To be totally honest, the week after Labor Day makes me a little panicky. It’s not that I don’t love my job. It’s just that the full on force of a church program year is about to kick in and there is alot to do. Really all of it is wonderful stuff (I get to go camping for work! I get to hang out with awesome teenagers! I can sit around and chat with other moms and dads and it’s all part of my job!). The problem is that some days, weeks, months, it feels like there is just too much of this great stuff.

So I’m always excited this time of year but also a little sad about what I give up. Lazy Sunday afternoons with Erik and Zora. Jaunts into the city to see my parents. Not to mention shorter days and cooler weather.

I’m thinking I need a joy-fill, then, this morning, a list of things that are going to give me joy this year. Or maybe even today, right now, in the moment.

Here goes:

1. Baby. Yes, this one is obvious.

2. A church that is so vibrant and alive and busy this year that there’s not even time to worry about the decline of Christianity. We’re talking about a building, there are little sprouts and shoots of new ministry ideas popping up, what’s not to love?

3. I’m in a writing group of women pastors. I am hopelessly enamored of every one of these women and their writing!

4. Zora gets her new bike this weekend. There is nothing as exciting as a kid’s thrill over a new bike.

5. We’ve got a grant for a project on intergenerational worship planning. So I get to work with this awesome group of people doing one of the things I love the most. Their ideas are already astounding me.

6. It’s such a beautiful day. You know that look of the light when it hits green leaves and comes out golden? Yep, that’s about where we’re at this morning.

7. I will be able to get my car in the garage this winter.

8. Erik and I might well be the most organized we’ve ever been. Our office space is amazing. Last night, I actually thought about wandering in there just to snag some poetry for a quick read before bed, but then I decided to read a library book instead. But the thought of walking into that room was pleasant, and I even knew where on the shelves the poetry was!

9. We’ve got some vacation time this fall and we’re starting to hatch a plan for going to Rome for a few days.

10. And, just to make it an even 10, BABY!