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#8 – Mornings by the Pool in Austin (Top 10 Experiences of 2018)

One of my favorite authors is Jan Karon. She wrote the most wonderful bestselling set of stories called The Mitford Series, in which the central character marries a lovely, petite woman with a glorious exuberance for life.

If Cynthia thinks she likes something, what she says is that she loves it. The whole series is a joy to read, but I especially loved those bits of dialog when Cynthia blurted out her love for first one thing and then the next. It kind of bugs her husband who reserves love for things more important than pancakes. However, there’s no changing that about sweet Cynthia. It’s just how she approaches life.

I Love a Lot of Things

This character reminds me a little of myself. Because the line between like and love is so very fine for me, I’m definitely guilty of doing the same thing. I’m forever saying I love this, and I love that.

Water is One of Those Things

Water is one of those things. I love it. Oceans, lakes, rivers, streams, pools, ponds and rain. I just love water.

Mornings are Another

It seems like we’re all one or the other. The morning people greet the day with to-do lists and pens, while the night people wait until everyone else goes to bed before they get much of anything done. I love mornings.

Especially After a Long Night

2018 has been a good year, but the summer wasn’t so hot. (I just love a good play on words.)

After a long uncertain spring, summer’s difficulty was a double-down. We found ourselves having gone through a merger that left my husband unemployed. This wasn’t our first rodeo, so we knew what we were up against.

After we regrouped and made our plans, we ramped up our prayers, and we focused on the blessings we already had. We exercised more and kept our conversations from being too negative.

But, there’s no point in pretending. We endured some long and sleepless nights.

Joy Comes in the Morning

During this time, we added something to our routine that made a huge difference in our day.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes in the morning.” We decided to get up and actively wait for it.

Our apartment building in downtown Austin had a beautiful pool area. There were fountains that made beautiful water-noise, and lights that accented upward into the branches of the trees. I would slip on my clothes and head down to set up our “spot.” Mike went down to the lobby to brew our coffees at the community machine. By the time he made it to the pool, I was situated in my chair, already reading on my iPad in the dark, ready for him to join me.

It was peaceful, calm, serene and so very settling. No matter how dark the night before had been, the dawn was on its way, and we were there to see it every day for months. There wasn’t much talking. We just read our Bibles and books as we soaked in all the joy that came on those mornings by the pool.

We Made it Through

By the time September rolled around, lots of interviews had taken place, and we were off and running on a new adventure in another season of blessing.

After all had been said and all had been done, we had wept in the dark, but we greeted the dawn of joy together on our mornings by the pool.

I just love how that happened.

Your devoted encourager,

PS: Another thing that helped us during this time of transition was an idea that came from a friend who helps couples get troubled marriages back on track. Those couples are counseled to discuss their situation for a determined length of time every day, and then to place the problem inside a mental box, visually close the lid, then don’t open it again until the next day at the appointed time.

Have you tried the “problem box” idea?

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