Category Archives: home

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.

Learning by trial and error

Anne and I had so many things planned for our two weeks without the guys.

So, when they came home on Sunday we were unsure what to do.

Obviously, her furniture had to be done, so we worked together on it Sunday, when ordinarily we’d rest.

Our thought was, “It’s in the way. We’ve got to free up space in the garage.”

Of course, we couldn’t get four pieces of furniture done in that amount of time.

My husband understood and appreciated our efforts.

While they unpacked the truck, Monday, Anne and I worked on the furniture.

I’m only able to do some of it because of my health.

So, when it was time to put the top coat on her night stand I went back in the house.

Much later, Anne showed me the table.

She wasn’t happy.

I could see why.

Brown streaks were all over the top of the table and one side had them as well.

Being relatively new to this I wasn’t sure what we were seeing, bleed through or top coat.

The decision was made to let it sit over night and figure out what to do in the morning.

Tuesday came and it was still there.

Anne and I decided the best approach was to sand it back off.

I felt bad for her, as she’d carefully painted flowers on the top that had to come off.

After sanding, she repainted it.

It was definitely the top coat, not bleed through.

So, she switched brushes and reapplied the top coat to a drawer. (Much easier to sand down if it didn’t work.)

Thankfully, it worked beautifully, no streaks.

During all of this, my husband set up a temporary spray tent in the backyard, went to the store to purchase primer, and sprayed all the drawers to the remaining two dressers and primered the long dresser.

This way, Anne can do the painting today and hopefully the top coat tomorrow.

Jase even got involved, he helped sand off the streaky top coat.

Anne and I were thrilled with all the help.

So, when my husband got a phone call from work yesterday, I was praying.

It turned out he cancelled his remaining vacation and returned to work this morning.

His two days were spent with us, just at home.

Cleaning and reorganizing the gear with Jase, painting the dressers with Anne.

Yup.

It was a good two day vacation.

The reason being, our family spent time together.

God is honored when we love and honor one another.

And He was definitely part of all.

No matter what changes come next, I pray our family will honor God through each one.

Psalm 104:1 NKJV — Bless the LORD, O my soul! O LORD my God, You are very great: You are clothed with honor and majesty,

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for these two days. Thank You for guiding and directing our family. Lord, we give You our lives, our plans, our family, and we humbly request that You be the center of it all. No matter our task, we want to honor You with our actions, attitudes, and words. Lord Jesus, You see the heart. If there is anything standing in the way of us following You, please remove it. Let our lives shine brightly before You. Thank You. Amen.

Tuesday

So far, this has been a week of changes.

My husband and our son left Saturday for a hunting trip.

They returned Sunday night, because our truck is not running correctly.

I prayed a lot while they were driving home.

The Lord was merciful and they made it safely.

My husband made many phone calls, in an attempt to find an opening to get it fixed.

None of the repair shops have any openings till mid September.

So, he and Jase unpacked all the camping and hunting gear yesterday.

Later the guys were going out to play a round of “cheap” golf.

Anne and I were taking dinner over to Sis’s house and hanging out there.

We did and it was lovely.

Just before bed, I was chatting with my husband.

I’ve been praying for him and wondering how he felt about all this.

His vacation is completely ruined when it comes to hunting.

But to my relief and joy he wrapped his arms around me and kissed the top of my head and said,

“I’ve had a really good day. It’s been nice.”

“Well, praise God! I’ve been worried about how you might be feeling.”

He just laughed and hugged me.

I know from an outside appearance one ruined hunting trip probably doesn’t seem like a big deal, and in many ways it isn’t.

As a wife, I see it as a part of a much bigger picture.

My husband has had to give up so much this last year.

He’s a country guy who loves hunting, fishing, and camping.

Between my poor health and our move he’s left nearly all of it behind.

To camp, fish, or hunt he has to take time off work, plan around the travel, and then drive hours.

He used to go across the street or down the road.

Our son’s first turkey was shot in our field.

(Yes, we ate it. That’s why we hunt.)

Through giving up on the things he enjoys, my husband has had a heart of love and compassion.

He has said more than once how the little he has to give up are nothing compared to what I have had to give up.

But there’s a difference.

My health has taken away my choice, I can’t do the things.

He has chosen to be obedient to what God has placed on his heart and has given up to honor Jesus.

And he’s doing it again this week.

I don’t know what our Tuesday is going to hold, but I’m so glad I have my precious husband to walk with me.

