Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Loose Ends * Let's Chill Edition


Dearest Friends & Faithful Readers ~

I've been spotting some silver linings recently.

And some outright miracles.  Even in the midst of loss.  Adjustment.  Apprehension.  Uncertainty.

How 'bout you?

Without sticking our heads in the sand, more of us are purposefully choosing to chill.  We're refusing to give in to defeat or linger too long over worse case scenarios.  We're turning away from divisive political rhetoric, instead choosing to sharpen our identity as grace-filled Christ-followers.

We're rediscovering the need to listen well.  We're drawing a line in the sand as we decide what's worth standing up for ... even while letting go of our cast-in-stone mindset and constant focus on the latest news feed.

We've experienced what stress does to our bodies and souls and we're saying, 'no more.'

We're sending up 'more than we can ask or imagine' prayers and praising God while we await His responses.  

In the process, we're finding His grace in the most unexpected places.  We've become the awe-struck recipients of the generous kindness of others ... even while we're learning to embrace the art of sacrificial giving.

And more of us have had no choice but to finally launch into the common sense journey toward simplifying our lives and our spaces.  Cheryl Smith's memoir / guidebook Biblical Minimalism opened that door to a hefty, life-altering conversation, didn't it.  Click here to check out that post.

Because of the monumental health and lifestyle shifts we've been forced to encounter, we're realizing how little we actually control.  

Instead many of us are heading back toward a more substantial faith.  We're embracing each in-person connection we're gifted with.  We're figuring out what a back to the basics lifestyle looks like, we're cultivating our own fledgling creativity.  And we're making our way outside to tend our gardens or walk our neighborhoods, meeting and greeting the dog walkers, the joggers, the bikers, and the stroll-ers.

When the oppressive humidity doesn't overwhelm.

The simplest pleasures we used to take for granted are now sheer gold.

And while I've been wondering this year if these just might be the last days, it's clear that God's not done yet.  He hasn't changed a bit, and He is not shocked or taken off guard by what's coming around the next corner.

Therein lies peace.

He's already penned the end of the story.


Debby Hudson

*

LINKS WORTH YOUR LEISURELY ATTENTION


Melissa Schlies

possibility
Barbara Cutting

*




















*

YOUR FAVORITE CONVERSATION
AROUND HERE THIS MONTH
Hands down, Have You Run Into Karen Lately? sparked the most fascinating dialogue.  You won't believe some of the stories our readers shared!  Click here to read every last word.


AND THE BIGGEST PANDEMIC POST
SO FAR?
Honestly, I was surprised at the huge response to Designing Your Morning Invitations.  The impact of the pandemic, the myriad of unsettling challenges, the resulting out-of-kilter rhythms we're struggling with.  Together we discern what God might be inviting us to in the midst of the crazy, the scary, and the yearning for fresh practical routines and deeper spiritual formation.  Click here to see what unfolded during our interaction.

Stay cool.  Be generous.  Pray lots.  Eat ice cream.
Linda


*


*

visiting with 
Lisa & Mary

46 comments:

  1. Looking at your last line, Linda. Stay cool. Sort of hard here in Indiana but I guess cycling is an excuse for trying. :) Be generous. I never want to stop. Pray lots. Always. Eat ice cream. Best suggestion of all. one thing I think this virus has done has been to give people the "okay" to slow down some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're so right, Bill. In many ways we've had no choice but to slow way back down.

      There's nowhere to go, is there ...

      Delete
  2. We're slogging through some hit days here as well. Family is visiting, so I have only gratitude.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I absolutely hear you, Grandma.

      A good weekend with the kids does the soul good. No matter what the temperature!

      Delete
  3. Ahhh, Linda. This post is a breath of fresh air. I'm finding as we continue to walk through this pandemic that we are being forced to find our new rhythms, so to speak. We're never going to go back to life as we knew it. Among other things, this year has taught me to evaluate what's important and figure out how to live each day well with the Lord. Which, of course, can only come by seeking Him first.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, yes, and yes again, Jeanne.

