Mom and Her Hands

Just thinking…..


I contemplate my mother’s hands. She is dying….. minutes to eternity.  And yet, these hands hold mine, and give a slight move….. do I dare think it is a squeeze?

These hands held and carried me, spanked me, hugged and squeezed me, rubbed my back, wiped my tears. These hands combed the snarls out of my hair, and clasped in prayer. These hands made beds, cooked meals, washed clothes, weeded gardens, gathered eggs, slopped pigs, milked cows. These hands drove a car, played piano, wrote letters. These hands waved hello…waved goodby. These hands caressed my father’s arm as he was dying, and grasped her walker when she visited his grave. These hands signed her name in her Bible, and made hush-signs to her children when we were too loud. These hands created crafts, sewed on buttons, frosted cookies, decorated trees, played rummy cube, arranged flowers. When did her hands become so wrinkled and bruised? And what does it mean that my hands are looking like her hands? Towards the end, my mother could not talk, could not see, could not hear. But she could squeeze my hand.


Mom’s hands became so swollen and bruised as she aged…. the skin became so thin.


She liked for me to polish her nails.  Most of the time she wanted clear polish or a very light pink.  One time when I polished her nails, she thought that I put on a too-dark color. But she later said she thought they were nice, and waved her fingers about so that others would notice.  I would trim her nails, soak her fingers and clean the nails.  I would gently massage lotion into her hands and arms, careful not to hurt her.

My hand… over hers…. and my hand is now looking like the old hand.

After my mother took her last breath, the hospice workers asked us to leave the room for a few minutes while they arranged and cleaned her body.  When they ushered us back into the room, Mom’s hands were placed like this, with a fresh violet-colored flower in her hands.  I was so touched by their compassion.


The final repose….. Mom’s hands in the casket. No more bruising. The make up artist did a nice job, but I just keep thinking that her perfect heavenly body will have hands even better than this!  I miss my mother’s hands.  I miss the love they expressed with the many tasks she did and gestures she gave.  Now I contemplate my own hands.  Will someone…. someday…. hold my hands during my last breath, and remember me with love?

Father,  I praise You and thank You for the hands of my mother.  What joy to think that even now her beautiful hands are lifted in praise to You!  Make me worthy….. and help me use my hands in such a worthy way.  Amen.

To God be the Glory,


Published in: on April 19, 2018 at 3:12 am  Leave a Comment  
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Lukewarm Christian???

Just thinking……

Would you agree with me that the word “Christian” is glibly used, loosely defined, and bent to justify all sorts of behavior and worldviews?


We all (who call ourselves Christian) tend to supply our own meaning and apply that to our own lives. Can you identify with any of the following?

  1.  I am Christian because I am American and maybe even Republican.
  2.   I don’t drink much, don’t smoke, don’t swear, don’t overeat, only gamble occasionally, and don’t mess around. That pretty well defines being Christian.
  3.   My parents went to church, so I’m probably a Christian.
  4.   I help other people; doesn’t that make me Christian?
  5.   I give to the building program. Bingo! I’m Christian!!
  6.   I’m generally nice, generally tell the truth, generally do the right thing, and I’m sure that means I’m Christian.
  7.   I wear a cross necklace, carry a rosary, and wear a necktie with sacred words on it. People can tell I’m a Christian because of that.
  8.   I go to church when I can. God knows there are times I can’t go…. times like vacation, kids sports, family times, bad weather, don’t feel good, overslept, hung over, bored, want to just be outside doing something, …… If I at least go sometimes, I think that counts towards my Christian brownie points.
  9.   I have a WWJD card in my wallet. That’s close enough.
  10.   I belong to a church. And I’ve read some of the Bible. And that’s enough for me.

It seems that ideas like sacrifice, sin, Jesus, obedience, belief, forgiveness, repentance just don’t fit in with that list.