I love that Jesus is holding us all and His plans are perfect!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for Your love and provision. Thank You that even in the things we see as disappointment You see as an opportunity. Lord Jesus thank You for growing my husband and I closer together through all of this. Thank You for teaching us daily that Your plans are best. Amen.

Homemade granola

I think my mom is the reason I like to make things from scratch.

Both my sister and I watched Mom whip up cookies, bread, and pie from scratch as children.

She used to make her own jelly from the plum tree in the backyard.

She also grew mountains of vegetables, especially tomatoes, cukes, and corn.

Those seeds of growing food and then preparing it took root in both my sister and myself.

Actually, my sister is one of the best cooks I know.

She enjoys it so much that she will spend her free time cooking.

So, it’s not surprising that our family enjoys homemade food.

When our children were all little, my husband was working full-time and going to college.

Money was tight and my energy was spread across four children, plus the time volunteering at our church.

So, I learned how to make several things in bulk.

Canning fruit was a big help.

I’d take the kids to the orchard with bowls and we’d pick cherries or peaches.

I normally tried to catch the strawberries at the beginning of summer and put up jam.

My husband is an outdoorsman and a friend of mine taught me how to can meat.

Many of those things were left in the past due to our very busy years of highschool sports, but we’ve canned here and there.

Our daughters learned to make some of our favorite foods.

Infact, Anne is a better baker than I.

Then illness claimed my time and I’ve only recently been able to return to making some of the food my family loves.

Homemade granola is one of those.

We eat it for breakfast, but if I let them, the kids would have a bowl anytime.

I’ve even seen my husband pour a bowl after everyone’s in bed.

So, I’m grateful God has given me the strength to cook again.

I’m so thankful to God for this simple recipe I found in the back of a Better Homes and Gardens magazine, so many years ago.

I’m blessed to have the time and resources to provide meals for my family.

Truly, the small details of life can bring the most amazing joys.

A newborn’s smile.

A ray of sun shining through the apple tree.

A kiss good morning from a loved one.

A bowl of homemade granola.

God is so good!

His blessings surround us, if we will but take the time to notice.

Praise the Lord , all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples! For His merciful kindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord  endures forever. Praise the Lord !
Psalms 117:1‭-‬2 NKJV

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for the little and the large. Thank You for shining Your light into our lives. Lord, thank You for guiding and directing us. Thank You for providing for us. Lord, there are many who are struggling, hurting, lost. Please defend the innocent, provide for the weak and hungry, and save the lost. Please let our lives bring glory to Your name. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Because sometimes…

things don’t go the way you expect.

Which seems to be more normal lately.

The main problem with my schedule is me.

I’m having a difficult time not wanting to stick to my plans.

But God has better ones, and it only takes a moment for me to realize such when I’m willing to stop and look at it through prayer.

The Lord has been stretching me.

Ever since our Bell moved her dresser out of the spare bedroom, I’ve had a pile of homeschooling papers sitting on the closet floor.

Obviously not a good plan.

With moving I’ve had to change many of my past ways of organizing including the homeschooling papers.

I currently have a place for recent work or needed documents, but the past years’ work no longer has a home.

So, I’ve been praying about what to do.

Coupled with this prayer, I’ve been praying for Anne’s bedroom furniture.

Her dresser was old and very used when I bought it over seven years ago.

It’s now missing more handles and the drawers are less than easy to open.

So, I figured God would want me to set aside some time to refurbish her dresser.

These two things have been a topic of conversation with me and the Lord often of late.

As the days grow closer to autumn, my window of opportunity to work on anything outdoors is coming to a close.

Thus, I have had to put my own opinions and ideas into God’s hands multiple times about this.

So, when I felt like God was talking to me about looking for used furniture on Craigslist I was a bit apprehensive.

“Lord, is this me or You? Am I just trying to force something to solve this instead of waiting?”

Instead of hearing an answer, I just felt like I should punch dresser into the Craigslist search engine.

I did so, and then stopped to pray again.

Something the Lord had spoken to my heart at first came back to mind.

It will be in the city nearest you.

So, with that I began to scroll.

I found something which would work for the spare room.

It was hideous and obviously “well loved”.

The price didn’t sit well with me, but it was in the city nearest me.

I figured I could email and see if they’d come down on the price.

I asked the Lord to make it clear if He wanted me to buy this.

Their response was my answer, “no”.

So, back to the search engine on Craigslist.

“Lord, I really don’t want to do this today, I’m so worried I’ll make a mistake and buy the wrong thing.”

