FEB 22

Haven’t we all had a teacher who made a subject come alive for us? Their excitement and passion about geometry/chemistry/English literature brought forth a tangible understanding of that subject so that we shared that excitement, engaging and hungering to learn more. Those subjects then became a foundation, rock solid, for additional growth throughout life.

Sometimes, however, even with a phenomenal teacher, extra tutoring is needed. A deep dive into a problem helps us to grasp understanding with both hands so that we own that knowledge.

I think Jesus was that phenomenal teacher to his disciples and still had to make those deep dive discussions so that their comprehension and ownership of the faith was all-encompassing.

The disciples didn’t fully understand all that Jesus taught them. Until they could grasp the faith that Christ taught, and allow it to permeate their heart to it’s core, how could they effectively share that faith? Jesus had to remind the disciples of the gifts they were given, and that they were fully prepared for the journey He was sending them on. Once the disciples fully embraced the truth, then they were ready to share the faith with others—passionately, tangibly, fully alive.

Someone to love


During His last hours on the cross, in pain, struggling to breathe and trusting in God to release Him from His misery, Jesus was still able to provide for those He loved–  His disciple John and His mother, giving them to one another to love and care for each other.

When I think of my husband, children, my sister, mother, family, dear friends, it is easy to see how Jesus was still concerned enough to take care of them despite his physical suffering.  So many times in my motherhood I have gone above and beyond what I would have done for myself and done for my children– provide for them, care for them, love them–even at their most unlovable and even then I would give them whatever I could to assure their happiness, peace, and safety.  It is how I love; I nurture.   Jesus did that for us.  Even in his last hours, minutes, seconds, He did it for us so that we could find happiness, peace, safety; He loved us, nurtured us and provided for us even at our most unlovable.

How do we respond to Jesus’ gift of eternal provision?  Do we ask?  Do we seek?  Do we try to love like Jesus?

Jesus, help me to love and nurture those around me today, even at their most unlovable.

The road to happiness


This idea of renouncing our worldly comforts goes against our consumerist brains in a painful and fearful manner.  However, let us look at a few things outside of the realm of “wealth and riches” to get a glimpse of life without a focus on materialistic desires—and let us imagine letting go of our riches so that we may enter heaven.

Don’t we all, at some point, crave the down time of solititude, sitting small and enjoying a gentle breeze in our society of more, bigger, faster ?  Lying in a field under a clear blue sky, light breeze, sunshine keeping the chill at bay, dogs wrestling at the the end, music playing softly—much preferred to a loud, crowded, stifling throng of people in a festival atmosphere, right?

Where money can buy convenience, take you wherever you want to go, it is still the simplest things in life that bring the most joy: a walk on the beach as the sun comes up over the ocean, clean sheets pulled from the clothesline on a sunny day,  a kind word for no particular reason.

When we cling to the material ideas of the world as our road to happiness and joy, our hands are too full to accept all Jesus has to offer.  Letting go of “things” that twist our focus and priorities allows us to experience a deep, content faith, seeking Christ and ultimately a place in heaven.

What are we holding on to that keeps us from receiving true happiness?

Lord, help us to let go of the world’s idea of happiness and joy and let us receive all that you have to offer in eternal happiness.

Reno part 3: Office and dining room

When we bought the house we had 2 living areas, which was great for a while, however, as the kids grew, we converted one living room to a bedroom which was shared by girls, then boys and then as our oldest’s room as our youngest son left for college. We have played musical rooms MANY times in this house and it always makes things fresh and fun for a while and miraculously clean for a time.

Hubby’s home office was on the opposite side of bedroom wall sharing the dining room. It worked. When our oldest son moved out, we then had a spare room with plans to move the home office, however, we had paneling over the block walls and one of the walls wasn’t properly insulated, so we had some work to do first. Of course.

From spare room/guest cat room, to emptying out and therapeutic peeling of random wallpaper
with paneling down we were able to insulate and put up dry wall in the entire room, leaving fresh walls to paint and paint and paint
A quiet spot to have coffee in the morning and Bandit’s new spot—-poor dude, his crate was moved so many times during the construction process over the past 2 1/2 months, he kept returning to his original spot in the living room and just standing there. He’s got it now, though!
Command central and the best thing is a DOOR for those loud conference calls! Our cat enjoys this new space as well.

The dining room, was a good size, however, we had a couple of pieces of furniture that took up space and since we shared space with the office it could get a little tight with a large dinner group—-AKA all the kids and their significant others. With the furniture going to our oldest for his new house and my dishes and miscellanies now housed in the kitchen cabinets, we have a peaceful spot for dinner.

Before. Our flooring was able to go right over the tile with a transitional concrete. That saved us some dust! Old and new paint…..from golds and greens to greys and blues. We also replaced all the interior doors in the house.
New doors and hardware. Doors close fully and teenage skate stickers artfully covering inside and outside of doors are no longer. This is also important in that our cat can no longer “knock” on our door at 2 a.m.—-if he does, we don’t hear him!

My buffet table now has a new home and we have room to stretch out. Hubby hated the old light so we swapped it out for a new light with LED and dimmable option. the kitchen also has an LED light that replaced our old fluorescent light—you can just barely see it on the right—-it also has a dimmer. It was an option I didn’t realize we had—our electrician told us about it and I’m glad we went in that direction.

Reno Part 2: Bathrooms

We have 2 bathrooms, both are small, but proportional to our 1972 house, and both had “issues”. Loose tiles in the tub and shower, floor tile/linoleum that was hard to clean and an overall dingy appearance.

For our master we opted to gut it and start fresh. Au revoir to the pink square tiles, too-short-for-Hubby shower head and linoleum square tiles on the floor

to give you and idea of the pink and some of the sinking wall tiles in the shower…..issues.
new Durock and shower pan and actual tile for the floor. (fortunately, no major issues behind those sinking tiles), some built in shower shelves, and new paint. We shared the girls bath while ours was under construction and flipped to ours while theirs was transforming to a much cleaner look. We all survived!!
it’s really challenging to get a full look in a small space, but Voila….new vanity, mirror, light and shower—-the pic is to show the pebble floor—which I love, however a bonus is the puffs which made a cameo!
Girls bathroom: This is the best “before” I have. that tiny tile was SO hard to keep clean, even with the boys gone—-a struggle. We also had a couple of loose tiles to repair in the shower—with no huge underlying issues, blessedly!

In the girls bathroom, we opted for re-glazing of the tub and tile rather than a gut. We replaced the floor tile, repainted and installed a new vanity, mirror and light fixture, matching the floor tile and lighting to our bathroom. From dingy to crisp and clean.

off white to BRIGHT!
with re-glazing only a soft cloth and soap and water are used to clean the tub and tile. Our girls are older and so far this is faring well. If our boys were still home or the kids were younger, this likely wouldn’t have been the best choice. Time will tell, but we are pleased with the finished product.