Category Archives: home

Sorting through

Breakables waiting for the yard sale.

There’s something very healthy about cleaning out and paring down.

It reminds me of thinning a fruit tree.

It’s dangerous for a tree to have too much weight on a limb.

Proper thinning helps the tree bear fruit without damaging it.

As I’ve been thinning out our belongings, it has struck me, it is healthy, both physically and spiritually.

Because with each thing I go through I pray and ask the Lord what His will for that is.

Yesterday, I came across a tote of old decorations.

There were leftover table scarves, glass candle sticks, and pennant banners.

Some from our daughters’ graduation parties, some from their bridal showers, and some from our daughter’s baby shower.

Many memories, but most of the stuff is no longer needed.

Who knows, maybe another family is in need of party decorations.

So, I put those things in the yard sale box with a smile.

At one point in my life letting go of that kind of thing would have been a struggle, but my trust in God has grown.

He’s taught me so much about clinging only to Him.

I’m so thankful.

There’s a beautiful freedom, a lifted burden, when we cling to God and let Him carry everything else.

His Word is truth:

Matthew 11:30 KJV — For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Lord, thank You for helping me learn to trust You. Lord, how grateful I am for Your patience with me. I’m a very slow learner, Lord, but I am willing to learn. Thank You for Your faithfulness in all things. Lord Jesus, I so want others to find the truth in Your Word as well. I want others to understand the beautiful blessings of a relationship with You, how real treasure is never stuff. The enduring treasure of salvation and a heart at peace in You is the most valuable thing of all. Lord, please reach those who have yet to know You. Please continue to teach me and other believers what You want us to learn: trust, faith, mercy, grace, and love. Lord, please help us to walk in these things and to grow in understanding of the season we live in. Lord, please guide us in Your truth daily. I love You, Jesus. Amen

Bathed in prayer

Our lives must be bathed in prayer.

It’s the only way I know to walk closely with Jesus rather than following my own desires.

A few months ago, I had a moment in prayer which caused me to feel unsettled.

I felt the Lord was preparing me, that a change was coming.

Later, in a conversation with a neighbor, I began to state something about our future and I felt a check in my heart not to say what I was going to.

It was like the Lord was warning me not to commit to something, because I did not know the future.

Time went on and I still couldn’t figure out what God was telling me, but I started praying for what I should do.

Start packing.

It didn’t really make sense.

I wasn’t sure what God was trying to tell me, but I knew better than to argue or ask “why?!”.

I began seeking God on how and where to begin doing what didn’t make sense.

At least not at the time.

I cleaned out some closets.

Finished up craft projects.

I gave away things.

I reorganized papers and filed stuff I’d put off.

Still praying, throughout for God to help me follow Him.

Then, Handsome and I were talking about the small furniture business we have and we realized we both felt we were supposed to finish up everything we had on hand, empty our storage unit, and close our booth.

It seemed a bit strange, but we began working on furniture like crazy.

God blessed us and Handsome was able to empty the unit before September.

We let the owners of the mall know September would be our last month.

It has only been in the last few weeks God has shown us why.

My husband has recently accepted a new job in a different city.

He wasn’t looking to change jobs.

We weren’t unhappy where we are.

But God brought this job to him.

We bathed it in prayer.

Here we are.

He starts the day after our wedding anniversary, next month!

I’m sure you guessed the rest–we are moving.

Not only has God blessed us with this new position, He’s opened the door for us to buy a house and property.

We will get to live in the country again.

And we are so thankful to God!

Moving is not easy, especially as my health still restricts my actions, but it will be good

We have enjoyed this house.

Our landlord is truly the best.

The neighborhood has been such a joy.

We are so thankful.

God has blessed us abundantly.

I’m humbled by how He has walked us forward into all these things.

I’m thankful for the way He has guided us.

I’m continuing to bathe it all in prayer.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your Word. Thank You for Your Holy Spirit which guides and directs us, speaking through Your Word. Lord, please continue to keep our feet planted firmly upon Your paths. Help us, each one, to walk in ways that are honorable before You. Lord, as we prepare for this move, please help us to keep in mind all these things are Yours and we want to be good stewards of them. Lord, please help us to be wise and kind as we deal with all the change. Lord, please go before us and prepare the way. Thank You. I know You already have and Your salvation is all we truly need. I love You, Lord. Amen.

