Well, so much for my pretty scene at the pond! Tom and I heard the *crack crack….craaaaack…..* and then, enormous branches came crashing down, smashing the little maple I was so looking forward to watching blaze with autumnal colors. Other branches around the property have come down, too. Free firewood?

 

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It’s starting to feel more like home and less like camping, even as I figure out ways to expand my countertop space to do some canning. Some folks feel sorry for us. I guess my expectations of what a real home is made of aren’t as high. I put higher value into things like honoring the Lord, loving one another, and gratitude for faucets that give clean, hot water. You could practice honor, love, and gratitude in a yurt (and people do!). Proverbs 15:17   Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith. 

 

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I continue to enjoy the interesting landscaping, and take so much pleasure in it! It helps offset the disappointment of not having a food garden this year. Here are the flowers blooming at the tips of the branches of another tree. A whole tree with tropical looking flowers!

 

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We continue to work on the house, especially the bedrooms upstairs. It’s goes slowly; we still have to upkeep our old home on the market, and we can only work as time and funds are available (just like anyone else!). How do you like our outdoor shop? Pleasant summer sunshine and breeze…hard to beat!

 

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The good news in everything, always, is that the Lord has not forgotten nor forsaken us :) Give an ear to the update and if He so leads, we continue to appreciate and are humbled by your prayers on our behalf.

 

Play

 

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view from our backyard

To listen to Pastor Houston’s broadcast that Tom hosted, click here: Walking With Your Sons on the Journey to Manhood.


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On Waiting…

July 31, 2014 · 3 comments

A month in, and I’m finally to the point of settling into the bottom portion of the house. The upstairs is still in progress, but it’s a slow process. Little by little, as my neighbor reminds us.

 

I’m finally back into my art journal, and enjoying seeing all of my art supplies at hand again. There is no shortage of beautiful flowers and birds nearby to capture onto paper. I’ve been waiting to get my own little spot back, for art and study and writing.

 

waiting on...

 

Twenty-five pounds of green beans were snapped while sitting on the rocker out front, watching my children play and my husband cut wood for the upstairs bedrooms. It was altogether the most pleasant experience, the warm air and sweet breeze winding through the shade of trees. I’ve been waiting to get my kitchen in enough order to start thinking about restocking my pantry.

 

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The reed has been sleyed (that’s so much fun to say) so I’m getting ready to draw the cotton threads through the heddles and finish the warp. I want to weave a sweet baby blanket, and I have some yummy nubby cotton for the weft. I’ve been waiting to organize and get my handwork supplies out, putting baskets here and there to pick up mending or creating.

 

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Outside, everything is as beautiful as ever. I think I fell in love with the outside before even seeing the inside of the house. And once I saw the inside, well….here we are, by God’s grace. I’m so enjoying the flowers popping up and I feel like a kid….“oooo…what’s that….hm…that’s so interesting…wonder what that will do….”

 

I’m still waiting to have a kitchen garden again–I’m hoping in the spring. We’ll see how soon we can get the outside work done, once the inside is finished.

 

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The children are waiting for normalcy. Bedrooms are still in complete disarray, and no one really has their own quiet spot other than me. But I started homeschooling again, giving diagnostic spelling tests and reviewing where each one was and planning out the roadmap for the year. We made and played with tangrams together, and enjoyed the small scent of routine coming back into the home. We’ve been waiting for routine.

 

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Ruby had the best time with the fingerpaints. And she was so excited to see her little readers again, and insisted on sitting with me to read each one. I was amazed; she really has memorized a lot of sight words already. Ruby–reading? I’ve been waiting for a little encouragement on that front.

 

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And then….and then the septic went kafritz. Meaning, something in the pump or whateveryouhaveit stopped working. We finally had to stop using the drains altogether and make other arrangements for doing laundry, washing dishes, taking a bath and using the toilet. Let me give a shout out to Survival Mom, who helped me be prepared for that. It’s not fun to be without a septic system, but I will tell you that not being prepared at all would have been less fun. I can see I still have holes in that to work on…washing tubs would be helpful for dishes, and a laundry plunger for hand washing. I’m also thankful for my friend who let me take over her facilities! This is our fifth day dealing with this, and hopefully it finally ends this evening with a repair. Didn’t know I’d been waiting for a kick to the hiney to get even better prepared for disasters and trouble.

 

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Well, I’m certainly not leaving you with a photo of our dirty dishes. Here is the pond I can see right outside my kitchen window. The building you see on the left there is the garage and utility room. My three ducks have been enjoying this pond very much, and it seems that the additional circulation they give to it does it some good. I like to sit in that chair and just watch the ducks, the frogs, the insects.

