Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Autumn 2019

What verbs have defined your days of autumn in 2019? There’s always something happening in this busy life under the sun, even if it’s only talking or thinking–a couple of seriously under-rated verbs, in my opinion.
Here at the end of November, I’m looking forward to celebrating around gratitude and pumpkin pie while taking one last look over my shoulder at the minutes and the days of autumn and how they filled up and overflowed with doing. I invite you to join me in this reflective practice as you ponder your own days of doing and being.

What verbs best describe and define your life these days?
Here are a few of mine:

Remembering

We did not set out to be morbid.
Honestly.
But we needed to remember the names of all those in our circle of friends who left this life in 2019, to verify for ourselves the feeling that there were so many.

The next, natural step was, of course, to count.
Ten
But then, the very next morning, eleven.
And then twelve–
Twelve in ten months.
It’s a symptom of being fifty-something, I suppose,
This feeling that someone, somewhere has thrown open a door
And all of humanity is rushing through it
Into another world.
And while “we sorrow not even as others who have no hope,”
The truth is that we do sorrow.
The Twelve belonged (and still belong, somehow) to other families.
They were long-time friends, or parents of close friends–one woman with whom I had opened the book of James for a season at my dining room table. Another who had served alongside me in a period of remarkable fruitfulness.
This crowding at the exit,
These days of farewell are a whispered reminder to love well in the days that are given–
To cherish this day.

Gardening

My joyful sunflowers have bowed their heads in the garden, waiting for the long winter to begin, but I was picking tomatoes well into October this year.Storing the harvest in clear glass jars in my basement has been a long-standing tradition in my family, and the satisfaction of growing good food to share with family and friends is one of my favorite ways to celebrate summer and the rich fruition of harvest.

Reading

This fall, I’m doing a slow read through Proverbs, one chapter per week, and, for me, that’s just about perfect. There’s SO MUCH content to absorb, so much wisdom offered. I’m grateful for a guide through the Proverbs written by a friend who has been there before me and is willing to hang a few road signs in the path. Susan Chamberlain Shipe’s 31 Days in Proverbs: Wisdom 101 is plain-spoken, gritty, and just plain helpful.

And I’ve been chuckling my way through a book that may never show up in a review here on Living Our Days, but it’s going to impact the way I write going forward. If you’ve ever agonized over the placement of a comma or felt grumpy about rampant punctuation errors, check out Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation by Lynn Truss. Honestly, I could spend hours just enjoying the title!

 

Writing

 

 

 

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Reading and writing seem to go hand in hand here in this little spot on the internet. Maybe you’ve noticed that in September I cut back on posting to just once during the week and then a little devotional thought on Sunday. That feels just about right for now, but even at this pace, I managed to share content from nine books in September, October, and November.

Maybe I should be sharing more fiction here at Living Our Days, because the most-read review this fall covered Shades of Light, by Sharon Garlough Brown. I’d love to hear about your reading life? Does it skew more toward fiction or non-fiction?

My recipe for over-night rising cinnamon rolls

It’s been encouraging to share my thoughts elsewhere on the web. I sure don’t think of myself as a food blogger, but it was fun to write about homemade breakfasts here. Too, it was a special treat to explore the topic of cultivating a life of interior order with Lisa Murray’s readers. You can hop on over to her place by clicking here.

 

Teaching

In this final year of homeschooling, I’m not nearly as indispensable as I used to be, so I’ve been accepting the occasional assignment as a sub in the public schools around Mid-Coast Maine. It’s been eye-opening, really, and gives me a brand new appreciation for my patient  husband who has been teaching elementary school for 28 years. God bless the warriors who spend their days in the classroom!

Sunday mornings I get to share Bible lessons and goldfish crackers (sometimes cookies!) with a handful of 4 and 5 year olds. They keep me on my toes, and in Sunday school opening we have spent quite a few weeks of the fall learning the ten commandments. Can you say them all? We’ve been greatly helped by this song:

Thank you to readers who have visited the Speaking Page here on my blog. It’s always a work in progress, but if you are in the process of planning an event in 2020 and are looking for a Bible teacher to open the Word of God with the women of your church, it would be an honor to participate in the vision God has given you for your women’s ministry. Details are available via the “Speaking” tab in the menu at the top of the page, or simply click here to find a list of topics I’ve covered in the past. Of course, I’d love working with your unique theme, as well.