God’s blessings

While sitting at my desk this morning in prayer, I was suddenly overwhelmed by the change.

As renters, the back garden was a mowed yard with trees, their full branches of apples nearly touching the ground, and everywhere else was weeds.

Not a single flower or decorative plant was in the beds.

I remember feeling rather down about it.

We moved in the middle of September and my health was not going to allow me to do any yard work.

But I praised God for a yard and the lawn being mowed and the over grown apple trees.

(Anne baked us some pies!)

The following spring, one history will remember, was an interesting combination.

Despite the circumstances, the weeds were cleared away and we planted some seeds.

We were blessed to add some veggies.

It was a time of adjustment and the yard was definitely an “in progress” project.

Today, it’s much more of a garden.

There’s still things that need to be done and weeds are always trying to take back what they lost, but as I prayed I realized just how much God has blessed us with in the yard.

It’s a beautiful reminder that no matter what, God is still working.

His blessings are around us every day and all I have to do is take the time to notice.

Because I want to live with a grateful heart, I never want to miss a blessing before me.

I want to sing praises to my God and share of His generous works each day.

Because in the little bits of life’s blessings we can find the truths of God’s love, faithfulness, goodness, and grace which will carry us through the big things.

Romans 1:20 KJV — “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead;…”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your Word. Thank You for creation which points us to You, the Creator. Lord, please continue to help me live a life of thankfulness to You each day. Please continue to hone and mold my heart into Your likeness, that others might see You and come to know You. Lord, I am weak and unable, but it is in my weakness You are strong. Please help me not to lean on my own understanding, but to trust in You and Your Word for every part of my life. Thank You for Your incredible blessings. Thank You for Your goodness and truth! I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

I thought I’d share pictures from the garden with you this morning as an added testimony of God’s blessings.

May you too see the blessings that surround you, dear reader. ❤️

God’s ways are perfect

For so many years the Lord has asked me to surrender everything to Him.

Not to spend time worrying about the “needs”, not to make long lists of things required, but to just surrender.

Last fall, He took me through another season of surrender.

Each morning, the Lord would speak to my heart about material things, stuff which hold a value or are special in some way.

Then He’d ask.

Are you willing to give it up if I ask you to?

I’m well aware that all I think of as mine is really His and therefore, I would respond with a “yes”.

Some days, it was easier to say than others.

I honestly began to think we were going to move again, the way God was asking me to surrender everything.

It was even down to family heirlooms, items which wouldn’t mean anything to most people, but are precious to me.

At times, I had to work at not letting my mind begin to expect some major change, because God has asked me to get rid of everything before, to let go of all personal property and simply trust Him for the future.

But God wasn’t preparing me to move.

He was making sure my fingers were not grasping the things He’s placed in our care.

Because in October He had us start a small furniture business.

Suddenly, I was overwhelmed with things.

I had to spend a lot of time praying about what God wanted me to do with each thing.

Find places to store all the things until they could be sold.

It’s been an interesting journey since then.

We’ve been blessed to pass on some things to others who need them.

We’ve enjoyed restoring many items and getting them back into usable condition.

We’ve learned a great deal about furniture, as well as great deal about ourselves.

There’s been times when we acquired an item and I’d want to keep it.

But, God had already laid the groundwork, nothing belongs to me, so I’m able to do whatever God leads.

Nothing is more important to me than Jesus.

Sometimes, His will is for an item to stay with us.

At least for now.

But through it all I’ve been so blessed to be able to “let go”.

For nothing on this Earth is permanent.

Nothing material will make it into heaven, only the souls of those who put their trust in Jesus Christ.

Paul said it best:

Philippians 4:11-13 NKJV — Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for all Your blessings. Thank You for teaching me how to trust You and not to put my expectations into stuff. Lord, thank You for walking with me, Your patience is amazing! I know You hold me in Your hands and are with me at all times. Lord, please never allow me to be choked and distracted by the cares of this world, but instead to use all You have placed in my hands for Your kingdom. Jesus, I want my treasure to be in heaven. You know that sometimes I forget and struggle with trying to treasure things here on Earth. Please guard my heart from that snare. Thank You again for Your faithfulness and patience. Thank You for Your incredible ways! You truly are great and greatly to be praised! Amen.

