A Place Called Home

Sometimes life can seem random, like there is no rhyme or reason to what happens or when things happen.  I’d like to share memories that still help me when I think of them, to know that I am not alone, that I am loved, and that there is more to life, than just what we see.

What I am about to share next will seem like the opposite of what I just shared—but read on, and you will see what I mean.

My dad had a stroke 5 years before he died; it left my dad without the power of speech.   I remember my son Sean told me that he missed hearing his Papa’s voice, and he was afraid he wouldn’t be able to remember what his Papa’s voice sounded like. (Sean didn’t have to be afraid of that—4 years after my dad died, Sean passed.  Sean is hearing his Papa’s voice in heaven.)

Not quite 3 years before my dad died, my youngest child was born.  She was my parents’ youngest grandchild.   When our sweetness was just over 2 years old, we went to visit my parents.  My sweet girl was a busy, busy, busy, 2-year-old, never sitting down, always moving.  On this visit, she climbed up into her Papa’s lap, and stayed there hugging him, for the next 45 minutes.   At the time, I was stupefied as to what was happening.   The next day, my dad had another massive stroke, and spent the next 6 months in the hospital until he died.

I still cry when I remember our precious little girl, crawling up into my dad’s lap and hugging him.  It was the last hug between them.  How did this tiny little girl know this would be the last time, she would be with her Papa?  How did she know to embrace him and the moment?

  I have many questions like that:  How do birds know to fly south for the winter?  How do bears know to hibernate in the winter.  Yes—I know the scientific explanation, but someone had to design the birds to have those homing instincts, and someone had to design bears’ bodies to go into hibernation.

Scripture tells us that God takes care of the birds of the air, and we are worth much more to God.  God loves us; He cares for us.  He has prepared a place for us. 

Every time, I go to a funeral, and see the body, I am reminded once again, that our bodies house our spirits.  When the spirit is gone, the person is gone, even though the body remains.

Sometimes—life seems random, like a big cosmic accident, and then sometimes—something happens—and it reminds us that we are not alone, that we are loved, and that there is a place we are all heading towards—a place I call home.   May we be encouraged!!


I am uploading all of my 8mm video tapes onto my computer.  I have been going thru old memories, revisiting precious moments of my life.  My kids have gathered round to watch certain moments of their lives–birthday parties, special Christmases.

I’m hoping to share these moments with my family and friends.

It’s amazing what technology we now have, and the ability to share memories with each other.

When I was young, my uncle used to take movies of us–and he put them on a Reel TO Reel.  I’m not even sure where the movies are now–perhaps they are lost in the ravages of time.

Much of our history gets lost to the ravages of time.  I remember my chemistry teacher telling me that if things are not taken care of they will decay at a very fast rate.  They will still decay, even if they are taken care of–just at a slower rate.

When I was a young bride, my husband’s family took a trip to Canada to visit family.  As part of our trip, we went to an old town that my husband’s grandfather had lived in growing up–except no one lived there anymore, and the town had reverted to dust.  There were a few stone foundations left standing–but the town and its structures had literally disappeared.  It was very eerie.  

What is my point?  My point is that everything eventually will decay and disappear.   

This is a really good reminder for me.  I can tend to think–”oh–having this experience will fill me up, or—if I had financial security–I’d really be happy, I could have lots of beautiful things in my home, and I could throw beautiful parties and give lovely gifts—and then I’d be really, really happy.  Then I’d be loved”  

The truth is—God is the only One who can fill me up.  My security is in Him.  I am already loved by Him.  All the other things–they are gifts from Him–that He may choose to give or not give to me–but they are not Him.  When I start thinking others things can fill me–be it people or things—I have made them idols in my life.  

Ultimately–the “things” will not last.   But God–He is eternal, and He has given me and you and all of us– eternal souls.   We will last beyond the ravages of time.   Therefore what we choose to invest our lives in–should last beyond the ravages of time as well.  

God has the answers for each of us—but those answers will be centered on love—love as He defines it–not as we define it.   1 Corinthians 13:1-8   All of this is really great news—for God is able to satisfy each of our heart’s desires.  He has placed eternity in our hearts–and  saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity.

May We Be Encouraged!!

Happy Mother’s Day–Mom!

Happy Mother’s Day to my mom!!

I am thankful I still have my mother on this earth.  She has been dealing with serious health issues for the past few years, and recently received some great reports!!  All who love her, are so very grateful! During the past few years, my mom has faced her crises with grace and kindness.  She has been unfailingly thankful for every small blessing.

