Monthly Musings: September

Is it just me or is this year travelling at warp speed? It’s the end of September and here are a few thoughts for the month.

Spring – The blosCrabapple blossomsoms on my ornamental plum tree are long gone, but the crabapple tree is just starting to bud. A few more days and it should be a cloud of pink.

Friends – I’ve been reminded of the pleasure of time spent with friends. This month I helped friends and family celebrate their birthdays, enjoyed dinner and conversation with a close friend, and began to make a new friend over lunch. Good food with good friends – one of my favourite things.

Books – Do you love books? Choosing books? Reading books? Talking about  books? It wasn’t until I read Emily P. Freeman’s latest blog post asking for book recommendations that I realised that I don’t have enough book conversations in my life. Coincidentally the only book I’ve actually finished this month is Emily’s new book Simply Tuesday: small-moment living in a fast-moving world. September has been an inconsistent reading month for me. I’ve added a number of new books to the reading list but they’re all still works in reading progress.

Here are a couple of quotes from Emily’s book that resonated with me as someone who needs time to process things. Maybe they will resonate with you too.

Productivity skills have helped me meet important deadlines and release unnecessary perfectionism.
The problems come when I foolishly try to apply these same skills to my inner life.
The soul and the schedule don’t follow the same rules.


Many people are in a season of speed, a time of movement, of action, and go. But that is not where I usually am. And I cannot wait for the world to stop to embrace my permission for slow.
What part of your personality seems to fight against your own perceived ability to succeed? What might happen if your stopped bullying your personality into submission and instead began to welcome it as a kind friend?
So here’s to you, my fellow slow-processors. Take the long way home. Embrace the silence to consider. Give yourself permission to think, to listen, to be sure.

Writing – And as October is waiting in the wings you may remember that last year I joined the Write 31 Days challenge to write on one topic every day in October. This year I’ve decided to take on the challenge again, and I’ve chosen a topic that’s particularly relevant for me at the moment. Check out the first post of the series tomorrow.


31 Days: Listening with others

Lion HeadTonight I had the pleasure and privilege of leading a small prayer meeting at my church. And since I had the opportunity to choose the theme and format, it seemed right to explore a few things from 31 Days to Listen outside of the blog.

As we listened to God’s word through song and scripture, as we stilled ourselves and rested in silence, God was with us.

For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.

Matthew 18:20

And He was.

We shared some of the things that were drawing our attention, the challenges we face, and the invitation God extends for us to seek Him, lean into Him, trust Him.

On the trip home I became aware of a deep sense of peace that only comes from an encounter with God.

Thank you Lord for this privilege and blessing.

31 Days to Listen

This is Day 15 of the series 31 Days to Listen. Check out Write 31 Days for more information about this challenge and to see what other bloggers are writing.


31 Days: When Listening means Waiting

By the Lake

Waiting can seem like the hardest thing.

Sometimes it seems that there is only silence when I listen. That I am alone with my own thoughts and nothing else.

Where are you Lord? Why are you silent? How long must I wait for you to acknowledge me, to whisper in my heart?

But Lord, I also know the fickleness of my own heart. I know how quickly I would rush on if you never made me wait. You create space for us in the waiting. How else will I learn to quiet myself, to be still in your presence, to listen, to love you, if you do not make me wait?

If your speaking must always be on my terms, in my time, if I am unwilling to wait, then I am not really loving you.

There is something in the waiting, in the listening, that speaks love.

Love is patient. As you wait for me, so I wait for you.

It’s hard, there’s no denying. But there’s also hope. You love me and I am not forgotten.

Wait for the Lord;
    be strong and take heart
    and wait for the Lord.

Psalm 27:14

31 Days to ListenThis is Day 8 of the series 31 Days to Listen.

31 Days: In the Silence of the Heart

I always begin my prayer in silence, for it is in the silence of the heart that God speaks. God is the friend of silence – we need to listen to God because it’s not what we say but what He says to us and though us that matters.

~ Mother Theresa


In the silence of the heart you speak.

How Lord? How does one silence the heart? How do I still my heart? How do I make space for you to enter in?

Offer up the things that are worrying you. Let go of the things you’re holding onto, and give them to me.

I will give you rest. I will make myself known to you.

That sounds good to me Lord. That sounds very good. How is it that you take my wretched, dirty gifts and then you give me the priceless gift of yourself?

In the silence of the heart you speak love. Thank you Lord.

31 Days to Listen

This is Day 3 of 31 Days to Listen. For more information on this challenge, or to see what others are writing about, check out Write 31 Days.

31 Days to Listen

31 Days to Listen

If you’ve been reading Flourish! for a while you might remember that I started the year reflecting on God’s whispered invitation to listen. In October I’m joining other bloggers taking on The Nester‘s 31 Day challenge to write every day of the month on the same topic. I want to learn how to listen well, so I’ll be writing every day about listening. I’d also love to hear about your experience and perspective on listening, so I hope you’ll join me on this listening journey.

I’ll be adding a link here for each day, so there’s one place to find all the month’s writing together. And if I can sort out the technology there will also be a button on the home page so you can check back here any time during the month.

Day 1: He listens
Day 2: The Why of Listening
Day 3: In the Silence of the Heart
Day 4: Are you willing to listen?
Day 5: Go near to listen …
Day 6: Listening to nature
Day 7: Alone with God
Day 8: When Listening means Waiting
Day 9: Be still and Listen
Day 10: Trusting enough to listen
Day 11: Listening to His Word
Day 12: Listening for the Invitation
Day 13: Listening and Doing
Day 14: A prayer for listening
Day 15: Listening with others
Day 16: Listen and Follow
Day 17: When a bench is an invitation to listen
Day 18: Longing for those who would listen
Day 19: The Journey to Listen
Day 20: Listen and stay a little longer
Day 21: Listen in Solitude
Day 22: The Gift of Listening
Day 23: Listening – the gift of paying attention
Day 24: Listening to the still small voice
Day 25: Who would we rather listen to?
Day 26: Listening to Lessons from The Wrong Book
Day 27: What if you listened?
Day 28: Listening to God speak through Others
Day 29: Listening – choosing what is better
Day 30: Listening to Jesus the Son
Day 31: It’s only the Beginning of Listening