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.

Friday, April 22, 2016

A Spot of Beauty

We have learned that moving is not for the faint of heart. 

It is work. And thinking. And more work. And more thinking. And when you think you are nearing the end and you've packed up or given away or donated or tossed thirty-five years' worth of worldly goods, then you find another place that isn't packed or another paper you have to sign and it just seems to keep on going. Probably because we are novices at this, and probably because we have too much stuff. But the end is in sight...

I have also learned how important beauty and order are to me. Over the past seven weeks, my pretty things have disappeared one by one, replaced by cleaning products and piles of boxes and starkness and chaos. I confess to feeling discombobulated, longing to put things together rather than take things apart. 

When my daughter-in-law came one night this week, she handed me a cluster of azalea blooms. I scrambled for a vessel and filled it with water, and now the azalea graces my very messy table in my "warehouse" of a kitchen. It is a spot of beauty that makes me smile. 

What if I am that spot of beauty in a lost world? Not because I am beautiful or good or have anything of my own to offer, but because I am reflecting His beauty in the midst of a world of chaos and disorder. 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Gathering the Moments | March

March was crazy-busy and full of grace.

Many days I have wanted to pop in for a chat. I have written oodles of blog posts in my head! But there always seems to be something more urgent that takes my time. Living life in the midst of a move...

If ever there was a month of living the "in between," this was it!

We lived in the past as we cleaned out the attic and uncovered thirty-five years of memories. Baby shoes. Handmade cards from our children...and from our grandchildren. Childhood toys. Childhood books. (Lots of childhood books.) Wedding invitations. Wedding napkins. Graduation announcements. Hand-written notes and birthday cards from loved ones who are no longer with us. Outdated home decor. School papers. School notebooks. (Lots of school notebooks.) Dusty stuffed animals. Old dishes. Old furniture. Baby clothes. A set of books my dad bought for my oldest children, one book at a time until he had collected them all. Photographs. Party invitations. Old love letters. The Fisher Price cash register.

Memories, memories, memories. Some brought smiles. Some brought tears. All are a part of the fabric of life here at The Farmhouse.

We lived in the present as we continued to cook meals, educate, do laundry, and drive to extracurriculars. Kati sprained her hand at work, thus an ER visit, a couple of doctor appointments, and a splint for at least four weeks. Not able to work either of her jobs, she is helpful to me in the sorting-through-memories department.

Baby Macie suffered with some health issues during the month of March. A scary late night trip to the ER brought a diagnosis of RSV. (Praise the Lord, she has fully recovered from that.) She also struggled with silent reflux.

Bekah was long overdue for her eye appointment, so we squeezed it in. She is happy with her new contacts.

During the month of March, we continued to gather. We hosted our church fellowship one Sunday while our regular hosts were out of town the country. We girls hosted a ladies' game night because we wanted to have just one more here at The Farmhouse. We had our usual Sunday afternoon gatherings with our children and grandchildren. And we had our last holiday meal here on Resurrection Sunday.

We gathered at other places too. Kristin and Brian hosted a Sunday afternoon meal. The FLDC (Fashionably Late Dinner Club) met at our friends' and they insisted that we show up empty-handed this time. Joanne and I went for our monthly Mama Coffee. We had several coffee evenings at Ryan and Sarah's house.

Between it all, we sorted, organized, cleaned, tossed, gave to family and friends, and made oodles of trips to Goodwill and other thrift shops to donate.

Oh, there was a lot of living in the present here in March!

We also lived in the future as we packed and planned and pondered.

Friends and family helped us pack dishes (lots of them) and table linens (lots of them) and books (lots of them too). Friends and family helped us with Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the move to our new house. (The final and largest move will be at the end of April.)

We are thinking ahead to new spaces, new arrangements, new surroundings. Paint colors, furniture placement, driving routes. We are thinking ahead to two and a half bathrooms after 35 years of living with one! We are thinking about our new gathering place and all of the possibilities. Of course, we are planning projects. :)

For the month of March, we rejoice in His gifts and His faithfulness to us over these past thirty-five years, we praise Him for His grace in this present flurry of living, and we trust Him with the future.

 ♪ All the way my Savior leads me. What have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy who through life has been my guide? 

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