 

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Tom says I’m not just making a home here, but it feels like I’ve “come home”. I think so, too. I feel very comfortable here, even with all of the trial of downsizing and moving and just plain making things do for the time being. I’m looking forward to getting the rest of the house into order, the woodpile stocked for winter, the garden beds weeded and mulched, and our daily routines into habit. I have faith that it will come, “little by little”. And that, in the end, it all will have been worth all of the waiting.

 

Blessings,


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On Being Present

July 22, 2014

I just had to share this video. How much do we depend on social media or the internet to connect or build a relationship with someone?     Most of the time, it seems using social media to build relationships is not really about building relationships at all. It’s simply a way to get out […]


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Sneak Downsizing Peeks #2

July 22, 2014

Slowly, slowly…slowly…it is coming together. Boxes are moving out of the house, and shelves are going up. I’m going to spare you the corners that still have stuff all over the floor waiting for more shelving and hooks, and share some more peeks with you. Oh, and the entire upstairs hasn’t even begun to get […]


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Sneak Downsizing Peeks

July 11, 2014

Discovering fruit already here on the land (cherries!)…   And harvesting foods grown here naturally…   Finding ways to make do with less counter space…   And choosing when and how to use our resources…   Creating vertical and horizontal places for storage…   And finally taking some time to rest…   Blessed.


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Downsizing Our Home…Upsizing Our Family…Part 2

July 9, 2014
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download Good-bye Big House Over a week later, I *finally* have internet. I must say, though, the world didn’t come to an end without a connection. This past week has been STRESSFUL..I suppose I will be glad I didn’t have the internet distraction to make it worse. Lots and […]


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Downsizing Our Home…Upsizing Our Family

June 30, 2014
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download Well, today’s the big MOVE! The big yellow rental van will be here in about two hours, along with a group of friends. Last night my husband and I recorded our last podcast in the primo studio, and talked about what we’re doing, and why. Hopefully you’ll get […]


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What If…(on Downsizing)

June 27, 2014

I have a large slice of chocolate cake and a glass of milk next to my computer. I picked up the cake this afternoon from one of our local cafes, after I picked up the easy (read: conventional store-bought) meals to feed my family for the next few days. I’m sitting at the bar in […]


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Downsizing into the Bungalow

June 25, 2014

Work continues in the little 1951 bungalow. Tools are everywhere, dust is abundant, paint splotches are spotted on the floors and lots of people are using their time and tools to help us make the transition. It’s not a small thing, *just* time and tools. Most folks have to travel as we do, 45 minutes […]


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Downsizing Progress

June 14, 2014

What’s going on at the house(s)? Well, quite a bit.   Today in our current house, we were blessed with eight friends that showed up to form teams and cleaned all of the hundred-and-fifty-whatever windows we have. I made a taco lunch for everyone, and wished more than once I could grab a camera. But […]


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Look Up

June 12, 2014

In my mind, I am writing many blogs, updating progress as we go. In my mind, I am taking photographs, uploading and sharing them with you. In reality, however, I am burning out, rarely home, and very tired. I miss my routines, my quiet, my time to write and work on handwork. In the midst […]


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More Downsizing the Kitchen…and Closet

June 5, 2014

After spending some time yesterday in my new kitchen, I decided that what I had to do was come up with a plan. I did the same thing when we were building our current house, and I even labeled (on paper drawings) drawers and cabinets with *exactly* what was going to go where. Last night […]


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Downsizing the Kitchen

June 3, 2014

As many of you know, we are downsizing our living space from 3800 square feet (not including the basement and attic) to under 1700 (no basement nor attic). We’ve been wanting to podcast some of the craziness going on, but honestly we are falling asleep practically at supper time. Today we spent the day at […]


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What I’m Learning from Our Caterpillar Infestation

June 2, 2014

  It’s a caterpillar year here. That means there are caterpillars everywhere. On fruit trees. On alder trees. On porches. Climbing up screened windows. Hitching rides onto people. Crawling about indoors.   I can’t help but think of the frog infestation of the Old Testament. In gardens. In homes. In beds, ovens and–truly more so–everywhere. […]


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Leather Journals, Basketry, Weaving and More Beginner Art Journaling

May 26, 2014

Well, the vast majority of the packing is finished and boxes are piled into the garage. The basement is crazy overflowing with garage sale goods and now I am just waiting on other people: painters, window washers, carpet cleaners… There is nothing for me to do now but to wait during this lull before listing […]


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Bible STUDY

May 19, 2014

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 How’s your Bible reading going?   Seventeen years ago I was saved, and for the past fourteen I’ve been in my Bible pretty much daily. I credit the few years I spent […]


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Seeking Balance in Downsizing

May 12, 2014

Proverbs 30:8-9   Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me:  Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is the LORD? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.  That was the verse I attached to the photograph […]


