At peace…

Sometimes I drift away away from God. I don’t go off on a big sinning spree or anything extreme like that. I just get so busy, or have too much stress in my life to sit with him and listen for his voice. To still my brain. That’s where I’ve been for the last few months.

I’m a nutshell, in late October, I was rear ended with my two oldest grandchildren in the car with me. The next day my granddaughter and I were feeling the impact. Over the next two days, we hosted two weddings on our property. The first went smoothly due to the use of a wedding planner being on site. I merely had to show her where things were, then sit and enjoy the festivities. The next day was a different story. Since the bride was a friend, I wanted her day to be perfect. She had planned it well, but didn’t have a planner taking care of details. I ended up on my feet for close to 12 hours before bowing out. My neck was hurting, my ankle was swollen and in pain. I spent the next week off my feet nursing it with rest, heat and ice therapy and some Apis Mellifica to reduce the swelling.

The constant communication with both insurance companies, and regular chiropractic appointments started immediately. My company, The Hartford with AARP (yep, I’m old enough to be a member), was fabulous to deal with. They explained how things would work in easy to understand terms, and provided me with all the resources I needed. The other insurance company, which I will not name so as not to get a torte claim filed against me, was not, and has not been so fun or efficient to deal with.

Things settled down a bit until Thanksgiving. My son came down with strep throat a few days before. I had planned to watch his youngest (age 2) for a Grammi day the day before thanksgiving, then pickup his two oldest (age 12 and 15) from school and have a sleepover. the youngest had what seemed to be her normal sniffles, and the oldest coughed her way through our game of dominos. The little one sleeps better in my bed, and I found her snoring in my face due to a stuffy nose around 1:30. Just as she fell back to sleep at 2:00am, our granddaughter came into the rom to wake me up and tell me her throat was burning and she wanted to go home. Her dad came and got her, and after the other two woke up in the morning, I decided they also needed to head home. We were expecting a lot of family and friends for the day, and didn’t want to risk spreading strep. Mom picked them up, and I spent an hour spraying every hard surface they were near with Lysol. The two girls were diagnosed with strep the next day. Mercifully, God protected all of our guests from that.

Then influenza hit our sons pregnant wife, followed by extreme morning sickness. Constant vomiting and dehydration. While she had the flu, I had the kids for a few days in an effort to keep them healthy, which worked, but I don’t sleep well with the little one close by. I have to sleep with earplugs daily so I don’t hear cats playing, or my hubby who stays up later than I. I was exhausted.

On December 7th, my honey got slammed with something, and was in bed for four days, and exhausted for another five days. Which brings us back to my opening paragraph.

I wasn’t praying. I wasn’t reading my Bible. I wasn’t sitting in Gods presence and just being. Something came up with our new tenants in our shop and I found myself furious. I let loose on my honey that Friday morning when he woke up, knowing full well he didn’t feel well enough to talk about it. He dealt with me graciously, let me vent and didn’t respond. The next day, it was another tenant issue, and another outburst and attack, and more grace shown to me. I was so angry at my husband. I was allowing horrible thoughts into my head. “He doesn’t love me. He cares about others more than me. Why do I continue in this marriage? God has abandoned me, I must be doing something wrong”. And more. I realized I was in a really bad place.

I remembered (more likely, the Holy Spirit reminded me) a book I owned called The Power of the Praying Wife, by Stormie Omartian. I began to read the preface, where she shares her testimony of living in a broken marriage, feeling unloved, and hopeless. The tears flowed as I read. The book has a list of things to learn to pray for our husbands, along with a prayer to speak for each one. These are to be used to teach us how to pray for them. The first prayer in the book was about changing us as wives. I prayed before speaking the prayer. I told God how angry I was, that I don’t want to pray for my husband, but knew it was the right thing to. I acknowledged that I knew this was an issue with me. I spoke the first two prayers about myself over a few times, until, i was able to pray from my heart, as opposed to just reading and speaking a prayer. I finally started feeling some peace in my heart. A little while later, something else came up that made the anger rise up again. I went upstairs to pray again, until the peace returned.

When my husband came in from shoveling snow, he told me he felt God had spoken to him how to deal with the situation I was angry about. As he shared what he heard, my mind was thanking God. For showing me he hears my prayers even when I am struggling and have been the one neglecting our relationship. For speaking to my husband. For showing me that He still loves me. I desolately needed to know that I was loved, even in my ugly hours.