Celebrating

Sometimes you don’t appreciate a season of life until it becomes evident that it is coming to an end.
I’ve been a blessed mum with four sons nearby, the furthest being a mere hour and a half’s drive away from home base. We’re celebrating with him and his wife, because God is definitely on the move in their life together. They moved to Colorado in October–an excellent career opportunity in a beautiful part of the U.S.A. We miss them, and are sad, but it’s hard to stay sad for long when there’s a BABY ANNOUNCEMENT in the wind. Grandchild number three will be born in late April 2020.

In the meantime, we’re grateful for love that spans the miles.

And, of course, for these cuties who live nearby and make us smile big:

 

 

 

Preparing

Advent has always been a very special season here on the hill, and this year, if you are a subscriber to Living Our Days, you will receive a little devotional thought straight into your inbox each Sunday of Advent. It is my prayer that this deep dive into John’s proclamation of truth about the Messiah, his friend Jesus, will play a small part in preparing hearts for the celebration of Jesus’s first coming to Earth:

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” 

Thank you for reading and for coming together here around Truth to hear the still, small voice and to come away resolved to follow and to obey,

Michele Morin

 


I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees. If you should decide to purchase 31 Days in Proverbs: Wisdom 101 , Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation, or Shades of Light 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.

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72 thoughts on “Concerning the Times and the Seasons: Autumn 2019”

  1. Michele,
    Yay! for grandbaby # 3!! Congrats and prayers for a safe arrival! I love all your action verbs. Your list of garden goods canned reminds me of my dear grandmother. It is truly a lost art! The book on grammar and punctuation sounds like a fun, entertaining read. What writer couldn’t use a primer on punctuation every now and again? Honestly, I don’t know when you find the time to read amidst all your other activities?? Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
    Bev xx

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  2. This was such a fun post and it seems like your autumn was a full one. May you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving!

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    1. It was full, and it was a gift to take time to recall all the happenings. Maybe that’s one of the greatest gifts of blogging? We have a record of some of our thoughts, our reading, and our doing.

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  3. I am so sorry for the loss of 12 of your friends in 10 months! I had to doublecheck to be sure I read that correctly. It does make one remember to live your life to the fullest each day. My husband and I are in Arizona to celebrate Thanksgiving with family. We have this one day alone before the onslaught of kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews, etc. I am thankful for this day! 🙂

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  4. You have given me so much to think about and to reflect back on through my birthday month of November. Congratulations on the new grandbaby. How exciting is that! May you have a blessed Thanksgiving Day as we all continue to be thankful for all that God has and is doing around us.

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  5. Twelve losses in 10 months is A LOT, Michele. My heart sorta stopped as I was reading your beautiful thoughts about Remembering, but relaxed into your last line. What else can we do, really, but cherish today? “Eats, Shoots and Leaves” is a favorite … it reminds me of a poster in one of my girls’ language arts classrooms that said something like “Let’s eat grandma” followed by “punctuation saves lives.” 🙂 And I love that you record your canning results every year. Seeing that on Instagram reminded me of my dad, who recorded everything. Happy Thanksgiving, my friend!

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  6. A wonderful, newsy post and I humbly give thanks for the mention! If you still love me after reading my Proverbs 31 confessions, then you are truly a life-long friend. SS

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  7. How exciting to have a new grandbaby on the way! Congratulations!

    All of my kids are close except one son in RI. It seems like once they are a plane ride away (rather than a road trip), the distance doesn’t matter as much–a matter of minutes in a plane. We were wondering, with our youngest son’s job searches, if he might end up away from us (he had one opportunity in Minnesota!) But thankfully he will still be nearby, and he’ll have some time to look around at apartments before moving.

