Posts tagged moving


It’s time for an update on some of the changes swirling around my life, in case you’re wondering where I’ve been.


We’ve moved into Firwood Cottage (photos coming soon!) and I have fallen head over heals in love with my new/old little home! It’s cozy and fresh, full of light with warm wood floors— and the kitchen is a better cook than I am.

There is still plenty of work to be done but now that we’re settled in we can take our time. Stay tuned for my “Garage Give-away”, when I’ll finish sorting through my too-much stuff and spend a Saturday giving it all away. A great way to meet my neighbors and let others enjoy pretty things.


I’ve started in on writing my book.

It is the story of losing my hearing and all the anger and grief that I handled with so little grace… and God’s amazing grace to me in spite of my wrong reaction. It is a story about learning to listen to God and falling intimately in love with my Redeemer.

Many of you prayed as I gathered up the courage to submit my proposal to my agent who in turn submitted it to several publishers. Now I’m hard at work, learning how to do this— still scared but confident that God will not leave me to do it on my own. I signed a contract with Zondervan publishers and have a wonderful editor working with me.


Drums roll… Matt is engaged! If you followed my year of writing LETTERS TO MY SON, you’ll know that he asked me what to look for in a wife. Little did he suspect that his question would prompt such a long reply!

Matthew and Simona met at Bridgetown and have been dating for over a year. The whole Comer family is delighted and filled with joy over their love story. I am hoping to post their story in all its wonderful detail one of these days…

Since Matt just proposed this week (in New York City!) I haven’t yet heard a firm date… details to follow!

And fourth:

My daughter, Elizabeth, along with Brook and their two children are moving to L.A.

I am sad… I have loved being so close to my daughter, who is my close friend. I have cherished the hours spent with Duke and baby Scarlet. Now those relationships will look a little different as we connect from a distance. They will, however, be living just 15 minutes from Rebekah— I expect to gain a whole lot of frequent flyer miles in the years to come!

At the same time, I couldn’t be more proud of Brook and Elizabeth. They are following God’s clear leading to be used by Him to influence and impact one of the culture centers of our world. To do this they have chosen to make significant sacrifices, choosing His way over comfort and ease.

Years and years ago, Phil and I were mentored by two missionary couples (Bill and Laurie Keyes and Norm and Muriel Cook) who pressed into our hearts a saying that we, in turn imprinted into the lives of our children.

We were, and are…

willing to go anywhere… at any time… to do anything.

And so, it shouldn’t surprise us that our children are following hard after the God they have seen to be so fully trust-able in our lives.

Times of significant change, I have learned, either leave us insecure and sad, frantically trying to control the inevitable… or thrust us closer into the heart of a God who never changes.

His sameness becomes our comfort. His faithfulness to care for us becomes our story, and His.

I love this wild adventure of following Jesus. After all these years and decades of tentative trust, of risking and worrying and believing and seeing Him write beauty in our story, I have learned that He is trust-worthy.

For those of you just starting those first wobbly steps of walking after Jesus, let me give you a bit of my courage— it gets easier, it really does.

At this point in my life, to not trust Him would be a flagrant insult.


when I worry and fuss and lose peace, I sense almost instantly that nudging back into God’s comfort and intimate care.


I know with a knowing of many years, that clinging to Him is the only way in to that place of rest I crave.

Give yourself the grace of time to gather up your own stories of God’s trust-able-ness. He’s writing those stories every day. Don’t just skim the headlines, you’ll need those details to help nudge you back to His rest.

One last word: I picked up this enticing nugget of gold from a book by Amy Carmichael…

“And all through, the brave little sister held fast to Him who she believed…

and was held fast by Him.”

May we hold fast all through… and be held fast by Him,

From my heart,


P.S. Are you learning that God is trust-able? Can you share a verse or a story or some word that is helping you to hold fast? 


We’re moving in a week. After 11 years in this big suburban house, we’re downsizing to what will eventually be a cozy cottage.

Drastically downsizing.

And as I’ve emptied storage areas and my closet, sold off furniture and knickknacks, sifted through a hodge-podge of accumulations, I’ve been learning significant and not-so-nice things about myself.

Take, for instance, the box of memories I’ve saved from Matthew’s childhood. Actually, take the multiple boxes of memories. Plastic baseball trophies (for participation! Whoopee!), two worn out teddy bears, the grungy purple cast he wore when he broke his leg- 20 years ago. Geez.

Did I think he would thank me someday? Ah Mom, how sweet, you saved this stinky cast…

Or was I just too lazy to decide?

Or the tea cups. I collected those way back when, using them for wedding showers and tea parties. And even though they’ve sat, unused, in a drawer for all the eleven years we’ve been here, it was hard to set them out for the garage sale. But there they sat, all morning long. No one even glanced at them. I couldn’t give them away!

My dear, diplomatic daughter, Elizabeth summed it up succinctly:


I’ve excused myself for all this saving. I’m nostalgic. These things remind me of people in my life— my children, my mom, old friends.

