Thursday, July 29, 2021

On the Porch * Way-Too-Long Edition

Hello, dear friends!

It's time for one of those On the Porch posts ... and I'll be the first to admit that this is a very random, rather lengthy offering.  You'll find no shortage of links to awesome people, superb opportunities, and heartfelt reflections.  

So settle into your hammock and pour a tall frosty tea.  {I feel oh-so-domestic when snipping a whole bunch of peppermint from my very tiny garden and throw it in the brewing pitcher}.


πŸ’•   There's been lots of action on the new Post Index.  I'm guessing you're either curious as to what this new page is all about ... or maybe you're finding the resources you've been searching for.  Have fun exploring the 490 posts {smile} or choose your subject on the right side and click away.  The link is at the top right {email subscribers, click on the title of the post to head over to the website.}

πŸ’•   What do you think about Dane Ortlund's Gentle and Lowly: The Heart of Christ for Sinners and Sufferers as our next Book Club selection?   So many of you have read it, are reading it, or see it on your TBR pile.  My review is right here.  Please let me know your thoughts!  {And yes, I may earn a small financial bonus when you click on the Amazon link.} 

πŸ’•   Thanks to Simone Biles, I've been spending time reflecting on what it looks like to make a courageous and wise decision, no matter what others may say.  To choose to bow out, claim a sabbatical, say 'no more,' to step aside when you know you're not in a good mental / emotional / spiritual space.  Or when it finally dawns on you that you're serving 'reluctantly or under compulsion' {2 Corinthians 9:7}.

I admire people who are honest about where they find themselves and give themselves plenty of grace and space to re-group, to do the healing work they need to do, to take care of their personal business, to fully appreciate what truly matters.  I've had to make that significantly difficult choice a few times myself.  See Finally ... In Which She Spoke the Dreaded 'S' Word and A Note to My Friends & Followers.  Maybe this subject is resonating for you?

πŸ’•   Bible Gateway has scads of devotionals, study tools, reading plans, and more.  Superb online resources.

πŸ’•   Jon Egan's song What You Said is a blessed, timely reminder.

πŸ’•   Do you want to join me in getting certified as a Mental Health Coach through the American Association of Christian Counselors?  This is an amazing opportunity for you to pick up some solid training, no matter how you're ministering or doing life in the company of others.  Find out about the program here ... the vision, the course work, the q & a, the professors ... and how to get free tuition!  I'm in the home stretch and all I can say is that this important invitation is too good to pass up.

πŸ’•  These 3 Emily-s never fail to grab my attention ... and when they show up on my screen I can't get over to their websites fast enough.  Emily Lex and her artistry.  Emily at My Weathered Home.  And Emily P. Freeman and The Next Right Thing podcast.

Hands Off?  When It's Hard to Be Quiet
Lisa Burgess

Seeing His Scars: Healing For Those Wounded In the Church
Steve Grusendorg

The Ebb & Flow of Grief
Lois Flowers

The Self-Awareness Gap: What Non-Christian People Really Think About the Church
Carey Nieuwhorf

Why We Don't Dump Friends Who Disagree
Bonnie Kristian

Sticks, Stones, & Words... Can Cut Me Deeply
Scott Sauls

Lemon Pasta at Our Garden Tea Party
Kitty @ Kitty's Cozy Kitchen

How I Claimed the Title ARTIST
Debby Hudson

Wardrobe Declutter: Remove These 10 Things From Your Closet Today
Courtney Carver

The 7 Types of Rest Every Person Needs
Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD

How My Father Issues Impacted My Marriage
Beth Steffaniak

With Jesus In the Kitchen
Barbara Harper

What Churchgoers Missed Most About In-Person Services
Barna Group

Five Useful Questions
Seth Godin

Gotta run, friends.   I've got a bag or two to pack before we head off to our annual very-extended-family jaunt to Camp of the Woods in the Adirondacks.  You know you'll be missed and prayed for.  Thank God He's not done caring for the burdens we bear.  And He's ready, willing, and far more than able to accomplish more than we can ask or imagine {Ephesians 3:20}. 

And yes, if you haven't already, this is the perfect time to subscribe so you'll be one of the first to know when I pick up my pen again.