    I am sorry for all the losses. It does seem like several occur all at once. And the older we get, the more people we’ll say goodbye to along the way. I’ve never liked the phrase some say, after losing a loved one, that heaven is now a little dearer. It’s plenty dear and special enough with our Savior there. But I know what they mean, and look forward to a reunion with loved ones there some day.

    Congratulations on the bounty from your garden! I want to read Eats, Shoots, and Leaves some day. I’m posting my November round up Wednesday, with a list of what I am reading. I gravitate more toward fiction, but I always have at least one nonfiction book going.

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    1. Eats, Shoots, and Leaves was a gift from my son and his wife, and I was so delighted by it! And I’m like you with non-fiction, but really am enjoying the last book in the Sensible Shoes series right now, and look forward to picking it up every night!

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  8. On Remembering: Oh my, Michele. You’ve had to say good-bye to so many dear ones over the last few months! I thank God His peace IS with you, surrounding and comforting you as you grieve. (Where would we be without Him?!) On Teaching: Thank you for the shout-out to teachers. I taught elementary school for 26 years. Most days were highly rewarding though exhausting! On Celebrating: Congratulations on the upcoming birth of another grandchild. Grandchildren ARE such special gifts! (I love to see our two granddaughters come running up the walk to Nana’s house!)

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  9. Congratulations on the grandbaby! And sorry for your losses, Michele. The older we get, the faster they seem to come.
    I like the way you worked this post around verbs – mine would be reflecting, reading, searching, writing and changing.

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  10. What a sweet way to remember your fall, my friend! Your words always make me feel like curling up with a warm blanket and cup of tea, preferably by a window with a beautiful view of that Maine coast and a roaring fire nearby.

    There is such a calm in your words, and I love your new schedule. Such a gift you bring to this online space!
    Happy Thanksgiving, friend!

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  11. I savored every word of this post, Michele! Way to go on canning all that produce! Amazing! And I love that you have slowed down your blog. (I find that once a week helps me with more time for other writing.) You have so much to celebrate here, my friend. Happy Thanksgiving!

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  12. Oh, Michele, there’s so much to comment on in your post! 🙂 I like the idea of thinking about these past few months in terms of verbs. I need to sit down and consider this. Your words and thoughts helped me to slow down and just enjoy what you said. 🙂

    Your garden was very fruitful! How wonderful. We had tomatoes growing up until our unusual first hard frost in mid-October. I didn’t harvest nearly what you did. 🙂

    Wow, it’s hard to believe your last boy is almost done with his schooling experience. You are finishing well with him. And how wonderful that you are subbing some days in the school district. I imagine it’s been a bit eye-opening. 🙂

    I tend to read more fiction than non-fiction, since you asked. 🙂

    If you ever get to Colorado, I hope you’ll tell me. It would be amazing to meet you in person! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, my friend.

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    1. It makes abundant sense to me that you would read lots of fiction since that is your writing focus. And how did I not connect the dots that you also live in Colorado? Guess I’m just getting used to thinking western U.S. geography (and Mountain Time!) Thanks for reading and encouraging. Blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours!

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  13. Michele, what an exciting season of life with grandchildren close by and another one on the way! I love the title of the grammar book. I may decide to splurge on it myself. I’m trying to reign myself in when it comes to book buying. I’m not sure I will live long enough to read everything I want to. LOL

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  14. Delightful post. Sad that 12 people have left this life in just this past year. I didn’t know there was a grown up book called Eats, Shoots & Leaves. I have only read the picture book version. Congrats on the new little one. Something to look forward to.

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  15. What a wonderful way to remember the past year. I enjoyed reading about all that you have been doing through the verbs you have chosen.

    Remembering is a beautiful way to honor those we have lost.

    Thanks so much for sharing.

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  16. I loved catching up on all your news! I’m sorry you have known so many losses this year, but I’m glad you also have the joyful news of your new grandbaby! Hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving!

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  17. I haven’t done any gardening, only a little reading, but a lot of remembering and celebrating this month! Congrats on grandchild #3 on the horizon for your family. How fun! Have a blessed Thanksgiving, Michele.

