Book Review: The Story Keeper

Story KeeperIn The Story Keeper by Lisa Wingate, Jen Gibbs has just moved up in her publishing career to work with the prestigious Vida House Publishing in New York. A competitive former coworker is there as well. The head, George Vida, has what’s called Slush Mountain in the conference room – a pile of manuscripts that for various reasons were not able to be returned to the owners. A cardinal rule at Vida House is that no one touches Slush Mountain.

So when Jen discovers an old manila envelope on her desk with a manuscript containing a hand-drawn cover, she can’t help but wonder if someone, perhaps her old coworker, is setting her up for a fall, making it look like she took one of Slush Mountain’s old manuscripts to peruse. But curiosity gets the better of her, and as she starts reading it, she’s drawn into the story of Sarra, a teenage Melungeon girl in Appalachia in the late 1800s. The Melungeons were a mixture of three races, European, African, and Native American, often with dark hair and skin and blue eyes. Unfortunately, they were also the subject of racism and suspicion. Sarra escapes a dangerous situation and ends up with an unlikely protector, Rand Champlain, a man from one of Charleston’s oldest families who is in the area to study the native flora and fauna.

Jen is thoroughly drawn in to the story, and she recognizes similarities in style and vocabulary to a famous author who is now a bit of a recluse. Should she risk her reputation at Vida House to follow this trail? Could she even get through to the suspected author to talk? He now lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains from which Jen herself escaped poverty, ignorance, and an almost cult-like authoritarian religious group. She had planned never to return there: can she face her past for the sake of this story?

Quotes:

All breath in evr’thing been given by Father God, Granddaughter…Not a one he ain’t mindful a. All lives be mattersome to him. Not a one oughtn’t be mattersome to us, same way.

Just a building, created by men, filled with bits of God’s Word torn from context and recombined like the pieces of a ransom note.

The truth was, I yearned, in a soul-deep way, to be Sarra. To ‘feel’ that God was so very close, so very concerned with my particular life, so very ready to protect and to love. Always nearby. Always listening. Always leading.

No matter how many wrong choices we’ve made in the past, we can always decide to make the right ones today. The past need not determine one moment of the future.

My thoughts:

I loved this book: Jen’s progression, the search for the mysteries involving the manuscript, the story within the story of Rand and Sarra, the setting of both a busy NY publishing house and then the Blue Ridge mountain area. Sarra and Rand’s story alternates between the two of them, and I thought Lisa showed great skill writing in their different voices as well as Jen’s – a modern city girl, a backwoods mixed race mountain girl, and a turn-of-the-century Southern aristocrat.

My only very small complaints are, 1), that a lot got wrapped up super-quickly at the end. I had thought, starting into the epilogue, that the story was heading toward a sequel since there was no way everything could be tied up in the last few pages, but it was. And, 2), one of the biggest mysteries was left a mystery, and that was something of a let-down. But those are small enough as to be almost inconsequential.

Otherwise, I enjoyed it immensely. A 9 out of 10.

(Sharing with Literary Musing Monday and Semicolon‘s Saturday Review of Books)

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Laudable Linkage

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It’s been a little longer than usual since I’ve had the opportunity to share some noteworthy reads discovered online the last few weeks, so here goes:

What Does It Mean to Abide in Christ?

3 Tests God Ordains for His Children, HT to Challies.

Self-examination Speaks a Thousand Lies. “God calls us to examine ourselves (2 Corinthians 13:5; Lamentations 3:40), but healthy self-examination is a difficult and dangerous duty….when that introspection makes us self-absorbed instead of Christ-absorbed, we undermine our faith.” “God knows the worst about you and loves you still.”

Don’t Speak Up: On the Spiritual Discipline of Silence, HT to Challies. “As evangelicals, we often feel guilty for not evangelizing more, or not speaking a word of correction to a friend in sin. And sometimes that sense of guilt is correct! But here, Jesus identifies another way we can err: speaking up wrongly, at the wrong times, and to the wrong person.”

Remembering My Friend, Nabeel Qureshi, HT to Challies. I was heartbroken to hear of Nabeel’s passing, though happy that he is no longer in pain and with the Lord. I loved his book Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus and respected his integrity and determination to go where the truth led him, no matter the cost. I have to admit I wondered why God would take someone so young who was doing so much to bring people to Himself. But after a while I thought the better way of thinking would be that we all have a given number of days, not guaranteed to be 80+: are we making the most of them like he did?