I am taking the praying for my husband to heart. Each day I read a chapter of the book, and pray the prayer for my honey. And now, I am praying the same prayers for my honey, sons, daughters and all our grandchildren. And I still pray the prayer about changing me first, for myself, for our daughter and daughter in law, and our granddaughters.

No marriage is perfect. If you are struggling, try to remember why you fell in love with your honey, and make a decision to pray for them, to make working for your marriage worth the effort. If you seek God with all your heart, if you are honest with him, and willing to do whatever it takes to make things work, He WILL meet with you, He WILL hear your prayers. He WILL show you his love for you.

I pray that you can find peace for your heart when you are struggling.



Today is Sabbath. The local U-Pick community is putting on a huge harvest festival, every weekend until the end of October. There is a corn maze, tractor train, kids events, live music, hot pumpkin donuts and apple cider, vendors, and lots of fresh produce available to purchase.

This is the kind of event I have always wanted to do with my kids and grands. My older grands are only with my son every M-Th (school days/nights) and every fourth/fifth weekend of the month. It makes doing fun things with them on weekends very difficult. This is a good weekend to go. They are with our son and his wife, the weather is good, we have no plans today to go to a small group. I made plans to meet them there for a few hours, and our good friends are coming too, since they consider our kids/grands as theirs also. Sounds like a great day. So what is my struggle?

Today is sabbath. Our sons family and our friends observe Sunday as their day of worship. They attend church, and then Sunday is getting ready for work the next day. I always feel bad asking them to give up their Sunday to try to do these types of things. We’ve bumped heads about it in the past. But now, I feel like I have chosen a family day, outside the home, buying from people who are working to make a living over spending the day with my creator. What I will be doing I feel goes against God’s instructions for Sabbath. I want my father to be pleased with my behavior, not grieved. I want to walk in the blessings of obedience, not the curses of walking in my own ways. I know there is mercy and grace, but I also know about reaping what I sow. In the past, there has been conversation about no one being willing to give up their day off, their sabbath. So, do I resign myself to not getting to do fun family things because no one will give in? Or do I resign myself to doing something uncomfortable to have a family day?

I guess it all comes down to where my priorities are. Family or Yah? It seems like such an easy decision, and yet, it isn’t. It seems I haven’t made God the priority I thought I had. May he show mercy to me as I struggle with my weakness.

Lap hog…

Yup. My Statler is a lap hog. Statler is the black kitten, turned big Tom cat we rescued back in September. We also took in his grey tiger brother Waldorf, Waldo for short, because my hubby lives saying, “Where’s Waldo?” When he gets home. They are named after the two little old men in the Muppets movies who sit in the balcony and heckle.

Anyways, Statler is the “I want affection, so I will ask for it aggressively” of the two. Every morning, correction, every meal, he jumps up into my lap for lap time. He’s adorably annoying. Waldorf isn’t so needy. He doesn’t ask for attention, but he wants it. This morning, Statler had done his lap time and vacated the spot in the middle of my bowl of oatmeal. Waldorf came up onto the chair next to me and began to stare. I am starting to learn to read his cues. I scooped him up for some lap time. Lap time to Statler is a full on curl up and go to sleep time. Lap time with Waldorf is more just letting him sit on your lap while he looks around and enjoys a bit of chin scratching. There he was, enjoying his time, when his brother had to come up and interrupt. It’s a good thing I have two legs, one for each cat. It only took a minute before Statler was turning around to lay down, basically shoving his brother off the other leg.

Our Muppets
Lap hog Statler

Lap hog. I am not sure why, but it is these moments in life that cause me to get introspective. I found myself praying in my head that I am not a lap, or attention hog when I am with others. I want to allow others to find joy in sharing stories during conversation, instead of dominating conversations with my own stories. Then I found myself pondering that being a lap hog with my Heavenly Father might be a good thing. That it brings joy to him that I would desire to be close to him, in the shelter of his arms. He loves me, more than I love my cats. I’m not sure where I am going with this analogy, just pondering life.

As I finish writing this, and getting ready to remove the warm lap hog from my lap, I hope that today you can find “a lap” where you can find a few moments of peace and the feeling of security. For me, that will be my afternoon twenty minute thanking God for his blessings siesta. We all need some lap hogging in this crazy, chaotic world we are living in today.

I hate wind….

