in my hand. I love the beauty in the leaves changing colors.

This weekend I noticed that change slowly creeping onto a few trees on my mom’s street. Just a small glimpse of deep red blushing the top of the tree. But soon that tree will be on fire. And it will take my breath away with it’s simple beauty of change.

Yesterday morning was quiet and peaceful. A thick blanket of fog covered the earth. I woke thinking about a conversation with a good friend the night before and staring out into this beautiful view:

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I’ve recently begun working on some pieces of me that need to change. Many years of bad habits and negative thinking that need to be reversed. I have been reminded that change is not easy. Oh, that wretched process to stop and think. I must decide to not do what I’m prone to do, but stretch out and do something different. Yep. Change is not easy. And sometimes I don’t want to do it.

But then, I’m reminded of Jesus’ words in John 10:10 “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

I’m struck by those words, “To have life, and have it to the full.”

Or in the NASB version “have it abundantly”.

There are pieces of me that get in the way of living life to the full. And for that reason, I want to change.

And someday that change will be something like that beautiful tree. Something beautiful.

So welcome fall. Bring your change. Bring your beauty.

Hehehe

Yesterday, I got ready for work and I decided it was time for some fancy pants. So I chose a pair that I adore.

I will admit that they are a tad old. I bought them in 2002. Judge me if you will for wearing pants from 10 years ago…But I love, love, love, love, love them. I love them because they make me happy.

I love them because they have stripes. Long vertical stripes. They make me feel like my legs are long and thin. And who wants to part with a pair of pants that performs that kind of magic?

I love them because I got them at H&M before they came stateside. So I feel like they’re a fashion treasure.

But mostly, I love them because they represent a most wonderful moment in my life.

If someone were to ask me, “What is the best decision you ever made?” I believe my answer would have these pants involved. Yes, I love that I married Rob. Yes, I love that I went to New York on a whim and met him. Yes, I’m glad I have chosen to be a follower of Christ.

But I’m really glad I went to London on a whim in March of 2002. Because without that trip some of those things might not have happened.

There is something about that trip that changed my life for the better. If there is a moment that I thought I might close up shop and live under a rock, it was probably February of 2002. I had no idea what I was doing and where I was going.

But then, when pondering spring break, I looked at my roommate Beth and said, “Can you believe it’s cheaper to go to London than Portland?”

To which she answered “Well we should probably go”

“Okay” I said. And my life changed. I could make wonderful, fabulous choices about my life. All those things I wanted to be, could be!

And I am not kidding when I say there was this moment in Oxford where I was walking down Pusey Lane and I felt the page turn.  A new chapter was born. I felt it. I shed off that college, uncertainty skin. I had a blank page before me. And it was going to be a good, difficult, but good.

I embraced that moment of being young, independent and single. And life was good. Scary. But good.

And at some point on that trip I bought these pants. They represent independence. And I love them. They make me feel happy about that glorious, life-changing, spur of the moment trip to London.

Only yesterday I put them on and I giggled.

Yep. Those are my pants…looking like my curtains.