Tag Archives: home

A lovely vacation

The past week Handsome (my nickname for my husband) was home on vacation.

We did something we’ve never done.

We stayed home together.

Past vacations have been a kaleidoscope of different activities, whether together or separate.

Twice my husband and I went to the UK and left the kids with Grandma.

Handsome and Jase have had many camping trips which included either hunting or fishing.

Two different years the kids and I flew to the UK.

Once, the three younger, my mom, and myself flew back East to visit her family.

Handsome and Bell went to Africa to attend a wedding a couple years ago.

But rarely do we all take vacation at the same time and never without a schedule.

God had put it on my husband’s heart to not schedule the time outside of previous commitments.

He and Jase headed south Tuesday, as our son had a quick doctor’s appointment and my husband had a dental appointment.

Handsome did inquire into our son’s desire for the vacation and Jase mentioned the coast.

We took Wednesday to drive over for the day.

The majority of our time was simply spent at home.

Yesterday afternoon, Jase and my husband went fishing at a nearby pond Handsome had recently discovered on a walk.

I had to laugh when I received the picture above.

Obviously the fish weren’t biting if the pole was still enough to become a perch.

But it was an excellent example of our week, and if it were a word it would be:

Restful.

Throughout the week, my husband commented on what a great vacation he was having.

I praise God for the gift!

His direction to my husband was perfect, His guidance was better than anything we would have come up with.

Because He knows what is best for us.

I again was struck by the beautiful things which occur when we trust in the Lord and follow His lead.

His work truly is perfect.

Deuteronomy 32:4 NKJV — He is the Rock, His work is perfect; For all His ways are justice, A God of truth and without injustice; Righteous and upright is He.

Dear Lord Jesus,

Thank You so much for Your direction and guidance. Lord, thank You that You give us rest, not just physically, but eternal rest from striving against sin and spiritual death. Your salvation brings us rest. You are just and upright. You hold truth and grant us it in Your Word. Lord, thank You for Your perfect ways. Thank You for Your faithfulness, goodness, and love. Lord, thank You for teaching us daily to trust You and not to lean our own understanding. Lord, in all my ways, I want to acknowledge You. Thank You for teaching me how to do that. I love You, Jesus. Amen.

Daily reminders

I purchased this when I thought we were building a new house.

One of the things I wanted to do was fill our new home with scripture.

To have something in every room which would be a daily reminder of Jesus and His neverending love.

We didn’t build.

Instead God moved us out of the area.

But as I was tidying up this morning, I was washing this and reading the words again.

The memory of when and why I purchased it came back.

I so wanted our new house to be full of reminders.

Then I began to look around.

These were separate gifts. One is mine and the other was given to Anne.

My husband bought this about ten years ago and it has always been a blessing and a reminder.

While living with Tim and Sis I bought this at a Good Will Store.

This was a gift from a former student.

This was a Christmas gift from our dear friends.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Each room has something special which brings my heart a tender reminder of the love of Jesus.

I wasn’t able to specifically purchase and plan for this house.

Jesus did.

And I wouldn’t change anything.

Home

Many months ago, I was walking the aisles of Hobby Lobby with our daughter and saw this picture.

I bought it.

These words are part of a song I used to own. (On cassette tape!)

My husband and I would sing it together.

As I was walking around the house this morning it caught my eye.

“What makes a home?”

For me, it’s my family.

I’m so blessed to have my husband and we are so thankful for our children.

As they are growing up and moving on to their own families I’ve found a new joy.

My family is multiplying!

I can’t thank God enough for each and every one of them.

It is such a privilege and pleasure to learn each one and to love them.

Although I’m deeply saddened by the pain and loss occuring world wide, I’m still able to be thankful for the blessing of family.

And I’ve been praying:

That these days of seclusion will be rich with family time.

Even if the members are separated, I’ve been praying they would be able to connect with deeper meaning.

But it’s costly.

Families often hurt one another and cause all kinds of scars upon the heart.

To truly love and connect with one another it takes forgiveness, patience, and humility.

Gifts from God.

Which He gives freely.

What better time to revisit those things than now?

No one is guaranteed tomorrow, today is all we have.

While I’m here, with my family, in this home, I’m seeking to plant as much love, teaching, understanding, forgiveness, and joy as I can.

Because that’s another thing which makes home, the fruit of the Spirit.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.
Galatians 5:22‭-‬23a NKJV

“Only for God…”

“Only for God in silence does my soul wait.” Psalm 62:1

It was as if the words leapt out of the book.