Let me clarify. I hate heavy, sustained thirty mile an hour wind with sixty mile an hour gusts. Out of all the weather phenomena, that’s the one that bothers me most. And I grew up in earthquake country, they never bothered me.

I usually wake around 4:00am for the nightly, stumble to the toilet to empty the bladder ritual. I must have been in that light sleep when I was jolted by the sound of the wind on the walls of my bedroom. It wasn’t the sound of a freight train. Living in train country, I know what those sound like. It was more like someone pounding on a base drum super fast. Needless to say, I have been awake ever since.

I worried about our cats who were sleeping somewhere else in the house, because they are too rowdy to sleep in the bedroom with me. I found them hiding in a closet in our bonus room. They are hanging out with me now, but the sound of the foil moving that I have taped over our range hood vent has them a wee spooked. I have found in the last two houses we have lived in that when there is wind, the cold air outside sneaks, or sometimes pours, into the house. So I cover the vent with foil and blue tape when it gets windy.

While I was looking out into the darkness surrounding our home, I saw a bright flash. Lightning? Or was it maybe a transformer blowing somewhere nearby. I decided that I should probably heat up the house early, just in case we lose power. After turning the heaters up, I checked our power company website for their outage map. Sure enough, there is a huge chunk of area about a block east of us that is out.

While looking outside, I also saw a light colored sheet of something fly past the house, and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, I saw a BBQ propane tank off the patio and a black mound in the yard. Putting two and two together, I flicked on the patio lights for a moment and realized that our barbecue had somehow been moved from the walled, patio corner it was in, around two large stone flower pots and out into the yard, into its side. Sometimes I wish I had a camera on to see how things happened. In this case, I will be glad if there is no roof damage when the sun rises.

The wind continues to whistle, and I continue to hear unexplained thuds outside. I wonder if our front porch chairs are still on our property?

When the sun rises, and the oatmeal is cooked and eaten, I will have to bundle up and head outdoors to check for damage, return loose items (chairs, light colored panels, barbecue) to their proper homes. I will probably find a couple black garden pots from our neighbor’s property too. He collects them, and we usually find one or two after a wind event. I may have to wait for the wind to subside a bit, as I have found that when it is this hefty, my petite frame can struggle to stay upright.

I never considered myself petite growing up. Admittedly, I am of slim build and small boned, but I am 5’8” tall. But one day at the local hardware store, I needed customer service to pickup something. I had purchased it earlier with a different employees help. The customer service person couldn’t find it, so called and spoke with the employee who sold it to me. They said, “There is a petite, dark haired lady at the front desk who…” Petite. That is the first time I have heard that used to describe my build. Thinking back though, the only reason I don’t wear many petite clothes is because the length is too short, the width is fine usually. But wait, I am off topic.

With each increase in the sound of the wind, I find myself praying in my head that Yah would have mercy on his children, that he will protect our home. And I thank him that I have a safe, warm place to sleep. And now, I have one cat on my lap, who is horribly spooked. His head shifts with every noise, his ears are back, but he is comforted on his mommy’s lap. And I am comforted knowing I am sheltered under the shadow of my heavenly father’s wings. To me, that is a picture of a father with his coat pulled around a child that is clinging to him, to protect the child from the storm. And, it brings peace to my mind. He is with me.

May you find peace in knowing that the God who created you, is with you in your storm.


There is frost on the ground outside and thin, gray clouds in the sky. The sun still hangs low in the southeast, and peeks out from behind the clouds periodically. For those brief moments, the living room is bathed is golden light, and seems to warm up, although, I know that is more psychological than anything given the briefness of its appearance.

The cats are playing WrestleMania across the great room, leaping into each other from the tops of the couches, running into the kitchen, ambushing from a kitchen chair. Every now and then, one will escape the other with a leap to a window sill for a brief respite, only to leap into action again with no notice.

My father is sitting with his green tea at his oak roll top desk. When he saw it for sale, he said he’d always wanted a roll top. Not my favorite look, but he bought it. He is probably scrolling through FB for new pictures of his great grandchildren and checking his emails. Every now and then he lets out a cough. He has COPD and post nasal drip, so that cough has become a regular sound in our home.

