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.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Five on Friday

What does one say that has not already been said during these unsettling days of  COVID-19? 
But here we are. And here are five things that have been a part of our week . . .
(And I really did write these on Friday, even though I didn't finish the post until late early Saturday morning.) 

{one} change

So many changes. And even the changes change daily!

No groups of more than 150 people. No groups of more than 50 people. No groups of more than 10 people! (We can't even have a family dinner!)

No church meetings or activities. (We had a midweek Bible study via email. This Sunday's sermon will be online.) ESL classes are cancelled through the end of the semester. Restaurants are closed, so no coffee times with friends. My grandchildren's extracurricular activities have come to a screeching halt.

Ron is now working from home.

{two} disappointment 

We are not the only ones who have faced disappointment this week! Nearly everyone has been touched by altered and/or cancelled plans, loss of income, loss of dreams. Things are not turning out as we had hoped.

A big source of disappointment for our family this week was the cancellation of Kati's baby shower. We were all so excited to be celebrating this much-loved, much-wanted first baby! The shower was scheduled for this Sunday. As late as midweek, we were altering the plans, finally landing on an "open house" style shower here at home to limit the number of people gathered at one time. But in the end, Kati and Andrew decided that it was too risky to fly. My mama-heart was sad . . . that Kati can't spend the week with us, that we can't celebrate this first baby in the exciting way that we had planned, and that my own "baby" was sad.

{three} beauty

Yes, beauty was also a part of our week. In spite of the very necessary measures we are taking to self-isolate and slow the spread of the virus, I believe it is necessary to continue to notice, to appreciate, and to create beauty in our world.

{four} gratitude

 In spite of the challenges, it is important to thank our God for His blessings.

In everything give thanks; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 
(I Thessalonians 5:18)

We are so very grateful that Kati was able to come home for her grandmother's funeral a couple of weeks ago. It was a rather short trip, but we were able to have some to gather as a family . . . both with extended family and friends at the funeral, and also with "just the twenty of us" as we told stories, looked at family photos, ate pizza, and felt Baby Caleb move inside Kati's tummy. While she was home, the four of us also enjoyed some down time and some good meals and a two-night game of Phase 10. She was also able to visit her Gammy and Gampy.

When we said good-bye that morning at the airport, there were no tears. Instead it was "See you in a couple of weeks!" Who knew?

God did. And He had given us the precious gift of time.

We are also grateful that we are back in our bedroom. It is nearly finished (shutters are in the works and then I'll show you) and we love it. But our gratitude this week is mostly about the timing of it.

It kind of goes like this: If the flooring company who came to measure our space and give us an estimate had followed up with said estimate, then we wouldn't have been talking about our frustration over dinner. If we hadn't been frustrated that evening, Ron may not have remembered that our neighbor, Mark, installs hardwood floors. If we had not texted Mark's wife Paula to see if Mark still did flooring, then Mark would not have come the next day to measure our space and give us an estimate. As it was, Mark was available later that week (while Ron was still on vacation), and so we painted, painted, painted to be ready for the flooring to go down. Oh my goodness, Mark did an excellent job; he is a true craftsman! The floor was installed in two days and we moved our furniture back into our bedroom over the weekend . . . just in time for us to put the guest room back together and be ready for Kati to sleep there later in the week.

What about that timing? (If we had waited for the big flooring company, we would not have had the guest room ready in time for Kati.)

Sneak peek at the remodeled master bedroom . . . 

and the guest room put back together.
(As you can see, Mansie can be happy on either bed, preferring the one on which the sun is shining.)

We are also grateful that Ron is able to work from home and that his job is stable.

We are grateful for a comfortable home in which to be "socially distanced."

We are forever grateful that He is our Rock!

๐ŸŽœ On Christ the solid Rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand! ๐ŸŽ

Because even if the sand is sinking all around, if He is our Rock then we are secure. Free from trouble or disease or distress? Not necessarily. But secure in Him and sure of His care for us and sure of the gift of eternal life! If we have acknowledged our sin, and accepted Christ's payment for it to make us right before God, then we can know that we are His!

{five} grace

Grace for the day is my prayer during these hard times.

Sometimes, it is too much to try to look ahead and plan and imagine and guess and prepare for an uncertain path. So I pray, Lord, please give me grace for this day. Please direct our steps this day. Please help us to make wise choices this day. Please help me to serve others this day. Please help me to walk in your Truth this day

Do you know His grace? 


  1. I'm sorry to read you aren't able to have Kati's baby shower when you wanted to. I feel your disappointment in your words. Our lives are so slowed down, we're not giving up much in these early days of social distancing, but we're aware of so many others who are. Wedding venues cancelled so plans being changed to much smaller gatherings. Grandparents not able to see their grandchildren of all ages... Thankful for DH's retirement last summer. It has made this time so much easier. Now we just try to stay clear of the virus. That invisible virus... I know someday we'll all be behaving normally again, but thinking about how to avoid the virus feels like it's changing us in some fundamental ways that may take some undoing (or simply accepting) when this gets past us.

