Winter Mantel + Homefires

Early morning or late at night Comfort is found by the fireside Cold winds blow and sorrows come Grace and shelter and peace at home

By the time the clocks are turned back, the days have gotten shorter, and the cold winds have begun to blow, I am pulling out winter lights and sparkle to infuse our home with cozy warmth.

The mantel is where the changes are most evident from one season to the next. The other day I stripped it bare, definitely a noticeable change!

After a bit of cleaning, I dressed it in calming whites and twinkling lights with a wreath of red to add color.

My sisters and mom gave me the wreath for my birthday a couple years ago, I white-washed the terra-cotta pots this summer, and my daughter Jacquelyn sketched the wintry scene to complete the list of new pieces on display this year. I love incorporating items I already have in fun and unexpected ways.

What a joy to have my very own artist-in-residence. I tell Jacki the picture in my mind and she brings it to life on a…

Frosty Windowpanes

I sat cozily ensconced by the fireside, feet up on the recliner and coffee in hand, admiring the slow and steady spread of pastel colors across the sky. It was the coldest morning of the season and frost glistened on the windowpanes.

I paused to give thanks for these small joys...and reached for my camera to capture a wee bit of the beauty.

Who gets any particular delight out of frosty windows? Some may see it as a problem and wish they were newer and tighter. I do too! Some might never even notice the glittering panes in the first place. But I choose to see beauty in this grand old home with all it's imperfections and inadequacies.

Sometimes I forget. But I actually do search for inspiration in the simple, everyday details of my surroundings. It is a worthwhile discipline and one that yields pleasant surprises otherwise unnoticed.

It really is amazing how much brighter each day becomes when I delight in plain, uncomplicated pleasures right at hand.

Perhaps I'll have new, air…

Anniversary Celebration in Winnipeg

"Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage." Hebrews 13:4
Simply stated...give honor and remain faithful...but simple does not equal easy. We have found that complexities abound and difficulties are routine, however, if your relationship with your spouse is forged in the fires of dedication, communication, and patience, you will discover greater degrees of joy, security, and love than you could ever have imagined. 

We enjoy a level of love, friendship, and trust today that is totally unmatched in all the previous years of our marriage. I don't have all the answers as to why that is, but I have a growing suspicion that it arises not so much from the easy-breezy days as those too-tough-to-handle situations when our only option is hanging on to faith in our Lord and commitment to each other. And I am so glad we did not abandon the covenant we made to each other twenty-four years ago. My Dale is my best friend!

We were asked to sing at an event in …

Journey To Winnipeg

Early on Friday morning Dale and I took to the skies to fly from Ohio to Manitoba. The thousands of twinkling lights on the earth below us are an apt representation of lives aglow for the Kingdom of God. No matter how tiny the flame of your candle, if it's shining it will help dispel the darkness.

Shine, Shine, with the glorious light of Jesus Christ.

We were asked to sing at a fundraiser for our friends, Joel and Louise Waldner. She has been fighting cancer for three years and is currently finishing up a few weeks of treatment at a clinic in Winnipeg. Dale had been praying about a way to be of service to them and this seemed to be an answer to that prayer. By faith, we answered, "Yes!" never dreaming we would end up being the recipients of so much grace and blessing.

They picked us up at the airport, which was a pleasant surprise. I've been told Tim Horton's is a must when traveling to Canada. Far be it from us to disregard that tradition! We stopped for lunch …