October Musings — 2016

Movement outside my window is a continual distraction this time of year.  Leaves floating down in vibrant shades of turmeric and cayenne pull my attention away from the pan on the stove, the recipe on the counter, the book I’m trying to read.

The autumn foliage is breathtaking on this country hill, and I’m reminded that all this beauty is a portal through which God enters my days and my thoughts.  Four times in Scripture we are exhorted to “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness,”  and the perfection of His creative genius shouts to me when I’m walking the dog in a shower of swirling color.

After all, God could have made leaves fall off the trees without bothering to make the whole process so glorious.


On the Nightstand

My pondering of autumn beauty has been sweetened by a slow reading of Luci Shaw’s reflections on creativity and faith.

capture“When the world was created, it would have been enough to have it work, wouldn’t it?  To include beauty seems gratuitous, a gift of pure grace, which I believe it is.”     ~Luci Shaw

Luci quotes Frederick Buechner, who said of beauty, “It is to the spirit what food is to the flesh.  If fills an emptiness in you that nothing else under the sun can.”

Where are you seeing beauty these days?

On the Blog

I was honored (and momentarily panic-stricken) when Mary Hill invited me to be one of the women spotlighted in her October series “31 Christian Bloggers Who Inspire a Closer Walk with Jesus.”  She asked some thought-provoking questions, and she has aimed those same questions at thirty other women in the blogging community.  You can find our conversation here.

Be sure to visit SheLoves Magazine this Saturday!  They will be featuring my post on prayer, a topic that has floated to the surface frequently this month on the blog.

October’s most-read book review at Living Our Days highlighted Leslie Leyland Fields’ new book — her tenth!  Crossing the Waters moves seamlessly from memoir to Biblical narrative and back again as Leslie shares stories from the following life with all its storms, abundance, and necessary net-mending.  If you’re an early Christmas shopper, add it to your list!

Just for Joy

My church family has called a new pastor!  We have invited him and his wife into our mess with us; to teach and admonish and provoke us; to walk among us — because that’s what shepherds do.

In September’s Musings post, I shared that I had been convicted of my need to be more purposeful in my prayer life — particularly for my immediate family.  That thought took root and grew into an entire post that I shared in October, and the timing was perfect,

each-day-by-namesince the family is growing all the time!  Our second son has announced his engagement to a lovely young woman, and they will be married in the spring!  That certainly qualifies as the highlight of my month!



What challenges are you facing in this season, and how is God revealing Himself as faithful in your life?

I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below, and am thankful for your reading, your insights, and your regular encouragement here in this space.

Every blessing to you,



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33 thoughts on “October Musings — 2016”

  1. Beautifully written and expressed, as usual! This article reminds me why we spend time on Grand Manan Island every summer…..not much for restaurants, no fast food places or shopping malls. You are left to sit or walk by the ocean and reflect on the beauty the Lord provided for us. It gives us time to think about a lot of things in our lives and how He is changing it as we age. We find a role reversal, from the caretaker to the care receiver, which is greatly appreciated. We are so blessed with such loving, caring children and grandchildren!

    Right now our challenges remain the same: fighting the fierce cold northern Maine winters and all the work involved living out in the country. Roger bought a larger tractor and snowblower last year which has helped but he is always puttering around out there and the wife and nurse in me watches him because of his previous heart attacks. But we praise God for the strength and faith he gives us every day to be able to stay here and live life the way we love it.

    Thank you Michele for making me think so early in the morning. I got up at five to make muffins for a very early prayer meeting with friends from our church.


      1. You cross the border at Calais and go about fifty miles to Blacks Harbor then go on a very large ferry for ninety minutes to get there. It looks like it should be in Maine but is actually in New Brunswick.
        It is like stepping back in time, quiet with beautiful scenery and if you are lucky, you can see whales from the bench over a cliff at the end of the Whistle Road.
        We love it and try to get over once or twice every summer.


