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, December 21, 2023

A Christmas House Tour of Sorts | 2023


This year has been one of the most difficult years of my life. One challenge following another, all flowing into one another, often overlapping. 

But that is why He came! Because this world and we who are in it are hopelessly flawed. Because we are not enough (contrary to what the memes and the social media influencers try to tell us). 

He came to save us from our sin and our selves, 

and that is great cause to rejoice! 

So even though my time and my energy and my enthusiasm have been in short supply during this Christmas season 

and even though it was a gift card season 

and there is no festive garland around my front door

and I didn't send Christmas cards 

or bake any cookies

I have done what I could . . . and I have rejoiced in His coming! 

I have made the house festive, little by little, mostly by decorating everything the same as in past years. (It was not the year for new ideas or fresh creativity.)

Christmas music, new and old, has been a highlight of this season. Attending a Collingsworth Family Christmas concert (which was amazing). Listening to music at home and in the van as I am out and about. Singing carols with my church family at an assisted living home. Learning Christmas songs for our worship team and making room for those new songs in my heart. Listening to some of Mom's favorite Christmas CDs as we run errands together. Listening to Bekah's Christmas playlist as we take coffee-drives to decompress. And even hosting a "Soup & Carols" gathering for our church music team and their families. Yes, even with my limited time and energy, it was life-giving and so worth it.

I have sipped my morning coffee out of a pretty mug that was my Daddy's and I have remembered him and his love for Christmas. I don't know if he ever drank a Starbucks coffee, but he loved their seasonal coffee mugs and had a small collection of them. Mom gave me this one and I treasure it. 

I hope you did not get whiplash on this year's "house tour" . . . as we hopped around from room to room while I talked! But I have hosted this little cyber home tour ever since I began my blog and I didn't want to stop this year. (You can find any of my other tours ~ here ~.) 

I am going to leave you with a song. 

I have heard this song all my life and have sung it countless times. But in November when Mom, my sister Linda, and I had our annual Mother/Daughter Christmas Shopping Day, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" was playing on a Spotify playlist as we drove from one store to another. I wasn't even giving it my full attention, when all of a sudden, as if it was the very first time, I heard these lyrics strong and clear and it stopped me in my tracks. 

            Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day 
           To save us all from Satan's pow'r when we were gone astray 

And before I could even say anything, Linda said, "Listen at those words!" as she, too, was hearing and feeling it afresh. 

For really, that is what our celebration is all about! That is why He came! 

And that is truly "tidings of comfort and joy!" 

Merry Christmas, my friends!
May you know the reality of those "tidings of comfort and joy!" 

Tuesday, November 28, 2023

Thanksgiving 2023

This Thanksgiving, we had every one of our children and grandchildren around our table!  (A mama's heart is happy when all of her chicks are in the nest, right mamas?) One little boy woke up sick, the turkey wasn't ready at the appointed time, and we all missed Gampy, but the day was also full of gratitude and joyful hearts and music and tradition and family togetherness. We are blessed! 

The table was set for twenty-five this year. 

Most years, I have planned my tables weeks (or even months) in advance. But this year has been full of heartache, changes, struggle, and busyness. I purchased these downloadable place cards on Etsy a few days before Thanksgiving and I planned our place settings and table decor on Wednesday evening. Yikes! The "plus" side was that I had many helpers . . . formatting the place cards, setting up tables, laying out flatware, folding napkins, and assigning seats. 

On Thanksgiving morning, I had snuggle time with the three youngest grandgirls. 

As I said, everyone was here for Thanksgiving this year, so I made sure to get photos of each family. 

Kristin's family:
Gavin, Alaine, Ben, Owen, Maddie
Macie, Brian, Kristin, Judah

Ryan's family:
Eve, Peter, Ryan, Sarah, Nora
Joanna, Katrina, Paul

Kati's family:
Ellie, Andrew, Kati, Caleb

Ron and I with Rebekah

Gammy (my mom) with Joanna

While we waited for the turkey to finish roasting, we wrote blessings on our leaves for the Thankful Tree

We also had some beautiful music played by daughter Bekah on piano and granddaughter Eve on violin. 

Conversation overheard . . . 

Gammy: Awww, there's a photo op! You two look so cute there at the window! 
Ryan: We're vultures, not J. Crew. 


When the feast was ready, we gathered around the long table and sang a "hymn of grateful praise." 

You may remember that we have "servers" each year for our Thanksgiving meal. It eliminates a long buffet line or having all of the food on the table which is already pretty full. This year's 
servers were the lovely Maddie, Kristin, Eve, and Bekah. 

