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, August 28, 2017

Sunday Snapshots: Birthday x 6

It's been a while since I did a Sunday Snapshots post, but we had a grand time yesterday celebrating all of the August birthdays, so I've gathered some photos to share.

After we ate lunch together, we set up the party table with birthday pies: blueberry, lemon meringue, Key lime, and chocolate.

Everyone looks deep in thought because we were playing a party game. Each August birthday person had been asked a series of questions (i.e. Cake or pie? Math or English? Summer, winter, spring, or fall?) and players had to guess how each one had answered.

Birthday peeps: Mom, Kristin, Owen, Ryan, me, and Ron

Singing "Happy Birthday" was a hoot! It went something like this:

 Happy birthday dear Miriam Mom Gammy Kristin Mama Owen Ryan Daddy Cheryl Mom Gran Ronnie Dad Papa . . . Happy birthday to you!  

Blowing out candles in order of birth date . . . 

Alaine (who missed being an August birthday by one day!) was our Birthday Fairy, distributing lovely packages to the recipients. 

Decisions, decisions.

Macie chose chocolate.

It was a happy, healthy gathering! And it wouldn't have been complete without Wrapping Paper Antics! 😁

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Aunt Love

The girls are so blessed to be aunts. They love their role!

When Bekah became an aunt for the first time, she was only 20 months old. Her oldest nephews and nieces are almost more like siblings to her. But she has grown in her aunt position as more little ones have come along.

Here are a few recent pics of the girls with their baby niece . . .

Seeing my children with their children, and my children with their nieces and nephews, warms my heart through and through. 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Squeezing Summer

We've been doing our best to squeeze an entire summer into the month of August!

We're over halfway through the month now, and we have done quite a bit of squeezing! It has done my heart such good to get out of doors, enjoying God's marvelous creation, and to gather here and there with my dear ones.

We (various assortments of us) have gone to the beach and to a water park. We have celebrated three birthdays (so far). We went to a 50th anniversary party. We had a sweet friend over for a coffee chat. We had our grandchildren for a visit while their parents celebrated their anniversary. We had the littlest grandgirl one morning while the rest of her family took in a dollar movie. We were invited to dinner by dear friends. 

The day we were at the water park, I nearly had an ugly cry. Out of the blue. 

I was wading into the pool. Up ahead of me were nine of my grandchildren, my daughter-in-law Sarah, and Kati and Bekah. I looked at all those precious people, each one healthy again, enjoying a day of fun after a couple of hard months . . . and I suddenly felt like the richest woman in the world. I breathed thanks to the Lord and I really could have just stood there and cried with gratitude, but I did not want to attract that kind of attention, so I got myself together and hung out with my people and soaked up the joy of the day. 

There is more squeezing -- more adventures and celebrations -- on the horizon for these last days of summer, plans that I must continue to hold loosely, for "if the Lord wills, we shall live and do this or that."

But I know that I will continue to see His footprints. And so, still I sing . . . 

               Tho' sometimes He leads through waters deep,
               Trials fall across the way, 
               Tho' sometimes the path seems rough and steep,
               See His footprints all the way.

               Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, 
               Sweetest name I know, 
               Fills my every longing,
               Keeps me singing as I go.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Gathering the Moments | July

It has been a rough summer. 

Filled with struggle. Filled with sickness. Filled with disappointment. Filled with stories that are not mine to tell, and yet they are stories that intertwine with our hearts and lives. 

As I have continued to paddle with one oar, I have prayed. I have pondered. I have wondered. I have asked for answers. I have felt a little sorry for myself. (Yes, I admit it. I am not prone to pity parties, but I've had a few this summer.) I started to "gather the moments" of July but I didn't have many photos and I didn't like many of the ones I had and I wasn't even sure what I would say, so I stopped. 

And then I read these words*

"Is our 'I' in the dust?" 

And I had to answer honestly. No. 

A pity party is all about "I." And while I will continue to pray and ponder and ask for answers, I am determined to put "I" aside and walk forward in trust. 

* from Edges of His Ways: Daily Devotional Notes by Amy Carmichael

And as always, there are so many blessings . . . so many moments of beauty if only we're willing to see . . . 

There were ordinary moments. A Sunday afternoon drive along the river. A kitty on an old quilt. A Sunday morning mocha. 

We were blessed to be able to gather to celebrate the July birthdays. (With all of the other things that have been postponed or cancelled this summer, I am glad that this was not one of them.)

Milestone birthdays for both of our July girls!

Eve turned ten, which means it was her year for ten presents and a special box made by Papa.

 Maddie is thirteen. Amazing.

Around the house,

July was the month for sprucing up the sun porch . . .

. . .  and for filling in a space that was made when we "shopped the house" for the library. (More on that in another post.)

 ♪ ♫  Take my moments and my days,
let them flow in ceaseless praise.  ♪ ♫

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