A scary moment

We had a moment a few nights back.

It was dark and we’d been in bed for a while.

A firetruck pulled up in front of the neighbor’s house.

Our neighbor is a military wife with three little ones, whose husband is away serving our country.

They’ve not been here long, so I’ve not felt like we’ve been able to build a solid relationship yet.

None of this mattered when we saw the truck.

We went over to see if we could help.

It was the carbon monoxide alarm and understandably the children were cold and frightened.

As the fireman questioned my neighbor, she held her youngest and tried to calmly answer everything.

I stood near the car with the two other children.

I’d grabbed some blankets and so had another neighbor, to keep them warm.

The oldest girl was crying.

“This is so scary! I don’t like it! I don’t want any more scary stuff like this!”

For a moment I was unsure about how to comfort her.

For a child who knows me, I’d just hug them, but she didn’t know me that well.

She continued.

“I don’t know what to do! I don’t want anything else scary to happen!”

Then the Lord reminded me to speak truth.

I got closer, so she could hear me over the fire truck and said, “We don’t need to worry, because Jesus has you in His hands.”

Her sister caught my words first, and her little face broke into a smile.

She nodded.

I spoke again and gently patted the oldest on her hand.

“Jesus has you in His hands and we can trust Him. He has kept you safe tonight, and we can trust Him.”

She calmed down and when her mother returned, she was no longer crying.

I was so honored to be used by the Lord to bless our neighbors.

Especially, the children as they are very precious indeed.

Mark 10:14-16 NKJV — But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for keeping our neighbors safe. Thank You for the firemen who came to make sure our neighbors were protected. Lord, thank You for comforting them. Thank You that You are our refuge and strength. Lord, thank You for all the ways You bless us. May we find comfort in Your truth and security in Your salvation. Thank You, Jesus. Amen.

Sometimes…I think we might be…

crazy.

It’s not the first time nor do I expect it to be the last.

But about a month ago my husband surprised me.

He called me from work to say, he’d purchased some furniture.

I didn’t know what to say.

Although, I happen to love furniture and I find refurbishing furniture really fun, I wasn’t expecting this.

If anyone knows my hubby, they can tell you he’s one of those guys who does things.

He’s rarely (if ever) hindered by indecision.

He can make choices and move forward into change far better than I.

This was one of those moments.

He explained that he’d been praying.

With my health, I’m really restricted to what I’m able to do.

So, he’d been praying for something we could do together.

We have been praying as a couple for opportunities to teach our son new skills and to that end my husband has been doing some woodworking with Jase on the weekends.

The other thing he’d been praying about is our desire for missions.

We want people to hear about Jesus, both here and around the world.

Since our family won’t be traveling, we’ve been praying for any opportunities to use our talents to spread the gospel.

The purchase of furniture was the action upon our heart’s desire.

We’ve decided to redo furniture and sell it.

Our focus is to make money for missions.

Of course, we are going to sell anything we can in this endeavor and be as wise as possible with our purchases.

It’s already given our family lots to do.

We’ve spent hours cleaning and researching various things.

We’ve prayed extensively about the best way to handle this.

Along with the furniture, we also got home furnishings and so we’ve opened a booth on Bonanza.

My husband’s idea was to name it Hope’s Treasure Chests Booth.

(He loves the play on words and of course, he loves me so…)

But the name for the spreadsheet is Matthew 19:21.

Because that is why we are doing this.

Although, doing this seems crazy, I know that God is the reason we are.

Therefore, I can trust Him with the results.

May He be glorified in us today!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for stretching me. Thank You for teaching me how to take baby steps as I learn to do something new. Lord, You alone are worthy of all praise, honor, and glory. Please help us to hear You clearly, to see Your plans, to obey You in all things. For we do not want to waste a moment, but we want to live unto You alone. Thank You for all Your blessings. We praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Yesterday was…

Thanksgiving for our family.

My husband went to work on Thursday so we had already made plans to celebrate on Sunday.

We sang some Christmas carols.

(I know we were blending two seasons, but we love Christmas music and sing it as early as possible.)

