Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Because September is the New January

Last month, 60 was the new 30.

And now, September is the new January.  

Absolutely.




These first golden days of the 9th month, this little pocket of transition time tucked right between sultry summer days and autumn's gently falling leaves?  This is my yearly sweet spot.  For these brief diminutive moments are a unique season of their very own.

Meanwhile, the mad rush starts off slowly, oh so slowly, doesn't it.  The back-to-school hustle builds momentum with each passing day.  Freshly sharpened pencils and notebooks uncreased and brand new sneakers.  Kiddos so proud and eager as they head off to school after navigating the endless checkout lines with already weary parents, shopping baskets filled to overflowing with must-have back-to-school gear.  

Truth be told, ol' mom and dad are heaving great sighs of relief as they wave good-bye to their students of all ages, even while wondering and worrying just a bit.  For the nest is always in process of emptying, of releasing, of letting go.  And mixed emotions are the order of the day.

But we're on a roll.

The calendars' little square spaces begin to rapidly fill with great big kick-off events.  Appointments and meetings and games collide with book clubs and church gatherings and all manner of outdoor activities.  Committees and boards and classes spring back to life, full force, carefully crafted to woo you to sign on, join up, jump in.

And if you're an avid blogger, the 31 Days party is not too far 'round the corner and you're not quite sure if you're ready, willing, and able to write with such ongoing intensity for that length of time.

{Here's my 2015 31 Days of morning invitations.  And I can't help thinking that their soothing grace-filled rhythms are more applicable than ever.}




I'm quite reluctant to leave summer behind.  Yet I believe that our peace in the midst of all that relentlessly pulls at us is choosing to say 'yes, please, Lord' to the quietly persistent invitation that gently calls our names. 

The Spirit whispers, 'Be still and know that I am God' {Psalm 46:10}.   

And amazing grace, that unmerited favor, enables us to choose to venture closer than ever to Christ, settling in to be cradled in those sacred everlasting arms.  Yes, even during the encroaching craziness of the new schedules and obligations ... with the holiday bustle just readying itself just over the horizon.

If our souls ever needed to linger quietly, to be still, to be refilled by the Holy One who designed each season ... it would be right about now.

34 comments:

  1. With all of our kids out of the nest or nearly so (one still taking online classes at home), the new school year doesn't signal a new time of busyness for us any more. We have what I call "birthday season" from July through mid-September, with five of us having birthdays then, so it's nice to have a little break between that and the joyful but busy Thanksgiving/Christmas season. But I am much looking forward to coolness, crisp air, pretty crunchy leaves, and all that goes with fall. And I need the constant reminder that whether relaxed and peaceful or busy and stressful, God is my strength and stay.

    We're emerging from a super-busy August between the birthdays, family visiting, and surgery, so I am just now beginning to think and pray about 31 Days. I've enjoyed doing it a few times in the past, but so far I don't have anything on my heart for it this year - unless the Lord brings something to mind in the next couple of weeks.

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    1. I hear you about the 31 Days, Barbara. I've mulled over a couple of options, but nothing is grabbing me in such a way that I want to invest that kind of energy in writing and posting and running around. I enjoyed August's online leisure too much to go back.

      But boy, it was fun when I did it.

      Looking forward to hearing what you decide to do with that invitation!

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  2. September has always felt like January to me because I love the new beginning of a school year and the return to regular rhythms after a summer of cut-loose! I'm not brave enough to tackle a 31 day challenge, but admire all the warriors who do!

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    1. Warriors.

      Yep, that says it all. I just don't think I'm ready to invest in that kind of intensity at 62. I kinda like an easier blog rhythm in this season.

      I'm glad that in leaning toward 'no' that I'm in such good company, Michele ...

      ;-}

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  3. Great post, Linda! You're absolutely right - we do need that time to linger quietly in His Presence.

    I sure do, now.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2017/09/your-dying-spouse-358-hope-in-hell.html

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    1. God's not leaving your side, your heart, your pain.

      He's got your back. He's been there, done that.

      Through the valley of the shadow He remains.

      Praying for you right now, even as I tap away here. I trust you're somehow resting deep at this very moment, friend.

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  4. Dear Linda,
    My soul sighed a little in relief as I read your blog. Yes, slowly easing back in while wanting to not lose that sweet time with God in the morning that settles my soul for the day...love to you :-)

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    1. What peace floods when our souls sigh with relief, with rest, with God whispering 'well done.'

      I'm with you, Dolly. And I'm so very glad that you're here again ...

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  5. It is so crucial for us to intentionally slow down, even when the world around us is gearing up for a new school year. Trying to stay as commitment-free as I can lately and am enjoying a more relaxed pace.
    Enjoy September, Linda!

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    1. You spoke the key word, Martha!! 'Intentionally.'

      Everything around us pulls us away from a gentle pace and social media does nothing to help us choose solitude and silence which we so desperately need.

      Thanks for speaking the 'I' word. I hear your heart ...

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  6. Ah, Linda ... your words are a welcome respite. I plunged into a pretty intense freelance project just as the girls went back to school three weeks ago and haven't had much time to breathe since then. But today I cleaned, laundered, deleted a bunch of files with notes for blog posts that I no longer want to write (thanks for that idea, by the way) and even talked to my sister on the phone for awhile. It sounds like work but it was actually relaxing! The air is cooler after a hot weekend and my world is more organized, so yes, I'm liking September so far here!

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    1. Thanks for letting me know that you've found a bit of a respite here. Your latest blog post lets me know that you're weary ... I'll be heading over today to chat with you about what you've written.

      I found it profound ... especially in this blogging world we've embraced.

      Peace, Lois ...