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Why I Blog

May 8, 2014

  I once saw a t-shirt for writers that had written upon it, “Be nice to me or I’ll put you in my next book.” As funny as that is, the truth of the matter is that writers do use–among other things–their experiences and worldviews, and yes, that means interactions with other people, to create […]


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Packing, Packing, Packing…

April 29, 2014

I am already tired of packing. And the more I pack, the more I wonder how I will ever fit it all into our smaller house, even as the garage sale pile grows ever higher. At this point, it’s going to take me hours just to get that sale pile out of my house! I […]


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Hard Marriages and Silent Wives

April 24, 2014

Another friend of mine is divorcing. It makes me sad. And it makes me sad when I go to weddings, too. I want to warn the couple: the chances are very, very (very) good that there will be a “for worse.”   But I’m also sad at how our faith community handles family breakdowns as […]


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Trying to Maintain Normalcy While Downsizing

April 21, 2014

I am decluttering and downsizing and packing away my belongings. One box, one room, one area at a time. Even as the garage sale pile grows bigger, even as the trips to send off donations gain frequency, I am still bewildered about how I am going to make this downsize work. I’ve taken measurements of […]


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Rehydrating Dehydrated Sourdough Starter

April 16, 2014

Well, so much for “zero doubts” in getting my dehydrated starter perky and going again. I said as much on my post on dehydrating the starter, and I figured after almost a year, it was time to raise the starter. I wasn’t successful.   This is what I began with, an airtight mason jar of […]


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Part Two: Upsize

April 15, 2014

In the midst of downsizing our living quarters, we’ll be upsizing our family. Yes, we are expecting baby #8.   I appreciated rereading Matthew 27 this past week. Jesus, the most innocent man ever, stood with dignified silence in the midst of false accusations, mocking, insults, and wrong assumptions. It gave me courage to relay […]


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Part One: Downsize

April 14, 2014

Well, I promised to share some news, so here goes. We are moving. Actually, downsizing. Actually, almost micro sizing, compared to where we’ve been. My current house is a dis.as.ter with boxes everywhere and things collecting for garage sales, Goodwill, and Craig’s List.     This is very bittersweet for us. Bitter in that we […]


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First, You Take a Deep Breath…

April 5, 2014

…and that’s what I’m going to do for this week. Take a deep breath. Because before I share with you all the absolute craziness happening around here, I’m going to take a week off the net and hang out with a friend in the city. We plan to take a lot of art classes and […]


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Natural Face Care

April 1, 2014

My post on homemade face cream continues to be a favorite among my readers. Ironically, I very rarely make that face cream. Mostly, because I’m lazy   That’s not to say that I buy fancy facial products though. I just can’t spend that much for it, nor do I want all of the *interesting* ingredients […]


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An Alternative to Obamacare

March 30, 2014
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download   Rather than join the chorus to rant about Obamacare, I thought it might be more helpful to hear about an alternative. Join us as we talk with Jamie Pyles about Samaritan’s Ministries and hopefully answer any questions you may have about this organization.     If you decide […]


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Do You Know Affliction?

March 24, 2014
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Podcast: Play in new window | Download It’s great to get behind the microphones with my husband again! In this episode, I share about my new book, Present, coming out soon, and offer to you some encouragement regarding affliction. We’re not spared affliction in our lives, but in Christ, we are never alone within in […]


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Spring Planting

March 21, 2014

Well, it’s the first day of spring and I finally closed my eyes to the mess indoors and went outside. I’ve had starts by my kitchen windows, and because I’m getting tired of working around them, decided some of them could go outside. I put a bunch of kale seedlings out, and topped it with […]


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Tying Up Loose Ends

March 20, 2014

Tightening up and tying off the ends of my first woven silk scarf. It drapes beautifully, but I am ready to get out the cottons and make a good dozen (and non-finicky) kitchen towels.     My husband meets with the “potential house” owner this weekend. I suppose that will be another loose end to […]


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Retreat and Reboot

March 18, 2014

Six of my girlfriends and I went up to the mountains and spent a couple of nights in a log cabin. It was a nice retreat, a chance to spend time with one another and rest. We each brought an offering to share for a devotional, and then took turns praying for each other’s needs during […]


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Mission: Un-Organize My Home

March 5, 2014

There’s nothing quite like considering a massive downsize to make you rethink each and every thing you own. Many of us know the quote by William Morris, “…Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” Well. Yes. Except that it all was useful and beautiful at one time. And some of […]


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Why I’ve Been Quiet

March 3, 2014

Oh, where oh where to begin…. This is going to be equal to about a dozen blog posts, but I’m going to just dump them all here. You can attend to the subtitles and read to your interest(s). MARRIAGE: Twenty-two years later, we’re still in the ebb and flow of relationship. That happens, doesn’t it? […]


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Marriage and the Art of Compromise

