Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Loose Ends * October 2018

Dear Friends ~

Frost sparkled on the porch roof as I looked down from the bedroom window this morning.  Any doubts that autumn had arrived quickly disappeared as I smiled at those icy diamonds sparkling in the sunshine.

This was the week that the last of the summer clothes were stored away in my big ol' childhood dresser in the corner of the basement.  The week where I hunted for slipper socks in the dead of night because I couldn't get warm enough ... and the week I finally stocked up on a ridiculous number of cinnamon sticks for future mugs of mulled cider. 

And yes, even though I was not at all ready for its arrival this year and held on to summertime as long I possibly could, this is my favorite season.  

In the next few days, we'll plug the electric blanket in, get those storm doors installed, place the candles in awaiting windows, and roll out the carpet, literally, in the living room.

Autumn, I'm so very glad you've come and settled in.  You are most welcome here.

The Lazy Genius Collective

Michelle DeRusha

Kristen Milligan

Kimi Harris

RAINN {Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network}

Sara Austin

Emily Freeman

Addie Zierman

J.R. Briggs

I've got a love / hate relationship with technology.  

Figuring out how to get a DVD going requires focused concentration on clearly written step-by-step instructions. Panic creeps in quickly when a password refuses to let me into a must-access website.  These days, I do my online business with a bit more purpose and then close the laptop and go on my way.  A twinge of relief and a sense of freedom washes over me ... and if possible, I think the rapidly aging laptop feels the same way.  

This month I deleted 1300+ emails.  Removed my name from a bunch of lists and unsubscribed from a few blogs.  Maintained my goal of having an almost delightfully empty inbox by the end of most days.  If that's your goal, too, you'll probably enjoy my post, In Praise of the Empty Inbox.

My faithful phone died a slow, peaceful death after 4 years of service.  I'm still learning how to navigate my new phone and in the process have chosen to refuse an endless parade of intrusive notifications startling me with obnoxious noises.  Yes, I hear the phone when a call comes in, a little blue light blinks politely when an email hits the inbox, and a single inobtrusive bing lets me know when a text arrives.  

As much as possible, gentle silence has become my byword and my lifeline.

Peace, be still.

Last week it was the Chris Tomlin Holy Roar CD.  In the weeks ahead I'll be donning my Santa hat and be working overtime to share some sweet gift-giving giveaways with you, my dear and faithful readers!  

I've lined up some treasures for you including one of my favorite books ever.  A beautiful art journal.  The NIV Adventure Bible: Polar Exploration Edition for kids.

And who knows what else?!

Click here to subscribe so you don't miss an opportunity to jump right into these giveaways!  I'm so excited!


If you're a regular around here, you'll recall Pam and Becky's book, Bring Me a Vision: A Story of Redeeming HopeClick here to read my review.

Pam sent a recent email with this link - 'Praising the Lord for this great blessing for RAHAB and eager to share this with you!! 

And then Becky followed up with this message -
Hi Linda, Becky here. 

First of all thank you for your review of Bring Me A Vision. You are spot on when you cover the importance of having someone in our lives to come along side us to help the broken see their worth. Pam has been and still is that person for me! 

You had asked about the plans for the grant that Rahab was awarded.  Although there are many arms to the ministry I would say that the Safe Houses are the most costly.  With this grant Rahab will be able to move forward to open its 18 bed home for the minor victims of sex trafficking.  The home is complete and paid for however the cost of staffing and operating such an enormous home is approximately $500,000 annually.  Some funds will be put in reserve for emergency as well.  The other vision for the ministry is to open a home that will be for Mom's with children. The needs are endless and the money will help meet some of those needs.

We continue to thank the Lord for all His provision and remain obedient to His calling for Rahab.

Thank you again, for support and for prayers!

I'm glad that Pam and Becky have let me share their good news with you all.  Click here to check out what God is doing at RAHAB

This has been a rough season for our country.  Seemingly unsolvable divisions abound.  Our national discourse is rough and harsh, kindness is in desperately short supply, and it seems like there's no end in sight.

As Christ-followers, while we might strongly differ with others on politics or policies, we are called to love our neighbors well.  Our fellow sojourner across the aisle is not the enemy.  The Enemy of our souls prowls around looking for whoever he can devour.  The evil one can only rejoice in our combative rhetoric, our distinct lack of lovingkindness, and our blood pressure raising dialogue.

I rest peacefully knowing God is in control.  All our hope rests in Him.  He is the One we trust.  Praying that His will be done loosens my own opinionated agenda, allows me to have a better chance to respectfully listen to those I might not agree with, and respond in ways that truly honor Christ.

