Friday, August 12, 2022

Porch #55 * Clunkers & Favorites

  Welcome back to PORCH,
your go-to weekend companion.
Embrace community.
Discover a fresh perspective.
Grow your faith in Christ.
Get unstuck.
Share your story.

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Be warned:
t
he writing of many books is endless
[so do not believe everything you read]
& excessive study & 
devotion to books
 
is wearying to the body.
Ecclesiastes 12:12
{AMP}

Hey Book Lovers!

I can't begin to tell you how many clunkers I've put aside in the last few months, both fiction and non.  Too trashy, too preachy, too silly, too yawn-inducing.  It's not all the books' fault, it's simply where I am right now ... a preoccupied brain, shortened attention span, and a low tolerance for anything less than being completely captivated by the time I reach page 50.

I'm halfway through two non-fiction books and haven't quite decided if I'm ready to recommend them to you.

So when all is said and done, I'm canning the reviews this month and simply leaving you a whole lot of bookish bits and pieces to explore.  If you're a link-lover, this post's for you.

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THE BOOKISH LINKS
An Ode to the Card Catalog

Best books for bedtime: is fiction or non-fiction best before bed?

When God Gives You An Idea

Ukrainian Libraries Send Free Books To Refugees Abroad

Instead of Going to College, I Read These Books

Over 50% of Adults Have Not Finished a Book In the Past Year

11 Most Beautiful Libraries in the United States

Ants Infest Woman's Kindle & Start Buying Books on Amazon

Writing Toward Surprise

A librarian collects all the things left in books - from love letters to old photos

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THE EBOOK DEALS
Jane Blount - $1.99


Emily Freeman - $1.99



Go here to scroll though all the titles I've hand-selected for our community. 🎯 = the most recent deals!

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THE FAVORITE BOOKS
2021

2020

2019

Enjoy!  And please let us all know what page-turner has already claimed a spot on your 2022 Favorite Books List.  
Linda

Thanks for supporting my work and keeping this space ad-free!  As an Amazon Associate, I receive a small commission when you arrive and shop on their site using these links ... at no extra cost to you.

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Sunday, August 7, 2022

Porch #54 * Re-Creation

 Welcome back to PORCH,
your go-to weekend companion.
Embrace community.
Discover a fresh perspective.
Grow your faith in Christ.
Get unstuck.
Share your story.

Friends, I'm so glad to see you again!  

Noun 1.  re-creation - 
the act of creating again

I'm in the process of re-creating my life.  Or better said, I'm inviting God to re-create my life.  Each morning, each hour, each minute.

Those awful months of helplessly watching Mom slowly fade, all those years of seeing her suffer and that endless 'anticipatory grief' draining me dry to the bone.  The raw, stark, emptying reality of death followed by the sudden realization, mixed with profound relief, that she had finally gone Home to be with her Lord and Savior.  

Thank You Jesus.

The emptying, awkward easing into doing life without her, reaching for the phone to call or send a snapshot of the kids ... and then like bolts from the blue, realizing that she's not alive anymore.  And the injured foot that kept me from the kind of steady, purposeful walking that might have made all the searing transitions a bit easier {I'd like to think}.

Yet I know that the Creator is making all things new in my tired soul, overwhelmed brain, and mending body.

Being at Camp has been the best therapy ever.  Surrounded by all kinds of family {um ... second cousins three times removed?} and new friends.  Breathing early morning crisp mountain air.  Soaking in straight-talking Bible teaching and eye-opening Christian ethics seminars.  Heaven-sent worship.  Dipping brand new brushes into a watercolor paintbox, doing a puzzle, napping, curling up with a pageturner.  Quiet talks over ice cream.  Family members {no, not me} paddle boarding, playing volleyball and pickleball and shuffleboard, running, rock climbing, hiking.  Sifting through old family snapshots with my cousin.  Loud and raucous gatherings during mealtimes, at the beach, circling a blazing campfire, crowded around a board game.  

And now, the clan has dispersed - Connecticut, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, South Carolina, Missouri, Florida, Alaska.  And just two from the party of thirty remain for yet another seven days.

'It's gonna be such a different week,' he quietly muses, closing up his tablet before heading out for a solitary walk.

Agreed.











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THE E-BOOK DEALS
Dozens of fresh August gems for you to scroll through today ... click here.  And I'm super excited about highlighting some of my all-time favorites at outrageous prices.  Click the title links to grab a free sample.
Larry Crabb - $1.99
my review


Ann Voskamp - $3.99

Tish Harrison Warren - $4.39

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THE PRAYING COMMUNITY
Remember Please Help Me Find Some Books For My Friend?  You jumped in with an outpouring of titles for my dear lifelong friend Heather who was battling cancer.  So much sincere empathy, prayer, and lovingkindness tumbled from your tender hearts, along with a hefty number of your favorite inspirational titles.

