Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Reduce ~ Reuse ~ Recycle {With a Twist} for Earth Day

Earth Day is Wednesday, April 22.

I'm not here to discuss the philosophies, celebrations, and revelries of the Earth Day proponents. I'm all for taking care of the creation as long as we acknowledge and worship the Creator.

The mantra to reduce, reuse, and recycle used to bother me because it seems to give humans complete power over Creation. As if God had stepped back or disappeared completely and we were on the fast track to ruining his divine creation.

But then I realized that I could find faith and the Bible just about anywhere, like when I look at a telephone pole and see a cross, the emblem of suffering and shame.

So, this Earth Day, and every day, I want to encourage you to reduce, reuse, and recycle.




Reduce...your attachment to and your involvement with the world and its entanglements, including time commitments that draw you away from God and family relationships. Children’s activities, adult activities, television and movies, music, choice of friends, options at work. The list is endless. The question is simple. Does it grow your relationship with God? “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” {Romans 12:2}

Reuse...your Bible. Read it every day. Don’t let it get dusty. Meditate on its truths every day. Memorize, even just the next word of the verse you’re working on, every day. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” {2 Timothy 3:16-17}

Recycle...God's love for you. Turn it into love that you show to others. Your husband. Your children. Your parents. The new family at church. The cashier at the grocery store. The telemarketer who calls in the evening. {Yes, even him. J} “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.” {John 13:34}

Why not begin your earth day with Genesis 1, the account of creation? Then go plant that tree, and while you’re down on your knees, tamping down the earth, pray for the spiritual health of your family. Finally, put your recyclables out at the curb, and then tell the trash truck driver what a wonderful job he does.


“The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein.” ~ Psalm 24:1








Do you reduce, reuse, and recycle?


{This post has been updated from a post that originally appeared on this blog on April 17, 2013.}


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Friday, April 17, 2015

Can I Join the Amish? ~ The Love Letters Book Review #FCBlogger

{This post is sponsored by Family Christian. All opinions are honest and my own.}

Confession: I have dreamed of running away to join the Amish. They seem to lead such simple lives (Jah?) without the concern of what to wear and what others will think, plenty of community, a lack of technology, and tons of gut food like homemade bread with homemade jam, sticky buns, and vegetables fresh from the garden. Not sure I’d want all that celery, but I do like my electricity. J

Of course, most of my knowledge of the Amish comes from carefully researched and crafted novels like The Love Letters by Beverly Lewis.




It’s a wonderful-gut story of a young Old Order Amish woman whose family is changing, yet she insists on remaining the same. Through the death of her grandfather and going to stay the summer with her Mennonite mother, the car accident of her Englisch sister and taking care of her little five-month-old niece, and her parents change to New Order Amish, she becomes confused of her faith and begins to seek the Lord in a way the Old Order frown upon. It’s the sweet story of a young woman finding her way in the world and receiving love letters from her Old Order beau back home. I’ve never thought of the Amish as having much disagreement when it comes to denominations. I mean, plain is plain, ain’t so? But ach, much conflict exists in every walk of life.

But it’s also a touching story of a disabled fourteen-year-old boy whose father struggles with accepting him as a working member of the farm. He befriends an Englischer who can’t remember exactly who he is or where he lives, an older man who lives nearly every moment to moment ferhoodled. As the boy and then his family take him in, his music and the love letters he carries in a satchel begin to affect all around him.

And the end? Well, I didn’t see that love letter coming. J

I’ve been struggling to find time to read recently, but I’ve been able to sip slowly from this novel, and the characters carried me through until the next time I could pick it up. I haven’t been disappointed by Beverly Lewis yet, and I’m happy to add this one to my Amish collection.








Would you like to be Amish with me? J



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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What's Left on the New House? Too Many Projects to Count!

Since we moved in last November, took a break for Christmas, and then put up the page on this blog about Building Our Home, I wonder if you thought we were all done. J

My wishful thinking actually made me speculate that, just perhaps, when we moved in, we would be all done. At the very least, we would be reclining in the luxury of completion within five months. How foolish!

So, the projects continue, although at a much slower pace as we re-enter what feels like normal life. I think there will always be details {can I get an amen?! J}, but these are the relatively big things that still need completion.

Kitchen hearth with microhood. We planned a lower cabinet to hold the microwave, but it wasn't long before I realized my back would not allow the sideways bending and lifting of sometimes heavy dishes in and out of the microwave. So we need to bring our electrician back in to wire in a plug for a microwave. Then, we're going to build a fireplace/hearth look around it.



Fireplace stone and mantle. Yeah, white-painted drywall isn't that homey around a fireplace. We have several pallets we kept from various material deliveries, and I’m desperate for my handy hubby to make the mantle. Pinterest, here I come!

Bunk bed guard rails. We got the 15yo up in her top bunk, and now it's made me anxious to get the rest done.



Final grade and seed in the yard. Rain, rain, go away, come again after we have the dirt spread and the grass seed sown.... {Can I get an amen?! J}

Command center cabinets and countertop. The space isn't unusable, but it could look a ton better and be much more functional with the proper storage capacities. Ultimately, that means cabinetry and countertop that matches the kitchen. Of course, keeping the calendar up-to-date would help. Just keeping it real…. J


Hall closet doors. Well, the open space is forcing me to keep each one fairly tidy and organized. It’s amazing what you get used to seeing to the point of not noticing it anymore.



Five months in the new house, and we at least have the boxes unpacked. I count that as a victory!

It’s not perfect, and decorating will come in fits and spurts. I haven’t yet figured out a place for all the paper. But for the moment, we're just savoring the feeling of having one property, one landing place, one place to call home.

“Home is the nicest word there is.” ~ Laura Ingalls Wilder









What’s on your to-do list for your home?




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