Embodying Masculinity in a World That Rejects It. “If I thoroughly study the ‘man’ passages and never work through the ‘all believers’ passages (the rest of the NT), I will completely fail in both.”

Have We Christians Made Marriage Too Complicated? HT to Challies.

God Didn’t Write a Book. “It took the printing press to make the Bible a book, but it didn’t take the printing press to make the Bible the Bible…the Bible is not essentially a book. It is essentially God’s recorded words to humanity, and those words transcend any single medium.”

Modern Media Is a DoS Attack on Your Free Will, HT to Challies. Lots to ponder in this one, but one statement stood out to me: “Democracy assumes a set of capacities: the capacity for deliberation, understanding different ideas, reasoned discourse. This grounds government authority, the will of the people.” And these are largely absent from most social media exchanges.

The Wrong Donations: Some Tough Words on Disaster Relief.

Ten Unfair Expectations of Pastor’s Wives, HT to Challies.

Why I signed the Nashville Statement, HT to Challies. Particularly poignant since Rosaria was once a lesbian feminist.

A Real Life Fall Home Tour. I loved this! Laura Ingalls Gunn (yes, related to that Laura Ingalls!) writes about home decor and posts Pinterest-worthy photos, but this time she showed “real life” scenarios – shoes and “stuff” out, etc. I am tempted to do a similar post, even though I don’t usually write about home decor. I think as homemakers we often strive for that balance between wanting things to look aesthetically pleasing and yet wanting the people who live there to feel comfortable and at home.

Happy Saturday!

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Friday’s Fave Five

FFF fall flowersIt’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

September is going by so fast. Here are some highlights of the last week:

1. Youngest son Jesse’s birthday.

2. A successful gluten-free lemon bundt birthday cake. I had two different recipes but not all the ingredients for either one, couldn’t find what I needed at the store I was in, but had no time to go to another. I improvised and hoped for the best, and it turned out great! (Sigh of relief!)

3. Restful days. I don’t usually have the TV on in the daytime except for when Jesse and I watch something while eating lunch together. But I gave myself permission to catch a program I had missed one afternoon and then spent the rest of the afternoon doing relaxing things. Nice to do that every now and then!

4. Messages from my grandson Timothy. Every now and then his parents will help him send a voice text over the phone. I love having his little voice on record. One day he told his mom he wanted to text, but when she recorded it, he said, “I want to Face Time please” in such a sweet little voice. So we did! Another time he wanted to FaceTime, but I was in the store: I am not coordinated enough to shop and FaceTime at the same time, and there’s no good place to pull over in the grocery store to do that. Jason sent a voice text with Timothy repeating in a disappointed voice, “Want to say hi.” So we sent a few voice texts back and forth, saying Hi that way. 🙂

5. The first day of fall is today! We’ve slipped back into more of a summer feel the last few days, but here’s hoping those crisp, cool days will return soon. I’m hoping to get out my fall decorations in the next day or two!

Happy Friday!

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Looking to Jesus’ example in discipling our children

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(Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)

Some folks think of Christ only as “a good example.” We know better, of course. We know He is the Son of God, the “brightness of His glory and express image of His Person,” our Lord and Savior. But sometimes we forget that He is also our example in all things, that He was tempted in all points like as we are, yet without sin.

One day when my kids were much younger I was reading about Jesus’ disciples bickering and was amused to think how like my own children they were. Then I began to think through that concept a little further. Of course, Jesus relationship to His disciples was not exactly that of a parent and child, but there are ways ways Jesus interacted with His disciples that I could apply to my interactions with my own children, who were also my disciples.

We’re told that we’re changed to be more like Him by beholding Him, so let’s look at, mediate on, and glean from His example.

1) Do your children ever bicker?

Are there any children who don’t bicker? Mine used to fuss about everything from who got the front seat to who got the most meatballs. The disciples certainly argued, fussed, and jockeyed for position as well. Jesus dealt patiently with them, correcting whatever it was they were arguing over, pointing them to truth.

2) Do your children ever interrupt your devotions?

Jesus made provision for a quiet time alone with His Father, rising up a great while before day, going out alone, staying up at night. When the disciples would seek Him out and interrupt Him, He did not seem to get frustrated or angry; He didn’t rebuke them: He just dealt with the matter at hand.

Finding time, solitude, and quietness to spend time with the Lord is one of the hardest things for mothers, especially when children are young. Rosalind Goforth, wife of Jonathan Goforth of China, wrote in her book, Climbing, that if she tried to get up early to have devotions, it only started “the circus” that much earlier as the children would hear her and get up.

