"Lord, Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace"

Musings: May 2019

May has been a month for gathering and for celebrating milestones. Our third son graduated from Eastern Maine Community College on a Friday afternoon, and then the family landed here on the hill that Sunday for Mother’s Day.

On Monday of that same weekend, the Ladies’ Missionary Fellowship came for a turkey dinner and our final meeting before summer break. I’m grateful whenever I can fling open the door of welcome, either physically or metaphorically, and this spring, there has been a steady stream of comings and goings.


We were grateful for the opportunity to hear our youngest son play his trumpet in the orchestra at Maine’s All State Music Festival. And of course it was just icing on the cake that our grandson came to spend the night with us that weekend, snoozing in his dad’s old sleeping bag and chowing down on blueberry pancakes for breakfast.

May Reading and Writing

May was also a month of joyful gallivanting around to other people’s sites to write and interact with readers there:

Self-Discipline:  A Matter of Grit and Grace What a treat to be invited to writeSelf-discipline is a matter of grit and grace. about the legacy of Elisabeth Elliot! I chose to focus on her incredible self-discipline and her humble admission that she didn’t always have it all together herself. And I loved her wry humor. When asked about self-discipline and weight loss, she noted that no one is actually qualified to address self-discipline around eating habits because if you don’t struggle with your weight, you don’t know how hard it is, and if you do struggle, you’ve got no room to talk!  Click here to read the tribute to Elisabeth’s impact for Jesus Christ.

Make it your practice to begin working on your spiritual goals by addressing today’s adjacent possible.Reaching Out for the Adjacent Possible— If you’re feeling overwhelmed in trying to reach your goals, maybe the problem is that you’re reaching too far all at once. Over at Living by Design Ministries with Sarah Koontz, I’m sharing thoughts on a concept called The Adjacent Possible. Adjacent means ‘in close proximity’. If I am looking for The Adjacent Possible, I stop scanning the horizon for a “eureka” moment and begin looking close by for a small positive step in the right direction. I’d love to hear your thoughts on what’s working for you in accomplishing your spiritual growth goals. Head on over to read more about following hard after Jesus one glorious step at a time.

When Meghan Weyerbacher said I could write about whatever was interesting toIt turns out that as we reframe our inner monologue, we actually change the way our brain works. me at the moment, I knew my guest post would have to be about the science behind renewing our minds (as the Apostle Paul has urged us to do!) Over at Meg’s place, you can read more about neuroplasticity, transformation, and God’s delight in coming alongside us when we expand our boundaries for His glory. And while you are there, be sure to read about the two books she has launched into the world!

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We managed to fit in a few reviews this month, and they covered books I’ve been waiting for with great anticipation. I’ll share a link to my reviews, and a quick sentence or two here just to whet your appetite. And while we’re on the subject, what have you been reading this spring?

Mended by Blythe Daniel and Helen McIntosh— God is in the business of mending broken hearts and broken relationships, so Blythe and Helen invite readers into His neutral territory in hope that sharing individual thoughts and desires will lead to standing on common ground together.

Surprised by Paradox by Jen Pollock Michel–Jen Pollock Michel asserts that biblical faith “abides complexity rather than resists it.” (4) She wonders aloud about doubt and certainty, humility and hope, and then settles into the examination of four themes in Scripture in which paradox abounds: Incarnation, Kingdom, Grace, and Lament.

The Color of Life by Cara Meredith–Cara Meredith is one of the voices I have listened for as she navigates her own way toward seeing color and blazes trail with her words. A white woman married to a black man, Cara is raising two mixed-race sons, and she shares this emergence from her own white bubble with one eye on the future for her two children and the other cast back into history which has been shaped toward justice by the influence of her father-in-law, James Meredith, the first black man to graduate from the University of Mississippi in the early 60’s.

The Power of Christian Contentment by Andrew M. Davis–In 1643, Jeremiah Burroughs unearthed Paul’s secret in great detail in The Rare Jewel Of Christian Contentment. Pastor and author Andrew M. Davis revisits the classic work, providing updated illustrations and a fresh look at Burrough’s wise counsel:

“To be well schooled in the mystery of Christian contentment is the duty, glory and excellence of a Christian.” (40)

The Power of Christian Contentment begins by documenting Paul’s credentials for his claim, reminding readers that, while Paul tested the limits of extreme discipleship, contentment was not something he was born with or that came to him on the Damascus Road.

On the Radio

On a cold day in March when spring was still just “a promise in the closed fist of a long winter,” Susan B. Mead and I connected via Skype for a conversation across the miles. I appreciated the time we spent together and was challenged by her heart for ministry and her enthusiastic pursuit of an advanced degree happening alongside a brave adventure into radio ministry. Her program on Grace and Truth Radio airs every Friday at 4:30 Eastern Time. Click here to listen in on our conversation.

Another Book Discussion Group?

This summer here in real-life Maine, I’ll be meeting with a group of women at the home of a good friend throughout the months of July and August to learn from each other as we discussSensible Shoes: A Story about the Spiritual Journey by Sharon Garlough Brown. The story centers around four women whose lives are woven together by their time at a retreat center. As they learn life lessons about how to deal with sin, how to talk to God, and how a relationship with God impacts on all their other relationships, the reader is swept up in the learning process as well.

I’m hoping to take this discussion over onto a Facebook group, so even though most of you are geographically far removed from our weekly face-to-face meetings over coffee, you will be able to read along, ask and answer questions, and take part in the learning process. More details will follow as the time approaches!

Thanks for your input here, for all the ways you enter in and encourage throughout the month. Some of the best thoughts at Living Our Days happen in the comments section, and that’s because of you!


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 Amazon.com. If you should decide to purchase any of the books mentioned in this post, simply click on the title within the text of my review, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a very small commission at no extra cost to you.

