Easy and free fall decorations plus a neat video about the reformation

I love walking around Hobby Lobby looking at and touching all the fall decor and imagining where I would put it in my house. I realize though that that stuff is expensive and after the fall season it goes back up in the attic. I knew I could come up with something beautiful without spending any money if I tried, and I did! It’s not much but here’s what I came up with..

We don’t burn wood in our stove any more so I used it as an area to decorate. The gate around it makes it an area I can make pretty without my 2 year old pulling down the decorations. The kids were playing outside while I worked on it and E’s reaction of “Wow!” when she saw it told me that it was good enough. I did something I call “shopping around the house.” I look for every day objects that I have in various rooms and group them together to make something pretty. The glass jars were in the cabinets, the washboard was in the kitchen, the antique rug beater (?) was on top the fridge. And what could say “fall” better than combination of purple beauty berries and red oak leaves picked from the yard? I lit an apple scented candle which pulled it all together. The table runner was something that mom used to have that I asked for when I got married. With little children it’s not very practical for the table but it looks nice here.


I did this easy craft with the kids. It wasn’t exactly free, I spent a few dollars on the wreath base and something around $1.50 for a pack of 100 clothes pins. We already had the paint. You can’t see it in the photo but on every clothes pin there is written something different we are thankful for. It was neat to do this with E because last year when she was 3 she didn’t grasp the idea fully of talking about things we are thankful for. She understood it this year and it was exciting to recognize that growth in her.

I collected stones from around our property to make a fire pit. When I think of fall I think of sitting around a toasty campfire.

I cleaned up around the mailbox, set out a pumpkin and called it good enough. I want to try and spruce up the porch a bit before thanksgiving but currently it is covered with tools and boxes and stuff we are using to work on the new swing set.

Have your kids seen this video of the life of Martin Luther told with play mobile toys? It’s really neat and gives a solid gospel presentaion.

I learned about it October 31st when listening to this podcast by Amy from raisingarrows.net. She tells about how their family started a new way of observing halloween and reformation day that I thought was really interesting. I’ve never heard of anyone doing it the way she did.











Contentment and idols of the heart

At the moment I am enjoying a serene moment with my children sitting in the sandbox playing and me sitting in a lawn chair. This lovely moment really feels like a gracious gift from the Giver of all good things. The gentle breeze, the sound of geese in the distance, my children’s imaginations, the freshness of the air, the serenity of the woods. These are extravagant gifts from God that I am so unworthy of and yet I often fail to even notice them. To be honest when I stepped outside with the children I was feeling pretty grumpy because I was looking at all the yard work that’s not done and thinking what a mess the yard is. If I’m perfectly honest what came into my mind was a friends recently purchased home with a beautiful yard in a cooler area of the country and what came into my heart was covetousness or as the Bible also calls it, idolatry. (Col. 3:5)

What pricked my conscience so badly and grabbed a hold of my idolatrous heart and yanked it back into repentance and thanksgiving was this poem I’ve never read before by 8 year old Fanny Crosby who was accidentally blinded by a physician as an infant; (I read it in Randy Alcorn’s book Happiness)

Oh, what a happy child I am,
Although I cannot see!
I am resolved that in this world,
Contented I will be.

I’m ashamed that a blind 8 year old would choose to be happy in spite of her disability when I so often fail to even have that same resolve.

As a child Fanny told her mother that even given a choice she would choose to remain blind so that the first face she would see would be the face of God.

Oh to have faith like a child!

Try inserting your own trials into this poem. For me it would look something like this;

Oh, what a happy child I am (child of God in this case since I’m an adult!)
Although I bear the grief of child loss and the daily struggle of a chronic disease
I am resolved that in this world,
Contented I will be

Then use your God given imagination to replace these trials with the glory of endless bliss and healing in eternity with Christ.

Fanny looked forward to the primary joy of seeing God and the secondary joy of restored sight. Just think, in the presence of God surrounded by the family of God I’m going to get to see my child alive, find out what color his eyes are and taste food with out injecting insulin. What a cause for celebration! What gifts the Father has lavished upon me! What hope and joy and happiness I experience today because I’ve been promised that coming day!

