Category Archives: Empty Nest

Fast forward…as the focus turns from self to God <3

To catch you up to speed: I started a little series for the week based on 2 Chronicles 20. (we started Monday this week if you want to go back and read those first, we will wait for you…)

This is a well-marked and often visited set of pages in my Bible over the years as it describes those times when we don’t just have one thing coming against, but we have many things coming from all directions.

Attacks on all borders and we are greatly outnumbered.

Jehoshaphat was King of Judah and received news of a huge multitude of armies coming against his land.

We are told he realized the serious situation and feared greatly, but he set himself to seek the Lord and called for all the people from every city to come together in fasting and prayer to seek God’s help.

The next thing he did is interesting.

As everyone was gathered in the Temple and with desperate cries to God; Jehoshaphat led them in prayer.

His words are recorded in verses 5-13 but here is the summary of the declarations he made:

<3 Who God is…the God of their history and past generations, ruler over heaven and all the kingdoms of earth, the One who holds all power and all might in His own hands

<3 What God had done already…drove out the inhabitants of the land and given that particular place of real estate to His people, Israel – the descendants of Abraham, made them a nation with a place of worship specifically dedicated to Him alone

<3 What God had promised…that if at any time trouble of war or famine or pestilence should come on them, if they gathered in that place and called out to Him, He would hear them and He would save them

<3 What the enemy was doing…tattled on them, he did. Jehoshaphat straight up called out the enemy’s activities in detail to God and pointed out why what they were doing was NOT God’s plan for Israel.

<3 What they needed…King Jehoshaphat…the King of Judah…the man with all the resources of the kingdom at his disposal….stood humbly before the LORD his God…and this precious so don’t ever miss this…not only did the King stand there before Him but “all Judah, with their little ones, their wives and their children, stood before the LORD” v. 13. 

<3 What they declared about themselves….And they all…the whole huge crowd of royals and commoners and peasants and business owners…holding their little babies and huddled with their youth beside them… they admitted…we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us. We have no idea what we should do. But our eyes are upon You.

Not….here’s our battle plan. Lord, bless it.

Not…we are pulling all the smartest people out and reviewing battle strategies and taking inventory of our weaponry.

Not…call out for any able bodies and lets get them suited up in army and gather horses and sharpen our swords.


They gathered together as families and stood before the Lord and lifted empty trusting hands and faith-filled eyes to the One who had made promises.

Jesus made us some promises.

He promised in this world we would have trouble…but to take heart…because He has overcome it.

He promised He would never leave us nor forsake us.

He promised His Spirit to dwell in us and guide us and teach us and correct us.

He promised He was going away but that He would come back.

He is faithful.

In the midst of overwhelming circumstances today, would you humble your heart?

Would you gather those you love dearly, even if it is only in your prayer closet, and stand before the Lord with honesty about situations and then would you acknowledge your need for Him to show up and would you keep your eyes firmly fixed on Him today?

God bless you dear ones. The trials and struggles of this life are real and they are a multitude.



Farewell summer 2017

You were a good one, Summer of 2017…and you ended well…

A full Labor Day weekend of fun

with cousins meeting up…

for Mexican with Tia and…

another one of our fancy picnics that we are famous for….

and no…I didn’t steal this party scape off of Pinterest…

it was all original planning on my part.

Because we just plop down and make our fun wherever it works…

We wrapped the whole thing up with a Labor Day Palooza…

where we taught our children how to beg for candy…

learned how to honor the flag…



introduced Caroline to more of our chaos…

took over the patio at Meatheads…

and all in all…

Best. Summer. Ever.

And now here’s to Fall…

to pumpkin products and apple orchards…

football games and a little more structure.

Blessings on you all as we move into the next season <3



In this little corner of the world

Good Monday morning to you.

The weekend kind of flew by in a blur but we were able to kick off football season with our first taste test of Concessions 2017 with a pork sandwich from the Maroa Forsyth home game…

and we would say…it ranks right up there with the Clinton ribeye sandwich of 2015 that was a 10 out of 10.

Go Trojans!

Yesterday we celebrated Rachel’s birthday…sadly missing Zach and Uncle John…but

Tia made it and was kind of all that…

and more <3

We took the opportunity to try and get a picture for the Christmas card (possibly) and mommy wanted one with her crew for her birthday.