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60 thoughts on “Musings: May 2019”

  1. Great Post!! I love the idea of The Adjacent Possible. It is so encouraging and doable. I have the Burrough’s book on Contentment on my Kindle, I need to get reading. And I have Sensible Shoes on my want-to-read list, so I am encouraged to do that as well! Thank you for putting so much into your Musings, they always are so motivating!


    1. I’ve noticed that Sensible Shoes is showing up on a number of lists for summer reading and book clubs. I’m looking forward to discussing it with a group, and I do appreciate your taking time to read through all the happenings!


  2. Michele, I’ve got to add Sensible Shoes to my reading list. How fun it was to chat with you. It was so fun as I felt I knew you already from having read your words for so many years! Hugs. Susan


    1. I enjoyed listening to it! It’s funny how much I had forgotten saying.
      And Sensible Shoes is very sneakily impactful, so you’re in for a real treat AND a challenge with that book!


  3. Wow, Michele! You’ve been all over the place this month! What a great month of productivity mixed with meaningful fellowship!

    I read your post about Elizabeth Elliot recently. As much as I’ve loved her and read anything of hers I can get my hands on, I had NO IDEA she actually addressed the topic of weight loss. That was new to me. So I’m thankful you wrote about it and shared that tidbit with us. She was such a wise woman.


    1. Ha! I actually heard the input on weight that I shared in a recorded Q and A session in which she profusely thanked the questioner for giving her permission to talk about the topic–which also made me smile.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Michele, I love your May review! 🙂 Especially the family part, the reading part too. Congrats to your son on his graduation!!! There is nothing better for this mama’s heart than to have all her family in one place. No amount of gifts or money could replace this special gift! I love to read and your suggestions are always spot on. Many I have already read, but there’s always some I have not. Thank you for this and thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!


  5. Congratulations to your sons – one a new graduate and one in the music festival. You must be one proud mama! And an overnight visit from a grandson is a treasure!


  6. Wow, that’s a lot of company all together! Though I have often told myself that I should host more than one gathering at a time to take advantage of a good housecleaning. 🙂 Congratulations to your son on his graduation. Loved the picture of your grandson in the mud puddle, a favorite play place for boys.


  7. I always enjoy your updates! Sounds like you’ve had a fun month with the music festival and the different celebrations. And Sensible Shoes sounds interesting – I haven’t heard of it before so I’ll need to check it out.


  8. You were absolutely right, Michele, over at my place this morning when you said, ‘I always feel as if these monthly check ins are a virtual visit.’.

    I love getting a peak at your family, the ministries you’re involved in, your neck of the woods … and yes, YOUR garden.

    Bless you, friend …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like May has been busy and enjoyable. Thank you for sharing all the highlights with us. I always look forward to your book reviews, wisdom, and the sharing of all you are learning.


  10. Michele,
    I had to tune in for your “Musings”…has another month disappeared already?? Love the pic of your grandson in a mud puddle. Having raised boys you should write a fun post on raising boys and the lure of grimy adventures in their lives?? I enjoyed the post on transforming our lives and the findings in neuroplasticity. “The Adjacent Possible” sounds interesting. I always think that I have to reach for the grandiose, but God does most of His work in the ordinary. So glad I stopped by…
    Bev xx


  11. It sounds like a really busy month, but a good one with lots to celebrate!


  12. Congrats to your son on his graduation! Your kids seem to excel in many things. And that grandson visit; I KNOW that was fun too! 🙂 Our granddaughter was here this past weekend and I so loved our time together.


  13. How wonderful that you have gotten to spend so much time with family this month! Thanks so much for sharing with us at Encouraging Hearts and Home. Pinned.


  14. Thanks to your generous gift-copy, Michelle, I am currently reading Mended by Blythe Daniels and Helen McIntosh. Though I am very blessed to have a close relationship with my daughter, I am finding many wise and helpful nuggets in this book that can be applied to ANY relationship. And now I’m headed over to Megan Weyerbacher’s site, to read your post about “neuroplasticity, transformation, and God’s delight in coming alongside us when we expand our boundaries for His glory.” I love it when scientific/medical research backs up what the scripture has said all along!


    1. Yes, and I love how this blogging life has given me “permission” to dig into things that interest me and share them with friends.
      So glad you are finding the book to be helpful, Nancy.


  15. I thought May was going to be a relaxing month for us, but it turned out to be just the opposite. The Lord was good, however, and helped us through each and every day. Praise God, we saw many blessings in the month of May!


    1. So glad to hear that life on the peninsula was good even if it was challenging. I’m hearing alarming things about the weather in your part of the country. We are also having a slow start to spring, but maybe we will appreciate it more after the wait?


  16. There are so many goodies spilling over from this post, Michele! So I’ll be pinning it for particular reason! And congratulations on all of these guest posts, as well as a podcast found around the web. Your presence and wisdom is being felt by a larger and larger audience, my friend! Hugs to you!


  17. I love the picture of your grandson playing in the mud! This is often the best way to play.
    I haven’t had much time to read lately, but I always find great books to add to my list when I read your blog.


  18. I’ve not been able to visit here much in May and I’m amazed at all I’ve missed. You certainly offer a variety of things to encourage our thinking, Michele! I’m going to have to catch up – The Adjacent Possible sounds very interesting and helpful – and I can never resist hearing about Elizabeth Elliot!

    Blessings to you my friend! You are certainly an inspiration to me in your blogging and hospitality endeavors.


  19. Congrats on both you boys, one graduating and the other playing his trumpet. You must be so proud! My youngest is graduating from elementary school this coming week. It’s been a whirlwind of proud moments and emotions 🙂 #GlobalBlogging


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