Now before you jump on me for being judgmental, let me assure you that I am completely incapable of judging someone’s heart. I may judge actions as right or wrong (and so does every court), but I honestly can’t fathom whether you are a Christian or not. God knows. I don’t. But I  am fairly sure that the above 10 actions don’t make one a Christian. They just don’t speak to John 3:16.

So let’s suppose that you truly have been born again. You have come to the point of realizing that your sin is offensive to a holy God, and you have repented…. turned away…. from it. Yes, you may slip every now and then, but your heart grieves when you do, and you turn again to God. You believe that Jesus died to pay the price for your sin, and you believe that He rose again, and you believe that He is even now preparing your eternal home in Heaven, and you believe that He will come again, and take You home. You know that you have been forgiven.  He is your Savior.

Excellent. But then why does your life feel sort of empty…. sort of half there…. sort of lukewarm? Where is that sense of victory, of overcoming, of joy? Where is that first love? Or….. even worse…. perhaps you have absolutely NO feeling that life is empty…. don’t even recognize the half-hearted situation?

Revelation 3: 15:  I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other!


Francis Chan, in Crazy Love, lists 18 characteristics of lukewarm Christians. I encourage you to get and read the book. See if you fit into any of these statements:

  1.  Lukewarm people attend church regularly because it is expected.
  2.  Lukewarm people give money to charity and church… as long as it doesn’t impinge on their standard of living.
  3.  Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right.
  4.  Lukewarm people don’t really want to be saved from their sin, but rather from the penalty of their sin.
  5.  Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, but they themselves do not act.
  6.  Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends.
  7.  Lukewarm people gauge their morality or goodness by comparing themselves to the secular world.
  8.  Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and that He is a part of their lives. Only a part.
  9.  Lukewarm people love God, but not with all their heart, soul, and strength.
  10.  Lukewarm people love others but do not seek to love others as much as they love themselves.
  11.  Lukewarm people will serve God and others, but there are limits to how far they will go, and how much time and money and energy they are willing to give.
  12.  Lukewarm people think about life on earth much more than they think about eternity in Heaven.
  13.  Lukewarm people are thankful for their luxuries and comforts, and rarely consider trying to give as much as possible to the poor.
  14.  Lukewarm people do whatever is necessary to keep themselves from feeling too guilty.
  15.  Lukewarm people are continually concerned with playing it safe.
  16.  Lukewarm people feel secure because they attend church, made a profession of faith, were baptized, came from a Christian family, vote Republican, or live in America.
  17.  Lukewarm people do not live by faith; their lives structured so they never have to.
  18.  Lukewarm people probably drink and swear less than average, but besides that, they really aren’t very different from your typical unbeliever.

(Really…….. you need to get this book and read it!)



When I studied this list with our small group, I was convicted that I am lukewarm at times.  I’ve played it safe…. straddled the fence.  It’s not what I want for my life; I want to be sold out. I want to be hot! Not cold…. not lukewarm. HOT! I want to be on fire for Jesus. I want the boldness to declare Him to the people around me, to stand for the truth, and to finally kneel before my God and hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Matthew 7: 21:  Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord” will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father

O Father! Forgive me for being wishy-washy, for being timid and afraid, for not truly understanding what it means to be Christian. It’s not as if I have not been told. I am so sorry that I have wasted part of my life in just being lukewarm.   I ask for Your boldness to live a victorious life for Your glory.   That’s all that counts.

To God be the glory….

The Least of These…… Who are They?

Just Thinking…… th-4 They walk among us.  They are here…. and now…..  They make us uneasy.  They are a problem.   Sometimes they are invisible.  Sometimes they are seen too much.  Sometimes they make no sounds. Sometimes they are horribly noisy.  They don’t fit in.  They make messes.  They are awkward.  We want them to go away.  They are…….. The Least of These.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  (Matthew 25:40)

And that got me thinking about church: a place where my brothers and sisters in Christ come together.  Who is the least of these in church?


