2016 Anne of Green Gables Reading Challenge | Final Quarter Intro

It’s October!

Anne of Green Gables October

Fall is here and where I’m at in southwest, it’s cooled off slightly and the highs have gone down to the 80s. *sigh* I miss Autumns like the one in the picture above! That’s why reading Avonlea in the fall and winter is going to be super sweet to me–the homeyness will bring a cozy sense of nostalgia.

We’ve reached the last quarter of the year and this is the time to read anything you’d like by L.M. Montgomery.  I’ve chosen to read these 2 titles for October and November:

  • Emily of New Moon 
  • The Road to Yesterday

I really wanted to read The Blythes are Quoted but I had no idea how hard it would be to get a copy. Soooooo Emily of New Moon it is!

This is the link up post for October and November. December will be a catch up month like September and you can post any books you read during those months as well

I’ll do a final post in December to wrap everything up but until then, continue reading and enjoying your Avonlea adventures!

Here’s the linky:

26. Happens Every Time | 31 Days

This is post 26/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Well, it happened. I was counting on seamlessly getting through all 31 days but I skipped 2 days. Agh.

And you know what? It felt sooooooooo good. Sort of. I mean, I felt bad skipping, knowing that I’d just broken my streak but it felt good to not write. To not have to come up with something.

It happens every time. Like when you’re on a workout streak and, for whatever reason, you break your rhythm. A day or two or three go by and even though you feel bad, you also feel sort of good. That stress is gone because the challenge has been abandoned. I always feel guilty and disappointed for allowing myself to get derailed but sleeping in an extra 30 minutes instead of working out feels so incredibly good!

Then there’s the struggle to get back on track. Two days of not posting made it hard to decide to write this morning. Sure I want to get back and finish the last week of this challenge. But I wouldn’t have minded turning over and going back to sleep for a few extra minutes either. I got kind of comfortable not writing in the morning. Happens every time. Get derailed and I’m arguing with myself about whether or not I should get back on track. Of course I should! But it’s hard and I’m tired and, hey, 24 out of 31 days isn’t bad, right? And plus there’s the thought that I’ve already failed. At the end, I will have known I skipped. I messed up and won’t have a perfect 31 days to look back on. The perfectionist in me cringes.

I feel rather ambivalent about skipping two days. Part of me is really disappointed. Part of me just wants to forgive and forget and keep moving forward. And still another part of me feels too tired to care. For me, that’s the thing about challenge: when I allow myself a taste of an easier choice, I have a hard time keeping up with the hard thing I’ve already chosen to do.

Five days left in thirty-one. I’m seriously running really low on steam and I don’t want to write anymore. Sometimes I wonder, what’s the point when I’ve completely gone off topic? And then I remember the simple truth that writers write. Writers write even when they’re drained and don’t feel like it. And this is something I promised myself I’d push through and get better at. Even though I won’t have a perfect 31 days to look back on, I won’t allow my inner perfectionist to win. I want everything to be right so much, sometimes I miss out on the experience altogether. Holding out for perfect keeps us from having something that’s real and vulnerable and complete. It’s hard to allow myself the grace to just keep moving forward and sticking with an imperfect situation. I’m too fond of scrapping and starting all over again.

Not this time. Five days left. I’ve got five days left.


18. Childhood Speaks | 31 Days

This is post 18/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

My bedroom in my childhood home faced the West. That meant that the sun set right outside my window. God painted the sky in brilliant reds, purples, pinks, and oranges. Like snowflakes and finger prints, no two evening skies were the same. It was most glorious in the fall because the painting would backdrop the flaming autumn trees. Couple that with a crisp October breeze and the effect was absolutely breathtaking.

I wish I had a picture to show you.

I don’t have the best recall which kills me because I have so many great memories. When I do have a random mental snapshot, they often give me great insight about myself. I remember the games I used to play or the things I used to spend hours and hours doing. And while I don’t aspire to play with Barbie dolls, there are things that I wish I hadn’t let go of just because I grew up. 

I get that not every kid who says he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up actually becomes a firefighter. But some of them do. When I look back at the things that make up my childhood, I see connections to several of the things I’ve done over the past decade. And I also see connections to what I always seem to want to do as an adult. My interests haven’t changed with time, they’ve just matured with age.

It seems the older I get, the more my childhood speaks to me. The more I think about autumn sunsets. The more I think about who I really am inside and how I want to live my life. I think that when we look back at the pure, innocent places of our childhood, the places of creativity, honesty, and discovery, we see some of our best moments. The older I get, the more I want to reconnect with those things that make me who I am today. The more I want to listen when my childhood speaks.   


2. Good Mornings | 31 Days

This is post 2/31 of Write 31 Days. See full list HERE.

Hi, my name is Elyssa and I’m a chronic snoozer.

[I’m pretty sure this is the part when you say ‘Hi, Elyssa’ back]

I literally set my alarm 15 minutes early so that I can snooze for three 5 minute intervals. And then I set a timer for another 15 while justifying why I can’t possibly face the day yet. Yes, I know, it’s rather pathetic.

All my years as a homeschooled high schooler and an independent college student, and I never got a grip on my mornings. I wish a million times over that I had because it is an area of life that requires cultivating and intentionality.