2 Cor. 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

1 Thess. 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Dear Heavenly Father, The Creator and Giver of all good things,
Forgive me for covetous thoughts and discontentment. May things I desire never become idols, distracting me from seeing all the good things You’ve given me. Thank you for my life, for my family, for my home, for food and clothing and all the endless provisions in my life. Most of all, thank You for the provision of Your Son Jesus who was crucified on my behalf and rose again, forever making intercession on behalf. Make me to be content with my life and circumstances. I believe Your word when it says that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and that I can be content in whatever state or circumstance I am in. Work the power of the Holy Spirit in me. In the name of Jesus my Saviour I pray, A-men

Today’s must do’s

Today I must spend time out side, feel the sunshine on my face and BREATHE

Today I must put down the distractions, the phone, the social media, the multitasking and CONNECT to what’s in front of me

Today I must SLOW DOWN and LOVE. SLOW DOWN enough to receive LOVE. My children can’t put their arms around a mom constantly on the move, distracted by a million tiny things. TAKE THE TIME to SAVOR the details. When things get crazy, push aside the temptation to keep plowing forward and instead STOP. I once heard a mom say something along the lines of, “be the eye of the storm in your home and to your family.” Be the one who is the CALM in the chaos.

Today I must GET OUTSIDE MY OWN HEAD. Seek to be in the moment. BE PRESENT. Experience the sense of smell, touch, taste, sound and sight of the moments of today. Experience the moment fully.

Today I must say YES. YES to the game of hide and seek, YES to the time it will take to teach a little one something they need to learn.

Today I must LOWER THE BAR. Everything does not need to be done every day. People before dishes that need done, people before my checklist I want completed.

Today I must be THANKFUL and show GRATITUDE. Feel the thanksgiving in my heart, offer it as worship before God and let it come off my lips to the people around me. “I’m so THANKFUL I get to be your mama,” “I’m so THANKFUL you are in my life.”

A heart close and right with God


I’m happy to say that having our verse of the week written up on our white board has made me memorize it easily. Just seeing it every time I walked by caused me to learn it. (although this photo looks like two children gazing serenely at scripture they were fighting about touching the whiteboard lol)

Yesterday I referenced Psalm 78. I bring it up because it highlights a sin that I want to keep in mind and ask God to help me not to be guilty of it as I worship Him with other believers today.

Psalm 78:36-37 “Nevertheless they did flatter him with their mouth, and they lied unto him with their tongues. For their heart was not right with him, neither were they stedfast in his covenant.”

Jesus says something very similar in

Matthew 15:8 “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.”

Dear God Who is worthy of all worship,

Thank You that my sinful heart was been washed clean by Your blood. I pray my worship and adoration not be mere words with no depth but heartfelt praise and thanksgiving to my Redeemer. Make my heart desire You above all else. Make my mind steadfastly meditate on You day and night. Keep me from lying. I don’t want to say in a song that You are my everything and then forget You and walk in sin. I pray the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be pleasing to You. Make both Godly. God, I don’t want my Christian walk to be fake or merely external or only existing in certain circumstances or among certain people. I pray You be the desire of my heart and I thank You that You are with me always. Remove from me hypocrisy and lying lips. Empower me by Your strength, not my own feeble attempts, to be on fire for You and not luke warm which You despise. May our relationship be living and vibrant. I pray You know me and I know You. May I be willing to say, “search me,” and may I be willing to change when You show me sin in my life.

In Jesus Name I pray and Jesus’ name I praise. A-men

Have a blessed Sunday everyone! Let’s worship our creator with heartfelt praise for He has been so good to us! If you need a reminder of God’s goodness and mercy, read the whole chapter of Psalm 78.

It’s a little after 7 and my kids are starting to stir, got to go put on my mom hat and get this day going!

Imaginations of Heaven

“Because when I get to heaven, the first face that shall ever gladden my sight will be that of my Savior.”
Quote by Fanny Crosby

I’ve often spent time imaging what it will be like to live in my resurrected body. I live in  a body that does not produce insulin and because of it every day I look forward to life on the new earth. It’s one of the blessings that has come out of my suffering.

When I read the above quote the other morning by blind hymn writer Fanny Crosby I started writing in my journal imagining the joy of being free from a cursed body and living in a resurrected one.

Here’s some of my imaginations..

