Hold Those You Love, Close

There are some stories that almost take your breath away. They make you stop and think about the things in life that really matter.

Last Sunday evening Eric received a phone call from a friend of ours, Darrell Yoder. He was passing through the area heading for home and wondered about spending some time together.  Continue reading “Hold Those You Love, Close”

Finding the Happy Places

I was homeward bound the other evening when a thought crossed my mind. The resulting blur of tears made it difficult to focus on the road ahead.

The thought was, “I don’t know if I can keep doing this!”

I’m sure there have been times in your life when you’ve had similar thoughts. Perhaps it stung way down deep in your soul. Continue reading “Finding the Happy Places”

Struggling to Walk

You’ve heard the phrase often, “Don’t judge another man till you’ve walked a mile in his shoes.”

It would be ideal if we could all understand, empathize with people regarding their particular challenges. It would mean so much if we could extend grace, mercy to others instead of scrutinizing their situation. It would be like Jesus if we could learn to get down in life’s messy situations and sit with our brother or sister in need. For if we were all completely honest we’d acknowledge that it’s those who reach out in tangible ways to demonstrate care that touch our hearts when we are broken. Continue reading “Struggling to Walk”

Flowers and I go Way Back

I had the opportunity to grow up on a sprawling farm in Campbell County which automatically made/makes me a country gal!

Excitement would build when early spring came; it meant the beginning of outdoor adventure! Granted, I disliked aspects of farm life like feeding calves before the break of dawn and fearing I would encounter a skunk. I would mentally envision the tomato bath and horrendous smell that would follow me all the way to school. Thankfully, this fear never became reality though I did spy one of those black and white critters early one morning. Continue reading “Flowers and I go Way Back”

A Season of Suffering; Surrounded by People who Care

It seems almost like yesterday that I was being wheeled down long hospital corridors desperately trying to hold back the tears that were pushing their way to the surface. In that moment it didn’t matter that I was a grown woman who had just turned 26. I felt like a kid who was having a big bad dream; I needed my mom and dad to tell me it was going to be okay. Continue reading “A Season of Suffering; Surrounded by People who Care”

# 1 Question asked of me: “What do you with all your time at home?”

It is a valid question. Furthermore, one would think if there are only two living in a moderately small place that there wouldn’t be all that much for a “stay at home” wife to do! There are:

  • No little munchkins depending on me to meet their daily needs
  • No toys scattered through the house for me to pick up
  • No little voices saying, “Jojo, please read us stories like, Buzzle Billy and If you Give a Mouse a Cookie.”
  • No endless piles of laundry
  • No car repairs that are exclusively my responsibility (Thank God for a husband who can change the oil!)
  • No more 10 hour work days away from our little home

I won’t deny that I’ve struggled to adapt to life when I think about how it used to be. I used to be crazy busy it seemed. I would be gone the majority of each day of the week and then come home to my husband. I would quickly make dinner for the two of us, wash the dishes, straighten our apartment, and be ready to head for bed. I would get up the next morning and do it all over again. Eric and I both looked forward to the weekends when we could spend time together. Though I loved what I did, I struggled to keep up.

I now have no regular paid job that creates a routine schedule. I’m now creating my own routine and finding things to focus on that used to not be possible. Some of those things are:

  • Writing a draft for a cookbook my brother and I hope to publish.

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  • Blogging, amateur though it may be – This new hobby takes more time than I realized it would. It takes time to type your thoughts and express them in a way that is meaningful. Also, pictures make a post. I’m not a photographer like my brother, Eldon; however, I realize they’re a valuable part of blogging. Pictures take time to create. Preparing my favorite recipes to photograph is part of the process.
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A “just like Wendy’s frosty-” Yum!
  • Spending more time building friendships– I used to feel like the margin of time I did have could only reach to those closest to me. Now I have the blessed opportunity to spend time with ladies from church, talk with long distance friends without interruption, and build a richer relationship with my mom. (I love that I can talk to my mom not only about how to can tomato sauce but how to be a wife, and how to best contribute to the people around me. ) Also, getting to know our neighbor, Mary has been an inspiration. She lost her husband a number of months ago and keenly misses him.  I find her faith in God to be refreshing. She’s had hard things to accept yet she hasn’t wavered in her faith in God. She knows there is coming a day when she will see her beloved, husband Marshall again.
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I’m so grateful for our neighbor, Mary. It feels good just knowing she’s close by.
  • Thoroughly Cleaning! Yes, it’s true; my time is often spent working at home. Since I have environmental allergies, I have to thoroughly dust once a week. I also do a light dusting several times throughout the rest of the week. I clean behind furniture; I wipe the baseboards off more often than I used to. It’s not just about being a neat freak; it’s about making my environment better. It’s part of adapting to a new normal!
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Cleaning is always on the agenda!

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  • Cooking from scratch- I thought I made the majority of our food before I got sick; however, I had no idea how much I relied on staple ingredients! I bought dairy products, chicken broth, creamed soups, cereal and occasionally mixes. I now have to make the majority of what I eat from whole foods or buy alternate products that are more expensive. Though this is certainly healthier, it takes an abundant amount of time in the kitchen. (My dear sister has found some superb chocolate that is mostly cocoa. It’s such a treat to enjoy something that I didn’t have to create.)
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An attempt at homemade wheat thins! (Hubby says they’re not the same.)
  •  Couponing– I’ve couponed since Lydia Byler told me about the wonderful deals to be had at CVS. I did it in the past as I had time but now I’m more committed. I’m grateful for ways to save my husband’s hard-earned money. I’m indebted to other bloggers who’ve paved the way for me.
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Thanks to our neighbor lady I get coupon inserts each week!

I want to utilize this season that God has given me for His glory.

I want to stay close to Jesus.  I want to communicate with Him throughout my day. I want to read my Bible more often and take time hear what He is saying.

I also want to be the best wife I can be for my husband, Eric. It’s not an old fashioned idea to be a keeper at home. Simple tasks like cleaning, cooking, and laundry take on new meaning when I do them for the man that I love. I also want to learn how to better care about the things that are important to him. I want to hear how his day at work went. I want to hear about his dreams, his plans and his goals for the future.

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My hubby and I…

I want to revitalize book club! I started book club several years ago with a group of ladies from church. Somehow in the shuffle of all that happened last year it didn’t continue. I’m looking forward to getting together with my friends and discussing books. It’s not just about books; it’s about friendship and warm fellowship.

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Book material for 2014!

I’m grateful for this season that is slower paced. It really is a gift and an opportunity to grow closer to my Jesus.

*Clock photo courtesy of flickr user, timlewisnm.

My Theme Song and Word for 2014

As I consider this upcoming year, my thoughts have been drawn to a song and a word.

The song speaks of experiences that have been made more real to me in 2013. It also references the eternal. The realization that our souls will never be completely at rest till we’re in the presence of Jesus.

The word that has been coming to my mind time and time again is/was borne out of a season of physical suffering.

Continue reading “My Theme Song and Word for 2014”