Musings – May 2016

The peas that are sprouting in my garden have come from the seeds that, just a few weeks ago, slept under a layer of snow.  There’s a devotional thought there somewhere, but that’s not my purpose today, so I’ll resist the urge and proceed with a recap of happenings here at Living Our Days — and on my country hill in Maine.

The headline news this month is that, after 22 years as a stay-at-home mum, I’m going back to work full-time.  It’s just for the summer, but I’m already picturing some pretty huge implications to the way things work around here.  We’ll see.  For right now, I’m intent on getting the boys’ school year wrapped up and the garden planted before my start date of June 6.

I’m reading through I Corinthians, one chapter per week, taking it slowly and thoughtfully, using various translations and . . . no commentaries allowed until Thursday.  This has been good practice for a book club that I’m leading for the ladies in my wonderful church family.  Together, we are reading Women of the Wordand Jen Wilkin’s good advice is to let yourself sit in the uncomfortable seat of “I don’t know” for a while before immediately running to “the experts.”  One tiny bit of fun that I’ve had with that in I Corinthians 6 is the concept of believers one day governing angels.  Could it be that angels, as “ministering spirits,” will serve us in heaven?  I know for certain what I would delegate here on this planet, given the opportunity:  floors, dusting, and bathroom.  But this leaves me wondering.  What would you delegate to an angel?

A first for me in the month of May was a guest posting opportunity at (in)courage.  What a fun and, well . . . encouraging community.  I shared a story about pizza night Morin-style, and how that has changed over the years.  And how, by the grace of God, it has stayed the same.

Our family attended the Why Jesus? Conference  where we heard Ravi Zaccharias, Lee Strobel, Randy Newman, Gary Ludeman, and Dick Keyes speak on topics related to apologetics.  Can you believe they all came to Maine?  It was a day packed full of truth, but I came away motivated to “pursue truth in a loving way in a world that is bereft of both truth and love.”

I’ve surprised myself in a couple of ways this month:  I’m listening to pod casts.  Deidra Riggs shared a list of her favorites, and I’ve been getting to know some of my on-line friends a bit better by listening to interviews conducted by Holly Barrett.  It’s amazing how folding laundry and baking whoopee pies (6 dozen!) is vastly improved by good company.  The other surprise was that I entered a poetry contest at a nearby library — and won!  What a treat to attend the poetry gathering and to meet several area poet laureates.

We saw our very first indigo bunting here on the hill!  Breath-takingly beautiful in his iridescent blue feathers, he was simply wandering around the back yard as if vibrant blue creatures walked around back yards in Maine every day.  Sue Hubbell (author of A Country Year) describes them as “small, emphatic birds.”  I’ll be listening for that “emphatic” voice when I’m out planting the rest of the garden!

If you’re a regular visitor to the blog, I don’t need to tell you what I’ve been reading, because most of what I read shows up here sooner or later.  The most-read post this month has been my review of Broken Hallelujahs in which Beth Allen Slevcove reminds us to grieve the big and small losses of life. My favorite read this month was Luci Shaw’s Thumbprint in the Clay.  Luci is one of my “book mentors,” and I’ve been hugely impacted by her writing and her life of faith.

In the pile for the month of June?

  • Colors of Good-bye:  A Memoir of Holding On, Letting Go, and Reclaiming Joy in the Wake of Loss by September Vaudrey
  • Looking for Lovely:  Collecting the Moments that Matter by Annie Downs
  • Wholeheartedness:  Busyness, Exhaustion, and Healing the Divided Self  by Chuck DeGroat
  • Unashamed:  Drop the Baggage, Pick Up Your Freedom, Fulfill Your Destiny by Christine Caine
  • The Daniel Prayer by Anne Graham Lotz
  • Missional Motherhood by Gloria Furman.

I hope you’ll share your May Musings in the comments below.

  • What are you reading?
  • What evidences of grace are you seeing in your life?
  • How can I pray for you?



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I’ll be linking this post with Leigh Kramer‘s and Emily Freeman‘s great communities of  month-end encouragement.  I hope you’ll join me there!

Also,  I link-up with a number of blogging  communities on a regular basis.  They are listed in the left sidebar by day of the week.  I hope that you will take a moment to enjoy reading the work of some of these fine writers and thinkers.


52 thoughts on “Musings – May 2016”

  1. Hi Michele,
    Congratulations on the new job!! Not sure how you’ll work and do all the things you do so well?? I’ll be staying tuned. Looking forward to your book lineup. I’ve been re-reading “Twelve Ordinary Men” which has been giving me refreshment and hope that if God can use this rag-tag bunch of characters to build and grow His ministry, then He can use me in my work with Redeemer Christian Foundation. I still ask the question each day, “Who me?” Prayers for my work there and trust about ongoing fundraising would be my prayer request. Praying for you on your new endeavor!
    Blessings my friend,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Praying for a smooth transition to the working away from home world! Can’t wait to read what you have to say about your reading list! Blessings, liz


  3. I loved getting to know you a little better through your May Musings. A job will certainly change up things in your house for a awhile. I pray it is life giving and you find it a good fit. I can’t wait to read what you write about Looking for Lovely. I have several pages to finish and have loved it. Congrats on winning the poetry contest and for your post at (in)courage. Well done! I also am listening to more podcasts and am having a lot of fun doing it.