February 22, 2014

I was in the kitchen grinding some coffee recently and took a longer glance at my little set up. Hand grinder, coffee beans, electric grinder.     I prefer the hand grinder. It’s slow. It’s quiet. It grinds very fine and of course I think the flavor is better, too. It is something that forces […]


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More Sewn Bible Covers

February 12, 2014

It looks like we finally got a little bit of winter here in the Pacific Northwest, at least enough to snow us in and make a good excuse to spend extra time in the kitchen making pumpkin doughnuts. We live at the end of a long gravel road and without a spiffy 4×4 (we dream […]


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On Savoring the Things of God

January 29, 2014

Matthew 16:23   But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.   I’ve been parked in the book of Matthew for a bit, mainly because of Bible Study Fellowship. If […]


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“I Need to Go to the Store”

January 21, 2014

I say those words far, far too often. In my case, it’s about twice a week, which may or may not sound as ridiculous to you as it does to me. But for as many years as I’ve worked towards decreasing my dependence on the supermarket, here I still am. I find it not only […]


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I Didn’t Ask for This…

January 15, 2014

Matthew 14:22   And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship… CONSTRAIN, v.t. [L., to strain, to bind...] In a general sense, to strain; to press; to urge; to drive; to exert force, physical or moral, either in urging to action or in restraining it…. One of the risks of following Jesus is that sometimes […]


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On Goal(s) Setting

January 4, 2014

Isaiah 52:12   For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.  I love the beginning of a new year much as I love Mondays. Fresh starts. New days. Hope. In setting goals for the day or week or month […]


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How to Have the Christmas Spirit

December 23, 2013

It’s interesting, this time of year. So much music and movies and chatter about the Christmas spirit, about how to get it, and what the season is “really about” (depending on whom you ask). Sometimes I feel happy about all of the activity and lights and peppermint. Sometimes I just feel emotionally manipulated by holiday […]


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Simple Christmas Decorations

December 17, 2013

I’m a simple gal at heart, and I enjoy things that are natural, handmade, whimsical. Here is a little tour of some of the decorations around my home that fall into one or more of those categories.   Orange slices are easy to dry. I put the slices onto parchment and then slid them into […]


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I Wrote a Book! And More LOOMing Projects

December 9, 2013

If you’re on my email list (and you are, right?) you already know that I’ve written a book. If you’ve been with me a long while, you also know that A Happy Home was a blog I quit for a short season because I was so completely distracted by the internet and its siren call. […]


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The Other Side (of the Kitchen)

December 8, 2013

Not that anyone was waiting on the edge of their seats, but here is the other half of the kitchen decorated for Christmas. You can see where I started here.   I put little ornaments here and there on the shelves. And yes, those vanilla cocoa stirrers are yummy.     Then, I hung up […]


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How To Juggle Multiple Sourdough Starters

December 5, 2013

I’ve been feeling the need to update my post on whole wheat sourdough bread, mainly because baking with sourdough is far, far easier than the recipe I left there. And now that I’ve been at it for several years, I’ve also gotten to a nice rotation in juggling multiple sourdough starters. I get most of […]


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Advent as a Time of Rest

December 3, 2013

Is this a restful season for you? I was thinking of this as I was putting the kitchen gardens to bed for the winter. The garlic was long ago planted, and everything else has been either pulled up or pruned, and a nice thick layer of mulch put on top. It doesn’t feel like bracing […]


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Because We Need a Little Christmas…In the Kitchen

November 29, 2013

The bad news is that I’m having serious website issues so please excuse any mess while we try to fix mistakes we didn’t ourselves make to begin with but are sure to add to as we muck about in mires we are mostly clueless about. If you really want to know what’s going on, sign […]


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Scrappy Sewn Candy Canes

November 24, 2013

This sciatic injury has taken away some things I like to do…like pilates, like horse riding, like walks down my gravel road.  A month later, the pain is not keeping me up at night but I still have some nerve damage in my leg and foot, so I am finding less active things to do. […]


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Christmas Card Art: From Pinterest to Pin-ter-DO

November 20, 2013

I love how you can learn so many things on the internet. I think the trick is to not simply pop everything onto Pinterest for that nebulous “whenever” but to actually try your hand at some of the things that inspired you to pin them in the first place. Many thanks go to Christy Tomlinson […]


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One Happy Home Morning

November 18, 2013

I thank God for nights of unbroken sleep, but it took many nights of awakenings to cultivate that gratefulness.  Isn’t it interesting, how entitled we feel with regards to our blessings, God’s grace, that when His hand is removed from one or more of them we feel angry, frustrated, or sad (or is that just […]


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If There’s an Empty Barn, Rejoice

November 11, 2013

Habakkuk 3:17-18   Although the fig tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines; the labour of the olive shall fail, and the fields shall yield no meat; the flock shall be cut off from the fold, and there shall be no herd in the stalls: Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God […]


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