a home with a soul

Today was a full and busy day.   I had a training day for Community Bible Study.  I am training to be a Core Leader for a group of ladies, which means I will be facilitating (not teaching) a group of about 10.  I am not used to speaking in groups so I am not sure why God has called me to this particular ministry, I am much more comfortable with writing and staying behind the scenes, but I am looking forward to the blessings of studying God’s word with my classes.  I think the commitment will cause me to stay more faithful to Bible reading, which is a very good thing…and also the fellowship with believers will be a huge blessing.  I hope to be a friend to all, and to be my genuine self, oh please say a prayer for me.  Even after one day with the leader’s group I have learned a few new things that excite me about prayer and being a shepherd under Jesus, to care for others.  These things will be wonderful tools for nurturing relationships with everyone in my life.

Seth and Sarah were both very timid and cried when I had to leave them in their childcare rooms (at the church)…I was never far away but I was out of sight and they were with strange children and grown ups.  Thankfully, they got through okay and I know they will enjoy making new friends, too.  They will have their own classes soon when the Bible study starts officially on September 18. 

If you aren’t a member of a Bible study I would highly recommend a CBS experience.  They have a website so that you can easily locate a study near you.  It is Bible centered and not affiliated with any particular denomination, in fact, we don’t even “go there”.  We get tremendously blessed just by basic in depth study.  Our area group is studying Deuteronomy, Daniel, and Ephesians this year.


When we were home this weekend of course we made time to squeeze in a couple of visits with my parents.  Along with visiting, I wandered around and took pictures of the house.  My mom’s home-making skills inspire me and I really look up to her.  I recently found and read a beautiful book titled A Perfectly Kept House is the Sign of a Misspent Life, by Mary Randolph Carter and I thought of my mom the entire time I went through it.

There were a few years when I tried and felt guilty trying to keep a spotlessly clean house (with so many little ones I never succeeded) and the pressure was astounding and ridiculous.  In my 20’s I was coached by a well-meaning lady (not my mom, why didn’t I just ask my mom?)….she taught me that it was a good Christian testimony to always have my house very clean in order to be a good witness and example.  To a certain extent I agree, but this older-lady friend was a perfect housekeeper, with perfect interior design, perfect furniture and dishes and things just so perfectly perfect.  Truly she had a gorgeous home (if you like that style) but it never worked for me, I actually felt on edge at her house, and now that I am older I can see that my number one shining example of a good housekeeper has always been right in front of my eyes, my own mama-dear.  Hers is the home that inspires me the most.  For me, it.is.home.  It is fresh and clean but beautifully cluttered up with tokens of life.  Everywhere you look there are things that mean something to the whole family. 

This style of my mother’s is what is explained so well in the book I found. 

“I fell in love with lived-in, not perfectly kept, homes filled with collections, memories, children, pets, clutter, work, and lots of creativity.” 

collection of framed photographs of all the babies, hung on old shutters, with a strand of dried rose buds on a string

“For me, this is what good housekeeping is about:  keeping our houses real and making them places that embrace everyday living.”

fabric backed bookshelf with lamp, books, and knick knacks

“While I don’t imagine we honor God when our homes are in a state of disarray or chaos, I do believe that we can allow the pendulum to swing the other way and concentrate too much on housekeeping and not enough on things that matter.  Those things are, of course, the family, friends, and animals that we love, which can be inconvenient and messy but should always override spotlessness.”

living room: with couches, coffee table, table with lamp, arm chairs, instruments, desk, baskets,….a cozy room with a place for everyone if not much room to walk around

“A clean house is probably a little more godly than an unkempt house, which may account for the expression ‘what an ungodly mess!’   But a house scrubbed to death is at risk of something more ungodly–losing its soul.”

(all quotes from above mentioned book)

decorated window with draped curtain, strand of lights (we each bought some on that day; mine are orange), small plates on the wall, china cabinet, house plants, blue glass, angel of gardening, lamp with red shade


More pictures:

tomatoes out on the back deck; old bucket

the small granddaughters love this area, with play kitchen and dolls

 blue bowl of old beaded fruit

Mom said I had art work hanging up, I said, “I didn’t draw that!” but she said, “Yes, Isaac found it in the art room at school after you graduated and brought it home.”  Sure enough, I had signed it.  Funny how I don’t remember.

Jacob and his Grandma; Jacob had a LOT to say to her.  They’re all caught up now.  So precious.

beautiful bowl of tomatoes from the garden

Seth joining in on the jam session

my beloved friend and brother Dave, with Seth, outside at the fire pit in the blueberry patch

Mom and Sarah Joy

the love birds; they just celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary in July

Mom and Dad


16 thoughts on “a home with a soul

  1. hi shanda…….what a wonderful post to honor your wonderful mom! I think it's so great when your parents still live in the house you grew up in, so you really can “go home”.

  2. I am excited to have found a new CBS in my town. it starts next week. I am soooo excited!!

    Dawn R (I don't have a blog site, but follow after following you on Xanga 😉

  3. That's a wonderful attitude to go into bible study with!! You will be blessed for taking it that way rather than going into it thinking you really know something. And how could we think we know somethig! I feel like I am learning things every day!
    It's wonderful your parents still live Ithe same home!

  4. Would you ask your mom something for me? Ask her how she balances having things that mean a lot to everyone verses feeling overwhelmed by all these things as she has to maintain them? This is something I struggle with a lot

  5. I love this! Reminds me of my own grandmother's house. So, your artwork from high school, it looks JUST like the artwork in those booklets you can get on various topics. DO you know what I'm talking about?? Have you been a closet illustrator for informational pamphlets?? lol

  6. Lovely post! Rejoicing to hear the various ways how The Lord is growing you.
    You are truly special and I know God is going to use you and grow you in grace in this new ministry. How exciting.

  7. your parents look so down to earth and approachable. Love that. What a blessing. Peace – it doesn't mean to be in a place where there are no messes or chaos, but to be in the midst of those things and still be calm in your heart. . . or something like that, I think of that quote when I think of family.

    Love catching up here still now and then.~
    blessings to you!

  8. You will be a gracious and wise leader…so blessed. I love seeing you all enjoy your parents and their homey home. Dan, Heidi, and Cadence are coming next week for a week. We will be stepping over each other and baby stuff, but it will be wonderful! I have to pick up our piles of stuff in the office so we can put them in there on the floor, and a pack in play for Cadence!

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