We definitely got off on the wrong foot. You were chaotic and stressful and scary and expensive and busy and lonely and angry and...not cool, November. Not cool.
But we stretched and we grew. We did hard things. We learned to depend more completely on each other and, more importantly, on the Lord. We prayed a lot. We laughed a lot. We hugged a lot. We became a better family. We appreciated each other more.
We saw a lot of kindnesses. Even in the very beginning, November, we saw the kindness of strangers, of family, of friends. We were truly succoured, truly blessed, truly ministered to in so many ways.
You're lucky—we're lucky—that November is a natural time to be thankful anyway. It's difficult, sometimes, but crucial to count your blessings when you're feeling less than blessed because the truth is that we're always blessed—blessed beyond measure—if only we look around.
Look around, look around at how
Lucky we are to be alive right now!
It was—no joke—over 70°F today so the little kids and I took a walk to the park. Along the way we collected all the bits of colour that we saw: a handful of wild onion; some dandelions, henbit, and clover; a pinecone; a sweetgum ball; leaves; berries; sticks; grass that had gone to seed; lichen clinging to some bark. We arranged our treasures in a circle and the result was stunning.
The beauty was not only the wreath we made or the picture we took, but what happened in our hearts because, you see, once we'd begun hunting for colour and beauty we could not stop. We left our creation at the park to blow away in the wind, or—perhaps—to be appreciated by unknown passersby (but more likely to blow away in the wind) but we kept seeing things—beautiful things—we would have liked to add to it. That bit of fuzzy moss, that smooth, round rock ("A moon stone," Benjamin called it), a clipping from our butterfly bush.
We saw things we couldn't capture as well: the warmth of the sun, a perfectly fluffy cloud, the delicious fall breeze. We felt things, too: love and happiness and peace.
So, thanks, November. Thanks for being hard. Thanks for being beautiful.
Thanks for today. You really nailed it.
— The Heisses
I have to thank my friend Kim for inspiring me to try my own little nature circle (I don't know what we're calling them). She made one a few days ago and posted it to Facebook and I thought it was beautiful and, obviously, inspiring. If you make one, too, let me see it!
And here's our traditional Thankful Tree, to wrap up November:
We put up our Thankful Tree on Canadian Thanksgiving and add leaves to it clear through American Thanksgiving, which ties the two holidays together nicely, I think. I'll be honest, our tree was a little neglected this year, but we did manage to get leaves on at least during FHE (usually we're more spontaneous but this month was a doozy).
- job talks
- breaks from school
- playing with friends
- tapioca pudding
- "that I got a new box to live in" (that was Benjamin's)
- warm pyjamas
- our home
- books and writing
- good health
- our relatives
- Samuel the Lamanite
- Super 8
- The Browns
- my whole family
- kindness to others
- "Dad went to London and brought us treats" (also Benjamin)
- primary teachers
- new van
- uniquenesses (Miriam's)
- school teachers
- learning new things
- that Zoë figured out how bedtime works (that one's mine)
- we weren't hurt in the car crash
- "sisters who play with me"
- Mom & Dad
- popcorn and hot chocolate
And I think that's all of them (not all of our blessings...just the ones we wrote down on leaves). I'm already looking forward to next October/November (oddly enough) so that we can do it all over again (and I do realize I can list blessings whenever I want...but I can't always do it this particular way because this way is special).
I'm at once shocked that it's already December and thrilled that November is behind us.