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 home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—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 23, 2015

Thursday This-and-That

After I chatted about our revised plan for painting the living room (the plan in which we are breaking the project down into manageable chunks rather than be overwhelmed with the seemingly gargantuan task of tackling it all at once), many of you nodded your heads in affirmation. It seems that you, too, have learned the wisdom of "eating the elephant, one bite at a time." I am sure that I had heard about that proverbial elephant before, but now he is a part of my reality and I am seeing how that principle can be applied in many areas. 

As a perfectionist, eating the elephant has to be deliberate for me. My natural tendency is to procrastinate any project until I can do it thoroughly and well. But the reality is that some things just never get done because there is no perfect time to do it or enough time to do it in. 

So this week, I have been making an effort to do daily "mini projects." I am setting aside a small amount of time (30 minutes, 15 minutes, or even 5 minutes) every day to tackle some extra project. Clean out a shelf of the bathroom storage cabinet. Clean out and organize the second shelf. Put away several bags of pantry items that Ron brought home from a friend who is moving. It sounds simple because it is...but it is something that I have to be deliberate about. It's okay to do something small. It's okay to do a part of a project and then come back to it on another day. 

I also mentioned in my post last week that we were not going to be watching Call the Midwife any more. Some of you agreed. Some of you were curious about why. 

I am very disappointed because it is one of the few shows that I watch. (Downton Abby and Jeopardy are the others.) I loved this one because it was based on actual events, the experiences of Jenny Worth who was a midwife in London's East End in the 1950's. I enjoy true stories and I fell in love with many of the characters. (Who couldn't love Chummy? Or Jenny?) Over the past several years, there have been issues with which I didn't agree, but most were limited to one episode, were based on actual events, and were not a continuing theme of the show.

However, now it seems that the creators of Call the Midwife have decided to take one such "issue" (sin) and make it "in your face." Not only was homosexuality a major theme on the episode that aired on April 12th, but a little online research tells me that it will continue to be a theme with one of the characters. I have had enough. I am weary of this tireless attempt to desensitize us to this lifestyle, making it appear to be normal and even mainstream. It all brings to mind the words of the prophet Isaiah:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness;
Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

* I read this article last night. Lots of food for thought...

I didn't tell you about another of Ron's vacation projects. He and his brother felled a rather large cherry tree in our side yard. Huge sections of bark had peeled off this tree, giving us doubt as to its general health, and it was too close to our house to take a chance. As they began the process of cutting it down, Bekah was peering out of her upstairs window and I couldn't watch (but I was praying!!). What a crashing thud it made as it fell! Thank the Lord that it came down perfectly, totally clear of the men and the house and the power lines (!!!), and never even skimming another tree or bush.

Two new things here. 

(Technically, it is more than two.)

I mentioned that Ron had brought home some pantry items from a friend who is moving. Actually he brought lots of things home. Which is so Ron. (Knowing his weakness for accepting free items, my son once said, "I hope no one ever offers Dad free drugs.") 

On his third trip to our friend's house (he was doing a few odd jobs to help get her house ready for the market), I cautioned him begged, "Please, don't bring home anything else." (Remember, my house already looks like a used book store.) 

When he came home, he brought in a cardboard box. 

"I think you're going to like this," he said, and he opened the box to show me an assortment of Churchhill Blue Willow dishes. 

Yes!! He made the right call! Fourteen dinner plates, three salad plates, and a meat platter. (I know I don't need dishes. But I know just the ones I am going to pass along to someone else to make room for these babies.)

Last night, I ate my slice of Impossible Coconut Pie (that was the other new thing...a new "keeper" recipe by Martha Ellen) on a Blue Willow salad plate. I had to. 

That was an awful lot of this-and-that!

What are your thoughts on "eating the elephant"? Are you weary of political and social statements "in your face" at every turn? Anything new in your world? 


  1. Oh, my! There will always be room for more blue willow plates & dishes at MY house :)
    And I so agree about the in-your-face social/political statements desensitizing us to SIN. We have been turning off shows my husband used to enjoy because of such themes.

  2. First, what a lovely score on the Blue Willow! And the impossible coconut pie is one of my faves from Bisquick. I used to make it often for company and on Thanksgiving. I think the idea of "eating the elephant" is the way to go. I tend to try to tackle everything at once. But I am starting this TODAY! Love your blog, Cheryl. I always learn something new.