My mom has been a blessing to me, and the rest of her family and her many friends.  She has been a prayer warrior, praying for so, so many, including me and mine.

God has given me a wonderful Mom. I am so thankful!!

I love you Mom!!!  

The following is a tribute I wrote to my mom a few years ago for Mother’s Day:

My mom is a beautiful Irish-looking girl.  Her parents were very young when they married—17 years old.  My mother was their second child and daughter, (they eventually had 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy.)  She was born in 1938, not long before World War II started.   Her father left to go serve in the military, and she, her sister and mother lived with her father’s parents.

My mom and her siblings

My mother says that those early years of living with her grandparents shaped the kind of person she wanted to be when she grew up.   Her grandmother was very hard working and cheerful.  She had a baking day, and a laundry day, and a cleaning day.  They lived on a large farm and had field hands that had to be fed.  Her grandmother cooked massive meals for them.

Mom and her older sister
Mom and her grandfather–Pa

My mother wanted to be just like her grandmother, cheerful, hardworking, baking and cooking for a crowd.

Dad and Mom when they were “courting”, sitting on her parent’s front porch.

She got her wish.  She married my father, and they proceeded to have 6 children.  My mother was cheerful, hardworking, and she cooked and baked like she was feeding farmhands, which is probably not far from how we ate.

Mom and Dad–Mom just gave birth to her third child and is not feeling the best, so is not wearing her usual smile.

Mom with my two oldest siblings, pregnant with her third child. She would have her first five children in four years!

In so many ways, my mother was the consummate homemaker, mother, wife, hostess and just plan—wonderful person.   She has persevered through life with a smile. She has known the loss of many loved ones, including her husband and her grandchild, (my son), her niece and nephew, two of her siblings, her parents, grandparents, many loved friends and extended family. Almost everyone in the picture below has entered into eternity, including the little boy –my Aunt Gaye’s son. My mother stood by her sister’s side, as my Aunt Gaye lost her husband, son and daughter within a six month period of time.

My mother hosted the holiday meal for her family, while being very pregnant with my youngest sibling!

My mother has shown me the wisdom of just doing the next right thing that there is to do. She has shown me what it looks like to depend on God, in times of weakness.

My Mom and Dad with all six of their children

My mother is a person of great faith.  She has an awe of the Almighty and a humbleness that displays that she knows who she is, because she knows who He is.

She is also a little dynamo!!  Her energy never seems to flag, and her smile is a constant garment she wears.

Mom and Dad with their children and grandchildren surrounding them.

What I love most about my mother, is her laugh.  It is infectious, and joy filled, and my mother laughs often.  My mom seems to take joy and sprinkle it wherever she walks and wherever she is.  Her very name means “Joy”.

She has graced her family and friends with that joy for more than 81 years.

Mom holding one of her great grandchildren–my granddaughter. 🙂

So, Mom—This Mother’s Day—I want to wish you a Joy Filled Day!!   I love you Mom!!

Moment By Moment

There are times in my life when I’ve experienced huge miracles, but my response to those miracles has been a trifle lukewarm.  For instance–whenever I’ve been pregnant–I’ve been aware that a tremendous miracle was taking place inside of me.  A child was literally being formed and grown inside of me.  (I used to love to read those books that showed what was happening month by month–and then there was the ultrasound–where my husband and I could actually see our little one moving inside me.)  

However, I usually had terrible morning sickness, (that lasted all day long), and sometimes I thought I was so sick, I could actually die.  (Yes–I might be a trifle melodramatic).  I did not “feel” like a miracle was happening inside of me—I felt miserable.

This past month, I have been aware of another miracle happening.  God is healing my body.  I am doing all the things the doctors are telling us to do, but they are amazed with how fast my body is healing.  One of my doctors even did a little shout, and hand fist, when looking at my progress.

However, I have been battling the same kind of malaise as I did when I was pregnant.  I haven’t been able to “do” much.  

That is difficult.  I often confuse my value and significance with what I do, instead of who I am.  I often confuse who I am with how I feel.    If I “feel” sick, or tired or discouraged—I also feel out of touch with the Lord.  It is hard to focus on Him.  It is difficult to connect with Him.

Even though He is connecting with me, even though He is doing a miracle within me.

Every time I go through one of these times, where I am sick, or incapacitated —  I struggle with my value, and my worth.  I struggle with malaise—not quite depression–but the same kind of sinking that depression brings.  (After I had my third son, I struggled with depression–so this malaise wasn’t/isn’t that.)

