September was a crazy month. What with friends dying, John visiting for the first time in a very long time, and my friends visiting just in time for our town's fall fair, it was busy. And that's before you add in the seven classes I'm taking this semester or the fact that my kids are in three different types of schooling at this point.
So yes. Crazy. And I'm not even sure how to get it all down, so I have a feeling this post is going to be a jumble of words and unrelated pictures. Quick and dirty. With way too many pictures. It should probably be five separate posts, but let's be real. I don't have that kind of follow through. This is my version of a scrapbook, I suppose, so I should get it down. I've been wanting to post but I couldn't allow myself any time on the computer that wasn't devoted to homework until my midterms were over, and as of tonight, they are. Not that it means my classes will get easier, but at least I've passed some kind of bench mark.
He seems to have had a lot of "Come to Jesus" moments recently, if you will, and it really shows. It was a great weekend and the kids were thrilled about getting to spend time with him. We spent a lot of time at soccer games, at the zoo, hitting up a farm festival, and even scheduling an impromptu visit with his side of the family, which actually turned out to be really fun. If you has asked me a year ago if I could have imagined having a fun visit with him and the kids I would have thought you were insane. God's bigger, though. And I love that.
Tired of pictures yet? I have to push through or I know I'll never get caught up. The weekend after John visited my friends Mandy and Amie came to visit. We held our own little Gitzapalooza. We ate all of Sara's favorite foods, drank her favorite wine, got tattoos in her honor, and took lots of pictures. Oh, and watched Dr. Horrible a whole lot.
It was amazing. These girls are some of my best friends in the entire world. Having them physically next to me lounging on the couch making fun of each other and me was kind of a dream come true. We did a really cool lantern release for Sara after writing all kinds of stuff to her on the lanterns and nearly setting ourselves on fire. It was beautiful. The whole weekend was, really. Even the night we spent at the fair when we had to run for our car when it suddenly started sleeting. As we ran, Jace was screaming "I am NOT leaving!" over and over as Ava yelled "We have to take cover!" It was awesome.
A comment I got from a sweet, long-time reader the other day said something that has really stuck with me.
"I hope you're out choosing joy."
It hadn't occurred to me, but that is exactly what I'm doing. These days, they're all we have here on earth. And while I know that this is just a temporary home and that Heaven is where I'm really going to get to choose joy every day, I'm going to make the most of them.
Life is busy. I am exhausted. School is really challenging me this semseter. I don't sleep much. But on the other hand, my kids are healthy and happy. Coen is growing like a weed, Seth is in love with school and talking more every day, and Ava and Jace surprise me every day with hour thoughtful and mature they are becoming. Evany? She's the cutest thing ever, so happy and joyful every second. Unless she's hungry, of course. These kids, this life? It makes it easy to choose joy every day, because there are days I wake up and wonder how I ever ended up so blessed. In the end it's not about how much you can do with the money you have, it's about how much you can do with the life you've been given.
I firmly believe that I would never understand or appreciate just how lucky I am to have the life I have it I hadn't gone through the past few years. It's true that trials do help define you, but I believe it can be in a positive way. God can do anything in our lives. Anything. We just have to let Him.
So yes, I'm choosing joy. Every day.
And hopefully I'll be choosing to make it here more often, because this post is ridiculous and way too long.