August Reflections

Are you starting to see fall decorations posts all over the Internet? It’s still too hot and humid here to think about fall except in longing for cool breezes—but it will likely be several weeks before we get any.

Though I’m looking forward to fall, I like to savor the last bit of summer. When I was a child, school started right after Labor Day. So this stretch of time involved the last trips to the pool, the last days of sleeping in and freedom from homework.

When my kids were in school, I looked forward to having a bit more structure in our schedule while I simultaneously regretting the full calendar of a busy school year.

One of my favorite activities this time of year was getting new school supplies. Crayons and pencils in elementary school. Choosing just the right notebooks in high school. New clothes. I was in Target the other day with aisles full of college students loading up their carts with dorm and class necessities. There was an air of excitement that I missed.

But I’m also glad in this “empty nest” stage of life that our schedule will remain about the same until December.

Family

August is one of the best family months, because my oldest son comes home for his and my birthdays. My husband takes that week off and the other kids are here as much as they can be. We enjoyed lots of time together, talking and playing games. We had a couple of meals out. We missed having one big outing—bowling, if another else, or sometimes a visit to the Gatlinburg area. This year it was too hot to do much of anything outside, and an uptick in COVID cases here discouraged time in crowded areas. But the time was enjoyable for family togetherness.

I mentioned on a Friday’s Fave Five that we had my oldest son here for a few extra days due to Hurricane Henri’s heading toward his state. We changed his flights because we didn’t want him to get stranded at an airport between here and RI. It was good we did, because the second leg of his flights did indeed get canceled. He worked from our home for a couple of days and then flew back out with no trouble.

The guest room is coming along. I have a couple more things I’d like to do in there. The storage bench I wanted has been out of stock for ages, but I hope it will be available soon.

This week on a family group text, a couple of the guys posted family pictures from an app that converts people in a photo to a cartoon character. Seeing how everyone turned out and the comments along the way were so much fun.

Cards

I made just two this month. The first was for Jason and Mittu’s anniversary.

The little couple was made with the Cricut.

This was for Jeremy’s birthday.

He likes foxes. I got this idea from a Pinterest post about using animal faces and brown paper for gift wrapping. I found this template for a fox face to use for the whiskers.

Watching

My husband and I are going through The Mandalorian an episode or two at a time. Some of our kids have finished it and wanted us to see it. Pretty good so far. We also like watching America’s Got Talent, though we have to fast forward through a couple of the acts. I enjoyed the third season of Making It, a quirky craft competition show, as well as College Bowl.

Reading

Since last time I’ve finished (titles link back to my reviews):

Nonfiction:

Fiction:

  • Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson, based on a film by the same name which was based on a true story about Joe Bradford’s helping kids in his neighborhood even though he desperately needed a kidney transplant.
  • The Last Year of the War by Susan Meissner (audiobook), historical fiction about German and Japanese teen girls who meet and become friends in an interment camp during WWII. They’re each repatriated to their parents’ countries of birth, lose touch, and then one tries to find the other in her 80s while battling Alzheimer’s. Just finished this over the weekend and hope to review it in a day or two.

It’s unusual for me to read more nonfiction than fiction in a month!

I’m currently reading:

  • The Man Who Was Q: the True Story of Charles Fraser-Smith, the ‘Q’ Wizard of World War II by David Porter. I read Fraser-Smith’s memoir about his war-time activities in July. This is a biography covering his whole life.
  • Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund
  • Be Dynamic (Acts 1-12): Experience the Power of God’s People by Warren Wiersbe
  • Tidewater Inn by Collen Coble

Blogging

Besides the weekly Friday’s Fave Fives and almost weekly Laudable Linkages and book reviews, I’ve shared these posts:

  • Under His Shadow. Thinking about what a shadow from the heat meant in Biblical times with no AC or fans and how God shelters and shades us.
  • Fifteen Favorite Posts from Fifteen Years of Blogging to celebrate my blogging anniversary.
  • Strengthening Others, inspired by places in Acts where it says the apostles strengthened people, exploring ways we can strengthen each other.
  • Why Aren’t Christians More Loving?
  • When the World Weighs Heavy. There’s a lot of hard news on several fronts, and it gets to be too much to bear. But that reminds us to give it all to the only One who can truly help.
  • Don’t Forget the Hope. “But this post isn’t primarily about modesty. It’s about remembering to share hope with our children, students, readers, those whom we’re discipling. Sometimes we’re so passionate about whatever we’re warning against that we forget to offer the hope that God extends to His people.”

Writing

Still not much going on there besides blog posts. I sketched out a devotional idea a while back that I want to finish it up and submit. Except for one more birthday and a couple of medical appointments, we have a bit of a lull before the busy holiday season. I’m hoping to carve out some time to work on the book then.

How was your August?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers.)

July Reflections

Elisabeth Elliot used to say that when she spoke on a certain topic, she would be tested on that topic right before or after she spoke. Boy, have I experienced that since writing about impatience and frustration Monday! One example: Tuesday I was making a card that I wanted to send out that day. It wasn’t essential that I mail it off that day, but that was my desire. After I cut out the scrapbooking paper I wanted to use, I noticed red splotches all over the paper and the blank card. Then I noticed blood on my finger. I must have gotten a paper cut at some point. So I had to go wash my finger, get a bandaid, toss the paper and card, and start all over. That made me late getting done and running my errands, and I came home late and very hot and sweaty. Then I requested getting hamburgers for dinner since I did not feel at all like cooking, and happily, my husband agreed. So it ended up well. 🙂 I don’t even remember what the other issues were, but they were all little things and all tested my desire to be calm and patient.

In other news . . . It’s hot. Very hot.

My fifteenth blogging anniversary passed by forgotten until WordPress reminded me. I’ve very much enjoyed it, especially getting to know many of you.

Family

We enjoyed a long 4th of July weekend and grilled hamburgers here. We celebrated my middle son’s birthday this month at his house with grilled chicken and S’mores cake.

We’re continuing to work on the guest room. My husband painted a desk for me and put new hardware on it. My son and daughter-in-law gave us their queen bed since they wanted a king-sized one. We put curtains and shelves up as well as the main piece of art work over the bed. The room is in a usable state for when my oldest son comes to visit next month, but there are still a few things I’d like to get done in there. I’ve been enjoying the process.