Heather's cancer has returned after a year and a half of good health.  We don't need book titles this time around, but with her permission, I'm asking you faithful prayer warriors to intercede.  She's been part of this online community for some time and I know she'll be reading your notes to her via the comment section.  Email subscribers can hit REPLY to send encouragement.  

'On Monday, I will begin a new treatment regiment ... There are a lot of unknowns; particularly in how well the cancer will respond to the treatment and how my body will react to the potential toxic side effects of the two new medicines ... We know we can't do this in our own strength, but we also know that God is FOR us, that God already knows the outcome and is with us.  What we are praying for most of all is that God would give us a deep sense of peace - God's peace. The kind that goes beyond feelings of the moment and potential outcomes and is that peace beyond human understanding.  We sense a measure of that now, but know we will need it in increasing measure in the days ahead.'

Bless ~
Linda

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Thursday, July 28, 2022

Porch #53 * Bye-Bye, July

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share it!
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Welcome back to PORCH,
your go-to weekend companion.
Embrace community.
Discover a fresh perspective.
Grow your faith in Christ.
Get unstuck.
Share your story.

🐟

A good weekend to you!

Ah, the humid heat wave washed out to sea and then headed right back again.  She seems quite content to hover over us with no interest in moving on.  As I'm polishing up this week's edition of Porch, I shoot a quick glance out the window and and can only hope my fledgling garden survives.

Yes, I believe in global warming.

Meanwhile, we're pulling together some things for a bit of a journey, hoping the Adirondack mountains will give us a bit of respite.  Body, soul, and mind are longing for renewal, a retreat, a re-calibration.

The grandkids will be there and they are {usually} like a whirlwind of fresh air.  Our world becomes lighter and brighter and much more entertaining when they're around.  They're on the way to adulthood and I admire the people they are becoming ... often quite perceptive and far too funny for their own good.  It's fascinating to see how each one is cultivating a relationship with Jesus in their own unique way.  

Isn't it refreshing that the next generation doesn't have to look just like us to become just like Him.






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Young adults are crocheting and calling it the 'grandma era.'  Meanwhile, the 'coastal grandmother' has taken the summer by storm ... have you seen her carefully selected wardrobe and her curated home decor?  {Trust me, just because you're a woman of a certain age who lives near a coastline doesn't mean you dress, dine, or decorate like this!}

3 pandemic habits that Hannah is absolutely done with {me, too}.

Face and body and lips - my daily SPF protection.


Many of these e-book deals will vanish as July morphs into August making way for a whole new slew of bargains.  Go ahead and do a quick scroll to be sure you haven't missed a hidden gem.

This video, this song.  It's not just those people out there. We all have our weakness and we all make mistakes.  We all need Jesus.
'They kept demanding an answer, 
so he stood up again and said ... 
“Let the one who has never sinned 
throw the first stone!"
John 8:7


May the LORD bless you and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor
and give you his peace.
Numbers 6:24-26

Linda

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Monday, July 25, 2022

Deepest Shadows

Yea, though I walk through 
the valley of the shadow of death, 
I will fear no evil; for You are with me; 
Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

Death casts a shadow wide and long.   

The impact of suffering on those who've borne witness is unexpectedly immense.  There really are no words for this kind of heart-wrenching experience.  We are impacted to the core, the very center of our beings, in ways that are difficult to comprehend.

When you've loved well, you grieve deep.  When you've opened your heart and been all kinds of vulnerable, loss is multi-faceted and raw.  We are left fragile, tender to the touch.  Hard grief costs, it doesn't come cheap, and there is a lingering price-tag on body, mind, and soul.

The shadow is death's calling card and it lingers unbidden for those who remain earthbound, those who have suffered loss but have not yet been freed to the bliss of eternal life with Father, Son, and Spirit.

We navigate the fierce winds of grief's storm as He faithfully cradles us close.  We venture forward, one day, sometimes one hour, at a time.  Each tearful sigh and deep breath become a lavish grace.  

And the promised new-every-morning mercies whisper a richly blessed assurance that there is hope, a healing of sorts.  For we can slowly emerge from being torn and tattered into one who grows into a wounded healer.  A soul who's been there done that, whose heart beats kinder, more empathetic, and far wiser than humanly possible.

We don't grieve like those who do not experience the promises and comfort of Jesus Himself.  Yet, we will never be the same.  And that could end up being a very good thing.

Linda

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i'm guessing you know someone who needs to read this ... feel free to share

doing the online life with Jeanne/Lisa & Richella & Lisa

photo by Tirza van Dijk on Unsplash