After walking to the mailbox in the briskness of the morning, enjoying a few minutes with my Creator, I enjoyed a soy free, sugar free, dairy free, chocolate protein shake very early for breakfast, and will top it off with some oatmeal with freeze dried blueberries and pecans. Then, I will head upstairs to read the Scriptures and pray, and probably nap. Later, when my honey wakes up, we may discuss some of what we have been reading, or maybe I will read a book while he reads the newspaper. We plan to drive into town to walk around a new park along the river, then maybe rewatch some episodes of The Chosen.

It’s a beautiful day, and my heart is overflowing with joy. I hope you can find things to make today a joyous one.

New life…

There’s nothing like the miracle of birth and a new life to give you perspective on what is truly important. While my husband and I and about 100 friends were celebrating the Day of Trumpets in our shop, our son and daughter in law were at the hospital delivering our fifth grandchild, their third child. People asked why we weren’t at the hospital. I reminded them that COVID has emptied hospital waiting rooms. We waited at home. Thankfully, mother and our new grand daughter were both happy and healthy after a c-section.

When I look at a new baby, I feel hope for the future. I feel joyous and excited. All thoughts of current world events disappear, and there is a new life. A tiny girl to pray for, and to eventually take to ice cream and listen to her chat about friends, and other things. a beautiful being to share about the love of Yahuah God for her with, to celebrate his goodness with.

This child is my father’s seventh great grandchild. His eighth was born three days later, and number nine will be born sometime in November. He has crocheted baby blankets for all seven of his grandchildren and all nine of his great grands. I wish that I could carry on that tradition for him when he is gone someday. The traditions I have started for my grands are I order baby announcements for each one, and try to create a photo book for each ones first year of life. Most of them also get double sided flannel blankets from me too. For my kids, I used to make them matching flannel jammies for New Years. Our ten year old grandson was wearing a nightshirt I had made for his dad at the same age. That brought back lots of memories.

My day is ending. By the time you read this, I will either be snoozing soundly or waking up for some Sabbath pie. As each day ends, and your head hits the pillow, I hope you can identify something that brings hope and joy to your heart, that helps to erase the events of the world, if even for just a moment.

Country living…

In October last year we lost our beloved Spanky cat. About a month ago we lost my father’s cat PK. For the first time in 22 years of marriage we are without an animal in the house. So it comes as no surprise that we were delighted when the neighbor barn cats came to visit while we were sitting on our porch watching the sunset. It has become an almost nightly ritual now. My honey gets home from work, we go for a quick walk, as we pass the neighbor’s home the cats come out and join us for the second half of the walk then follow us home to our porch. My honey hangs out with them while I get his dinner and then we sit and pet the cats and chat while watching the sunset. When we begin to get cold, or I start to yawn too much we say good night to the cats, and turn off the lights. We go inside, and they go home. And we wait for another day and another visit.

Needless to say our hearts have been captured by these two unnamed felines. They are unnamed because they just showed up at the neighbors house a few years ago. Since they weren’t sure they would stick around, they just called them grey cat and black cat. We have nicknamed them Notch and Spunky. Notch is the gray tabby who has a notch out of his ear from a recent fight. Spunky is a slim black female who is extremely skittish yet very loving. The title of my post was inspired by a phone call the other day. The neighbor whom these cats “belong” two called around 11 in the morning. She politely asked if I had seen the black cat at all that day. I had said no and asked why. She explained that she was concerned that she may have gotten eaten by coyotes that night. Apparently we had a visit from a pack of coyotes and they were making such a ruckus she was sure they had eaten her cat since she hadn’t seen her. I expressed my sympathy and my hope that maybe the cat had just been so spooked that she was very slow in coming out of a hiding spot. We both said we hope so. I spent the next half hour or so consoling myself and explaining to myself that that is the way country living is. Animals come and go, there was a food chain and I had better get used to it. My eyes teared up anyway and I felt myself being sad that we would no longer get to have Spunky to warm our laps and hearts while we enjoyed the sunset. I am pleased to say an hour later, the owner sent me a picture of spunky and said guess who just came out of hiding! We were both thrilled to pieces!

I relayed the story to my honey when he came home from work. He too was glad she was alive. We discussed the possibility of getting our self some barn cats when our shop is done. But there is a part of me that doesn’t want to face the possibility of losing a creature that I love dearly. I know we probably will anyway I just hate that part.

So here I sit on my big cushy chair out on the front porch. The sun has just set each night the sunset is a little different sometimes it’s very calm and sedate sometimes it’s bold and vibrant and exciting. Sometimes it lasts a few moments and sometimes it just seems to go on forever. There are hills close by that are silhouetted in the light, and The lights of a small town sparkle at the base of them in the dark. Sometimes we hear the coyotes far away, always listening to the Killdeer sounds and sometimes being honored by a visit from the local owl.