Creating

I made a few more cards than usual for July. This was for Jason’s birthday:

The beard was done on the Cricut.

These two were done for different friends going through various issues:

The “I’m thinking of you” sentiment is a stamp that I’ve had for ages.

This one was for friends who just recently revealed they are expecting a new little one early next year:

The little “onesie” shape was done on the Cricut.

Reading

Since last time, I have finished:

  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson is a novel that ties together two interesting historical factors: the blue people of Kentucky and the Pack Horse Librarians. Very interesting!
  • Heaven Sent Rain by Lauraine Snelling. Christian contemporary fiction about a scientist and entrepreneur who notices a boy with his dog outside her office building. She buys the boy breakfast, beginning a regular habit. Then he calls her when his dog is in an accident, and she is pulled into his family’s life. Very good.
  • Three Shall Be One by Francena Arnold. An older Christian fiction book (published in 1953) about a young couple with extreme in-law issues. Neither are believers. Despite a couple of implausible plot twists, it’s a sweet story.
  • The Summer Kitchen by Lisa Wingate. Contemporary Christian fiction about a woman getting her uncle’s house ready to sell and who gets involved with several people in the low-income neighborhood.
  • Out of the Shadows by Sigmund Brouwer. Excellent mystery or suspense about a man recalled to Charleston, SC, a city he had agreed never to return to. He’s lured by promise of information about the mother who abandoned him as a child.
  • A Southern Season: Stories from a Front Porch Swing, four stories set in the South by Eva Marie Everson, Linda W. Yezak, Claire Fullerton, and Ane Mulligan. Very good.
  • Ten Words to Live By: Delighting In and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin. Excellent nonfiction about the Ten Commandments.
  • The Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith, the “Q” Gadget Wizard of World War II by Charles Fraser-Smith. Fascinating true story about a man tasked with procuring and hiding supplies to British soldiers and agents during WWII.

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Equipped (Deuteronomy): Acquiring the Tools for Spiritual Success by Warren Wiersbe
  • The Good Portion—Scripture: The Doctrine of Scripture for Every Woman by Keri Folmar
  • Unconditional by Eva Marie Everson
  • The Man Who Was Q: the True Story of Charles Fraser-Smith, the ‘Q’ Wizard of World War II by David Porter
  • Anne Morrow Lindbergh: Her Life by Susan Hertog (audiobook)

Someone asked me in a comment recently how many books I finish a week. It varies from zero to three, but it’s usually one or two.

I usually finish around 70+ a year. I usually have four going at a time: one on an audiobook that I listen to while driving, dressing, doing housework; one on my Kindle app that I usually read a little while in the evenings until I get too sleepy; one in the bathroom ( 🙂 ); one Christian nonfiction that I read on Saturdays, the day our church Bible reading program doesn’t have anything scheduled. I can only do that if they are all different. If I read more than one contemporary Christian fiction or WWII book or whatever at the same time, I’d get them mixed up. I expanded on this a few years ago in Finding Time to Read.

Blogging

Besides the weekly Friday’s Fave Fives and almost weekly Laudable Linkages and book reviews, I’ve shared these posts:

  • 14 Reasons to Read the Old Testament. Many of us gravitate to the NT, but it’s built upon and entwined with the OT.
  • Remembering How God Has Led. “My heart was tender thinking back over God’s working in my life. As I opened my Bible reading for the day, I came to Deuteronomy 8:2: ‘And you shall remember the whole way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness.’ It’s amazing how God prepares me for what I am going to encounter in His Word.”
  • Don’t-ing or Doing. “The Bible does have a lot to say about what we should not do. . . . But the Bible doesn’t stop with a list of ‘don’ts.’ ‘So flee youthful passions,’ 2 Timothy 2:22 says. But it goes on to say, ‘and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.'”
  • Battling Anger, Frustration, and Impatience. “When a flash of anger or frustration or impatience flares up, I pray for forgiveness and try to gain the right perspective. . . . Lately I’ve wondered if there’s a way to head that flare-up off at the pass. ‘Good sense makes one slow to anger’ (Proverbs 19:11). So I sat down one afternoon and sought some good sense ‘to be renewed in the spirit of [my] mind’ (Ephesians 4:23).

Writing

Not much besides the blog.

In August, our oldest son coming for a visit. His time here will include both his birthday and mine. My husband will take that week off, and we’re looking forward to lots of family time with the whole gang together.

How was your July?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers)

June Reflections

Even though we’ve only officially been in summer ten days, I think of the whole month of June as summer. We spent more time outside over spring, but it’s getting too hot and humid to be outside much until evening.

Family

Around the house, Jim painted the “guest room” (or spare oom) and a desk and put some shelves and decorations on the walls of the sewing room for me. I finally dug up an aggressive ivy from the front planters and planted a bunch of flowers that are flourishing nicely thanks to my husband remembering to water them. I’ve done some pockets of reorganization—I tend to do just a shelf or corner or box at a time.

Our two main celebrations were Timothy’s finishing first grade and Father’s Day. Everyone helped to bring over the queen-sized bed Jason and Mittu gave us and set it up in our new official guest room, then Mittu made dinner for us all. I had searched for bedspreads and placed the one I liked on Amazon’s wishlist. But when I went to order it, it was “currently unavailable,” and they had no idea when or if they might get more. So I had to start from scratch. The bed is bigger than I was thinking. I realized the futon we had in there before was a full size and therefore smaller. So I don’t think I’ll be able to get an extra chair in there like I wanted. But that’s okay.

Timothyisms

Timothy asked his parents when the next paycheck was coming. When they asked why, he said he was making a list of toys for the next paycheck.

Creating

I didn’t make a Father’s Day card for Jim this year. When I searched for ideas, I found an already-made card that was just perfect, so I got that instead of making one.

The card I made for my step-father draws on his love for a certain sci-fi franchise:

I found a Star Trek font online and then found a template for the badge and colored it in with a gold paint pen.