We read the Pilgrim’s story.

My heart breaking all over again for the sacrifices those dear people made.

Then we took turns writing what we are thankful for in the back of the book.

My husband carved the turkey and we discussed a few memories while filling out plates.

“Well, two years in a row. We over cooked the broccoli and cheese.”

“It must be that old crockpot. It wasn’t in there more than an hour.”

“Remember how people were eating your honey-butter straight out of the dish while we were in the UK, Mom?”

“They did?! I don’t remember that.”

“Yeah, it was for the cornbread, but Daddy caught them passing it around like a side dish.”

“What’s in these mashed potatoes? They’re really good.”

“Butter, sour cream, milk,…”

“Do you remember the play we put on at the school?”

“Yes, and how the one line he did turned the play into a comedy!”

“I think of him every time I read that!”

It didn’t take long for talking to subside into eating.

After cleaning up most of the family played a board game twice and then a card game..

Later, we watched three episodes of the Chosen.

(If you’ve not seen Season One of the Chosen, you can download their app for free. Dallas Jenkins is the creator and it’s wonderful.)

It was a lovely day of thankfulness and family.

Something my husband and I cherish and realize won’t always be.

Our children are growing up so fast and we know they belong to God.

We want them to go, to do whatever God calls them.

We want them to be people completely surrendered to His perfect will.

Which means we have to surrender our own desires and plans.

Because they only live under the same roof with us for a season.

A season we are so thankful for.

No matter what the future holds, may we never spend so much energy preparing for tomorrow that we miss the blessings of today.

As my husband began his prayer yesterday: “Lord, we really have so much to be thankful for…”

He’s so right!

We have today.

Dear Lord Jesus,

It’s true, we have so much to thank You for. You have given us so much each and every day. Although things can be scary and the future still seems so unpredictable, I thank You that You promise to never leave us. Thank You for providing for us. Thank You for carrying us through. Lord, please continue to help us see the blessings in today. Please help us to live wholly unto You in each day. Lord, we want to serve You, to be close to You, to love You. Please help us to do so. Thank You for yesterday. Thank You for today. I praise Your holy name, Jesus. Amen.

Grandbabies!

Her cardboard house was set up.

Her doll babies were out.

I sat nearby with her one month old brother in my arms.

I was burping him.

So, she began to burp her’s.

I grabbed my phone and couldn’t get a better picture than this, but it was a precious moment, none the less.

Next week our daughter returns to University.

I’m blessed to get to watch the kids a few times a week.

Grandbabies are so fun!

To look at our little granddaughter’s sweet smile and remember my own girls as wee people.

To listen to the cute baby noises of our grandson and remember the bundle of blanket which held our newborn son.

These gifts seem all the sweeter the second time around.

I love being a mother.

I love each of our precious children.

It’s compounded and multiplied when adding in grandbabies!

And it brings an even more precious memory to mind.

As much as I love these people, young and younger, God loves me even more.

Because His love is so much deeper, purer, and unmeasurable.

My sinful heart has major limitations, which hinders my ability to love as God does.

And yet He’s teaching me daily how to love more.

Grandbabies are easy to love.

Just one look at our grandchildren or children and my heart seems to expand.

Does God feel that way when He looks at me?

Romans 5:5 NKJV — Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
I John 4:7‭-‬11 NKJV

for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
John 16:27 NKJV

Not only does He love me far beyond my understanding, the same is true for you.

What a blessing to be loved by God!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your love. Thank You for creating us and the universe we live in. Lord, thank You for sustaining me. Lord, thank You for our family and friends. I’m so blessed by so many people. Lord, I’m humbled by Your love and blessings. Please continue to reach those who have yet to know You. Please let nothing stand in the way of their hearts accepting Your love. Thank You for all You have done for me. I praise Your holy name. Amen.

Just an average Wednesday

Some days seem to be just getting things done.

Today has been one of those.

I got up early, but I didn’t stick to my normal routine.

However, the garden got watered, prayer and Bible happened, I ate breakfast.

I needed to get my shots today, so Anne and I had planned to drop off the things we’ve been setting aside for “give away”.

She kindly loaded the car.

Jase and Anne are no longer allowed in the office, so both packed school work.

