What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Update on the New House Saga

Good Evening everyone! It has been such a busy week already, and it's only Tuesday! Praying I can survive until Saturday, when we officially move into our "new to us" home, "Lord willing and the creek don't rise"...Keep praying for no rain! Thank you!

My Facebook friends already saw our back deck pictures last night, but since many of you are not on Facebook, here you go:

Here we are, our first "selfie" from the new back deck overlooking the pond:

Some of view from the deck:

Our kids stopped by and took our picture:

And then we took their picture!  The beautiful thing about our new home is that it is only about one mile from our kids! What a blessing that is already proving to be!!

So here is the deck as the workers are finishing it up today:

Yes, it is big enough to have a party! Can't wait to have a barbeque on the deck!

And then, to top off all the great news of this week, something else new has arrived:

 Since our house does not have a garage or any other kind of outdoor storage or even an attic, we knew we would need a shed to store our tools and other outside equipment...Hubby is quite excited and ready to start filling it up with all his stuff...no, this will not be a "she-shed"...(I wish), but I have been promised some space to store some things like Christmas decorations, etc., provided he doesn't do a lot of woodworking in there creating lots of sawdust, etc.  So we shall see how this works out...

So here's our selfie in front of the shed:

I am wearing my painting clothes as I was busily painting inside the house when the shed arrived...but I was very happy to take this little break for all the excitement!

This picture below is when the shed was being placed and leveled.  So exciting!
So little by little our home is coming together. I still have some painting to do outside and inside...the door and shutters will get a fresh coat of paint soon, but that will have to wait until after we've moved in now. I think I need to concentrate on getting the inside settled so we can live in it first. Unless there are some volunteers who would like to donate some time to do some painting???

I was so pleased yesterday that one of our neighbors came over to meet us while we were there working. She is also new to the neighborhood, and I think she was just checking us out to see what kind of neighbors we were going to be. Of course, I was in my oldest paint covered clothes and looked a fright, but we had a wonderful conversation and I think we will enjoy being neighbors.  A couple of days before that I met another lovely lady across the street, and found out we have mutual acquaintances in the community and church.  She also seemed delighted that we were moving into the neighborhood. Our house has been vacant for a long time, and it seems that we are quite the curiosity to everyone passing by as they are watching our progress on the house and hopefully they are happy to see that an empty house that was becoming a temptation for vandals is now becoming a lively hub of happy activity.  We pray that God will bless our home and that we will be a lighthouse along the shore for those who may need some hope and encouragement.

Speaking of prayer...many of us in blogland know our dear friend Sylvia at A Grandma's Blessings.  Early this morning Sylvia's husband Curtis passed away after a long battle with respiratory issues.  Please lift up Sylvia and her family in prayer, and perhaps send words of love and encouragement her way as you can.  She has been one of our sweetest friends here, and I know she would appreciate our thoughts and prayers.

Psalm 86:6-12
"Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
and attend to the voice of my supplications.
In the day of my trouble I will call upon You,
For You will answer me.
Among the gods there is none like You, O Lord;
Nor are there any works like Your works.
All nations whom You have made 
shall come and worship before You, O Lord,
And shall glorify Your name.
For You are great, and do wondrous things;
You alone are God.
Teach me Your way, O Lord;
I will walk in Your truth;
Unite my heart to fear Your name.
I will praise You, O Lord my God,
with all my heart.
And I will glorify Your name forevermore."

Monday, August 19, 2019

An Interesting "Coincidence"?

As Christians we know there is no such thing as a "coincidence". However this morning, when my hubby was getting ready to post the daily devotional posts on his website, https://simposious.com/ , he clicked on this site, Desiring God.org,  and the following is what popped up:

"God Chose This Home for You"

