peace of my mind

peace I leave you; my peace I give you… Jn.14:27


Yes! to them apples

17:31 days of Yes!

Today I said Yes! to some things that have been on the back burner. Namely 2 bushels of apples my sweet mom picked for us from my Grandpa’s trees.  They were almost sitting there too long. Happy to have them roasting and crockpotting away on the countertop now.  Tomorrow my mom is coming and hopefully, we will can applesauce. She has taught me these things and has passed supplies onto me from her own years of putting up–along with any stray jars that come across her path.  I am grateful for the tradition, the smell and the jars waiting for us all winter.





Of course little helping hands are always welcome!

Here is a wonderful recipe for Apple Peel Jelly I tried last year. It allows you to use every last peel and core worth using to make some mighty good jam. It’s yummy and frugal–two of my favorite things!

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day. Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.


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Yes! to family night

16:31 days of Yes!

I know, that’s an easy one…who could say no to family night?

Such a busy fall! We are wrapping up cross country and football for the older boys this week. Tonight we found ourselves with Kevin coming off of a big deadline yesterday and nothing! on our schedule for the evening. Tonight was a natural night to celebrate so we went for a hike and got some pizza.  We like to keep it simple, but hiking and being outdoors is by far, one of my favorite things to do with my family. We all breathe easy in the open spaces and the gorgeous views. And it’s FREE!  Not being able to be outdoors regularly is one of the reasons mid-west winters are so hard.  If we can thicken our blood up enough, maybe we will purpose to get out there in January this year too.

31 days of Yes! is me dedicating to post each day for the month of October (which is a Yes! in itself) and to find one meaningful Yes! in each day.  Over 1200 bloggers are participating thanks to the lovely Nesting Place.

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October Skies


I love October. It may be my favorite month. But this year has held foreboding skies and a chill in the air that seems to have come too soon.  I still love it!  I’m certain I’m a melancholy spirit on a sunny day, but give me a little gray skies and misty mornings and it settles in a bit more.

In my own front yard

I come by it honestly…my dad is the same way.  Every fall there was a rhythm around our house growing up.  It wasn’t a bad feeling by any stretch, just a twinge of reflection and soberness.  There’s a feeling of departure heading into winter’s sleep, even though renewal and inspiration is all around.

Last night I found some songs by Cat Steven’s that have always reminded me of my dad.  I’ve been hunting for them for years actually, to no avail.  My dad introduced me to this fellow melancholy soul when I was in high school.  We would sit in the den and have “jam sessions”, listening to his music on old complicated reel-to-reel tracks.  I could never figure out how to find the songs I loved on those tracks except by accident.  Itunes is a vast improvement! and for $3.00 and 3 minutes, I was able to buy the three songs I’ve been in search of all these years.  They still give me that same twinge in the heart.  Who ever said reflection was a bad thing?  It’s a little painful, but then “the unexamined life is not worth living.”  (Socrates, I googled it)


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Dying to Self


That caterpillar went straight to work weaving; intent to do the next thing in the process of his transformation.  Within days, he hung in a glycine leaf bed shimmering and dangling.  Unaware of the intricate detail and delicacy which only another eye could appreciate.  He knew to make it strong and secure; make it able to weather the storm of change.

Emerging in Spite

After a week or two, it seemed death had come.  Dark and gray, shriveled and dried up, unrecognizable from the lush green cocoon a mere days earlier.  We waited it out not know what would come of it, and soon deemed it a failure again.  But we were wrong.  To our surprise he had prevailed and he wanted to fly.


How similar is our sanctification in Christ.  Behold old things have passed away. We enter his rest and become a new creation.   At times we hunker down for the storm, tucked in the cleft of His wing, intent to do the next thing in the process of our transformation.  We are woven by His Spirit, for His glory, into a magnificent work that our own eyes cannot behold.  It seems death comes to our souls as we walk through dry and dark trials.  Perhaps the pain is caused by the dying of self, knowing that change hurts.  Crucifying the flesh that fights vehemently to live another day.  Yet bit by bit we gain victory as we obey first in the small and then in the big.  We emerge from each trial, if we persevere, more glorious than we were when we went in.  And by His power, we too reach new heights.

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Manic Monday

Dew dropped web

I am overwhelmed this Monday morning. I wonder how many of my personal journal entries begin that way. It is a continual cycle of strength and weakness from week to week. Yet in my weakness, I am made strong through Him.

I come in prayer today for all I cannot do or acquire. I’m left holding a pittance in my hands without your provisions, Lord. So I lay my cares before your feet and come in prayer today–knowing that you are where I need to begin and end.


Noticing Things

I’ve been trying to slow down a little and capture the remarkable things simply waiting to be noticed.
Summer Sneaks
Like this cute little thief among the tomatoes
Or my mom’s dear hands tending what she picked from my Grandpa’s vines
Monarch cacoon
The amazing process of change
How glorious a flower can be
Precious Profile
Two sweet faces that look very similar when I pause to see it
The Helpers
The kitchen crew when we camped over Labor Day
Hobo Stew
The stew that brought some stress to the weekend, but was enjoyed by us all.

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Zooing It

Kindergarten Zoo Trip

I try very hard to be on the kids field trips.  I hold great memories of sharing the zoo, the planetarium, plays and farms with my children.  On this beautiful May day, I got to accompany Amelia to the zoo.


We stuck with her teacher whom she adores and her dear friend and neighbor from across the street.  It was a super day to spend with my girl.


This mama monkey and baby were an intriguing sight.  She was visibly tired of her baby hanging on her and was being less than kind to him; pushing him aside and trying to move out of reach.  It was heartbreaking and a sad , personified picture of what a mom’s selfishness can look like.  I add it here to help me remember to be patient and abounding in love, even when I might not feel like it.  Just never know how and where God might give you a teachable moment…even through a monkey at the zoo!