End-of-September Reflections

SeptemberSo ends another month in this crazy year. In addition to COVID and everything else going on in the world, a black bear and a tiger were roaming loose in our city this month! I never heard if someone caught them—I think they just moved on. Bears aren’t uncommon, but they’re usually in woodsy areas. But no one knew where the tiger came from.

We’re very much enjoying the cooler temperatures and crisp air. Leaves are starting to change, but full-blown color is still a couple of weeks away.

Family news

My youngest son is seriously looking at apartments now, aiming to move out before the end of the year. I’m excited for him, but I’ll miss the everyday interaction. I’m thankful he’ll still be in town.

We grilled burgers and enjoyed a long weekend for Labor Day, and my son’s family made us feel special for Grandparent’s Day. Besides my youngest son’s birthday and my brief hospital stay for afib, I can’t recall that we did anything else unusual as a family this month. We always enjoy visiting back and forth every week, but I don’t think we had any excursions. But that’s fine. August was busy, so a fairly quiet September was nice.


When I showed Timothy the Bundt cake I had made for Jesse’s birthday, he said it looked like a donut cake. Makes sense to me!

One evening Timothy was playing with Little People and had two of them going on a date. Part of their conversation was, “So what do you think about having babies? What kind of house do you want to live in?” Seems to be moving a little fast—but it’s important to talk about those things. 😀


This card was or a former pastor who turned 91.

The horizontal pieces are stickers. I made the scalloped circles with punches.

This was for Jesse’s birthday. Video games are his main thing, and I looked for some kind of video game clip art. When I found this controller, I decided just to make the card on the computer rather than printing and cutting out the pieces.

I had found a shirt for him that said, “I paused my game to be here.” So I tied the card in with that theme.


While riding my exercise bike, I worked through:

The Adventures of Ociee Nash, a cute family film about a tomboyish little girl growing up with brothers and a father, sent to stay with an aunt to learn “lady ways,” meeting famous people along the way.

God’s Not Dead. A college freshman tangles with an atheistic professor. Somehow I missed this when it was going around a few years ago There are two sequels to it out now that I have not seen. I thought the story was pretty good except they overdid the villainy of the two bad guys. Plus there were a couple of theological oddities. A pastor told one girl struggling with self image and wrong relationships, “Jesus would willingly be crucified again just for you if that’s what it took.” Um, no: His once-for-all death was sufficient.

Enchantment was an old film with David Niven as an elderly retired soldier who just wants to live out his days in the family home. But a niece in the Army pops in while in town. The old soldier sees she and the young man interested in her are about to make a mistake and miss their chance, and his sad story of lost love compels him to encourage them toward each other.

The Bishop’s Wife, another old one with David Niven as a distracted bishop and Cary Grant as an angel. Somehow I had never seen this. I didn’t realize it was set at Christmas or I might have saved it for then. It was “off” in the angelology department, but otherwise pretty sweet.

Before All Others was a Christian-ish film (once you watch an old film or a Christian film on Amazon Prime, they start adding more into the “suggested” list). I just finished it yesterday and am still processing it. In it, a young woman develops a serious illness. Her only living relative is an estranged grandmother, so she stays with her. They get to know each other while working through some difficulties. The grandmother hires a man from church to build a wheelchair ramp, and he and the granddaughter are attracted. But he’s working through some issues of his own. The grandmother is a believer but the two young people are not. The grandmother tends to go to the shed to talk to her dead husband…and when he tells her it’s almost her time to go, she says, “You’ll just have to tell—whoever—that I’m not ready to go.” The last few scenes were disjointed with the viewer having to fill in a lot of gaps. It was ok: it could have been really good, but just fell short.

One evening Jim and I watched Same Kind of Different As Me. I had read the book years ago and wanted to see the film, but just never got to it before. For some reason, it was on my heart. We both enjoyed the true story of a couple with a troubled marriage working in a soup kitchen and befriending one of the homeless men.


I finished some good books this month:

  • Be Victorious (Revelation): In Christ You Are an Overcomer by Warren Wiersbe, Christian nonfiction.
  • Be Basic (Genesis 1-11): Believing the Simple Truth of God’s Word. by Warren Wiersbe, Christian nonfiction.
  • Chasing Jupiter by Rachel Coker, Christian fiction. A teenage girl in 1960s Georgia helps take care of her grandfather with dementia and her brother with a processing disorder. The brother wants to build a rocket to go to Jupiter, so his sister and her friend help him raise money for materials. Then a series of family tragedies shakes the sister’s faith. Beautiful, touching story.
  • Sandhill Dreams by Cara Putnam, Christian fiction. A woman’s illness scraps her dreams of being a military nurse during WWII, and she tries to find some way to help the war effort. A young man who fears dogs after being bitten as a child finds himself in charge of the canine unit.
  • The Color of Hope by Kim Cash Tate, Christian fiction. Two churches try to bridge ethnic diversity and meet together sometimes, but some in the town disapprove.
  • Five Miles South of Peculiar by Angela Hunt, Christian fiction. Middle-aged sisters try to work out their differences. Both poignant and funny in places.
  • The Medallion by Cathy Gohlke, Christian historical fiction (audiobook). A Jewish woman in Warsaw must give up her child in order to save her during WWII. Excellent book.
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, nonfiction.A young black women’s cells were taken for experimentation without her knowledge when she was treated for cancer, and they became what’s known as an “immortal” cell line, still growing. They’ve been an immense help to science, but ethical, racial, and financial issues are discussed as well as the effect on the family.
  • I don’t review children’s books here often (besides classics), but I wanted to share these Three Children’s Books About Race.
  • A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White. Just finished this and loved it. I plan to review it tomorrow. Loved this!

