Tuesday, October 1, 2013

What I'm Up To in October

I love October. My heart seems to warm as the temperature drops. Change has a way of recycling the spirit that way. This month I dream of crunchy leaves, steamy drinks, nourishing soups, cooling running weather, watching football games from the bleachers, and homemade hot doughnuts from the apple orchard. 

For those of us who inhabit the blogosphere, we enjoy the annual 31 Day series hosted by the Nester. Last year over 1,200 bloggers participated! I did my own series two years ago and I'm so glad I did. Writing and publishing every day on one theme is a great exercise for writers. It also requires some significant commitment. 

But this month I'm saying no to my own 31 Days series so that I can be true to family commitments, my personal reading-writing-study commitments, and a project or two. I also wrote Being Cool About School, that rather in-depth series in September about finding grace and freedom for ourselves and others in our educational choices. 

Since I'm not posting every day this month, I am really looking forward to reading a few of my favorite folks' 31 Day Series. Who will I be reading this October? Pretty much the same people I read on a regular basis that just happen to be doing 31 Day series. I doubt I'll get to each and every post but I'm looking forward to the topics.

I've listed nine here. We'll surely be savoring these well into November and beyond.

The Nester at Nesting Place
That Nester is a funny one. Her 31 Days will focus on a simple, uncomplicated approach to home. You know, "uncomplified."

uncomplified defined

Emily at Chatting at the Sky
31 Days of Living Art. To go along with her book that released yesterday, A Million Little Ways: Uncover the Art You Were Made to Live. {I'll talk more about that in a minute.}

Made for This 100 x 100

Ellen at Sweetwater
Take Hope: A Journey from Head to Heart. I met Ellen at the Grace for the Good Girl book release party. And now? She's one of my real-life friends. She writes thoughtfully and artfully. I love that she's writing about hope this October.


Richella at Imparting Grace
I met sweet Richella several years ago at the Nester's swap meet. I consider her a real-life friend too. She has a lovely blog full of home beauty, delicious recipes, and thoughts on faith. I love her topic for this year. She also has the best pumpkin bread recipe ever. I'm planning to make a batch or ten this month.

Kindel at Willow White Studios
Kindel is a real-life friend and this is her first series. She makes the loveliest printables and I think hers is a brilliant 31 Days idea. It's like 31 Days of Gifts or 31 Days of Free Art or 31 Days of Running Low on Printer Ink Because These Are All Going to Be Beautiful. 

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 8.59.49 PM

Hayley at The Tiny Twig
Two years ago Hayley did 31 Days to a No-Brainer Wardrobe. It remains one of my favorite series. She's revised it and I'm so looking forward to this updated concept. My closet holds more than I need, thanks to my inability to refuse cute and thrifty finds. I'm hoping this will be just the inspiration I need to pare down.


Edie at Life In Grace 


Gina at Not So Random Stuff
Gina and I have followed a similar path from homeschool to public school. It's always nice to have a kindred soul to journey with and I'm looking forward to her posts on purposeful parenting. {It's so easy to be reactive instead of proactive, isn't it?}

Ann at A Holy Experience
Oh my goodness. When I saw Ann's series today, I considered tucking it away for next month so that I can read it all by itself. I still may do that. 

So those are the series I'm hoping to visit as I'm able to this month. Or next. Let me know if you have some favorite 31 Day-ers out there.

Though October is a full and scheduled month, I'm also looking forward to soul rest and renewal as I continue my study of Matthew and settle in with a couple of books. 

Speaking of books, feast your eyes on the lovely goodness that arrived in my mailbox yesterday... 

I am 10 shades of giddy. Emily is one of my favorite writers. I love her for many reasons, not the least of which is our same taste in clothes. 

This is us at She Speaks. Polka dot top, jacket, beaded necklace, 
colored skinny jeans, and wedges. Both of us. Totally unplanned.

She was one of the very first bloggers I began following six or seven years ago. She is relatable and wise, and her gentle words breathe grace. Always grace. 

I've read Grace for the Good Girl: Letting Go of the Try-Hard Life three times now. I also have Graceful, the same message written for teenage girls. It's a book I wish I'd had when I was trudging through my own try-hard teenage years. Emily's is not a message of Christian fluff and feel-better-ness; she writes deeply of grace, of what it really means to live a life hidden with Christ.

But this book that released yesterday is different than her first two. I'd do it such injustice if I try to write about it with my own words so here's the 90-second trailer. Take a peek? {If you're reading this in bloglovin' or another reader, you'll need to click over to the actual blog.}

I'm thinking of calling in sick for the rest of the week so I can just hang out with the book. 


Each new season brings opportunities, occasions for yes and occasions for no. Even though I'm forty years old, I struggle with this reality. I recognize my personal need and my family's need for margin, for prioritizing rest and worship. An array of good things call to us and to our children every time we turn around. Good things that promote fellowship, enrichment, education, and service. 

Sometimes it's downright painful to say no to the good things. We've had to make some of these challenging decisions in recent weeks and it's revealed just how tightly we cling to great opportunities, especially when it seems like "everyone else" is saying yes. 

Individually and collectively, my family has had to practice the concept of opportunity cost. My own heart has rebelled against certain decisions even though I know deep down that they're simply not feasible or fruitful at this time.

As this new season brings change and opportunity, let's remember that there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. Let's be deliberate about the invitations we accept for this season and the ones we decline and save for another.

I've been thinking a lot about this concept of seasons and time, what yes means and what no means and how life-giving each one of those seemingly contradictory answers can be, all depending on the season.   

My next post is going to dig deeper into this very issue. I hope you'll join me Friday.

How about you? Do you feel the pull to say yes to the many good opportunities that find their way into a single season?


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  1. Oh my goodness! I'm so honored to be a part of your reading list! You are too sweet! And that picture of you and Emily is too funny! You could be sisters! :)

  2. 1. You are wise. 2. I'm itchin' to talk to you.

  3. Oh sister, you are speaking my language. We are doing fierce battle over at our house over those yeses and no's. We are misunderstood. We are judged. And oh my goodness, it's just about downright ridiculous. Our family has a need for some pretty wide margins in this season, and we've been taking heed. While we don't really struggle with it, others around us do. They don't get it. And so then it becomes an issue of us trying to explain, be understood, be heard. It's tough. I'm looking forward to what you have to say.

    And thank you for mentioning my series. You've also mentioned a few others that I haven't seen yet-so I'll add those to my list. :)

    And don't you think we'd have so much to chat about over coffee someday?!

  4. Thank you so much for being interested in my 31-day series, Marian! I'm going to be quoting you in at least one of these posts. :)

    I'm jealous that you've already received Emily's new book. I pre-ordered it, but I haven't received it yet! I need to go back and check on that.

    Looking forward to reading that next post of yours. Sounds like a good subject for one as wise as you to dig into!


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