Musings — June 2017

Hand in tiny hand they meandered their way down the aisle, flower girl and ring bearer, each gripping a bouquet, searching the crowded pews for the faces of their grandmothers.  I can’t recall ever Captureseeing a more beautiful flower arrangement than the one with the dangling rose that I received from my grandson at his uncle’s wedding.  It is no small thing to survive a journey in the hand of a small boy.

June has been a month of family, a season of gathering together around both celebration and mourning.  We’ve spent moments cherishing memories, and we’ve invested  time in preparation for the future as another son finds his balance on the edge of the nest and makes solid plans for his launch into good days to come.

We have welcomed another daughter-in-love into our family chaos, and we also continue to grow in our love and appreciation for the woman who loves our oldest son and cares for our grandchildren.

Father’s Day Celebration at Pemaquid Point

On the Blog

I enjoyed the hospitality of two blogging friends in June.

Sue Donaldson flung the doors and the windows open wide and filled the room with stories about the blessing of faces around a table.  I shared the story of our family’s ongoing relationship with missionaries who have visited in our home and have enlarged our hearts and our view of the world.  You can read the whole story here, and, while you’re over at Sue’s place, be sure to check out the series because Every Table Tells a Story.

Then, one day I received an email asking if I would share a review of one of my family’s favorite movies.  Well, of course I would, but first — which movie?  There’s been a lot of popcorn consumed in this house!  Hop on over to Melanie Redd’s writing home to find out why Chitty Chitty Bang Bang won out (over Master of Disguise) and why you should consider watching it with your kids and grandkids.  Also, be on the lookout for upcoming installments in Melanie’s series of good family films for summer viewing.

We met around four books at Living Our Days this month.  Thank you for your good thoughts — the conversation has been lively and I invite you to join us if you haven’t already.

Never Unfriended by Lisa-Jo Baker addresses the longing we have for authentic friendship, and just might feel like a heart-to-heart talk with a trusted girlfriend.

Kay Warren wrote Sacred Privilege with ministry wives in mind, but if you’ve done time in a pew, you will find rich wisdom in her words for navigating life with the family of God.

I devoted two separate posts to Keeping Place by Jen Pollock Michel because it addressed the meaning of home both theologically (read “A Theology of Home” here) and practically (read “The Work of Home” here).  If you’ve ever read words from Scripture and longed for the permanence that is more than place, or if you’ve found yourself overwhelmed by the practical details of housekeeping (and wondered if it’s worth it), you’ll want to settle into this book for a good long re-setting read.

Reading the Bible Supernaturally by John Piper was a challenging and rewarding reminder that, while we must approach our reading of Scripture with discernment and with all our diligent efforts as a student, we are mightily assisted by the Holy Spirit in our assimilation of truth and in the outworking of righteousness which comes about as a result of our having seen and savored Christ in His Word.

In the Garden

I am pleased to report that the entire garden has received its first thorough weeding . . . and now I’m starting all over again.  There is no “once and done” in this business of growing vegetables, which is an excellent metaphor for our process of spiritual formation.  I enjoyed the challenge of writing about this very thing at a new Facebook Group that I’m helping out with these days:  Seeking God Daily.  You can read my first contribution here, and you’re welcome to join the group for daily inspiration to pursue God through His Word.

Blessings and love to each one of you.  It’s a privilege to share words of encouragement and challenge here, to talk books, and to hear your thoughts in the comments.  Enjoy these fleeting days of summer (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere!).

My favorite Sunday morning women and I are finishing up Peter’s first letter to his “elect exiles,” and since we are included in his wise offerings, let’s come into this new season with a renewed determination that  “above all [we will] keep loving one another earnestly.”


Join me over at Leigh Kramer’s place for What I’m Into where others will also be sharing their end-of-month recap posts.  Great recommendations for reading and listening and enjoying life abound!

If you enjoy reading Living Our Days, subscribe to get regular Bible studies and book reviews delivered to your inbox.  Just enter your e-mail address in the field at the top of this page.

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.



