Musings – May 2017

There are 48 tomato seedlings on my deck, waiting to be transplanted into the garden.  Warm soil and optimism dictate the parameters of spring gardening here in Maine; therefore, even in the presence of the first, absence of the second may keep me from putting anything tender out into the elements until after Memorial Day.

I’m working at being more optimistic these days, partly as a public service — I’ll be much easier to live with — but mostly because my theology demands it.  The question I come back to (like that tune stuck in my head) is this:  Do I believe that God is good and that He loves me?  A.W. Tozer put it this way:

“What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”

What words popped into your mind just now?
Loving?  Angry?  Judging?  Powerful?
Trustworthy?  Satisfying?

As the days lengthen and my thoughts turn to growing things, my hope is to allow the Spirit to form my spirit so that the truth that I believe directly impacts the way I order my days and the thoughts that occupy my mind.

On the Blog

When you spend your mornings wrestling through an advanced math class with your high school senior, when your mum passes away unexpectedly, and when your twenty-seventh anniversary comes and goes in the midst of it all, there’s a meeting place of events and emotion.  Many thanks to those of you who read  The Meeting Places and shared your condolences, your congratulations — and your thoughts on the horrors of trig!  I was thankful for cards with messages of love from family and friends, but was especially overwhelmed to receive cards in the mail from blogging friends — evidence that our worlds can come together in real life!

Because I got behind on my reading and writing in April, I reviewed seven books in May.  The most widely read of those reviews was on Lydia Brownback’s Finding God in My Lonelinessa thoughtful analysis of the reasons why we are lonely, and God’s redemptive purposes in it.

Be watching next month for my contribution to Sue Donaldson’s on-going creation, a community founded in the celebration of hospitality, Every Table Tells a Story.  She has flung her doors open wide to a variety of women who believe that there are lots of ways to nourish others around the table, and I’ll be sharing our family’s story on June 8th.  Be sure to check out the Facebook page and join the ongoing conversation there.

Family News

The death of a woman who is 88 cannot be termed a surprise, but it can be — and it was — a shock.  After an uneventful visit with my mother on a Tuesday afternoon, twelve hours later she was on her way to the hospital by ambulance. My prevailing emotion through out the entire experience has been gratitude.  God allowed her to leave this earth with so little drama — it was almost as if she faded away.

Thanks to our oldest son Isaac and his lovely wife, it looks as if there is finally going to be a Morin girl!  She is due to arrive at the end of September.




Wedding plans, bridal showers — and a triathlon!  Ethan, my number two son, is keeping us busy, and we’re thankful that he and his bride will be married on June 3.




Micah, our third son, is graduating from high school, so this month we celebrated him and his accomplishments with family and friends.  He has already landed a full-time welding position for the summer and will be headed off to college to study welding in the fall.



Parades, concerts, and his very last piano recital have been Joel’s contribution to May’s family calendar.  He and I are in competition for the greatest sense of relief that the school year is coming to a close.

Thanks for reading . . .

. . . and thank you for your input here, so often encouraging or sharing some insight that has come to mind during our visit around words — or even better, around The Word.  Since I’m busily working on memorizing Colossians 3, I’ll close with verses 1 and 2 (typed from memory, of course):

“Since then you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”


As usual, at month’s end you can find me linking up and visiting around all the others bloggers who have shared their musings at Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into party.

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72 thoughts on “Musings – May 2017”

  1. Michele,

    After a painful night with little sleep, your thoughts leave me looking in the right direction, as usual, knowing this is “but for a time” and we look forward to the day we are called to our real Home.

    After so many years of being out of touch, it touches my heart to read about the family and know you and Calvin have worked so hard to bring up four great sons, no mere accomplishment!

    God has blessed you greatly, especially with being able to write this blog as it has helped so many of us. When my spiritual strength is tested, I only have to read your thoughts and I am refreshed once again….thank you! You have been given a great gift and I am so happy to see you helping so many of us. Your reward is being laid up in Heaven!