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  18. Last year of homeschooling! *tears* My 9-year-old (homeschooled) grandson just told his mama today (after they rode the Christmas train) that he thought he would be too big to ride it next year. There have been tears all around today. Beautiful post, Michele. You’re so busy!

    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

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  19. Ah, wise friend, what an enjoyment to finally catch up with your writing here on a gray early December day while I sip a cup of coffee. Your topic and choices of verbs draw me into your world (both external and internal). Remembering is something I do a good bit and I sometimes think it happens more as we get a bit older. I am not persuaded it is because we live back there, but we appreciate back there (both good and not so good) and all that it has done to bring us to now.

    Gardening was a part of my life growing up on the farm until I married and even after that. My parents often continued the gardening part while I still joined in the canning, preserving, and freezing part until teaching and graduate school made that impossible. Until 1995 I often enjoyed the tastes of those things because my mother generously shared of her labor and lived close enough for us to enjoy.

    Reading and writing are very much on my list. I spent the fall working through a good portion of a commentary on Exodus by Douglas Stuart (excellent) to prepare for a Simeon’s Trust Workshop a few weeks ago. Beyond that I am ever looking for good authors that inspire and enlighten me for my enjoyment as well as inspiration. I am most happy when I have a mix of good fiction and nonfiction. The two nudge my reflecting (another verb for me) with nonfiction continuing to grow my thought and knowledge and fiction stirring me in ways nonfiction too often does not.

    Praying has been a verb this fall as well as various family members have faced assorted challenges that have kept us in a kneeling position a bit more than usual. Appreciating has been a part of that as well. Our family life and relationships have been dear to us so each new season or challenge draws us together as my daughter, daughter-in-law, and I share texts about needs great and small to join hearts, minds, and spirits together over the hundreds of miles that separate us.

    We too are preparing for this wondrous season as changes we don’t always like intrude upon traditions. Adult grandchildren working as a nurse in a busy hospital and another hard at work amidst the grueling demands of medical school mess with when we do things and how. And this Thanksgiving we were not able to travel to share with either family when an acute back issue cropped up for my hubby 2 weeks prior.

    But we know, don’t we, that life is ever-changing pulling us ever toward the path the Lord has set before us.

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    1. Thank you, Pam, for the gift of this coffee visit which I found in my spam folder (???) this morning, and have rescued, proving once again that blog sites have much to learn about sorting our comments for us!

      I was struck by your addition of the verb “reflection” to your own life’s summary, and that’s one I really want to add more of, particularly in this season of Advent. Thanks again for taking time to ponder with me!

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  20. I found this post really emotional to read as my grandmother died last week. Meanwhile we are starting to prepare for Christmas and celebrate eternal light and love. Seasons change and life moves on. Thanks for linking up with #globalblogging

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  21. I appreciate the fact that you chose to remember those friends who have crowded through the doorway ahead of you.That matters.
    Re the reading question, I typically steer more toward nonfiction – but this summer and fall, I have found myself in the fiction stacks quite a bit. Always on the lookout for good, moving story. Just finished “The Help,” by Stockett, and am so grateful for that one.

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  22. So many blessings and even sorrows to count, Michele! I can’t wait to pin Susan’s book and send some love her way. Also I HAVE to buy that grammar book! I’m always confused and Googling about a perplexing punctuation issue just to get an answer–maybe not the most reliable source of insight! Lol! Thanks for sharing and congrats that grandbaby number three is on the way, my friend!

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  23. I’m so sorry about the loss of so many friends. I hope you have a wonderful, and thankful, holiday season.
    Thanks for sharing on Farm Fresh Tuesdays…hope to see you again this week!

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  24. I LOVE Eats, Shoots, and Leaves! The Transitive Vampire is also good :). I have fond memories of canning with my mom (and I still occasionally can jams). Thanks for sharing your autumn verbs!

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  25. The punctuation book sounds very amusing. I’m considering leading a writing class at the elementary school where I work, but I haven’t decided how to approach it yet…

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