What I Learned in November

1. Brothers grow up. I got to talk with one brother on Thanksgiving who is living in Amsterdam, and my other brother this week about his life at college, and I realized kind of all of sudden that they are adults. They are not my little obnoxious shadows anymore–they are real grown-ups. They have bills and responsibilities, and we’re not kids throwing beanie babies at each other late at night after sneaking out of our rooms to watch Gargoyles anymore. Until we get to giggling–then we become 8 again.

2. My mom likes olives! How have I grown up in the same house and eaten countless meals with her and not known this? I saw her plop one in her mouth at Thanksgiving and thought, “Who is this woman?” I kind of like getting to know my parents in new ways.

3. Christian fraternities are very interesting. My brother has recently joined one (or is a pledge, or whatever you say at this stage), and they are about to start (or have already done…clearly I can’t remember the details very well) “Job Week”, as in Job from the Bible, not get-a-job week. My brother’s initial explanation: “It’s a tough week meant to bring us together and closer to God by having us go through everything Job went through.” My response: “So they’re going to kill your family and servants and give you boils?” Not quite. They just have to be awake for like 18 hours of the day and spend all of their waking moments together, or something like that. This would make for a good anthropological study.

4. The season of Advent is for the faint of heart. I had high expectations of a peaceful time of reading prophetic passages with JD at night, and lighting candles, and hearing angels sing faintly in the background. However, I have been thrown back into the rhythm of school by time and a half and have had a breakdown in the kitchen because I’m so tired and worn down already. Come, Lord Jesus. This is why we need you.

5. My friend Kristy is finishing up her Marriage and Family Therapy master’s, and she said something really interesting last week as she spent time with my family for Thanksgiving. She said one of her professors encouraged her not to use the word “breakdown“, but rather call it a “breakthrough“. In those moments, we are learning something about ourselves, we are coming to a realization. I like that.

Come, Lord Jesus. Break through our chaos.

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