I’m teaching you faith.

Two more dressers.

Two more emails.

Two more closed doors.

Of course, I was working on other things so all of this was poked in between math lesson, history, reading assignment, and cooking.

By the early afternoon, I was ready to give up.

But I still felt like I was supposed to try another search.

This time I found not one dresser,but two and a bedside table.

The posting said, “$50”.

Well, that wasn’t super clear.

And at first I thought this couldn’t work at all, but I stopped to pray.

Through this moment of quiet I realized we could use one dresser in Anne’s room and the other in the spare room as well as the bed side table.

They need painting, but Anne’s been asking me if we could do another project ever since we painted the living room furniture.

I emailed the seller.

I was surprised at the answer: $50 was for everything.

Of course now I had to get some help picking up all this.

I prayed again, that if this wasn’t God’s will it would be obvious.

I knew our son-in-law’s day was busy with taking Bubba and family to the doctor.

I dropped a quick text and after a conversation over the phone we worked out a plan.

Then it occurred to me, if they were heading down after the doctor’s appointment, they’d be hungry, so I invited them for supper.

I was about halfway through cooking supper when I realized this was definitely God’s plan.

My husband’s work has him on call 24/7 and he had come home late the night before only to eat and return to work, arriving home some time after 11.

When things are like that, I know better than to expect him home at any particular time.

But halfway through supper preparations he called me.

He was off work and on his way home.

And he was thrilled to hear our family was coming over for supper.

When he arrived, I told him about the furniture.

He smiled and said, “Sounds great!”.

Not long afterwards he and our son-in-law drove together out the cul-de-sac to pick up the furniture.

Anne was so excited when it got here.

She can hardly wait till we can begin sanding it down and painting it.

I praise God for His guidance in it all.

I’ve already told Anne all this furniture belongs to her.

I’ve tried to make sure each of our kids have some furniture of their own to take with them when the time comes.

As we were all sitting around the dinner table eating, God had one more surprise in store.

My phone started buzzing with several texts all coming in at once.

It was the same family we got the furniture from.

They had forgotten another piece of furniture that was part of the set, a window seat with drawers.

They were texting to let me know we could have it too, no extra charge.

Of course I let them know we would have to get it today, but they were fine with that.

I’m still amazed at how God took a small desire I had and turned my day into a blessed lesson.

Because buying furniture wasn’t in my schedule.

Sending emails and searching Craigslist wasn’t in my plans.

But God reminded me that my ways are not His ways.

His plans are perfect.

His ways are best.

And all of this was more about teaching me to listen and trust and obey than it was furniture.

Because I could have gone out and bought Anne a new dresser anytime.

I could have ordered something to store the homeschooling papers in online and had it delivered to the door.

But instead of either of those things, God has taken me through days of prayer and heart checking.

He has shown me my tendency to want to solve every item I see as a need in my own strength.

He has used this to teach me to listen and be willing to be wrong, to be willing to say, “I don’t know what I’m doing yet, I’m still praying about it.”

And hopefully He is using my life as an example to my children that waiting upon the Lord is the best way, no matter how insignificant the “thing” is.

Because furniture is not a forever thing, but the lessons I learn through dealing with the temporary are.

Praise God!

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for providing this lesson. Thank You for stretching me in an area I thought I’d already completely surrendered to You. Lord, thank You that things and items are all temporary and yet can be used by You. Lord, I want to honor You with all that I call my possessions. Thank You for reminding me that nothing is actually mine, it all belongs to You. Please help me to be wise and generous with anything and everything. Lord, You alone are worthy of all honor, glory, and praise. Thank You. Amen.

The gift of times past

Sis, Bell, and Anne were the reason it began.

Years ago, I wanted to give my husband something he’d have at work to look at, reminding him of his little girls.

I made sure to glue in some of their artwork along with their pictures.

Often, I would add a comic cut from the newspaper.

As we pulled one after another out of a box, Anne asked me when I started making calendars.

“Honestly, I can’t remember.”

I’m so very glad I did.

It has been so fun to look back through them now and again.

At first I always used blank calendars and had to do everything, including write in the date for every day of the year.

I’ll be honest, I messed up more than once!

When I learned how to download my pictures into premade templates and order them, the hours crafting a calendar dropped significantly.

Funny thing though.

My husband liked the homemade ones better.

He’s sweet and knows it’s easier for me to do the online thing, so he’s never complained.

