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! 😉
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Dear Mary, Thank you ever so much for your kind review of our new book! We are most grateful to you. May the Lord richly bless you for your kind words, and may His blessings rest upon your new book, also.
Cheryl- It was my pleasure. May your book soar and reach the people who need it most. Thank you for your kind words about my own book.
The trip looks amazing and the book interesting. Praying for you and your book!
Thank you for your encouragement, Lauren! Happy weekend!
I loved reading about your August and always enjoy the pictures from your life.
Thank you, Maree! It is so much fun to share a bit of my life with all of you.
I love so many things about this post. Most of all, I love that you encourage us to go ahead and start thinking of Christmas, of the peace and settling our souls through Advent.
Advent and the Christmas season are my favorites. There are lessons ingrained in the very stories of the season that can carry us through every day of our lives. I hope you will stay in touch for all of the book information that will be coming your way soon.
Sometimes we just need to use a lot of words!!! Glad you did – I particularly was encouraged by this: “this opportunity to learn how to live our lives as expectant and hopeful people daily.” I struggle with minimalization (sp) because somehow, I have become the caretaker of handed-down items, if I uncluttered, would offend family members – so how do you do that? God’s getting me ready, though!
I understand the job of the keeper of all things. Every family has to have one of them. I think you will figure out what to do. If God is getting you ready, He will lead you to where you need to go. Thank you for reading all of my words.
Lovely to have you back refreshed & full of life Mary!
I went through a similar pruning process in 1997 & a few times since to a lesser degree in lessons of minimalism.
I feel God may have more coming!
Times of pruning have made me who I am today. Even though they are hard, God always makes something beautiful on the other side. Bless you and glad to see you here in this space.
It sounds like your time away was just what the doctor ordered, Mary! I’m so glad you were able to get away, and to a place as beautiful as the Smoky Mountains (Sadly, it’s been years since I’ve seen them in person). What a blessing when a book comes your way at exactly the right time. I love your thoughts about Advent … they’ve given me just a little twinge of excitement about the holiday season … something to look forward to after what promises to be a very, um, interesting fall in our country. Hugs, friend!
We had a glorious time away. There is nothing like a change in scenery to rejuvenate you. I’m pretty sure God influences what book I readand when. Most seem to be at just the right time. I pray we find that fall turns out better than we expected.
It’s lovely to catch up on what you’ve been doing, Mary! I wasn’t around much in July so it feels like it’s been ages. I’m glad you enjoyed things feeling a bit more normal this month and that you had a good time away with family.
It’s good to connect again. It sounds like you had a chance to step away and regroup, too. What a blessing. I hope you are experiencing some “normal” in your part of the world. Thanks for being here.
Hi Mary! Missed you and thankful that you enjoyed the precious time with your family 💞
Awww! Thank you, Karen. I love time with my family and you know that hanging with grandchildren is the best.
Sounds like a book I need to read, Mary! I’m so glad you’re back and had a wonderful time vacationing with your family and cute little grandson! I got to see mine too, which was extra sweet for me! Hugs and prayers for you, my friend!
Hi Beth! It is good to “see” you here again. Time with our grandsons is the best, isn’t it? You have another one on the way, don’t you? Thank you for being here today.
Welcome back, Mary! Enjoyed your photos and review.
Thank you, Debbie! It was wonderful to have a month off but it is always good to be back to writing.
You have me pausing Mary, wondering what heaviness I am holding on to. The whole person pie is a concept I have known about, however the author’s pie pieces are a new flavour. I like them and one’s to look at for sure. I’ll consider the book too! Escaping for holiday in the mountains a couple of times this summer also assured me all is still good even in the kind-of weirdness of a global pandemic. Thanks for sharing your pictures. From experience, traveling with grandkids is always a joy, even during their ‘off’ times!
I’m glad you got away too. There is something freeing about traveling outside of the ten-mile radius I felt I was confined to for months. A change in scenery provided a change in perspective.
Cheryl’s book really challenged me. Her pieces of the whole person pie were fascinating and have given me so much to think about. Thanks for being here. It is good to “see” you again.