We have loved every minute of living in the country and wish everyone could have this opportunity. It is peaceful and de-stressing, except for the coyote part. Something much-needed in the environment of the world that we live in today. I do know though, that living in the country is not the only thing that helps us de-stress. Sometimes just taking a walk in the cool evening in the summer can be helpful. Sometimes just sitting and reading a book. Or gardening, or playing a game with a child. I hope that you have been able to find the thing that brings peace to your soul during these trying times. Shalom

Goodbye sweet PK…

Sunday was a rough day. Our last pet, PK was a tortoise shell rescue. My father adopted her from the pound soon after my mother died 11 years ago. We estimate that she (PK) would be between 13-14 years old this year.

Over the last couple years, PK had started having random seizures. Maybe one every four months. Around the beginning of the year, they began increasing in frequency, maybe one every other month. By May, she was having multiple seizures every couple weeks. One vet gave us some medication for hyperthyroidism and one to stop the seizures if they went longer than two minutes. The medication worked great the first time, about a month ago. But this Sunday, it didn’t work so well. I have almost gotten to the point where I could sense she was having one without seeing her, and I would go looking for her.

I won’t go into details, but there emergency vet said they were seizures probably related to having strokes. She didn’t recover from the last set… this is the part of life that I hate. Death. Permanently losing those you love.

PK stood for Phantom Cat. When my father first brought her home, he didn’t see her for the first six months. He knew she was there, hiding someplace because the litter box was being used and the food was being eaten. And so, Phantom Cat. The spelling was specifically chosen because my father loves Phantom of the Opera. Once we found her hiding in the drawer under the oven. She had been jumping into the kitchen counter, then behind the oven to crawl into it. When we brought a stray kitten into the house, she came out and joined the family.

PK was skittish, and took a long time to warm up to us all. It was only in the last few years that she would come out into the family space when we had company, and would allow the older grands to pet her. PK always seemed frail and sickly. She was overweight until four years ago (the hyperthyroidism caused the weight loss), she coughed regularly (we figured she had asthma). She was a territorial female. When my father moved in with us, she would chase our black cat Spanky up the stairs whenever she ventured down. Spanky’s death last October was hard on PK. Although they didn’t play together, they had developed a sort of loving tolerance for each other. The other cat had died a few years earlier. PK began yowling at the top of her lungs when she didn’t know where people were, or if she wanted you to open your bedroom door at 4:00am. Usually in the only space in the house that would echo. The last year has been hard for us too with regularly disturbed sleep. And she became very talkative, especially first thing in the morning. Auugh! Wait until my eyes are open!!

As obnoxious as she had become, she had her sweet moments too. She purred quickly and that motor ran forever. She would perch on the back of the couch behind you after a few pets. We are enjoying the solid sleep again, but miss the girl. The tears still flow at random moments: when I go to check her food dish, when I am sitting on the couch. I am sure they will continue to flow for a while. Rest In Peace dear PK. You are missed.

A fly is buzzing…

As I sit in the living room on my Sabbath, I can hear the hum of the furnace fan circulating the air in our home. There is a huge fly buzzing in the window, and the sleeping cat next to me is twitching. Across the street, the neighbors weed whacker is growling. Upstairs is the sound of whatever sporting event my honey is watching, and I can see the neighborhood trees outside gently swaying in the breeze.

I had coffee with one of my daughters friends this morning, who has become one of my friends. We walked around the local farmers market and sipped coffee while she shared pictures and stories about her recent trip to Israel. I ate a bowl of green salad on the couch, and some leftover potato salad while enjoying the warmth on the back patio.

The sleeping cat has begun to squeak snore. There is a small airplane buzzing overhead. I like these lazy days. They help refresh my soul and body. The dishes can sit in the sink, we can rummage through the fridge for leftovers to eat. There is plenty in there to eat, even though it may take a little creative thinking. The biggest decision I have ahead of me is whether to take a nap on the couch, or should I take a walk around the block in the heat. I am grateful for permission from my creator to take a day off of work. He certainly knew what he was doing when he said we should work six days and rest on the seventh.

Hopefully you can find the courage to rest one in seven, and the refreshing that comes with the rest.