They both sit in the car and use the 30 minutes to get things done.

Afterwards, Anne drove us to the donation drop off.

She’s still working on getting her hours for her license.

I wanted to go in and look for frames.

We have another project in the garage, but I’m hoping to finish it tonight.

Over the weekend I realized I’ve not started making any Christmas presents for our family and friends.

After praying about it and looking through the yarn box, I dug out some yarn.

One of my “to do” items was checked off this morning as I finished a gift for our little nephew.

Hopefully, I’ll start on more little creatures later in the week for our other nephew.

As our homeschooling day wraps up, I am thankful.

It’s an average Wednesday.

Average in nothing unusual, nothing out of the norm.

What a blessing!

God has patiently and faithfully walked us through the day.

He’s blessed us with getting our school work done.

He has blessed us with food and a comfortable house.

He’s guided and directed us as we did the tasks at hand.

Praise God!

I love how He is in the details of an ordinary day.

Like having exactly enough change for the bill at the allergist.

Like the new frame I found for $4.

Like our teens getting through their school work with smiles.

And so many more things.

1 Chronicles 29:13 KJV — Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

Psalm 44:8 KJV — In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

Praise the Lord!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for an ordinary Wednesday. Thank You for Your faithfulness to us. Thank You for Your provision. Thank You for Your sustaining us. Thank You for walking with us through every part of our day and on into the night. Lord Jesus, it is easy to miss the little blessings, or to grow callous to the days which seem full of work without end, but I thank You for helping me to see the blessings in today. I thank You for showing me that even in the midst of a busy week there’s many things to praise Your for. May our hearts continue to praise You day after day! Amen!

She finished them!

It’s a shame I didn’t think to get before pictures of most of the furniture.

With my husband’s vacation being cancelled, Anne was in more of a hurry to try and get these done.

But I can tell you, they needed work.

There was definitely a reason all of the pieces put together was $50.

The tall dresser was in the best shape, as the long dresser had water damage on top as well.

The night stand had three burn marks and water damage.

The bench had stains on the top and a really big black widow spider living inside.

(One of those moments when I moved faster than normal!)

It was definitely an opportunity.

Anne learned a lot about the joys of renovation.

She also got to add her own special touch by painting flowers on the different pieces and the knobs.

Through it all I prayed and praised God.

Because I really didn’t help her very much.

Monday and Tuesday I helped some, but by Wednesday she’d learned each step and took over.

When it came to painting the mirror she took her time and was super careful.

Last night, Tim and hubby carried the dressers upstairs.

The smaller pieces we did previously.

We all commented on how her hard work paid off.

I love that God gave Anne this project.

I love how the furniture looks.

I love that Anne has gained a skill along with confidence to try something new.

I love that she now has furniture to take with her, whenever and wherever God leads her as an adult.

God’s ways are always best.

I’ve needed to be reminded of that this week.

I’ve been reading the book of Job on my Bible app, but didn’t have it bookmarked in my Bible.

So, I knew it wasn’t a coincidence when my Bible fell open to Job 38 yesterday morning.

God’s words to Job were exactly what I needed to hear.

I had wanted to do this with Anne, every step of the way.

But that wasn’t what happened, because God knows best.

Yesterday, when Tim was asking about the project I honestly said, “No, I really didn’t help much. She did this.”

Instead of me working alongside her, it was Jesus.

As a mom, I find it difficult to let go.

I want to be with our children, no matter their age, to help, to encourage, to listen.

But that isn’t always what is best for them.

And God knows exactly what is.

I’m still learning how to let go and trust Him for each of our children.

And what a great reminder to that truth, these beautiful pieces of furniture that Anne and Jesus did.

Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?
Job 38:36 NKJV

God did, and I’m praising Him for it!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for this opportunity. Thank You for teaching Anne how to do all these things. Thank You for giving her this opportunity not only to learn, but to stretch out into something new. Lord, please continue to guide and direct each of our children. Let their hearts be molded by You, that their lives might bring You glory. Lord, thank You for reminding me that Your ways are best. Thank You for teaching me another opportunity to let go. Please continue to speak into our hearts and minds. Please continue to bring us closer to You. I love You, Jesus. Amen.