Although being Christian, being a born again believer in Jesus is the glue that binds us into the concept of “church,” we are made up of many different minorities.  For example, we have both men and women.  We have the elderly, the boomers, the young parents, the teens, the kids, the babies.  We have white, black, hispanic, middle eastern, and oriental.  We have the bright and the  unintellectual.  We have those who are wealthy, those who are of average wealth, and the poor.  We have those with healthy emotional and mental states, and those who do not have these.  We have the educated and the uneducated.   We have the computer literate and those who don’t own a computer.  We have those who can sing on key, and those who make a joyful noise.  We have some who can cook, and some who can’t. Some are in wheelchairs or use walkers or canes or crutches, and many who walk with no problem.  We have those who can see well, and those with a sight handicap.  Same with hearing.  We have rural folks and town folks.  We have the shy and the life of the party. This list could go on for many more pages, but you probably get the picture. Everyone fits into one minority or another.  (And  you probably understand by this point that I am not talking about one particular congregation; this describes churches everywhere.  You may see yourself in this list.)


So with all this in mind, here’s the question:

Which of these shall we leave out of church?  

  • Shall we lower the lights for dramatic effect….. and leave out those with poor vision?
  • Shall we have steps into the church…. and leave out those who can’t climb steps?
  • Shall we send out all announcements and prayer requests via email….. and leave out those who don’t have computers?
  • Shall we sing only higher pitched classical music….. and leave out those who can’t stretch to the higher notes?
  • Shall we sing only the latest  tunes….. and leave out those who yearn for hymns?
  • Shall we only have church in one building….. and leave out the homebound and the ones in nursing homes?
  • Shall we only have church at one time….. and leave out those who must work at their job during that time?
  • Shall we read all Scripture from the King James…. and leave out those who struggle with this older language?
  • Shall we read all Scripture from a contemporary version…. and leave out those who love the beauty and cadence of the older version?
  • Shall we back up prayers with a musical backdrop….. and leave out those with a hearing handicap?
  • Shall we place only the  young mothers in the nursery…..  or only the older women……and leave them out of worship?
  • Shall we not even have a nursery…… and discourage all the young parents and leave the babies out of their first church experiences?
  • Shall we put those who speak a different language…. or no language…. or a peculiar language of their own in the back out of sight….. or sit with them and leave our comfort zones?
  • th-3

I don’t know the answers to these questions.  I’d like to give a formula for perfection, but I can’t.  All I know is that I need to actively search for the answers.  I do wonder about preconceived notions.  I ponder a seeming selfishness in wanting things to be “my way” without regard to the needs of others.  I worry about those who seem to be invisible and silent, so no one sees them or pays attention to their needs.  I worry about the church being blind and deaf. In an ideal, perfect world, what would the church look like?  How would it function?  Would the least of these be cared for?  Would somehow each one fit into the church?  Is there a place for every believer?

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink,  I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’  “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’  “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’  (Matt. 25:41-45)


The least of these are among us.  They may not be the hungry or thirsty or naked or sick or in prison, but they are the overlooked and ignored in our churches.  What shall we do to include them and nurture them?

Father….. Forgive me for the times that I did not pay attention to the least of these.  Open my eyes to how I need to help others be fully within the church body.  Give me direction and boldness and courage and wisdom to do Your will. Forgive us for overlooking the needs of others….. the least of these.

To God Be The Glory…..


A “Me Day”

Just Thinking…..

Every once in a while, I just like to do a “Me Day”.  I know that sounds selfish, and I really try to be a generous person, not a selfish person.  But I do cherish a “Me Day”.  

This is where I take time for me… doing a few things that I want to do…. and coming away refreshed.  I like to think that these kinds of days are needed, and that they are mandatory, not optional, for optimal mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical health.

I had set today aside to help on some family business.  But it turned out that I wasn’t needed for the transactions, so I decided to just use the time to refresh myself.  