I rejoice for the first time I will eat without counting carbs or injecting insulin or doing finger sticks (since childhood), I will be with Jesus! I’ll be laughing as juice from a fruit I’e never seen drips down my chin. Jesus laughs at my eagerness to try the sweet fruit. I meet His eyes with mine and laugh back full of joy, reaching for a napkin to wipe off the juice now dripping down my arm. As I reach for it I see again His scarred hands and my throat tightens. Unable to take another bite, I stand up out of my chair and fall to my knees in weeping worship. “Your mercy Jesus is more than I deserve! Thank You!” I say ashamed of my sin that gave Jesus those scars. How could I have offended One so good, so kind? How could He be so patient, so willing to forgive? I look up again at the radiance of His holy face and I am once again filled with joy unspeakable as I move from kneeling to dancing. I motion to my brothers and sisters to join me as the music of angels starts back up again. I never could dance on the old earth and I still can’t but no one seems to mind here. Holy! Holy! Holy! we shout echoing the angels in worship. Jesus joins in dancing and celebrating with us.

Happy and in need of a breath I sit down as the celebration around me continues. My son Titus feeds me a grape. I stroke his cheek, untold emotion rising up in me. Once again I whisper “thank You” to the Father for not sparing His Son so I can have a new life with mine for eternity. And once again, I drop to my knees. I must worship forever my King, this Heavenly Father who gives so bountifully to His children.

about the featured image: After Titus died I couldn’t bear to leave his nursery empty so T and I filled it with toys for our nieces and nephews and made it a playroom in memory of Titus. We were blessed 2 years later to use the room once again as nursery, this time for a little girl. When I went looking through my photos for an appropriate cover photo I saw this picture and thought it would be fitting for a post about longing for heaven.


Happy Sunday Everyone!

I’m back with my FlyLady theme. Sunday on her routine is “renew your spirit day.” As a Christian this means I fellowship with and worship God with other believer’s.

I had to be out of the house by 9:00 this morning to run an errand and get to church on time so even though I started my morning chores I didn’t do the laundry, dishes, or exercise until after dinner. I did a new workout video on youtube tonight.

Bedtime routine:

Monday is a day of what flylady calls “home blessing” aka deep cleaning. I laid out comfortable clothes to work in tomorrow.

Lately with it getting dark so early it makes me feel  unmotivated to do anything. To help me get the kitchen clean I set the timer for 15 minutes to remind myself that it doesn’t take all day. It took me exactly 15 minutes to get it clean.

Since it is Sunday, I’ll leave you with a quote I liked from reading If God Is Good By Randy Alcorn this Morning.

…”Puritan pastor Richard Baxter wrote, “Resolve to spend most of your time in thanksgiving and praising God. If you cannot do it with the joy that you should, yet do it as you can… Doing it as you can is the way to be able to do it better. Thanksgiving stirreth up thankfulness in the heart.”





We made people happy!!

Luke 6:31

And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.

A couple days before Thanksgiving I was moping around feeling sorry for myself that my husband was working and there was nothing special to do with the kids. My family is half way across the country and every one I know was of course going to be spending the day with their families. My husband’s family gets together the Saturday after Thanksgiving so his siblings can spend the holiday with their in laws. I knew we would get to celebrate a couple days later but I was feeling lonely about having nothing to do the day of. I told God how I felt. “You know, you’re not the only one lonely on Thanksgiving..” was the response in my heart.

I immediately knew  how I was going to spend the day and it made me excited. I called a nursing home and asked if I could come in on Thanksgiving and have my daughter pass out Thanksgiving cards and visit with people who would like a visit. I had previously asked on Facebook if anyone else because of the plant’s schedule would be alone that day. One of the other wives who I had only meet a coupe times previously but who I really liked was in the same situation as me and wanted to join us with her boys at the nursing home.

With kids and cards in tow we went to the part of the home for the residents with Alzheimer’s disease. I was really impressed by how willing our kids were to serve these people they never meet and who from a child’s perspective could be intimidating. I had told E we were there to make people happy on Thanksgiving and she acted as if that was her job.

You know what happened? I really enjoyed myself. It felt good to do good and trying to serve someone else who is suffering took my mind off of myself and made my thoughts not so selfish. The stark contrast of seeing how good my life is in comparison with these poor people’s suffering made me really really thankful as well.