  4. Michele, I meant to comment on your (in)courage post and never got to it … I loved seeing you over there and thought your pizza-night post was wonderful! I hope the new job (and all the at-home adjusting) goes well!


  5. Love this post of updates, Michele! Thanks! Somehow I have never located a place on your website that says a bit about you so I was delighted to hear you live in the beautiful state of Maine!! When I was teaching, a teacher friend of mine introduced me to Maine since she had been born and raised there, living there until marriage to an Ohio young man. One summer almost 30 years ago when our children were still at home with us, we made the long trek there. We drove up the coast stopping at Bar Harbor, Kennebunkport, L.L. Bean, and Acadia National Park before going inland in the mountains where my friend had “a camp”. We spent a number of days there and climbed Mt. Blue. It was all great fun, but we have never gotten back there since then.

    What am I reading? I have just finished day 135 of 250 days of Professor Horner’s Bible reading plan to read through the Bible in 250 days. I am reading The Three Battlegrounds by Francis Frangipane, To Be Told by Dan Allender, and expecting The Mind of Terror to arrive from Tyndale Blogger Network by the end of the week.

    Our summer travel plans have been upended with the news our 13 year old granddaughter needs serious spinal surgery that was just discovered about 8 weeks ago. This means I will be spending 2-4 weeks in MD with our daughter and her family as they navigate this and all the challenges and risks it will bring. Grace comes with being retired and in good health so I can be free to be available for this. Grace also comes through the stalwart faith of Sydney who has been very clear that she knows God has done big things for others in her and our family and this “big thing” for her gives her a chance to see God do big things for her. (Surgery date is July 13 and prayers are much appreciated.)

    Summer musings also mean celebrating finding a place to stay for an October vacation in Vermont!!


  6. Michele, I loved you guest post over at InCourage. Ohhh and Looking for Lovely is such a gem. I was sad when it was over. I’m your neighbor over at Emily’s this month.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. congratulations, on winning the poetry contest! This is my first time visiting your blog, and I very much enjoyed this post.

    To answer your question a few of the books I read this month were the Quotidian Mysteries; laundry, liturgy, and women’s work, Let Your Life Speak; Listening to the Voice of Vocation, and Walking on Water; Reflections of Faith and Art. Now, I think I am ready for some fiction books to read over the Summer now, with just a few non-fiction.

    Anyways, thanks for creating and sharing!!!


    1. I’m re-reading Walking on Water right now, taking it slow and just really enjoying it – again! It looks as if you’re coming away from a list that will give you some great focus regarding vocation. Enjoy those summer reads!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Hi Michele,
    What wonderful opportunities have come your way with your incourage post and winning the poetry contest! I liked reading about your musings in Maine (didn’t know you lived there!) and I can’t wait to hear about your adventures in returning to work — that will give you plenty to write about and I will await your posts with pleasure! 🙂


  9. I love “musings” – my favorite kind of post! WORK? Are you mowing all summer? I will miss you – unless you can still find time for reading and commenting! Ravi? BLESSED. Thank you for always encouraging me – I could use some prayer too. Thyroid is out of whack and feelings of hopelessness are seeping in. I’m fighting though…xo


  10. I know you’re going to be a HUGE blessing to those you work with and for, Michele! I’m excited for you. It’s been a very long time since I’ve been officially in the work force so I can imagine how different it will feel for you. Praying it’ll be awesome!

    Welcome to the podcast world! It is so fascinating to hear all the many things out there. Sounds like you’ve had a great month, and I know June will hold its own treasures as well.


  11. Michele, this is earth shattering news! Going to work full-time outside the home. Whatever will your boys do?! I have not made that leap yet and am still savoring the time to do and be…Does this mean we will see less of you in cyberspace? I marvel at all you read and write here. I am slow…Most days I don’t seem to get beyond Bible reading–that’s the default first thing and usually the last…I’m hankering to read Luci Shaw’s book(s) as per your reviews and recommendation though. May God bring light and life through you to the confines of a bank window! I enjoyed your May musings ( : I’d love to read your poetry…do you post it here?


    1. My husband is a teacher, so he will be home with the 14 year old. The 17 year old will be working a lot, so seldom home, but even so, I am feeling this separation. I expect that I will read less, write less, post less, and have been cutting back anyway this month (only 10 posts compared with 17 in April and March). I have been wanting to plow deeper and more slowly. This job thing is going to allow us to shed a paper route that we’ve been doing for ten years early- early on Sunday mornings. The 2 a.m. start to the day has started to catch up to our 50ish-ness. So, this is a good and a temporary thing, and I’m telling myself that everyday.