On my phone alone we have 49 shots with a reported additional “bursts” on Rachel’s phone making our grand total of group shots worthy of updating our data packages…

and yet…


we got a lot of this going on.

but we did manage at least a few so…

we’ll take it.

Thankful for a full day and full arms and a full heart.

But now…

I am sitting here comfortably recovering from a busy weekend as much needed rain falls gently outside our home.

And my thoughts and prayers are with those who continue to receive much, too much, rain in the coastal areas along shoreline of Texas.

I am thinking about the crisis they are in and the recovery that will come after it finally stops.

Photos of homes devastated as people are rummaging through looking for anything to salvage of their physical life bring us to tears.

A grateful couple emerging from a rescue boat carrying a backpack each stops to embrace the rescue workers who will go back out and do it again.

The businesses and homes and schools…all of it.

And so we pray.

We pray for what we cannot wrap our minds around, here and around the world…

for all those who are devastated, homeless, refugees…

from disasters of the earth or disasters of mankind.

We pray God’s comfort and love, healing and hope, rescue and provision.

Come Lord Jesus.

Come <3


When other people are nice to your children <3

I have watched and watched and rewatched…and zoomed in and paused and taken screen shots of an early celebration thrown for our Rachel’s upcoming birthday last night.

This guy…

made sure they had cake and sang for mom since he will be working this weekend.

Thank you Apple iPhone that I can play a video and also zoom in on faces and I have sat with sweet, wet tears dripping as I see Rachel beaming while dad and the band of brothers sing happy birthday to her…

or I guess it’s actually Happy Birfday…I am always learning.

And while six pairs of eyes are intently focused on …

instead of mommy…

my heart spills over to see her beaming face as she is honored by her family.

And it blesses me.

It blesses me more than if I was the guest of honor.

She’s our girl.

And to see her treated with love and respect and dignity and honor fills my heart to brim over.

For all of our children, when they are treated well and shown kindness and love…it is wonderful.

We also know the pain when they are not.

And I think how it blesses the Father when we, His children, show love and respect to one another.

How our acts of kindness to each other bless Him and honor Him.

I have written and deleted several ways to end this.

Maybe it is just best for you to stop and reflect on how your heart has been blessed by the kindness shown by others to someone  you love and then draw near to the Father and thank Him.

Perhaps take all of that lovely glow that is in your heart as you replay it in your mind and lift it up to Him…a fragrant offering of thanksgiving to Him who is Love.

In the same way, perhaps someone has deeply hurt and betrayed your precious loved one.

We are so blessed that we can also lift the pain and sorrow to Him and entrust it to His care. He knows the hearts of all. Release it to Him and allow Him to heal, correct, restore…in HIs time.

Have a blessed weekend and I will see you on Monday <3


While you are waiting for the eclipse

The big news across the USA today will most likely be tracing the path of the eclipse, although I did read in the paper that the turnout in Oregon did not meet expectations and vendors are complaining that they had to mark down their Eclipse trinkets and T-shirts because the forecasted millions did not show up.

Help me please.

A total Eclipse of the sun will make a wide swath of the United States and we came up with souvenirs?


It is the American way.

And speaking of…

we did make a trek to the State Fair this weekend.

Shocker of all shockers—it was my idea.

We went a few years ago with our little guys and it was fun and I wanted to recreate it but alas…

most of the animals had left the building…

and it was …

and it was so hot the only ones keeping cool were the …

refrigerated butter cow and her calf….which I believe were drawing the crowds away from the whole Eclipse thing because we had to stand in line quite a while to snap this pic.

We did get to see a real cow…

and a fake…

who made weird clicking noises with his eyes when he blinked…creeeeeepy.

And although we had been looking forward to delicious pulled pork in the best food ever tent…

we opted to evacuate the heat, humidity and red necks and head to an air-conditioned restaurant.

I did celebrate the pork producers by having a…

and on a final note…

this girl…

looked me right square in the eyes yesterday and smiled.

And thus I have been wrapped around another tiny finger…


Now go put on your fancy glasses or pull the shades or just carry on as we await the eclipse and I will see you tomorrow <3