So I slept late, had a leisurely breakfast and some wonderful brewed coffee.  Then I went to yoga class and stretched my tight strained muscles into some semblance of relaxation.  


When I came home, I took time to enjoy my flower garden.  We’ve planted a variety of flowers to brighten the house, with color splashing across the bed from early spring until fall.

After that, the Hubs and I went to Lunch In The Park.  This is a wonderful little summer tradition here in our small city.  Central Park is located downtown, with the old sandstone Romanesque courthouse on one side, the Andrew Carnegie domed library on another side, and the stately Federal building on a third side.  Across the street is the beautiful Catholic church and the equally beautiful Methodist church.  The fourth side of the park has a little grandstand or gazebo for live entertainment.  Each Friday in the summer, a different restaurant vendor sets up a tent in the park and sells a lunch for $6.  Today we enjoyed a BBQ cheese burger with all the fixings, sliced tomatoes, pickles, home baked cookies, assorted chips, and assorted drinks.  We sat at a table near the library, and just took our time, enjoying the sights and sounds and tastes.  Beautiful weather for an outside lunch:  77 degrees and a light breeze.

Afterwards, we went into the library.  The library has a section of withdrawn books that it gives away, so the Hubs looked over that area.  I headed for the Christian fiction to find another Lynn Austin book.  The Hubs picked up a free game while there, too.  

On the way home, we stopped at two garage sales.  Didn’t buy a thing, but we enjoyed the hunt!

We had no schedule or timetable.  We had no particular route or goal.  The Hubs and I just meandered through the morning, enjoying each other’s company and the beautiful world around us.  We took time to chat, to gaze at each other, to laugh together.

I’m going to read that book this afternoon and maybe take a nap.  And that’s what I do on a “Me Day.”

Was it a selfish time?  I guess so.  But I also believe that I really need these kinds of days where I can recharge.  Without them, I tend to slump and run out of energy.  And then I’m not much good at helping anybody.  The other day I took time to get a haircut.  Before Dad’s funeral, I took time to get a pedicure.  I got a massage this week.  One day I spent some time “working” in my craft room.  I like to putter around my little tomato garden.  And in the evening, I enjoy soaking in the hot tub.  This is all part of my “Me Time”.  I cherish it!  Tomorrow I will return to our regularly scheduled program.  I’ll be cleaning, and preparing for Sunday, and trying to be there for others.  But for today……

Father, Thank You for these interludes where we can refresh and recharge.  Thank You for an absolutely beautiful day to enjoy.  Just praising Your holy name….  Amen

To God Be The Glory,


Published in: on July 26, 2013 at 8:27 pm  Comments (1)  
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Spiritual Heritage

Just thinking….

I have a scrapbook down in my craft room which I made during a special Bible study class years ago. The idea was to create and preserve the story of our spiritual journey, and it would become a legacy for our children and grandchildren.

I had never done much scrapbooking, but this appealed to my creative side. I’m so glad that I took the class. My book contains my spiritual heritage from my grandparents and parents, and also continues through my marriage and to my children and grandchildren. It covers my time of believing, of growing in faith, and of my times of learning.

The memory of that book came back to me today during church. The pastor was referencing Judges, and how Israel went through cycles of decline and regeneration. The truth, of course, is that it is not just Israel. I as an individual go through these cycles, as does society. I have a note in my Bible: “We are just one generation away from being a pagan nation.” So terrifyingly true…..

“When we become complacent, tolerant, accommodating, the world will win. We will be adopting other gods and living in immorality.” (Pastor Jim Rightler)

I have been blessed. I knew my great grandfather; I think he was born in the 1850’s. I knew all four of my grandparents for over half of my life. (We always joked that we came from a family of long livers…). I’m almost 63 and still have both of my parents. And then I go the other direction to the generation of my son and of my grandchildren. Right there I have had direct contact with 6 generations. And if God wills, I will someday know my great grandchildren, the 7th generation.

