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.
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?
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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.