Sunday, November 29, 2020

Tip-toeing Through the Liminal Space

Greetings, friends!  I'm so glad you've joined me for this month's e-zine.  My heart is filled with gratitude for you, wise and cherished readers.  You are the best encouragers, cheerleaders, mentors, trailblazers, creatives, sojourners, companions.






We're flipping to the final calendar page of 2020.  It was the year that was.  We've talked incessantly, written repeatedly, prayed fervently, trying to process all that's assailed us.  We speak what is true about where we find ourselves, we validate the very real emotions we continue to face.  

We let each other know that we are not alone.  We build hope generously laced with kindness and respect into each other's lives.  Our online connection lends some sort of steadying rhythm in the midst of all that's become distressingly topsy-turvy.

I am so sick of talking about covid.  I despise the ways it has taken over our lives.

The pandemic is still at the forefront and we wait and wonder and battle the reality of emotional fatigue, the ever-present overwhelm over continuously changing uncertainties, the confusing updates in safety and travel guidelines.  Covid testing sites seem to be elusive as hen's teeth and the hopeful distribution of a vaccine has us pondering if we really want to be guinea pigs. 

We're sorrowing over missed family milestones and celebrations.  Many are leery of gathering indoors to worship.  We have learned, often painfully, that we control very little in life.  Many have been navigating through major decisions and discovering that the best laid plans must be held in wide open hands.  We lament the continued suffering, the growing numbness, the losses that are hitting near home.  

We find ourselves in uncharted territory ... the liminal space between how life used to be and what life will become.  We're neither here nor there, and this weird transition leaves us kind of hanging in mid-air, fragile and vulnerable, prime targets for the enemy of our souls.

But this is my testimony, my end of 2020 story ...

Our God is strong and steady as a rock.  He has not changed one single bit even though much around our souls has given way.  He has proved Himself compassionately faithful in the midst of debilitating pain and anxiety, life-altering decisions and ongoing lament.  

He is our all-knowing Guide.  

And the huge sense of relief and the deepest gratitude that's emerged from following Him repeatedly through the next open door outweighs the myriad of frustrations, disappointments, and sadness that have woven their way into this year.  

What a wonderful Savior.

Bless you as we sit quietly and discover the spiritual treasures in store for us this Advent season.  May the Spirit guide us into refreshing new rhythms and deeper grace as He continues to whisper, 'this is the way, walk ye in it' {Isaiah 30:21}.

Linda

P.S. #1  I spent a whole evening penning the usual monthly e-zine, complete with links and commentary on books, surprise treasured finds, my home reorganizing saga, and musings about Christmas.  But after sharing my heart so deeply, it just didn't feel right to tack on the fun stuff.  I think you understand.  Maybe another day?

P.S. #2   But it sure sounds like we're all in sync when it comes to red berries and turquoise doors ... On the Porch * Red Berries Edition

P.S. #3  Have you subscribed yet?

P.S. #4  Visiting with Jeanne & Lisa is always a bright and lively weekly past time with friends old and new.


Friday, November 20, 2020

On the Porch * Red Berries Edition

Brrr.  Good chilly weekend to you!

Not surprisingly, the porch has become mighty cold this week ... and so I've rather reluctantly tidied it up and put it to bed for the winter.  The floors have been swept and the furniture cozied up with old threadbare flannel sheets.  And yes, old bottles and other odds and ends remain behind, patiently biding their time 'til I can figure out where they should land next in our rather small house.



In keeping with my quirky decorating philosophy, red berried wreaths have been hanging on the doors of our home all year.  This week, I treated myself to an exquisite frosted berry swag from TJ Maxx and it's already been draped along the mantle.

Layer ... The Key to Transitioning Your Seasonal Home shares the whats and whys of my homekeeping philosophy that's ended up lending peace and sanity to our four walls.  In this era of confusion, unknowns, and 'lots of moving parts,' how lovely to invite your home into a gentle rhythm that subtly morphs from one season to the next.

Because drastic changes in our home-sweet-homes are the last thing we need right about now.

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If you're looking for a stunning Christmas gift {or are a Sarah Young fan}, be sure to look at Jesus Calling For Christmas.  I feel like a kid in a candy store with this book in hand, a warm quilt, a mug of tea.

Filled with soothing, personal, Christ-centered devotional readings, favorite Scripture, and stunning wintertime photography {more berries!}, this is a gorgeous book.  This Christmas, one that's even more stressful than most, I encourage you to think about selecting what I call 'a signature gift' to wrap up for your people.  

This could be it.  

Make it easy on yourself and buy the hardcover edition by the crate right here and your shopping will be done.  There is also a Kindle edition.  And yes, as an Amazon associate, I may reap a small financial profit when you purchase using the links above.

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And speaking of links, here's a few goodies to savor as you curl up in your favorite chair ...

11 Reminders From Your Mom If You're Having a Bad Day

Kate Arends

'I'm sure you've heard the phrase "self-parenting" before, and while the concept makes sense at first blush, learning to parent yourself is often a lifelong journey.'


A Few Helpful Thoughts about Hard Seasons

Lois Flowers

'Some seasons arrive sooner than expected, others stay long enough to completely wear out their welcome, Either way, their duration is largely out of our control.'


Holiday Gift Guide

Propel Women

'This guide isn’t just an online catalog filled with things for you to purchase — we have prayerfully curated each gift set to equip and empower the individual callings of your family members, friends, and coworkers.'


Why Our Family Room Looks Like a Hotel Lobby

The Nester

'We ended up with three black sofas in our tiny family room and although it’s unorthodox, weird and breaking a few rules, we don’t hate it.'


