October ended with the kind of cold that you feel deep inside….the kind that whispers to you a reminder that it isn't going to be warm again for a very long time.
I can feel it, this restart in my heart November brings each year. The comfortable rhythm feels like home. I am pulled to the kitchen. I light candles without a second thought. I eat salads and soups because soon I will happily spend every waking moment in the kitchen so I better attempt to be good now. I drink cup after cup of tea.
I try to find a peace in the tension of simultaneously speeding up and slowing down. It is a reminder that this is more than the rhythm of the holiday season, it is the rhythm of our life. Fast, slow. Fast, slow. I am much more aware of it now, and find time in the fast to stop to see.
We spent the weekend in preparation mode. We began the mammoth project of cleaning out the basement so the girls have room to run around when the air is too cold for them to play in outside. We went to Nutcracker rehearsals since we are almost a month away from show time! And most importantly, we set up for our month of Thanksgiving.
It is important to me, each November, to use the month to prepare my heart. I know I cannot enter into Advent if I haven’t had this time to reflect. The same way I plant the last of the spring bulbs in the earth, I plant the practice of gratitude deep in my heart. I try to limit my use of social media and what time I am on I focus on #30daysofthanks. Each day I list one thing I am grateful for.
The slowing down is good for my heart. And my girls focus as well. In the past, we have done a Thankful Tree. Each day they both write what they are grateful for on a leaf and the leaf is glued to the tree. But this year, I couldn't find any paper leaves (or even a leaf stencil) so we are doing a Thankful Banner. Each day they get to fill in what they are grateful for and write it on that day’s pennant. It is strung against the windows of our dining room and I have no doubt that when we sit down on Thanksgiving Day to share a meal with family and friends we will be blessed by the physical reminder of all that we have.
Snow is falling now. When I look out the window there is no denying seasons will soon be shifting. I am ready.
I hope and pray you are as well.
*What is it that you are doing to prepare your heart?
*Are you finding ways to practice gratitude this month?
*How are some ways that you cultivate a spirit of Thanksgiving in your kids?