This was for Jason:

Reading

Since last time, I finished (titles link to my reviews):

  • The Sign Painter by Davis Bunn. A young mom fallen on hard times finally gets a job and a place to stay. But a situation in her place of employment puts her in a dangerous moral dilemma. Meanwhile, a former cop tries to help a church deal with a drug house nearby.
  • Saving Alice by David Lewis. A young man’s first love is killed in an accident. He eventually marries their mutual friend and has a comfortable life, until he has a falling out with his daughter. Trying to reconcile with his daughter brings a lot of things to light in his life.
  • The Orchard House by Heidi Chiavaroli. A time slip novel. One plot line involves Louisa May Alcott and a close friend. The modern story tells of an adopted girl betrayed by her sister who reconciles over the mystery some poems by a friend of Louisa’s discovered in Louisa’s old house.
  • Be Counted (Numbers): Living a Life That Counts for God by Warren Wiersbe. Commentary on Numbers.
  • Be Diligent (Mark): Serving Others as you Walk with the Master Servant by Warren Wiersbe, commentary on Mark.
  • How to Read a Book by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren.
  • EPIC: An Around-the-World Journey Through Christian History by Tim Challies. A museum in a book! Lots of good information and inspiration.
  • A Room with a View by E. M. Forster (audiobook). While traveling in Italy, a girl in a conventional lifestyle meets a free-spirited brooding man who eventually changes her life.
  • The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (audiobook). A little darker and more involved than the Disney version we’re used to. But a good moral illustration of what happens when boys don’t heed advice and instruction.
  • Our Town by Thornton Wilder. A play about treasuring ordinary life.
  • The House at the End of the Moor by Michelle Griep. A woman in hiding has to take in an injured man found on her property, and her anonymity and his safety is threatened.
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (audiobook).

This includes the last few days of May–I had done that monthly round-up a few days early.

I’m currently reading:

  • Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin
  • Be Equipped (Deuteronomy): Acquiring the Tools for Spiritual Success by Warren Wiersbe
  • Three Shall Be One by Francena Arnold
  • The Secret War of Charles Fraser-Smith: The “Q” Gadget Wizard of World War II by Charles Fraser-Smith
  • Heaven Sent Rain by Lauraine Snelling (audiobook)

Blogging

Besides the weekly Friday’s Fave Fives and almost weekly Laudable Linkages and book reviews, I’ve shared these posts:

  • Is It Wrong to Be Right? We don’t have to set up a false dichotomy between being nice or right. We should strive to be right, but we can be nice about it.
  • Giving and Receiving God’s Word. Our hope and comfort come from the Bible, but sometimes we share it in a way that short-circuits its message.
  • What Are You Looking For? Nothing in this life will be perfect. Only as we look to God will we find perfect love, peace, justice, and so much more.
  • With Jesus in the Kitchen. How remembering Jesus’s ministry helped me when frazzled in the kitchen.
  • A Better Blade for Killing Sin. Even if we could cut off everything that leads us to sin, we’d still have trouble with our hearts. Only God’s Word pierces there.

As we turn the corner from June to July, we look forward to the Fourth of July weekend. We haven’t made sure plans yet, but they’ll definitely include family and burgers. We also look forward to my son, Jason’s, birthday this month. I hope to finish setting up the guest room in the next few weeks before Jeremy comes in August.

How was your June? Any fun plans for July?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers)

May Reflections

Even though we have a few days left before the end of May, I have other posts scheduled until next week. So I figured I’d share my end-of-May wrap-up now.

May feels so different now that we don’t live by school rhythms any more, since all of our kids are grown. May used to be one of the busiest months of our year with end-of-year programs, recitals, etc. I enjoyed all of that at the time, but also felt pressured. I like the quieter pace now.

May is also our transition between spring and summer. Though summer doesn’t officially start until June, we start getting summer temperatures and humidity in May. We’re looking forward to some outings over the long weekend ahead.

Family

Not much going on besides some get-togethers at either our house or Jason and Mittu’s. We enjoyed Mother’s Day together, and Jim and I took the RV for a test drive. I mentioned in a recent Friday’s Fave Five that the Brood X cicadas, the ones with the 17-year life cycle, emerged over at Jason and Mittu’s house. They sounded like Rice Krispies as they molted. They’re in mating season now, so they’re really loud with making noise to attract a mate (though I don’t know how the females can distinguish them from each other with all that noise going on).

We haven’t done much with the sewing room or spare room as we’ve had other things going on the weekends. Jim did put together a couple of over-the-door storage units I had wanted for Mother’s Day. I’m hoping we can get the spare room done before Jeremy, my oldest son, comes to visit in August.

Timothyisms

While at my grandson’s house, he was “playing school” with his Granddad. At one point my husband asked Timothy, “What’s 7 + 7?” Timothy said, “I’m the teacher. You have to guess.”

Creating

I’ve made a few more cards than usual this month.

This was for Jesse’s apartment-warming party.

The building and “Congratulations” were done with the Cricut.

This was for Mittu for Mother’s Day:

I did the wording on the computer, and the flowers are multi-layer stickers.

This was for a baby shower:

The “It’s a Girl” was done on the Cricut.

This was for a young man at church for his high school graduation:

I did the “Congratulations” on the computer.

Reading

Since last month I finished:

  • Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof, (audiobook) sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain that I liked so well a few months ago. Three Norwegian brothers live in Virginia, one of whom is deaf. The youngest one wrongs someone and flees the country to go to sea. He feels he should go back and try to make things right, but he doesn’t know how he’ll be received
  • Hungry for God, Starving for Time by Lori Hatcher. Five-minute devotionals for when you need a spiritual protein bar. Very good.
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion by Annette Whipple. A great companion to the Little House books, with lots of interesting background information and related activities to try.
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie. Classic tale about the boy who wouldn’t grow up. A bit darker than film versions, but fun.
  • Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (audiobook). Classic dystopian novel in which babies are designed in test tubes and everyone is supposed to live for pleasure. But if you’re not happy, then what?
  • Animal Farm by George Orwell (audiobook). Classic allegory about the Russian revolution and Stalin’s takeover, but also a fable about throwing off oppression and then becoming oppressors.

