As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this nearly six-acre tract of land, this farmhouse, this domain—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Lord Provides

The Lord has provided for our needs during these weeks of Ron's illness and hospitalization. 

Some of that provision has been through our insurance. Some has been through gifts from our natural family and our family in Christ. Some provision has been financial. Some has been the meeting of our physical needs. Some has been help in logistics and getting people where they need to be. Some has been emotional support, compassion, and listening ears.

Here is a story of one night when the Lord provided something I needed:

On a Sunday afternoon, Kati and Bekah brought lunch from Chipotle up to the hospital and the three of us ate our lunch together in an empty waiting room.

Later that afternoon, Ron was moved to a new room because his doctor wanted him to be on the surgical floor. It was a busy time, as they got him settled, and we met a host of different nurses and staff. I stayed close, as I wanted to hear all of the care summaries. He was not feeling well at all (nausea, chills, and fever) and I was hoping that his fever would stabilize (it didn't) and I wanted to see the wound when they did the dressing change, so I continued to stay. The evening went on and I never got dinner.

I was fine for a while, but around 9:30-10-ish, I was feeling weird and emotional, discouraged and overwhelmed...and hungry! I thought that I'd have to wait until I got home to eat because it was so late. And then I turned around and {LO and BEHOLD!} there was leftover communion bread!

You need to know that we are a part of a home fellowship. Our friend Gary bakes the most delicious home made bread for days that we are taking communion. That morning, Gary and Frances had given the leftover bread to the girls and they had brought a big chunk up to Ron! It had been sitting on a table behind me, out of my line of vision.

I reached over and broke off a piece. I felt like David and his men when they ate the shewbread! That night, it tasted better than any gourmet meal, and I felt so refreshed after I ate it! 

Yes, the Lord provides for our needs and He proved it to me again that lonely Sunday evening in a hospital room.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and oer;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh for grace to trust Him more!

The story of Ron's illness:

Musings and lessons learned:

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Daily Grace

During the worst days of Ron's illness, I often prayed the simplest of prayers: "Please, Lord, give me grace for the day." 

Those were days that I could not look too far ahead. The path was uncertain. So I simply prayed for grace for the day.

Thoughts of how we would meet Ron's needs when he was able to come home were overwhelming. I didn't even know what the needs would be. So I only prayed for grace for the day.

I certainly could not allow myself to think about the, hosting, celebrating. Too much. I only needed grace for the day.

Each morning as I woke, that was my prayer.

As I drove to the hospital, those words were on my lips.

As I rode the elevator and then walked down the hallway to his room, not knowing what we'd be facing that day, those words were in my heart.

Grace for the day.

And each day, He provided the grace that I needed. 

These days, the path is brighter. Our thoughts are clearer. We can think ahead a bit. We are making plans.

But I am still depending on His grace for the day.

It is a good way to live.

The story of Ron's illness:

Musings and lessons learned:

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Foundation of Trust

God is graciously bringing our family through a time of testing. (You can read our story ~here~.) I promised to share some lessons that the Lord has taught me (and is still teaching me!) through this journey.

These are some of my musings...

I have learned the importance of having a prior foundation of trust. 

Trust before the trial. I could rest in Him during our hours of darkness because I know the Good Shepherd. I know that He is good. I know that His plan is always right. I know that He is just. 

He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. (Deuteronomy 32:4)

If I had not known the bedrock of faith in my Father, I might have wondered where He was. There were certainly days when it appeared that He had not heard our prayers, those days when things seemingly went from bad to worse. I might have been tempted to doubt. But because I am convinced of His sovereignty and I am convinced that He is only, always good, then I could look through eyes of faith and know that He was working all things for our good

"It is a poor faith which can only trust God when friends are true, the body full of health, and the business profitable; but that is true faith which holds by the Lord's faithfulness when friends are gone, when the body is sick, when spirits are depressed, and the light of our Father's countenance is hidden. A faith which can say, in the direst trouble, 'Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him,' is heaven-born faith."  ~ Charles Spurgeon

Can I encourage you today to check your foundation? Do you know Him as your Good Shepherd? Are you convinced that all His ways are just? Seek to know Him before the way grows dark, so that when the hard times come, you will rest on the bedrock of faith.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
How I've proved Him o'er and o'er;
Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Ron picked up the hospital bracelet and wondered whether to keep it or burn it! And I said, "Keep it. It can be an Ebenezer."

Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen, and called its name Ebenezer, saying "Thus far the Lord has helped us."
I Samuel 7:12

On October 19, Ron went to work in the morning, to a follow-up with the surgeon in the afternoon, and to the hospital in the evening. He would spend sixteen days there as our lives took a detour that we didn't foresee. Isn't it a mercy that we don't see what is ahead? 

You may remember that Ron had surgery on September 25, a simple surgery to remove a bone spur that was interfering with the healing of a diabetic ulcer. Initially, he felt great, but as the days went on, the foot became red and swollen, he was plagued with low grade fevers, and he just felt a little "off." After several weeks of different oral antibiotics, the infection was spreading and an x-ray indicated that there may be some infection in the bone.

At the hospital, he was treated immediately with a spectrum of IV antibiotics while more extensive testing was done to determine whether the bone was involved. An abscess was discovered that was not at the surgical site. A second surgery was performed to clean the wound and to obtain bone specimens for cultures.

At the end of that first week, we anticipated a relatively "quiet" weekend there while we awaited test results on Monday. On Friday night, we kind of planned some things to do to pass the time. By Saturday morning, all of that had changed as everything took a downward turn.

The next days brought one thing after another. Ron had fevers, over and over again. He had chills. He was plagued by nausea. He began to have hip pain, and pain in his leg muscles.

Then he had kidney failure. That hit us out of the blue. He had come into the hospital with 100% kidney function and it had dropped to 23%.

Then one morning, he broke out in hives. And that was the good news...because now they knew that he was having a drug reaction. His medications were changed immediately, and my sweetheart could begin to regain the ground that he had lost.

The hives were gone by the next day; the fevers were lower and then gone. But some of the symptoms of the drug reaction were slow to subside. Nausea lingered and he went days without being able to eat.

Kidney numbers slowly began to improve.

He had a third surgery on his foot. The wound was cleaned again, specimens were taken from deeper in the bone for cultures, and the surgeon inserted some antibiotic beads. These beads will slowly dissolve and be released directly into the infected area.

Because infection had reached the bone, Ron would need to continue receiving IV antibiotics for several weeks. So that treatments could continue at home, a PICC line was inserted through his arm. Everything was lining up so that he could be discharged on Monday, November 2, Kati's birthday.

On Saturday morning, he noticed that his right hand was swollen. He was on IV fluids to help the kidneys; maybe the swelling was a build-up of fluid? The doctor ordered an ultrasound for Monday morning to rule out the possibility of a blood clot around the PICC line. The ultrasound, however, revealed several blood clots. The original PICC line was removed and another "tunneled" line was placed. He was started on a 3-6 month course of blood thinners.

Now he was ready for discharge, but it was too late to set up for home health to come the next day. So I went down to the gift shop and bought Kati a birthday balloon, the girls brought Chick-fil-A for dinner, and we celebrated Kati's twenty-second birthday there in Ron's hospital room.

On Day 16, after his evening round of antibiotics, Ron was discharged! Praise the Lord!

Ebenezer: "Stone of Help"

It was a long and hard journey with twists and turns and bumps in the road. Sometimes those "bumps" appeared as mountains! And sometimes it seemed like the road had no end. But this we know: "Thus far, the Lord has helped us."

We are still depending on His help, for the journey continues.

I promised to share some of what the Lord has taught (and is still teaching) me through this journey. My next few posts will be just that. I'll try not to go so long between postings, but life is busy here on the home front...

Sunday, November 8, 2015


This morning, Ron wanted to listen to the song that Michael Card sings about home.

Although we have always loved home, this week home has been sweeter than ever before. On Tuesday evening, after sixteen days of hospitalization and multiple medical crises, Ron was discharged and home we came!

Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

I will be telling you more of the story in the days to come, as well as sharing some of the things that we have learned. Life has not yet returned to normal, but Ron is feeling better day by day. In the meantime, I want to express my gratitude to you who have left kind words, emailed your concern, wondered about us, and (most of all!) lifted Ron and our family to our Father in prayer. (Thanks to Deanna and to Vee for sharing our need!) 

I repeat for you what I posted on my Facebook page:
We thank the Lord for a hopeful prognosis. But we also praise Him for guiding our steps during these [six] weeks, for the things that we are learning as we trust Him, and for His plan for Ron and for each of us. Would we praise Him even if things had not turned out the way we would like? Yes...for He is good...always.

Michael Card

Home is a comfort and home is a light,

A place to leave the darkness outside,
Home is a peaceful and ever full feeling
A place where a soul safely hides.

And being in a home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think my home is just Heaven's reflection
As long as my home's here with you.