In His Love ~
Linda  πŸ’•

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Richella  .  Lisa
 Jeanne  .  Cindy


  1. What a feast you've provided, Linda! As it happened, I had a productive afternoon and some extra time since hubby is working late, so I was able to read most of these. I had enjoyed Lisa's and Lois's posts beforehand. And I was surprised and pleased to see one of mine listed here! Thank you!

    The 7 types of rest were very helpful--we do think of rest in terms of sleep, but it's so much more. Sticks and stones and words was very good, too. I love that graphic about what not to say during terrible times.

    I've heard so many good things about Gentle and Lowly, but I have been ambivalent about reading it since I have so many other to-read books stacked up. But if you use it for a book club selection, I will get it. It adds so much to the reading to discuss it with others.

    Have fun at your family gathering!

    1. Your post, With Jesus in the Kitchen, truly hit home for me, Barbara. It's been posted on my LinkedIn site since you wrote it, but I haven't shared any of those favorites recently on the blog.

      And you're absolutely write about the power of discussing our most meaningful books with others of like mind. I always learn so much more when I hear what others are gleaning. So glad you'll be on board, carrying wisdom and truth with you!

  2. I'm thankful for the courage and example of Simone Biles too. I hope we're edging closer and closer to accepting the importance of valuing mental health as much as physical health.

    I haven't read Gentle and Lowly yet myself but keep hearing good things about it. Maybe it's time???

    Thanks for sharing my "hard to be quiet" post. I was having to practice it again just today in my digital life about something I need to stay quiet about: don't send a text; don't send a text; don't send a text. lol.

    1. Your mantra in the last line? More of us should heed your gentle warning, Lisa.

      And speaking of Gentle, yes, I think the book might really resonate for you. I see Christ's gentleness in your writing and interactions, friend ...

  3. Like Lisa, I keep hearing about Gentle and Lowly, but haven't picked it up yet.

    Enjoy every minute of your time away! We have been soaking in plenty of family time this summer, too.

    1. More than ever, every moment of family time is precious.

  4. Have a wonderful time away! I did check out the counselling course. Something to think about for sure! Thanks always for all you share!


  5. Linda, I love visiting you on the porch, such good articles and tidbits, thank you!!

    1. Oh I'm so glad, Donna ... thanks for the encouraging words!

  6. Yeah, it's been too long...

    Way too long since I had fun,
    too long since I drank all night
    and then watch the wusses run
    when I began a bar-room fight.
    Too long since I lost my wages
    in a game of 3-card-stud,
    but as say the learned sages,
    it's just cash, boy, it ain't blood.
    Too long since I drove too fast,
    and heard passenger yell, "You're MENTAL!"
    but cars, my friend, aren't meant to last,
    and Bubba,'s just a rental.
    Too long for days of golden cheer
    and "Hey, watch THIS, and hold my beer!"

    1. I read your poem to my husband as we drove up into the mountains ... and he smiled.

  7. The book, Gentle and Lowly, sounds to me like a book club winner, Linda. If you decide to use it, let us know. Have a wonderful time with your family on your summer retreat!

    1. Every comment I'm getting is positive, so I think the Lord is pointing us in that direction! I can't help believing He has something good for us as we walk through this together ...

  8. Dearest lady, I hope and pray that you enjoy your family and get some rest of the heart, soul and mind. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

    1. You're so right, Cindy ... often those inner spaces need more tending to than our actual bodies!

  9. Thanks for sharing all these great links--I don't even know where to start clicking!

    Thanks for the visit. It was sad to see Taylor's close its doors, but I can understand the proprietor's wish to try something else. It'll be interesting to see who takes over the old tearoom space...

    Enjoy your family holiday!

    1. I've only visited a few tea rooms in my lifetime and your post is prompting me to grab my sister and head back to one we visited a decade or so ago. Margie, thanks for this nudge.

      Marilyn, are you ready?

  10. Simone is a real winner--not by the number of medals but because of her courage to know when to stop. Thank you for this wonderful list of goodness to explore.

    1. Medals tarnish and fade ... the accolades fade over time.

      Courage, wise choices, and character speak volumes and their influence models a powerful message to those who watch.

  11. I just finished re-reading your post from 7/30/21. I enjoyed it the first time round, but even more so this afternoon.

    * via email

  12. Enjoy your family vacation! I am currently at the TX beach with a part of my family. A house filled with fun!

    1. A house filled with fun!

      Yep, these are the good old days, friend. Enjoy!

  13. What a fun post to explore. Love this format!