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Counted (Numbers): Living a Life that Counts for God by Warren Wiersbe
  • Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin
  • How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren (almost done!)
  • The Sign Painter by David Bunn
  • A Room With a View by E. M. Forster (audiobook)
  • Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi (audiobook)

Blogging

Besides the weekly Friday’s Fave Fives and almost weekly Laudable Linkages and book reviews, I’ve shared these posts:

  • Have Mercy on Your Pastor This Mother’s Day. “There are different needs among the congregation. No one sermon will meet them all except as it points us back to the only Savior who can help and heal and provide grace.”
  • Faithful in Obscurity. “You may be a busy mom of little ones, a secretary stationed at her desk, a cashier at a counter, a caregiver tucked away in a lonely room, or in any number of occupations where you feel unnoticed. Don’t be concerned if you don’t get as much attention or response as other people. Don’t fret over whether your work seems ‘important.’ Faithfully do what God has called you to do, for His honor and glory.”
  • Trusting God for Our Children’s Safety. “It’s one thing to trust God for my needs—it’s another thing to trust Him for my children’s.”
  • Faith—not Genes—Determines Our Standing Before God. Korah was killed in one of God’s most severe judgments against rebellion. But his sons went on to serve God in the temple and write psalms.

I also had a guest post at Almost an Author: Sculpting a Masterpiece. Like Michelangelo carved “everything that wasn’t David” to create his famous statue, so we need to chisel anything that would detract and confuse in our writing.

Writing

I’ve just in the last couple of weeks gotten back into working on my book. I keep thinking I need a whole afternoon free to work on it. But I find that my brain feels fried after a couple of hours, at least in this revision stage. So hopefully that will inspire me to work when time is more limited. And the more I work on it, the less time it will take each session to figure out where I am and what I need to do next.

I want to give you a heads-up that I was asked to do a radio interview about my Faithful in Obscurity blog post on Wednesday morning, June 2. I was totally shocked! If all goes as planned, I’ll share the details Tuesday, June 1. The site does have a button to listen live. They have some recordings of past episodes, but I don’t know if my segment will be on the recording. I have not heard back from them since I sent an email accepting the invitation, but maybe that’s normal until the day of the interview. I keep thinking maybe I misunderstood, or they accidentally asked the wrong person, or this isn’t really legit. 🙂 But I clicked on the link to their program and listened to a couple of past episodes to see how the program went, so it’s a legitimate program. I’d appreciate your prayers that I would be calm and say what God wants me to, that I won’t blank out when asked something, that all the connections and logistics will work like they are supposed to.

How was your May? What are you looking forward to in June?

(I often link up with some of these bloggers)

April Reflections

It seems a little cliche to open almost every monthly wrap-up post talking about how fast time flies—but I literally don’t know where April has gone. I just suddenly realized on Tuesday that April ends this week.

I love that April starts feeling like spring, even though spring began officially in March. We still have some cold nights and days, but the air is gradually getting warmer, flowers and trees are blooming, my energy is renewed like a bear coming out of hibernation.

Family

The highlight of April for us is our grandson’s birthday. Facebook always shows pictures and memories from that time seven years ago when Timothy came unexpectedly 10 1/2 weeks early. Those weeks in the NICU were hard on many levels. But God brought everyone through, and Timothy is now a strapping, smart, sweet, funny boy.

We’re continuing to adjust to our empty nest. Jesse is enjoying “adulting” and learning to cook. We got his old room painted and my craft/sewing stuff moved in. We still have to move the things on the wall to the new room, and then Jim will be ready to paint the old sewing room, which we’ll turn into a spare bedroom. I’m looking up ideas for decorating it. My pink-and-flowers-and-lace-loving self would be thrilled to go full tilt. But often men stay in that room, usually my oldest son or my step-father. So to be merciful to them, I’m looking for something more neutral.

I like the idea of a beachy theme (which I just discovered is called “coastal” now) and have a Pinterest board of ideas. I grew up in Texas near Padre Island on the Gulf of Mexico, and almost any major event as well as several minor ones took place on the beach. Plus one of my all-time favorite family vacations took place on Folly Beach in Charleston, SC. There’s just something restful to me about the beach—at least, a beach that’s not crowded.

After seeing this Spare Oom sign (a la Faun Tumnus in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), and decorations like this bookish pencil holder and end table, I was sorely tempted to try to make the room like a Narnian English study. But we’d probably need to spend more for that kind of look. Plus all the rooms like that I see online are dark, and I much prefer light, airy rooms. The furniture that will remain in the room is white. So I think I’ll stay with beachy.

We also fulfilled my husband’s long-standing dream of getting an RV. It was a matter of finding a good deal on a used one in good condition at a time when our finances could take it on. We’re having fun outfitting it and look forward to taking it out for the first time.

Creating

I mentioned on a post about Timothy’s birthday that he’s into Minecraft now, and his party used that as a theme. So I wanted to have my card for him incorporate Minecraft somehow. The Cricut didn’t have anything related, and it didn’t occur to me til I was all done that Hobby Lobby might have had some stickers. I ended up looking up free Clipart images and printing and cutting them out. I even found a Minecraft font I could use for the wording.

I put the heart on as an afterthought and didn’t realize that messed up my centering until it was too late. Oh, well . . . live and learn.

Watching and Listening

My husband discovered the Home Fires series, about the home front in England during WWII. I had watched it a while back while riding my exercise bike, but I enjoyed watching it again with him. The cinematography is gorgeous. It gets a little soap-opera-ish in places, and there are some wrong relationships, but nothing explicit is shown.

I’m still working my way through Lark Rise to Candleford, but haven’t been using my bike as much just due to general busyness.

In-between audiobooks, I listened to several episodes of The Christian Publishing Show podcast. I also enjoyed the Literary Life podcast episode on Why Read Fairy Tales. Originally, fairy tales weren’t necessarily meant for children, and they imaged some aspect of the gospel. I learned that most fairy tales we’re familiar with today (and most that the Disney movies are based on) aren’t the originals, but were rewritten by someone to make them moralistic. Also, did you know that “hero” originally meant the main character in a story, not someone with heroic qualities? And there’s a difference between a cautionary tale, a folk tale, and a fairy tale? All in all, a very good and informative episode.

