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:
We did not set out to be morbid.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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:
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,
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