We’ve known for quite a while, so . . . what a relief to finally be able to share with the world the wonderful news that our second grandchild will make his/her appearance in September! For this blessed grandmother (“Bam”), this also means that I get extra time for painting and baking and reading stories with big brother while my daughter-in-law goes to her doctor appointments.
After that headline, all other news in this monthly recap will pale, but it’s been a busy and productive month in other ways as well . . .
On the Nightstand
While I’m sure that Krista Tippett and I would not agree, point for point, on a few matters theological, I devoured Becoming Wise for its respectful and listening tone, elegant sentences, and broad scope of voices. Since I won’t be reviewing it on the blog, I’ll tempt you with a few quotes:
“As love crosses the chasms between us, it likewise brings them into relief. Stand hospitably before those who offend and harm and drive us crazy.”
“Western Christianity lost some of the cleansing power of mystery when it became a bedfellow with empire and later, again in its headlock with science.”
“Hope, like every virtue, is a choice that becomes a practice that becomes spiritual muscle memory. It’s a renewable resource for moving through life as it is, not as we wish it to be.”
I’m also working my way (slowly) through Nancy Guthrie’s Seeing Jesus. Each evening I receive a reminder from its pages that the Old Testament and the New Testament deliver one glorious message, and that this message needs to be at the foundation of all my writing and teaching. And by the way, Nancy’s podcast, Help Me Teach the Bible, is currently one of my favorites.
On the Blog
It’s always a privilege and an adventure to be invited into another writing space, and this month one of my posts appeared at (in)courage, the online community that is the vision of DaySpring (the Christian subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc.). The (in) means that we are in Christ, connected, and in community with each other, and that was certainly my experience as I interacted with readers on the topic of hospitality and friendship. I’d love it if you joined the conversation over there. If you are looking for a community that offers life-giving tools to equip you right in the midst of the chaos, you’ll want to subscribe.
Another community that is less well-known, but vibrant and growing is Ruby Magazine. They shared one of my reviews in their March issue — A Glorious Dark by A.J. Swoboda, a book about believing which confronts the loss and defeat of Friday and the awkward silence of Saturday with Sunday morning resurrection truth.
Earlier this month, we wrapped up a ten-week long on-line book discussion group that featured C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces. Not only did we survive the process, but we also enjoyed the weekly sharing of insights and great input from people who approached the book from all kinds of perspectives. If you love Lewis’s fiction, you’ll be challenged and inspired by his last (and, in his opinion, his best!) book.
The most-read post at Living Our Days in the month of March may possibly have been my most-read post of all time (and someday I’m sure I’ll figure out enough about the backside of my blog to actually make that comparison with confidence . . .). Start Where I Am. Use What I Have. is my commentary on change and the following life; on children leaving and grandchildren arriving; and on my cranky relationship with technology and mud season.
Just for Joy
It’s not every day that I get into my car and drive away from this country hill with no husband and no children, but that’s what happened on the next-to-the-last Friday of March, and the welcome I received on the other end made me wonder what all my angst was about. The women of North Uxbridge Baptist Church in Massachusetts invited me to teach at their spring conference. We met over the Word of God three times that day, and the smiles and nods of that group of godly learners, the sound of all those voices lifted in worship, and the warm fellowship over coffee, around the table at lunchtime, and between sessions mirrored the welcome that God extends to all of us in the Gospel.
It occurred to me on the four-hour drive home that, although I cannot see your nods and smiles, you, my faithful readers, extend that same welcome to me here each time you visit, and so, I thank you for your continual encouragement in this tiny gathering place.
Grace and peace to you, and may your celebration of Christ’s resurrection be filled with joy.
As usual, I’m joining the What I’m Into party over at Leigh Kramer’s place.
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