So what do I do?  Honestly, I don’t have a lot of energy to remind myself of God’s truths–of how He says I am valuable, and significant in Him.  Or of how He says I am loved and I belong in Him. Yet, God uses these times to remind me, : It’s not what I can “do” for Him but what He has done for me–that brings me all of the afore mentioned blessings.”

Sometimes I think, when I go through these down times, when I am so very weak–this is when I most experience the strength of God. This is when I see how much He carries me step by step. He stays with me, moment by moment, He has not and will never leave me. He holds all of His children, and will never leave any of us.

God continues to work His miracles—for He is and ever will be a wondrous, faithful and loving Father.

May We Be Encouraged!!

My Valentine’s Day Gift, (written 3 years ago)

Recently, I was communicating with another mom who lost her son, and I asked her if she frequently dreamed about her son. It reminded me of a dream I had about Sean 3 years ago. I actually wrote a blog about this dream and I sent the blog to her, but I thought I would share it again–as it reminded me of the importance of mothering–even in the smallest of moments–and I want to encourage you moms–that all the things you do, the kissing of the boo-boos, blowing noses, changing diapers, it all matters, love always matters.

Last night I received a gift.  I got to live a few moments of being Sean’s mom again.  I know it was a dream.  I very seldom have dreams where I see Sean.  I can remember less than a handful in the past 6 ½ years.   Each dream when I see my son is a gift.  Even if I dreamed of Sean every night, it would be a gift, but I might not be a functioning human being, if that were the case, as each dream is so emotional and carries a price.

In this particular dream, we were at an event at church.   It was an event for the children.   A bunch of younger boys were laying on the floor, listening to a story.  All of a sudden there was a tussle, and I looked down in the crowd of boys and saw my son Sean, who was only 7 or 8 in the dream.  He had just got wacked in the face, and his nose was bleeding.  He was trying valiantly not to cry.

While yelling at the boys to stop, and glaring at them, I reached down, grabbed Sean, comforted him with a hug, and started dealing with his bleeding nose.

In other words – I got to mother him.   For those few moments in time when I was dreaming, I got to be Sean’s mom once again.

Now it seems that all my children—are ages, where it isn’t simple to be a mom.  Gone are the days of hugs and kisses that solve almost every problem.   I don’t always know what to do.  I spend a lot of time praying and asking for wisdom, then coming to the conclusion that for most of my children, my role now is to just love and let go.   So much harder to do than it sounds.

If Sean were here on this earth, he would be 22 years old, probably getting ready to graduate from college.   I can picture what he would look like in my mind’s eye, how he would have grown and matured.  When I look at my oldest son, and my youngest daughter—I see glimmers of Sean.  I see glimmers of him, in my nephew.  I see his wonderful spirit in my grandson.  How grateful I am for the real moments that have come my way of getting to hug and comfort children again through my grandchildren and great nieces and nephews.

In my dream, Sean was 7 or 8.  Young enough to hug and comfort, young enough to mother.

It’s funny—in real life, there were so many moments for mothering—for hugs and kisses and let’s put a bandage on that, that they all kind of run together into one vague memory.

Now I have a memory—it is not a real one—but it represents one of the many, many memories that is now less than distinct.  

That is a gift, to now have a memory of mothering Sean, that I can savor, and which my broken heart can hold fast . So, thank you God.  Happy Valentine’s To me!!


This week our homeschool co-op started up.  I found myself talking to a couple of young moms who are just starting to homeschool.  One of them started homeschooling because of Covid.  The other one heard a definite call from God to homeschool.  I started homeschooling because of my husband.  He had ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) as a child–and school felt like a prison to him.  It was becoming increasingly clear that our oldest son had ADHD, and we decided to homeschool because of this.

I found myself telling these young moms some of our story—I think because I hoped to allay some of their future trials with homeschooling–although honestly–my parents and probably yours–tried to teach us from the wisdom of their experiences–and I have found that I usually learn from my own experiences not others.

However, in case any parents– are reading this—this is what I wish I could tell them–this is what I wish they could learn from my own experiences:

  1.  Homeschooling is a calling, and God will make it very clear if He is calling you–if you are open to considering it.  (So many moms have told me– “I could never do that”–  In other words–even if God was calling them to homeschool, they would not hear His call. )  Some of us fall into this calling by circumstances–like Covid–or in our case–a medical condition of our child that was best served by teaching at home.   However when my oldest was going into 5th grade, I decided to put him in public school.  God told me very clearly not to do this.  My son had 2 years of being bullied and lost a lot of ground scholastically because I decided to ignore what God was clearly communicating.  Just as a good parent will call out to their child, when the child is entering the street when a car is coming–so God was calling out to me—but I chose not to obey.
  1.  God may call you to homeschool some of your children and not homeschool others, or not homeschool at all.