  2. Your musing makes me smile today. Especially when you talk about the beauty of Fall. “Leaves floating down in vibrant shades of turmeric and cayenne pull my attention away from the pan on the stove, the recipe on the counter, the book I’m trying to read.” I always feel like I’m walking around in God’s coloring book this time of year. It’s such an amazing site.


  3. Michele you inspire me. I don’t know how you do all you do. I want to come visit you and see those leaves falling – they are in Texas too but we are still in the 90s and it’s not beautiful like where you are.

    Congratulations on being featured on Mary Hill’s.

    Love the way you captured October Musings. I need to try that someday.



  4. What a beautiful month you’ve had!

    I, too, am smitten with God’s glorious color this time of year. I’m so glad He included beauty in the world He made.

    I love the photo with the scrabble tiles and the engagement ring spelling “Morin.” How creative! Congrats to your son and his intended. May they have a blessed and beautiful life together.

    Hmmm… just realized I used beauty and beautiful three times in this comment. Maybe I’m really really appreciative of the concept!


  5. Michele, I always enjoy your posts so much! I felt like I was right there with you as you described you autumnal experiences. 🙂

    The book your shared about sounds like it is full of wonderful insights. Thanks for sharing the one that you did. It was packed full of stuff to reflect on.


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Dear Michele … I love how you wrote about the arrival of your new pastor and his wife. Honest, loving, and expectant.

    Just where God would like all of us to be in our communities of faith.

    Touching, friend. Blessings on you all in this transition.


  7. My husband and I went antiquing in the mountains. I was very surprised at the lack of color there. The dry weather we’ve had has slowed down the color changing. We have a few trees with some beautiful reds and oranges, but many are falling before they change. Congratulations on the new daughter in law to be! Thanks for sharing with Thankful Thursdays.


  8. Your mountain top is beautiful, Michele! Congratulations on the engagement! A spring wedding – how lovely! and thanks for sharing about Luci’s book. It looks like a sweet read! Happy fall!


  9. I love the Luci Shaw quote! I see beauty in so many unexpected places, especially nature. God’s creation is so intricate and astounding. He didn’t forget a single detail! It’s a good reminder to open our eyes and notice the beauty all around us especially when we struggle with the hardships of life. My struggle is not so much for myself, but for my husband who is struggling with career decisions and worn out by his job. I want to be an encouragement to him, but I also find myself falling back into my own selfishness. God is good, though, and I need to remember that He is faithful and sees the big picture even when we are blinded and hurting.


    1. So SO hard when a husband is struggling with work. We wives tend to want to go into “advisory mode,” but so often that is counterproductive. You are wise to struggle with your husband in prayer. It’s such hard work. I have a post at SheLoves Magazine today about that very thing: http://shelovesmagazine.com/2016/ask-for-stones/ (just in case you want to read more — I certainly don’t always get it right myself.)


  10. I love this! “all this beauty is a portal through which God enters my days and my thoughts.” YES! I was musing on something similar just the other day, but I love the words you put to it! It helps me remember to take time to notice and appreciate the glory in Creation. 🙂


  11. Michele,
    What a gorgeous tree! My daughter is going to school in Florida and misses Fall something fierce. Trees like yours are the reason. Thanks for continuing to share the seasons of your life with us your readers. For me this fall is a very busy time with the release of my second book. Through it I am seeing the faithfulness of God to bring about the fulfillment of callings He gave me when I was a teen. I am seeing His faithfulness in the people He is bringing into my life right now. I see so many divine appointments that confirm what Daddy has said in the past. Thankful God keeps connecting us at these linkups 🙂 Hope you have a blessed day!
    ~Sherry Stahl


  12. “God could have made leaves fall off the trees without bothering to make the whole process so glorious.” I never thought of it like this before, Michele, but you are absolutely right. One more reason to enjoy the onset of fall and the brilliant colors that are lining the streets right now. Exciting family news, too … spring weddings are the best! 🙂


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