Reading

Since last time I finished:

  • Preparing for Easter with C. S. Lewis. This was my Lenten reading. It was kind of a disappointment because it didn’t really live up to the title, and too many excerpts were pulled from their context and therefore not as easily understood. But there are always some good nuggets in a collection of Lewis’ writing.
  • Be Confident (Hebrews): Living by Faith, Not by Sight by Warren Wiersbe. A small, helpful commentary on the book of Hebrews.
  • Sons of Blackbird Mountain by Joanne Bischof, an excellent Christian novel set in the post-Civil War years. A young widow comes to keep house for her husband’s cousins, one of whom is deaf and addicted to alcohol. Two of the brothers are attracted to her, causing a rift between them.
  • Barchester Towers by Anthony Trollope (audiobook), the second in his Chronicles of Barsetshire series. A satire of rival clergymen and rivals for a rich young widow’s hand.
  • The Narrative of Sojourner Truth as told to Olive Gilbert (audiobook). A freed slave who later became a well-known speaker for civil and women’s rights.

I’m currently reading:

  • Be Counted (Numbers): Living a Life that Counts for God by Warren Wiersbe
  • Ten Words to Live By: Delighting in and Doing What God Commands by Jen Wilkin
  • Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof, sequel to Sons of Blackbird Mountain.
  • How to Read a Book: The Classic Guide to Intelligent Reading by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren (still . . . )
  • Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

Blogging

Besides books reviews, Friday Fave Fives, and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:

And that just about wraps up April! How was yours?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Grace at Home, Hearth and Soul, Senior Salon, What I’m Into, InstaEncouragements)

March Reflections

It’s hard to believe the pandemic has gone on for more than a year now. But in some ways, it feels like we’ve lived under pandemic guidelines for ages.

There’s hope on the horizon with vaccine availability. But COVID numbers are still rising in our area.

We still don’t know what’s ahead, whether COVID will ever really go completely away, what kind of “normal” might eventually emerge. But we walk by faith and not by sight, trusting God’s guidance and keeping.

I had mixed emotions about the vaccines. I feared that we hadn’t had enough time to see what long-term effects they might have. But then we figured the negative effects of COVID, with our health issues, probably outweighed the possible negative effects of the vaccine. Plus I don’t think quarantine conditions will lift significantly until the vaccine is more widespread. So when my husband’s workplace sponsored an afternoon of giving out vaccines in conjunction with a local pharmacy, and they had the J&J one that we wanted, we went ahead and got them. We had sore arms for a few days, but no other side effects so far.

Almost two weeks after receiving vacations, we went back to church in person for the first time in a year. Our church is small enough to socially distance inside the building. We’re asked to wear masks except during the service while sitting with our families. They’ve been meeting in person for several months, but left the Zoom option open for those who felt they shouldn’t come in person for health reasons. It was good to see everyone in person again, but it did feel weird. Maybe it will just tak a while to get used to beig around people again. Maybe it won’t really feel normal until COVID ebbs away enough that we can meet without masks.

Family

Our biggest news this month is that my youngest son, Jesse, moved out into his own apartment. He was later to “launch” than usual due to going back to college for a few years, then difficulty finding a job, then COVID. He’s super excited to have his own place and he’s learning how to cook. 🙂

We’re adjusting to being official empty nesters. It will take a while to get over the sensation that he’s right down the hall in his room. We’re learning different daily rhythms in everything from how often we need to do laundry, what groceries to buy, how much to cook, taking on the chores he used to do, etc. Plus we just miss his everyday presence. 🙂 But we’re thankful he’s not far away. And, as we experienced with our other boys, the relationship continues and grows. It’s fun to see him take the next steps on his journey.

March also held my husband and sister’s birthdays, Pi Day, and the first day of spring—all reasons to celebrate!

Creating

We’ve had some discussions about possibly getting an RV. We finally decided maybe we should rent one for a short trip and see how we like it first. But I used an RV theme for Jim’s birthday card.

The RV design was from the Cricut, and the background was from a woodland scrapbooking paper set. I printed out the words via computer, cut them out with decorative scissors, and outlined them with a marker.

The other thing I’m creating this month is a new sewing/craft room! I had all my “stuff” set up in the smallest bedroom. When Jesse moved out, I wanted to move my things to his larger room. But first my husband patched up holes, painted multiple coats, and used a wet-vac to clean the carpet.

The whole house interior is painted beige, and after 11 years, it all need to be redone anyway. We want to switch to a light grey. We’re using the bedrooms and bathrooms to try out different shades. There’s an unbelievably wide variety of light grey shades, from yellowish to bluish to whitish to dull to bright. After a couple of tries, we found one we really like.

I thought it would just be a matter of moving a few bits of furniture and cabinets from one room across the hall to the other. But I forgot how much little stuff I had in there! We got the biggest portion done Saturday, but I have several little things to finish up.

Once I get the old bedroom cleared out, Jim will patch holes, paint, etc., in there, and then we’ll buy a bed and turn that into a guest room.

I am so thankful for my husband’s willing hard work, both with painting plus moving my “stuff.”

Jesse had a pegboard in his room on which he displayed his collection of airsoft guns. When Jim asked me if I wanted to keep the pegboard, I wasn’t terribly excited about it, but I figured it would be more trouble to take down and patch up behind it than it was worth. So we kept it and he painted it for me. Then I found tons of craft room pegboard ideas on Pinterest. And I discovered a whole new world of cute pegboard accessories!

Watching/Listening

We haven’t really watched anything out of the ordinary this month. I’m still working my way through Lark Rise to Candleford on my exercise bike, but I m nearing the end of that.

I’m not a big fan of podcasts—I’d usually rather listen to audiobooks or music. But Hope has mentioned the Literary Life Podcast. When I checked it out, they were discussing Silas Marner, which I was listening to at the time. So I listened to and enjoyed those sessions. Then it took me a while to decide which classic to listen to next, so in the meantime I listened to Literary Life’s discussions of 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff, which I had enjoyed reading a few years ago, and Why Read Old Books. I’d like to listen to Why Read Fairy Tales sometime.