Home is where someone is waiting and loving,
And happy to see you again,
That half of your heart that somebody else treasures
The one who's your forever friend.

But it seems that He's told me,
The life that He's showed me
Is a life mostly spent on the road
But when the world's empty charm
Has done all of its harm
I know that His love waits for me in your arms.

Cause home is a comfort and home is a light
A place to leave the darkness outside
Home is a peaceful and ever full feeling
A place where a soul safely hides.

And being in a home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think my home is just Heaven's reflection
As long as my home's here with you.

And being in a home should remind you that still
There's a place that's prepared just for you
And I think my home is just Heaven's reflection
As long as my home's here with you.

So happy to have my sweetheart home!!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Another Saturday // Baked Oatmeal Autumn-Style

Time flies when you're having fun! Wait a minute. Time flies even when you're not having fun! How can another week have passed already?

But indeed it has. 

Since last week, there have been some setbacks. Ron is fighting an infection in his foot and is on a new course of antibiotics. Plans have been changed yet again. His week of vacation has been mostly spent in the recliner with his foot propped up. 

This has been a week for "little pleasures." 

The little pleasure of a "regular" Sunday afternoon.

The shoes of my dear ones lined up at the back door.

The little pleasure of a drive out of town, a lovely lunch, and a bit of house ogling. 

The little pleasure of having a family dinner party, as planned, because they would understand the need to move into the living room right after dinner for Ron to get that foot propped back up. We wanted to thank Ron's brother and brother-in-law for their generous help in building the pole shed, so we were happy that these plans did not have to be changed. 

Could somebody straighten that candle please? :)

The little pleasure of another house-y drive, carryout from Chipotle, and a Netflix movie. 

The little pleasure of sleeping in (or at least not getting up before 6 am!) and time for unhurried chats. 

The little pleasure of a weekend breakfast.

{with apples and cranberries}

3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar*
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
2 eggs
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, and chopped
1/2 cup pecans**

Preheat oven to 375°. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.

Pour into an 11x13 baking dish that has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Bake for 30 minutes.

Serve warm, with a little milk if you'd like. Refrigerate leftovers to reheat on weekday mornings!

* Original recipe calls for 1 cup brown sugar, but I decreased it by half.
** Oops! I forgot to add my pecans. Bummer.

What little pleasures have graced your week?

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Word Fitly Spoken

A few of you have written to ask if we're doing okay. We are!! 

I certainly am not keeping up with everything as I would like. Ron is unable to drive while recovering from foot surgery (this first surgery was on the right foot). I am needing to take him to work which means rising before dawn and zipping out the door. (Ha! Zipping? Who am I kidding? I never zip.) I am typically a 7 or 7:30 riser, and then I move s-l-o-w-l-y into my day. I am not a morning person. 

My workload is also a little heavier with Ron not able to do as much, although he is gradually able to pick things back up. Of course, it would help if I would get to bed earlier to make up for the earlier rising! I am doing better with that, but on the nights that Kati works late, I stay up until she's home...and then we usually sit and talk for a while. 

So...add the little bit of extra to my regular routine of homeschooling and homemaking...then consider the fact that I am s-l-o-w to begin with (and have been my entire life!!)...thus the feeling that I am merely walking along steadily, not accomplishing much, just getting through my day doing the basics. 

Then I read this comment from Dotsie

Sometimes in our zeal to accomplish we forget how good just walking is. One step at a time. We don't need the big picture. 

...and her words spoke life to me! I needed to be reminded "how good just walking is."

It is good to be steady. It is good to walk. This is a season and I am only responsible to do what He has given me to do in this season. There is such rest in that. 

All week, I have looked forward to today! And this Saturday got off to a lovely start. I slept in, Ron made pumpkin French toast for two, and then we took our second cups of coffee out to the patio and relished the beautiful October morning. I have only a few tasks on my must-do list today. Relaxation is the order of the day! We'll also celebrate our grandson Ben's seventh birthday this evening. Good times! 

I hope that you, too, are finding joy in "walking." 

Are you relishing this fine October Saturday? 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


There are seasons of life when that is what we do. We walk.

No running.

Certainly no soaring.

Just walking.

And "doing the next thing."

All by His grace...