But here’s what I’m learning, girls…

When we hang on to stuff from the past, we’re impeded from embracing the future.

I think Jesus had something to say about that.

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.”

Matthew 9:17

Did you catch that phrase telling us why we’ve got to let go of what we once loved but doesn’t really work so well anymore?

… for the old skins would burst from the pressure…

Whether its tea cups or teddy bears…

or the role we once played in our family…

or the way we once did church…

or the relationship that is so very comfortable but is holding us back from fully following Jesus’ call on our life…

Some stuff has to go, or I’ll never be free to soar.

And so I am sorting. Making hard decisions. Asking myself uncomfortable questions.

Why would I keep this? Is it useful? Do I need it? Am I sure?

And then I’m probing deeper.

Will this crowd up and clutter my new little house? Will storing this cost me more money than it’s worth? Is it worth the aching backs to move it again?

All questions we need to be asking ourselves about how we live our lives.

  1. Are we cluttering up our lives with relationships and roles and obligations that no longer work?
  2. What would letting go free me to do that I am unable to do now?
  3. Have I filled my life with so many responsibilities that I am still not getting to what matters most?
  4. Am I so busy with good things that I’ve no time for the best?
  5. Am I sure this is what I am supposed to be doing?

Maybe you’re like me. You’ve gotten so busy that you’ve not had the time or the energy to free up space to dream.

Maybe we all should ponder Jesus’ words about the importance of letting go.

The context, by the way, has to do with a good thing. A disciple of John the Baptist was put off by the fact that the disciples of Jesus didn’t seem spiritual enough. Unlike other devoted followers of Yahweh, they didn’t fast.

That made them suspect. Less-than-committed. What he’d failed to see was the original intent of fasting and the current purpose assigned to Jesus’ disciples.

Sound familiar?

And so, I’m back to packing and sorting and yet another trip to Goodwill. Getting rid of good things so I have room to create something new.

Even tossing the tea cups.

From my heart,


And you? Do you have a vision for something new? Might you ponder Jesus’ words and how His wisdom relates to your habits?

Please tell us about it! This is scary stuff, this letting go.



 Do not let your hearts be troubled (distressed, agitated).

You believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely on God;

believe in and adhere to and trust in and rely also on Me.


In My Father’s house there are many dwelling places (homes).

If it were not so, I would have told you;

for I am going away to prepare a place for you.


John 14:1-2

Amplified Bible


I sit, like I have on so many days, overlooking the roofs of my near neighbors to the countryside a few miles away. A line of trees marks the Tualatin River in the distance where fog rises from the dampness of the marshes and rich planting fields that follow it’s winding way.

My mornings on the back deck are numbered now. Summer is burning itself out in a final blaze of over-heated days. Rain is coming.

And we’re moving.

We have lived in this home for 11 years. Through Matt’s teenage years and my daughter’s weddings. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. We chose this particular house because of its basement— light filled and spacious, it seemed the perfect place for Phil’s widowed mom to come live with us.

But that didn’t last all that long. After several months she decided to move back to California, her home of half a century. And now she’s gone, waiting in the presence of Jesus for when He comes back with that perfect city and all the houses He’s been preparing for each of us.

We’ve rattled around in this big house, just the two of us, for the past year, talking about moving, wondering where and how in the world to pack two decades of stuff and too many decades of memories saved. With all the nooks and crannies and extra rooms in this behemoth I’ve simply boxed everything neatly and not thrown much of anything away.

My day of reckoning is here.

We’ve bought what is nicely named a “fixer-upper” in a quaint suburban town on the outskirts of the city. One-third the size of this house… but with a big backyard and the small town feel I long for. It’s a cottage- or will be when we get through changing and rearranging and adding charm to what actually is an ugly house with not much built-in potential.

And girls, I keep comparing myself to that house. It’s ugly and so am I. Run down, with no inherent charm. Tight and cramped, dark and plain.

And then Jesus bought us back from the owner who’d treated us badly.  And He stepped back and saw beauty in us— saw how our contrariness could be turned into something quaint and cozy… saw what no one else could see.

So He got out His toolbox and went to work.

Changing us.

Sometimes hammering hard, other times sawing off areas that stick out too far and hurt innocent people passing by. He sands and smoothes, rearranges and repaints. Making a beautiful place to come home to, a place of welcome and respite.

And we don’t much like the process, do we? We complain and worry and wonder what in the world He’s doing. We don’t like our ugly places but we’ve grown used to them. We’re comfortable in our cramped quarters, threatened by change.

But dear girls, just like I see something possible in this ugly little house we’re buying, He sees beauty in who He knows you almost are.

He sees a welcoming cottage He can use to welcome weary souls, a place of refuge and delight. He sees the beauty of who you could be, of who He can make you.

In the months ahead I’ll send you pictures of our new/old home. I’ll invite you in for tea once the smells of cat food and over-use go away. This is a project, for sure, but so are you and I. And though part of me dreads the hard work, there’s this other part of me that sees potential… in the house… and in each of us as well.

From my heart,