Article by 
Staff writer, desiringGod.org
Your address is not a coincidence.
Where you live — house, townhome, duplex, apartment, or dorm — is not ultimately a consequence of your budget, your stage of life, or your commute. You live where you live because God has deliberately, sovereignly placed you here. The long series of events, decisions, and circumstances that led you here really did lead you here. He brought you home one detail at a time.
The God who made the world, and everything in it, as Paul preached at Mars Hill, “made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us” (Acts 17:26–27).
God not only knit you together in your mother’s womb; he also sovereignly orchestrated all the places you would call home — the periods and boundaries of your “dwelling place.” You do not have a home by accident. Your home is an invitation from God to seek God, and a commission from God to help others seek God."
That was just the first section of the article, but what caught his eye, and he had to call my attention to it immediately, was the door...because that is almost exactly the same color that we are going to be painting the front door (and shutters) on our new house that we are in the process of moving into this very week! And then as we went on to read the article written by Marshal Segal for Desiring God.org, it was as if God was giving us a specific message about our very own new home.  I especially love the last statement quoted above, "You do not have a home by accident. Your home is an invitation from God to seek God, and a commission from God to help others seek God."
Yes, Lord, this is how we feel about our new home, and this little message today confirms exactly what we've been feeling, right down to the same color for the front door! No, there are NO coincidences with God. He perfectly orchestrates our lives so that we may be better servants in His Kingdom here on earth. We know that He is ultimately preparing us for our heavenly home, but He wants us to help others get ready for that eternal dwelling as well.  If our new home here on earth can be a place where we encourage and assist others in their personal walk with the Lord, then we will have accomplished our mission for this current place. Praise God!  And Thank You, Lord, for this sweet confirmation today.  
Now I must get dressed and get going as we have a lot happening at our new house today in preparation for our big move coming up this weekend. Please pray for us this week, and especially pray that it doesn't rain on Saturday! The forecast is looking wet all week, so we need those extra prayers!
Meanwhile, over weekend, in addition to celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with family, work was being done on the property along the shore of the little pond so that we could have a better view from our back deck (which is being built today!)  Here are a few pictures:  (It was actually raining while this fellow was working, but that didn't stop him. However the pictures are not as clear due to the rain).

I will have to do another post about our party later. If you are a facebook friend you have already seen them, but I will try to get caught up a little later. Gotta run!  But, please think how God may be using you in your particular home to serve Him right now, wherever you are!!! It can change the way you view your house, be it ever so humble...God wants to dwell there with you!!!!

Have a blessed day my friends!!

Friday, August 16, 2019

A Happy Institution...or "The Funny Farm"? Updated for Our 50th Anniversary

Updated for our 50th Anniversary - Today! August 16, 2019
Marriage, An Honorable Institution...or "The Funny Farm"?

(This was originally written on 8/16/2011, but has been edited for our 50th Anniversary. 
The message is timeless)
Today is our 42nd  50th Anniversary!  Can you imagine? In this day and age, a couple who have actually been married to each other for 42  50 years?  Yeah, sometimes I wonder about that myself!  How did we do it?  You may be asking..."Has it all been perfect wedded bliss?"  Well, what do YOU think?  Anyone who knows me very well knows that most likely it has not been all perfectly lovely all the time.  I will be the first to admit it that I've not always been sweet and charming and obedient and submissive and all that stuff...but, on the other hand, I can honestly say that even when I wasn't all sweet and lovely and blah blah blah, and even when my husband wasn't always perfectly wonderful and full of wisdom and always doing the right thing...even when we were absolutely acting like two crazy human beings...we somehow always found a way to love each other...in spite of the mistakes and arguments and disagreements and disappointments and trials and tribulations and heartaches and fears and sorrows and betrayals and ....well the list could go on and on. Why?  Because I don't believe it is humanly possible for any two human beings to live together in perfect harmony for forty two  fifty years without having some times of hurt and pain and disappointment, and doubts and fears.  It just isn't possible...and if you say to me that you've been married that long and have never had a disagreement or disappointment or have ever had to say, "I'm sorry...", well, I would truly question your humanity!  I would seriously doubt you were for real!  I would think that perhaps someone is fooling someone somewhere 'cause it just "ain't possible!" 

The thing that I love most about our marriage is the fact that in spite of all the heartaches and disappointments and moves (and we are in the middle of a major move right now as I write this today, Aug. 16, 2019) (more moves than I care to number), and frustrations and embarrassments and all the other trials and tribulations...we can still laugh...we can still love...we can still say, "I'm sorry, please forgive me...and "Yes, I forgive you..."  We can still lay our heads down on our pillows at night and no matter how awful the day has been...how angry we might have been, how tired we might be...we have always tried to live up to the one vow we took very seriously in the beginning...
"Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil!"  Ephesians 4:26

If I could give one piece of advice to any newly married couple it would be exactly that verse...if more couples could heed the wisdom of that one verse and practice it in their homes, how many marriages and homes could have been saved?  I know there are always exceptions and people who are just downright evil and mean and cruel...so I cannot give this advice to someone who has been trapped in an abusive situation...but to the normal everyday couple...if they would just try to practice this advice...kiss and make-up before your eyes shut for the night...even if you have to settle the issue the next day...at least agree to love one another in peace and let God bring needed rest and healing to your hearts throughout the night.  It is amazing how much clearer and better your thoughts are in the morning. 