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Gathering the Moments of September

September provided opportunities to worry.
Yikes! My baby young adult daughter is driving a major city beltway! ~cringe~
Yikes! Our old stray cat is not feeling well. Will I be able to crate him to take him to the vet? Will we be able to treat him? 
Yikes! My husband is having surgery. Will he be in pain? How will we accommodate his needs in this old farmhouse (bedrooms upstairs, bathroom downstairs)? How long will he be out of work? Will I need to drive him to work when he returns? For how long? And then we'll get to do this all over again.
Yikes! I can't make any plans. (And I am a planner.) There is so much up in the air. I don't know what I'm doing tomorrow, let alone next week or the week after that or next month.
Yikes! My oldest daughter's routine sonogram left some uncertainties. Is this baby okay? How can we wait until the Level II sonogram to find out? Nine days is a long wait. 

Yes, we had plenty of opportunities to consider these words of Corrie ten Boom and put them to the test. Times to "Be still and know that I am God." 

Worrying is carrying tomorrow's load with today's strength - carrying two days at once. 
It is moving into tomorrow ahead of time.

 Worrying doesn't empty tomorrow of its sorrow,
it empties today of its strength.

~ Corrie ten Boom ~

Worry doesn't accomplish anything. And it is the opposite of trust. So we moved on, trying to carry just that one day, doing our best to depend on Him for the strength to meet each day's needs. Sometimes it is hard not to "carry tomorrow's load" for it looms there in front of us and begs for attention. But He is faithful to we trust Him for one day at a time. 

In September, we celebrated the fifth birthday of a little girl who will soon be a big sister. We bought a new living room rug after nearly a year of looking. We had our good-bye-to-summer ice cream party. And we watched the sun rise over the ocean.

Ron and Kati spent a weekend away, attending a Michael Card conference with Ryan and then visiting with their family. Kati did all of the driving and successfully navigated the beltway. Meanwhile, Bekah and I held down the fort and had a delightful "just us girls" weekend.

We bought some mums and pumpkins, took some walks, went on a field trip, and waited for the weather to cool. 

We learned that the new baby will be a granddaughter...and that she is healthy! Praise the Lord! 

Bekah is getting into the groove as a high schooler. 

We still can't make a lot of plans, but we're trying to be patient and live out the day that is before us. 

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. 
Matthew 6:34

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Tuesday Bits and Pieces

These "Bits and Pieces" are not in reference to my daughter's blog. Although her Bits and Pieces is a fine place to visit. These days there are bits of baby talk (they know the gender of their baby now!) as well as pieces of book talk and homeschool talk and running talk.

Ron returned to work today. Yes, I had to drive him, and yes, he is wearing a "space boot," but I think he is ready to leave the recliner and the world of Gunsmoke and Bonanza and Wagon Train. We praise the Lord that he is doing so well. 

In other news, today is National Coffee Day! That is my kind of holiday! I am planning on celebrating...maybe a couple of times. Will you celebrate?

graphic via Sandra Boynton's Facebook page

It took a little finagling for all of us to get to see the eclipse on Sunday night. Ron used his walker to get to the end of the sidewalk. I drove the van curbside, and then backed up to a good moon vantage point. Then he got out and into a patio chair that Bekah retrieved because he couldn't see very well through the tinted windows of the van. But we were all rewarded by a few fabulous between-the-clouds glimpses of God's amazing handiwork!

This is one of the photos that Kati took...

~ photo by Kati ~

"The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament shows His handiwork."
Psalm 19:1

And just because this post is already random...

Have you been enjoying any autumn-y foods lately? Kristin brought some yummy apple cinnamon scones on Sunday.

I have been Pinning some recipes on my  Autumn! Pinterest board. I am eager to try the Pumpkin Crumb Muffins. Perhaps it was the  fabulous photo that drew me in! Take a look

Come to think of it, one of those muffins with my coffee would be an appropriate way to celebrate National Coffee Day! 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Recovery and a Fall Supper

At least part of our busyness during the past couple of months can be attributed to the fact that Ron was scheduled for foot surgery. Knowing that he was going to be (literally) off his feet for several weeks, and knowing that after this foot heals that he will be undergoing the whole process again on the other foot, has given urgency to the to-do list. He finished building his pole shed, did yard work, hauled wood, and cleaned the chimney. He helped me clean out the refrigerator. This week, he got his teeth cleaned and he got a haircut. (I suppose he wanted to be a neat and tidy patient!)

Today was the day of the first surgery.

The surgery went well. And tonight the patient is resting in his recliner, watching Andy Griffith, and feeling chipper!

I had expected to make a "sick" dinner tonight, maybe some chicken soup or something.

Nope. Not for my patient. Instead, he wanted some fall comfort food and he asked for this dish. :)


4 or 5 bone-in pork chops
canola oil
21-oz can of apple pie filling
1 box Stove Top Stuffing Mix

Preheat oven to 375°.