    1. Becki, thank you so much for your kind words. Indeed, these are days of disappointment and loss for so many people. I agree that this virus has changed how we think about a lot of things. May we be able to keep our focus on the things that are eternal!

  2. A post for our times! Love it. Sad with you about the cancelling of the baby shower. We had our first sad cancellation, too. Our kids didn't travel over the mountains to come to Addy's cancelled 3rd birthday party. This is a time for people to consider their eternal destiny. Happy about the flooring and how that all worked out. So good to know that the One who holds everything holds us, too! And...I'm thankful for bloggy friends that keep on blogging!

    1. That is SO true, Ellen! I am praying that people are prodded by these events to consider their eternal destiny! After all, it's the only thing that matters!

      Sorry about Addy's birthday party and that your kids were unable to travel. Disappointment is going to reach us all, I'm afraid.

      Love this part of your comment too: So good to know that the One who holds everything holds us too! Amen!

  3. I was reflecting on your loss of Edna and that she did not have this additional concern on her mind and that the family did not need to suddenly stop gathering near her as she celebrated that final earthly birthday and her departure. That you ALL were able to gather without a worry to sing goodbye....ah timing. His grace to you all.

    1. Oh yes, I am so grateful for ALL of those things! What grace! What a gift!

  4. So many disruptions to our daily lives and for special activities. I’m so sad about Kati’s shower! We’re likely going to have make changes to Rachel’s wedding. Sigh.

    God’s Grace is enough for all our need, isn’t it?

    1. I think it is okay to be sad about these things! About Rachel's wedding . . . a HUGE sigh from me too.

      And yet . . . even so . . . even with the sadness and disappointment . . . you are absolutely right! His grace is enough!

      Love to you all!

  5. Kati looks so beautiful! Well that is disappointing to have to delay the baby shower, but perhaps it won’t be for too long. Flying is the one thing that would strike fear in my heart...all that recycled air. Can’t wait to see the floor in your bedroom...that really did all work out just perfectly. I see that you folks have a good internet connection. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Here’s to times of seeing all that The Lord is working out in this extraordinary scenario. I have a feeling that it’s a whole lot.

    1. Yes, Kati is a beautiful, glowing pregnant mama. She is happy and it shows! When we do get to celebrate, it will be such a joyful occasion. We do love our new floor. I can't wait to share it! And I agree with you . . . there is no doubt that The Lord is at work!

    2. Haha! Thankful for that internet . . . no Hazmat suit required! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  6. In days to come we will look back at this time and see God working in and through in ways we can't even imagine. It's comforting to do that now, in the midst of our strange times. Kati is a beautiful mother-to-be. How wonderful that she was able to come home for a short while even though she can't now.

    1. It will be good to look back and say, "Thus far the Lord has helped us." (I Samuel 7:12)

  7. I am so glad you deleted that 'horrible' comment. God have mercy on that person.

    I'm sorry you have to give up Kati's baby shower. But, knowing you all, you will have a wonderful celebration when the time is right.

    Love, hugs and prayers for all of you. Jesus will see us all through this.


    1. Oh my goodness, Lorraine. I am not opposed to allowing comments with differing opinions here, but for the good of my readers, I certainly will not leave up a comment as coarse and hate-filled as that one was. Sorry you saw that. Yes, God have mercy on him/her.

      "When the time is right" is a good phrase for so many things! We know that our times are in His hands! Thank you for all of the love, hugs, and prayers . . . the same to you!

  8. Such a good reminder of God's grace and to be mindful of the many ways He brings us blessings and cares for us. And so much beauty to enjoy and be thankful for. But I am sorry the shower has not worked out. The list of canceled plans is long, for some more than for others. I feel sorry for the bride and grooms ... and the lonely people in nursing homes ... and grandparents not seeing their grandchildren (thankful for facetime even though they live 12 minutes away!) And so on. By the way Katie is a radiant mom-to-be. It's nice you've been able to get your master bedroom project done and look forward to seeing it finished!

    1. You are so right . . . so many people have faced (or are facing) disappointment. Like you, my heart goes out to the people in nursing homes and people who live alone. What a lonely and frightening time it must be for some of them!

      Kati is radiant . . . quite happy and that certainly does a mom's heart good.

      I hope to share photos of the master bedroom soon. I decided not to wait for the shutters or the finishing touches, because that might be a while. But my first group of photos did not turn out as I had planned, and now I'm waiting for a sunny day. :)

  9. God is good! Always and forever!

  10. I am so sorry for your family's loss, Cheryl, but so thankful for our great hope in Christ, and for a great reunion day!
    I am sorry Katie isn't able to come right now, but happy for you of her early visit, our heavenly Father certainly knows what lies ahead and how to manage everything for us, from special moments with loved ones, to getting /helping us with our projects, therefore He has got this Covid 19 in His hand.
    Thank you for the update on Kati, she id glowing.

    As always I leave so encouraged and inspired,

    1. Thank you for your kind and encouraging words, Sue! Indeed, we know that our Father has everything in His hands . . . but we need to hear it often, don't we? Blessings to you and yours!


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