• Devotional

    Tips for Decluttering Your Home and Your Heart

    This week around the farmhouse, we are doing less renovating and more cleaning, decluttering, and organizing. After our last move, we were so ridiculously busy that we never really got around to sorting our belongings. We had accumulated stuff over the years that we no longer needed or wanted. A lot of the items were worn, broken, or outdated and we no longer found them useful. As a matter of fact, many of the items were simply in the way and a few were even dangerous. Since we moved into the farmhouse several months ago, we have spent lots of time posting and selling things online. We have made a…

  • Devotional

    Bear One Another’s Burdens

    So, it happened! Someone in your church “fell into sin.” They committed one of those BIG, PUBLIC SINS and everyone knows about it. People are shocked, disappointed, and even angry. The church members begin to whisper about it. There is chatter about how no one can believe this person fell, or maybe they are not surprised because they always knew this person was “like that.” People ask for prayer for the fallen one. (Because everyone knows it’s not gossip if information is shared in the form of a prayer request.) This sin must be swiftly and firmly dealt with. After all, we can’t allow THAT kind of person in our…

  • Devotional

    Messy Work

    Renovating an old farmhouse is exciting! I love dreaming and planning, choosing colors and styles, and watching the finished product come together. Making repairs, updating styles, and freshening up the paint help make the house our own as well as improve its value! There is satisfaction in sprucing things up and making them our own. But it is messy work! It seem like I am constantly dusting, sweeping, mopping, and putting things away, but the mess always seems to come back. It’s not just a day to day chore, but often hour by hour, or even minute by minute. I get frustrated, yet I keep reminding myself that the mess…

  • Devotional

    The Consequences of Complaining

    I had a bit of a melt down this weekend. Considering all that God has done for us over the past year, it shouldn’t have even entered my mind. But I guess I forgot. I gave in to worry and let fear and doubt take over. I forgot to count my blessings and I began complaining. After all, God has provided over and over in ways we never imagined. He has been good beyond measure during difficult times. He blessed us with people and provisions before we knew we even needed them! God provided financially in big ways. Friends, family, acquaintances and even strangers sent money and gift cards. Our…

  • It's not fair
    Devotional

    When Life Isn’t Fair

    It isn’t fair! This has been the cry of every elementary aged child that has ever sat in a classroom. It was repeated often among my classmates when I was a student, and I heard it repeated among my students when I was a teacher. The classic answer from parents and teachers is, “Get used to it, because life is NOT fair.” As adults we have come to learn that the hard way, just as children today will eventually learn. To a child, unfairness usually means that Sally ALWAYS gets to help the teacher. Or perhaps, Billy got 100% on his spelling test and Susie got 99% because she forgot…

  • Devotional

    Be Ye Steadfast

    “Therefore, my beloved bethren, be ye steadfast , unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” I Corinthians 15:58 (KJV) Steadfast! That’s my word of the year for 2021. Looking ahead at the year to come, I know I’m going to need it for a multitude of reasons. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, steadfast means firmly fixed in place: not subject to change: firm in belief, determination, or adherence. In Old English, the word steadfast was used to describe warriors who stood their ground in battle. This metaphor is so fitting since Paul, in the…

  • word of the year
    Devotional

    Choosing a Word of the Year

    It’s finally here! The end of the year 2020! The world seems to be breathing a collective sigh of relief as we prepare to say a much anticipated goodbye to this year. As a result, we are all facing 2021 with hope and optimism for a better year. I think we can all agree that it is time for a change – a new year, a clean slate, a fresh start. Since the world has faced a pandemic with lockdowns and quarantines, sickness and death, we have all had our fill of face masks, hand sanitizer, and social distancing. On top of all that we have faced our own personal…

  • Devotional

    Making Hard Decisions (Joseph’s Story)

    Decisions! Life is all about making them. Should I eat a bowl of cereal or scrambled eggs and toast for breakfast? Should I wear the green sweater or the red sweater to the church Christmas party? What kind of meat do I want on my sandwich for lunch? Should I paint that bedroom gray or tan? Would it be better to fix this clothes dryer or buy a new one? Should I buy a car or a van? Maybe I will quit my job and look for a new one, or should I keep plugging away at this one? Should I keep investing in this friendship or walk away? Do…

  • Devotional

    Keeping Christ in Christmas

    A Different Holiday Season December is here, which means we are full swing into the Christmas season. We desire to keep Christ in Christmas, but all the busyness of the season is upon us and we tend to lose sight of our purpose. We have looked forward to Christmas all year, except that Christmas looks different this year – 2020 – the year of covid, lockdowns, and quarantines. Christmas just looks different altogether for my family this year. We just moved into a new house and are still trying to settle in. We attend a new church without all the responsibilities of ministry. My husband works long night shifts and…

  • Devotional,  Family

    Grandma’s Rolls

    Every year during the holidays I make a batch of dinner rolls to share with friends and family. I started years ago with a basic recipe from my baking cookbook. Through lots of practice and much trial and error, I gradually developed the ability to work with yeast and bake a decent dinner roll. I started this because of my Grandma Reese. You see, we never had a big family dinner without Grandma’s rolls. The very smell and flavor bring back so many good memories. I wanted to recreate that experience. Even though I used some good recipes through the years and tried some different variations such as whole wheat…