Monday, September 13, 2021

Entrusted With Stewardship


Autumn decor feels a little out of place here in Florida, but when our real fall weather shows up in December, it will be Christmas. My summer wreath was looking weary from the hard rains and hot sun, so this is what's up now.

I am very happy to report the finishing touches are nearly done with the new house directly across the street from me. This is the last lot in my immediate neighborhood to be sold. My visiting grandchildren used that lot for a soccer field. They will miss it.

This past week has been full for me. Sister and Former Farmer drove down from the Midwest to spend several nights here  in my home.

Former Farmer, who can do anything with tools, added two more wheels to my generator, making it easier to move out to the driveway when I need to to run it periodically. 

A trip to the old Florida town of Micanopy filled out one of the days with lunch on the wrap-around porch. The live entertainment was Blue Grass music by people our age -- probably retired music teachers. Lunch was good (I'm a fan of the chicken salad on a croissant).

After their departure, I spent several hours in Orlando visiting Surfer Girl and Surfer Boy while the grandkids were in school. The drive home took me through a couple of incredibly hard rain storms in heavy traffic which required prayer to see the lane markers in broad daylight!

By way of an update on my church status: I have recently joined the great big non-denominational mega church Beloved and I have attended much of the time since moving here two and a half years ago. It's big and loud and the music is often songs I don't know, but God's Word is preached faithfully in a very engaging manner and many people are responding to the altar calls at the end of the morning services. 

I not only joined but am in training as a greeter, something I love to do. One would think no training would be necessary, but this church is very intentional with its goal to make people feel welcome, so some advance instruction and on-the-job training are the norm.

The ladies' Bible study starts up tomorrow. We'll be doing Hebrews with a book by Lisa Harper. I meet beforehand with a few of the gals at a coffee shop.  Another opportunity for socialization are the evening walks around my neighborhood circle (when the weather allows). Two laps is the equivalent to about a mile.

On my quieter days, I am keeping up with household tasks both inside and out. I pull weeds out of the rock beds and then use weed killer on the stubborn growth in the sidewalk, driveway,  and paver patio cracks. 

On the pre-dawn mornings when my sprinklers are scheduled to run, I slip out of bed to peek through a window to be sure they are indeed working. I always thank the Lord that they are, taking nothing for granted. The sprinkler control box is smarter than me, so when that needs adjustment, I have to call for help.

Today I vacuumed the garage and about a third of the house inside. Pictured above is how Beloved stored his extension cords. He was a very tidy man with a good sense of organization.  He liked his cords to be like this -- whenever I tried to be helpful in making them hang neatly, he always shook his head and would re-wind my effort. 

But today I managed to get the cord I used to hang just right. Can you tell which one is my handiwork? (It's the one in the middle, second from the left). I'll just go ahead and say it: Beloved would be pleased that I got it right!

With Beloved's passing, I was entrusted with the stewardship of things about which I knew very little, including the sprinklers, the smoke alarms, changing printer ink, the bells and whistles on  his car dashboard, running the generator, changing out the whole-house water filter, dealing with the nuances of appliances and technology, an occasional phone call to the landscapers and other service people, and more. I am trusting the Lord to show me how to do these things or to direct me to the right people to do them for me. He has been faithful through it all. (it's a continual walk of faith)

Even with my friends (many of them new since his death) and contacts from family, this is a lonely season. No surprise there. I wish at times that I could fast-forward to happier days, but at the same time I believe it's important to fully embrace the grief process on a healthy level. I am learning to adjust to the empty feeling of his absence. I loved him so much and he loved me well.

"The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not want." Psalm 23:1  He will bring me through, allowing what is needed at just the right times. While I have made my share of impulsive decisions in life, I am now hesitant to be an initiator because I don't want to mess up anything  I  trust the Lord to get me through this at a healthy pace and eventually my smile, and even laughter, will be more often.

The Lord has allowed me to go through hardship but He is also restoring and lifting me up. (see Psalm 71:20-21)

He is teaching me to stay focused on Him and to trust Him for my peace of mind. (Isaiah 26:3)

Until next time, grace and peace to you.


  1. You are doing such a great job Barbara, Tom would be so very proud of you. My friend is facing all you talked about and more because of the excessive size of their place. I cannot even imagine how long she is going to be able to manage the 20 acres and all the many things around their very large house.

