Saturday, February 25, 2023

The Adventure


When driving home from town a few days ago, I stopped and took the above photo. I later posted it on FB, expressing my thankfulness over living in such a beautiful place. I got to thinking about how truly blessed my husband, Greg, and I are.

God has been good to us. But some of our happiness has to do with the two young people who were willing to take a risk. 

In 1979 my husband and I lived in Washington State. Greg had a great job, and I was happily fulfilling my dream of being a stay-at-home-mom. We had a new home on acreage in a very nice area of King County. Moving away would be silly, right?

My husband's brother Gary lived in beautiful Douglas County, Oregon and Greg and I had made several trips to the area to visit. Soon a longing to resettle on the fringe of the wilderness took hold of us, but moving didn't make sense. 

We prayed about making a change and prayed some more. Moving would mean we'd have to give up a lot. One sacrifice would be Greg's terrific job. What would he do for work in small town Oregon? We would also have to say farewell to long-time friends and family and relinquish our sense of security. We'd have to sell our lovely home. And we'd need to place our lives in God's hands and trust that we were making a choice within His will.

We continued to pray and although our loved ones thought the idea was crazy, we knew Oregon is where we belonged. We made a trip south to search for of a piece of property where we could build our forever home. After finding the perfect place, we released what was familiar and set out to discover our new life. 

We sold our home. Greg gave notice at work, then Greg and I packed up a UHaul truck and headed south. We had only two children at that time, but Kristina was just barely six weeks old. As we drew near to our new little community in the foothills of the Cascades the sun had long since set and it was very dark. I remember well how lost I felt as we drove the final miles. There were no city lights, and it was a long way between ranchers' homes. When we finally arrived at the house we had rented sight-unseen we discovered it was in desperate need of a good cleaning and some tender-loving care. While Greg set off in search of something to eat, I sat on the living room floor with my little ones and wondered if the move had been a huge mistake. 

By the time Greg and I got our kids into bed that night and we climbed beneath our blankets we were exhausted. Still, sleep eluded us as we wondered what the future held. The next morning, we were greeted by sunshine and birdsong. Standing on the porch of that old farmhouse I breathed in the presence of God and renewed my strength. I looked at the glorious view and knew we had made the right decision.

Through the many years since, we have experienced joys and sorrows. Life has not always been easy. It has been a mix of wonder and hardship. But as I've watched my children and now my grandchildren frolic through the meadows and forests, I've been thankful for those young people who chose to take a chance.

Life is an adventure. Each of us are faced with decisions and some of those can have profound effects on what we will experience while on this planet. I pray that Greg and I will not forget how to embrace a challenge and I pray that each of you will make the kind of choices that bring you joy.

Grace and peace to you from God,


Wednesday, February 08, 2023

With a Thankful Heart

Where we are now.

I came across a blog draft from August 2020. I never completed it, but I want to share it now. I am two and a half years late, but I always say, "Better late, than never."

Many times, I've mentioned how much I admired my mother's thankful heart. She is gone now, but I think of her every day. When I consider her wealth of gratitude it's easy to see that I do not possess the same degree of gratefulness. I've aspired to have such a heart, but it has remained elusive. In the past month I've been pressed upon to seek true gratitude and have recognized how I have fallen short. 

Greg and I have been in the process of moving. We left our dream home and returned our older place nearby, which is in a state of disrepair. It's been difficult. I have longed for the convenience and comfort of the home I left. There is a lot of work to be done and the cost has required sacrifice. God has blessed Greg with employment, which has provided the money needed for upgrades and repairs. But that work keeps Greg away from home and has left me with a heavier load to carry. I am reminded daily of my physical weakness, and I miss the presence of my husband. He's always been here to make sure everything that needs doing gets done. He is a man of many talents.

There have been long waits for things like new carpeting, floor tile, cabinets, and even new windows. And while I wait, I must admit to being a bit whiny some of the time. I have not been thankful.

God is speaking to me about how easily we fall into sin. I pray for contentment and gratitude, but this is a condition of the heart and not so easily resolved. I don't like what I see, but I am grateful for God's love that not only shows mercy but helps me to see the truth about myself.

1 Timothyy 4:4-5 says, "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the Word of God and prayer."

And so, the Lord has led me to reflect, and I find myself sitting at my desk this morning, counting my blessings, which are many. How can I not see when I look out the window onto a meadow where deer graze and wild birds announce the beauty of the day, and flowers shout their joy at the sun?

We all have difficulties in life, but there are also many blessings. If we allow ourselves to spiral down and are caught up in the sorrows and frustrations we will miss the beauty.

My home will be complete one day, likely soon. But if it's not, will I be able to find contentment? Yes, if I see the world through a broader spectrum and remember that the big picture is about so much more than today. 

Grace and peace to you from God,


I was soon to be reminded, in a very big way, how much I have to be thankful for. Three weeks after writing the above post the Archie Creek Fire blasted through our community. It destroyed more than a hundred homes, thousands of animals and birds, and turned our forest to char. It has not recovered, but there are signs of its future beauty. 

We lost outbuildings, tools, toys and a litany of other things, but our home withstood the barrage. It is complete now, though there was a long delay finishing and rebuilding.

I am SO THANKFUL for God's goodness and mercy.

What Was