      I'm resonating with where you're coming from. And grateful you found a bit of fresh air today here.

      ;-}

      Delete
  4. First, I love the pictures and feel calm just looking at them. I needed that. There's a looming medical issue and recent news about a loved one that have been making me a bit anxious. Second, I'm learning to relax by letting perfection go more and more each day. As for silver linings, I'll claim them both today. THANK YOU for making me think about it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Suzette, hi and welcome! I'm glad that there's some calm here for you. I am sorry about the medical issue and family news. I understand what anxiety is all about and I hear you well.

      Claiming silver linings with you, for you. May God give you His beautiful peace while you wait.

      I'm glad you're here.

      Delete
  5. Love looking at the pictures Linda. One thing of among many that I have learned is that I surely control NOTHING going on in this old world but my attitude and that I am trying to stay on top of. So much negativity, doom and gloom but we know WHO has the last say. So glad I am truly trying to trust the PEACE that God gives and not man. Stay cool dear lady! Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My human nature is to dwell on negativity, doom and gloom. I think it's in the gene pool. Anyway, you're spot on, Cindy. There's nothing and no one we can control except our responses to what's going on around us.

      If we haven't learned already, we're finding out that we can't rescue, fix, or save everybody and everything around us.

      Only God can.

      What relief to give it all to Him ... constantly.

      Delete
  6. Treasuring every moment in these days, even with all their constraints and limitations. Let us all pray more and go for that ice cream!
    Blessings, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'll be the one with the kiddie cup of chocolate with huge chunks of Reese's Peanut Butter cup!

      ;-}

      Delete
  7. The pictures on this blog are gorgeous - I'd love to frame some of them! I clicked on the link towards the bottom about the Morning Invitation blog. I like to go back and read comments that were posted since I was last there. I always find words of wisdom that I would have missed if I only checked it the day the blog comes out!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, Mah, it's always fun to head back and catch the whole conversation ... which almost ALWAYS is better than the post itself.

      ;-}

      Delete
  8. This is a breath of fresh air to my day. Thank you, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We're needing every breath of fresh air we can find, aren't we. Glad there was something here refreshing for you, friend ...

      Stay cool. Stay healthy.

      Delete
  9. Beautiful photos! I'm learning to enjoy the simplicity in each day for there is much joy in discovering the treasures!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Simplicity is what we're yearning for, isn't it, Joanne. Sadly, we don't usually spot its richness and reward right away.

      Delete
  10. love the photos and I am becoming more and more convinced that the practice of paying attention and deep listening is essential. thank you Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Paying attention and deep listening. Oh what we've missed along the way because we were too busy thinking about what WE were going to say next.

      * sigh *

      Delete
  11. Right on point, my friend! Exactly right! ♥️

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So good to see your smiling face, dear friend and mentor ...

      Delete
  12. Oh, Linda! It is always like such a breath of fresh air when I get to come here and visit with you. I always feel that we are sitting, having coffee together, looking out over the water, talking about God's goodness. Such a precious friend you are to all of us who visit here. Thank you ever so much for your dear support of our book and your kind, kind heart. Many blessings to you, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's been fun to walk alongside you during your publishing journey, Cheryl! You'll probably never know how many lives you've impacted by your honesty and wise words ...

      Delete
  13. Linda, such wise and comforting words. I am on a 14 day challenge to not complain, this is day 2 so I have a ways to go. I agree with Cheryl, when I visit it is as if I am sitting across the table from you and enjoying a cup of coffee as you impart scriptural truths.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We do minister to each other, don't we, Pam ... this is one of the best blessings of blogging.

      ;-}

      Delete
  14. Chill--what a beautiful word (especially when we have a week of temperatures in the 100s). May we all invest more time in each other face to face (in a socially distant, healthy way, of course) and spend less time trolling through social media. May we dig in our gardens instead of taking digs at each other's opinions. Thank you for the wise words!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, the temps have been a killer, haven't they. Today's a bit of a breather. And yes, please to digging in our gardens instead of taking digs at other people. LOVED how you put that, Anita!