I am not some "Pollyanna" who thinks just wishing and thinking good thoughts can make it so...but I do believe in the power of love and prayer.  Commit your way to the Lord...give your heartaches to Him each night...even if your spouse refuses to agree or change...YOU do your part!  Don't give way to stubbornness...for stubbornness gives way to unforgiveness and hard-heartedness.  Give God a chance to work in YOUR heart and mind first...and then see if He doesn't do something about your spouse's mind and heart as well!  Try it...pray about it...and see what God can do.

Yes, our marriage has been a real "institution"....sometimes a "funny farm", sometimes a war-zone, sometimes a place where angels fear to tread...but underneath it all,
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms..." Deuteronomy 33:27

That's the only secret to success in marriage I can offer...Make God your refuge...and rest in His everlasting arms...and no matter what befalls you...you will have a safe resting place...no matter what.

Mr. and Mrs. John F. Steiner
August 16, 1969 -The Honorable Institution of Marriage...

John and Pam Steiner  - 42 years later  ..."The Funny Farm" 

And today...50 years later!

Good Night, Sleep tight...and don't let the bedbugs bite!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New House Saga Update

If you follow me on Facebook, you've been keeping up with the progress on our new house.  But if not, maybe I should take a few moments to record the week's activities so far...for my own record as well as for your entertainment. ...

The good news is on this past Monday we finally closed on our "new to us" house...
Here we are with our sweet real estate agent, Miss "Libby". (She is the agent who helped us buy our house).   I've teased her several times by singing the old commercial jingle: "If it says Libby's, Libby's, Libby's on the label, label, label, you will like it, like it, like it, on your table,  table, table...It says Libby's Libby's Libby's on the label label label"...
Thankfully she has a good sense of humor and is such a sweetheart to work with. She put up with all of my "I want to see this house even if we can't buy it until we sell our house" requests over the past year...and her patience finally paid off! On Monday she was happily sitting down with us as we signed our life away and became a member of the "Thirty Year Club" again, as the Closing Agent dubbed us.   Lord willing, our new house will be paid off in the year 2049...and I'll only be 99 years old! Isn't life grand?

So immediately following the closing we began the work list of things to do to get the house ready to move into.  The list is lengthy and involves a lot of hard work (and more money), but thankfully God has provided us with some good workers who do odd jobs and are great at helping folks like us who don't have a lot of "fixer upper" type skills...and they come reasonably priced, all things considered.

I teased our #1 son when he heard the list of things we are having done that we are spending all of his inheritance now so he won't have to worry about it in the future...I think he was just as glad that we weren't asking him to do all of these jobs since he has plenty to do on his own list...(did you see that our kids' business, "Ben & Rose's Country Woodshop" got a new workshop shed last week? Here's a link to their facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/BenandRosesCountryWoodshop/ where you can check out their products and projects. Here's Ben with their brand new shed workshop that will greatly help them expand their business:
God is so good...and He is blessing them in so many wonderful ways! We are so proud and happy for them. And we are very thankful to the Lord for making this all possible.

So back to the house story:

I told everyone on Facebook that one of my first chores was to clean the three toilets and bathrooms and install new toilet seats on the toilets.  Yes, we have three bathrooms...two of them are in our master bedroom! I've never seen two separate bathrooms in a master bedroom before,  but this one comes that way. We have  "his and hers" bathrooms...one comes equipped with a nice shower, and the other one comes with a nice garden tub. Guess which one I picked?  If you said the garden tub, you are right, however, I will be taking a shower in the other bathroom most of the time anyway...so it really doesn't work out like it was planned... But anyway...after I worked for several hours toiling away cleaning each bathroom and installing the new seats...hubby decided to try out one of the seats...and quickly exclaimed that "this seat is too small!"   And yes, I had to agree...they were the tiny little low, round "toidies" that seem better suited for a child than a 6'3" male senior citizen...or even a 5'7" female senior citizen...and so, while our erstwhile fixer upper workers were there replacing our front deck, hubby requested that they help us replace the three little potties with three taller, longer potties that are also more water efficient...especially since we are now paying for city water instead of having our own well.  I'm sorry I didn't take any pictures of my nicely cleaned tiny commodes before they were removed and thrown on the dump heap (not much market for used toilets)...but I did get pictures of the nice new ones that were installed today...wanna see?  I know, this is fully of "potty talk", but I do think it's important, don't you? I mean, this is something that everyone needs and uses sooner or later...(hopefully sooner rather than too late...Ha Ha)

 Yes, I know that all three bathrooms have the same "lovely" wall paper...remember this is a manufactured home, and they do things like that...and yes, eventually I intend to paint over this lovely wallpaper, but for now I have decided to live with it.  It's not as bad as it looks in these pictures...and with the right colors of accessories, towels, etc., it will be just fine...but don't you love my new potties?

