Monday, March 23, 2015

The Big Reveal

During the month of April, I will be participating in the A-Z challenge. I will be writing a post each day, except for Sundays, on the theme of Feasting Body and Soul from A-Z.

Eating together is important in family life.  In ancient cultures, breaking bread was a sacred act. Only true friends were allowed to fellowship at your table.

How much more important in today’s world is it to gather together at the end of the day and reconnect? The family table should be a place to not only eat together but share the happenings of the day. Here at the Journey, the family table has always been a part of our family life.  I’m proud of cooking all those many many meals and serving them at our kitchen table while the girls were growing up. There were very few times when we did not eat together as a family. I’ve done a lot of things wrong as a parent, but this is one area I felt, “I got this.” 

I had a good example. My mom served us dinner every night at her family table.

I want to help you do the same. Each post will contain a recipe with an ingredient beginning with the letter of the day, not necessarily an original recipe, but something I have made in my own home, a “Journey approved” recipe, if you will. Some are family favorites and some I have found on Pinterest or on a blog somewhere, and I will link to the original post wherever possible. The recipes will not be too involved because “ain’t nobody got time for all that.” The ingredients will not be exotic because. My. Family. Is. Picky.

Please extend me grace because I am not a food photographer, but I will try to give you a peek of the finished recipe.

Besides feeding you physically, at the end of each post, there will be a spiritual “nugget” to chew over in your spirit.

Because we are not just physical beings but spiritual ones as well.

Won’t you join me?


During April, I’m participating in the A-Z Challenge.  Over  seven hundred writers (as of last count) will be posting in various categories. Visit here to see a list of all the fantastic bloggers – a veritable smorgasbord of entries to feast upon!

Friday, March 20, 2015

Going Underground

I thought I would let you know that life on the Journey is going underground for a bit.

I'm taking the rest of March off from posting. There will be a post on March 23 to announce the theme of my April A-Z blogging series and then not much else, if any, until April 1.

What will I be doing?  I will be busily at work on my A - Z. This year's theme takes a lot more prep work.

And I will be nurturing ... Myself.

You have to take in before you can give out. I feel a need to just breathe. Relax. Listen to some good music. Read some thought-provoking words. Feast on some spiritual food. Spend some time in silence and listen to my Master. It's been too noisy inside my brain to hear Him clearly.

Change is a-coming. The question is ... how much?

Talk to you later, my friends.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Testimonial Tuesday # 7

Welcome to Testimonial Tuesday where we share stories of answered prayer .... 

Your stories are important; and,

big or small, 
  We want to hear them all.

Make that, we NEED to hear them all.

Today, I want to share a testimony of provision.  In Jesus' sermon on the Mount, He tells us not worry about basic needs. God knows what they are and He takes care of sparrows and lilies of the field. We are so much more important to Him!

I'm here to tell you that in our 39 years of marriage we have always had food on the table, the utilities paid and the mortgage paid. We've experienced illness and job loss; yet, God provided each and every time.

When Jim's illness progressed to the point he would no longer be able to hold a job, I don't mind telling you I was scared. My part-time job would not support us and our three girls.

The Lord blessed us by sending enough work that my hours were increased at my job, but it still wasn't enough.

We applied for Jim's disability but felt discouraged because so many we knew had applied and were denied. It seemed to take forever for a claim to be settled but we had hungry mouths to feed and growing girls to clothe NOW. We prayed and asked the Lord to please let our claim be approved the first time it was submitted.

And, it was! To us, it was a long 5 months before the first check came, but I know of so many who had to wait much longer.

Pure grace. 

I am so grateful. Would I rather have my husband healed? Yes, a thousand times yes! I'm still praying for healing, but while I wait, I can be confident that He will provide.

Now it's your turn. What has God done for you lately?

Leave a comment, or link up your own post in the link below. Please put the URL of your TT post, and not your blog URL. Then, after posting, visit the other links and encourage each other!

(Blog subscribers, you will need to click on the blog title in this email to see the links.)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Daybook: 03.16.15

For Today... Monday, March 16th

Outside my window... sunshine and mild weather. I can't tell you how excited I feel about that fact!

I am thankful...for color.  How boring life would be without it! This time of year, especially, heightens my appreciation for color.  I'm so thirsty for it after a long winter of white, gray and brown landscapes.

I am jeans, a white top with black chevron stripes near the neckline, and white and black spectator flats. Although I love boots, I'm ready to wear flats. According to the forecast, this week will have some days warm enough for flats, and some days, boot weather will prevail.

I am creating... an organized life.

I am reading... "Snapshot" by Lis Wiehl ... still.  It is a very interesting book but I've not had as much time to read as I would like.

In my kitchen... today is good old-fashioned pinto beans in my crock pot to be joined later with cornbread, cabbage and macaroni and tomatoes. Sometimes, you just need frugal old-fashioned comfort food. And, sometimes, you just need a crock pot meal.

A favorite quote for today...
“Jesus was one child who actually knew more than his parents, yet he obeyed them.”~Gayland Anderson … as seen on

A peek into one of my days...

Here is another February sunset photo from my last road trip.

