The Conlectio Newsletter
Standing in His Shadow
Hi friend,
As I was considering what to write for this week I came up empty - not because I don't have things to think about (I always do!) but because lately I've been feeling the weight of some responsibilities and I can't organize my thoughts into a letter. In times like these I process my ideas through poetry. 
Each morning after my study time I take a few minutes to write what I am thinking, or what the Lord is speaking to me, in my poetry journal. The fruit of that practice became a poetry collection earlier this year but since then I have written sixty or so more poems. 
If you're one of those with hesitations about poetry or who did not grow up with it, it may help to understand what poetry is for. It's not meant to be pragmatic. It's not meant to “get to the point”. It's meant to help you process truth in a new way. It's meant to resonate on a heart level, not just an intellectual one. The key to reading poetry is not to demand of it something it does not promise. Don't try to force a meaning out of it or figure out exactly what the author meant. You don't know exactly what the author meant and they probably don't intend you to, but if you let the poem speak to you on its own, you'll find something in it that resonates.
Here are a few lines for you. I hope one of them lands with your heart and reminds you of the God we serve - a God of sunrises and foggy valleys and summer picnics and bumblebees.
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whether you accept
the kingdom truth of it -
that is up to you
but victory is determined
not by fighting
but by faith
in an unseen reality
more true than any foe
“Battle Unharmed”, 2022
The twinkling of the poplar
and drops of morning sun
greet us and the children
as we rise and work as one.
What if every burden
of the hours here between
is being carried right beside us,
is being lifted, being seen?
When the children and the toil
the farm, the work, the earning
become too much to carry
I can take this latent yearning
And in the twinkling of the heavens
and drops of evening dew
we and all the children
are reminded here of You.
“Carried”, 2022
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Cold creeps in
the way darkness does,
heavy like a cloak
I can't remove;
it is too much for me
but I'm the one to bear it.
So here I stand.
Cold and dark.
A shimmer lures
my eye upward
and I think - I know -
the way out of the darkness
was never the goal.
The light reveals
I was never lost to nightfall;
I was just standing
in Your shadow.
"Under the Wings", 2022
He will never be two again.
One day the patty-pan of soft soled shoes will cease,
the high chair will not fit him;
the Radio Flyer will be retired
his words no longer lisped.
And I will look upon these days
so loud, so long, so overwhelming,
wistful and wishing I could have one back - 
one more day of trucks and tricycles,
of swinging in the willows.
One more day of two.
“Two”, 2022

 Verity Conference Tickets
As I continue to cut back speaking engagements (I will only have three in 2023) Verity Conference in my hometown of Petoskey, MI is the place to join me and the EWAT community! This year's conference on apologetics and evangelism is Nov. 4-5. Early bird tickets are almost sold out before the price goes up. Church groups can get a discounted rate - email us for info!
In the Know
  • This week we are filming the Bible study video series for February's launch! It's been so exciting to plan it out these last few months and now we get to bring it to life. Behind the scenes on my Instagram!
  • September shop launch has AMAZING new books. I openly admit I am SO excited for September's new books. We have four new Quick Theology booklets, the new glossary of theological terms and - Theology Basics is coming to print!!!
  • This week's social media schedule! The new social media schedule is as follows:
    • Monday: Ask Anything, FB/IG
    • Tuesday: Conlectio, discipleship talk on IG
    • Wednesday: Verity Ep: Does God forgive sexual sin?
    • Thursday: Day in the Life
What I'm Reading
  • Four Winds by Kristin Hannah: I was 70% done with this on audio when it went back to the library! GAH. I hate when I forget to renew! I am definitely captivated by the story; this is my second Hannah novel. Still unsure about her as a whole, and I do think I'll go back to my Louise Penny stint after this.
  • IVP First Nations New Testament: I mentioned this a few weeks ago, but I enjoy reading this translation in the evening.
  • The Care of Souls: Cultivating a Pastor's Heart: My friend Laura recommended this to me and I am excited to begin (even though I am not a pastor)
What I'm Loving
  • Visits from our Pennsylvania friends: We are on year four of a summer tradition - visits from my friends Ret and Jen and their families! I met these sweet ladies at the very first Verity Conference and the friendship that has formed between us and our kiddos is such a blessing. It was a weekend of croissants, Ret's cooking, fires on the patio, and lots of laughter and tears (the good kind).
  • Speaking of croissants… Gilda's bakery in Boyne City. The Koigne Amann is to die for.
  • Our Quick Theology booklets are my current favorite product to share with others. They are affordable and concise!
  • NYX Shine Killer primer: I have combo skin but an especially SHINY forehead - ha! This stuff is fantastic. I use as a base under my Young Living foundation.
  • I grabbed a cart similar to this for my homeschool and craft supplies. It was easy to assemble and contains allll the markers/glue/paper that was falling off the shelf! I also bought plastic organizing bags for the markers and crayons.
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In Our Homeschool
  • As part of the minimalism/cleaning challenge I'm hosting on my @thereluctantcrunchy IG account, I decluttered our homeschool stuff! I feel lighter already and ready for the school year to begin after Labor Day.
  • I'm grabbing these CC Cycle 2 coloring sheets. I used this company last year and loved the quality. 
  • As a reminder for those who are new, the “spine” of our homeschool is Classical Conversations (both girls are in the Foundations program) and we use MathUSee for math and All About Reading for phonics/language. I also do my own art, poetry, and literature in our daily morning basket.
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On the Farm
  • I tried the Magnolia Silo Cookies recipe from my new cookbook and they were a hit! Definitely a delicious recipe - so is her granola bar recipe, on the previous page! (Magnolia cookbook #2)
  • The farm is beautified for filming this week! Josh mowed and weed whacked, I worked on the garden, and it's putting on airs for the b-roll footage ;) If you grab the video bible study for the book launching in February, you'll get to see the beauty of it!
for the awakening, 

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