Though it is frustrating to be interrupted, we need to look at the situation through our children’s eyes, and picture them looking for Mommy and being met with scowlings and scoldings when they find her with her Bible. What is their reaction going to be toward their mother and toward the Bible she is reading?

A friend of mine once told me of a childhood memory in which she was looking for her mother and walked into her mother’s bedroom. She found her on her knees, weeping, at her bedside. She felt she had walked into something sacred, and the memory never left her. That incident got me to thinking that perhaps I could look on my children’s interruptions of my devotional time as beneficial to them, that perhaps they needed to see their mother reading her Bible and praying in the ordinary course of the day. So, instead of getting frustrated at the pitter-patter of little feet when I got up early to have devotions, I began to include my children, either reading out loud to them or praying with them, or just allowing them to cuddle up beside me quietly. If I really needed to be alone, I could give them quiet instructions or get them involved with a different activity. I don’t know if they will have specific memories of those times, but I trust their own attitudes toward having devotions were influenced favorably, and I hope that seeing their mother in the Word was and will be a blessing to them.

3) Do your children ever misunderstand you?

Jesus’ disciples did not understand why He “must needs go through Samaria,” why He was talking to the woman at the well, what He was talking about when He said He had bread to eat they knew not of, etc. Just so, our children do not always understand why they can’t have more candy, why they can’t go to that party or watch that movie, why they have to move away from their school and friends, why Grandpa died. Sometimes our Lord explained the situation further; sometimes He just went on with what He had to do. Sometimes we can explain things to our children: sometimes hours of repeated explaining still won’t satisfy them. All we can do is try to teach them to trust us and trust the Lord, to trust and obey.

Those lessons of faith provide building blocks for their future experiences with the Lord, as Romans 5:3-4 remind us: “tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope.” Once when we had to move due to my husband’s job, which was, of course, a trying situation for the whole family, we tried to keep the focus on what the Lord had for us around the bend. Our children found that they liked their new church and school situation much better and made good friends. Some years later we faced the possibility of another move, and once again they faced that possibility gloomily. Yet we could remind them of the outcome of their previous experience with moving, and, though they weren’t excited about the prospect, they could face it in faith.

4) Do your children ever try to distract you from God’s purposes for you?

One time Jesus had healed people all day. When His disciples sought Him out the next morning to tell Him that people were seeking Him, He told them He needed to go to other towns and preach: His primary purpose was to preach, not heal everyone at that time (Mark 1: 32-39). This kind of distraction seems to be an outgrowth of misunderstanding, and a simple explanation set things straight.

We, too, are faced with myriads of opportunities these days, both as individuals and as families, in the spiritual realm as well as the secular. Sometimes a family has to look at the bigger picture and eliminate things that are not wrong in themselves, but would be a drain of time and energy and a distraction from our main purposes. For instance, one of my teen-agers had an opportunity one summer to go on a mission trip, attend two different camps, and work at another camp for six weeks. He couldn’t possibly do all of that. In addition, we needed to paint his room and wanted him to be a part of that experience as training for when he became the head of a household with those responsibilities. Plus there were youth group activities scattered throughout the summer. And he really needed to get a part-time job and start saving for college. It isn’t easy to sort through all of the good opportunities, and there may be differences of opinion as to which ones to take advantage of and which to eliminate. But we trusted that as we sought the Lord’s wisdom and discussed all the possibilities, the best ones were chosen.

Sometimes, however, distraction from God’s purposes is a matter of unyieldedness. Peter went so far as to rebuke Jesus when He spoke of His coming death. He got a strong rebuke from Jesus in return.

5) Do your children ever not “get” what you are trying to teach them?

This happened so often with the disciples! Jesus just kept laying line upon line, precept upon precept, and went on with what He had to do, knowing they would understand in time. And we have to do that, too, as parents.

Sometimes He did question them (for example, when they were on the boat during the storm while Jesus was asleep. They woke Him up, saying, “Carest Thou not that we perish?” After He stilled the storm, He asked, “Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?”) Sometimes He rebuked them (Mark 16:14: “Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.”) Sometimes we need to be patient with our children’s immaturity (just as our Lord is patient with ours), but sometimes they, too, need a stern rebuke when they should “know better.”

6) Do you love your children, knowing full well they will fail you and disappoint you?