  3. Do you remember Emilie Barnes? So precious ,that woman, she helped me in so many ways in my young Christian walk. I loved her 15 minutes alone with God devotional. Also there was (can't remember exact title) a 15 minute organize your home book. The principle was go hard on one thing for 15min each day. It could be the same project or a house keeping chore. It was such a good tip for me havin littles and feelin overwhelmed with house and life!! Same idea as the elephant :-) !!! ~Thanks for linking to the article ,i look forward to reading it. I too am tired of the issue bein so harsh and in my face. I am a firm believer in loving others ,even those i don't agree with. That does not mean however that i take part in what God himself calls sin. It is hard issue. Precious peeps in my life are homosexual, i love them, but can not agree that it is a good or right thing. And i sure don't want to see what i saw on CTM!! On the same note i will say my sin should not be flashed on a screen as if it were a good thing, even though it may be common!! We can not celebrate sin. I loved the stories of the people and the character development of CTM! Your pie and your dishes look beautiful :-) Happier things !!!! Your hubby is sweet to know you would enjoy them!! I totally get feelin like a used book store!!! Visited Grace and Truth books at our local homeschool conference. Bought so much...where do i put them??? The walls are covered in bookshelves...must downsize!!! Sorry for the long comment, i really really enjoy your blog :-)!!! One of my favs.~tammy

    1. No apologies for a long comment!! I enjoy hearing your perspective, Tammy! (If you ever start blogging, please let me know, because I know I'd enjoy reading what you have to say.)

      I totally agree with you on the need to love people, and extend grace to them. God Himself loved the world...loved it enough to pay the price for our sin! Such amazing grace! The problem is that we're told that nothing is really sin, everything goes...and that is not the case. We have to know that we are sinners in order to realize and accept His grace!

      Thank you for your very kind words!

  4. That article was great! I once had a friend tell me that my comments about homosexuality were "harsh." She said, "One day, you'll have a homosexual in your own family and then what?" I had to tell her that this is already an issue in my family and it does not change my position based on scripture. What possible kindness would it be to deny the Word of God? That would be like watching cars roar full speed ahead off a cliff when I might have had the privilege of saying, "You're in trouble" well in advance. I have never seen such an assault on Christian values. Societal changes are so rapid that it leaves my head spinning. Rapid and wrong! And I do not watch tv programs that shove such mores in my face. I find it particularly vile when producers overlay current values to former times. Revisionist history at its worst.

    Your pie looks so pretty and much nicer than mine. Can't wait to have a slice!

    1. John got quite a chuckle out of Ron's one true things! (His, too.)

    2. Thanks for your thoughtful comment, Vee! Your illustration of the cliff is a perfect word picture!

  5. Cheryl, we would never get anything done around here if we didn't break our projects down to little bites! The older I get the more that is true!
    So happy your tree came down safely. When a tree has a dead center it needs to come down.
    What a wonderful surprise of beautiful blue willow dishes! I wish Grayden would bring those home one day! Your pie looks beautiful on them--so glad you enjoyed it! ♥

  6. Great post, Cheryl! I wouldn't get anything done either (which still isn't as much as I should) if I didn't do it in smaller installments. It sure is nice that you are finally seeing those signs of spring...those blooms on that tree are especially pretty. And I don't think I have ever read a better article on the subject...I also have close personal friends who are in the ministry that have to deal with it in their own immediate families...and I as well as someone in my extended family. I totally agree with what Vee said in her comment. Last but not least, love those dishes :)

  7. Hello! Oh the elephant theory is such a true one! I HAVE to approach MANY of my sewing projects this way or I might go a little nuts...or a little nuttier then usual anyway. I am saddened too by how much homosexuality is presented today everywhere...especially in TV programs. I have LOVED the Call the Midwife show though we watch it a season behind so have not seen this season yet...soo sad this has happened on here as we will probably stop viewing now too. I am off to read the article you posted now too. LOVE this dishes! What a find....Enjoy the rest of your week!

  8. Oh mercy glad he brought those plates home! It is so wise to tackle projects in time increments so that things don't get out of control or way behind you. I've dubbed this year the year of the Gay and alternative lifestyles. Glad that tree went down well! I'm always concerned while these types of projects are attempted!

  9. Wonderful post! I quite agree with your thoughts today. I am such a procrastinator and things usually don't get done because I want it to be perfect and know it most likely won't be or done as soon as I liked. I think doing things a little at a time is a great idea and one that I keep thinking I'll put into practice, but there's that procrastination problem again. I just have a hard time getting started!

    About the homosexual issue, I don't have any in my family, but I do know of a few that are really fine people except for their "other" life. I saw years ago, when I used to watch tv, that we were slowly being fed the idea that it was an okay lifestyle. I'm sure you saw it too. And now it's portrayed as the norm. Even one of my children says that although they don't agree with it, that if that is what a person wants to do that it is their business. I say that if God says that homosexuality is an abomination, then that is what it is. Sadly, now the progressives and liberals are shoving God out of everything and have pushed their ways and ideas into society that even people who should know better are accepting of this so not normal lifestyle. We're now living in an upside down world where what used to be wrong is now right. Sad isn't it?
    Your pie looks delicious and your new dishes are pretty! I'll be back later when I have more time to check out the link.

