After we moved to Portland, I came across a blog post—via BrownSugarToast—encouraging readers to pick three words when entering a new season. Since I was so obviously beginning a new phase of life with our recent 1,300 mile move, it was helpful to think through what my goals might be as we transitioned to life in the Northwest. These words are goals, guides, and ideals for me personally this first year of our Oregon lives: health, small, revel.
First, I chose health. This was an obvious choice for me since I still have some baby weight to lose from my pregnancy with Brynn (I gained 70 pounds with her—eek!). I also desired to become more active since I value nature and the outdoors more after having lived in the desert. I’ll have to come back to this word, health, in another blog post.
Another word I chose, that has already proved useful, is the word small. I say I want to live small in two ways. First, I want to put most of my time and best effort into the most important people in my life—my family. I tend to easily overburden my schedule with things that are good, but are not best. My focus this season needs to be my husband and my children. Secondly, I want to live small in that I learn to live in humility. For most of my life, I’ve seen myself (proudly) as a know-it-all. God has graciously stripped away my self-importance and has reminded me over and over again just how much I have to learn. I want to listen, to learn, to be a student, and to do it humbly.
Thirdly, I chose the word revel to help me live out the freedom Christ has given to me. To me, revel reminds me to party, to relish God’s good gifts, to “live in the largesse of God’s grace” (as Hannah Anderson describes in her book Made for More—a must read in my opinion!), to dance, to sing, to eat good foods, to soak up the common graces I see all around me. Autumn is the perfect time to revel!
It’s easy to revel in an Oregon autumn. The imported trees in Beaverton turned red early, and now the native yellows have turned and are shedding their leaves. We’ve been raking leaves and re-learning how to live with rain and cold. We couldn’t be happier. The geese honk overhead as they fly south for the winter. It’s new every time to me.
The leaves on our backyard tree rustled in the wind as the sun shone and bright yellow leaves laid in a blanket over the grass.
The other day my window panes were streaked with rain due to a typhoon off the Oregon coast. We’ve invested in raincoats and rain boots, so we donned our gear and walked two miles in the rain to fetch Silas from school. We were drenched!
A couple weeks ago, we were invited to a barn party to celebrate autumn, and it was the perfect fall celebration! We’ve loved making new friends, having them over, being invited out, and sharing the stories of our faith together. We’re building community.
I took the plunge and colored my hair for the first time in my life. I love it! Stephen had been encouraging me to go for it, and after deciding to go darker, I visited the salon for a changed look. This is me reveling!
Mostly, I’m reveling in God’s grace poured out on us through our new church Hinson Baptist. The Word preached, the truths sung, the edifying conversations with other believers, and our membership meeting with the elders have been life-giving. We feel like God has enveloped us in a warm embrace of His goodness.