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.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Sweet Sixteen!

Moving back in time a bit . . . to the weekend before last when we gathered to celebrate our Bekah's sixteenth birthday . . .

Again, this party was hers. She chose the colors, the decorations, the menu, and even made her own cake. She loves to plan parties and helps me all year long, but she knows that she is the Executive Planner on her own birthday and she revels in it! 

I think she did a good job! It was such a pretty party, perfect for sweet sixteen!

We took some photos of the birthday girl with each branch of the family . . .

with her oldest sister Kristin's family

with her brother Ryan's family

with her Gammy (my mom)

with her MomMom (Ron's mom)

I had to snap this shot of Peter with his spectacles. Isn't he darling?! He has been pretending to be "John" of the Peter Pan story. He was disappointed that he had to remove his "glasses" for the family photo. :) 

I loved Kristin and Macie's coordinating mother/daughter dresses!

Macie, playing with the Fisher Price cash register her mama once played with

Bekah wore her lovely hope necklace, made for her by our dear friend Terri. Hope is her middle name, and it is also her story.

What a gift this girl is . . . sweet sixteen, lovely, musical, artsy, bright, sensitive, tenderhearted, funny, unhurried, a lover of beauty, and wise beyond her years. On her birthday, I always reflect on the amazing journey that brought her here and my heart is filled with gratitude. 

Birthday blessings to our youngest, our Rebekah Hope! We love you with all our hearts and we pray that you continue to walk in His goodness and grace.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Resurrection Celebration ~2017~

I will sing of my Redeemer
He who took the nails for me
I've been purchased, I've been pardoned
Bound to Him I'm truly free

I will sing of my Redeemer
How He sought me while a slave
Loosed me from the curse of sin and
From the power of the grave

I will sing of my Redeemer
Lift my voice to praise my Lord
Ransomed by His blood and mercy
I am His forevermore

I will sing of my Redeemer
He who bore my cross, my curse
Came a servant, chose to suffer
Lifted up and cast from earth

I will sing of my Redeemer
Lift my voice to praise my Lord
Ransomed by His blood and mercy
I am His forevermore

I will sing of my Redeemer
Tell about the grace I've known
Here on earth with those forgiven
And one day around His throne

I will sing of my Redeemer
Lift my voice to praise my Lord
Ransomed by His blood and mercy
I am His forevermore

Friday, April 14, 2017

God Will Provide a Lamb

As we remember His immeasurable sacrifice . . . 

Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
John 1:29

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Catching Up

Big hugs to so many of you who responded to my last blog post with kindness and love! 

I am still trying to respond to you individually, but, as always, I am having a hard time catching up.

Life is so full at this stage of the game. When I was a young mom, I thought that life would get simpler as my babies and toddlers grew up, and in some ways it has. But each season of life has its own kind of busyness and its own limitations. So here I am, homeschooling a high schooler, grandmother of ten, coordinator of house projects, hostess, blogger, daughter, wife. Yes, life is full. 

A bit of what we've been up to lately . . . 

Some of our family had the opportunity to tour the house that once belonged to my great-grandparents. 

It was an amazing opportunity . . . and an amazing house! Craftsman style, built in the early 1900's. Beautiful mill work, inlaid wood floors, gorgeous chandeliers, built-in china closet, window seats, a back staircase that led to a maid's room, little doors and so many nooks and crannies, sweeping wide staircase with a solarium on the landing.

We all loved seeing this piece of our family's history, but I am especially grateful that my mom was able to visit it. It meant so much to her!

On Sunday, our family celebrated Bekah's 16th birthday. 

How can my baby be sweet sixteen?! Her actual birthday is tomorrow, and she has invited some friends to celebrate with her later in the month. No need to confine the celebration to one measly day, right? But we kicked off the festivities with a sweet family gathering. (I'll share more pics in another post.)

Progress continues in the library

The bookshelves are finished! The next step is painting, which will begin tonight. Then we'll allow the paint to cure for a week or so. And then we can unpack those boxes and shelve those books. Can. Not. Wait.

After the books are shelved and the piles of boxes are cleared away, we'll paint the rest of the room. We still have a ways to go, but the end is in sight!

Tenth grade is rolling along.

We have tweaked some things along the way this year, dropping some things that did not bring "shining eyes" and replacing them with things that do. There is new life in our little home school! I may write some more about that in a future post. (I seem to be planning a lot of new posts as I write this one!)

I so love homeschooling and I am sad to think that I have only two years remaining after this one . . . but I am not sad that this is the last time that I will be teaching Algebra II. I will say no more about that. 

Those are some of the things that are keeping me busy. We're also preparing for our celebration of Resurrection Sunday this weekend. What a glorious thing to celebrate!!

What is keeping you busy these days? (Do you ever have a hard time keeping up . . . or trying to catch up?)

Thursday, April 6, 2017


     Does the road wind up-hill all the way?
          Yes, to the very end.
    Will the day's journey take the whole long day?
          From morn to night, my friend.
          ~ Christina Rossetti

image source

As bloggers, we often share the pretty parts of our lives. Beautiful children and grandchildren. Happy family gatherings. Pretty food. Freshly painted and spruced up rooms. Cheerful holiday decorations. Joyful occasions. Victories. 

When I show you those "pretty" things, they are real and they are true. I am so very blessed. 

But also real and also true is the fact that life is hard

"The road wind(s) up-hill."

Twenty-two years ago today, I delivered a stillborn baby, a little girl whom we named Kara Joy. Two days before, I had gone for a routine sonogram at 19 weeks of pregnancy and we were stunned to learn that our baby had no heartbeat. (There had been a normal heartbeat at my prenatal appointment a few weeks earlier.)

It rocked my world, and left me with a raw, jagged wound. Yes, I rested in my Savior, knowing that God is only always good, but my mother-heart ached for many years.

Life is hard. 

As we ran an errand together this week, I said to Kati, "This has been a hard year so far."

It has. 

Among our circle, since the year began there has been illness . . . yucky-but-relatively-quick viruses, and also long term serious illness. There have been muddled situations. Hurt feelings. Discouragement. A friend lost her job suddenly. Someone we love has come to the end of himself battling addiction; everyone in his family is affected. Another friend lost his father. Another friend has seen her husband's health decline even further, stretching their family's time and resources precariously thin.

Life is hard. 

At the beginning of this week, we had to say good-bye to our sweet boy kitty, Puss. He had lost quite a bit of weight over the winter. It turns out he had (among other things) FIV. He battled one infection after another and then took a turn for the worse over the weekend.

Oh, I know that Puss is an animal and I am not equating the loss of a pet with the pain of human loss or suffering or addiction. But, if you are an animal lover, you know that there is heartache when a beloved fur baby passes. It hurts.

Yes, life is hard. 

Please don't think that this is a sob story. I do not tell you these things so that you will feel sorry for me. Your own heartache, your loss, your struggles may be much greater than mine. I only tell you to acknowledge we are all on that up-hill road.

But, if we belong to Jesus, we are not without hope!

I certainly don't pretend to know the "why" of all my struggles, much less yours. But might I suggest that a part of the answer is so that we don't get too comfortable here? That our hearts might be kept longing for a better place?

"Heaven is not here, it's There. If we were given all we wanted here, our hearts would settle for this world rather than the next." ~ Elisabeth Elliot

Even as we walk the road that winds up-hill, we can know that He is with us. "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world." "For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"

We do not walk the road alone.

Let us live as those whose hearts are longing for Heaven, for the road will wind up-hill to the very end.

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