  12. So … your summer will be working instead of vacationing … praying your job is a good fit and that God will give you lots of insight. May you have a wonderful experience!


  13. Favorite post ever hearing about you and your life!!! I started out thinking about how one of my favorite’s from my parents garden were the peas…yum! And congratulations on your new job! And on winning the poetry contest! I’d love to read what you wrote Michelle! And congratulations on the guest posting too!!! Yeah!!! Way to go!!!
    I am in a transition time with needing to get a full-time job myself, so, that could be my request, that the LORD would present the opportunity he wants for me and Psalm 90:16&17 all over it. Thank you kindly for asking. Bless you in this new season!


  14. Sounds like a great month of May, Michele! I’ll be praying for a peaceful transition with your new job and summer schedule. We’re moving in 3 months, so prayers for that preparation are welcome 🙂 I just downloaded The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges. Looking forward to reading that through this summer. Have a blessed week, my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Michele, may you have a smooth transition into your job! And congrats on your (in)courage post! How very exciting! I so enjoyed reading this post and getting to know a little more about you. Currently I am reading “For The Love” by Jen Hatmaker – just for me, not to review 🙂 I started it today and am so enjoying it. I am looking forward to summer as a time to relax a little bit and have my soul restored. Blessings!


    1. Thanks, Joanne! I plan to do some of that kind of reading this summer as well. The fun thing is when books find their way into our writing even though we haven’t planned it. Thanks for reading! Blessings!


  16. Going back to work, that is huge! I’m sure you will pull everything together and success will be upon your forehead! I loved getting to know you a bit more personally here. Thank you for that. Until we meet again….good luck in this next chapter of your days.


  17. Good Morning, Michele, I so enjoyed hearing about your month. Lots going on for you! I am from Maine originally and, although we moved away when I was young, there is still Maine dirt under my mom’s fingernails (she has always loved gardening) and my dad moved back there before he died.

    May has been a month of travel for me … to North Carolina for one grandchild’s high school graduation and then to a cabin in the mountains of New Mexico for a long week-end. I’m glad to be back home and into some kind of routine again, although there are lots of graduation parties and a going away party tonight (I know it’s June already). My husband’s best friend is moving from Texas to Florida. He and his wife will be greatly missed!

    I’m getting ready to make a transition myself, but the opposite of yours. Like you, I went back to work after the kids were grown and have been in full time ministry with my husband for the last 10 years (as a biblical counselor at our church). But by the end of July (I hope), I’ll be retiring, not from ministry, but from being there full time. I don’t think we ever really retire from ministry. I will still be counseling, but as a volunteer and on my own schedule. I’m especially looking forward to having more time to write and spend with grandchildren before they are all completely grown!

    Praying June is great month for us both! Blessings my friend!


    1. Thanks for this newsy update. I am continually inspired (and amazed) at your productivity and prolific writing here on the web. What fun that you are from Maine? Where did you grow up? I’m from Aroostook County, and now live in the mid-coast region.


    1. That day was such a gift! All four of my sons were able to be there with us, and we saw all kinds of people that we knew (because something like this doesn’t happen in Maine very often!). And the content was priceless!


  18. Michele – So great we are neighbor with both our posts we linked up to #GraceandTruth … So Monday is the BIG day for you to start your summer job!! So exciting -and fun – it was great to get a glimpse into your slice of the world today, thanks for sharing.


  19. We have the Lazuli bunting visiting the bird feeder again this year. He seems to enjoy hanging out with the Grosbeaks and golden finches. I have to send pictures to my sister when a new bird from this area shows up since they are not found in Georgia. There is something relaxing about bird watching. Thanks for sharing your May Musings with Thankful Thursdays.

    Liked by 1 person

  20. I have been looking for a good book to read and the first two sound like just what I need. My step-daughter died in February and I am beginning to come out of grief long enough to see through to the other side….though I will never get over her loss. I think you comment on my blog sometimes and I am never able to return your comments because your link goes to a google+ place…..or maybe I am not remembering the name correctly. Either way, I am happy to find your blog today and will be back to visit again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So nice of you to “track me down.” I do enjoy the artistry of your blog. It sounds as if you have had a hardscrabble road since February, and I’m sorry. Thanks for the visit!


  21. Wow Michele that is quite a change going back to work full time – I hope it is going well for you!

    Ravi has come to speak at our church a couple of times and sends at least on member of the RZIM team annually, it’s always a special treat!

    Thanks for sharing your update with The Cozy Reading Spot


  22. Love this! I didn’t know you did musing posts! Congrats on winning a poetry contest! I’m not surprised as your writing is beautiful. Hoping your first week of work has gone well. Will be thinking of you as I know that must be a huge change! Thanks so much for sharing this post and link-up at Booknificent Thursday on this week! Great to have you!


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