Reading

This month I’ve completed (titles link back to my reviews):

  • Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens (audiobook) was actually completed right at the end of February, but reviewed at the beginning of this month. I had never read this Dickens classic, and I enjoyed it. I didn’t like it as well as David Copperfield, but it was good.
  • Silas Marner by George Elliot (audiobook). A man is betrayed by his best friend and falsely accused and disappointed by his church. He becomes something of a recluse, suffering another great loss, but taking in an orphaned child that changes his life. Very good.
  • Hudson Taylor and Maria: A Match Made in Heaven by John Pollock. A brief biography of the famous missionary who began the China Inland Mission, particularly in relation to his first wife.
  • The First Gardener by Denise Hildreth Jones, novel. The Tennessee governor’s family experiences a stunning loss and is helped by the governor’s mansion’s long-time gardener. A good story except for a couple of flaws.
  • Do More Better: A Practical Guide to Productivity by Tim Challies. Good perspective and tips.
  • The Warden by Anthony Trollope (audiobook), the first in his Chronicles of Barsetshire series. A meek warden of a local hospital is caught between a young reformer who thinks the funds are being mishandled and the staunch archdeacon who takes opposes the reformer. Took a while to get into, but I enjoyed it.
  • Be Holy (Leviticus): Becoming Set Apart for God by Warren Wiersbe.

I’m currently reading:

Blogging

Besides books reviews, Friday Fave Fives, and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:

This is one of my favorite times of year, changing from winter’s gloom and coldness, grass and trees greening up, buds forming, more daylight. Winter is having its (hopefully) last hurrah with temperatures in the twenties again at night this week, but the weather is often delightful during the day. We feel a little like bears coming out of hibernation. Somehow, more warmth and light gives us new energy.

How was your March?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Senior Salon, InstaEncouragements)

February Reflections

February seems to have flown by—and not just because it’s a shorter month. It’s been a busy month, but a good one.

Valentine’s Day is always a fun for us with some special treats. We celebrated our daughter-in-law’s birthday last weekend. We closed on the rental house that my son and daughter-in-law had been renting. My husband is so relieved not to have an extra property to take care of. My youngest son found an apartment and will be moving next month. I’m excited for him but also facing the reality of an empty nest.

February is also the time of year when winter starts getting to me: the sky is often grey, the cold seeps into my bones, and I long for spring. Thankfully we’ve had some sunshine and temperatures in the 60s this week. We still have several weeks of winter, but each day brings us closer to spring! My daffodils are blooming already!

Creating

February is a big card month for us!

Early in the month we celebrated my youngest son’s 10,000th day of life. This was the card I made for him:

It took me a while to figure out what to do—I haven’t seen any other 10,000th day cards to get ideas from. 🙂 I printed off a February calendar and had a stencil with the shape for the saying.

Then I made a card for each family member for Valentine’s Day. I had seen several variations of this idea on Pinterest and knew I just had to use it since my husband is a scientist.

I cut out the beakers using Cricut. I tried various background papers, but they made the card look too cluttered.

This was for my oldest son, Jeremy, who likes foxes:

I used a stencil for the heart. I printed off the sayings or captions and inside sentiments from the computer since my handwriting is not good. I cut out this one with decorative scissors and then outlined it in black. I had the hardest time finding the right fox. I have several stickers and looked up clip art, but none of them looked just right. I had some wooden cutouts, but I wasn’t sure if the glue would be strong enough to keep it on, especially as this one had to go through snail mail. Finally I got the idea to scan the fox cutout and print it, and that worked pretty well.

This was for Jason:

The bear was from a scrapbooking paper collection.

This was for my daughter-in-law, Mittu, who likes purple:

I printed out the tree from some free clipart I found online, then used a paper punch on various scrapbooking papers for the hearts.

This was for Timothy, my grandson:

I had seen an idea using the moon on Pinterest, and then saw this moon and stars design on the Cricut.

And this was for my youngest son, Jesse:

I had seen several variations of this idea on Pinterest using typewriters. But since he types via computer, I used that. I cut the computer out with the Cricut and positioned the caption behind the computer “screen.”

And finally, my daughter-in-law also likes sunflowers, so I was looking to use them somehow for her birthday card. In looking for something else on the computer, I stumbled across a file that I had purchased on sale some years ago from Karla Dornacher using sunflowers. Since Mittu also has blue in her home, this seemed perfect. So it wasn’t exactly handmade, except that I printed it off and cut it out. But I liked it, and I think Mittu did, too.

I just checked Karla’s site, and she doesn’t seem to carry this exact collection any more. But she did use the sunflower design in this printable card set.

I made one more birthday card for a friend. But when I double-checked to make sure I had the right date, I discovered her birthday was in June! I thought I saw somewhere recently that it was in February. Oh well—the card is now safely tucked away until June.

Watching

I’m still working my way through the Lark Rise to Candleford series while using my exercise bike. Jim and I really enjoyed the new PBS series of All Creatures Great and Small. I was sorry to hear the story had been changed from the original—but we did like this version.

Reading

Since last time I completed:

I usually read much more fiction than nonfiction, but that hasn’t held true this month.

I’m currently reading:

Blogging

Besides books reviews and almost weekly Friday Fave Fives and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:

As we turn the calendar page to March in a few days, we’ll have a busy couple of weeks with my husband’s birthday and my youngest son moving. But life should settle down a bit after that. I hope. You just never know.

How was your February? Any signs of spring yet?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire,Hearth and Soul,
Senior Salon, InstaEncouragements, Shannan’s What I’m Into)

January Reflections

January is usually a welcome quiet spot after the busyness of the holidays. But this year it’s appointment month for me. Mostly follow-up appointments that just happened to get bunched up together. Today is, thankfully, the last one for now.

Early in the month we helped our son and daughter-in-law move into their first purchased home. It was structurally fine but needed numerous smaller fixes–painting, patching holes, cleaning multitudes of dog hair (even from the dishwasher!), turning a space leading to the attic into a pantry, etc. They’ve just about got the preliminaries done, and then they can take some of the bigger projects one at a time. It’s exciting to see what’s new every time we go over!

We owned the house they had been renting. At one time we thought about using it as rental property or maybe moving there if we ever needed to downsize. But in the end, we decided to sell it. Jim spent a number of evenings and weekends touch-up painting and fixing things, and we all went over for an evening of cleaning. We had a good offer after just a day and a half of it being on the market! We’re waiting on the appraisal and such to be worked out but hope to close in a couple of weeks. Jim will be thrilled not to have the responsibility of two properties any more.

For the first time since about last April, COVID numbers have gone a bit down this month in our city. I hope that trend continues and spreads worldwide. But the newspaper also reported cases of a new strain that is not deadlier but is more contagious. Our church is meeting in person, with people sitting in family groups six feet apart. But a few of us are still using Zoom, mainly those with physical issues. We can’t participate in the discussion times that way like we could when we were all on Zoom, and I miss that. But I am thankful for the option to watch in real time.

