Musings: March 2018

In this month of serial snow storms, it’s been challenging to get into an Easter frame of mind. So often, resurrection is paired with images of new birth and sprouting things, but then, I was reminded amidst all the shoveling, blizzard warnings, and cancellations that resurrection springs forth out of death and THE resurrection was a complete surprise to Jesus’ friends and followers. Be encouraged, then, that God comes to us today in surprising ways:  in the midst of the hopeless mess or the routine of laundry folding or the deep disappointment that feels like a small death.

Hope in God is a confident expectation — not a cross-your-fingers aspiration.

Run! Let's live in power going forward in that sacred knowing.

On the Blog

It’s been a pleasure this month to focus on resurrection with one post of suggested Easter reading followed by another featuring a collection of poems I’ve written for celebrations of the past.

"When you choose anything, you reject everything else." G.K. Chesterton


In March, I continued in my conquest of Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton with a post on the consequentiality of our choosing and its impact on our parenting and every area of life.

“Every act of the will is an act of self-limitation” –even if you happen to be the Son of God.



The reading in March has been varied with two memoirs, a biography, and a work of fiction.

In How to Fix a Broken Record: Thoughts on Vinyl Records, Awkward Correcting the Soundtrack in Your HeadRelationships, and Learning to Be Myself, Amena Brown looks back over her shoulder with humility and gratitude to honor the resiliency and courage of the women who have contributed to her story’s formation:

“My great-grandmother picked cotton
and worked in a tobacco factory
so my grandmother could work at a hospital
so my mom could become a nurse
so I could become a poet.”

As I progressed through Holy in the Moment: Simple Ways to Love God and Enjoy Your LifeI found myself pausing and pondering over shimmering glimpses of wisdom that stand alone in their gracious beckoning toward truth:

“Aim for consistency but walk in grace.”

“You can choose the thoughts you will receive and the ones you will reject.”

“The faith way is to think,”I know my work is taxing, but Christ is my strength.”

“Far more than a doctrine to follow, holiness is a life to enjoy.”

“It’s important to understand that joy is not the absence of pain in circumstances, but rather the presence of God in the midst of them.”

Everyday choices build a life. Mundane moments of loving our kids, cherishing our husbands, and supporting our friends in ten thousand different ways over the course of a lifetime well-lived change us from the inside out. “Loving God whole-heartedly is choosing the life we were made for,” and one day, we discover that God is doing His work through us, and we shine with a glory that is not our own

In Karl Barth: An Introductory Biography for Evangelicals, Mark Galli has The Life and Theology of Karl Barthextended a gift to the community of readers in the form of an accessible and balanced look at a well-known and yet inscrutable theologian. Whether we choose to argue that Karl Barth’s theology supported him in poor moral choices or that his theology was terrific and truthful, but he simply failed to live up to its ideals, he is arguably one of the greatest Protestant theologians of the 20th century. His story becomes a cautionary tale for any of us who teach and study Scripture, for we will never live up to all that we know, but may we find grace to live consistently with the remarkable message of the gospel with all its provision for forgiveness.

Can You See Anything Now?In her review of Can You See Anything Now?: A Novel, Jen Pollock Michel reminded her readers that they’re not picking up a work of Amish fiction when they read Katherine James’s debut novel. While it received Christianity Today’s 2018 award for fiction, it is a complicated read that requires believers to assess their willingness to read R-rated language in order to fully enter into a clear picture of the fractured human heart.

In the Snow

Yes, the snow gets its own category this month because it has played a major role in disrupting life on this country hill. Nonetheless, we’ve had some great moments for walking, enjoying the sunshine when it appears, and visiting with family.

Weekly, I have met in the church library with a group of women who take their Bible very seriously, and we are persevering in our study of Cynthia Heald’s Becoming a Woman of Grace.

The patient husband and I are continuing in our read through of the Bible out loud, and we even had the opportunity to do some teaching together at a Christian Education conference here in Maine.

Thank you for your encouragement that comes in the form of comments and dialogue. So many of you have become on-line friends and I look forward to your insights whenever they come. May your days be filled with meaning because of the gushing “river of resurrection” that flows just beneath the surface–sometimes washing over us when we least expect it!

He is risen indeed!


michele signature rose[1]

I  am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to If you should decide to purchase any of the titles listed in this post simply click on the title within the text, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.

And since this is the end of March, I’m joining the party over at Leigh Kramer’s place where bloggers gather for What I’m Into. Come on over for lots of book, podcast, and viewing recommendations.

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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.

Photo by Bryan Rodriguez on Unsplash

59 thoughts on “Musings: March 2018”

  1. Michele,
    I always enjoy your “Musings”! I love the assuredness of a”sacred knowing.” We don’t have to cross our fingers…we can confidently expect – Praise! I also like the quote about choosing which thoughts we will receive and which we will reject. Oh do I need more practice with this. I think our extra dose of snow has heightened our expectancy of Easter. Wishing you a blessed and joyous Easter, friend! He IS Risen!!
    Bev xx


  2. Michele, I always enjoy your monthly musings. It is so true – all the snow (and we still have some on the ground lingering) – makes it difficult to think of Easter and spring. But then that is much what the early believers faced … would they hold onto the hope of resurrection even when it didn’t appear to be in front of them? Perhaps the lingering presence of winter and snow is teaching us more than we realized. May you and your family have a most blessed Easter!


  3. Hi Michele, you’re part of the country has had a rough winter, but soon it will be warm. I love your statement about the hope of Easter! I know I’ve told you before how I look forward to reading your posts. Your words always bring tears to my eyes; I really can’t explain it. Thank you for your beautiful encouragement! Happy Easter to you and your family. Susan


    1. This is such an encouragement to me, Susan. It’s good to know that the blog posts are reaching people who are reading and being impacted by the truth. There are so many words out there, and when someone chooses to read mine, I feel honored and blessed.


