October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came—
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.
The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.
– “October’s Party” by George Cooper
It has been a month of blooming—in the garden and in our lives. Blooming always comes in God’s timing, and I was especially grateful for it in September.
A few highlights from September: affiliate links are below – enjoy!
—We kicked off our Health Series to a flurry of calls, texts, and messages. We are grateful our story has encouraged so many of you. More to come! If you’d like, you can join the email list to be notified when new posts are up.
—Gracie went to town decorating for fall. See a few of our decorating favorites here, and our organic herbal picks for tea season.
—We called The Doctor. 🙂
—We pulled out the summer garden to make room for winter seeds. Planting with the kids was fun—take a peek here!
—Our newly declared annual weekend in Blowing Rock was good for our souls, complete with a big solo hike I always wanted to do. This was a milestone for me in many ways and a hike I never thought I could do before. More to come in a future post.
—I love the Jewish holidays: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, etc. These reflective days reminded us of God’s faithfulness over the last year.
—Above: Equip collagen (<-my affiliate link gets you 15% off anything), garden blooms, and a new journal. New journals deserve a moment.
—I saw our new local functional medicine doctor at the end of September after being on the waitlist for most of this year. More to come in our health series.
—I used social media more than once in a blue moon for the first time in, I don’t know, five years? There was no grand plan here. I woke up one day, and God nudged me to share His goodness—that was it. There’s still no grand plan. I’m using it lately because it’s fun, and I hope to use my gifts to encourage a few people.
—Dear Butternut Squash Farmers of the World, I will happily volunteer if you need a spokesperson. I found a simple and delicious way to make it, and I love it!
—My long-time friend, Traci, came to take new photos of us and our house renovations for me to share with you soon.
—I saw friends and former coworkers for long autumn walks. It had been a long while, and I treasured this time.
—In my search for faithful affirmations for Sarah to listen to each day, given what we know now about her PDA Autism, I found a lot of fluff. I recorded my own for her, and we settled into new parenting rhythms from what we’re learning about her Autism. This has been groundbreaking for all of us!
—School started in full swing, and it has been wonderful. I finally gathered a few of my school favorites here.
—I did new things. 💛 I have always loved home design and curated meaningful decor for Southern Weddings and Cultivate product shoots for many years. I am a deep researcher when it comes to trying new products. A small thing I’ve always wanted to do? Gather all my favorite home, kitchen, health, and homeschool items into one place for friends to shop easily. Find all my favorites here. I’ll add a bunch to this this quarter—click “follow” for updates.
You know all those books you’ve always wanted to read? You should go READ them. <- on repeat to myself lately, as I work to set a new habit. A la Atomic Habits and the work we did for over a decade with Making Things Happen, I named the type of person I want to be in the present tense: I am the kind of person who consistently reads great books and puts them into practice. Yes!!
What I read or listened to:
— Gentle and Lowly – This was a challenging read for me – not my favorite writing style, so it took a while to get through. But it’s a book that frequently comes to mind after reading it, and it formed the way I see God’s character. This book is a treasure if you struggle with God as a gentle and compassionate Father. I’ve shared many of his points with my children, as well!
— I was grateful to get an advance read and endorse my friend Robin’s new book, Well to the Core. It’s fantastic, friends! Pre-order your copy before release day this week, October 3.
— Gifts from the Garden – One of many library treasures this month, this book has so many fun and simple garden gift projects. Grace loved it as well!
— Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Crafts – No surprise, as someone who used to make a magazine, I loved this. From the photography to the innovative but simple ideas, it’s a classic.
—Other library recs this month: Handpicked, Erica Wilson’s Embroidery Book, From Vines to Vessels, the Needlecraft Book, and I picked up a couple of books on Renaissance music to go along with the kids’ studies this term.
— After last month’s read of Sacred Rhythms, I found The Daily Office Podcast. I have greatly enjoyed this and listen to it when I need to calm my nervous system. His voice is calm, and the teaching is living water from the Word. It’s well done!
— I’ve had the Pride and Prejudice soundtrack on repeat since last August. When you are in a season of grief, it can be helpful to make a playlist for healing. The movie is my favorite and I watched it again on the plane coming home from dad’s funeral. There’s something about that last scene that makes me long for the life to come—a beautiful time of all things made right.
—Mere Christianity in honor of my Dad. This was one of his favorites.
—Parenting by Paul David Tripp is still—yes, still—punching me in the gut every time I pick it up. Taking this one slowly.
—Made for People by Justin Whitmel Early. Completing his trilogy of titles, I’m enjoying this so far!
—Surprised by Hope by N.T. Wright. I started this with Ari shortly after my dad’s passing. It’s a deep dive into the resurrection and the life to come.
What I’m looking forward to in October:
—I have a lot of preparation to do in October for November events, and my mom is coming to stay with us for several weeks.
—Enjoying our last weekend trips for the year—one to Bald Head and one to Pilot Mountain.
—Ari and I plan to finish off our health series! Lots of writing this month.
—Enjoying the last of my zinnias before I pull them out in a few days to make more room for winter goodness.
—I’m prepping for a little 2024 PowerSheets retreat afternoon in a few weeks—stay tuned for a related post this week.
My October goals were fueled by the Q4 Goal Refresh in the PowerSheets. The process never fails to clarify my focus and make me want to take action—no need for forced motivation. My goals matter to me in the big picture, so I want to take action. I’m grateful for another month to tackle what God has given me to do.
What are you focusing on in October? Do we share any goals? I’d love to hear!