I love all of these faces!

You can't see all five pies in this photo. That is a lot of slices per capita! 

For the joy of human love, 
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For each gentle thought and mild.

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise! 

a death, there are many "firsts" without that person. This was our first holiday without my dad. These months have been a blur, and I sometimes wonder if it has all totally sunk in to me. But I keep putting one foot in front of the other because there is so just much to do, and I know that my mom is feeling that same thing. 

And yet, even with all of the changes and the grief, it is good to pause and be grateful for all of God's gifts and to praise Him for all that He has done! 

           Bless the Lord, O my soul;
                And all that is within me, bless His holy name!
                Bless the LORD, O my soul, 
                And forget not all His benefits:
                Who forgives all your iniquities, 
                Who heals all your diseases,
                Who redeems your life from destruction, 
                Who crowns you with lovingkindess and tender mercies, 
                Who satisfies your mouth with good things, 
                So that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.

Psalm 103:1-5 

Monday, October 30, 2023

Always loved . . .

My Daddy
1937 ~ 2023

At the end of September, we said good-bye to my hardworking, honest, witty, music-loving, handy, steady, dependable Daddy.

I will love and miss him always.

These past nine months have found us on a private journey of struggle and sorrow. I have mostly stepped away from my blog as the story was not exclusively mine to tell, and I did not want to process it in a public way. As I have told you before, our God has gone before us and He guided us along the way. His paths are not always easy, but He works everything for the good of His children and He is always, always good. 

I plan to tiptoe back into Blogland, although I suspect that I will never catch up with all that has happened in your world while I was away. 

~~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~ * ~~~

Truly, all of us walk through sorrow along life's way. It is a very real part of living in a sin-cursed world. Perhaps the best thing we can do with our pain is to offer it back to the Lord as an act of worship. 

Thursday, August 31, 2023


There was one Sunday morning, much like any other, when we were running late on our way to our home fellowship meeting. I was frustrated with myself because I was (again) the cause of our tardiness. I said to Ron, "You'd think that by the time I was 52, I would have figured things out and not still be struggling with the same issues over and over again!" And Ron responded something like, "It doesn't matter how old you are; you will always be learning."

I wasn't sure whether that was the good news or the bad news, but I have often pondered that idea often over the past ten-ish years.

All through life, there are lessons to be learned. 

And in the past seven months, I have learned many. 

My pride has been broken. I thought that I knew the right plan . . . and yet it wasn't. 

I have learned that sometimes I need to let go of my ideals. 

I have learned anew the value of having His Word hidden in my heart. 

I have learned to reach out more, to be more vulnerable, to be needy. 

I have learned to appreciate (more) the wisdom of my husband.

I have learned that I have so very much left to learn. 

I have been the recipient of compassion, generosity, empathy, friendship, support, love, and many, many prayers. I pray that I will be able to pass those gifts along to others in their time of need, that I have learned the grace of receiving and giving. 

It is the Lord. Let Him do what seems good to Him.
I Samuel 3:18 

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Sixty-Five Years

Today is my parents' 65th wedding anniversary.

So much has changed since this time last year. We went to see Daddy (who is suffering from the later stages of dementia) this afternoon, Mom in her white dress because she always wears white on their anniversary. She gave him a card and some chocolate-covered cherries. She also brought a CD so that they could listen to "their song" (Moonglow/Theme from "Picnic"). She asked him if he remembered this song and the movie Picnic. He did . . . and he even volunteered the name of the leading actress, Kim Novak. Some days, he doesn't even remember my name, but I was absolutely thrilled that he remembered Kim Novak and maybe (who really knows?) some sweet moments of young love and watching this movie with my mom. Some days are hard right now, and, honestly, some days feel harder-than-hard, but I am so grateful for today, for a good visit, and for moments of grace.

"Their song" . . .

Monday, July 10, 2023



In February, I took a photo of my winter mantel. 

Now, somehow, it is July and my mantel is decidedly summery. I wonder how it can be July already . . . and yet, these months have seemed interminably long. 

As the seasons have changed this year, so have the seasons of my own small world. So many changes. So many ups and downs. Surprises and unexpected paths. In some ways, I don't even feel like the same person that I was at the beginning of the year. 

But through it all, my God has remained faithful! 
He is unchanging. He is merciful. 

"For the word of the LORD is right and true; He is faithful in all He does." Psalm 33:4

"For I am the LORD; I do not change." Malachi 3:6

"The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The LORD is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works." Psalm 145:8, 9

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