My Times Are In His Hands

I have been absent from my blog for while for good reason. In June 2014 lots of things changed. I had double vision and went to my doctor who told me if it returned to go to the ER. It did return so I went to a local ER and had a CT scan but I was not given a correct analysis. I was sent back to my doctor who forwarded the files to a neurologist and I was sent directly to an oncologist. To make a long story short my breast cancer of 2002 has returned and is now in my bones. Stage 4 – terminal with a life expectancy of 2-3 years.

Several weeks of doctor’s visits were shortened to a paragraph. I had some time to process it all and thought it might be cancer but I was surprised at the extent it had taken over. My family surrounded me with their presence and love and continue to be there for me. Dear friends near and far are encouraging me and praying for me.

I have now been in a cancer drug study for 6 months. I get two shots once a month and take two different drugs each day. The shots are the real thing but the pills could be placebos. I did have extreme pain in the beginning and was given some pain patches to use. I was up to a 75 gram patch at one point and this month only used one 12.5 gram patch one time. My back does get stiff but usually some naproxen will handle the pain. I sleep majority of the time in a lounge chair as it is much more comfortable than a bed.

In the midst of all this I have continued to tutor at a classical Christian tutorial for two mornings a week teaching two classes of high school students. I also continue to be Mom’s primary caregiver and am grateful for my family who jumped in to help. I plan to continue to keep my readers up-to-date here on this journey.

Psalm 31:14,15 has been dear to me – ‘I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in your hands’.

This life, therefore, is
not righteousness,
but growth in righteousness,
not health,
but healing,
not being,
but becoming,
not rest,
but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be,
but we are growing toward it.
The process is not yet finished,
but it is going on.
This is not the end,
but it is the road.
All does not yet gleam in glory,
but all is being purified.                         Martin Luther, 1521


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Whiter Than Snow


Psalm 51:7 Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Psalms 51:7

Purify me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

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Psalms 51:7

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Housewife Theologian by Aimee Byrd

Sometime this past year I started reading hosted by Aimee Byrd. What she wrote resonated with me and when I found out she had a book, Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary coming out, I couldn’t wait to read it.

Some may find it odd that I, a single woman wanted to read a book called ‘Housewife Theologian’. I love theology – I read a lot of it, listen to tapes, have discussions with friends and even teach some in my Omnibus class. So the theology part really appealed to me. But I am single and not a housewife though I do have some things in common with housewives. I am a woman, have a home and am the caregiver for my mother who has Alzheimers. I keep the house, tend to the garden, cook the meals, do the laundry and care for mom but I am not married and do not have children. I did not know whether the book would speak to other singles, teens, or widows but I wanted to read it.

I quickly found out that Byrd wrote this book for all women: “It is for all women who want to know God, or better yet, want to be known by God.” page 11. She writes with clarity and passion and she encourages us as women, whether housewives, singles, teens, or widows to know what we believe and why we believe it. Beginning with what it means to be a woman and moving to what is beauty, she draws in all women. She presents a clear Reformed view of who we are in Christ. She explains how we as women need to be thinking Christians. She encourages us to have close deep relationships with other woman – older and younger women. This meant a lot to me as I have been in churches where Sunday School classes are divided by married vs. single and married with children according to the age of the children. So much was lost, as we all needed each other so the older Christians could disciple the younger ones. The stories and examples given in Housewife Theologian are encouraging and challenging. I appreciated how she brought in examples for those with children and for those who were not married. Her goal was to have women live their lives before God regardless of their present state.

There are 12 chapters that lend themselves nicely to being used as a once-a-month study group for the year. At the end of each chapter, there are journaling questions that make you think and help you to apply the principles. This also makes it a great book for small groups, Sunday School classes, etc. to use. Aimee Byrd has strong convictions and writes with authority. She backs up her writing by quoting many other great theologians in the Reformed faith.