When E saw her daddy that afternoon she said to him excitedly, “Daddy, we made people happy!!”

I’ll have to remember this in the future and I hope you will too. When I am down and feeling sorry for myself, there is always someone who I could be serving and in serving them I’ll be blessed too.  It’s an easy concept to know but it’s another thing to actually do it!

Matthew 25:40

And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.


Also, Hey! This is my 100th post! I”m so glad you’re taking the time to read my thoughts and letting me share my heart with you. I hope this little blog is an encouragement to you!

Thanksgiving Day, 1890 by Olin Winfield Page

I’m reading through a book published by my great- great Grandfather titled LIFE PICTURES AND OTHER POEMS.

Here’s a poem he wrote on Thanksgiving 126 years ago.

Thanksgiving Day 1890

By: Olin Winfield Pge

There’s a voice of praise in our home to-day

The silence is broken, clouds rolled away;

The voice of a wife in pleading of prayer,

As sweetest of music now floats on the air;

And the daughter’s voice, too, clear and low toned,

Acknowledges Him whom her heart has enthroned.

The spell of stillness thro’ years that are past

Has been broken by prayer, God’s power at last,

Unsealed lips that were dumb. Beaming eyes

And accents of love speak the soul’s Paradise,

Resting in Jesus and owning His sway;

Together we praise Him this glorious day.

The smile of the sun rests down on the earth,

The rivers blue waves are dancing with mirth;

And o’er its waters in circles of light

Are bright, glancing wings of seagull in flight;

Lewis’ Woods, too, in its brightest array

Meets with the river to welcome the day.

Gold flecks the shadows ‘neath each arching tree;

Light crest each wave flowing down from the sea;

In each sheltered nook the deepest of green

Of the hardy grass-blade still may be seen;

Softly it nods in a sweet, loving way,

Glad that it’s Maker has saved till this day.

While the sun shines down on the thankful earth,

And the light shines in at each soul’s new birth,

With thankful hearts, in song, blessing and prayer,

We are praising the Lord for tender care;

Thankful for bounty that before us is spread,

Thankful for ways in which His hand led.

Thankful for life and the blessing of health;

Very thankful for love, hearts’ precious wealth;

Thankful for Jesus, who comes to abide;

O thankful to Him what’re may betide!

Thankful to Father and thankful to Son,

Revealed by His Spirit to hearts that are one.


1 Thessalonians 5:18 In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Ephesians 5:20 Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

Psalm 107: 1 O give thanks unto the LORD, for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.

Colossians 3:15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.

Thank you Father God for

  1. my warm house
  2. a loving husband
  3. my children
  4. comfortable beds
  5. healthy food
  6. clean water
  7. insulin
  8. friends
  9. parks to play at
  10. books to read
  11. nice weather
  12. the changing seasons
  13. my husband’s job
  14. extended family
  15. for salvation
  16. the Bible
  17. for creativity and the ability to create
  18. creating man in Your image
  19. love
  20. Your sacrifice
  21. church
  22. fun times
  23. clothes
  24. shoes
  25. electricity
  26. a washer and dryer
  27. new days
  28. quiet times
  29. celebrations
  30. Your promises of a new earth
  31. heaven
  32. the resurrection, Yours and mine
  33. hope
  34. faith
  35. the library
  36. for answered prayers this year
  37. for work to satisfy us
  38. for rest
  39. for language and the ability to communicate
  40. for Your goodness
  41. for mountains
  42. plants
  43. a variety of animals
  44. fresh air
  45. the freedom to homeschool
  46. for a country that allows freedom of worship
  47. peace in Christ
  48. sleep
  49. my dishwasher
  50. a car
  51. grocery store
  52. phones and other ways of keeping in touch with people long distance
  53. airplanes to visit people far away
  54. cheese- I really like cheese!
  55. indoor plumbing- we just went camping so this is something I have a renewed appreciation for
  56. singing
  57. preaching
  58. animals
  59. modern medicine
  60. the internet and the ability to research
  61. a thermostat that I can easily adjust to control the temperature of the house
  62. people who will pray for me when I need it
  63. thank You for the work of sanctification You are doing in me
  64. for holidays with family
  65. for all the times I don’t know about that You have protected me and my family
  66. that You tell me to cast my cares on You for You care for me
  67. for nieces and nephews
  68. for living in a safe town
  69. for living in a town with a homeschool co-op
  70. for a refrigerator for keeping food cold
  71. for a stove to cook food on
  72. for a father in law who raises beef so I can buy locally raised meat
  73. for the ability to learn
  74. flowers
  75. sunsets
  76. sunrises
  77. fresh cold air
  78. trees
  79. warm fires
  80. my children’s health
  81. my husband’s health
  82. Thank You that my life is in Your hand
  83. that eternity is going to be so much fun on the New Earth
  84. the joy of living on the New Earth will overshadow my suffering here
  85. Your Justice
  86. Your Mercy
  87. Your Grace that helps me in time of need
  88. That You are my Abba Father
  89. vegetables of an abundant variety
  90. for creating the human body to function so amazing
  91. for Your wisdom
  92. for appliances to use in my kitchen that make work easier
  93. for woods
  94. fields
  95. mail
  96. Thank you that I live in a country that is clean with services such as trash pick up and for people who work that job
  97. for reveling Yourself to me through Your creation
  98. for people who love me
  99. for dental hygiene- toothbrushes, toothpaste and things like that that others don’t have
  100. for Your Holy Spirit