A few of my children–when they were in the older grades of High School, went to public school.  God made it very clear to all of us that this was the correct decision for them.  My second son wanted to go to public High School because he wanted to reach other students for Jesus.  He wanted to run with the track and cross country team.  A few weeks into the fall term–our third son was killed as he was riding his bike.  Our second son had his cross country team to support him during this time.  They wore t-shirts and plastic bracelets in memory of my third son.  They loved on my second son.  Again–God made it clear to our spirits–before this son went to High School–that this was the right decision for him at this time.

  1.  If God is calling you to homeschool, He will strengthen you, even if you feel inadequate.  I have been homeschooling for over 25 years–and I still feel inadequate–I still wonder if I am going to ruin my child–and not prepare her well for her  future.  In fact, most homeschooling moms that I know, are plagued by the same doubts and fears.   I am only homeschooling one child right now–and guess what–it is not easy.  It has never been easy.  No calling from God will ever be easy.
  1.  God does not expect perfection from us, but He does want us to be honest—He wants us to be honest when we are at the end of our ropes and need help.  He wants to be honest, when we react in anger to our children and ask for forgiveness from Him and from them.  He wants us to be honest with other moms–and not act like we have it all together–because we are afraid of what they’ll think about us if they know how not altogether we really are.
  1.  The fifth and last thing I would suggest to those who are prayerfully considering homeschooling or are homeschooling, but are not in a support group—is to join a homeschool co-op.  

The first few years I homeschooled I had a best friend, (Becki Crain) who homeschooled.  Becki had been a school teacher before she homeschooled.  She taught me so much.  Then Becki died.  I did not have a support group.  So I joined a group.  Wow!!  There is so much power in joining with others!  First, my kids loved it!!  Second, other parents have abilities in different areas than my husband or I have.  It is and was wonderful to have my children learn from others who are teaching them from their strengths.

It was not easy finding this group.  This was before the internet.  However—if God is calling you to homeschool–He will also equip you to this task–and if a support group is what you need–God will provide one for you, be it one other person—or a huge group.

I guess the main idea from all these points–is that the burden of parenting–or homeschooling is not on me, and it is not on you—the burden is on God.  This is what God means when He tells us to abide in Him, for apart from Him we can do nothing. (John 15)

It is also what He means when He says that we can do mighty things, but if we don’t do these things in love, it means nothing. (1 Corinthians 13)

I hope that the thought of the burden being on God–and not you–will encourage you!!  It does me. 🙂

Christmas Smells

This is the time of year our family does a lot of Christmas baking, and with Christmas baking comes Christmas smells!   Recently, my daughter and I got into our car, and the whole car was filled with Christmas smells—of carmel, and chocolate and ginger, cinnamon and cloves!

We carried the smells with us—they surrounded us and clung to us, as we had been surrounded by them in our baking.

I told my daughter that it reminded me of a verse in the Bible

For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing;   2 Cor 2:15

When I was a freshman in college, there was a young woman that lived on my floor, who had a huge smile on her face, she was always so happy—and she really irritated me.   I could not stand being around her.   I found myself wanting to slap that smile off her face.  I thought, “No one can be that happy, she must be faking.” 

Then my roommate—my best friend at college—talked with her and another girl, and understood how to have a relationship with God from talking with them.  Spoiler Alert–that other girl would become one of my bridesmaids at my wedding–and remains one of my best friends.

Suddenly, my roommate really began irritating me as well.  I avoided being around her.  I would snap at her about silly things.

These people were the fragrance of Christ to me—but I was headed away from God, not to HIm—and they really irritated me.

Then after snapping at my roommate, about a silly thing, she looked at me and said, “you know Katie, I’m not perfect, I’m just forgiven.”  

Oh how I wanted that–I wanted to be forgiven.   

I share this story–because maybe in the process of being the fragrance of Christ—someone is snapping at you, someone is irritated by you.   Just keep walking close to Jesus, and who knows—you may say something—something so simple—but so profound–that it makes an eternal difference.

May you be encouraged!!  May you keep giving off all those Christmas smells!!

Dayle Rogers

Dayle Rogers–  fellow blogger and storyteller.   Wife, mother, grandmother, friend, mentor and a child of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Dayle and I met years, and years ago, when she was a young mom, and I was a single gal.