So what is the influence here? My great-grandfather knew God. I didn’t spent much time with him, but we knew that he was a believer. My grandparents were believers. Knowing the Word, going to church, prayer….. all were a common part of their lives. My parents are Christian, and their faith is apparent, even as they live out these difficult days of their old age. The impact of all these folks is not lost. They have taught me well, and I will forever be grateful.

But….. if I become complacent about sin, tolerant of sin, and accommodating of sin, then the next generations will lose.

Scripture says of the Israelites: “Everyone did as he saw fit.” If evil was done, it was reasoned away, explained in logical terms, excused. And then it became the norm. I shudder to think of aspects of our culture and society today that my grandchildren think are the norm.

I believe that our human tendency is to worship something. I have chosen to worship Jehovah God. But I know how easy it is to slip into worshipping my possessions, my intellect, and so forth. If any of these are placed before God, then I am worshipping them. Shame on me!!! How do we as society move from worship of God to worship of almost anything else? Perhaps it begins when we don’t tell our children the stories anymore of who God is and what He has done. Perhaps it is accelerated when our children see us doing things or saying things that are antithesis of what we claim to believe. Perhaps it is when a Sunday soccer game takes precedence over family worship time. And the list can trail on and on…..

Not all blame can be placed on the previous generations. Each person is responsible for his or her own decisions and actions. I could have had a godly heritage and still made stupid and sinful decisions that stopped the benefit right there. And folks who came from terrible homes can make the choice to not continue in that path; they can break the destructive cycle and start anew. But the fact remains that we still are to pass on our faith to our children and grandchildren. It’s never too late to do the right thing.

My scrapbook testifies to that.

I am so grateful for the blessing of a faith-filled family. I pray for Your strength to not stop there, but to keep on passing the legacy to my child and grandchildren. It’s vital; it’s critical for them to know You, just as past generations have known you.
To God be the glory….

Garden Musings: New Soil

Just Thinking…..

I wandered out to my little garden this afternoon with a plastic grocery bag (guess that’s a bit of visual irony…) to pick fresh produce. My minute backyard spot is only 8′ by 6′, but doing nicely. The Hubs built it as a raised garden, and we filled it with topsoil, mulched heavily, and planted green beans, 5 kinds of tomato plants and a zuchinni.

They exploded. The tomatoes and beans went wild and covered not only the garden, but draped themselves over the edge and began taking over the immediate yard. The zuke had leaves that were 15″ to 18″ across! When the beans began to blossom and the tomatoes began to form, I could see that we were in for a bountiful treat. And now, as July is closing, my sink is lined with yellow pear tomatoes, large yellow slicing tomatoes, and big Romas. I have tomatoes in the fridge, along with a nice mess of cleaned green beans waiting to be steamed tonight. The zuke, for all its size, was disappointing. It only had 3 offerings. They were delicious, but I was envisioning being overrun with zuchinni.

Now let’s revisit the past. We tried to garden in Missouri…… oh, how we tried. But the soil was thin and grew rocks better than anything else. The multiple wildlife munched on my plants: deer, coons, squirrels, rabbits. We lived in the woods, and sunlight was patchy. I even decided to try growing cherry tomatoes in buckets on the front porch, and was rewarded by impertinant squirrels sucking out the insides and tossing the shell over their shoulders.

I miss Missouri a lot. I miss the milder weather, the lower cost of living, our hand crafted home in the woods, our friendly little community, our church, our Sunday School class, our jobs….. the list could go on…. But I don’t miss the soil. This rich black Iowa soil makes me think of the McBroom books and his highly exaggerated plantings.

