A little explanation about where I’ve been

As the title suggests, I haven’t been around much in the blogging world lately. A measly two posts this year so far, and both of them back in January. Close to six months of silence– yikes! IMG_6591 Several months ago, life became such that actual blogging was just not happening.

It turns out that my January 2nd post was more on-target than I imagined at the time. Sometimes God does things in our lives that we never expected or even dreamed of. Perhaps you know what it’s like to just be traveling down the road of life, and suddenly, sometimes out of nowhere, we find ourselves at a major bend in the road. Other times, we can see the bend way off in the distance, on the horizon, and we know change is coming. Either way, the major bend can be a lot to work through. Change can mean deep waters sometimes. It can even be heartbreaking, in a good way, or in a bad way.

Change can also be good. It pulls us up out of our comfort zones. It causes us to see things in a new light. It can bring life sharply into focus again.edit5God has called us away from our home and ministry of nineteen years in the Shenandoah Valley, and has brought us out to the plains of Illinois. We have said plentiful and painful goodbyes to family and dear friends. Part of our hearts will forever be in Virginia.

So, that’s where I’ve been. That’s where we’ve been, all ten of us. Turning a corner, closing a chapter, going through a season of change, experiencing the end of an era, uprooting after nineteen years.

I think I’m starting to come up for air after these intense several months. There is much I’d love to share. God has been teaching me so patiently as we have gone through this experience. He shows such great mercy to our faltering steps.IMG_6596Now, instead of our beloved mountains, we have the wide open sky. Our faith has been stretched to new levels. There have been many questions. There still are. But the bottom line is, we are here to follow His call. There is no doubt that God is the One Who has done this.

We have a new home here, one that we hope to move into soon, maybe sometime in the next few weeks…? (And I don’t want to hear the word septic again for a VERY long time.) We have a new ministry here, of an entirely different sort than before. And most importantly, we serve the same God here. edit7Life is an adventure! Whether you find yourself rooted or uprooted today, settled or unsettled, remember the Ever Faithful One. Rest in His love. Find joy in His plan. Remember Jesus Christ Who is our Hope, our King and the only true Savior. Trust Him even when nothing is making sense. (I’m preaching to myself here…) “He knoweth the way that I take…” Job 23:10IMG_6645“Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!” Psalm 115:1

“But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!” Psalm 115:18

Your Home and God’s Kingdom

Be encouraged today, dear ones!edit5I know it’s easy to get discouraged. We hear bad news everywhere. Kids are departing from the faith. Hate and violence overwhelm our streets. Churches are shutting down. Families are splitting apart. Unrighteous lawmakers seem to prevail. Children are abused. Our world seems to be going crazy in many respects.

Fear and sadness grip our hearts as we hear of these things. But is this the whole story? Are there any battles being won for righteousness? Are there any advances being made for the kingdom of Christ in our world today?eeditOh, yes. Yes, there are! Continue reading “Your Home and God’s Kingdom”

The Next Phase of the Journey

Get ready, get set, go! Currently, our household is in a stage that feels like “geeettt reeeeeaaaaaadyyy”, mainly because two weeks ago we tore the dilapidated ceiling out of our school room (down to the joists) and have been trying to give the entire room a facelift. This is the only room that has basically gone untouched since we bought our old farmhouse twelve years ago. This room has finally gotten a turn for some improvements, at long last. I’m loving how it has turned out. Fixing up my nest is one of my favorite activities. I should be showing some pics of the changes on my Instagram soon.

This year, our “getting ready for school” phase has also involved a new activity; that of getting our firstborn packed up and out the door for his first semester of college. Meanwhile, I’m trying not to think about how many days it will be until mid-December.

Continue reading “The Next Phase of the Journey”

When You Feel Discouraged

Some days discouragement knocks on the door and then floods in, before we hardly realize it. Here are some thoughts for those times when we battle disappointment, disillusionment, or feelings of failure in spite of giving our all.

IMG_E0894The devil loves to come marching in and start feeding us lie upon lie when we are discouraged. Continue reading “When You Feel Discouraged”

Life is Good (by Steve Hall)

IMG_0264I love hearing my husband Steve preach and teach from God’s Word. Over the years I have grown by listening to his wisdom as he teaches, and also by watching him live so humbly as a servant of the Lord. This blog post he published today resonated with me so deeply that I wanted to share the link with you here. Continue reading “Life is Good (by Steve Hall)”

On the way into Bethlehem

We parked. The whole family piled out of the van, donned coats and hats, and began to wade through a sea of vehicles. Strains of Jewish music floated over the fence from across the road. Who knew that the local “Bethlehem Village,” hosted by several area churches, drew such a crowd? 

With two littles in the double stroller, we moved quickly before they could start deciding they didn’t like being in the stroller after all. A parking attendant called out, “There’s a place to cross the road about half way down.” Continue reading “On the way into Bethlehem”

My Favorite Christmas Tradition

Simple traditions are the ones I love best. They stand the test of time. No matter how hectic the holiday season becomes, they still endure.

We started one of those simple traditions about five or six years ago. All you need are four candles and voices joined together in song. I’m so excited to share with you Continue reading “My Favorite Christmas Tradition”

If Mama Ain’t Thankful

She stood there smiling at me, in the basement of the church where we both were visiting. It was a genuine smile, a relaxed smile, not a forced “I have to smile at you because I’m the evangelist’s wife” smile. She had three or four small children in tow, and they were climbing on everything in sight, as were mine. Continue reading “If Mama Ain’t Thankful”

A thought from Steve (with Fall pictures!)

IMG_5448After reading my last blog post, about working alongside your children, Steve said, “There’s a spiritual lesson in that.”

Here’s the truth he shared. We have One who comes alongside us, too. As followers of Christ, we’ve all been given jobs to do, many of which seem beyond our abilities. Our Master hasn’t left us alone to figure it all out ourselves. He’s given us Continue reading “A thought from Steve (with Fall pictures!)”