More days than not, I've been turning off the news sooner rather than later ... and find myself singing quietly as I go about my business, 'Lord have mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy on us.'

Be kind.  For everyone you meet
 is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
- author unknown -

Be kind and compassionate to one another
forgiving each other,
 just as in Christ God forgave you.
- Ephesians 4:32 -

Kind comments only, please ...


Connecting with 


  1. I enjoyed the article about giving up a dream. I know what you mean about technology. My kids love getting a new phone or techie gadget. I don't like the learning curve, but I usually like the features once I get used to them. I turned off most notifications, and almost the only ones I allow that make noise are a phone call or a text. I don't know how my husband can stand all the different noises his phone makes throughout the day, but he is not as sensitive to noise as I am.

    I was afraid we wouldn't have much fall color here since it seemed late to come in. Often when that happens, a good rain knocks all the leaves off, and I feel a little shortchanged. :-) But thankfully we have been enjoying fall color this week. I always feel more ready to face the colorless winter when I've had that burst of color in the fall. We've had a few cold nights, but thankfully most of the time right now it is just pleasantly cool. I'm treasuring that up against winter, too.

    1. Barbara, hi! You're so right ... some people love the binging and buzzing and others of us could do without it completely. I appreciate when people silence all that stuff during a meal or a get together.


      Enjoy the color, the crisp, the glory of autumn, friend ...

  2. I love the fall pictures in this post - they remind me that I haven't decorated for fall in years! Not even a pumpkin or a gourd - I will change that next year. Your writing on "Kindness Matters" is so important. I try not to get into discussion with others about differing points of view unless it is a conversation where both people are open to hearing the other's viewpoint. If it is just a sentence to get my point across and not be open to the other person's opinion, than I am wasting my time and my "reason" is wrong. I think God allows us to have different points of view and we should share those, but what are my true motives? If they aren't the right ones than I should be quiet!!

    1. Yep, there's always next year. And you should know these are snapshots of shops in Lancaster, PA, not my own backyard

      I bought no pumpkins this year because last year they all rotted within 2 weeks. The mums I do have were pelted by torrential rains ... and they look like it.

      Oh well ...

      And Marilyn, thanks for the gentle reminder about checking on our motives ... and doing it often. Well said.


  3. You're packing so much goodness in this one post, Linda! Love it. Thanks for the update too on Rahab Ministries. What an awesome thing that they'll be able to add more Safe Houses.

    1. And I love the little video review you did for Bring Me a Vision, Lisa!

      * Readers - see Lisa's thoughtful 1 Minute Book Review here -


  4. Thanks so much, Linda, for your wrapping up of October's loose ends. I, too, am subscribed to Michelle's audio series, and am looking forward to listening to it as I prepare for the hustle and bustle of the holiday season.
    What you closed with here is something I also wrote about recently on my blog. Yes, we, as Christians, need to practice active kindness toward each other and those around us. We have no excuse!
    Blessings, my friend!

    1. Thanks for the reminder that as believers, we have no excuse for not living out this needed Fruit of the Spirit, Martha. I am sad that it's in such short supply ...

      I'm off to read your post, friend!


      And now I'm back! Dear Reader, please head over to Martha's place - you will be encouraged to think deeply

  5. Thank you for sharing your life, Linda. I really enjoyed reading this. And I'll lay in a stock of cinnamon sticks.

    1. Let's hear it for cinnamon sticks.

      So grateful to do life with you from afar, fellow blogger ...

  6. Such a peaceful pleasant post. My cell is on mute a great deal of the time. I choose when I check calls, etc. You can't do that when you have loved ones in precarious health. Always enjoy your posts!

    1. Absolutely, Lulu. Around here, there's always a cell phone on. Always ...

  7. There is such sweet beauty and gentleness in your words. You ooze peace and I love that. I feel like I just took a long walk with you and now we are sitting down for a cup of something hot and sweet.

    You are a treasure friend! I am so blessed to know you.

    1. All your kind words were a beautiful way to wrap yesterday up. I would love to have that time with you you spoke of. If only we could shrink the miles.

      Praying for you, for yours, dear friend ...

  8. I cleaned up my email subscriptions too, Linda, but now seem to adding more back in again! sigh..So much good stuff including what you have here. I'm a follower of Pam's and must have missed her book though! Thank you for having it here. Wow. What a cause and such a blessing to read how the grant can help create those safe places for healing and redemption.

    1. Yeah, I was so excited about the grant, I just had to share! Talk about answers to prayer. Wow.

      Praise God ...

