GOODBYE AUGUST; HELLO SEPTEMBER
Wow! August is over! The crepe myrtles have been beautiful this year. Here is a sample in a photo from our front yard. I love how they cheer up the hot days toward the end of late August and early September in the South.
Each day lately, the heavy rains have carpeted my walk into the office with little purple shreds of the remnants of fallen blooms, and they are scattered here and there where they have fallen in lovely patterns on the ground from their lofty high perches that were too fragile for the wind and the rain. I have often thought this August was a lot like those blooms; beautiful yet fragile. Life was full of unexpected turns and surprises; yet we found beauty in spite of a certain amount of tragedy, and hope because of how God lives inside of all of us.
This August 2017 Hurricane Harvey arrived in Texas and parts of Louisiana with a vengeance. So many prayers have gone out from our house for the people who were affected by this storm. Many lost their homes and their livelihoods. I have had the lyrics from Casting Crown’s beautiful song going through my mind as I offered up prayers and sought God’s help for these people who have lost everything. That line; “There is a place where fear has to face the God you know. One more day He will make a way…….” surely fits the circumstances. The beauty has come in the way that the nation has responded and shown love and care for these people.
Harvey was one strange act of nature we endured; and then there was the eclipse.
Did you catch the eclipse? What did it mean to you? I have many, many thoughts about the eclipse but August was SO BUSY that I didn’t get to blog about any of them. Maybe another day.
At the very beginning of summer I set a personal goal for myself to not be taken away by “busy-ness” but even with that in mind, very specific events just kept rolling along one after another in August of this year. At least, aside from Harvey, most of the events were good. My attempt to live in the moment was real and genuine; but probably not as successful as I would have liked.
As has become our custom when each month turns its page; let’s take a peak at the past, present and future happenings here at The IN SEASON Lifestyle.
ANTICIPATING AN EXCITING MONTH OF SEPTEMBER
As I write this Newsletter we are stepping into the very first day of September. There is so much to share in September; I’ve always found it to be a glorious month. Here are a few of the things we will be blogging about this September:
I’ve been thinking it might be a lot of fun to share how we are all are spending our Labor Day holidays this year. I’m hearing about such a mix of activities that are taking place all across the land. What is your crowd up to? If you have a fun Labor Day pic that you want shared on the blog’s America’s Labor Day Memory Collage; just send it in to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will add your group’s pic to the collage and try to share them all together in the blog by the end of September.
I love the spontaneity of this Labor Day holiday. You can plan something fun if you want, or you can just take a break and chill out and rest. No one cares! No stress; no pressure; no expectations; just fun! Isn’t that great?
How are you planning to rest from all of your labors? I hope to do some work around the house and also I want to sneak in a few extra hours with the grands.
I know many of you may be traveling. We will be posting more articles in OH THE PLACES WE SHOULD GO with some fun recommendations for destinations that would just fit the Labor Day holiday and/or anytime else you want to take a quick long-weekend trip. This three-day holiday is a great time to get in the car, forget your troubles and take off in a completely new direction. It is also a good time to enjoy places closer to home; as we have seen a rise in gas prices already due to Hurricane Harvey.
Speaking of Harvey again; this lesser planned and more spontaneous holiday is also a great time to pay attention to those who are less fortunate. I know many are planning events and fund-raisers to help the people of Houston in recovering from Hurricane Harvey, which will forever be etched in our memories of August 2017.
I could not think of a nobler cause to end the summer. There are also many other worthy pursuits out there that need willing volunteers. Why not consider helping a neighbor in need this weekend? Consider the fact that you can be your own “cause” organizer. You don’t really have to look for a huge multi-managed organization to help others. Just open your eyes and look around. What other causes have you all partnered with this month? Every day I’m witnessing more and more Americans catching that spirit that Jesus left to us; the one of living upside-down and inside-out; or in other words; living straight from the heart by doing what is right.
I’ve been so impressed with how the people across the country have risen up to lend a hand to those who find themselves suddenly in need of a helping hand. I’ve read where Kristin Schell has a plan for all of those following The Turquoise Table Community. I’m making this my charity to follow and participate in this year. You can look her up and register your table and participate in her community if you like. It will be grand! You can see what that community is up to; and if you chose you can find information about how the front yard people are helping in her explanation article here: http://www.kristinschell.com/loving-neighbor-disaster-strikes/ A big thanks to the good front yard people and Kristin for caring so much! Their particular causes are ever-growing in my heart too, and I’m planning on ordering my own turquoise table soon and joining in with the sharing. I’ll try to share with all of you when it happens.