Jesus certainly does, with the disciples and also with us. The most poignant example, to me, was before His crucifixion, knowing the disciples would forsake Him and that Peter would deny Him. “But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not.” We cherish the best expectations for our children: “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (I Cor, 13:7). But just as “he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust,” so we know that our children are only human and will fail from time to time. Though there may be consequences to deal with, by God’s grace we always love them and offer to them the same forgiveness He offers us. “Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him” (Ps 103:13).

I am sure that there are many more examples than this of our Lord’s example to us on earth that we could apply to parenting: His love for them, His instructing, illustrated by stories they could comprehend; His teaching them the work of the ministry by example and then by sending them out on their own, etc. How good to know that He knows exactly what we go through as parents and that He will give us the wisdom, compassion, and grace we need!

 And the Word was made 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. John 1:14

(Postscript: This is revised from an article I wrote years ago that was published in a magazine which I cannot find now but which I think is no longer published. It would take too long and probably not be very interesting to relate the details, but something I read yesterday touched off a series of thoughts which eventually reminded me of this article, led to an unsuccessful search for my copy of the magazine, and then a successful find of a draft of it in an old computer file. I hope it is an encouragement to you.)

(Sharing with Wise Woman, Faith on Fire, Glimpses, Soul Survival, Literary Musing Monday, Inspire Me Monday)

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Dealing With Disappointment and Discouragement

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Most parents thoroughly enjoy pleasing their children. There’s nothing like causing a child to smile or laugh in delight. But even the best and most well-meaning parents have to say no to their children sometimes.

We can’t have candy now because dinner is almost ready. If you eat candy now, you won’t want your dinner.

In a few minutes we need to put away toys and get ready for bed.

I’m sorry, we can’t go to the splashpad today. It’s too cold.

No matter how kindly these things are said, the disappointment still stings sometimes, and for the very young, diversion sometimes helps. But as children mature, parents expect them to handle some level of everyday disappointment with some maturity. Of course, the disappointments can escalate (a broken heart, not making the team or the cast, feeling left out of a group) and will need more counsel and comfort.

Like our pint-sized counterparts, we all have to face disappointments and the accompanying discouragement. A lot of it boils down to not getting what we want: The promotion went to someone else, the loan was denied, our love interest loves someone else. For me recently, I had gone to an appointment quite discouraged because it was six weeks post-op, and I thought everything was supposed to be healed and functioning well at that point, and it wasn’t. I thought I would have to face another procedure, which I had really wanted to avoid. But the doctor said everything was progressing like it should. Even so, I felt down for several days and couldn’t figure out what the problem was until I realized it was just the disappointment not being “done” with this issue by now as I had thought I would be.

Sometimes the disappointment is due to misinformation, as in my case. Sometimes it’s a mistaken impression of what we need. Like a child who needs to get ready for bed because his parents know he needs rest and can see he is dangerously close to a meltdown, our heavenly Father knows that the thing we want, while not wrong in itself, is not what we need right now. Sometimes disappointment comes when other people don’t live up to our expectations or want something different from what we want. Sometimes other people are blissfully unaware or downright cruel. Sometimes it’s getting something we don’t want – an illness or an annoying neighbor.

Whatever the cause of disappointment, we need to put it in perspective. We had the wrong information: ok, we factor in the new information and adjust. We didn’t get something we wanted: then that was not meant for us, and something else is. Perhaps God withheld it for that exact reason, because He has something better waiting for the right time. In a book I am reading, the author was disappointed at not being asked to minister in her new church in a particular way (music), but then an opportunity opened up to minister in a different way (teaching) that she found she loved and thrived in. If it involves an opportunity, job, or person, then we continue to grow and develop and seek out new opportunities while praying for guidance. If it involves a failure, we examine it to see where things broke down so we can learn and grow from it. Christina Rossetti said, “A fall is not a signal to lie wallowing, but to rise.” Conflict resolution could take a whole different post, but if our disappointment involves disagreement with another person, we seek to resolve it in the best way possible. We’re not doormats, never having an opinion or a will of our own, but we also realize the universe does not revolve around us, that there has to be some give and take in a relationship. If another has failed us, we seek God’s help to be gracious, remembering the times that we have failed as well, forgive as we have been forgiven. Sometimes we’re disappointed in what we did receive: When I got transverse myelitis, I sometimes lamented to the Lord that surely I could serve Him better without it. But he showed me that limitations don’t hinder ministry: they just define it. Some disappointments come just because we live in a fallen world: this isn’t heaven.