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Obedient (Genesis 12-25): Learning the Secret of Living by Faith by Warren W. Wiersbe
  • In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character by Jen Wilkin
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion by Annette Whipple
  • A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White (audiobook), sequel to A Name Unknown
  • Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers
  • Write Better by Andrew Le Peau

In all honesty, I haven’t picked up the last two in a number of weeks and need to get back at them. I’m also starting an advanced reader copy of a book coming out in November.


In addition to weekly Friday’s Fave Fives and occasional Laudable Linkages and book reviews, I’ve posted:

  • Shining Light in a Dark and Drowsy World. Light can irritate when we’re sleepy. So the world resents the light that we shine to wake them up. But God still wants us to let our light shine, and He uses it to draw others to Himself.
  • Remembering the Relationship. We tell unbelievers that Christianity is a relationship, not (just) a religion. But as Christians, sometimes we forget the relational aspect and fall into routines and formulas.
  • Is Truth or Love More Important? We err when we have either without the other.
  • God Remembered. I’ve sometimes puzzled over why the Bible says God “remembered” someone, when God doesn’t forget in the first place. The resulting study was a blessing.
  • The Struggle Is Real. Just as a butterfly needs the struggle involved in breaking out of its cocoon in order to be healthy, so we need the struggles God allows in our lives to grow in our faith.


I was pleased and Thankful that a devotion I wrote for the Christian Devotions site was accepted and published last Saturday. It’s titled “Unsteady.”

I’ve gotten a little work done on the book. I am looking and praying for longer stretches of time to work on it. I can add in little tidbits in smaller swaths of time. But I need to overhaul at least a couple of chapters, and that requires a longer time period to really dig in and concentrate.

And that wraps up September! I’m looking forward to more color and coolness in October.

How was your September?

(Sharing with Worth Beyond Rubies, Grace and Truth, Hearth and Soul,
Senior Salon, InstaEncouragement, Shannan’s What I’m Into.
Linking does not imply 100% endorsement)

16 thoughts on “End-of-September Reflections

  1. Whew! I think you got a lot accomplished in September. I read while riding my stationary bike, and it amazes me how much gets read that way over the course of a month. I see it’s the same with you, but with viewing. Timothy’s sayings are always so cute, and I enjoy the beautiful cards you make too. Happy October!

  2. Congratulations on having your devotional published! And I love those cards you made. A personal card is always so nice! I continue to pray that your heart is adjusting and that you are feeling better! Blessings to you on this last day of September!

  3. Hi Barbara,
    I read about your hospital stay on FB and I’m so happy that you are doing better and didn’t have to stay too long.
    I see you read a Dorothy Sayer book. I’ve read a few of those.
    Your cards are lovely.

    • Thank you, Sammie. Good to hear from you! Hope you’re doing well. I’ve started the Sayer’s book, but it hasn’t really grabbed me yet, so it’s hard to pick it up again. I may have chosen the wrong one to start with. But I am thinking once it gets past the introductory part, the action will pick up.

  4. I read the book years ago as well but still haven’t seen the movie Same Kind of Different. It’s on my list too. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Can’t wait until your book is ready for us all to read! I know it will be good.

  5. Goodness, Barbara, this is quite a list of your September activities. I’m a bit winded from glancing through your reading and watching list — appreciate those mini reviews/synopses too. Glad you are doing better after the afib event!

  6. A black bear and a TIGER?!?! Only in 2020! 🙂

    Your cards are so pretty. I am so impressed that you make your own.

    I read the Henrietta Lacks book a few years ago and liked it. It appealed to the scientist in me!

    Good luck working on your book and Happy October!

  7. Looks like a good month for you. I enjoy book lists. I have read a few of the same ones. I enjoyed the Medallion just like I enjoyed all her other books. I recently read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks which gave me quite an insight into some of the struggles that continue today.

  8. Looks like September was a full month. You still managed to get so much done even with your health detour. Congratulations for having your devotional published! May next month bring equally as much accomplishment and joy!

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