November Smiles


Here’s what made me smile and give thanks this month:

Fernando Ortega

If you missed it last Sunday, my email and blog post were all about Fernando Ortega after seeing him live in concert. I shared this essay on how his music shaped and warmed childhood (and now my teen years).

I’m also enjoying a new CD I bought at the concert, with songs like California Town, Mildred Madalyn Johnson, and Take Heart, My Friend.


A massive snow cell swept across the Midwest earlier this month and we were blanketed in one day— a day of books and coffee and soup and a fire in the stove.

Death by Living by N.D. Wilson

I’ve been looking forward to reading this one for awhile. It didn’t disappoint.

“And sunlight slides into the front window–slicing sideways through my living room as the huge fire in the sky descends.

“Motes of dust are suddenly visible, floating in the gold. Galaxies. There is nothing new under the sun. There we all are. Dust. Floating on grace. Beautiful only in its light.”*

Operation Christmas Child

This incredible operation ships stuffed shoeboxes across the world to children in need. Packing the boxes with dolls, balls, toothbrushes, soap, and stickers is our job as a church—and it’s one of my favorites. OCC is a beautiful way of proclaiming Christ’s name to the nations every Christmas.


I’m not talking about the holiday—though it is my favorite.

I’m talking about the everyday act of offering praise to God for the little and large blessings he pours forth. The hard things too.

My family has been trying make a habit of coming together before bed each night and thanking God for something. Mine is usually food. Or writing. Or people who surprise me with joy.

What can you offer thanks to God for today?



 * N.D. Wilson, Death by Living, (Pg. 184)

5 thoughts on “November Smiles

  1. You read Death by Living! Yay! That’s one of my all-time favorite books (I have about thirty pages of quotes from it copied out).


  2. I look forward to your thoughts each week, Bethany! Your writing continues to grow and I love having a glimpse into your life. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! Love, Aunt T


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