      Delete
  15. Dear Linda,

    I’m very appreciative of you linking my post. Thank you. I’m also appreciate of the connection you offer so many. Your words find exactly the right way to express so much of what I’ve been feeling. The cravings for simplicity. The nurturing of neighborhood friendships. How much joy can be found in the ordinary. How little we actually need, after all.

    “We’re discovering the need to listen well.”

    I’ve really been working on this. Thanks for the reminder.

    Barbara

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Barbara, I feel the same about your writing. Visiting your site always calms me with your wisdom, simple grace, and beautiful way you weave your words.

      When a new post shows up, I head over to visit, pronto.

      Thank you for the perspective you pour into my life, friend.

      Delete
  16. "He's already penned the end of the story." Amen! Peace came over me when I read that line. We've had some hot days here in NY...hot...boiling hot so staying in was the best option although I met up with a friend Sunday evening. We had a lovely time sitting outside at a cafe sipping on shakes, sharing a desert and delightful conversation. We kept our masks on the whole time except when eating or taking a sip. It was lovely and a great time to just chill.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Sunday evening at an outdoor cafe sipping shakes and sharing a dessert and warm conversation with a friend, Yvonne. Absolutely lovely and inviting.

      If I still lived in NY, I'd find a way to horn in and join you!

      ;-}

      Delete
  17. 3 silver linings for me: spent 2 days at the Celebrate Recovery Summit viewed online. Would never have experienced a summit if not for panademic. It was a state of the art presentation.
    Second, our pool opened today and I have been asking for a lap swim time (without rude, screaming kids) so 10-12n is senior swim time. Hip hip hooray.
    Third, now that my daughter-in-law lost her job, I see her so often.. what a treat, we even went shopping together.

    Not hating this pandemic at al

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dear Carol, I love how you've captured a whole bunch of silver linings during this unexpected summer. The Summit! OH WOW! The pool - I miss sharing those lazy afternoons with you. And a shopping trip. Oh yes, please.

      Thank you for focusing what is true and lovely and excellent and praiseworthy. It's too easy to look in the other direction.

      Miss you ...

      Delete
    2. BTW you are my only friend who enjoyed the pool with me...whaaaaaaa. Miss you everyday! Oh and shopping where you talked me into spending my money. Heehee. 😉

      Delete
    3. I loved shopping vicariously with you!

      ;-}

      Delete
  18. Oh Linda ... beautiful pictures and wonderful encouragement ... what more could we ask for in a blog post? I so appreciate your perspective about God not being done yet ... what a relief to remember that He will fulfill His purposes for us and for the world. Thanks for sharing my post too ... gardening (and writing about it) is definitely a simple pleasure that is making all the difference right now. :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm longing to get outside and putter around again, friend. Your post on gardening was such a breath of fresh air laced with hope. It was so inspirational and motivating.

      More oft' than not, life's simplest joys are the most satisfying.

      Delete
  19. Here unto these fading days
    I'd like, at last, to chill,
    but that's not what the Bible says,
    and I've set forth with a will
    to provide for Barb a kit of tools
    to take a shooter's breath,
    and offer interfering fools
    a quick and nasty death.
    Peace would be the better road,
    I do full-formed agree,
    but I can't bear the heavy load
    of one so dear to me
    begging, "Please don't kill me, oh, no, please!",
    left 'fore evil, on her knees.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I talked to Jesus about you and Barbara just a few minutes ago, friend. You can read it here, just scroll way on down -
      http://www.lindastoll.net/2020/07/dear-linda-i-feel-so-responsible-for.html

      Bless you both this weekend ... and the 4 footed companions as well.

      Delete
  20. I find myself on the verge of tears so easily again the past couple of weeks. Sigh. I'm off now to read several of these links you shared because God often uses you to point me in the right direction. Blessings to you, Linda!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh dear Lisa, I hope you find some solace here by the leading of the Spirit.

      Sometimes a good cry and a long nap make the world a bit brighter again ...

      Praying for you right now, that you will find God filling your weary soul.

      Delete