I think the only time he might complain is if he didn’t receive a calendar at Christmas.

Each year the whole family enjoys flipping through the newest calendar on Christmas Day.

No matter the template I use, I’m sure to include two things: pictures of our children and verses from the Bible.

Because our family wouldn’t be if it weren’t for Jesus.

He’s the reason we have memories to look back on.

His love and provision has sustained us through thick and thin, health and illness, times apart and togetherness, little and much.

The Lord is the reason we are the family that we are.

And it seems especially important to praise Him for holding our family.

Today is my husband’s birthday.

He doesn’t like parties or fuss of that sort.

But I feel secure that he won’t mind me thanking God for him.

Thanking the Lord for the memories of past years, months, weeks…days.

Thanking the Lord for giving me to my husband as wife: his beloved, his friend, the mother of his children, and a fellow follower of Christ.

I’m thanking God for the love we share.

Our relationship has deepen and grown and we are both deeply in love with one another.

I praise God for His blessings upon our family.

I praise God for His continual provision.

I praise God for my husband.

“Happy Birthday, Handsome!”

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the birth of my husband. Thank You that he loves and serves You. Thank You that he loves and provides for us. Lord, please continue to guide, direct, and speak to him. Give him discernment with our family, our finances, his occupation, and our family dynamics. Lord Jesus, guard him from the enemy. Place a watch over his eyes, his heart, and his mind. Keep his feet planted firmly upon Your paths. Please let his words be full of wisdom, understanding, and Your Word. Thank You so much for all Your blessings and love. Thank You for our family. Amen.

Just a few little words

The day wasn’t too warm.

For the better part of the afternoon a refreshing breeze blew.

Sis had come over for lunch.

After we ate, Jase and Anne went back to school work, I took our granddaughter out to pet the plants.

Sis joined us in a short time.

Bringing shoes for tiny pink toe-protection and to allow them the joy of walking the patio unassisted.

When she came out she commented.

“Grammy has so many beautiful flowers all over. This way you can go look at them.”

It was a small thing, just a few little words.

Sis wasn’t talking to me, but to her baby girl and I just grinned.

It was later, I was outside sitting on the patio, when I began to realize.

“Lord, thank You so much! The yard is such a joy.”

When we first moved here nothing was blooming.

The red rose in the front yard had wrinkled-brown, dried-dead rosehips.

But the back was mostly over grown weeds, in the beds and under the apple trees.

As I thought about the words of our daughter I was humbled by God’s grace.

He has caused so much to change in the yard.

There are flowers all over.

And I love it!

Flowers bring me so much joy.

Did I mention the vegetable garden?

The purple tinted kale, the lettuce, cabbage, and tomatoes all hold a certain anticipation and gratitude at God’s creation.

Although, Sis’s words were small, their impact was large.

I don’t think I’ve truly thanked the Lord enough for all the beauty He has grown in this season.

But thanks to our daughter’s well phrased words, I’m making it a priority.

As I water plants, I’ll be praising the Lord.

I know God didn’t have to give me flowers, but He chose to.

Flowers are His creation and they have been used for generations as gifts, things to show affection from one to another.

Which is how I feel about mine.

The flowers are a symbol of God’s love.

And it was a few little words which brought that to my attention.

My prayer is for others to look at God’s creation and praise Him too.

Isaiah 61:11 KJV — For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You for the garden. Thank You for growing delicately designed things which point to You. Lord, I long to be grateful for Your many amazing works, but I don’t always recognize them. Please open my mind and heart to all Your works. Please continue to grow me in Your love and understanding. Lord, fulfill Your Word, let righteousness and praise spring forth! I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Iris

The last time I was at our property I was too sick to really do much.

I can’t even remember much about it.

However, the last time my husband was there he noticed something.

He told me when he saw it he knew it would bless me.

And he was right.

This beautiful Iris is one of several in a rectanglar shaped container.

Years ago, he made it and suggested I use it for flowers.

It’s held Iris bulbs ever since.

Some how in our move it had gotten over looked.

I was very glad when he and our son-in-law brought it here.

This morning, I was extra blessed to see the blossom.

Especially since our property sold, last Friday.

We’d been waiting for some information about the progress of the sale.

We’ve learned not to expect to sign papers until we hear from the title company, but everything had been silent.

Until Friday.

The call came in, we needed to sign papers.

It felt odd, sitting with masks across from the notary, who was wearing gloves and a mask as well.

To put ink on paper which meant a chapter of our lives, seven years, was closed.

