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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

My weekly reckoning...
130. Unexpected sales on things I needed anyway
131. Successful experiments in making it myself, for less
132. The end of Adam's first full week at his new job
133. The Spirit's intercession
134. The Son's sacrifice
135. The Father's perfect love
136. Mail forwarding
137. First teeth (two of them!)
138. The option to attend a 10:45am church service
139. Short winter days and headaches that fade with the sunlight
140. Allergen-free chocolate chips
141. One tiny sprout of sedum in the terrarium
142. The power of prayer
143. Brooklyn's unceasing delight with everything
144. The sense of community (almost) all knitters share

I am very familiar with I-40. Having grown up living in Colorado, Texas, and North Carolina (with grandparents in Northwest Arkansas and near Memphis), I spent a lot of time in the car on I-40. After Adam and I got married and were coming home to Arkansas from his military school in Maryland, he glanced at me nervously as I tucked away the atlas when our southward journey turned west in North Carolina. "Umm... don't we need that?" Nah. I got it from here.

The tradition continues - Brooklyn and I daytripped to Fayetteville yesterday, and our journey began by getting on I-40. But as I zipped along at 70 miles an hour, I passed the exit for Highway 23 and was reminded of how long the last leg of the journey used to be. When we first moved to North Carolina, after having been trapped in the car for 16-plus hours, we would turn off of the wide road and onto a narrow, twisting one aptly named "The Pig Trail." It wound and curved through the trees with a posted speed limit of Slow, and we would invariably get trapped behind a big truck that was going Slower. The twists - and the hot sun beaming in the window - and the way the light flickered through the trees - and the road that never seemed to end made me nauseous for what seemed like a very long time. While I'm not sure exactly how long it really took (6 year olds don't have a very accurate concept of time, especially when they're waiting for something), I do know that it added several hours to our journey that aren't a part of it now. Further on, I passed the exit for Highway 71 and was grateful again. 45 minutes on I-540 or over an hour on Old 71 - again, a merciful shortening of the journey.

But I had forgotten. I had begun to take the rapid journey for granted - 200 miles in less than 3 hours had become a mundane thing. It's been well over ten years since they built I-540 and it became normal to me not long after that - everything in Fayetteville had. But yesterday I was reminded of all of the unique and wonderful things that Fayetteville has to offer that I haven't discovered (yet) in Little Rock. Shop owners who know my name, and I know theirs. The wonderful trail system. Needing a specific item and knowing exactly where to go to find it. Irreplaceable friends and family. Amazing local coffee, and tea. Favorite sources of gluten-and-dairy free goodies. I'm sure that Little Rock has its own surprises and adventures, systems and routines, that I'll eventually discover and settle into - but as I do, I'll take the lesson I learned and try not repeat it --- just because something happens every day, or is an established part of life, doesn't mean it's not still a gift.

146. A big moon meeting its reflection in a rice field
147. The freedom to go back to Fayetteville for a day
148. A predictable pay rate and schedule
149. Morning naps for Brooklyn
150. and moments of stillness for me

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him."
[Lamentations 3:22-24]

Won't you join us in counting (and recounting!) His mercies anew? Grab a notebook or journal (it doesn't have to be fancy) and a pen and write them down, then join us in a weekly link-up to encourage each other by sharing all the blessings we've spotted. Catch up on everyone's posts, add your own below, and if you don't have  blog, feel free to participate by commenting, instead!

Please check out these #NewEveryMorning hosts, as well, and don't forget to use the hashtag on Twitter so that we can find each other!
   Kayla [at] Renown and Crowned
   Dolly [at] Headed Home


Kayla said…
It is SO so easy to take His gifts for overlook them or get to a point where I assume they are my right. That's what I wrote about today... what He's been teaching me about consciously recognizing gifts -- present and past.

Love walking this road of thankfulness with you, friend!
Kelsey Ferguson said…
I can definitely relate to this post. When things become second nature, we forget how far we've come or more like how far God has brought us. Your post blessed me this morning, friend. I have lots to ponder.

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31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

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