  9. I love your grace-filled heart and how you are such an advocate for kindness, Linda. You have so much good here! Your words and photos of Autumn are so cozy. :) I started reading this post yesterday and got side-tracked reading the articles until I was interrupted. Now I'm back to finish reading. Thank you for speaking up for those who suffer from sexual assault and sex trafficking. I was intrigued by Kristen's letter and Addie's article and site. I love the song! Now those lines are playing in my head. Such a fitting prayer. Oh, how we need mercy! Love and hugs to you!

    1. Trudy, I'm so glad that there were things here that were encouraging to you.

      Kristen was a dear friend who passed away 6 years ago. It was such a privilege to work with the organization she and her husband began. What a humbling experience it was -

      After observing the unbelieveably disrespectful, taunting responses by men in authority to Christine Blasey Ford's story, more than ever I want to be what you said in your first line, Trudy.

      An advocate for kindness.

      Thank you for your words of encouragement, friend.

  10. Oh how I love Autumn as well, my friend. However, I feel like we went from summer to winter around here ;). I will have to visit some of your links for a little weekend reading. The one from Emily Freeman looks much needed for me. That organization you shared looks like they're doing some amazing work. I'll have to check them out too. I'm so jealous of your 1000+ email clean out! That's on my list for this weekend as well. My inbox is out of control.

    1. Candace, hi! It's the perfect Saturday for snuggling up with a bunch of good reads. The rain and wind are in high gear around here and a bunch of books are stacked on my desk, a quilt is strewn across the chair.

      But first? The grandkiddos await!

      Hope you are well, friend ...

  11. "This month I ... unsubscribed from a few blogs."

    Aha !!! That explains why you no longer visit me.

    I like your last two quotes from "unknown" and Ephesians. Here's another one:

    Humour gets your feet solidly grounded on terra firma, I said as I stood in newly laid concrete. (Victor S E Moubarak).

    God bless.

    1. No, you most certainly have not been unsubscribed by me, my British blogging friend! I value your humor and insight from afar!

      Concrete, huh?

  12. Autumn is my favorite season also. I love the cozy warmth of it.

    1. And wasn't today the most golden New England day ever?


  13. Thanks for the links and the reminder about kindness. I especially enjoyed the fall pictures and the post on how to make it feel like fall. I have crocheted a few pumpkins and leaves to add a tiny bit of fall to our home.

    1. Crocheting sounds all kinds of calm and cozy, TJ. I never learned how ...


  14. This is a great round-up, Linda! I love the photos and the autumn colours and the links to so many great articles- I read a couple but may be back to check out some more! And yes, kindness is so important- we need to learn how to disagree without it becoming nasty!

    1. Yes, let's be free to disagree without labeling, snarkiness, and other assorted unpleasantries.

      Amen, friend. Amen.

  15. Dear Linda,

    I couldn't comment on your blog, but wanted to say I loved reading it. I especially was intrigued by your empty inbox. Way to go! You are good inspiration for me. Michael Hyatt says to delete all, and I'm considering it. How did you do it?

    {via email}

    1. Betsy, hi! Thanks for taking that time to email me since the comment thingy wasn't working for you. I really appreciate that!

      When I go on an email deep cleaning binge, I usually start with folders ... there's usually one or two that I'm not using any more and they can be deleted.

      Clearing out the SENT folder is another way to free up some space. That's where the 1300+ emails I mentioned came from.

      Other ways to sort through can be by date, getting rid of oldest emails first. Or by person, if there's no need to keep their correspondence any more.

      And yes, when all else fails you can hit DELETE ALL. But you've gotta be brave to hit that key!

      Here's what I do to keep the inbox pretty much clear once the big cleaning is done -

      Maybe that will help?

      Please let me know how your fall clean-up works! I'd love to hear!


  16. Hi Linda! Sure has taken me several days to get to your "letter." But thanks for the rundown of things. Here in Indiana we have typical Indiana weather. Sunny one day. Windy and blustery the next (15-20 mph). Rainy the next. Today is cloudy and cool and breezy after a night of rain. plays havoc with the bike riding schedule. :) Glad to hear about Rahab. That is fantastic? One of my dreams was to have a home for moms who were abused but it wasn't to be. Least not yet. Maybe some day.

    1. Dear Bill - thanks for connecting in the busyness of this season. Why am I not surprised that you have a heart for women in crisis. Yes, let's see what God has ahead for you and Jo.

      He's not done with us yet, even at our ripe old age!


      Bless you, man ...


Dear Reader ~

Technical glitches happen.

* sigh *

Doesn't seem to be a place to leave your comment? Or your comment doesn't show up within an hour or so?

I'd love if you'd email me your contribution ... I'd be delighted to hand post it as soon as possible.

lindastoll @ juno . com

My apologies. And thanks for the grace ...