Out my Window: overcast, hot and humid, garden overflowing with flowers, weeds, and some random mutated crops from years gone by (I have yellow zucchini)
Enjoying: time away with my husband, ocean, swimming, extra time to read, cut flowers from my weed pit
Listening to/Watching: I am in the calm before the storm, working through a Stats class for pre-req. Classes start Monday so all things Assessment Techniques in Counseling and Psychopathology. Holy Post Podcast Holy Post Podcast. Definitely some interesting interviews, much to think about. I highly recommend the interview with Mary Demuth for church leaders and organization leaders especially, https://www.holypost.com/post/episode-466-sermongate-stats-sexual-abuse-with-mary-demuth
I listened through Annie F. Down’s That Sounds Fun Podcast summer series of Enneagrams thanks to a friend’s recommendation. https://www.anniefdowns.com/podcasts/ (If you want to know more about me, check out the 8s, nailed it). My husband introduced me to a new podcast, from Zoe girl’s Alisa Childers. https://www.alisachilders.com/podcast.html Definitely a different angle than I have been listening to lately. More to think about and process. After hearing Mike Erre on Holy Post a few times I finally wandered over to his podcast, Voxology to listen to a few episodes, https://open.spotify.com/show/2Mvxz3OQDSkEpHujXiFkkr
I keep thinking I need to cancel Audible and then I keep being drawn into the next audiobook. I have been in the car a lot again, so I am enjoying listening. I follow James Clear’s page https://jamesclear.com/ and enjoy his tips and quotes about habits, finally decided to listen to the book, Atomic Habits. It was worth the listen, although I think I need to pick up a hard copy since there are so many tools he includes and it would be a great reference book to have. I finally started Piranesi by Susanna Clarke. I have heard about it in different circles and was intrigued. I wasn’t sure if I should read or listen, but I went with listening. The narrator is enjoyable. The book is different. Just getting into it.
Reading: By my bedside: I am still reading Anatomy of the Soul: Surprising Connections between Neuroscience and Spiritual Practices That Can Transform Your Life and Relationships by Curt Thompson every once in awhile. I had switched to focusing on one book and finishing (my son lets me know often that is the way I am supposed to read). I was flying across the country to visit my other son, so I brought Fredrik Backman’s book Britt-Marie Was Here with me. I was able to finish it. As always, I love Backman’s ability to develop characters. He continues to be my go to fiction writer when I have that desire. It is people watching in book form, with good reminders that all people have backstories that impact who they are and also how we can impact others. No one is static. It was a good read. (PSA: some language and content that is not neat and tidy)
I finished the new biography on Elisabeth Elliot, Becoming Elisabeth Elliot by Ellen Vaughn. I appreciated Vaughn’s writing and what she chose to share. She did a great job showing the humanity and wrestling of Elliot as she chose to obey. I was challenged and encouraged by this biography and would recommend it. I also have some books on the side that I am reading a little bit at a time, The Sum of Us by Heather McGhee. So far it was been a very good book, very informative and interesting as we look at how we got here racially and also regarding poverty in communities. World on Fire: Walking in Wisdom of Christ When Everyone’s Fighting About Everything, multiple authors. The title pulled me in and then add some authors with depth and I had to read it. It is based on the Sermon of the Mount. It is very readable and with some challenge. I think it would be a good study to do with a group. If you really want to study the Sermon on the Mount, my favorite is from Martin Lloyd-Jones.
My “focused” book right now is Jackie Hill Perry’s new one, Holier than Thou. I was looking forward to its release all summer, so far it has not disappointed. It is a very assessible and practical book on the holiness of God. I appreciate Perry’s ability to communicate about challenging topics (Gay Girl, Good God and her study on Jude are so good and worth the time)
Book Launch World: Right now I am on two book launch teams and one review. Susie Larson is coming out with a Christmas devotional, Prepare Him Room. https://www.susielarson.com/ I always appreciate a good Advent and Lent book to help me focus. Advent seems a bit trickier to find. So I jumped on board this launch team because Susie Larson is such a wonderful encourager and I knew this resource would be worth looking at. One stand out so far has been a fasting section similar to Alicia Brit Cole’s book for Lent, 40 Days of Decrease which I recommend. I also joined John Mark Comer’s new book launch that hasn’t started yet, Live No Lies: Recognize and Resist the Three Enemies That Sabotage Your Peace. Ruthless Elimination of Hurry was my introduction to Comer. I highly recommend that one. I am also reviewing Ben Connelly’s A Field Guide for Genuine Community. A post should be coming out soon with my review.
Rambling Thoughts: This past week I went away with my husband to celebrate 3 decades of marriage. Some numbers hit me more than others with my kids’ ages, my own, or my anniversaries. 30 is apparently one of them. I am humbled to think how blessed I am to have enjoyed so many years of marriage. I can’t get over it. I have been pondering much lately in my own life, family, church, community, and world. I know nothing is guaranteed so how do we live fully today with the future hope of tomorrow? How do we best love those in our family, community, and the world. The needs seem so great and find I have a hard time getting control of myself and my own life. Anything good or useful is by the grace of God. I proved again this month that my desires and actions do not always line up, no matter how hard I try. I declared August a Sabbath month. I needed rest and I was going away a few times. I did pair down life, but apparently not enough. Somehow I find myself at the end of August getting ready to start another full season wondering where time went and how come I don’t feel rested as I hoped or accomplished. (I have a son who would be happy to tell you all I did that sabotaged my sabbath that he warned me not to do. On some levels my boy is wise beyond his years, if only I listened.) Where does God ordering my days and me adding extras begin and end? I look at 30 years that have been very full of life, love, laughter, and hardship and they feel like a blink of an eye, and then I look ahead not knowing how long is given and wonder what I may have missed, or might miss because I am grasping and shoving my time around. I am blessed with a good life. Even the hard I walk through is really not hard. Do I make the most of the freedom and life I have been blessed with? What does that look like? What will it look like? I am back to the Psalmist declaring and asking God, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12) and the Ann Voskamp,
I speak to God: I don’t really want more time; I just want enough time. Time to breathe deep and time to see real and time to laugh long, time to give You glory and rest deep and sing joy and just enough time in a day not to feel hounded, pressed, driven, or wild to get it all done — yesterday…
Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: What I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. And when I’m always looking for the next glimpse of glory, I slow and enter. Weigh down this moment in time with attention full, and the whole of time’s river slows, slows, slows.Ann Voskamp
Home: Got my house under control after last round of classes. Still have a list of closets and cupboards that need some love. Spending more time out and about always amazes me how much more effort it takes to keep the home front clean.
Giving Thanks For: generous provisions, working with kids that make me laugh, getting to so summer reading programs and community activities with my work kids, getting to see my son who lives on the west coast, lunch date with a friend, laughter, time, people who are wrestling forward, candles, beautiful moon, sunsets, nature, opportunities to learn, God’s comfort for my friends who have to walk with hard stories, technology, God’s mercies, people who challenge and encourage me to think deeper and bigger about ideas and life, well cared for, my home, provisions, rest, so much beauty in this world, good books, challenging thoughts, community, grace, God ordering my days, His provisions and reminder of His heart for me, forgiveness, refining