    1. "I say that if God says that homosexuality is an abomination, then that it what it is."

      That's is what it comes down to, Cheryl! What does God Himself say?

  10. This is a wonderful This and That post! So many things are shoved into our faces as "normal" on TV and in our neighbourhoods (even some in our churches) these days! It's really quite scary.
    Oh, I am so glad your are the recipient of those lovely dishes - what a find! Your pie looks perfect, especially on that darling plate! Glad the tree fell just right and that you are tackling your projects one "bite" at a time! Bravo!

  11. This is a great post full of this and that. Love the dishes - what a great find. Yes to breaking projects into bits that can be handled easily.
    I agree about the blatant desensitization that goes on in the media and entertainment world.

  12. Is that a Quince in your first photo? I've seen some recently and am thinking I must have one! So beautiful.

    I'm sad about CTM as well. I had read about it so we didn't watch it. I have loved that show, Chummy is a favorite, but I do not like putting modern views in period pieces.

    Tim can tend toward bring free things home - I'm okay with it depending on what it is! ha ha! Sometimes though he is just trying to help someone out by taking stuff off their hands! He, Ron and Vee's John should join a club.

    Dishes are always welcome around here, too!


  13. One more thing. That article is right on. My brother was a practicing homosexual for years. He was estranged from our family, by his choice, because he knew he was choosing what was contrary to what God says about it. He was not a happy person. When he came back to us, he was sick with AIDS and died at home on Easter Sunday, 20 years ago. His funeral was the day of the Oklahoma city bombing. It seemed appropriate that his home going was on Easter - he having returned to the Lord, who died and was raised again to free us from our sin.

    1. Mrs. Rabe,

      How precious that your brother came back to the Lord!! Mercy what a gift!! I am sorry for your loss ,thank you for sharing this testamony with us. while there is life there is hope. Lord Bless You~tammy

    2. Yes, Deanna...thank you for sharing your family's story! Praise the Lord for His mercy to your brother! If those around him had assured him that his choices were good and right, then would he have turned from his sin and to the Lord...or might he have gone full speed ahead off of that cliff that Vee mentioned?

  14. I really need to tackle my elephantine craft room. Slinking away from it is not going to get the job done!!

    Well done on the tree removal. That is not an easy thing to do, landing it in the perfect spot. Any plans for the wood?

    My mom liked Blue Willow dishes but only had a very few pieces. Your coconut pie looks yummy against the colors of the plated, especially knowing that it was FREE!!!

    So sorry to hear that one of the few shows you watch has been ruined! Ugh!

  15. I love that elephant idea--it has helped me through a lot of things through the years. And the blue willow--my love-- aren't you glad he pursued with accepting the free stuff? !! Fourteen plates? That's perfect. Now you can keep your eye out for more here and there.

  16. Thanks for sharing about the TV show. (A short article I read last year on the topic:

  17. Good Morning, Cheryl, I too have learned to eat the elephant one bite at a time, but being a perfectionist myself, it has taken a lot of adjusting, and like you I would postpone projects simply because time would not allow me to complete it in the allotted time! ~smile~

    I am also tired of having political and social statements thrown in my face, the scripture who have shared is a reminder of where we are at in this country! God is our only hope, for a change!
    Good luck with your living room painting, I look forward to seeing your finished project!

    With me working two nights a week, things and projects have certainly been put on the back burner, it seems it is going to take a little longer to eat that elephant! Grin~
    I love the blue willow, and can so relate to Ron bringing home things, my dh has a landscaping/lawn care business and is always bringing home things, some worth keeping, others go to the trash pile! But I do love those once in awhile treasures, you know what they say, "ones junk is another treasures!~smile~ Enjoy your week,

  18. I agree with Call the Midwife. But now that they've dealt with the homosexual issue, like everyone on TV networks has done ad nauseam, I'm wondering which mother on Call the Midwife will decide she wants to become a transgender. You can be sure that's coming down the pike. And yet it represents such a infinitesimal percentage of people in this country (or anywhere), but will be given a huge amount of air time by the networks.

    As for your project time, I think that's just what I'm going to do - devote a half hour (or maybe an hour) to the great project of culling my books. Wah. But I do need to do it. It's getting quite out of hand!

    May God bless your day, Cheryl.

  19. Cheryl, I love impossible coconut pie! And even my husband, who always said he didn't like coconut and who has "texture" issues, loves it. And love those blue willow dishes. I have a genetic love of blue and white china! What is that beautiful plant in the top photo? Oh and your "mini projects" plan is a great idea. I've been trying it out myself. It all adds up.

    1. Jean, the plant is a flowering quince bush, known by some as a japonica. (
      Good luck with your "mini projects"! :)


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