I highly recommend Housewife Theologian to those who want to grow in their Christian walk, as understanding theological principles will cause you to grow. It is also for those who feel they have a great theological background. This will reinforce your theology and be a tool you can use to help others in their walk. I teach high school in a Christian classical tutorial and the high school girls meet at least once a month at my home that is on a large farm. We have fun, food and great conversations. I plan to give each of them a copy and having it be a book we study together. The world gives them so many messages about who they are but I want them to know that Jesus “is our true identity” (p.238). I want them to be theologians. Pick up a copy to read and share it with the women in your life so you can more greatly experience ‘how the Gospel interrupts the ordinary.’ and know God and be known by Him.

On Reformed Forum Aimee Byrd discusses Housewife Theologian: How the Gospel Interrupts the Ordinary, with panel members Camden Bucey, Nancy Guthrie, and Melissa Kruger.


What kind of conversations are you having with the women in your life?


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Holiday HoHoHo Hop – Win Two Pendants

Christmas pendant

Festive Christmas Abstract Pendant Necklace at Palmetto Pendants















I enjoy artistic jewelry, so I am excited about this giveaway. I met Dina, the artist about 20 years ago when I taught her daughter and later her son. She later became a teacher’s aide at the school I taught at and then taught art. She was in the room next to me and I could hear her teaching. She imparted her love of art to her students. I was excited when at Christmas she designed some pins and I got one as a gift. Now she is creating beautiful one-of-a-kind pendants.

The winner of this contest will get to pick out two necklaces which will make wonderful Christmas gifts. Check them out at Palmetto Pendants.

Pendant #2

Gun Metal Finish Rust and Teal Batik Pendant Necklace















a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you stop by The Review Wire to Enter the Grand Prize. The Grand Prize Winner will receive a large Teach My Learning Kits of choice {RV $39.99} PLUS a Second Prize Winner will receive Teach My Kit of choice {RV $14.99}. Holiday HoHoHo Hop

Disclaimer: This giveaway ends at 11:59 PM EST on December 6, 2013. The Holiday HoHoHo Hop Event Bloggers are not responsible for sponsors that do not fulfill their prizes.

Companies and bloggers, if you would like to participate in group giveaway events like this one, sign up to be emailed about future events hosted by The Review Wire.

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Alzheimers and Caregiver Month

November is National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month and National Caregiver Month. I knew about the Alzheimer’s Awareness but not the Caregiver part. I became aware when my sister wrote an article on her blog, Di Doodlings called Tips for Talking to Alzheimer’s Friends where she gave great information and also honored me, my mom’s primary caregiver.

I have written before about mom and Alzheimer’s here:

Honor Your Commitments

Mom, Alzheimers and Imago Dei

My family is committed to caring for mom as she took care of all four of us when Dad died unexpectedly from a brain tumor. Mom was 37 and had four children from 9 to 16. She went to work full-time and at times worked 3 jobs. She was determined that all four of us would go to college and we did and continued with advanced degrees. Things were not always easy and there were hard times but Mom worked to keep her family together. We saw her caring for her parents, who lived with us for a time when my grandfather lost his job. She cared for my grandfather when he had a heart attack and was put in a home. He developed dementia and she faithfully visited him daily. After he died, my grandmother got stomach cancer, and after her surgery she lived with us. Mom was caring for her, cleaning her bandages.

You see we saw our parents caring for their parents and so we are just modeling what we saw. We are committed to mom living in our home. I am thankful for my family and their support. I still teach two mornings a week and my sisters arrange their lives to care for mom so I can do that. All the family visits, calls and help with tasks around the house. The nieces and nephews, call and send cards. My brother and brother-in-law help with all kinds of repairs and heavy lifting. I always say ‘it takes a family’. I am thankful for my family and how they care for mom and me.

When I made the decision in 2007 to leave Columbia, South Carolina, a job at Covenant Christian School that I loved and been doing for 14 years, a church family at First Presbyterian Church with pastors like Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, and so many dear friends, there were some who thought it was not a good decision. I can say after 6 years I have no regrets. I love mom more today than I ever have and am thankful to God for my family. I realize not all families can do what we have done but I do think we as Christians should set the standard for how we care for our parents. The world is watching and so are our children.

Mom and Max

Mom and her great grandson



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Win Chocolate Fondue Entertaining Set

I am a huge fan of Christmas and I found the perfect gift to give–a Velata Chocolate Fondue Maker. What is Velata, you ask? Glad to tell you!!

