The boys are outside raking leaves. I knew we weren’t going to get to it yesterday. Between an assignment and lower energy levels, I rested, then slept, before heading to class. Josh texted me around 9PM saying to be careful on the way home because the drizzle was supposed to start turning to snow. A little after ten when I was back in the van, I typed in “aging” to the podcast search bar and found two moms talking about the empty nest. They kept me awake on the quiet ride home, and thankfully the roads were clear.

The snow that was supposed to fall last night didn’t amount to much. We had a few flurries again this morning, but nothing that stuck. I’ve wondered lately about my latest propensity to talk more about the weather. It’s something I find easy, dare I say interesting to write about. It’s part of our lives and keeps us guessing. I want to write something and I’ve got to start somewhere. I do find joy in the changing seasons and familiar rhythms. Having always lived in a four season environment, it’s what I appreciate and know.

But then I wonder too if I haven’t somehow been avoiding the harder work of writing differently. In our Basic Skills class from last quarter, we learned there are different levels with which you interact with clients. There is the skill of reflecting content. The client says something and you repeat it back to them, perhaps in slightly different words. Then there is reflecting emotion. This goes beyond asking the client, “How do you feel?”, though that is acceptable too. But reflecting feeling is more the action of noticing something in their words, tone of voice, demeanor, and saying, “You mentioned the surprise of meeting your biological father…”

They’ll let you know if you’re not getting it right, and your number one job in that room is to listen to understand. Only then can you get to the next level of meaning. I admit that I still don’t fully understand it, and they say it’s more advanced and goes beyond basic skills. But somehow we all attach meanings to things, to people, to places, to words, to experiences. These meanings affect what we say and the emotions we feel. When the meaning itself is somehow uncovered and changed, everything else also changes with it.

Somehow I feel like this can also apply to writing. There are levels I avoid, and have been avoiding for whatever reasons. Some places I simply do not regularly access, or even can’t. I feel in some way like this lets people down, like I am not inspiring others or building them up in the Lord. Somewhere I got the meaning that that’s what a blog is supposed to do. No one ever asked that of me and I never promised that to anybody. I am still just really needing, learning, to accept myself where I am at, even as wherever I am at still fully shows.

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