We were both on staff with Cru, and living in Wisconsin.  Her husband was the Area Director of Wisconsin.  Dayle was and is this petite, beautiful woman with a huge smile, and a warm heart.

My roommate, (a close friend of Dayle’s) and I went to stay with Dayle’s children for a week, while Dayle and her husband went to a conference.  (Dayle would have another child roughly 9 months after that conference,)  🙂  (I actually met my husband the week after babysitting for Dayle’s children– you can read about our story if you click here.)

Dayle homeschooled her children, and this was my first up close and personal experience with what homeschooling looked like, as we were given a lesson plan that the children had to complete, while their parents were gone.   (I would later go on to homeschool my children–no doubt influenced by this hands-on experience.)

Through the wonder of social media, Dayle and I have maintained contact with each other.  Years ago, Dayle started blogging, and I started reading her blogs.   In the same way that Dayle blazed a path for me to follow in homeschooling—–I am also following her path in the blogging world.

Dayle doesn’t just tell stories–she weaves stories together.  I look forward to reading her blogs–because she is a master storyteller, and I always, always come away—with some gem of wisdom, truth and encouragement to hang onto after I read her blogs.

So, I introduce to you all—my friend—Dayle! Click here to be directed to her blog home page.  

May you be encouraged!!

PS I believe Dayle also does public speaking, but you’d have to contact her via her contact information, given on her blog, to obtain any details.



Access—to the powers that be—very few of us have it–or do we?

When my husband and I were first married, I observed that whenever he would call his dad, (his dad owned his own law firm in Boston, MA), his calls were put right through—-every single time.

However, when we visited the law office, I heard his assistants take message after message, and very few people got right through to my father-in-law.

My mom is a pretty popular gal–and she has many friends, and so much family.  This past year, she has been battling cancer.  I have noticed that whenever one of my siblings or myself wants to spend time with her—she has all the time in the world for us—-we are a part of her inner circle.  However, she tires easily, and so limits her time spent with others.

So what is my point here?   My point is that in the same way that my husband had immediate access to his dad, and I have access to my mom, because we are their children—whoever is a child of God–has access to Him as well.

Scripture tells us—that whoever receives Jesus–to them He gives the right to become children of God.  Scripture also tells us that God adopts us as His children, and He goes further than that–placing His Spirit into our very beings–making us new creatures in Him.  We now are partakers in His very nature!

The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God. Romans 8:16.  

We are God’s kids!!  We have access to Him.  If we call out to Him–we get right through.  He is never too busy for us.  

Aren’t those amazing thoughts to dwell upon?  He will never stop fighting for us, even when we can’t fight for ourselves.   God is our Dad!!!   Think about that!!  The One who created the heavens and the earth, has created new lives within us, and calls us His Own!!

May those thoughts encourage us today!!

Riley Clemmons – Fighting For Me (Piano Version)

Happy Birthday Mom!!

My mom with all her siblings and her mother.

November is my mom’s birthday month. This past year my mom has been battling cancer. She has battled this disease with her faith and her smile, and has remained joyful during this time. She is living out the belief that she might not know her future but she knows the One who does–and He holds her hand.

My mom and her siblings

Mom and her older sister
Mom and her grandfather–Pa

Dad and Mom when they were “courting”, sitting on her parent’s front porch.

Mom and Dad–Mom just gave birth to her third child and is not feeling the best, so is not wearing her usual smile.

Mom with my two oldest siblings, pregnant with her third child. She would have her first five children in four years!
Mom with all six children–four girls and 2 boys!! The afghan on the couch was crocheted by my Dad’s mother, and my mother still has it!! One of her love languages is gifts–she loves to give gifts and receive them!

My mother hosted the holiday meal for her family, while being very pregnant with my youngest sibling!

My mother has shown me the wisdom of just doing the next right thing that there is to do. She has shown me what it looks like to depend on God, in times of weakness.

My Mom and Dad with all six of their children

My mother is a person of great faith.  She has an awe of the Almighty and a humbleness that displays that she knows who she is, because she knows who He is.

She is also a little dynamo!!  Her energy never seems to flag, and her smile is a constant garment she wears.

Mom and Dad with their children and grandchildren surrounding them.

What I love most about my mother, is her laugh.  It is infectious, and joy filled, and my mother laughs often.  My mom seems to take joy and sprinkle it wherever she walks and wherever she is.  Her very name means “Joy”.

She has graced her family and friends with that joy for 84 years!!

Mom holding one of her great grandchildren–my granddaughter. 🙂

So, Mom—I want to wish you a Joy Filled Day and Month!!   I love you Mom!! Your family loves you!!