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.

Monday, January 4, 2016

New Beginnings

At our house, the new year is off to a slow start. 

We hosted a Christmas gathering for a few friends on New Year's Day, and we lingered in the season a bit longer over the weekend. Eating an assortment of Christmas desserts on Sunday afternoon. (It looked rather like a chocolate buffet. Is that a bad thing?) Untrimming this and that. Burning evergreen candles so we don't have to store them for the next eleven months. Enjoying the last few days before Ron's extended "vacation" is over.

Tomorrow, our unofficial New Year begins. We are looking ahead to new beginnings!

Yes, tomorrow Ron is back to work for the first time since mid-October. He had a follow-up with the surgeon today and all is well. Praise the Lord! It is time for a new beginning at the office.

Tomorrow, Bekah and I are back to homeschool. January is always a time for renewed enthusiasm about our studies, but after a particularly challenging autumn, we are especially ready for a new beginning this year. Music is a special area of new beginnings. Bekah's piano lessons will resume after a two-month break. The new choir will begin practicing music for a spring recital. And Bekah will begin accompanying the younger chorus on a different day. Her eyes are shining!

Our family is on Baby Watch as our oldest daughter awaits the arrival of her new baby girl, our tenth grandchild. Is a new baby ever "old hat"? Never! We can't wait to meet her!

(If you look behind Ben and Alaine, you can get a peek at the growing Baby Girl!)

There are more new beginnings for our son's family! Ryan is currently on a "Journey Through Israel" tour with Michael Card. As soon as he returns, the movers will come and our formerly "Faraway Family" will come to Maryland and will live even closer than our "Nearby Family"! 

New beginnings galore!

Also new? His compassions. Indeed, His Word tells us that they are new every morning!

Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
because His compassions fail not.
They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22, 23

What a tremendous comfort these words are. Although I have failed, His compassions have not failed. He extends new grace to me...every morning. Amazing!

So I won't be making any New Year's resolutions. I have found that I can't change myself by simply trying to improve. But I will step into a new year striving to walk more closely to my Master, falling on His grace, and resting in His mercy. 

Is there anything new in your world?


  1. I am enjoying a quiet start to the New Year. I needed it! :)

    The only new thing is that the girls are going to be having their own rooms for 'the first time in forever!' They are excited. At first it will be Sarah moving into Emma's old room, but eventually I hope to paint and get their rooms really how they'd like them.

    Still want to come for a visit - Christmas just didn't work out! Boo! But I have hope for a winter visit!

    Praying for Ron as he returns to his job after his long 'vacation,' and for you and Bekah as you get into a routine again.

    Much love!

  2. Been enjoying the holiday season. After the lovely time with family, it was also wonderful to have the quiet and peace times just being able to read, ponder, dream, snooze, watch movies.

    Wishing you a beautiful new year, Cheryl!

  3. Your photos are lovely. Everything looks so cozy. Congrats, the baby shoes are so sweet,

  4. What a lovely extended Christmas you had!

    Great news about Ron.

    Have a fantastic 2016 ~ FlowerLady

  5. A wonderful way to start anew - Ron's renewed health, a new baby on the way (the best kind of beginning), new studies, new opportunities!!! Enjoy each new day! So thankful for the Lord's mercies.

  6. Such wonderful new it! Enjoy your week!

  7. No, you are right, the Christian life is definitely NOT a self-improvement program. We so need to learn to allow Him to live through us. He will do His work.

    Wow. So much getting back or forward to the tasks at hand. Soon, everything will change for your family again with the birth of a new baby girl. Sweetness. Life is all about change.

    Ron must be thrilled to return to work and Bekah to school and new projects.

    Your far-away family will be closer than your near family? What a fun twist! I am certain that your son will have much to share about his trip to Israel.

    Happy New Year, Dear Ones!

  8. OH! Cheryl, my heart just overflows with joy for you and your family! One of the things I most love about the New Year is the thought of "New Beginnings"!

    I have found that life's challenges will either make us bitter or better,I believe God allows situations to build character in us, all for His glory! You my dear Friend have chosen to be better! The character that has been built in you through these challenges has brought forth a woman who truly has a heart for God!

    There is never enough chocolate on a dessert table! ~smile~

    I leave here today inspired, encouraged and overjoyed!.
    Hugs from me to you!

  9. I agree with Sue above, I always leave here inspired! New beginnings all around in your family. A new grand never gets old! So exciting for everyone! Your son living closer..your cup is full! Enjoy your return to the quiet new year, dear Cheryl. ♥

  10. Looks like a great way to start the New Year. So happy to hear the good news from the surgeon. It will be nice for all these New beginnings for the whole family. 10 grandchildren, how wonderful. How great that everyone will be closer in proximity to each other soon! God is good, all the time. No resolutions at this old house. We were challenged to follow Jesus and make our world better while we follow Him.

  11. Well, your 2016 certainly sounds like it will be filled with wonderful exciting for you! I love the way you ended this post. I also desire a closer walk with our Lord and I don't know where I'd be without His mercy and grace. Anything I am able to do better, it's only because of Him. Blessings to you as your new year gets off to a great start :)

  12. I love the verse from Lamentations, Cheryl. It is such a wonderful thing to have that assurance of God's mercies. And I like January for new beginnings. Now that the last of the clam chowder, popovers, and Christmas goodies are nearly gone, tomorrow is actually our start date (to get back to normal!) Many blessings in your new year ahead.

  13. I love that scripture (it's on the bottom of my blog.) And I too always come away from your blog feeling like "I've been somewhere", always encouraged and inspired. I'm so thankful your new beginning includes Ron's good health and return to work. What an answer to prayer. And how good for Bekah to have that experience accompanying!


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