Your struggle is exactly fitted to your soul.

Musings: August 2018

One true gift of God is the tension of struggle:

challenges that come out of nowhere just when you think the coast is clear;
the demon Comparison that threatens to anchor you always in the Desert of Lack;
besetting sins that cycle and re-cycle in a life that resembles an on-going game of Whack-a-Mole.

Up close, the struggle feels overwhelming, but taking one step back so the light of Truth can fall upon the day’s page, it becomes clear that struggle is evidence of life. Paul knew this in his bones, following up his Romans 7 howl (“For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.”) with a Romans 8 rallying cry (“If by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”).

The struggle is not for nothing.
Watching my grandson’s fervent pursuit of the ducks on Damariscotta Lake is a study in futility, for he is still learning that his feathered friends have the secret weapon of flight –which is not available to him. By contrast, the believer’s pursuit of righteousness is supported by every weapon in the Spirit’s arsenal.

Your struggle is exactly fitted to your soul,
your soul to it exactly fitted.

The mark of a sincere following life is struggle, but we do not struggle alone, and we do not struggle in vain.

The World of Words

Five books read and five books reviewed!

 

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Of course there’s always reading going on behind the scenes, and the number of books that have shown up in my mailbox this month tells me that this must be book launch season! I’ve been sharing my meandering through Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s Life Together: The Classic Exploration of Christian in Community over on the Living Our Days Facebook page (which, by the way, passed the 500 followers mark this month, so thank you to everyone who gathers there!).Bonhoeffer Listening

Now I’m moving on to C.S. Lewis’s The Weight of Glory, and the edition I’m reading includes an introduction by Walter Hooper, Lewis’s assistant during his final days. He shares biographical insights I have not read elsewhere, and then, of course, Lewis’s incredible essays follow.

Capture

Desiring God very graciously shared an article that I wrote from the gleanings of one of our more challenging seasons of parenting. Based on John 17, it’s a call to prayer for our teens, and a reminder that when parents pray over an open Bible, the words of Scripture wrap themselves around the desires of our hearts and give us the words we don’t have. While you’re there, be sure to take advantage of their many helpful resources.

The Gardening Life

My basement shelves are filling up with shiny jars of spaghetti sauce, pickles, relish, green beans, salsa, and canned tomatoes. Much to the delight of our adorable grandson, we’re growing a bumper crop of cherry tomatoes this year, and in addition to squirreling away the bounty, it’s been a delight to have plenty to share with family and friends.

Around the Dining Room Table

The youngest son and I have already resumed the daily routine of homeschooling. This will be my last round of algebra and chemistry, and since he’s taking his English at the local community college, someone else will be singing the praises of the Oxford comma with him this year. God has used the rhythms and routines of homeschooling to speak patience into this flibbertigibbet of a soul with the reality that school happens one day, one subject at a time, and the thick textbook that looks so intimidating in September is conquered by showing up and doing the few things required on any given day.

Standing with you in the freedom of the struggle,

I  am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you should decide to purchase any of the books mentioned in this recap post, simply click on the image below, and you’ll be taken directly to Amazon. If you decide to buy, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Michele Morin

Michele Morin is a teacher, blogger, reader, and gardener who finds joy in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for nearly 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, two grandchildren, and one lazy St. Bernard. Michele loves hot tea and well-crafted sentences, poems that stop her in her tracks and days at the ocean with the whole family. She laments biblical illiteracy and advocates for the prudent use of “little minutes.” She blogs at Living Our Days, and you can connect with her on Facebook or Twitter.

50 thoughts on “Musings: August 2018”

  1. Michele, I love what you have written about struggle as I have been thinking about it a lot myself lately. This, so true and something I have now written down > “Your struggle is exactly fitted to your soul, your soul to it exactly fitted.”

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  2. Your words spoke to me “the struggle is exactly fitted to my soul”. Wow! Though it doesn’t feel like it, I have to remember that God is working toward the greater good. He knows the struggles that will pull me toward Him. But ahhhh! It’s not easy! God bless you!

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  3. What a good word, Michele!
    This part encouraged me… “Your struggle is exactly fitted to your soul,
    your soul to it exactly fitted.”