    Wishing you a wonderful new week. We start the Elijah Bible Study this Wed. by Priscilla Shirer. I'm very excited!

  2. I agree with Lea. Tom would be very proud of you, Barb. Thank you for sharing your journey here because that has sure helped me follow in your footsteps a few months behind you. How could we have ever known? I am glad you joined the big church. I enjoyed worshipping with you there!! Keeping you in my prayers and sending love & hugs! xo

  3. I have to agree with Lea. Tom would be so proud of you. Thank goodness for Youtube videos on fixing things or figuring out how stuff runs that I would rather not know.
    I am happy you have found a church where you can get involved. You are doing all the right things and hopefully time will find you smiling more.
    I am so glad your sister and her husband were able to visit. I know that had to be a blessing.
    I so envisioned me taking you for a ride in the country to see the cotton blooming, but doggone it I have busier than I would have preferred. Maybe our time will come later.
    Take care and enjoy that study.

  4. You and my bests who are new widows are amazing…I would like to thank you for having a true Christian blog…I am astounded at those who talk about attending church and or studying the Bible and post horrible pictures or jokes on their blogs…usually political…makes what they profess to be useless…in all of my years, I have never seen such nastiness…this started a few years ago and is worse…thank you…prayers…

  5. I am glad you are joining a church and finding your place there Barbara. It will be a comfort to you. I am in a ladies Bible Study at our new church and it has been so nice to meet some new ladies and to know some faces at church. Good for you learning to do all that is necessary. I see you growing stronger every day!

  6. Oh Barbara, I enjoyed this post so much. You are indeed doing a very good job of managing and learning and keeping up with the many details of home life. Yes, I am sure your Beloved is very proud of you. You sure coiled that extension cord nicely! That is something I've yet to conquer! I always blame it on being a lefty. I just can't do things like other people! I'm wired backwards. LOL. I am so happy you joined the church that you do enjoy, and that you are getting more involved in its activities, even greeting!! That is wonderful! You will be a real asset to the greeting committee. You have a gift for making people feel welcome! I am so happy your sister and hubby came to visit you. I know you enjoyed that so much. It's neat how you have found Micanopy to be your happy place to take visitors and friends! It is such a lovely step back in time to a slower pace. Oh, and soon you will have some new neighbors across the street! I am sure you will be a lovely welcoming committee for them as well. Little by little God is showing you new ways to enjoy your life. He is guiding you and carrying you through and I can sense new peace coming over you. So thankful for how God has embraced you and you Him. Jesus never fails! God bless you and keep you and continue to make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace. Amen!

  7. So very proud of you, Barbara, for all the progress you are making as you journey through this season of grief, and taking on new and unfamiliar tasks and responsibilities. Yes, I'm sure Beloved would be oh, so proud of you! Sometimes our grief walk will feel like we're taking two steps forward and one step back, and that's normal. One day, you will reach that place where all will feel balanced and "right" once again.

  8. Good morning, Barb! Your autumn wreath looks great on your front door. It looks like you had a wonderful visit with your sister and Former Farmer. I think you will make an incredible greeter at your new church. Well done on learning and taking on new tasks. I look forward to hearing more of your new Bible study. Thinking of you!

  9. Your new wreath looks wonderful. I think you'll really enjoy being a greeter at your church. It's a fun way to meet with folks. Enjoy your day, hugs, Edna B.

  10. Oh hooray for sister and former farmer's visit. I took down my red white and blue today and started adding some fall touches around. Your fall wreath looks nice. Good for you for getting involved with these groups. Driving through those kinds of storms is scary. Gripping the wheel and praying hard and squinting hard. Glad you made it through. Hugs and blessings!

  11. I can just picture you as a greeter at your church, Barbara! With your warm, eager smile, you will be perfect at it :) In reading your list of all the new things you've had to take charge of I'm in awe that you are managing so well. Still keeping you in my prayers as you journey through this unexpected chapter of your life ♥

  12. Loving your sister's shirt! Way too cute. But you both are cute as a button. Girl, I can see you being a greeter at church and I do hope that you enjoy the bible study by Lisa Harper. I taught that study and it's very good. Girl, makes my nerves really bad to drive in a storm. Or for that matter, I don't like driving when raining period! You are so right about FALL in Florida being in December. And that's a maybe it will be fall. I am ready for some cooler temps. Have a good weekend sweet lady and I pray for you often. Hugs and blessings, Cindy