This is a fairly typical occurrence, especially in the later evenings. Peanut is all about a comfortable spot to nap in, and that spot more often than not is my lap. And I’m not complaining. She’s a very calming presence.
I don’t get how people don’t like cats. Maybe those people expect cats to act just like dogs and to be as overtly affectionate and friendly as dogs to everyone they meet all the time. Maybe they’ve run across a few cats that were aloof or just downright ornery. Or maybe they just haven’t met Peanut yet.
All I know is that my little Peanut is just as affectionate as any dog. She just happens to like having alone time periodically. That usually involves her “hiding” somewhere for a period of time. Most of the time, it’s easy to spot the lump under the bed covers or under the rug in the kitchen. I imagine that she thinks that if she can’t see me, I can’t see her.
Still, I cherish the times when she’s in my lap, or as I like to call them, quality therapy sessions. I can feel my blood pressure getting lower and me getting calmer and more relaxed. And she still loves her some belly rubs.
I always love going to hear good live music. These days, I tend toward smaller venues with artists that may or may not be on most people’s radar. This time it was Lori McKenna, songwriter extraordinaire, at the CMA Theater within the Country Music Hall of Fame. It was a fantastic night full of good songs and good memories.
The only downside for me was that I’m at the age where I probably am going to need a nap if I’m going to stay out this late. That’s just how it is these days. I was loving the experience, but toward the end, I was on the struggle bus a bit with the sleepiness.
Thankfully, tomorrow is looking like one of those rainy days that make for the best naps.
I’m glad that it’s October. Even if it was 86 degrees outside — or something that felt very much like summer and not fall. I don’t even care that the brief glimpse of fall weather has gone away.
October is the month where all the good holidays start. First, there’s Halloween, then Thanksgiving, followed by Christmas. In baseball terms, that’s the heart of the lineup. You’ve got what I feel are your best three holidays back-to-back-to-back.
So I try not to get bothered by unseasonably warm weather. I know this is Tennessee. It could all change tomorrow. Heck, it could snow tomorrow, for all I know. Or we could all spontaneously combust.
I learned that when it comes to weather not to have expectations, but to enjoy what I get. Spring weather in January? Sure. A cold spell in July? Why not? Another variant of summer? Bring it on. Lots and lots of rain? I got my umbrella.
I may not be wearing my flannel, but I will have my pumpkin spice. That is not negotiable. And I can watch all my scary Halloween movies in the middle of a heat wave. I’m good like that.
“Sometimes He calms the storm With a whispered peace be still He can settle any sea But it doesn’t mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close And lets the wind and waves go wild Sometimes He calms the storm And other times He calms His child” (Scott Krippayne)
In case you’ve had yourself a week and needed the reminder that Jesus can still speak peace to the winds and waves of a storm. He can also speak peace to His child in the midst of the fury of that same storm. The voice that calms the storm is often a whisper that we can’t hear if we’re too busy yelling or frantically thrashing about for a way out. We have to learn how to be still and silent in the storm to hear the whisper.
I heard something tonight that fairly blew my mind. One of the worship leaders at Kairos tonight quoted from Lamentations about God’s mercies being new every morning. He also mentioned that the sun in our solar system is one of about 100 million suns in the universe, according to scientists. Then he said to multiply the daily mercy of God by 100 million and you get an idea of God’s infinite mercy.
Chalk that down to something else I’ll never wrap my head around, no matter how long I live. But the beauty of it is that God never calls us to comprehend His mercy and grace but only to receive it with open hands. Closed clenched fists can never receive because they’re already full of your own way of doing things that really doesn’t work and your own baggage that you carry with you everywhere.
I love new mercies. I love that every morning is new and a chance to start again, even if you’ve tried and failed a million times, because God’s mercies are more numerous that your failings. God’s grace does more than give you more chances; it changes you from the inside out and makes you not just an improved version of yourself but a brand new creation that reflects the indwelling image of God and enables you to live out the purpose for which He created you.
I love that in approximately 7 hours, I will once again experience those new mercies. God is good like that.
“The great mark of a Christian is what no other characteristic can replace, namely the example of a life which can only be explained in terms of God” (Cardinal Emmanuel Suhard).
It’s not me trying harder. It’s not me being perfect. It’s about the life of the indwelling spirit of Christ coming out of me the more I stop trying to be a good Christian and start surrendering to God’s work in me.
On the best days, I need God. On the worst days, I need God. It’s never about getting to where I don’t need God anymore. It’s about seeing more and more of how deep that need is.
I know, I know. This is not actual fall. This is the false fall that everyone warned me about. Still, it feels nice while it lasts. All those crisp breezes and cool temperatures awaken something in my soul every single time. I get fooled into thinking that real and true fall has arrived. Then it gets hot again and I feel betrayed.
Maybe I should lower my expectations for the weather and just enjoy what I get. Actually, I think that applies to life. Instead of wishing my circumstances were different and being miserable that I’m not exactly where I want to be, I just enjoy my life and learn to look for and appreciate the good things instead of complaining.
Or I could just appreciate the fact that Tennessee weather is — and will always remain — absolutely nuts.
So I did a thing today. I spend most of it watching old Hammer horror movies. Every once in a while, it’s good to put on some vintage scares, although these movies seem fairly tame compared to more modern movies. Some of the special effects were a bit cheesy and dated, to say the least. But I still think that sometimes what you think you see is scarier than what is actually shown. In other words, you don’t have to be explicitly graphic and gory to be scary. Sometimes, it’s all about mood and setting and atmosphere rather than blood splatter and guts flyin’.
I guess I got a bit of a head start on October and Halloween, but it was a change of pace. I may have to do this again next Saturday.
I don’t know what it is about the season, but something about fall soothes my soul. I get nostalgic and think about all the happy places, people, and events that I’ve known in my life. There’s a particular feeling and scent that comes with fall that awakens my senses.
I understand that this is false fall, that temporary blip on the calendar when it gets cooler outside and the breezes get crisper. I know next week will be warmer and less fall-ish. Still, my hope for real fall remains alive. Plus, I get all things fall — like pumpkin spice — and as a reminder.
At least it’s not 95 degrees and sweltering outside.