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  4. Weight of Glory is one of my favorites of Lewis. I was just rereading my review from four years ago – it’s hard to write a review of his nonfiction books without just quoting half the book. But one of the quotes seemed perfectly in line with what you wrote at the beginning. He said that even though he fought self-will several times a day, “it grows all over me like a new shell each night.” Thankfully “failures will be forgiven; it is acquiescence that is fatal…We may never, this side of death, drive the invader out of our territory, but we must be in the Resistance.”

    Math was not my forte, and I remember the joy when I took my last math class ever. 🙂

    Good thought, too, that big tasks are conquered just one step at a time.

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  5. “God has used the rhythms and routines of homeschooling to speak patience into this flibbertigibbet of a soul with the reality that school happens one day, one subject at a time, and the thick textbook that looks so intimidating in September is conquered by showing up and doing the few things required on any given day.” I had to laugh when I read this. Sounds like God has been teaching us the same lessons. This is the first year he is in high school full time. Excited, but also missing the rhythms and routines. (But I do enjoy not having to relearn higher level math to keep up with him.)

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  6. Love your monthly musings, Michele — always such beautiful insights. The closing speaks to a truth I know but still can find myself overwhelmed at large tasks. One lesson at a time. Keep showing up. Thank you for these reminders.

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  7. Your musings are a treat for my mind and soul. I’m not sure how you did your slide show of the books you read, but I’m very impressed. I also love your around the table and gardening sections. Thank you for sharing “you”. It’s always delightful!

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  8. I’ll happily sing the praises of the Oxford comma with your son any day! LOL Love your comment about how the intimidating textbook gets conquered… A good reminder for me today! Blessings!

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  9. Michele, as always, my day is enriched by a visit to your page. This, in particular, struck a chord: “it becomes clear that struggle is evidence of life.” YES! It reminds me of a conversation my summer Bible study sisters and I had yesterday when we were wrapping up our journey through Hebrews and were attempting to summarize it. We joked that one of our take-aways (based on Hebrews 12:4) is, “If you’re not dead, keep going.” 😉 Now I can add “struggle is evidence of life” to my mental bank account. Thank you so much…stopping by from Grace&Truth.

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  10. Enjoyed your musings, Michele. We’re back to homeschooling, too, and I have the addition of a third student this year with my third born. They do keep us busy. Have a great weekend!

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  11. “Your struggle is exactly fitted to your soul,
    your soul to it exactly fitted.” Wow! Such powerful words, my friend! It puts things in a clear perspective when we realize this truth. Thank you.

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  12. “The mark of a sincere following life is struggle, but we do not struggle alone, and we do not struggle in vain.”- this is great encouragement- thank you! And I enjoyed reading about your month. You always seem to fit so much in!

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    1. One of my favorite parts of writing this posts is that it forces me to look back and celebrate what’s been done and to re-think some things. I have a tendency toward a future orientation, so this gets to be a matter of intentional discipline. Thanks for coming along for the ride!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Roseann–It’s definitely the way it feels to me, but I gave it careful thought before using the image because I don’t ever want to minimize someone’s struggle. I appreciate your input!

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  13. Your post reminds me of how swiftly time passes, of how the struggles that seemed insurmountable in one season, are now a distant memory. Oh, if only we could live like Jesus admonished us, not worried and anxious about what may come, but savoring today.

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  14. I do sometimes feel like I’m in that whack-a-mole game you talked about. What an apt description. Congratulations on the 500 followers on FB. I wish I thought I could make the commitment right now to follow along with the Bonhoeffer book. His life and writings have impacted me greatly in the past. Thanks for sharing your musings, Michele. Happy September!

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  15. Your thoughts on struggle were so exactly what I needed to read tonight. I will read them a few more times in the days to come, I believe. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on Mommynificent.com! It has truly blessed me.
    Tina

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    1. Oh, that’s so good to know, Tina! When I write these re-cap posts, I want to give readers something to chew on before launching into all the “here’s what I’ve been doing” stuff. It’s good to know that sometimes it hits home for readers!

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  16. WOW! Michele, what a wonderful summary of the many blessings you experienced in August! Certainly encourages us all to look at our day-to-day living with an eye for the daily opportunities to see God at work in our lives–He Who sees the end from the beginning. Love this quote about your homeschooling, which we can all apply to our “one day at a time” living, as well…”God has used the rhythms and routines of homeschooling to speak patience into this flibbertigibbet of a soul with the reality that school happens one day, one subject at a time, and the thick textbook that looks so intimidating in September is conquered by showing up and doing the few things required on any given day.” Amen!

    Many blessings to you, friend!

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