Out my Window:  Fog with sun shining through, blue jay squawking as he is attempting to eat the remnants of my sunflowers, another beautiful fall day

Enjoying: sunrises, incredible color on the hills, morning views, baking, beautiful early fall weather, sun, apple weather candle burning each evening, twinkle lights on at night, beautiful night sky

Listening to/Watching: I listened to the Holy Post Podcast.  So the last bunch have been encouraging, and helpful to strengthen, embolden, and educate me on views I already hold, but need to grow in knowledge. This week challenged me in my very unsettled and uneducated view on guns and gun control. I have been reading David French every week and appreciate his thought fullness and where he comes from. So I listened without arguing with the podcast. It gave me much to think about as I wrestle through the issue of guns and gun culture. It gave me a better understanding where Christians who are pro guns might be coming from not just a my rights kind of argument. Still listening to the second book in the Lord of the Rings Trilogy: The Twin Towers. So much wisdom and encouragement in this epic tale.

Reading: By my bedside: The Pursuit of the Holy: A Divine Invitation by Simon Ponsonby. Still reading Jen Pollock Michel’s book Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of And in an Either-Or World.

I am reading Shelly Miller’s Searching for Certainty: Finding God in the Disruptions of Life coming out October 13 I was thankful to get on her book launch team. Shelly’s writing is full of beauty and real life. I can’t wait for the physical copy, but I am thankful for the timing of getting to read the advanced e-book. The tag line of the book was enough to draw me in.

Book Study with my Ladies’ Small Groups: The Good Life: What Jesus Teaches about Finding True Happiness by Derwin Gray. It is a study on the Beatitudes.

I am reviewing a study on Habakkuk from Dannah Gresh for Moody Publishing. I am hoping it is one that will be good for my ladies’ small group.

Rambling Thoughts: Last week brought more heaviness as I arrived home and found out a young man from our last church had died in a house fire. Today was the funeral. The beginning of John Donne’s poem has been going through my mind, Death Be Not Proud. I pulled up the poem which I apparently had never read the whole thing before. It is a reminder that death does not have the last say. These days it doesn’t feel that way. Death seems to have an upper hand, but I know that is just a shadow. Allowing God to teach me why “it is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, because that is the end of every man, and the living takes it to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, for when a face is sad a heart may be happy. The mind of the wise is in the house of mourning, while the mind of fools is in the house of pleasure.” (Ecclesiastes 7:2-4, NASB) This verse feels harsh right now, but sitting with the tension of this truth.

Death Be Not Proud

By John Donne

Death, be not proud, though some have called
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those whom thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but thy pictures be,
Much pleasure; then from thee much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou art slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well
And better than thy stroke; why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

Fitness and Mental Health:  Walking and/or Pilates almost every day. After the 5 day Pilates Challenge with the Balanced Life I decided to join the group for a couple months. Pilates seem to be useful for my body and mind. I love that Robin Long keeps saying, “Trust the process.” It feels too simple in some ways, but I know that it strengthens my body. The gentleness of it seems right for this season. It includes flexible, personal structure for exercise and nutrition. If you have thought about it too, there is code through my account to get into this group. (Disclaimer I do get credit toward my account) or you can use her Youtube page to create your own schedule. She has lots of free videos. The actual page has more videos, recipes, calendars to do a plan for exercise and meals It is $24 a month. Just FYI, not a sponsor… Mental Health: Exercise is key and continuing to look for beauty. Writing the date and day and a brief list of the events of day has been very helpful for my mental health. Numbering my days…

Home: Mostly keeping up with the basics. Bought sunflowers for my counter this week, lighting candles, turning on the twinkle lights are all ways I am adding beauty to our home and my soul in the middle of a very full season.

Giving Thanks For: unexpected opportunities, reconnecting with students, encouraging friends, laughter, getting to chat for a little bit with a dear friend, hospitality and laughter with another friend, beautiful fall days, my home, provisions, rest, walks and hikes, so much beauty in this world, praying friends, good books, challenging thoughts, community, feeling connected and loved, grace


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