It’s hard to believe that we are at the end of October. No matter how many years I’ve been doing this, it never ceases to amaze me how fast the days, weeks, and months go. It’s even crazier to think that, before we can blink, it will be Thanksgiving, and then Christmas. Even though I know it’s not true, it sure does feel as though life is so much faster now than it was even a few years ago. In the constant activity of our lives, especially during this time of the year, it’s easy to simply check something off and move on to the next activity. When we do that, we can lose a sense of wonder and gratitude for the incredible gifts our Father has given us. Sometimes it’s helpful to be given a forced time of space to think and reflect.
That is where I found myself this past weekend and the beginning of this week. Being bedridden for almost five days is not something I would wish on anybody, but it provided margin for me to think. It is in those spaces where the Spirit is able to set up shop and do some serious work. And work He did. On some attitudes and habits that in my busyness I had allowed to metastasize. Things that needed to be addressed, but, because I could simply check a box and move to the next project, I had never really stopped to do any deep self-assessment. As painful as it was both physically and spiritually, I am grateful for that time. I find myself renewed with a fresh sense of direction and purpose, ready to tackle whatever God has planned next.
A painful casualty of this forced time alone was missing our Fall Auction. When you love being part of something, it makes it that much more difficult when you’re prevented from participating. FOMO is one thing, missing lunch with some friends or a round of golf with your buddies is one thing, but when you’re talking about missing out on something like the Fall Auction, well, let me just say, it compounds the pain you are feeling. The silver lining, however, is hearing how God showed up yet again through the hearts – and wallets – of this community.
I am thrilled to report that this year’s Fall Auction netted over $375,000!
I cannot begin to thank Jamie Ayers and Ellie Pitt enough for leading and organizing such an amazing night. Working alongside the incomparable Sue Hampel and an army of parent volunteers, they put together an incredible evening of fun, food, and fellowship that provided this community an outlet to express their generosity. Well done, ladies!
Finally, forced downtime creates space to recognize how grateful you are for all the things God continues to do on your behalf, even though you rarely take a moment to stop and thank Him. God doesn’t need my gratitude. But He sure does enjoy it when I step back from all that’s swirling around me and simply place myself in a position of gratefulness. I am so very grateful for a patient and loving Father…and for you, the Heritage community. I am continually overwhelmed by your support, encouragement, and generosity. They are simple words, but please know they carry a profound sense of gratitude….
Matthew H. Skinner
P.S. You know the saying that you can eat raw oysters in months with an “r”? It’s a lie!