Let's Chat: Breaking Out All Things Fall

I'm not sure how it's happening, but we're flying through the month of September. All the markers are pointing to fall: we're five weeks into the semester, I'm watching college football, I've pulled out my pumpkin decorations, and I'm ready to wear cute sweaters and boots. It's high time to celebrate the new season with an official Let's Chat post!


Let's sit together for a little while! Pour yourself a drink (iced tea? pumpkin spice latte?) and we'll let conversation meander, just like a leaf lazily falling to the ground in the autumn breeze. 

I cut bangs. It's true. After many months of scrutinizing my masked reflection, I concluded that I could use a little extra something. You know, something that would soften my features, or revive youthfulness, or make me appear effortlessly chic rather than effortfully tired. Enter side-swept bangs. And then -- of course -- also enter four straight weeks of 98% humidity where side-swept bangs expand and coil into Mufasa-like proportions. I know I'm guilty of faulty reasoning by suggesting that my hairstyle choices somehow control the country's weather patterns, but the timing here is suspicious.


Classes are still in person. The first week was an adjustment to navigate campus, learn a hundred new names, and remember how to dress professionally, but it's refreshing to teach in real classrooms again. Last week my students completed their first speech assignment (my first round of grading for the semester), and we're all still standing. We're masked, we're resilient, and we're no longer in our bedrooms. Let's go!

I spoke at an event. Late in August, directly after completing the first week of the semester, I shared at a women's event at a local church about overcoming fear and worry. Due to the pandemic it's been over a year since I've spoken at any public event. I had forgotten how much I cherish these opportunities to gather and encourage! As a bonus, I wore cute red heels, so that's a win.


I'm mourning the demise of a cell phone. Okay, not the phone itself, as it held no emotional connection, but I'm mourning the loss of pictures. I thought my photos were backed up, but sadly, as my four-year-old phone blinked its last pixelated blink, several months of pictures disappeared into the ether, never to return. I have two main thoughts about this. One, I should have known better. I've lost photos before when my phone has gone on the fritz. Two, the loss made me appreciate the ability to document life with photos in the first place. Sure, I'm feeling a glaring gap of a few months of missing pictures, but there were entire generations that never had any photos to commemorate their lives. Pity.


This might not be a good idea, but...  I'm trying to teach myself how to skateboard. A few weekends ago I bought a decent longboard at a garage sale on a whim. My youngest daughter and I now practice in our garage and driveway together. I'm in the just-balance-and-try-to-move-forward-without-breaking-any-bones phase. She's progressed to the cruise-some-distance-and-flip-kick-the-board phase. Ah, youthfulness.


It's been a good season for DIY projects. Over the course of the pandemic year, I painted our entire house (read that again, friends: OUR ENTIRE HOUSE), minus one bedroom and the laundry room. Those final two rooms are coming. But even better than painting rooms, I've gotten back into the habit of completing small DIY projects. Given that I vaporized months of pictures, I don't have documentation of summer projects, but my most recent endeavor is a small white table that I picked up at a garage sale for $3. I liked the size and shape, and I knew that I could upgrade the appearance with gray paint and some new hardware.

What do you think? Do you like the finished product? I love that it now resembles an apothecary table or card catalog. There's something about before-and-after pictures that does my soul good. And speaking of soul...

Even in the waiting. As my husband and I took a walk one evening last week, we talked about our kids, our jobs, Covid, and the general state of the world. I felt a sudden heaviness as I swallowed the realization that things still aren't normal, whatever "normal" means anymore. Quite frankly, so many areas are a mess, and I feel like our youth -- the most vulnerable among us -- are under attack with so much confusion, distraction, anxiety, and mistruth. It's discouraging.

But, thankfully, we can encourage our hearts in the Lord. At the women's event, I shared that when we worry about our futures, we often project ourselves into scenarios without remembering that God will be there. God will be in our futures when we get there. Whether good or bad, He'll be with us. His presence that's sustaining us today will be the same presence that sustains us through whatever we encounter in the future. That's good news. Even in the waiting and unknown, we can trust that God is working.


Friends, as always in these chats, I wish that I could hear back from you to learn how you're doing. Are you eager to start wearing your fall clothes? Do you have any good stories to share? Of course, I'd tell you that your hair looks terrific, because, hey, even if you're wearing yesterday's sweat pants today, you're gorgeous. Remember that. 

As always, thanks for chatting!


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