-sigh-

Reading again,

I felt so clearly the Lord’s understanding.

I had been reading Pastor Charles R. Swindoll’s book Three Steps Forward Two Steps Back.

The literal Hebrew sentence reads almost backwards from the English translation: “Only for God in silence does my soul wait.”

I knew.

That is what God was teaching me throughout these past weeks of uncertainty.

Then,

the waiting came to an end.

Tuesday, our plans were to drive to the valley with a stop in Eugene for my specialist appointment.

The whole family was coming so our daughter could pack our house while I was nearby with the baby to give advice or answer questions.

We had reached the point.

The decision was made.

We would prepare for moving,

even though we didn’t know

where we were going.

My appointment took longer than expected, but was a blessing.

When we finally arrived at our property we were all tired and hungry.

It was lovely to see my husband and middle daughter again.

The next day was full, as packing began in full swing and Anne had a doctor’s appointment.

Later that day my husband and I were able to chat about where God was leading.

Should we buy a house?

Was that a responsible choice when our property wasn’t ready to sell?

What was God’s will for us?

We needed a home, how should we proceed?

It became clear we should rent.

After some internet searching we found several which might work and one we were excited about.

I sent tour requests.

Answered email responses.

Was excited when the house we wanted offered a tour the next evening.

My husband and I would have to drive up and it meant I’d leave all the packing to our daughter, but I was wearing out quickly.

So, I emailed back we’d be there Thursday at 6:30.

During this our Bell had a meeting with the track coach.

Her summer has been full of disappointments when it came to her future at the college she had agreed to run track for.

By the time she was home from her trip she didn’t see any other options other than walking away from it and going to a different school.

When the coach requested meeting with us, there were some concerns.

What did God want for our Bell?

Could the issues be reconciled?

My husband went with her and I prayed.

When he called his voice was calm.

“They are signing her up for classes now. Everything has been taken care of.”

I had to take a deep breath.

“Well, praise God!”

He related the whole story.

I was stunned by the Lord’s provision.

I would have to pack the car and leave to meet him soon.

My emotions were all stirred up between stress, grief, and joy.

I hated leaving the house for our daughter to do while taking care of her five month old.

I was sad at leaving our middle girl behind.

I was overwhelmed by God’s grace and provision.

I was so thankful for everything God was giving us.

I was exhausted from it all.

So off we went to look at the house we hoped to call home.

After a long nap my attitude and emotions had all calmed.

We were going to be early so we could look at the neighborhood and get a feel for it all.

When we pulled up to where the navigation system said,

“You’ve arrived”.

We both just stared blankly.

“Uh, honey, it’s a duplex.”

My heart felt that something had gone wrong.

“Please check to make sure you got the address correct,” was his sensible reply.

I did.

It was.

“What are we going to do?”

I looked at him with concern.

Was God asking us to stretch?

Or was there something else He was doing?

My husband pulled the car farther down the street.

Our eyes met with a FOR RENT sign in the lawn of a different house.

This one a single family home.

My husband pulled up and parked.

Then he grabbed his phone.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m calling the number.”

I began praying.

We wanted God’s will and we needed to know what that was.

After he left a message he turned the car around and headed for our daughter and son-in-law’s house.

We were halfway there when the phone rang.

(Bluetooth is really nice!)

My husband answered and began to chat with the home owner.

As they talked the fact that our last rental was in the UK led to the information about why we were there.

It didn’t take long to discover the landlord is a strong believer.

As the conversation ended it was with hope.

We were to be shown the house that evening by the neighbor.

Our hearts were glad and thankful to the Lord for guiding.

I emailed the duplex and thanked them, but cancelled our tour.

We prayed again together before we headed back to tour the other house.

My heart tried to stay calm and quiet and wait for God to show us His will.

The neighbor was a welcoming gentleman and very personable.

The house was incredible.

Bigger and more than I would have ever imagined.

But it was our conversation with the neighbor which blessed us the most.

He invited us into his home to meet his wife.

Before we knew it we were seated in their living room chatting.

They both are strong believers.

With daughters near our youngest girl’s age.

Hospitality was poured out.

Love was abundant.

It was such a blessing.

At one point in the conversation she looked at me and said,

“We’ve been praying for a nice family with kids to move in.”

And God answered.

Both our prayers.

We moved in on Monday.

Praise God!

All the weeks of quiet waiting upon the Lord has culminated into so many answered prayers.