The transition to Iowa was tough on me. For a time I just wanted to sleep or to sit and stare. I didn’t have a church home. I didn’t have friends here. My new part time job was still adjunct teaching, but the conditions were quite different. I had to get rooted. Just as I had to plan and plant and care for my little garden, I found that I had to plan my new life here. I would think of writing in this blog, but then shrug it off. I would think of projects that I should do, and then do nothing. As I plucked tomatoes and beans this afternoon, I reflected on my journey. I’ve made the transition; I’m setting down roots. We’ve redone the kitchen, hung our own pieces of art, and arranged the furniture. We’ve ventured out to a new church and deliberately began to be busy in it. We are teaching and meeting people. None of it is the same; I still mourn leaving our church, commmunity and friends. But God prepared a new soil for us.

Father, help me explode in growth like my tomatoes and beans. Help me grow past my boundries as I reach out. Help me take root in this new soil and blossom for Your glory. Help me bear the fruit You want me to bear, abundant, rich and joyous! Amen.

To God be the Glory…..

Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 8:12 pm  Comments (1)  
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Is It September Already?

Just thinking……

This is the first September since I was 5 years old that I haven’t been in school in some form or another. I was a student for so many years: grade school, high school, college, grad school……. Then I was a teacher, an administrator, a tutor, an internet teacher, a night school teacher…… Now I am not a teacher. It seems like such a sudden stop. And I miss not being in school.

But here’s what has been happening. If you have read this blog, you know that our house was for sale. I was spending almost every waking moment cleaning, cleaning, cleaning…… The house sparkled and not a speck of dust escaped my Swiffer. We manicured the lawn and rejoiced that we had a lot of rain this year to keep things green.

Then we decided to have a yard sale. So we prepared it, and then had grandkids come for two weeks. After they left, then we held the sale. We chose the hottest days of summer for that sale. Very few people came (usually we have huge crowds), but I couldn’t blame them. I wouldn’t go to sales in that heat myself!

On the last day of the sale, the last Saturday in June, the heat was stifling. We were sweaty, dusty, miserable, and still outside waiting for a customer. Then the phone rang. It was the realtor, wanting to bring someone to view the home. I warned them that we were having a sale, but to come on anyway.

They showed up, looked at the home, said it was beautiful and that they loved all the trees, and then left. We had heard that a lot, but no one ever offered a contract, so we had little hope of a sale.

That night, the heat spawned a tornado that tore through our subdivision and the neighboring state park. It roared in about 10 pm, and we immediately lost power, even as we heard cracking all around. When the winds died down, we ventured out with flashlights. We were stunned. About 24 trees had gone down, huge trees. They surrounded our house and garage, yet not one tree actually touched the buildings! God’s protective hand was certainly on us! Trees lay over power lines and blocked our driveway. The wind damaged our porch, drains and gutters, and garage doors, but we were so blessed to not have other damage. Emergency vehicles began to pick their way up the road, shining spotlights from side to side, looking for victims. Miraculously not one person was injured or killed! But we were in a state of shock. We went to bed and tried to sleep, but it eluded us.

We were up at dawn and went out to survey the damage. It was obvious that we could not go to church, and our chainsaw was dead. In the distance we heard the whine of saws, and neighbors began to venture out and look around. All of us were speechless and worried. The damage was so huge that we felt helpless at even knowing where to begin.

I placed a phone call to our church. Several men in our church belong to the Southern Baptist disaster response team (even the Hubs belongs to it, despite a dead saw). Soon a caravan of cars, pickups, wagons, and trailers began to pull in. People streamed out with chainsaw, axes, and coolers of water. And they began to work. Almost 40 people worked six hours to free our drive way and begin to clear the back yard. We were so overwhelmed with the love response, and broke down and cried. It was the first time we had ever asked our church for help. It felt strange as usually we were the ones out there helping someone else. Over the next four weeks, teams of volunteers kept coming out to help cut, split, carry and stack the wood. We gave away wood to anyone who wanted it. At this point, it looks normal again except for all the fresh stumps and some of the piles of brush still out in the woods. We still have to be careful walking in the woods, as some “widow makers” are still caught up in the trees. We also had to call in a professional tree service to take down some dangerous trees. They had blown into other trees and were hung up on the branches, just waiting to crash down. Fortunately insurance paid for damage to the house and garage from the wind, but unfortunately, it did not pay for any of the lost trees. My parents felt so bad for us and wanted to come help us, but were unable. But they sent us money to buy food to feed the volunteers. So we set out coolers of bottled water every day, and made stacks of ham sandwiches to feed everyone. Other friends brought over food, also. Where would we be without friends and family?