It’s opening into something new, and we are glad for the couple who are so excited about living there.

We are very thankful to be able to move forward into the next chapter God has for us.

Although we shall always carry the love and memories of that dear valley with us.

I can truly look upon that purple Iris and praise God for His hand of direction in our lives.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to bring those flowers and the memories with us.

As these days, in a new chapter unfold, I’m thankful.

His plans and path for us is so much better than anything I could possibly have imagined.

Truly, His ways are perfect!

Deuteronomy 32:4 KJV — He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he.

Amen.

The yarn box

It was a few days ago.

I was putting a small ball of yarn in the plastic box I keep it.

Most of it is the leftovers from the giant bag Tim and Sis got me at a yard sale over a year ago.

I have made many teddy bears from that yarn, plus blankets, hats, and baby sweaters.

The remnants have been sitting quietly in the tote.

“Lord, what am I supposed to do with all this leftover yarn?”

Make small animals.

“Oh! Well…what am I starting with?”

A turtle, get out the green.

So, I obeyed.

It wasn’t easy.

Infact, crocheting a turtle turned out to be a lot more complicated than I expected.

However, God patiently walked me through it.

My girls loved it and said they each wanted one.

Frankly, I wasn’t thrilled.

“That was a pain to make, not sure I want to make more,” came my ungracious response.

On top of that, part of me was wondering why God had me doing this.

What use are they?

However, whether I understood what the plan was or not, I knew obedience is better than sacrifice.

I got my attitude back in order and asked the Lord for His forgiveness and patience with me.

The next day I made a fox.

Yesterday, it was another turtle and the octopus.

In prayer this morning, I was asking the Lord again.

“What do You want me to do with these? Why am I making them?”

To bring joy.

I had to smile.

Sometimes, I make things way too complicated.

With all the uncertainty surrounding us, I had not thought about the need to simply be joyful.

Crafting things has always been something which brings me joy.

And if you could see the smiles on the faces of my family as they look over each new toy, it’s obviously bringing them joy.

I’ve been texting pictures of these creative outlets to my oldest daughter, who seems to be enjoying them.

I even sent a few pictures to my mom for a smile.

Yet, it took God’s gentle voice to help me see why crocheting scrap yarn into funny animals is actually a blessing.

God isn’t interested in just the big and important.

He’s also in the smallest details.

And He wants us to find joy even amidst the uncertainty.

So, today, I’ll grab out some more leftover yarn and my crochet hook while going through our homeschool day.

I’ll also be looking for other opportunities to praise the Lord and spread joy to those around me.

Because, I can choose to be joyful, and it’s a privilege to share it.

Psalm 32:11 KJV — Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

An Easter meal to remember

Anne worked hard on Saturday.

She wanted the house to reflect the festivities of our Risen Savior.

I had gotten up for a bit and she showed me all she had done.

It was beautiful.

I was blessed by her creativity.

She had gotten into the storage boxes and looked for anything she might use.

I commented on how nicely she had done.

“Mom, what are we going to have tomorrow?”

I shrugged.

“Maybe Daddy can smoke us some chicken.”

With me being in bed for so long, I didn’t know what we had for groceries.

Anne decided to make some deviled eggs, and she informed me we still had some potato salad Bell had made.

My husband had to spend the day at our property working. Bell had gone down also to get a few things.

Anne and I both knew they wouldn’t have time to go buy anything.

I could tell Anne was a little concerned about our meal, but I reminded her to trust God.

When we went to bed, my husband still hadn’t arrived home.

So when I got back up later that evening to welcome them, I had a big surprise waiting.

My husband and our daughter were bringing in groceries.

A ham, potato casserole, rolls, salad, and an apple pie.

All of it had been a gift to our family.

The next day I made sure to text our thanks and appreciation.

Her response was simple:

“As I was buying our ham at Costco yesterday the Lord brought you to my mind and knowing the situation your family has been in with you being so limited with your health I figured everyone might need a little break. I only wish some of it was homemade!! At least it won’t be too much work for anyone.
Hope your family has a wonderful Easter celebration together!”

Even now, I can not properly express my gratitude and appreciation.

We had a wonderful Easter celebration.

We watched service online.

Then we had our own worship and my husband taught from Isaiah 53.

Our meal was one of the nicest Easter meals we’ve ever had.

Truly, God is incredible.

His ways are so much higher than ours.

He is so faithful.

This really was an Easter to remember.

Praise God!