If you had told me that August would fly by this year, I’m not sure I would have believed you. If you had told me that August would bring a taste of fall, I would have laughed. But both things came true and here we are looking at the first day of September. I’m continuing with the monthly musings because I love the time of reflection and you all seem to enjoy them too.
Here we go with August musings. I am still focusing on the four somethings, but you will find a book review mixed in for something read. August was my favorite month this summer. Join me and find out why.
Something Loved in August
As soon as the calendar flipped to August, my youngest son, daughter-in-law, and grandson packed up our cars and headed to the Smoky Mountains. It is one of my favorite places to visit and I try to get there at least once a year. We stayed a little less than a week but it was the perfect amount of time to relax, discover, and provide amazing adventures for Jack for his first vacation.
Traveling with a sixteen-month-old was an adventure in and of itself. I must say I was a little bit rusty in that area. Jack is a trooper and overall, he did an amazing job at adjusting. His curiosity and love for life spurred us all on as we hiked, discovered new places in the mountains, hung out in our cabin, and even did a little shopping. I hope you enjoy these photos from our trip.
Something Read (A Book Review)
A few weeks ago, Cheryl E. Smith, the author of Biblical Minimalism, reached out to me to read and review her book. I’m always cautious in circumstances like this to not just say “yes” without praying about it first. One of my overarching themes this year has been stewardship. It’s my word of the year and the stewardship of time seems to be a major focus. When I was reminded of this perspective, I knew that God was prompting me to say “yes” and I am glad I did.
The time was three years ago and the setting was my house at the time. Moving day was right around the corner and in order to successfully move into the next place, I spent months downsizing. Physical downsizing led me to understand the concept of making room and minimizing in a new way. This event was my foundation, but three years later, I have come to understand the idea of biblical minimalizing in a deeper way.
Cheryl Smith immediately lets the reader know that the words from Hebrews 12:1-2 is the foundational scripture for her book. We are called to “lay aside every weight” in our race of life. She then takes the reader on her own journey of minimizing in all areas of her life. Ms. Smith defines biblical minimalism as:
Not just having fewer material possessions, sparse decor, or a specific number of outfits. It is a complete, whole-person release of anything unlike Jesus, a letting go of everything that hinders us from following Him wholeheartedly and single-mindedly and relinquishing all that brings us under bondage to this earthly, temporal life.
More About the Book
After reading this definition, I knew that I had followed my own path to biblical minimalism in the last three years. It began with letting go of all of the physical items that weighed me down but became a journey of understanding how this one step was only the beginning. God was calling me to make room for Him in my life. Cheryl describes the same thing in her book. She describes it as “putting God first in everything: your home, finances, your family, your emotions and opinions, etc.”
Ms. Smith not only shares the biblical “why and how-to” for biblical minimalism, but she shares every step her family took when God called them to sell their house and move into a rented apartment away from all that was familiar to them. Cheryl lived out what God called her to and what He wanted her to learn in the process.
Ms. Smith leaves the reader with some of the results that you reap from biblical minimalism: freedom, contentment, peace, and a deeper faith in God. She ends the book with “eleven ways to discover your life’s calling and the whole person pie,” which includes, the spiritual, physical, mental, emotional, relational, financial, occupational, and obligational parts of our lives.
Let me just say that reading this book was a “God thing” for me. He knew I needed it during this season of life. I highly recommend that you buy your own copy HERE and learn how biblical minimalism could look for you and your family.Another month has ended. Summer is beginning its descent into fall. Join me for my August recap and a sneak preview into a short synopsis of my new book. #Augustmusings #TellHisStory #linkup Click To Tweet
Something Treasured and Something Ahead
I am holding each day as a treasure as we continue to maneuver through this weird season. A friend challenged us to say the words from Psalm 118:24 daily as a morning prayer. It already has allowed me to focus more positively on my day. Why don’t you join me and try it for yourself?
August was the first month that felt more normal than all the other months this year. I love that I actually got away to travel and that I fell into some rhythms that just felt right. The weather cooperated and I had lots of opportunities to go walking and spend time with God. Here’s hoping the rest of this year falls into a pattern that is maneuverable and somewhat predictable.
As I look ahead, I see the promise of a change in the seasons. I imagine tensions mounting as the political parties ramp up for the election. Everything in me is praying against the divisiveness that rocks our country. God is present. He sees and He knows that love is the answer. Will you join me and grab love and share it with others in a big way this fall?
Finally, God is taking one thing in my life–my new book–and teaching me that when you write about it, you must live it. Advent is a dive into expectancy coupled with waiting in hope for the arrival of Jesus. But, we have this opportunity to learn how to live our lives as expectant and hopeful people daily. Advent living takes us through the beginning of our stories, followed by the wilderness living that is part of all of our lives, and finishes with the arrival of Jesus, not just as a babe born one night in Bethlehem, but as a Savior who rose from the dead and promises to come again. Let’s look forward together this coming Advent season and embrace the invitation that God extends to each of us to become Advent people living for Him.
If you stuck with me till the end of this post, thank you so much! I guess taking a month off left me with a lot of words! 😉