Lessons from my woodstove

“Is the wood stove going?” That’s about the first question that greets me every morning when I emerge from my downstairs bedroom.

“Ish” is usually the reply, because unless I get up in the middle of the night and throw another log on, my little stove is usually down to ashes and a few bright coals.

“Running a wood stove is a lot of work” I commented as I poured myself a cup of coffee. “I’m going down to encourage it”

My mom brought her coffee and joined me. “It’s not work, it’s a lesson in diligence” she said

This got my brain rolling… a wood stove does teach all sorts of life lessons. Here’s what we came up with, I’d love to hear from you if you care to add to the list:

Spread warmth and cheer equally to everyone near by. This wood stove isn’t partial- its happy to share with anyone and everyone.

Take the time to savor. My stove was a gift from my parents and it has a glass door. I love nothing more than watching the flames dance on a cold morning. In fact, my mom got out of bed to drink a cup of coffee with me before I left for Lancaster earlier this week. We chatted and watched the flames before I had to rush off. Isn’t that what everyone does at 3:30 in the morning? 😂 (she’s a rare gem, also there’s a reason I still live at home😉❤️)

A little honest dirt never hurt anybody. (Continually fighting the ashes and dust over here.)

Where there’s smoke, there could be fire- proceed with caution. I wonder how often the winds of gossip fan a smoldering situation into full blown flames. Oh God, forgive us.

Play with fire/ wind up burnt. When the nephews come to visit, we try to protect them from this reality. The stove is forbidden territory-stay away.

Embrace each season. Winter is my least favorite season, but I’m learning to enjoy the beauty here. (Especially from my easy chair beside my wood stove.)

If you need me, I don’t plan to roam far from this spot 😂🥶

May our eyes be opened to see deeper truths in the mundane of the everyday.


Bonus Pics:

My Ben friend conned me into leaving my beloved wood stove for a bit of winter exploration.

We found plenty of winter on Skyline Drive.

Em and I and River took to the ice a bit ahead of what was sensible just because it’s supposed to snow like mad and it’s been years since Em enjoyed a surgery free winter and was able to ice skate. PtL for healing ❤️

And finally… the change in the air temp created a beautiful eventide a few days ago.

Mexico’s Meditations

[Jesus] said “ Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

For the past week, Em and I have been savoring some sister time and following that verse to the max.

A friend posted some cheap travel deals on Facebook and we waded in not knowing what to expect.

We purchased an all inclusive 7 night stay at the Ventus at Marina El Cid; Puerto Morelos, Mexico and what a treat it was.

I’d never been to an all inclusive resort before, so I have nothing to compare it to, but the cleanliness of the place; the dedicated, hardworking staff; and the perfect climate made this an adventure I won’t soon forget.

There was plenty to do on the resort, but I’m in a complete glee that we got to join a bike riding tour that took us into town to souvenir shop at the market. I just love market shopping.

At one point our guide had us riding in the middle of a dirt road. “Make a line!” She shouted “Stay in the middle of the road!”

And an older gentleman on the bike ride quipped “In the middle of the road?! Confucius said ‘He who rides bike in the middle of the road gets hit by cars going both ways’!” 😂😂 Thankfully we survived.

I really enjoyed the large variety of cuisine the resort offered. We mostly ate seafood and more seafood.

The weather all week was a mild mid 70s and the resort had pools that ranged in temp for the optimum swimming pleasure. And the Gulf water was gorgeous

Also I love this little sis of mine ❤️ She’s the perfect addition to any adventure.

Also huge thanks to the family who not only consented to us going, but pushed us to do so. If I remember right the exact quote was “that is a crazy deal, why have you not left yet?!” ❤️

But most of all, Praise to our Heavenly Father, who spoke life into this gorgeous creation and who speaks life into our hearts at the best time. This time away from the strain of the everyday life was a good refocus for us.

God knows no limits. Whatever you’re up against, He will provide. It might not always be in the form of a trip to Cancun, but it will always be the appropriate provisions.

All praise, glory, and honor to the Almighty,


Little Sprouts of all Kinds

Isaiah 61: 11 For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.

Yesterday I went to the concordance to see what Scripture said about sprouts. Isaiah 61 spoke to my heart in more ways than about my sprout project. If you need a reminder of where the Lord stands on Justice, read the entire chapter. I’m so thankful that He is in control and that even when our world seems to be in chaos, nothing surprises God and He’s already working ahead of the situation to provide for His Children. Praise Him!

But back to my sprout project: over Christmas when the Rohrer Fam got together, I was supposed to bring toppings for a salad bar. I remembered my mom‘s little container of organic alfalfa sprouts seeds sitting in a forgotten spot in the cupboard. So we did a little bit of research to resurrect the art and I’ve been growing sprouts 1000 mile an hour ever since. 😂

It’s super simple.

Soak a Tablespoon of seeds in a glass jar of cold water for about 8 hours. (Cover the jar with something breathable/drainable like cheese cloth)

Drain and place jar on its side in a cool, dark spot. (Or sit it on the cabinet with a tea towel over it)

Rinse with warmish water multiple times a day. 2 times is good, 4 or 5 times is best. Drain after each rinse.

Several days later (like 4 or 5) once the sprouts have reached desired length, place them in the sunshine for the chlorophyll process to take place. Or if you don’t mind eating washed out sprouts just use them as is.

Store them in the fridge in an air tight container.

Repeat. 😂

But seriously, we’ve been enjoying them on salads and Sweet Lebanon Bologna sandwiches and everything in between.



Bonus Pic:

Em: cute outfits, where are they from?

Jul: I ordered them online for the boys to wear on their first Sunday to church when they were newborn. All I know is that Chinese must have big babies.

Sharp dressed little sprouts

Deb is back at Berea teaching school 2 afternoons a week, so Mother and I have been enjoying the chance to hang out with Sweet Baby A. He’s a young sprout, but not a very little one 😂 it won’t be long until he’s caught up with Uriah ❤️

Allll the Handmade Gifts

I don’t know if it was because of the slower pace last year, or what, but Christmas 2020 ended up being a lot about handmade gifts.

Some I knew plenty about:

Like this quilt that I made for Ben.

Years ago, I had the patches half done when a number of unfortunate events resulted in water spilled on a few of the unfinished patches and magically erased the blue marking on them. So I shelved them in despair.

Long story short, my mom encouraged me to pull them out and with a few hours of concentration, I was back in business, with the deadline of Christmas 2020 looming ahead.

A neighbor machine quilted it for me, and I was pretty excited about Christmas.

Grammy made the boys each an activity book. She spent hours creating each page with love.

It was fun to watch their reactions. It’s definitely a little over their heads now, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before they are “reading” away.

Aunt Jul gave Alexander one of her famous handmade bears. She puts a music box inside him, so he sings. I know Baby A will love it.

Another project I was slightly involved with is Ben’s railroad spike project.

I spent a fair amount of time on an old abandoned railroad last summer in quest of discarded spikes.

Pretty tickled the end results of his surprise for his nieces and nephews too 🥰

And the handmade gift that I knew nothing about:

Julia had my name in our family exchange and she made me a wood box out of a wooden bed. I’m so pleased with it 🥰

I’m also pleased with the little beavers inside the box, but I’m not allowed to keep them 😂

I love how handmade gifts reflect unique talents. And it’s pretty neat how much of that came out in Christmas 2020.

Wishing you the deep calm assurance that God is working ahead of us in 2021.

Happy New Year,