Okay, it is time to change the subject.  I mentioned that we were replacing the front deck.  Some of the wood was still good enough to use, but that which wasn't was replaced with new pressure treated lumber that should last a long time.

It is my intention to stain or paint the deck in about 30 days, as you have to wait for pressure treated lumber to "dry out" before you can put any kind of stain or paint on it.  So here are some pictures of the work in progress and then the finished product after the whole exterior of the house was pressure washed today:


During reconstruction:


 We will also be painting the new frame around the front door when it is "dried out" and will also be removing/relocating the chain link fence that is in  front of the deck. In addition we will be repainting the shutters and front door with a fresh new coat of paint that is similar in color to this, but with a little more "pop" of color to brighten it up. These shutters are faded and some of the paint is coming off in places, so they need a fresh paint job...

Meanwhile, inside, we have been busy taping, prepping and getting ready to paint the "lovely" border

that goes all the way around the living room and master bedroom...here's hubby resting after working hard to tape all around the edges, etc.:

And here's how it looks after my whole day was spent today using primer to get the walls ready for paint.  We are going to paint the bottom half of the wall (including the border) with a creamy white that will give some contrast to the upper wall and hopefully will look like wainscoting when we are done.  I think we still need another coat of primer over the border before we paint...but these two rooms took all day just doing this much, so we shall see how much more primer we will do...

Of course several people have already told me that once I get all my furniture in this house you won't be able to see the walls anyway...so why work so hard??? Well, I know what is there, and I know what I want...so we will keep on working...

So thus far this is what has been done. We hope to get the painting done this week,  and then next week we have other projects planned, but you will have to wait and see.  Meanwhile we will be taking a couple of days off from our labors to celebrate our 50th anniversary this weekend.

Here we are fifty years ago August 16, 1969   "I now introduce you to Mr. and Mrs. John Steiner"

Stay tuned for further developments in all of these activities!

Psalm 66: 1-3, 10, 12
1.  "Make a joyful shout to God, all the earth!
2.  Sing out the honor of His name;
Make His praise glorious.
3.  Say to God,
How awesome are Your works!"
10.  "For You, O God, have tested us;
You have refined us as silver is refined....
12.  "...but You brought us out to rich fulfillment."

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Getting Ready for the Big Move - Thankful Thursday Blessings

 Yesterday morning we woke up to rain on the roof, but it soon cleared enough to take care of one chore that we had been planning to do to get ready for our big move.

We headed over to our "new house" bright and early...well, maybe not so bright, but early...you can still see the raindrops on the trees and a foggy haze over the pond...

And our task for the morning was to replace this poor, broken and worn mailbox post with a new post so that we can start receiving mail there next week...after our closing on Monday.

We met our carpenter son there, who came equipped with tools and ready to work... 

#1 son and hubby worked hard to replace the post, digging out the old and putting in the new.
You can tell by the dampness on my son's shirt that it was hot and humid, even though it was still early morning...but they are both still smiling...it was a fun project for father and son.

Here we are, standing beside the finished mailbox, complete with new numbers and ready to receive mail. If you would like our address, send me a private message...

 And here is a glimpse of the front of our house. We still have a ways to go...that deck will be replaced next week before we can physically move our furniture in as it has some rotten boards and will not safely hold the weight of our furniture and the movers...
Once we are fully moved in, which will take a couple of weeks because we can't schedule the big move until the following week, we will start adding some flowers and pretty the place up a bit...

 But last night we went back over to enjoy the pond in the evening after the rain.  One thing I noticed is that the maple trees along the edge of the pond are already starting to turn red!  Fall must be in the air...even though it doesn't feel like fall quite yet...but we can dream!!

I probably won't be doing much posting in the next couple of weeks as we will be quite busy with our move...but hopefully I can check in from time to time.  We have a big event coming up next weekend in the middle of all this...our 50th Anniversary!  The actual date is the 16th, but we understand there will be a "surprise" celebration on the 17th.  We don't know any real details, but the kids had to tell us there would be something that day because otherwise we would have planned to move that day!!  So, happily we will put off the big move until the following week so we can take time to celebrate such a momentous occasion!  In the meantime, we will be doing some painting and preparing the house for the move...and giving thanks to the Lord for His marvelous provision for us in so many ways.  We are blessed and thankful for 50 years of marriage and praise God for His love and protection and grace.

Psalm 95: 1-7

"Oh come, let us sing to the Lord!
Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving;
Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms.
For the Lord is the great God,
and great King above all gods.
In His hand are the deep places of the earth;
The heights of the hills are His also.
The sea is His, for He made it;
and His hands formed the dry land.
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; 
Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For He is our God,
and we are the people of His pasture,
And the sheep of His hand."