Timothyisms

I don’t know if I just haven’t been paying close enough attention, or if he’s getting old enough not to say cute/funny things any more. I hope not the latter. One thing I smiled at privately: when he was packing up items from his room, he named them one by one. One was his “favorite rubber band.” 🙂

Creating

No cards this month! I can’t think of anything creative I have done in a while except hang my winter wreath out front.

Watching

We haven’t really been in movie-watching mode, either. There are a few series we follow, but not many are on now. We’ve enjoyed watching The Weakest Link. I’m still working through Lark Rise to Candleford while riding my exercise bike.

Reading

This month I finished (linked to my reviews):

I’m currently reading:

  • Nicholas Nickleby by Dickens. I’m on a quest to read the Dickens books that I haven’t yet.
  • Be Loyal (Matthew): Following the King of Kings by Warren Wiersbe
  • Write Better by Andrew Le Peau
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion by Annette Whipple
  • Influence: Building a Platform that Elevates Jesus (Not Me) by Kate Motaung and Shannon Popkin
  • In Between (A Katie Parker Productions #1) by Jenny B. Jones. I don’t usually read YA, but I found this on a Kindle sale and it looked good.
  • Fear and Faith by Trillia Newbell

That looks like a lot. But the Dickens one is an audiobook. I have been reading a chapter a week of Fear and Faith on Saturdays, which our church Bible reading plan schedules as a catch-up day if needed. I read the commentary, which amounts to half a chapter or a chapter at a time, with my morning Bible reading. I’ve been chipping away at the LIW and writing book for a long while–I don’t keep them where I usually read, so I forget about them.

Blogging

Besides books reviews and almost weekly Friday Fave Fives and Laudable Linkages, I’ve shared on the blog this month:

We have a few events to look forward to In February. And every day of winter brings us closer to spring, more sunlight, growing things returning. (Winter is not my favorite.Can you tell?) But in general I’m not looking too far ahead. There’s much in Scripture about moving forward a day at a time, a step at a time, in faith and hope and obedience.

How was your January? What are you looking forward to in February?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Hearth and Soul, Senior Salon, InstaEncouragements)

End-of-December and 2020 Reflections

Well, it’s been quite the year hasn’t it? Truly we never know what a day—or a year—will bring forth (Proverbs 27:1). Much has been written about the pandemic and other events of the year, so I won’t reiterate them here. Probably the top takeaways for me this year are:

  • Hold plans loosely.
  • God is still in control. Life’s circumstances have not taken him by surprise.
  • We walk the same way we do in any circumstances—by faith.
  • Listen more, assume less.

Thankfully, our family had a couple of excursions right before the lockdowns began. That helped the initial isolation not feel as bad. My husband and I celebrated our 40th anniversary from last December a little late and went to the Gatlinburg/Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area in January to stay in a nice, cabin-like hotel, eat at a nice restaurant, attend a couple of attractions, and reread some love notes from college days. Then in February we visited the Biltmore House and Downton Abbey exhibit with all the family except my oldest, who lives out of state.

A friend and I went out for lunch during the early days of the virus and discussed it and what effects it might have. We had no idea it would be so widespread and last so long. But we were glad that we had that time together right before it.

Thankfully, my husband and three sons could all work from home for the most part. Jason, my middle son, had to go in a lot during December, their busiest time of the year. Because we were all isolating, we felt safe getting together (the strictest regulations here so far limited gatherings to ten, and we’re only seven when all together). My oldest son missed his April visit, but came in August and December via train, mostly on a sleeper car. So he hardly saw anyone on the trip, which he felt was safer (though much longer) than flying. Those gatherings and Zoom church sustained us.

We had some health issues: the atrial fibrillation which I had surgery for three years ago started up again and landed me in the ER twice. I have follow-up appointments in the next couple of weeks to see what we should do about that. The last hospital visit exposed us to COVID, as a nurse who talked about isolating from family because she worked with COVID patients kept pulling down her mask as she talked. That was the week before Jeremy’s scheduled train trip here, which made for some uncertainty. But we got a rapid COVID test the day before he was supposed to leave, and new guidelines said no symptoms and a negative test from day 5 or later after exposure only required a week’s quarantine, so we were good to go—and very thankful.

Normally I include “Timothyisms” in my monthly posts—quips from my six-year-old grandson. The only one I noted this time was when we were isolating due to one of Jason’s coworkers testing positive for COVID. They had helped us put up and decorate the Christmas tree earlier, and as we FaceTimed, I showed Timothy some of the presents accumulating under it. He said, “Granddad Claus is coming to town!”

We send store-bought Christmas cards to loved ones, but I make them for the immediate family. I try to incorporate their favorite colors and interests.

This was Jim’s:

The little squares were made with the Cuttlebug embosser.

This was for Jeremy, who likes foxes:

The background was embossed, and the fox and trees came from a scrapbook paper set. The Merry Christmas was a sticker.

This was Jason’s:

He likes blue, and I am often drawn to cheery, whimsical ideas for him. The words at the bottom were on a sticker.

This was for Mittu, my daughter-in-law, who likes purple:

The idea I had seen on Pinterest (where I get most of my inspiration) showed a tree made with heart-shaped cutouts. I decided to add the glitter-frosted edges. I liked it better before I added the Merry Christmas sticker at the bottom, but I couldn’t remove it once I glued it on.

This was Timothy’s:

I saw the idea here (via Pinterest) for using shapes to create the penguin. But mine must have been shaped a little differently—it didn’t look right to try to make it short and squatty like hers. But I thought it turned out cute. I had to get Jesse to help me with the eyes: I just couldn’t get something that tiny cut out and glued on. I wished later I had outlined the little sign so it stood out better.

This was Jesse’s:

And this was for our anniversary:

I usually list what we’ve been watching in these posts, but we haven’t watched much out of the ordinary the last two months (I missed November–there just wasn’t a good time to work an end-of-month post in). I’m still working through the Lark Rise to Candelford series while using the exercise bike. Somehow we didn’t watch any of the usual Christmas movies or specials. We streamed The Croods: A New Age and Jingle Jangle: A Christmas Journey to watch with the family. They were . . . okay. My husband and I watched Dolly Parton’s Coat of Many Colors when it was on TV one night and were surprised that network TV allowed such upfront messages about faith and eternal destiny. I wouldn’t take all my theology from the movie, but the message of the need to trust in God was clear.

