I'm loving... November

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Sharing what's bringing joy to my heart! This month it's...

Fresh flowers. Chris got me this bunch and another dear friend brought me more in the same color for my birthday. I'll tell you a secret – flowers are the way to my heart. I'm definitely a romantic. And Tom Thumb and Trader Joe's do it right. 

Standing in the presence of masterpieces. Also for my birthday, I asked Chris if we could go visit the Kimbell Art Museum over in Fort Worth since they're showing a special exhibit called "Faces of Impressionism." I took four years of Art History classes in college, and the Impressionist era was one of my favorite times to study. The actual Kimbell itself was also in my books and, even though I've lived close to it most of my life, I had never actually visited. I loved it. The exhibit was even better than I expected – the art was all on loan from a Musee in Paris (the Kimbell curator and the Musee d'Orsay curator are good friends) – and the portraits spanned so many areas of interest. Naturally, they highlighted portraits of "commonplace" events and people – which is one of the marks of the era that I love so much – but many of the portraits were portraits of other Impressionist painters. You could see how much they admired and treasured the friendship of one another through their pieces, and the self portraits lent an interesting view into the artist's perspective of themselves. They also painted art critics that they were grateful towards as gifts. It was such a moving collection and felt very intimate. 

Loving on our "village" – our friends. This month has been especially heartwarming for our friend group... we've had gatherings for my birthday and for Thanksgiving, and I'm really floored by the way God has filled my life with so many kind and generous people. On my run last weekend, a bed of dark, dead leaves with bright lime green stems stopped me in my tracks. In the darkness, there are so many bright lights shining if we only open our eyes to see them. I've spent a lot of my life feeling alone or feeling like I had just one person to lean on at a time (both were lies). Taking off my blinders and seeing all of the other bright lights shining around me has warmed my heart in a way I'll never be able to fully explain. It drives me to my knees in praise of our loving and merciful God. I'm so thankful He gives us each other.

And lastly, time with family. My parents live in the Metroplex, and for my birthday this year, I asked if my mom and I could spend a day together and if our whole family could go to church together. Both ended up working out and were such a blessing to me. My family has dealt with a lot over the years, and we've been so fortunate to see fruit come from that. I'm honored that we get to spend time together and grow and encourage one another. This week, we've rented a house to stay together on a little vacation and I'm truly treasuring the opportunity. It's important to remind the ones around you that you love them, even if they already know... it's so renewing to our souls to hear it and see it. 

Love you all, and hope you're having a wonderful holiday.