55 thoughts on “Musings — June 2017”

  1. Michele,
    I always enjoy your musings….congratulations as your family expands – cause for celebration. As always enjoy your book reviews and you’ve had me singing “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s” theme song 🙂 Good childhood memories….
    Summer blessings,
    Bev xx


  2. Purchased my copy of Keeping Place yesterday based on your book reviews. Can’t wait for it to arrive. I remember going with a friend to see Chitty Chitty Bang Bang when it was first in theatres-when we watched the Three Stooges instead of endless commercials. And hooray for family! Weddings are wonderful reminders of God’s love for us. Seeing our children happy is a joy to our hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear that you’re going to dive into that good book! I’m still pondering the words, and I know that there’s a re-read coming in my future. I hope you’ll share your thoughts when you’re done.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Michele, I always enjoys these peeks into your life. Beautiful bouquet and growing family! I loved your thoughts on gardening and then in “The Work of Home.” Seeing the weeding AND the crumbs as a reminder of our dependence on God is a needed perspective shifter for me because I can find myself grumbling when those first crumbs appear. Thank you for this! ((Hugs))


    1. Solidarity among Crumb Grumblers! (Me too!) But it’s so good for our souls to come back to the crumbs and to work toward seeing them as a gift — and as a sign that our house is peopled with dear crumb-leavers. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Love the west coast! I spent one semester at a small college in southern CA, and then, a few years ago, our family traveled from Seattle down the coast, through Sacramento and then angled off toward the SW states. So glad we had that experience because it’s like a different planet out there!


  4. Dear Michele,
    What a full and wonderful June you had! I loved the description of your little Grandboy and his bouquet. Those are memories to treasure. I appreciate your heart that looks for wonder and beauty everywhere you go, and in everything you read. Thank you for sharing it with us all here!


  5. Weddings, family pics … bittersweet joys and sorrows.

    What a season this has been for you, friend. I hope the weeks ahead give you time to pause, to rest, to linger. I’m guessing we’ll find you hard at work in your garden!


  6. Michele, I am new to your blog — found you a few weeks ago by way of JES’ The Art of Home blog party…
    Your book reviews are wonderfully written: thought-filled and detailed. Though your posts are free-of-charge, they have certainly cost me a little money the past two weeks! haha.
    I’ve purchased Unfriended, Keeping Place, and John Piper’s recent tome — {The $32.99 book is in Lifeway stores right now for only $19.99} — for which you gave such enticing and thorough reviews.
    Currently I am finishing up the most astounding book — Extravagant Grace by Barbara Duguid (P&R Publishing). I’ve whittled down nearly an entire purple colored pencil while highlighting and taking marginal notes! You MUST check this book out if you haven’t already read it. I can’t begin to read anything else until I go back to the beginning of this book and review all of my highlights, comments, exclamation points, stars, circles, etc.!!
    Thanks so much for your ministry!


    1. We are definitely kindred spirits! I read Barbara’s book last winter in preparation for a teaching session I had in March and it was astounding! I haven’t reviewed it because I thought maybe I would do an online book club around it someday — it was THAT good.


  7. I love recreated photos. It’s so fun.
    Will check out these links. Can you believe the first half of the year is over? Crazy, right?


  8. You should have written your Ecclesiastes rendition about weeding the garden (I feel you there too). Also, how sweet to see your family grow in female numbers! I love “daughter-in-love”. You would be my fairy mother-in-law.


    1. Don’t even get me started on the weeding process! Fortunately, my husband is back from a few days in Chicago for work — and HE can get the rototiller started and run that behemoth between the rows. “My hero!”


  9. I love your family pictures. That is one good looking family. I can see the love in everyone’s face and I know you adore them.

    Living in a condo my days of really gardening are over but do enjoy living it through other people like you.

    Thank you for all of your book reviews. It is one of my favorite things to find here at your place. Happy Fourth!


    1. Are you loving your condo? I know you love the outdoors and get plenty of exposure to nature on all your walks. I’m so happy to know that you enjoy the book reviews. And I do appreciate your reading. Hope your celebration of Independence Day is wonderful.


  10. All sounds lovely, June did pass by so quick! So this is a really meaningful way of breaking down all the special moments, helping us to remember and be grateful for them #twinklytuesday


  11. Michele,

    You have been super busy but I love reading a synopsis of all you have been doing, reading, and rejoicing in. 🙂 You are a blessing in so many ways to so many people. I am grateful for your beautiful heart.

    Thanks for sharing this with the #gracemoments community.


  12. What a lovely round up, Michele, and what a great way to share all that your are doing on your blog as well! Congratulations to your son and his wife! I had to smile when I read your description of doing the weeding and having to start all over again. I can totally identify with that! Thank you so much for sharing, and for being a part of Hearth and Soul. I hope you will visit again this week.


  13. What a fun looking bunch of family you have, Michele! May God continue to bless you through them and allow you to bless them as well. It’s so exciting to see our kids grow up, isn’t it?


    1. They are a fun bunch, Anita, and I love the sound of their laughter when they are together. Their friendship and enjoyment of one another is one of my greatest blessings — something I never dreamed could be so wonderful!


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