Musings — July 2016

July has been a month of gatherings, and nothing is more precious to me than the gift of my patient husband and our family.  To celebrate Independence Day we all trekked to our favorite State Park on Lake St. George for a daylong picnic and swim, and then off to the fireworks.  We’ve relished a Saturday at the ocean, an evening around the fire pit with s’mores and starlight, and a lovely opportunity to babysit the adorable grand boy.

You, readers, are a further source of inspiration, and many of you are fellow bloggers who regularly offer up your words, sometimes wondering if anyone is out there reading.  This month your messages of encouragement to me have shown up at just the right time — just like the ravens who served as messengers with God’s provision in the Old Testament (I Kings 17:4-6; Genesis 8:6,7).

Thank You to My Ravens

When your words land
Like downy feathers,
When they  nourish like bread and meat,
I find strength to make my way to the Brook,
To drink deeply,
To be refreshed where God has placed me.

So, dear Ravens, when you have been tossed out of your Ark,
Sent forth from your cherished place of safety
To take wing over some flooded and desolate place,


Keep going to and fro over the waters,
And know this:

Although your mission may not be clear —
No fresh-growing olive leaf in sight for you to pluck
As evidence of your flight —
Someone waits for you.
Some God-loved but wingless soul,
Uncertain about life and food,
Body and clothes,
Some watching, Word-starved worrier
Will consider your carefree flight,
Will hear Spirit-wind in your timely fluttering,
Will cease her empty striving,
Will seek His kingdom and do the Word of the Lord —
Because you took flight.

Book Talk

I’m enjoying some reading this summer that will not be showing up on the blog, and there’s nothing like a book that happens to be an old friend.  This includes working my way slowly through Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water, a section at a time, sometimes re-reading, always encouraged.  I’m also discovering Amy Carmichael’s Edges of His Ways.  It has been a delightful thing to cut back to one book review per week on the blog!

Life at Home

I am two thirds of the way through my commitment to the summer job, and all is well.  It appears that everyone is surviving quite nicely without me standing constantly in the hypotenuse of the sink-stove-fridge-triangle.


Reading, writing, and studying time have been a bit hard to come by, so I resurrected a few older posts for the blog in the month of July.

Our big vegetable garden has been a steady presence in my life for the past couple of decades, and, of course, that has not changed. It’s nearly time for canning to begin.

The patient husband and I are persevering in our journey through the Bible out loud together, and this is a steady source of inspiration.

Living Our Days

The most-read post for July was a meditation on Psalm 142 and David’s Prayer from the Cave.   I am happy to report that the most-read book review was based on Marjorie Maddox’s beautiful collection of poetry entitled Yes. No. None of the Above.  

I’m not sure that I had a favorite post this month, but certainly the most challenging for me to write was my review of Makoto Fujimura’s Silence and Beauty.   Essentially, the task was to write a book review about a book . . . that had been written about another book (Shusako Endo’s Silence).

Coming up in the month of August, I’m delighted to be sharing a post via She Loves Magazine about my friend in Australia, Bev Murrill.  She has a teaching, counseling, and humanitarian ministry to women and children in Africa, and, although we have never met in person, I have been challenged by her heart of compassion.

I’d love to know what is challenging you this summer.   Are there people in your life who show you the love of Christ, who show up like ravens with messages of provision and encouragement?


Subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews from Living Our Days delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the box at the top of this page.

I’ll be linking this post with Leigh Kramer‘s great community 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.


45 thoughts on “Musings — July 2016”

  1. What a beautiful poem, Michele. Such tenderness in it. What a great idea to read the Bible out aloud.

    Your post on Silence and Beauty may have been the most challenging, but was one of my favorites: so much wisdom packed into it.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your reflections on books here: every one of your posts I’ve read has been so encouraging (and often convicting too).


    1. Thanks, Anna! And so glad that you enjoyed the review of Makoto’s book! This is the second year that the patient husband and I have read through the Bible together out loud, and it has truly changed my view of Scripture — particularly the OT.


  2. I love this poem you’ve written! And I feel so honored to be included as one of your ravens. You are certainly one of mine! Blessings to you, dear friend and encourager! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love, love your poem on ravens. What a beautiful insight to how our words can be like ravens to others. I’ve not thought of it in that way before.

    I’ve still not read Walking on Water; I need to add it to my ever-growing list. Thanks for all you do to add encouragement out here in the blog word, Michele!


  4. Dear Michele! What an encouraging post! I especially loved the poem about the ravens. That is just wonderful. Did you compose that? Thank you for sharing your life….and your heart with us here. You are a continual blessing. Much love and gratitude to you, sweet friend.


    1. Yes, the raven poem just tumbled out onto a piece of paper I had in the junk drawer. It needed tweaking of course, but the thoughts came all at once because my husband and I were reading about Elijah. Thanks, Cheryl, for reading and commenting. So GOOD to hear from you!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Michele,
    Thank you for being MY raven!! I really appreciate that with all you have on your plate, you still take the time to encourage others!! With heading up the non-profit ministry, RCF, Inc., I really thought I didn’t have time to continue writing and considered putting it on hold for awhile, but my friendships with the community of bloggers kept tugging on my heart. I may not get around as much as I would like to visit others blogs, but I am fighting to hold onto this community because it is SO uplifting. Enjoyed your musings here…I have a patient hubby as well – what a gift from God!!
    Blessings sweet friend,


    1. So glad that you are persevering with your writing. I have yet to listen to your interview with Holly, but it’s still in my inbox and on my mind. Looking forward to learning more about your ministry and life!


  6. That poem is beautiful. I told you on an earlier post about the book of poetry my grandmother left me. I found it while going through boxes getting ready for our move. I placed it in my book bag so I will have it to read through once everything settles down. Thank you for encouraging poetry, I can’t wait to read through the book. Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.


  7. Michele, I’m so blessed to be the recipient of these words that ‘tumble out’ of you. The Raven thanks did my heart such good. You are my Raven while I sit here wings still for a bit longer… Thank you for sharing your life and heart.


  8. Gosh, what a beautiful and insightful poem, Michele. Thanks for bringing us such insight into the way we can give to each other when we’re tossed out of our ark… you’ve that inspiration to so many.


    1. It sounds as if you are coming into August with all kinds of inspiration and energy after the re-fueling with that lovely group of friends. I so enjoyed reading about it!


  9. What a lovely, inspiring poem, Michele! I’m glad you’ve discovered Edges of His Ways, I have very, wonderfully old smelling, copy on my nightstand 🙂 Blessings on your Sabbath, my friend.


  10. Michele, oh, how I’ve missed your words and to return to your musings is a delight. You have been a raven to me with your kind words that remind me I’m not alone on this blogging journey. Thank you, sweet friend. : )

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your updates are always so encouraging and exemplary to me, Michele! Thank you. Glad that triangle is running alright while you work : P And the poem is lovely. When the Lord speaks of sending out words and them not returning void in the book of Isaiah, I always imagine words like birds. Your poem just enhances the image for me! Thank you!


  12. I must agree with so many others here: I loved your Ravens Poem! It brought tears to my eyes, just remembering the many beautiful words that have pulled me through hard places! And, I love Amy Carmichael’s words too; her life has been a constant encouragement to me through the years. Glad to be your neighbor over at #TellHisStory. –Blessings!


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