I would love to hear about some of your local heroes and heroines and their own particular local missions and know of the ways they helped with all of the relief efforts. Just send the stories in to email@example.com if you wish to have them published in the PEN ART section of this blog. Having the blessings of those who care and help out always makes any disaster smoother and easier to cope with. I always think of Jesus and how He turned the world inside out and upside down with righteous good deeds and how He used ordinary people to do so.
Another very worthy event we experienced during the month of August was the fact that we entered the month of Elul on the Hebraic calendar. That holy and sacred time continues into this month of September. Each year The IN SEASON Lifestyle takes the month of Elul very seriously and we publish several uplifting and inspirational meditations for your reading during the rest of this 40 day season. Be looking for more of these articles in the days ahead.
Have you been enjoying this part of the month so far? How has God been transforming your life during Elul this year?
One fun thing that I did for Elul was to start a daily journal of my prayers and write down notes to remind myself of how I feel God is speaking to me and slowly transforming my life. I’ve already seen that He is showing me I should have a quieter and more gentle spirit. Each day there is new inspiration.
Are you listening to how He is speaking to you?
I love how God gently and patiently speaks to us during these days, and how this helps us in leading up to the other holy days that follow in the Fall Season. It is said that “The King Is In The Field;” or in other words; God is listening closely to His people on this earth.
We are entering into the time of the Fall Holy Days. More thought-provoking articles are coming to the blog that speak of Rosh Hashanah. I know you are going to enjoy each and every one!
Are you listening for the sound of the shofar?
I will continue speaking in the SEASONS column about the holiest day of the sacred year: Yom Kippur. We will be exploring why this day is just as important for a born-again Christian to observe as for the Jewish people who are native to Israel. God has commanded that ALL people keep HIS days. Have you heard The Father calling to you and inviting you to prepare for this High Holy Day?
Where will your family be meeting with God for celebrating Sukkot this year? Will you be celebrating in your home or is it a travel year for you?
My family has chosen the beautiful area of Black Mountain, N.C. I’m so excited to visit there again (my husband and I went there for our 25th Wedding Anniversary celebration not too long ago) and to share the experience with the whole family this time.
Are you ready?
Do you have all that you need to make your sukkah festive and welcoming during the Feast of Tabernacles?”
I’m excited to be sharing some information again this season about building a sukkah as we prepare for the most festive Feast of Tabernacles ever!
Then there is the fact that football season has come back around again. Did your team win their first game?
Are you ready for this favorite American past-time?
We will share some great seasonal treats and recipes for football season. Hopefully we can give you a few new takes on half-time refreshments in the MONDAY NIGHT MENUS column. We might also pull out some of those tried and true tail-gate recipes and pass them around. Whether your team wins or loses; the food for this season at least will be festive, fun and delicious..
Can you believe that school has started back for another year? Would you love to have some good ideas for making your child’s lunch box more fun and festive? Keep reading the MONDAY NIGHT MENUS column for some great back-to-school lunch and after-school snack ideas. I also want to write an article on homeschooling and would love to hear from any Mom’s who are out there actually doing this.
THE HOUSE DOCTOR
Toward the end of summer I got stuck on a new turquoise beach-cottage theme. I loved it so much I wanted to hold on to some of it for this fall. Check into THE HOUSE DOCTOR later this month and see how I’ve used some sandy beach tones and the blues of the ocean and sky mixed with browns and purples for a fall decorating theme. I think you will love it! Guaranteed to be original and different.
I’ll also be sharing some articles that feature the different ways I’ve decorated my house for fall in the past. Some ideas are classic and traditional and some are original, upbeat and unique. There is something for everyone in THE HOUSE DOCTOR this month.
Fall always brings out the poet in me. Stay with us for some seasonal poetry and also some great seasonal short stories. For Fall Holy Day festivities I have written and shared some of The Sukkah Stories Series. These children’s stories (packaged in a set of seven amazing stories) are awesome to share with your children. You can take them to your Feast of Tabernacles Sukkah and talk with the kids about all the wonders of Sukkot that happens inside the Sukkah. We also hope to be advising you on some other great children’s books about the Fall Holy Days.
Of interest to writers this month, we are hoping to offer a Fall Short Story Contest; so be thinking of your favorite short story themes that center around fall outdoor events.
It is a lot to consider for beginning these new contests this month I know; but I could not let Fall go by without having a fall photography contest. This time I’ll be asking for photos of your favorite fall tree. I know you have one; so start pointing that camera and send in the photos to the address I’ll post in the PEN ART and CONTESTS sections of the blog soon.