Good morning, Mary, I love, love the photos of you and your family in the woods. Such joy and wonder coming through. Thank you for the book review. Not sure I can read it right now, but I felt God stir as I read about minimalism. Right now, just going one step and one prayer at a time. Can’t see too far ahead, nor does God want me to try 🙂 Have a blessed day. Love in Christ, Julie
We had so much fun getting away. Seeing my favorite place through the eyes of my grandson was the best. I understand you are busy. You are doing what God is calling you to do and that is enough. I am selfishly hoping you will have some extra time to read my book. 😉
Your grandson is adorable! I am looking forward to the day of becoming a grandma myself. Daughter and son-in-law are thinking next year. Because I don’t want to put pressure on them, I don’t let them know I can hardly wait! Ah, the Smoky Mountains…my most favorite place on earth! We vacationed there in 1998, and we totally fell in love. In fact, we sought to move up that way. Alas, though, the Lord had other plans for us and, thus, did not open a door there. But it will always remain a beloved place to me! The Biblical Minimalism book sounds like an awesome read. Another blogger recently wrote about it too, so perhaps, this second recommendation is just the prod I need to read it myself. I am new to the Christian blogging community, having started a new blog recently. I’m happy to link-up with you today. Thank you for hosting.
Patti @ Clothed with Joy
Welcome to the Tell His Story community and welcome to the blogging world. It is always good to have new faces around here. Grandchildren are the best and I pray you will enjoy that experience when your day comes too. I know you will enjoy Biblical Minimalism if you decide to read it. The book will lead you to discover ways in your own life to make room in your life for God. Thanks for stopping by.
Welcome back! I am so thankful that God blessed you with a beautiful time away with your family. I have found that those times have become so much more precious than ever this year. And isn’t Cheryl’s book such a blessing? The Lord has used it deeply in my life too. I look forward to reading your upcomig book too!
It’s good to be back. Thank you for being here. I enjoyed Cheryl’s book. It convicted me that I have some work to do in my own life in this area. Blessings and hugs!
Yay, you’re back! Tuesdays just weren’t the same without this early morning visit with you!
I’m off to sit and savor your musings, friend …
I’m glad to be back and especially thankful to see you here. I hope August was kind to you.
Welcome back, Mary, and I am so glad August was such a good and full month for you. Praying for the Lord to continue to be with us all in this season of change. I am looking forward to your new book as well!
I am joining you in prayer that we are seeking God first in the change of seasons, but more importantly in our daily lives. I can’t wait for you to read my book, too.
SO nice to see you back, but I am glad you enjoyed a break and a getaway! So exciting to see where God takes you! I started my next season by thinking about what I learned over the last season. It felt good.
I know you have stepped back to pause and slow down. It is so important to take the time to refresh in whatever way that looks like. The practice of looking back in order to move forward is also a favorite one of mine.
The Smokies are my favorite too! Can’t wait to take grandchildren there!
It is beautiful there, isn’t it? How old are your grandchildren?
Loved your pictures of the mountains – had to Google a map of the USA to get my bearings 🙂 And the book review is intriguing, I may follow through, as I am someone who loves de-cluttering…. Will look forward to seeing more of your book!
I bet you did. I would have to do the same if you mentioned a city in North Wales. Biblical Minimalism was a good read and I loved the challenge to think about what this could look like in my own life.
Mary, it’s so good to see you again! 🙂 It sounds like your August was wonderful. We had some time away in the mountains as well last month. And it was oh, so refreshing. Your book sounds like one I need to read.
It’s good to see you again too, Jeanne! I’m happy you and your family got away. What a blessing! I’m looking forward to you reading my book.
So glad you got to travel a bit! We live right near the Smoky Mountains–such a beautiful area. We have not traveled, but have gone on some picnics. My oldest did get to travel here for his birthday and mine–on a train this time! A long ride, but excellent for social distancing. Your grandson is so cute.
How wonderful that you live near the Smoky Mountains. It is so beautiful there. I’m glad you saw your oldest for his birthday. And I think my grandson is adorable. 😉
Welcome back, Mary! Thank you for sharing all the goodness, and you have made me really anticipate the challenge of Cheryl’s book–and yours!
Thanks. I know you will enjoy Cheryl’s book. I love how she challenges the reader but also is realistic in knowing that not everyone will accept biblical minimalism to the extent that she did. I can’t wait to share more about my book and for you to read it.