So….. by the end of July, we were pretty well back to normal. And even with all this storm clean up, I was still cleaning house every day.

Then we got another phone call from the realtor. The couple that had come to see the house the day the tornado hit wanted to come back and see it again. This time they brought parents with them, and did a thorough look. That was encouraging, but still no offer. And then suddenly……. an offer. It was fairly close to our asking price, but we counteroffered, and they accepted it. Yikes! that meant we were moving!

The next days became a blur of emails and phone call and documents. The house inspector came and pronounced the house to be solid and well built and maintained. He told the couple they were getting a good deal. The bug inspector came, and pronounced us to be bug free. The appraiser came and pronounced our house to be worth more than the asking price. The couple had a carpenter come and give an estimate on some improvements they wanted. We made some suggested repairs/replacements. We began to pack and sort, and sort and pack.

Meanwhile, we also were looking for another home. We knew the target area in another state but had trouble finding anything suitable in our price range. It was discouraging. Finally we found a lovely home that both of us agreed seemed like “home”. We put a contract on that, and then had to go through the inspection and the bug inspection, etc.

We began to take trailer loads of our belongings to the new town, and storing them with family. We had to carefully decide on how and where to place our fragile items, and where to put items that mice would not bother. So some things are in my dad’s barn, and some things in my brother in law’s shed, and some things in my sister’s spare bedroom. Each load was prepared to take advantage of those places. And we made one or two runs a week.

On the days that we have been in our home, friends have come by to help us pack and tote. Brother in law came by to take a trailer load up. And loads of friends have been having farewell parties, luncheons, suppers, etc. Our church had a big farewell reception for us; another friend threw a supper reception. It’s been quite emotional to say all these goodbyes.

Another aspect of moving that is taking quite a bit of time is all the changing of addresses: the banks, IRS, hospitals, PO, magazine subscriptions, county government for taxes, utilities. And we are also trying to get utilities hooked up in the other state.

The Hubs and I fall into bed utterly exhausted each night, and sleep pretty soundly. Of course, we take an Advil to soothe the muscles! Right now, bed is a mattress on the living room floor. We have moved all the furniture down from the third and second floors, and have started to move all the furniture out of the basement and into the garage. We have a canyon of boxes in the house, and stacks of sheets and blankets to use as padding. My love-to-be-organized soul is taking a beating!

I joke that with all of the work with wood following the tornado, and now all the packing and moving, that my arms have really become buff! But from all of the farewell parties and meals, my body from the armpits down is ….. well….. less than buff.

So now we are down to less than two weeks. We have lived in this this house for 29 years. We designed it and hand built it ourselves. I know every squeak in the floor, and can count how many steps in the dark it is from the bed to the bathroom. Now we are so close to starting over: new home, new town, new state, new friends, new shopping, new church, new part time jobs, new family relationships, new drivers license, new state laws…… I wonder if I am up to it.

Here we go…… no jobs, new state, new home. What change!

As I look over this incredible summer, I know that God can carry me through anything. He will provide, just as He always has. My fears well up, and in many ways I don’t want to leave. Yet we have been praying that the Lord would direct our steps and that He will place us exactly where He wants us to serve and worship. It won’t be the same, but I am confident that God has a new ministry waiting for us. Change is hard for me, so if you read this massive missive, please remember to pray for me.

To God be the glory……

Published in: on September 7, 2009 at 1:28 am  Leave a Comment  
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