The Psalms Dare Us to Bring Our Whole Selves Before God

Tish Harrison Warren

'Emotions can be destructive forces if they jump the banks—if they overwhelm all else, determine the whole course of our lives, dictate our responses to others, or become centered as the only true or real thing about our experience of life.'


2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Book Lovers

Christianity Today

'There’s something for everyone, and that too is part of the beauty of reading.  All of us are transported to new landscapes and conversations that influence how we live and care for one another.'


Light a Candle

Linda Stoll

'As we focus more on His sustaining presence in our lives, 'the things of earth' begin to take their rightful place.  We become less self-absorbed, overwhelmed, rattled, and disappointed.'

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If you live on Cape Cod, please join me as I facilitate The Women's Pandemic Holiday Support Group, a cozy yet socially distanced gathering around the warmth of the Cape Cod Bible Alliance Church narthex fireplace.   

We'll be meeting for three Thursdays, beginning December 3rd.  The church is located on Rt. 6A in Brewster.  Registration is required and is limited to ten women.   We've got only 4 seats left!  Check out the details on the pandemic support page.  See you there?

I'd love it.

No matter where you find yourself, may your Thanksgiving be blessed with tranquility ~

Linda

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Think open house + small group + your BFF + book club + your therapist + TGIF all coming together to join forces on the weekend!  That's On the Porch. You never know who or what's going to show up.  This is the place for all my fabulous blogging friends to link up your finest post of the past week ... I want to offer every opportunity to get the word out about your amazing-ness.   

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>>  Tip-toeing Through the Liminal Space

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connecting with Jeanne & Lisa

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

Light a Candle


I'm not sure when I started this little morning ritual and I don't do it every day.  But more mornings than not, I've been silently lighting a candle as I brew my mug of decaf tea and create my heaping bowl of plain non-fat Greek yogurt with berries and uncooked oatmeal ... and yes, chocolate sprinkles.

Don't laugh, it's delicious!

I first began lighting a candle simply because it brightened up the darkness in all the ways that I needed to experience.  It smelled good and brought a smile to my face.  Slowly I began to notice that it also gave me a bit of hope that all would be well.  The gentle flickering and the sweet scent breathed peace and stillness to my rattled soul.

And that was very good medicine indeed.

As time wore on, I began to quietly sing
Holy Spirit, you are welcome here
Come flood this place and fill the atmosphere
Your Glory God is what our hearts long for
To be overcome by your presence, Lord

Now I know that lighting a candle doesn't bring the Holy Spirit into the room.  As we trust in Christ alone, the Spirit makes our hearts His home.  He comforts and convicts, gives wisdom and grace and everything we need for life and godliness.  The luscious fruit of His presence is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control {Galatians 5:22-23}.

More than ever, He is all that we need.

As we focus more on His sustaining presence in our lives, 'the things of earth' begin to take their rightful place.  We become less self-absorbed, overwhelmed, rattled, and disappointed.  We gain a more heavenly perspective on this roller coaster we call life.

For where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is peace.  And isn't that what we've been yearning for our whole lives ...


Saturday, November 14, 2020

The Name It & Claim It 8 Book Giveaway!


Greetings, my avid page-turning friends!

Who doesn't love a holiday giveaway?  Especially if it's a sincere thank you for all the loving encouragement you've poured into my life this year.  The compassionate kindness you've sent my way has been a true lifeline from above during some very dark days.  Your prayers have kept me going.  Thank you with all my heart.

Here we go with The Name It & Claim It 8 Book Giveaway!

I'm happy to be sharing a selection of lovely little books that are perfect for Christmas gift-giving, courtesy of my Mom's carefully stored stash!  I discovered these treasures while sorting through her belongings after she entered a care facility last month.  We chatted over the phone about the giveaway and she's absolutely overjoyed that these volumes are going find their way to the homes and hearts of this blogging community.

Love you, Mom!

I'm offering each of these books name it and claim it, first come, first served!  Tell me your choice in the comment section!  Your comment must link to your contact info or your entry will not be valid.  One entry / one book per person.  U.S. only.

The party ends when the 8 books are claimed or on Saturday noon {eastern}, November 21st, whichever comes first.  Books will have a line running through them when they've been claimed.

Fun!

Click on each title to discover if that's the perfect selection for you to give ... or receive!  As an Amazon associate, I may earn a very small profit when you use these links.

His Princess Bride: Love Letters from Your Prince 

Sheri Rose Shepherd


A Moment with God 

Kay Arthur


The Prayer of Jabez: Breaking Through to the Blessed Life 

Bruce Wilkinson


Proverbs: Timeless Wisdom from the Bible in Expressive Calligraphy 

Timothy Botts 


Breakfast with God: Inspirational Thoughts to Start Your Day God's Way 

Honor Books


The Pursuit of God

A.W. Tozer


The Heart of the Amish

Suzanne Woods Fisher


Passages of Light 

Thomas Kinkade

Let the giving begin ~

Linda

P.S. #1  Check out these 5 Fabulous Books for Christmas Gift Giving!  Hint: 4 of the 5 have been featured as Book Club selections here on the blog 

P.S. #2  Bewildered over your Thanksgiving plans?  Hop right over to our Let's Talk Turkey conversation

P.S. #3  Please subscribe before you leave

P.S. #4  I'll see you at Jeanne's

Tuesday morning update - Every book has been claimed and the contest is now closed.  It's been so much fun, I think we'll do it again before long!

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Light a Candle  >>