It might take a while for our feelings to catch up with the perspective we’re trying to gain and maintain. It’s not wrong to grieve over a disappointment, but we can “feed” it and hang onto it longer than necessary. As we take our thoughts captive and remind ourselves of truth, eventually the feelings will lessen. Maybe someday we’ll see why we were denied what we wanted; maybe we’ll even rejoice at the direction that disappointment led us, like the author we mentioned. Maybe we’ll never know this side of heaven.

But we can trust our kind, loving, and wise Father and bring all our concerns to Him.

One more thought: I’ve read a number of articles that seem to indicate that whatever we have a problem with, it’s due to our making an idol out of it. If I am disappointed that my children aren’t obeying, I have made an idol out of being a perfect parent; I am disappointed at not getting that item or opportunity because I had set it up as an idol in my heart. Now, that may be the case. We’re all too prone to idol-making of some kind. But disappointment does not necessarily indicate a lurking tendency to idolatry. Consider David’s words in Psalm 142, written when he was hiding in cave and dealing with disappointments on several fronts:

1 I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.

I poured out my complaint before him; I shewed before him my trouble.

When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path. In the way wherein I walked have they privily laid a snare for me.

I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.

I cried unto thee, O Lord: I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.

Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.

Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: the righteous shall compass me about; for thou shalt deal bountifully with me.

As with so many of the psalms, David poured out his heart to God, reminded himself of the truth he knew, encouraged himself in the Lord, and renewed his hope in Him. Asaph and others did as well. And by God’s grace we can do the same.

(Sharing with Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Monday, Glimpses, Soul Survival, Wise Woman, Tell His Story, Faith on Fire)

***Please note, I am not talking in this post about clinical depression. Though the principles discussed will help, depression is a bigger issue needing more than encouragement and perspective. If you feel you may be suffering from depression, please see your doctor. Likewise, deep grief, like the loss of a loved one, is a bigger issue than disappointment and discouragement, and though many of the truths here still apply, dealing with grief is more involved.

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Friday’s Fave Five

FFF fall flowersIt’s Friday, time to look back over the blessings of the week with Susanne at Living to Tell the Story and other friends.

This has been an up and down week, but I still have more than five things to share, so I’ll have to choose! Here are a few favorite things:

1. Grandparent’s Day was last Sunday, and Jason and Mittu brought over dinner and dessert on Saturday night and shared a special video they had made with photos of Timothy with us and recordings of some of our voice messages. Sweet!

2. A good post-op visit with my cardiologist. I had gone into it discouraged because I had still been having some irregularities, including a five-hour afib episode last Friday. They had told me to expect some irregularities as things healed, and that the surgery itself could cause them, but I had thought that by six weeks, everything would be healed and settled. I guess that was not the case. The doctor said everything was “just the way he liked to see it,” and I see him again in 2 months. It took me a couple of days to actually feel encouraged by the visit, but at least we’re going in the right direction.

3. Fall goodies. I made caramel corn and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie treats last weekend, and Choco-Peanut Butter Dreams on Thursday. I need to lay off the baking for a while, but we’re enjoying having these in the house!

4. Little Caesar’s is not my favorite pizza of all, but every now and then that $6 Hot and Ready pizza just hits the spot. Sunday afternoon Jason and Mittu had other plans for lunch, so Jim, Jesse and I just grabbed a couple of pizzas and Crazy Bread on the way home from church for a quick lunch. I used to do big Sunday dinners, but we get home so late, I’m pretty much looking for quick Sunday meals – more time for rest that way! 🙂

5. Cool weather. I love this time of year, and the relief from the heat of summer but not facing the cold of winter for a while yet. And we still have turning leaves to look forward to!

Happy Friday!

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More Stray Thoughts…

This is the first weekday in about a week and a half where I haven’t had to go somewhere during the morning. I thought that would provide for a busy day getting things done at home, but instead I’m tired and a little fuzzy-brained and fighting off a headache (due, I think, to the air pressure system). So It seems like it would be a good day for a ramble. 🙂

I had my post-op visit with the cardiologist yesterday. I had been discouraged because I’ve still felt a number of heartbeat irregularities, mostly minor, but some longer, one as long as 12 hours. The most recent long bout was five hours last Friday. They had told me to expect some irregularities, that the surgery itself could cause some. But in my mind there shouldn’t have been that much, and certainly not 5 1/2 weeks out from surgery. But the doctor was cheerful and said everything was “just the way we like to see it.” I see him again in 2 months. I’m still not feeling particularly cheerful about it myself, but I am a little more hopeful, especially as the last couple of bouts were considerably milder than usual. I’ve been told that occasionally people have to have an ablation for atrial fibrillation more than once, and if we have to do that, we’ll deal with it, but I sure hope the one I had will take care of it.