I won’t list the books reads in November and December since I just posted all the books I read this year as well as my top twelve.

And, since this is an end-of-year post, instead of listing posts from the last two months, I thought I’d look back at the posts from the year that seemed to resonate the most with readers. My five most-read posts of the year are:

I’m thankful people found something useful there. I need to go back and remind myself of some of those truths.

It’s hard to end the year with a sense of closure and look to 2021 as bright and shiny and new when so many of this year’s problems remain: the pandemic and its physical, emotional, and economic toll, the civil and racial strife and unrest, a new administration with alarming values. But my Daily Light on the Daily Path entry for this morning was all about God bearing His people as on eagle’s wings. My Bible reading in Exodus 33 told of the time just after Israel made and worshiped the golden calf instead of God. He was going to send them on to the promised land, but not go with them Himself because they were a stiffnecked people. But Moses pleaded, and God promised, “‘My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.’ And he [Moses] said to him [God], ‘If your presence will not go with me, do not bring us up from here'” (verses 14-15). Whatever happens in the coming year, we can rely on God’s presence and depend on Him to bear us up.

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Senior Salon, InstaEncouragements)

End-of-October Reflections

October tends to be a somewhat quiet month for us, with no birthdays or anniversaries in our immediate family (though there are a few in the extended family). I love our “birthday season,” but it’s nice to have a quiet spot between it and the holidays. My yearly physical in September usually sets off a couple of other appointments, but I am putting off some non-essential ones for now. I do have a sleep study scheduled for next week to test for sleep apnea, at home rather than the lab per insurance requirements. We’ll see what happens!

We had our annual pumpkin decorating last Saturday. We weren’t into that when our children were small, but our daughter-in-law requested it a few years ago. It has become a fun tradition. And since the places that would normally be open for safe trick-or-treating are closed due to COVID-19, we’re not only invited to a family get-together this weekend, but invited to dress up! I’m still contemplating what to do, but I have a couple of ideas.

Timothyisms

My little 6-year-old grandson is almost as tall as my shoulder now. I love how his mind works. He was making Lego creations, and had a flower on a lower level that was pushing over a column. His dad asked if he wanted to take the flower off so the column would fit better. Timothy said, “No, that’s the turbine,” and told him how the water flowed through his building.

A couple of texts my daughter-in-law sent:

Jason was explaining what herbivores and carnivores eat.

T- Yeah, cows don’t eat meat because they ARE meat!!

__

M- Timothy who did we talk about in Bible yesterday?

T- Zebra! Zebra?

M- Close. Her name is Deborah.

T- That’s a weird name.

He must not know any Debbies yet. 🙂

He texted me this: I think he made it himself:

I didn’t make any cards this month, but I’ve gotten lots of housework done and figured out the new WordPress editor (at least the features I use. It does a whole lot more than I know what to do with at this point). Here’s what else I’ve been doing.

Watching

While riding my exercise bike, I enjoyed an old Cary Grant movie, The Amazing Quest of Ernest Bliss. Grant plays an idle rich guy suffering from malaise who goes to the doctor, who challenges him to work for his living for the next year. After that I started the Lark Rise to Candleford series. Like anything else based on books, there are similarities and differences from the original. But I am enjoying it. It will keep me occupied for a long while.

Jim and I also watched The Current War about the rivalry between Edison and Westinghouse. It was pretty interesting (warning: it includes a couple of instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain).

Reading

This month I finished:

  • A Name Unknown by Roseanna M. White (actually finished last month but had not reviewed in time for my monthly posts). LOVED this book and immediately sought out the sequels. A group of street kids formed themselves into a family in London just before WWI, and one is approached by a mysterious man seeking her help.
  • A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White, sequel to A Name Unknown. Love this, too!
  • An Hour Unspent by Roseanna M. White, the third and last in this Shadows Over England series.
  • Termination Zone by Adam Blumer. A man with a brain implant eludes those trying to control. him. Very edge-of-your-seat reading!
  • Be Obedient (Genesis 12-25): Learning the Secret of Living by Faith by Warren Wiersbe.
  • True Strength: My Journey from Hercules to Mere Mortal—and How Nearly Dying Saved my Life, by Kevin Sorbo. The actor shares a bit of his background and how he came to star in Hercules, then suffered an aneurysm and three mini-strokes that changed his life.
  • The Number of Love by Roseanna M. White, first in the Codebreakers series, but a few characters from the previous series appear, too. Just finished last night but have not reviewed yet.

I’m currently reading:

  • In His Image: 10 Ways God Calls Us to Reflect His Character by Jen Wilkin
  • The Laura Ingalls Wilder Companion by Annette Whipple
  • Write Better by Andrew Le Peau
  • 1984 by George Orwell (audiobook)
  • Discovering Jesus and His Love by Scott Leone
  • Newsletter Ninja by Tammi Labrecque, recommended in a writing webinar by Steve Laube and Thomas Umstattd, Jr.

I started Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers, but just couldn’t get into it and laid it aside. I’d wanted to read something by her since seeing her mentioned in one of C. S. Lewis’s books, but will have to try another one. This book is in the middle of a bunch featuring detective Peter Wimsey.

Blogging

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

What Do You Look for When You Read the Bible? The Bible doesn’t just provide momentary fixes for the current need: it’s the means by which we get to know God better.

What Grace Does. Titus 2:11-13 about what grace teaches sparked a study of other activities of grace.

Alone with God. Community is an essential gift, “But some of the most poignant moments of life occur between the individual and God alone.”

A Christian Philosophy of Things. Finding the balance between being too careless or too possessive of our stuff.

Writing

I’ve had a few little sessions but need to dig in more.

And that pretty much wraps up October for us. Though we still have a few days, I wanted to post this before the weekend, as not many people come around then. I am looking forward to an extra hour of sleep this weekend when we turn our clocks back! And the rest of autumn, then Thanksgiving, then Christmas season!

How was your October?

(Sharing with Let’s Have Coffee, Grace and Truth, Senior Salon, Shannan’s What I’m Into, InstaEncouragement)