Every week I get a news email that always ends with the words, "Click for a Surprise."
Of course, I always click it. I enjoy a good surprise and it's always worth it - a fun video, a cute cartoon, or a truly engaging photo. Unsurprisingly, this week marks the first week of fall. With that in mind, I thought its timely to ask what's giving you surprising joy right now? Here are a few lovely things from my week.
3 Surprisingly Joyful Fall Things:
1. Local Farmer's Market Saturdays
For the last few weeks, I've been trying out a new ritual of heading to my town's Farmer's Market on Saturdays. It's been such fun to enjoy finds from the local community vendors. Last week, I picked up pressed green juice, homemade Mexican tamales, fresh bread, some seriously odd-shaped zucchini, and a bouquet of sunflowers.
What's something local you can discover this fall?
2. Fall Apple Pie Party
Last weekend I attended an "Apple Pie Party." The hostess said to bring a pie plate and 6-8 apples of choice. She provided the rest with ready-made crusts, spices, butter, and crumb topping. There was something truly relaxing about a bunch of friends gathered around the kitchen table chopping, talking about various ages and stages of life, and making pies together. It was so simple and so sweet. It felt like something my grandmother probably did.
What's something simple you can gather friends together to enjoy?
3. Saying Yes
A got a text on Monday night from a friend asking me if I wanted to go kayaking the next day. Usually, it would be a no. Because of course, work to do, errands to run, busy busy, excuse, excuse, etc. But it was set to be a gorgeous fall day and in truth, all of it could wait. I did something courageous -- I said yes. On the lake, we had a blast admiring all the gorgeous wildlife of turtles, snowy egrets, and blue herons and even discovered a fruiting persimmon tree gracefully arching over a tucked-away cove. I said yes and it totally made my week.
Where do you long to say yes this week?
C'mon, Surprise Yourself (or someone you love)
I recently read a story about a dad who dreaded evenings with his family. Every night it was a fight about chores, daily drama, and getting homework done. He decided to do something radical. Instead of nagging and lecturing, he called the family together and said, "get in the car kids, we are going to get ice cream sundaes!" The lavish surprise of grace overwhelmed his kids and changed the family dynamic for them.
Isn't that just like God? When we invite grace in, it changes everything. When things are hard or ordinary or difficult, we can choose to find the surprise of goodness in the midst of it all.
As fall begins, I hope you surprise yourself and those you love today with grace.
Where can you surprise yourself with grace today?
Where can you surprise those you love with grace this week?