golden leaves, new babies, expectant faith, and settling in

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yesterday the UW arboretum was golden and ripe, about to fall. because we didn’t know when or if we’d have such a bright day again this season, we walked through it’s spaces with two cameras, one film and one digital, and drank it up through those lenses. t took to it like a natural, and between the two of us we created some charming images.

a child was given to our family in Michigan last night while we slept here in Madison. her name is Claire Elise and already i think that she is perfect. we recognized her face in the small text-messaged photo Justin sent from the hospital 30 minutes after her birth, because the ultrasound picture had been so clear. laying there in the darkness of the 4 a.m. phone-call i was swept over with a deep gratitude and a longing to embrace my brother, my sister, my mother, and this tiny little person who shares our blood. how i wish i could get in the car this morning and drive over to the hospital to do so.

oct 25-2

recently i realized, during another somewhat frustrated attempt at morning prayer, that somewhere along the line i’ve stopped expecting much from God. i’m not very hopeful that when i’m quiet before Him, He’ll speak. i’m not expecting inexplicable transformations in myself and my world in response to my prayers. i wonder what went awry and how i came to be… well, a bit mad maybe, at God for the seemingly back-tracking situation i find myself in spiritually. i do know this: that i want to be more like that blind beggar and all his biblical counterparts who came to Jesus with desperation, expectancy, and persistence. they knew who they were dealing with and, based on His character, they had highest hopes.

lately, i see that there are opportunities and invitations everywhere, from the invitation to saturday activities with friends, to the possibility of new types of work. and all of these things have us asking questions about what we want our lives to be about, in the day-to-day, as well as in the next few years, and where are we going to plant ourselves, and to whom are we going to commit ourselves, and to what extent. i want to choose the best things, not saying yes to every option, but only those that we’re guided into by peace and even, ideally, by calling and mission. sometimes i feel reluctant to say yes to things here because it means settling in; yet i’m desperate to settle in somewhere for the long haul. i guess i’m simply not sure that i want that somewhere to be Madison? i’m not sure i’m ready for the psychological shift that it would require to start thinking in terms of “three years from now…” in the context of Madison (which is a problem place mostly because of it’s distance from family, not due to inherent flaws).

i made a killer batch of gluten-free blueberry muffins on friday, using a recipe adapted from Karina on her fabulous blog resource. today i may make a batch that DOES have gluten and deliver them to some neighbors, wrapped in tidy little foil packets, like chels and danmike and i used to do in the Stockbridge neighborhood last winter, watching with delight the surprised and slightly unsure reactions of our neighbors upon being presented with homemade goodness. blueberry muffins-1

lastly, a recommendation for a good book: Evensong by Gail Godwin. i was up quite late finishing it last night.

and because this post is already random enough, i’ll end it here.

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2 thoughts on “golden leaves, new babies, expectant faith, and settling in

  1. Brooke, I relate much to your desire to settle in for a long time, but how can that be a good thing, so far away from family?! Even though there are very good things happening here, now, I still crave family every day.
    Also, your pictures are very charming. 🙂 Fall is such a beautiful event & you both captured it so well! With all of the brilliant colors your pictures remind me of Michigan, the upper peninsula where my grandma is from, even though I’ve never been there for the fall. You do live in a beautiful place.
    Peace, peace, peace, blessing, and permission to dream bigger, to harbor Kingly dreams in your spirit & to see them happening all around you & in far places. Yeah!

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