    Congratulations on the new baby coming, an upcoming wedding and a new daughter in law plus one son’s graduation and the youngest son’s accomplishments as well, all the while grieving the passing of your Mum. What else can I say other than I am very proud to call you my cousin!

    Love and hugs to you!



    1. I’m sorry to hear that you are still struggling with pain and sleeplessness. Has your doctor given you any explanation for this prolonged healing time?
      Thanks, Pam, for staying in contact. What a great outcome of blogging! Finding a cousin!


  2. My sweet friend and encourager, I am fighting back tears reading all the good news from he home front! I love Good News…the wedding, baby, passing to glory, Micah’s graduation and Joel’s presentation, gladden my heart. I pray June brings you wealth of blessings Michele. God Bless.

    oh one more thing, I thought it was your facebook page? Haha…Hugs


  3. I enjoyed reading your review of the month, and that’s exciting that there is going to be a new baby girl in your family! I like the Tozer quote. It’s so true that what we think of God has a huge impact on everything: our thoughts and attitudes and how we live.


  4. Michele,
    I always love your “Musings”, but am always taken back by the fact that another month has blown by?! Thankful, that even has you mourn death, you celebrate the coming of new life. God is good in giving us hope when our hearts are downtrodden. Sharing with you in all the joys God is blessing you with. How you home schooled all boys is still beyond me 🙂 Your crown of life will most certainly have extra jewels for that 🙂 Love Tozer’s quote – so true.
    Bev xx


  5. Michele,
    Your words are of hope and optimism. Your blog is such a joy to read! I love reading your thoughts and so appreciate your family news and updates. I truly believe you were brought into my life for a reason and I am so very thankful.


  6. So much in a month, Michele! I’ve been praying for you and am looking forward to your “table” contribution and next months’ musings (I’m a litle crazy about wedding photos and all the sunny joy summer reflections usually carry!) Congratulations on a Morin girl!!


  7. So nice to “meet” you here; I’ll second what others have said: this post was lovely and encouraging to read. I’m sorry about your mom, yet grateful that she had an “easy”/soft passing. Congrats on new family members and all the other good things going on in your world! I’m a born “Eeyore,” but I love your idea of working on being more optimistic — and your reasons! I’m going to prayerfully try that as well 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Awww, Michele, God is good, isn’t He? How wonderful that He met you through cards from bloggers and friends and family. And, how exciting to hear the news in your family! We are not at the engaged part of life yet. If we can all survive the teen years, we’ll call that a major success. 🙂

    I loved reading all your updates, my friend. Keep working on the optimism. It’s empowering to you and those around you. 🙂 Hugs.


    1. Those teen years FLY! My oldest is 23 and married, expecting baby #2, but there are times when I still picture him with crazy hair and baggy jeans. I loved him then, but I must admit, he is much more lovable now!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Goodness yes, what a month… And this quote amid all of it —> “I’m working at being more optimistic these days, partly as a public service” was pretty funny and a much needed reality in these parts as well! My condolences on your sweet mom’s passing and many congratulations on the blessings to come with babies, weddings, jobs and hopefully a summer to sit back and savor… and muse some more! God bless Michele– looking forward to your story around Sue’s table as well!


  10. I’m sorry to hear about the passing of your mother, Michele! 😦 It’s never easy, no matter how old or young. So sorry for your loss. Congratulations on the expectant granddaughter! Woo-hoo! A girl! You’ve got so much going on. Hope you’re finding time to rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh my – what a busy and eventful and emotional time! I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother. My m-i-l will be 89 in a few weeks and lives with us, and we’re hoping that when her time comes, it will be drama-free and peaceful. Even though we’re expecting her passing almost any day, I am sure it will affect in ways we’re not expecting. I pray for God’s grace for you in this time of grief.