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  7. Hi Linda! I am finally back from my summer break. I am reluctant to leave summer behind also. As are some of our grandkids. I can't believe how fast it went! I love this truth - "And amazing grace, that unmerited favor, enables us to choose to venture closer than ever to Christ, settling in to be cradled in those sacred everlasting arms." Ah, to nestle in the warmth of His loving arms is such a great place to be, isn't it?

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    1. I hear ya ... I'm in no rush to head off into my favorite season of the year.

      Kind of a weird feeling, isn't it.

      Trudy ... I'm glad to know I'm not the only one.

      ;-}

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  8. I'd been thinking about September being a new year for the last week or so unable as to how to articulate it. I see it's because it was meant for you to put thoughtful, grace-filled words to this time ripe with beginnings and fresh endings. Lovely, Linda.

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    1. Oh I like the way you worded that, Debby -->' ripe with beginnings and fresh endings.'

      So beautifully spoken, girl!

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  9. I've always loved the fall, even when my schedule with back-to-school family issues was bursting at the seams, Linda. But I bet that living in the NE is always filled with the dread of a harsh winter that is always on the heels of the cool winds of fall, right? And alas, those lazy days strolling the sandy beach are soon behind you for a while, right? All of that makes it a bit bittersweet, I'm sure.

    And when you talk of the 31 Day blogging event, it "almost" entices me to join you! ha! But I just know that will wreck me in more ways than I can count right now. In fact, the Lord reminded me just today that I need to chop down what is dead in my life and move on! I'm feeling way too weighed down and must free myself in several areas of my life--my marriage excluded! ha! Love you, Linda and can't wait to read more of your wisdom on a daily basis in October!

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    1. I'm almost enticed, too, but blogging every day for a month just isn't going to happen this year. Phew! It'd undo my August vacation in a snap ...

      I better go back and clarify that line in the post, Beth. It was as clear as mud!

      ;-{

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    2. I wondered myself if you'd do 31 Days of Blogging. I never have and won't this year. Writing a book right now, and it's keeping me busy, so I have to say no to that to say my best yeses. (And I laugh at myself thinking who wants to see me in their inbox everyday?!) But I do enjoy seeing what others are writing about. :)

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    3. Writing a book must be a daunting task, Betsy. I couldn't even imagine the creative energy and the eye to detail it would require. My hat's off to you, girl.

      'Who wants to see me in their inbox everyday?!' Now THAT'S funny!

      ;-}

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  10. Hello Linda,
    Glad to see you are rested and back from your summer sabbatical! I like it that you see September as your month to renew your vigor and look forward to your 31 days of blogging. Glad to have you back and yes, for sure, 60 is the new 30! xo

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    1. I'm happy to see you again, Valerie. Your post today was superb. As always.

      Love to hear about your adventures ...

      ;-}

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  11. "The Spirit whispers, 'Be still and know that I am God' {Psalm 46:10}."

    This is a great sentiment at all times through the year.

    God bless you and your family, Linda.

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  12. BE STILL--we are so adverse to being still--WHY? I actually am ready for a schedule of some kind. Too MUCH randomness in the summer--I am not very productive!
    Blessings, My Friend!

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    1. I've learned that often we keep ourselves busy so we don't have to do the hard work of looking deep within that gets birthed from stillness. It's easier to keep ourselves occupied rather than walking through our pain toward wholeness.

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  13. I am coming down after a crazy-busy-insane summer. I'll admit it. I was happy when August 16th rolled around and I dropped my boys off for their first day of school. That meant I would finally have some quiet time with the Lord again. My boys' schedules took a lot out of me spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. I love them, I do. :)

    I enjoy September too. The days are still warm, but you begin to feel the change in the air, and in the way the shadows change.

    I hope you enjoy your September, Linda!

    PS—I pray Psalm 46:10 most nights before falling asleep. I love that verse!

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    1. I was always relieved when school started, too, Jeanne. That doesn't make us bad mamas. Speaking it outloud just makes us honest.

      Raising kids is hard, endless, exhausting work. That's the truth. For many of us, it's also the most rewarding, fulfilling call we'll ever embrace.

      Often we don't see the fruit til those little ones become adults. It can be the sweetest of rewards ...

      ;-}

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  14. Oh Linda, what life-giving words these are: "If our souls ever needed to linger quietly, to be still, to be refilled by the Holy One who designed each season ... it would be right about now." I need to bookmark this post and read it again, for it expresses perfectly what I feel about September, one of my favorite months too.

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    1. Thanks for spying something worth returning to, Betsy. You've encouraged me this morning.

      Blessings ...

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  15. I'm still experiencing summer temperatures which is a bit unusual in my area at this time of year! But the world really is experiencing chaos in weather all over isn't it? I'd prefer if fall temperatures had already steadied. But you are so right that in every season, regardless of the bustle or lack of, or our expectations on how things should be, our souls need to linger and be refilled by the Holy One.

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    1. Linger and refill is sure a lovely invitation, isn't it. You're right, Lynn, no matter what the season or our circumstances, I'm feeling the need to say 'yes' more and more ...

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  16. Like you, I'm reluctant to let summer go. Normally, I'm ready for fall when it arrives, but summer went way too fast this year. I'm looking forward to #write31days this year after having to sit out last year. I enjoy the daily focus of listening to God reveal what He wants me to share with my readers. Enjoy these last days of summer, friend!

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    1. You're courageous and energetic to be venturing into 31 Days, June. Be sure that I'll be stopping by often.

      Good for you!

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'I want the people in my life to know that when they come to me, with whatever is on their mind or heart, they will be heard. I am dedicated to hearing the hearts of those around me.'
~ Adam McHugh, The Listening Life

Linda