Out my Window: grey kind of day, a bit on the cooler side, naked trees, fat squirrel scurrying around

Enjoying: The few bonus early fall feeling days we had this week, trees that are still holding onto to their leaves, warm blankets, sunsets

Listening to/Watching:  Listened to the  the Holy Post Podcast. I finished Lord of the Rings Trilogy: Return of the King, !!! It has been a lot of hours in Tolkien’s world, but so worth it. I did not enjoy these too much when I read them out loud to my son, but having them read to me by a marvelous narrator was just what I needed this year. Disappearing into this epic story with deep characters was the encouragement for me to keep going this year, to continue to look for light and beauty. I have decided that if I ever get a dog, I will name it Samwise Gamgee. I am now listening to Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood. Noah narrates his own book and he is so good. His storytelling is so engaging. (PSA: There is some language). So far it has been very eye opening to hear about life in South Africa during apartheid and the transition after it fell. It is easy to forget the human story behind changes in policies of countries so far away. Noah does a great job inviting the reader into his story. I am thankful for his deep insight that seems perfect for this moment in American history, and also for the laughter. We watched Murder on the Orient Express, the newer one, this week. It was entertaining. Slower, but full of witty or thoughtful quips.

Reading:  Beside my bed: Still reading Jen Pollock Michel’s book Surprised by Paradox: The Promise of And in an Either-Or World. Also reading Dallas Willard’s Life Without Lack: living in the fullness of Psalm 23. Willard’s book has taken most of my reading time focus.

I am also reading C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters.

I am reviewing a study on Habakkuk from Dannah Gresh for Moody Publishing. Hopefully I will have a review up for it this week.

Rambling Thoughts:  2020 the great magnifier… Every year there is loss, death, and grief. There are great hardships and more. I have watched so many people lose loved ones this year, and it feels extra hard and extra burdensome. I have watched people with sickness and hospitalization, or loved ones in this situation. This year makes those seem extra heavy and extra challenging. The hardships and heartaches seem magnified. They seem harder and crueler. They seem lonelier and deeper. On the other hand there is goodness and new life as in the past. There are new seasons and connections, as there are each year. Each of these feels magnified also. Last week we experienced amazing bonus early fall type weather. Some trees have held onto their leaves longer which made those days so extra beautiful. This fall has been lavish feast for the senses. Kindness, no matter how small the act, feels huge. Beauty seems more beautiful. I crave those things and am satisfied by any small act kindness or beauty. They seem magnified. The heartaches and joys feel deeper and bigger this year. It feels challenging to get footing when every emotion feels so large. I choose defiant joy and give thanks for all the many good gifts. I also continue to ask God to have mercy on us in the deep places of grief in this world and watch expectantly for His hand to move on our behalf.

Fitness and Mental Health:  Getting some walks in and still doing Pilates with The Balanced Life Sisterhood Mental Health: being intentional with my daily gratitude journal, exercise, and continuing to look for beauty are key. Trying to add more veggies into my days. 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: This week was a big swap. Moved my son upstairs and had to find new space and rearrange to make room. Spent the week cleaning up and cleaning out. Went through and did more purging. It is amazing how emotional that can be.

Giving Thanks For: God’s mercies being new every morning, people who challenge and encourage me to think deeper and bigger about ideas and life, well cared for, more beautiful fall days, my home, provisions, rest, so much beauty in this world, praying friends, good books, challenging thoughts, community, grace, getting to work with kids and some wonderful people, God ordering my days, His protection against the unseen


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