  4. Beautiful reminder to live with expectation, Michele: “resurrection was a complete surprise to Jesus’ friends and followers.” Pairs beautifully with my morning devotion. Love the quotes you pull out. Always look forward to your musings.


  5. That’s a good thought, that the resurrection came not when things were bright and hopeful, but when they were at their lowest.

    I love your paragraph after Holy in the Moment quotes. So much of life is in those mundane moments rather than the once-in-a-lifetime encounters, and we need God’s grace and reflect His glory in both.

    I have enjoyed a number of Cynthia Heald’s books – I can’t remember if I have read that one, but I think I did a long time ago.


    1. Cynthia Heald is one of the very few authors that I know of who has come to my part of the world to speak, so I got to hear her in person. That always helps, I think, in appreciating someone.
      Thanks for sharing the bits that hit your heart. So much of our time is spent in the mundane activities that maintain life, it’s a blessing that God is willing to meet us there.
      Happy Easter, Barbara!


  6. Michele, your Monthly Musings are always a treat to read! When I saw the river photo and quote, I was reminded of our friend, Jayber, and the beautiful pictures he painted for us when he walked his own river path. Thank you for the beautiful pictures that you paint for all of us, as you bring the Truth of the Scriptures into daily living! Have a Blessed Easter!


  7. Well, I covet your snow just a little bit! We’ve had cold but not on the wet days and wet, but only on the warmer days. Blaugh… But even a dreary start to spring can’t stop the glorious Easter resurrection celebration in my heart! Easter Blessings!


  8. I want to read Ginger’s book. It’s on my list! Blessings on your Easter, sweet Michele! Thanks for the reminder that life springs from death!!!! Love you!


    1. Well, one blessing is that we have outgrown the Saturday morning egg hunt, which would be challenging this year because the lawn is still covered in snow, and the driveway is a sea of mud.
      So many more wonderful ways of celebrating, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You make a very valid point in your opening musings about this time of the year and the bitter sweet celebration of the life and death of Christ. Yesterday we mourned and in a few days we’ll give thanks for eternal life and hopefully Spring will have finally arrived too. Hope you have a beautiful Easter


  10. We could have used some of your snow over here! This is the driest winter since we moved here. I love seeing snapshots into your month! Thank you for leaving a comment for Cherie❤️, she will be so encouraged to read it!


  11. “Hope in God is a confident expectation — not a cross-your-fingers aspiration.” I am going to pause on this wonderful thought. Snow has disrupted my life in couple of ways, but I hope in beholding great things in the coming days.


  12. It’s even been cold still down south, but I won’t complain compared to Maine. 🙂 How to Fix a Broken Record sound intriguing! I’ve been reading Ann Voskamp’s The Way of Abundance and going slow through it. Her writing is so poetic.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michele, you have had quite a season where snow is concerned. I have a granddaughter in Vermont so I have kept one eye on all the weather happenings in the Northeast. She has posted some great videos of her daughter playing in the white stuff.

    I wish I could be there for your Cynthia Heald study. She is one of my favorite Bible teachers. She had a great impact on me early in my walk with the Lord.

    Hope April warms up quickly for you. Blessings. He is risen … indeed!


    1. It’s great that you still have some ties up here in New England. Vermont is gorgeous.
      We’re enjoying Becoming a Woman of Grace. I was starting my prep for next Sunday last night, and I can’t believe all that she packs into one lesson. It usually takes us two weeks to discuss all the questions in each chapter.


  14. How to Fix a Broken Record sounds like a good read! Hope the snow hurries and melts so everything can start budding, blooming, and coming to life! Thank you Michele for linking up at the #BloggingGrandmothersLinkParty 26! I shared your post x 4 ♥


  15. Michele, I love this encouragement here: “God comes to us today in surprising ways: in the midst of the hopeless mess or the routine of laundry folding or the deep disappointment that feels like a small death.” Boy, I don’t miss the snow, though. We had some snow-filled winters in NH and NJ. I remember one year in NJ that school was cancelled several days in one week because the snow storms kept coming. 🙂 Blessings to you! xo I’m your neighbor at #TeaAndWord


  16. That quote about hope could be a life changer if we’d just realize the truth! Since I came across Orthodoxy here, I’ve listened to an audio version of it, and it’s been a surprise! Thanks so much for sharing. Blessings to you.


    1. Oh, goodness, you are amazing! I can’t imagine absorbing an audio version of Orthodoxy, because I’m continually re-reading sentences to make sure I got the point. But you’re making me wonder if I should try listening to it after I’ve read it. Thanks for letting me know, Boma. I’ll be sharing a post on Chapter 4 later in April.


    1. To be honest, I’m struggling to “relate” to it as well, but I have to just keep telling myself, “You’re in Maine, Honey. Don’t sweat it!”
      We’ve had blizzards in April before, so I’m holding spring very loosely.


    1. Yes, messy and interlocked with the lives of so many others that touch us on the fringes in ways we don’t always realize.
      Thanks, Lori, for being one of the people who brings good things into the lives of so many.


  17. Always love your updates and seeing how all the books you’re reading come together in your life. We had a lovely Passover celebration this weekend and are looking forward to celebrating our Messiah’s fulfillment of the Feast of Firstfruits with His resurrection this coming weekend. We’re a week behind most of the rest of the world, but rejoicing in Him nonetheless! 🙂 Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!


  18. Hope in God is such a confident expectation, and it’s the kind that roots itself deeply in our souls to whether the gloom and mundane. So hard, but such a key to emotional and mental health also. Hope your winter turns to spring very soon!!

    Liked by 1 person

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