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October was such a full month. Anyone else feel that? Political madness, Halloween, baby nephew born, baby showers left and right, birthdays, family stuff, COVID, etc. Just seemed so packed with things!

Recently had a friend check in on me and ask how I was doing. (Actually, several friends. I'm very blessed!) But in this one conversation I just kind of responded "you know, there always seems to be a whirlwind of chaos around me, but internally, I'm actually doing well." And as soon as I hit send, I just became overwhelmed with gratitude. What a GIFT it is to be able to say (and actually mean) that I am doing well. To any of you who have ever wrestled with depression or have had to go to therapy for any reason at all, you'll understand the significance of that statement.

It's so true. For as long as I can remember (though I confess, my memory is pretty poor), chaos has existed all around me. I used to panic in still moments, but now, I thankfully embrace them and continue to learn how to do that a little better each day.

The political madness that has consumed America has pressed every single nerve and button I possess. And more than anything, it just kinda makes me feel sad and discouraged for the hope of our future. Kindness, gratitude, humility, and understanding seem to quickly be leaving the list of traits that many of us possess. I feel like I know everyone's complaints and all the things they hate, but less about what they love and appreciate (at least, on social media). And so my own little personal challenge has become to begin each day with something I am grateful for. (I realize that gratitude journals are a thing and that this idea is not original). But I find it is important to take a step back sometimes and look at the world around us and ask "what is missing"? And when we know those answers, following it up with "is there anything I can do to fill that gap?"

And so with that, I see that the world is missing a lot of gratitude and thankfulness, which is understandable because hey, it's 2020 and every single one of us has had some kind of unmet expectation this year. I just know that recently, I'm enjoying each day a little bit more when I start with a "thankfulness perspective" and thought I would encourage others to do the same. The fact that it coincides with November and Thanksgiving is just around the corner seems like a bonus too!

So, for the month of October, I am thankful for my new little nephew, Liam, born on the 17th. I'm thankful for early voting and my ability to cast a vote for the candidate I personally feel most peace about. I'm thankful for gorgeous autumn leaves and crisp fall mornings. I'm glad my bout with COVID19 ended and that I had a more mild case. Grateful for the health of my family and friends. For the relatives in my life that my heart breaks for, I am thankful for the capacity to love and care for them. And thankful for the memories before the heartbreak. I'm thankful for freedom and for my faith. For second, third, and fourth chances. For a roof over my head. For an endless supply of food options. And most of all, I am grateful that God continues to work on me and change me. It is my hope that I am worse today than I will be tomorrow and that can be said of me for each day to come! Oh, and of course, thankful for the fact that real progress has been made with my application to get to Nepal and it's looking more promising! Scroll to the end for updates on that.

Would absolutely LOVE to hear what makes your heart glad today! In the meantime, enjoy some photos of my October. :)


Nepal has finally begun processing visa applications for tourists! (YAY!) I did have to do some extra work as they are only currently taking applications for people who are going on treks. I sent off all the required documents last week and heard back from them today that everything looks fine, except what I thought was a trekking permit turned out to actually just be an itinerary, so they will hold my application until I send the permit in. BUT, for the first time during this process, it actually seems more likely than not that I will be able to take my flight on November 21st! After the visa comes back, I then just have to have a negative PCR test within 72 hours of my flight. Keep those prayers coming!

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