    Graduations, weddings, and an expected granddaughter! Such fun! I have never encountered trig, but the thought terrifies me. 🙂

    I have a different book of Lydia Brownback’s that I need to read some time. The one on hospitality sounds intriguing. I need to have and pray for a more hospitable heart. We have all kinds of people coming in from hospice for my m-i-l, and sometimes I just want so much to be ALONE more. But as God has allowed this season, I’m trying to learn from it what He has for me.


    1. Trig sounds worse than it is.

      I am also intending to do more Lydia Brownback reading. Her style is so accessible, and her life intrigues me. She is using her singleness as a platform for ministry rather than an occasion for mourning.

      Trusting that you will continue to experience the grace of God in this season of transition with your m-i-l. My guess is that you will need to take extra good care of yourself once the hospice phase is behind you. All the turmoil can be exhausting.

      Blessings to you, Barbara — so good to hear from you.


  12. what a month you have survived, Michele. yet I sense peace, anticipation, joy even amidst the sorrow in the loss of your mom.

    my mom is now 87 and I hear you very well.

    may your writing continue to give your busy weeks structure and grace as you celebrate lives well lived.


    1. So, once again you and I are on a similar track. And yes, there is peace and joy here in spite of loss. Right now, all of life is a huge arrow pointing to Boy #2’s wedding this weekend. Happy for them, and blessed by the celebration. And I’m going to miss him.


  13. Thank you for continuing to share your heart here, even through such busy and emotional times! Your words always bring such encouragement and inspiration. I am praying for you through all of the Season-Changes, and asking God to bring you New Blessings from Him!


  14. Michele,

    Loved this, your honesty and thank you for the much needed reminder.

    “I’m working at being more optimistic these days, partly as a public service — I’ll be much easier to live with — but mostly because my theology demands it. “


    1. I am in constant need of the reminder that God has all good things for me — today and forever. I may not recognize them as good, but that’s a perception issue on my part. Trusting along with you for new eyes to go with my new heart.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I seriously don’t know how you do it all, Michele! You are one productive lady! Reminds me of the Proverbs 31 wife who didn’t let her “lamp go out at night.” Thanks for all of these amazing tidbits too. Congrats to you on being a grandma to a “granddaughter!” How sweet that is to a “boy” mom! And congrats on your other son’s impending marriage. They are a handsome couple! Congrats on all the fun things happening and my condolences on your mom’s passing. Keep up the good work, my friend!


    1. I need to work on the “she laughs at the days to come . . .” part of that job description, but thanks, Beth, for your encouragement. Hope your anniversary celebration is amazing!


  16. You know I am goo-goo over this post. The Queen of Morinia and her four handsome princes. Yes, that is YOU. My new name for you. You are my word-mentor. Keep the trig but keep those words coming!!!!! Love you.


    1. I read this message on my phone, wandering around Walmart overwhelmed with my list of freight needed for the rehearsal dinner. It felt so good to smile. I’ll probably live at least five years longer just because you sent this comment.


  17. What a season you are living through right now! Hoping for God’s peace and comfort for you as you grapple with loss and for joy as you celebrate marriages, upcoming births, and graduations.


  18. Michele, I just got around to planting my tomatoes yesterday. I bought them almost six weeks ago, and really should have planted them by May 15. Still, they looked fairly healthy and I hope to have many for freezing this September. Looks like life is keeping you very busy, and I’m glad to see these glimpses into your world!


