Happy Monday friends!
Yesterday started off as a normal Sunday morning. I drank my coffee, put on my sundress, and got into my car to make the twenty-five minute drive to church. The sun was shining, the country station was on, and all seemed well until my car suddenly stopped. It just died, completely. My first action was to turn on my hazard lights, but when I pressed the button nothing happened. My car had gone from a functioning vehicle to a shell of metal in a matter of seconds. My brain instantly thought of the worst case scenario: My car is completely dead and this is going to cost a fortune.
Fortunately, I was ninety seconds from home and my family and I had taken separate cars to church. They happened to be riding in the minivan about thirty seconds behind me on the same road. My dad and Tappy (my grandfather) jumped into action and knew exactly what steps to take. We popped the hood and found a very corroded battery that had acid on its terminals. Apparently the average lifespan of a battery in a car like mine is four and a half years. My battery is 55 months old, so its demise was right on schedule.
Tappy stayed with my car while my dad and I (along with my mom, grammy, and brother) went to retrieve baking soda, water, and paper towels from my house. When we returned to the car, Tappy made a mixture from the ingredients and poured it over my battery to neutralize the acid. We were hoping to be able to clean the battery and restore a charge that would revive the car without any expense, but the battery was finished.
As if out of a movie, a AAA mechanic pulled up beside me and said that he lived in the house that my car broke down in front of. He performed a few tests and concluded that surely the battery was dead and needed replacement. Conveniently enough, he had batteries there on the spot and gave me the member discount, even though I do not have AAA.
The moral of the story: take a deep breath and learn from life’s bumps in the road (or its abrupt stops). I’m blessed that my family was there and that a kind AAA mechanic was willing to help out in a big way. I also learned the importance of having an emergency fund for my car. One hour and $114 later, I happily drove away to church to shadow somebody on our production team (something I’ve been really enjoying being a part of). Overall, it was a happy Sunday!
This afternoon I got back from a four night camping retreat with my church’s youth ministry. I already miss the quietness of my time spent there without my laptop, without the noise of tv, and with limited social media. Even though I was serving as a leader to an enthusiastic group of middle schoolers through camp activities, I felt rested and inwardly refreshed while I was there.
When I arrived on Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised to find out that I would be rooming with other leaders, including three of my best friends. It felt like college and a nightly slumber party in one. On our first night there our room was really warm and rather stuffy so we tried to revive an old window fan by hitting it and plugging it into different outlets. About five minutes after giving up on it, it suddenly powered up and successfully kept our room cool and comfortable for the remainder of our trip. We laughed at how it seemed to have a mind of its own.
Each morning (with the exception of today) I brought my Bible and book down to the porch pictured above and enjoyed the sunrise from a rocking chair. The air was cool and the sun would peek over the top of the mountains around 6:30am and tickle my face with the warmth that comes only from sunshine.
On Sunday and Monday I enjoyed canoeing with students and dipping my toes into the lake as we talked about the beauty of God’s creation. The sky was bright blue and there were minimal puffy clouds that floated above the mountains. I kept trying to take in as much of the view as I possibly could.
Last night we had a dance party where I think I worked most of the muscles in my body. It was so much fun to laugh and dance shamelessly with the students and laugh with my friends. When I returned back to my room, I shared popcorn with one of my dear friends and quietly reflected on how blessed I feel that God entrusted me with leading those students this week.
Being in a beautiful place and sharing truth with others is a special experience and one that is bittersweet to leave at the end of a retreat. While I am thankful to be clean in fresh pajamas, able to sleep in my own bed tonight after having Chipotle and getting settled into my comfy bedroom, I miss the sweet spirit of the girls, the energy of our sessions, and the sense of community that surrounded me for the past four days. Most importantly, I’m thankful to God for gifting me with that experience and the memories that I brought home with me from it.
Source: Tumblr (unspecified)
Friends, I am so excited for fall. That sentence in itself is a huge understatement. Fall is my most favorite time of the year, until Christmas time when I suddenly embrace the holiday season with the same fervor that came with fall. I don’t know if it’s common to have two equally favorite seasons, but I do and I love them both deeply. After fall and Christmas comes a brand new year too, which always excites me a ton. Basically, there’s a whole lot of goodness ahead! Here are the things that I am most looking forward to about fall:
- pumpkin spice lattes from Starbucks
- new school supplies (!!!)
- riding boots
- the crisp, distinct smell of fall air
- brilliant New England foliage
- mulled apple cider
- picking out a pumpkin
- making pumpkin muffins
- my mom’s fall decorations
- going apple picking
- having campfires
- getting new fall candles from Bath & Body Works
- the caramel apple spice drink topped with whipped cream
- having the perfect temperature outside
- fall-appropriate nail polish
- the start of hockey season
- my desk scarecrows from last year, Wesley and Mable
- wearing scarves more often
- jumping in a big leaf pile
- the smells of fall
- thanksgiving with my family
- the goodness of the Food Network during this season
- corn stalks
- football season
Oh I am so excited! I think they are too 🙂