Seriously, good mornings are one of the best weapons in your arsenal to battle the junk that comes flying in on a daily basis. Have a stressful job? Get a grip on your morning. Too many classes this semester? Get a grip on your morning. Kids driving you crazy? Get a grip on your morning. Too many problems, don’t know where to start? Get a grip on your morning. New projects to work on? Get a grip on your morning? Just want to feel better about life? Honey, get a grip on your morning.

What do I mean by get a grip? I mean taking some time and deciding what you need your morning to consist of and then committing to it. Before anyone else has say in your life, get your grip.

The Happiness Project author, Gretchin Rubin, considers September to be a kind of new year, a concept she talks about in her book Happier at Home. It makes sense because it’s the beginning of a new school year, the end of the summer adventures, and the start of a brand new season. So when this past September rolled around, I decided to do the same thing. New season. New challenges. Top of the list–mornings.

September was good. I was more consistent with my morning routine than I have been in a long time. It wasn’t perfect–I still snoozed, but it was a start in the right direction. But I need to do even better. It’s October now, and there’s one more piece to my morning puzzle that I need: early rising.

So yesterday, was the first day of the month and I didn’t hit the snooze button or set a timer. I actually got up, grabbed my water bottle, and headed for the treadmill before I could talk myself out of it. 

[I think there are supposed to be some sort of congratulatory remarks or maybe a hand clap or two here. I don’t really know how Snoozers Anonymous works, but it seems appropriate]

Yeah, because writing for 31 days straight and launching a podcast isn’t enough challenge in one month, I have to tackle something else too. And this thing, so seemingly mundane, is huge because waking up at a decent time so I can have time to do my life is important.

But that’s how it goes right? You have to stop and commit to the little things while in the thick of everything else otherwise you lose yourself. I didn’t manage this very well when I was in school. This is one of those things I wish I could go back and tweak but I’m committing now. And now is better than never, yeah?

So what does my good morning routine consist of?

  • Wake up between 530 & 600. I’m shooting for 530 but I’m giving myself a grace period to get used to it.
  • Treadmill for 1/2 hour
  • Bible reading & journaling for 1/2 hour to 45 min
  • Write for 1 hour
  • Breakfast
  • Shower

That’s it. There are other things that I need to schedule during the rest of my day but I can’t get that under control until I get a grip on my mornings first.

Good morning means my body is awake (treadmill), my soul is awake (Bible reading & journaling), and my creativity is awake (writing). I add breakfast and a shower to that combo and I’m ready for the races! My attitude is better, I think more clearly, I’m more apt to respond rather than react, and I’m much more patient.

Good mornings are something I wish I got a grip on earlier in life but am determined to master now. They will fluctuate and change with the seasons but the grip remains. Maintaining that control, preparing your body, and letting God speak to you before anyone else does is so important. So when all the junk comes flying in, you’re ready. It’s not easy but you’ve made ready and no one can take that from you.

Have you got a grip on your mornings? What does your routine look like and how does it help you deal with the crazy life brings? Do you need to get a grip and have good mornings? What kinds of change do you need to make to get your routine going?

I’d love to hear your thoughts! 


31 Days of The Student Life

1 Big Idea + 31 Days of Blogging = one giant leap into the great unknown. 

Okay, maybe it’s not so dramatic as all that. 

Okay just kidding, yes it is. For me, anyway. I’ll give you the short version of the story.

I’ve been working on this really big project – a podcast called The Student Life. It’s set to launch on October 13th. While swimming through the quagmire that is the life of a newbie producer, I got this email reminding me that the 31 Days of Writing challenge is about to start. 

Whaaaa?? …Oh yeah! I remember signing up for that!

When I tell you I serve a God of impeccable timing, I so mean it.

This is THE perfect challenge to couple with my podcast launch. A good, strong, terrifying dose of accountability is just what I need to make this idea of mine actually see the light of day.

So I’m going to commit to 31 days of writing about this thing I call The Student Life. Yes me, the girl who has never finished a photo-a-day challenge on Instagram or stuck to a blog series of her own ever. I’m committing to 31 days of exploring the unconventional education I pursued in college and continue to pursue post-degree.

Here’s to one giant leap!


Here we go, October readers 🙂

31 Days of The Student Life



Day 1 | Speed Limits


Day 2 | Good Mornings


Day 3 | The Truth About Wisdom


Day 4 | Snapshots

You're Not Good At Everything

Day 5 | You’re Not Good at Everything


Day 6 | Practice Not Included


Day 7 | The Next Step


Day 8 | My Writer’s Heart

drawing boards

Day 9 | Drawing Boards


Day 10 | Forever in His Care


Day 11 | The Dip

WRITE 31 DAYS (10)

Day 12 | Happiness

WRITE 31 DAYS (11)

Day 13 | Comparison Kills

WRITE 31 DAYS (12)

Day 14 | Do Not Hand Over the Mic

WRITE 31 DAYS (13)

Day 15 | Know Your MO

WRITE 31 DAYS (14)

Day 16 | Show Up


Day 17 | Space

Childhood Speaks

Day 18 | Childhood Speaks

WRITE 31 DAYS (17)

Day 19 | Morning Song

The Slump

Day 20 | The Slump

WRITE 31 DAYS (19)

Day 21 | Dreamers

WRITE 31 DAYS (21)

Day 22 | If It Makes You Happy

Day 23

Day 24

Day 25


Day 26 | Happens Every Time

self discovery

Day 27 | Self Discovery

Day 28 | Sometimes

Day 29

Day 30

Day 31