questions, waiting, fear, thanksgiving and why?

Several weeks back while undressing I found a lump near my breast. After finding the one lump I did a self breast exam and found another. While I knew that lumps can be totally normal and that I have no family history of breast cancer, I think any woman would get nervous about an odd looking lump.

I’m not good at waiting. Patience does not come easily for me. First, I had to wait until Monday to call the doctor because it was a Saturday night. Then, the doctor wanted me to wait until I had a period since hormones can cause lumps. Finally, my appointment was made and I was so relieved that I would finally get some answers. That is until after doing an exam the doctor set me up for an ultra sound the following week. So there I was with another week to go. After the ultra sound, it took 6 days for me to get the results back.

I called the nurse who said, “your diagnosis is blah blah blah blah blah,” as she struggled through some big words that meant nothing to me. “Is that good or bad?” I asked. “Um.. I’ll be right back.” And then I was on hold trying to decide if those words sounded scary or not. She got back on the phone. “The doctor said, no cancer, they are benign lumps that the doctor recommends getting rechecked every 6 months to make sure they haven’t changed.” I let out my breath that felt like I had been holding for a few weeks.

Over the last few weeks I knew that most likely there wasn’t anything major wrong. The doctor initially thought it was my lymph nodes that were enlarged so I was thinking along the lines of an infection. But still.. I do have an uncle who had hodgkin’s lymphoma… what if…?

What if God was going to call me to suffer this? What if my work on earth is done? Could I suffer in a way that glorified him? What about my children? Have I lived my life so far to it’s fullest potential?

This morning I was praying for someone who is most likely in the final stages of fighting a terrible disease. And I wondered why? Why not me? I was moved to worship God with a clearer understanding of His mercy. Because I don’t deserve good health. I deserve nothing but God’s wrath. Some how though, I am receiving His blessing and His great mercy today. It made me view my life with a kind of fear as I thought, “I’m here for a reason or else God would take me home.” O LORD help me to live for Your purposes! Let me not squander the precious blessing of life You have given to me so undeserved!

Caedmon’s call has a song called Mystery of Mercy that goes;

My God, my God, why hast thou accepted me?
When all my love was vinegar to a thirsty king
My God, my God, why hast thou accepted me?
It’s a Mystery of mercy and of song
The song I sing

I realize so much of my life I spend asking “Why?” about the wrong things. “Why am I suffering? Why am I carrying this grief? Why am I sick?” Instead of asking, “Why did He suffer for me? Why did he bear my sickness, my shame and my sorrow? Why was He acquainted with grief? Why has He made me His friend?

Today is an incredible gift. Yes, I have trials but I also have blessings that other’s would give so much to have. I have the gift of movement and independence that a quadriplegic spends their life dreaming about. I don’t have cancer! I have two children when I used to wonder if I would ever have a child. I have an abundance of so many things that I don’t ever want to take for granted. And I’m thankful for this little trial of patience and faith that I went through because I was blessed with a little more eternal perspective and a little better understanding of God’s mercy.

“My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.” James 1:2-4

“Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer” Romans 12:12