Step by Step by Faith


The three oldest grandkids on Halloween Day - 2015

Our family would covet your prayers today for that sweet little blondie granddaughter in the middle of the picture. The last couple weeks have been difficult ones, as we puzzled over her diminishing motor skills, constant tripping and falling, difficulty chewing, poor grip, and other troubling symptoms for a 3-year old. Last week, an MRI told the story...she has an arteriovenous fistula, or a connection of an artery and a vein in her brain (resting on her brain stem) and the ballooning pressure of the vein is putting pressure on her brain and causing her neurological problems. We are praising God for clarity in the diagnosis so that leaving the problem alone was not an option, because it will rupture at some point...with fatal results.

Today, she is going in for an angiogram and (hopefully!) an embolization (disconnecting and tying off the connection of the artery and the vein) in her brain. 

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus,
Just to take Him at His Word;
Just to rest upon His promise,
And to know, “Thus saith the Lord!”
  • Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him!
    How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er;
    Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus!
    Oh, for grace to trust Him more!

"Oh, for grace to trust Him more!" has been the constant refrain of my heart since the diagnosis came. The procedure is a delicate one and not without risks.  But the all too real, all too much to dwell on possibility is that the Lord, in His infinite wisdom and absolute Sovereignty, will take her home to heaven. Could we then say, with Christian resignation and fortitude, as our Puritan forefathers, "It pleased the Lord to take her..."? Could we say that without bitterness or a grief that threatens to swallow our very souls? 

We are praising God for the faithful ministers who have preached the full counsel of God to us, so that the strength we draw from His Word has kept us from being overwhelmed. His Spirit has ministered to our hearts and minds, and for that trust and strength we are grateful and give Him all the glory!

 "God, the great Creator of all things, doth uphold, direct dispose, and govern all creatures, actions, and things, from the greatest even to the least, by his most wise and holy providence, according to his infallible foreknowledge, and the free and immutable counsel of his own will, to the praise of the glory of his wisdom, power, justice, goodness, and mercy."
-Westminster Confession, Chpt. 5:I

We know that He directs all things for His glory. Things too incomprehensible for our puny minds to understand. And we rest in His omnipotence and His matter what the outcome. 

We are encouraged that her doctor is "the best in the nation" and possibly the world at this sort of surgery! We are encouraged that he is optimistic for a good outcome! We praise God that He moved us all the way across the country seven years ago, so that some day, this little girl would need this very doctor and she would live an hour from the hospital where he practices! Oh, praises be to God for His Providence in all things! And yet, we are reminded...

 My hope is built on nothing less 

than Jesus' blood and righteousness. 
I dare not trust the sweetest frame, 
but wholly lean on Jesus' name. 

On Christ the solid rock I stand, 
all other ground is sinking sand; 
all other ground is sinking sand. 

We would be blessed if you join us in praying for her today, and in saying with our family,

"This is the day the Lord has made;
We will rejoice and be glad in it."
-Ps. 118:24

Sola deo gloria!

Sabbath Rest

Come, ye thankful people, come,
Raise the song of harvest home!
All is safely gathered in,
Ere the winter storms begin;
God, our Maker, doth provide
For our wants to be supplied;
Come to God's own temple, come;
Raise the song of harvest home!

- Henry Alford (1844)

Simple New England Autumn

Seen in Walpole, NH.

One of the delights of living in New England in the autumn is seeing the joy that everyone has in the season. And this joy finds expression in their homes. Nearly every door and doorstep boasts a portly pumpkin, a simple gathering of Indian corn, a shock of cornstalks, a spray of wheat. This little corner of the world is celebrating the harvest time to its fullest!

Bomber Hats for Winter

Winter will be here before you know it! It's a joy to me to see children who are properly bundled up against the elements...a sign of love, really. So, I also get joy from making warm hats...for my own grandkids and for my shop!

My sewing room has been a veritable bomber hat factory for the last few days! And now there are 16 of them in the shop...eight of each type. All made from American- or British-made wool. All lined with soft fleece and accented with sherpa suede. 

Click here for this one:

And click here for this one:

Homemade Applesauce Tips

Homemade applesauce is one of those simple delights of the autumn season. And it really couldn't be easier to make. My biggest tip for the best tasting applesauce is: use a variety of apples...some sweet, some juicy, some tart.

Then follow these easy steps:

- Peel, core, and chop apples.

- Put in a saucepan with a little water; bring to a boil; lower heat and simmer until apples are soft.

- Mash with a potato masher.

- Add brown sugar and cinnamon to taste.


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