Part of the longer healing process is due to the fact that what they’re trying to accomplish with the ablation (as I understand it) is creating little teeny spots of scar tissue along the nerve that’s causing the irregular beats, either by heat or freezing – not so much as to impair heart function, but enough to disrupt that particular nerve’s signals. So not only does all of that need to heal and settle down after surgery, but then it takes time for the scar tissue to develop – longer than I had thought, evidently. I had thought everything would be “done” by this visit, which led to my discouragement at still having issues.

So we’ll see where we are in a couple of months. I also got some much-needed clarification about what to do if I do have a longer bout of afib at home – how long to just rest at home and when to see a doctor.

Well, enough of that.

Other thoughts that have been accumulating recently:

  • My own little corner of the Internet has been on the quiet side recently. Some blog friends have taken a hiatus for the summer, or for a longer spell, for various reasons, and some are only posting sporadically.
  • Is anyone thinking of doing Write31Days in October? The idea is to choose a topic, any topic, that you’ll blog about every day of October. I’ve done it a few times before with 31 Days of Missionary Stories, 31 Days of Inspirational Biographies, and 31 Days with Elisabeth Elliot. I enjoyed doing them, and they were well-received. But so far I don’t have anything in mind to write about this year, and I don’t know if I have the “umph” to do it. We’re coming off of a busy time between the surgery, the eclipse, the family stay-cation, and “birthday season” (several family birthdays July-September). I was just thinking today that it was nice to look forward to nothing major on the schedule in October. But I am praying about it. Let me know if you’re planning to participate.
  • Recently I’ve seen a few comments on social media judging people for not commenting on particular issues. Seriously, people. Not everyone wants to participate in every online debate or wants to strew their thoughts on every topic, particularly divisive ones, all over the Internet. Plus, some issues are too big for the 140 characters of a tweet. I’d rather have a serious, in-depth, informed, and thoughtful discussion on a issue than trade snarky sound bytes. So don’t take media silence as indifference or lack of caring. I’m not saying it’s wrong to discuss divisive issues on social media, but, honestly, a lot of those discussion that I see are more about scoring points for one’s own side and portraying the other side as stupid or dangerous or uncaring than they are about shedding any light.
  • I never saw or heard of leaving two spaces between typed sentences until fairly recently, and I’ve wondered where that came from. I never had a typing or keyboarding class, so I have wondered if it’s taught there, or if it is a regional thing. I just looked it up, and this article delves into the history and tells why it is considered wrong. This one says it’s especially a no-no in writing proposals.
  • Do you ever go back and edit old posts? I’ve discovered some of mine have some photos missing or broken links. I used to use sources like Photobucket to upload and share photos so I didn’t use too much of my free storage space provided by my blog. Though Photobucket is still in business, I think some of the others must have gone out of business over time, because I’ve discovered some old posts with a place for a photo, but no photo there, and nothing happens when I click on the icon that is there. Plus there are some broken links here are there, where the post or site I linked to is no longer online. It would be a lot of work to go back through 11 years worth of posts to fix that kind of thing, yet I hate to leave posts like that, especially the ones with missing photos. So I’ll probably correct them as I come across them and have time. I know for some of you, whenever I do anything with an old post, it shows up in your feed as a new one. I apologize for that. I don’t know how to avoid it. If I start fixing old posts on a larger scale, I’ll try to let you know.
  • Do you find yourself living back in the “dark ages” in some respect? For me, it’s the price of clothing. I can accept that the price of gas and food changes, even though sometimes I am horrified by it. But I still find myself not wanting to pay more for clothes than I did back in college – almost 40 years ago. A lot of times I can still find clothes at those prices, or close to it, but it’s getting increasingly harder to do so. I recently upped the price range I consider acceptable, but there are some clothes catalogs I immediately toss because they are so ridiculously high.
  • ‘Tis the season…for corn mazes. Have you ever done one? They do not sound like fun to me. 🙂

Well, that’s probably more than enough rambling for one day.

Like many of you, we’re still praying for those still dealing with the effects of the hurricanes on the east coast and the wildfires in the west and for the help they need, financially, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.