PROGRESS DOESN’T NEED TO ERASE HISTORY: Long-awaited dream come true

When we build, let us think that we build forever. Let it not be for present delight nor for present use alone. Let it be such work as our descendants will thank us for; and let us think, as we lay stone on stone, that a time is to come when those stones will be held sacred because our hands have touched them, and that men will say, as they look upon the labor and wrought substance of them, ‘See! This our father did for us.' John Ruskin 19th century art critic, social thinker, and philanthropist:     So began the public overview of a project a lot of people have been working on for a long time; some of them years longer than me . . .   Some of you long-time readers will remember me telling you about A New Day in ... Keep Reading...

NAKED CAKE — for a church baby shower? Yes, please!

Hello, Friends!   It's been a whirlwind since we last met here, but I'm stopping in for a minute to say "hello" and share a few quick pretties with you.   Today's inspiration began with nursery bedding chosen by our pastor and his wife for their first baby.     When asked to decorate for the church shower, I almost laughed. After all, my pretties are in storage as we continue our house-building adventure.   But when I learned the Mommy-to-be had chosen a woodland theme, I knew I was in luck! ... Keep Reading...

BREAKING THE SILENCE: On the third day . . .

Picking up where we left each other . . . Contemplating the crucifixion of Jesus and His sacrificial death. Pain. Grief. SILENCE.   I believe in God, the Father Almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth, And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell.     The third day He arose again from the dead.   He ascended into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty, from whence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.   I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints, ... Keep Reading...

What’s so GOOD about Good Friday?

Good Friday:  The term we Christians use to acknowledge the day Jesus died on a cross.   Willingly.     His crucifixion amidst jeers and and hatred was the beginning of a series of days that would forever change history.   It was part of a plan of unbelievable love for mankind — every one of us . . .     . . . but it began with immense personal pain and selfless sacrifice.     Jesus, the human image of the holy God, fulfilled his life's purpose by dying on a brutal cross, taking on the sin of the world for all eternity.   Sin is real. Sin has consequences.     Sin can be forgiven — covered by the blood of Jesus.   That's ... Keep Reading...

Serendipity . . . and Silence

It stopped me in my tracks. That rarely happens.   The space was HUGE with gorgeous light streaming through the windows. Beautiful bedding, quirky collections, and age. Lots of age.   I was so happy to be alone with my camera. Exploration only. No words.   Scroll slowly. Look closely.   Try to imagine . . .  These pics simply don't do it justice.       Have you ever walked into a space and been totally enchanted? Do tell!   ... Keep Reading...

The Hunt for Texas Bluebonnets: A 24-hour vacation

Happy Monday! If, like me, you're still trying to recover from your weekend, here's a chair.   Sit a spell.   If you follow My Place to Yours on Instagram, you know Renaissance Man and I were "wheels up" before dawn last Friday and headed to Texas.   We were hunting for bluebonnets.   Best we recall, it had been twenty years since we'd last laid eyes "up close and personal" on the state flower of Texas. And since we're both native Texans, there's something seriously wrong about that!   We flew into Austin, rented a car, and started working our way west.   First order of business was lunch in Fredericksburg with a couple who supports our work with orphans in Brazil. They actually ... Keep Reading...

Finally Farmhouse update – and a 24-hour question

The bad news: The builder we chose for our Finally Farmhouse was diagnosed with cancer. We're broken hearted for him. If you pray, I hope you'll pray for Danny as he spends the foreseeable future focusing on his health.     The good news: We met with another builder this morning; someone Danny recommended. His name is Jeff.   I really liked him!   He immediately caught the vision we have for our home and, like Danny, he's very familiar with using reclaimed wood and salvaged pieces.   We have a lot of those!   He's willing to work with subs with whom we already have really good relationships — and and y'all, he's worked with my all-time favorite painter and has the same respect ... Keep Reading...

LOVE FOR THE GABLED FARMHOUSE

Show me a house with lots of steep-pitched gables, and I'll show you some old house love.     Condition is irrelevant.   I fall just as hard for the ones losing the battle. Maybe harder.     I have a friend who once told me she'd really wanted her custom-built home to have lots of gables—but her husband only saw their risk:  Too many intersecting angles/valleys; too many potential leaks.  And so she got her cookie-cutter house.   I don't want a cookie-cutter house.   I want a Folk Victorian Farmhouse. one-story (though my heart skips a beat over the two-story beauties) big front porch bay window 2/2 double hung windows corbeled chimney decorative ... Keep Reading...

SUCCESS: savor or share?

The problem:   Millions of kids around the world—OUR world—are growing up in orphanages, and they are not growing into successful adults. Please don't stop reading.     Most of them are failing by any social measure, and their children often end up in the same alternative care system that failed them.   At Hope Unlimited for Children, our graduates aren't failing. ... Keep Reading...

Pushing the PAUSE button on our farmhouse build

This CANNOT be happening . . .   Such was my thought last Saturday when our builder arrived to do a first "stake out" of our new house. We gave him our plan, and he and Renaissance Man started measuring.     And when he said our original location wouldn't work, they moved over a few yards and reassessed.     The excavation guy was there, too, and all three juggled measurements. I'd stayed within the limits I was given. How could this be happening?   They said the house would fit best if I'd change the angle.   Absolutely not! There's a particular view I want when I walk out my front door.     Even the boys tried to help . . ... Keep Reading...

Living intentionally in a broken world . . .

I left you here three evenings ago with a story of chaos and danger . . . and a request for prayer for our children and staff in Vitoria, Brazil. A prayer that they would be kept safe through the night—and the days and nights to follow.   Thank you to everyone who prayed for them! Thank you for your emails and texts and comments.   I heard late yesterday that the police and government officials had reached an agreement. And today I am thankful to report that we've received an "all clear" from our staff. In fact, a group visiting our southern campus is being cleared to also visit Vitoria later this week. At last count, there were over 130 documented murders, but the death toll is sure increase as order is restored and ... Keep Reading...

SAFELY THROUGH THE NIGHT . . . A prayer in the midst of chaos

It was early morning when I last flew into Vitoria, Brazil.   Making my way immediately to Hope Mountain, the northern campus of Hope Unlimited for Children, I was met by lots of activity, learning, beauty . . .     . . . and lots of color.   There's no way I'd go there today.   Five days ago—last Saturday—police in Vitoria went on strike. Anarchy erupted. You may have read about it in the newspaper.   I knew nothing about the situation until late Monday night when Hope's CEO-founder/missionary-on-the-ground, Philip Smith, called to ask for prayers.   There was gunfire on our 100-acre campus.   By morning I learned more: Bandits are taking control ... Keep Reading...