Brown pork chops in oil.

While chops are browning, make stuffing according to package directions.

Spray 11x13 glass baking pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Spread apple pie filling in bottom of pan. Layer pork chops on top of pie filling. Spread stuffing mix on top.
Cover pan with foil.

Bake covered for 30 to 40 minutes (depending on thickness of chops).
Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes.

It was flavorful fall comfort food and it made my patient happy!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Morning Time {Autumn Term}

My poor blog has taken a back seat lately. There are just so many things that clamor for my time and attention, not the least of which is getting back into the groove of homeschooling a high schooler! It is the best of times. It is the worst of times. Kind of.

The best of times because I love having a teenager in the house, so full of life and blossoming talents and personality and plans. It is a time to build on the foundation laid carefully in the early years. A time to reap friendship with my young adult.

The worst of times because there's just so much to do!

We are continuing to find joy in the journey of homeschooling amidst the busy days.

We are making adjustments in our schedule for high school. Bekah and I worked together on planning the schedule and she has decided that she needs to do her math and her science work at the beginning of the day when she is fresh. That means that "Morning Time" is almost always in the afternoon this year. Regardless of when it is, it is still important to me to make time for these heart-enriching, mind-enriching studies.

Our Morning Time for this autumn looks something like this...

We began this year with the book of Malachi because that is where we left off with our ancient history studies. We are now reading the book of John and will continue to read books and passages of the New Testament that will relate with our walk through history.

First passage of the year: John 1:1-13

We are learning "I Heard the Voice of Jesus Say" by Scottish hymnist Horatius Bonar.  We aim at memorization which usually takes 6 to 8 weeks per hymn.

Each of us recites the poem we're memorizing. Bekah is working on Hamlet's soliloquy. I have chosen "Crossing the Bar" by Tennyson. (Confession: I learned this poem several years ago, but I need a refresher!)   

I choose a poet to study for a time. We read a selected work of our chosen poet two or three days in a row and sometimes read a biography. Our poet for this term is Lord Alfred Tennyson. We have read biographical information about Tennyson in  Poetry for Young People: Alfred, Lord Tennyson and we are finding his poetry in almost every book on our poetry shelf!

This term we are listening to the music of American composer George Gershwin. After watching Mr. Holland's Opus this summer, we decided to make Gershwin our first composer of the year. Along with listening to many recorded versions of his songs, we are also watching movies like Rhapsody in Blue (the story of Gershwin's life) and An American in Paris.

We are enjoying the art of Vincent van Gogh. Currently, we have a 1000-piece jigsaw puzzle of van Gogh's The Starry Night on our dining room table. I have found that a puzzle is an excellent tool for studying a painting closely! (Now if only we are able to complete it before Sunday's family dinner!) 

There are also some engaging children's picture books about van Gogh, including Katie and the Sunflowers, Katie and the Starry Night, Vincent's Colors, Camille and the Sunflowers, The Yellow House: Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gaugin Side by Side. I have found that a well written picture book is a great teacher, so we'll read through as many of these as time allows.

Before school started for this year, I heard Kati asking Bekah what artists she was going to be studying and what composers and what poets and hymns, and then she said to me, "Sometimes I wish I was still in school." Then she qualified that by saying, "Actually, what I really want is Morning Time."

Morning Time continues to reap benefits!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Recipe For Mushroom Lovers

Bekah and I both love mushrooms. So when I knew we were going to be on our own last weekend, I bought a box of criminis knowing we would use them for something.

The "something" turned out to be Mushroom Toast. If you don't like mushrooms, feel free to click away. But if you do, then make yourself a promise to cook this...soon! We ate well last weekend, but we both declared this to be THE meal. Oh my.

~ inspired by this recipe @ Angry Chicken ~
serves two

4 slices of crusty French or Italian bread, toasted
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced yellow onion
10-ounce box of cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/3 cup heavy cream
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in medium frying pan. 
Add onion; saute until onion is transparent, about 5 minutes.

Add mushrooms to pan; saute an additional 10 minutes.
(If pan gets dry, add a splash of oil.)

Stir in cream and rosemary. Heat through.

Spoon over toast. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and grated Parmesan cheese.

Ooohh and aaahhh as you eat this delectable concoction.
Plan when you'll make it again.
(Because you will want to eat it again.)
(If you like mushrooms.)

Most people have definite opinions about mushrooms. Are you a mushroom lover or hater?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...