  19. Dear Michele, continued prayers for your grieving heart. ((hug)) Wow, so much going on in your world these days. Congrats on baby girl Morin! And, congrats on the wedding this weekend. Two new family members for your legacy to reach. Annnnd, congrats to the graduate! — I’m right there in competition with y’all for being ready for summer. We’re not homeschooling this year (for the first time in 14 years), but we’re still aching for summer to begin already. Last day for my 15 year old is tomorrow. I think we can, I think we can… — Thanks for your faithful, gentle presence around the blog-o-sphere, Michele. You bless. ((xoxo))


  20. Michele, your words are so encouraging! I really needed to read this today. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a blessing that she passed peacefully. Congratulations on the exciting new additions to your family. Enjoy the wedding! 🙂


  21. I wish I could give you a hug or squeeze your hand as I offer condolences over the passing of your mother. I hope that the many celebrations your family is experiencing will be a balm to your heart in this season.
    Your garden must be enormous! It is all I can do to keep up with the four tomato plants that we have. We’re in southeast Texas, though, so I’ve been harvesting zucchini and strawberries for a while…we’ll have ripe tomatoes in a couple of days and bell peppers in a week or so!


  22. Wow! What a month you’ve had, Michele! While I’m sorry for the grief you are experiencing over the death of you mom, I’m glad God is bringing you His peace and comfort in the midst of the pain. I can’t wait to read what you share over at Sue’s Table! Blessings to you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Michele, the loss of a mother, no matter their age, is such a huge loss. This past week, when our youngest daughter had her first baby, one of my first thoughts was how much I wish Mama was here to see him and to see our girl’s great joy. I’m so happy for you and the news of your soon to arrive granddaughter. We are an even three and three now, with a total of six grandkids. What a blessing!


    1. Congratulations on your new arrival! I love the three and three! We added a daughter in love this week to our family bringing the number of girls in the family up to three (counting me!), but we’ve got a long way to go to catch up to the four brothers, my husband and our grandson!


  24. My husband and I have a garden again. It’s been years because we gave in to the critters. Through another blogger, I discovered raised beds, and I mean raised. They are made of resin and stand about four feet tall. Win for me and my husband, lose for the groundhogs. lol. We tried to grow seedlings indoors, but they didn’t survive while in the house and those that made it to the outside, perished at that time. Thankfully, our garden is thriving now. We just harvested our first crop, radishes and lettuce. 🙂

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your mum. May the God of all Comfort bring you comfort.

    Rejoicing with you with all the wonderful news in your family! I can speak from experience that granddaughters are wonderful! 🙂

    It was so good to come by, visit and catch up.


    1. So glad to hear of your gardening success story. My radishes and lettuce are just barely out of the ground, but soon it will be time to begin weeding. I’m actually looking forward to it.

      Thanks for the visit over the (virtual) garden fence!


  25. I love “catching” up with you at the end of each month. May is one you want to remember and probably at the same time not remember because of the loss of your mom. So much joy and sorrow mixed together. It reminds me again that joy and sadness can exist side by side and they are not always competing with one another. Prayers and blessings for all the future holds for you.


  26. If I read that right, you’ve just had a wedding and congratulations are in order! What an emotional few months this has been for you! You are in my prayers! Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on this week! Always a pleasure to have you!


  27. Michele, I am so sorry for your loss. But I am so grateful to read of how you were encouraged by so many in the blog world. And YAY for babies!! Baby girls are so much fun. Congratulations on your son’s wedding and another’s graduation!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Michele, I’m so late reading you May Musings, but I always enjoy your “musings.” It was indeed a busy May for you full of ups and downs. Life is like that, isn’t it? It’s so good that the difficult times are still mixed with God’s blessings. Thanks for linking up so faithfully on Mondays @ Soul Survival. I appreciate you and your encouragement so much!


  29. Wow – so much going on. It’s a blessing to read about the goings-on in others’ ordinary lives – the trials and the triumphs.

    And I can’t even imagine trig; I can’t even help my middle son with geometry. 😉

    I’ve always wanted to visit Maine. 🙂 Maybe someday!

    Thanks for linking up at Literacy Musing Mondays.


    1. If you can survive geometry, you’ll grow into trig along with your son. (I have to re-visit geometry this year, and I’m dreading it . . .). Thanks for your faithful presence with the link-up. I know it’s a lot of work for you and Mary, and I appreciate all you do.


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