From the packing, to the loading, to the unloading (one of our friends from the valley drove all the way up here to help with the unloading) our son-in-law, his brother and friend showed up as well, and our oldest girl baked pizzas for everyone.

Even to the details of my furniture fitting.

It is so worth while.

All these weeks

quietly waiting

upon the Lord.

2 Corinthians 12:9 KJV — And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Something dead

Nope, I’m not adding a picture of something dead to the post.

I refuse.

Actually I would have, but the “something dead” was eaten and I hadn’t thought to take a picture at 4 am.

So, instead you get something living!

But the morning’s arrival really didn’t bother me too much.

I’ve lived in the country most of my life.

Which I’m very thankful for.

Yet there are always things which are less than enjoyable no matter where you live.

So when my hubby called me out of bed to tell me there was “something dead” on the front porch I wasn’t shocked.

We have two cats and I was actually glad to hear one of them was doing their job.

I normally only see them sitting on the porch railing.

Mew, mew, mewing to be fed.

I don’t mind feeding them, but I do not appreciate it when they are lazy and don’t catch mice or moles or other ground varmints.

So the dead critter on the front porch was evidence of good.

-smile-

Like me yesterday.

With all the changes we need to make my flower beds need to be moved.

It’s not the best time to move many of them.

As I dug plants up yesterday I was well aware of the chances I was taking.

“Lord, after all the expectation I had for my flowers this year, this is hard.”

I dug and replanted more.

Since I’m still working on building back my strength I have to take many breaks.

On one I was looking at the destruction all around me.

Our out-building which partially collapsed in the snow, our house which looks awful where the deck used to be, the trees limbs and branches everywhere.

Then down at the beds I’m digging up.

My expectations of a beautiful yard are dead.

“Lord, no matter what dies or is destroyed or how hard it is to look at, I trust You.”

With letting expectation die I’m allowing the Lord to grow me.

As much as I love flowers they are not as important as my walk.

Because none of this stuff is permanent.

Our house, our yard, our cars, our property, nothing material is going to last forever.

Only Jesus is.

He is eternal and my soul is eternal and my relationship with Jesus is.

And He’s promised me a home in heaven.

What flower, building or landscape can rival that!

Home again

I thought it was so sweet.

Bell had arranged the teddy bears and a few photos which escaped the boxes.

It was obvious everyone had worked so hard to get our house at least livable for me.

And it is working!

I didn’t cough or struggle for breath.

I was able to sleep and not have to take my inhaler even once.

It was amazing.

I’m so thankful.

Thankful for my family.

Thankful for the air purifiers.

Thankful that I am feeling stronger than I have in so very long.

Thankful to God for the ability to return home.

To rejoin my family.

Thankful just to be able to make pancakes!

Thankful for the things I would have taken for granted this time last year.

And I know the path hasn’t ended.

I’m still going to have to be careful.

I still need to thoughtful about how I use my time and energy.

And I’m certain there’s still more to learn and opportunities to stretch.

And I’m positive Jesus shall be with me every step of the way.

May God’s name be glorified in my life today!

Home

DSC_0163What does it mean?

Depends on your background.

There are those who see home as the four story brick building that is part of the row of houses that runs the length of the street.

For others it is the log cabin hewn by their father and a group of neighbors who worked together to build a place where they could be a family.

Then there are those who pull their home from one stop to the next. As long as there’s a hook-up for water and sewer they can call nearly anywhere “home”.

Yet no matter where life happens it is not the structure that makes a place home.

Instead it is the things that go on there and the people who live there.

We have moved several times and no matter where we live it has never been the number of rooms or the decor that created a sense of belonging.

The attitude and actions of our family have either caused it to be a place of joy or frustration.

It is the same even today, for it takes effort to make a home.

Yes, I like to decorate, and I like things to match,

And I love to garden.

(There is something in flowers that makes me happy.)

But home is really never going to be the perfect place of order and beauty and soft words and perfect sleep on ever crisp sheets.

It can be a tiny reflection of what our hearts long for, and the home was meant to be a place of love, peace, patience, and goodness.

At times it is nothing that even resembles those things.

Piles of dirty laundry and frayed nerves and hurt feelings and stinky trash and messy sticky fingers and broken pipes and backed up sewers and…

Our hearts long to be in a place free from the bonds of this world and it is encouraging to know that there is a heaven waiting for us.

“There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you, I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:2-3 NLT

And the fee for our ticket has already been paid, all we have to do is accept it.