Velata is a Latin word meaning ‘veiled’ or ‘covered’. The perfect description of a chocolate covered strawberry! The warmer features a silicone dish for warming and serving food. The dish is microwave and dishwasher safe. The warmer technology keeps the melted chocolate at the exact temperature. No scorching, stirring or watching needed. Now that makes Velata warmers the perfect party centerpiece. The quality is excellent, since Velata is from the Scentsy family line of products.

These warmers are available in 14 unique designs. They use a 25-watt light bulb, the same as in the Full-Size Scentsy Warmer.

I have been using my Velata Warmer for almost a year now and it has been a WINNER! People naturally gather around and enjoy tempting treats covered in delicious chocolate. Have I mentioned the premium Belgian Chocolate?! There are currently four flavors available, milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate and caramel milk chocolate. Something for every chocolate lover. The chocolate comes in a microwave-safe pouch. Pop it in for a minute or two and then pour into the silicone dish. It will stay at the perfect temperature–til the dish is empty. If you don’t have a microwave, the chocolate pieces can be poured into the dish and melted, it will just take a bit longer. Once it is melted, turn the switch to LOW to keep the chocolate at the perfect temperature.

One of you is going to win a Velata warmer, 5 packs of chocolate and 4 fondue forks in a matching color. The retail value is $60. This giveaway is sponsored by Do Fondue Right. You can check out her Facebook page and her online store. There are some great deals available only for the month of November. Continue reading

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Last Hurrah for Summer Giveaway – Win $25 Amazon Gift Code

Continue reading

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Come On Home by Brady Toops

I enjoy checking out new music and Noisetrade is one of the best online sources. Today I found Brady Toops there. He has 5 titles you can listen to and download. I loved his music and then found out he was a former baseball player which made it even sweeter for me.

Here are the words to the first verse and chorus:

Come On Home  © 2010 w/m by Brady Toops & Anthony Skinner

Haven’t seen you ‘round here for awhile,
I mentioned your name and I saw him smile
Sittin’ on the front porch waiting, sittin’ on the front porch waiting
Every little one to Him belongs, you might be
weak but He is strong
Sittin’ on the front porch waiting, sittin’ on the front porch waiting
He’s sittin’ on the front porch waiting home

So come on home, come on home
Though you left, He couldn’t forget, just come on home.

Beautiful and powerful. I had to listen to it several times. I love the idea of porches and have written about them before at Front Porches.

Brady Toops has 5 titles on Noisetrade. Later, I found out that his latest album premiered on iTunes this week and has 11 songs.

Check out for more information including chord sheets.


“Though you left, He couldn’t forget, just come on home”






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Blackberries – Delicious and so Good for You

Blackberries are now in and I have picked some everyday. They are so good for you.

blackberry single

– One cup of fresh blackberries has 62 calories, 1 gram of fat, 15 carbohydrates, 8 grams of fiber, 2 grams of protein and only 1 mg of sodium.

– One cup of blackberries contain half of the daily recommendation of vitamin C.

– One cup of blackberries contain 8 grams of fiber over thirty percent of the daily recommended amount of fiber. Apples and peaches both have 4 grams of fiber.

– Blackberries are a good source of vitamin K, offering 36% of the daily recommended amount.

– Blackberries have the highest level of antioxidants of any fruit.  The antioxidant in blackberries is called anthocyanins and increases collagen production (which leads to younger looking skin) and improves circulation.It is also beneficial for preventing inflammation.

I add them to my cereal and oatmeal. They are part of fruit salads I make and I just love to eat them plain. Add them to your lettuce salads for a pop of color and a delicious twist. They freeze well so I have done that regularly so I will have them long after I can’t pick any from the garden.

Check out my other post Blackberry Picking on the Farm and Roly Poly for my adventures going blackberry picking as a kid and to see a family recipe for Blackberry Roly Poly.

What ways do you add blackberries to your diet?

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Moved In

Beautiful view from the kitchen bay window

Sorry I have been not been posting but I just moved into a new home. I am just getting my head above water. I love our new home and Mom and I are enjoying the lovely scenery. I hope to post more soon.

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