One of my favorite things... Pandora Radio. Yeah, I'm probably one of the last people to use it, but I started playing it while working because I found it just makes my soul happy. I have a mix of instrumental piano and worship music on it.

From the board room...
a fabulous Pinterest find, Easy Honey Mustard Baked Chicken
Easy Honey Mustard Baked Chicken
Photo and recipe from

I've made these twice now and love them. 

Post Script ... Have you ever thought of nurturing yourself? Then you need to read this: 

The Kind of Mothering We All Need - Hands Free Mama

The daybook is a concept created by Peggy Hostetler. You can link up your daybook at her site, The Simple Woman's Blog.

Barn Collective #23

Today, I'm featuring drive-by shootings.

Yes, that is what I said, drive-by shootings.

Not of people but of barns ... I drove by and shot a photo of them. Or to be technically correct, Jim drove and I took the photos.

These barns are all in Union County, Illinois, and pictured on a February day this year. Notice the leaden skies in each photo. Snow was a-coming!

Do you like barns?  You can see more great photos of barns at The Barn Collective link-up featured at Rose Street Reflections. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

F.F.F. - 03.13.15

Hello!  So glad you are here!

Friday's are the day I stop and look back over the past week and reflect on the blessings I've experienced on this Journey. Whether the week has been tough or easy, there are always highlights to be found.

1. The highlight of our week was, of course, seeing the babies. My daughter has been bringing them over most evenings and we get to play with them a couple hours before bed time. So much fun!

2. AI DVR:  We got behind on watching American Idol so we've all been watching it together in the evenings from our DVR. I discovered the babies like to play while it is on. They love to bounce along with the music.

3. On Monday, I wore an outfit with spring colors to summon forth Spring - and it worked ... Okay, it had already been forecast to be warmer, but I still think it helped. I went two days wearing flats instead of boots but now rain has set in, so I'm back to boots.

4. I've been trying out new recipes and so far, they have all been good.  I love new recipes - I've been bored cooking the same old, same old.  Last night, I tried a new lasagna recipe with a little twist to it, Pillsbury's Slow Cooker Lasagna, and I loved the flavor. I also tried another crock pot recipe, Slow Cooker Creamy Tortellini, Spinach and Chicken Soup. (Don't the names of recipes nowadays get longer and longer?). This soup had a broth with great flavor. Next time I'm going to cut back a wee bit on the amount of tortellini I put in it.

5. Speaking of recipes reminds me of a great post by Edie at lifeingrace.  Edie talks a lot about vocation and God's work for us. As a homemaker, her words in this post resonates with me:

You don’t need to change the world.
Just make dinner.
It’s practically the same thing. - Edie Wadsworth

Go to her site and read the full article, You Don't Need to Change the World - she gives you a lot to ponder.

And so wraps up another week on the Journey.  How did your week go? Any signs of Spring your way? Leave a comment and share, or link up at Susanne's blog, Living to Tell the Story, and give us all the details. Because inquiring minds want to know.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Queen of Procrastinators

Hello, my name is Jerralea, and I am a procrastinator.

I need a 12-step program to overcome this natural inclination of mine. I was going to look into finding such a program, but put it off until tomorrow.

Sadly, that is not the only thing I've put off. There's at least 8 more areas on my to-do list that need to be done, but I'm not feeling it.

1.  Pedicure:  I need one in the worst way, but I don't want to take the time out of my schedule to go have it done. Definitely, I need to go before sandal weather.

2.  I need to get in shape.  Like that's going to happen. Because I avoid anything that causes pain or sweat.

3. Closets are always something I fear. Although, I made great strides by my linen closet makeover back last fall (and it still looks good), I've yet to tackle that pit, otherwise known as the floor of my closet in the master bedroom. I'm a-scared of what is lurking in there!

Plus, it would involve pain and sweat - and you know how I feel about that.

4. Scrap-booking:  I love it when it's done. I enjoy looking at scrapbooks. I think they are needful.  Family history needs to be preserved.  I love to buy scrap-booking supplies. The actual sitting down and doing it somehow seems to keep getting put off.

5. In 2011, we had a flood. My favorite piece of furniture, my china buffet and hutch, was damaged.  My buffet is special to me because it is the first piece of furniture we bought after we got married. It's real hard rock maple and has no pressed wood. So, the bottom of the needs to be sanded down and refinished. Maybe when I retire ...

6.  Although I manage two church offices and love implementing new filing systems, somehow at home, papers pile up. When I walk in the door at the end of the day, the last thing on my mind is filing.

7.  Good deeds:  I can think up a ton of stuff to do for people but somehow always put it off to do "tomorrow."  I wish you could get credit for good intentions!

8. Last on my list, because this is the worst - and the craziest - thing I put off: filing my taxes. It's just nuts. Even on years I expect to get a refund, I put it off.  I guess, when you get right down to it, I just do not like the federal government telling me I have to do something by April 15.

I guess there is a little bit of rebellion still down there inside of me!

Do you put things off?  

Please tell me I'm not alone. What is the craziest thing you ever put at the bottom of your to-do list?

Mama's Losin' It

This post was written in response to Writer's Workshop prompt # 4. 8 things you’re putting off.  If you get around to it, why not link up at Kat's blog, Mama's Losin' It, and share your 8?