Be checking the CONTEST section of the blog for details sometime in September. The winner of the Fall Short Story Contest will be published in our October PEN ART column and the winner of the Fall Photography Contest will be posted in our SEASONS column sometime in October.
COME AS A CHILD BIBLE STUDY
Fall will find us very busy finishing up our study of Exodus. Can you believe we have almost made our way through the first two books of the bible? I’ll be offering my lessons from Genesis in a book form soon. Keep watching for that announcement and look forward to many more wonderful lessons for COME AS A CHILD as we finish Exodus and begin to study the book of Leviticus together.
I promise you the book of Leviticus will NEVER have a boring moment. You might be pleasantly surprised if you have found former Leviticus studies to be dry and boring – not the Leviticus I know! God has a lot to teach us and it is all exciting and adventurous.
AN APPLE A DAY
We will pick up on Day three this month in AN APPLE A DAY and make much more progress in our daily quest toward a healthier lifestyle. We are still working through 365 little baby steps that will change our not so great daily health habits into good and successful habits. Look for more consistent articles in this column next month. You know we will have to produce an article on apple picking at some point! This is the season and it is so much fun. Hopefully, I’ll get to go apple picking with the grands at The Feast of Tabernacles this year. I’ll be sharing that adventure in AN APPLE A DAY along with a few tasty recipes for using apples in MONDAY NIGHT MENUS.
OH THE PLACES WE SHOULD GO
Come check out my article in September about the exciting adventures awaiting you in Greenville, S.C. You are going to love it. I’m also going to continue the Kids Travel Series and talk a bit about The Alabama Wildlife Center. It is an amazing place where you will want to spend a fun afternoon with your children this fall. I have a barrel full of fall events to share with you here too during September and October.
TECHNOLOGY AND ALL OF ITS WONDERS
The blog slowed down a bit toward the end of August and actually several planned articles had to be put aside. There was a reason for this. Some very important technological things were happening to The IN SEASON Lifestyle.
I’m so happy to share our new layout with you starting with this Newsletter. It was well worth all the time and effort!
I think you will find the blog much easier to access and read. Everything is better organized and so much easier to locate. I can’t take all the credit for this; I must brag a bit on Grayson Bell of iMark Interactive LLC. He is the king of all WordPress experts! Couldn’t have done it without him! Thanks again Grayson. If you happen to need some technical help too you can contact Grayson here: https://www.imarkinteractive.com/.
I hope all of you love sharing these beautiful new results. You can expect even more improvements to the blog in the future.
REVIEWING THE MONTH OF AUGUST
The things I did manage to blog about in August were significant:.
The SEASONS column was full of articles pertaining to the holy season of Elul which we entered into on August 23rd. I hope these meditations were helpful and insightful. You can review one of them here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/loving-the-month-of-elul-seasons/
The COME AS A CHILD Thursday bible study was also exciting this month. We covered some deep topics centered around anointing, atonement and incense. If any of these subjects are still on your heart, you may want to review this month’s continuing trek through the Exodus. Here are the links: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/god-equips-the-ordinary-for-the-extraordinary-come-as-a-child-lesson-175/, https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/the-anointing-oil-come-as-a-child-lesson-174/, https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/altar-incense/ , https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/bronze-laver-mirrors/
In the AN APPLE A DAY column in August we discussed how to nurture your soul and suggested some awesome new ways to jazz up your exercise routines. These healthy suggestions have only continued through Day Two so far; but I anticipate they will be posted on a much more regular basis now; and we will pick up some great new tips for maintaining these holy temples we are walking around in every day as we journey through life together just trying to live upside down and inside out as Jesus did. https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/exercise-health/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/day-one/
THE HOUSE DOCTOR column was a lot of fun in August because we went “beachy” and presented a whole series to our readers of different beach-cottage looks which could be incorporated into your home’s decor during the summer months. If you missed the Beach-Cottage series; you can still read these articles by using this link: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/beach-decor/
OH THE PLACES WE SHOULD GO– I hope you caught the SUMMER FUN FOR KIDS SERIES that continued through the end of August. We visited the Birmingham Zoo and we explored The McWane Center, both are found in Birmingham, Alabama. Check them out by clicking here: https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/visiting-zoo/ https://theinseasonlifestyle.com/fun-kids-mcwane/
So I hope your August was a wonderful and blessed as mine; and I’m wishing for September to be an extra special month for you too!
In the meantime; I’ll be seeing you at The IN SEASON Lifestyle!
SHEILA GAIL LANDGRAF, EDITOR
The IN SEASON Lifestyle