Our Illuminating Adventure

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7)


When I read this, my eyes saw, “But if we walk TO the light…”. 


That’s what I needed to see.


In this season of being still but hearing no answers, having no direction, I needed to be reminded that what may feel like a bit of darkness doesn’t have to be.


Life doesn’t get darker if I keep walking toward the Light.


If I keep turning my face from the shadows to the face of Christ in all His glory, my path (though I don’t yet recognize its destination) will be illuminated and safe.


Renaissance Man and I are on an adventure. December 1 last year we sold the big, beautiful old house we restored in town and began plans to build our Finally Farmhouse in the country.


When no rentals were available, we chose the next best thing. Actually, I’ve come to believe it was the BEST thing.



After finding new homes for many of our worldly goods, we stored the rest and picked a few “little” favorites to tuck into our cozy, little house.


Let the adventure begin!


I’m writing this on a flight from Knoxville to Denver to spend the weekend with Daughter the Older. It’s been seven months since our adventure began—and we still have no direction. Honestly, we have less direction than when we started . . .


Our original plan was to “take off” the month of December and not worry about finalizing a house design. We’d focus on letting our minds and spirits quiet after a very intense couple of years.


We’d travel to Texas where virtually the entire family would gather for Christmas for the first time in — ever. We’d breathe deeply and sleep late.


We’d let ourselves soak in the beautiful surroundings at our Wild Rose Farm — and dream.


We’d “hit it hard” when the calendar turned to January.


December went as planned and, as it turns out, was truly a God-send for what lay ahead. January—and events of the months since—never entered our minds . . .


If you’re a longtime friend here (thank you for that!), you know I’ve blogged some during that time. Recently, though, I’ve been mostly quiet. AWOL. Missing our time together here.


But Life . . .

There’s been too much—and not enough—of it.


2017 has been quite the year, so far, for my sweet husband. Gallbladder surgery (and complications finally resolved weeks later) started his year off with a bang. New doors of ministry led to increased international travel to new countries. A routine eye exam showed three tears in his retina—with surgery mere hours later. That was late May.


Since then he’s battled dangerously high eye pressure — and had plenty of opportunity to be grateful for excellent medical doctors. At the moment, though still on some very noxious medication that makes him feel awful all.of.the.time, things are under control, and the danger of complete vision loss in that eye has passed for now. He has a great attitude.


In another month or two, the silicone oil used to hold the retina in place (to let it reattach) will be surgically removed. We’re praying for good results. All prayers appreciated!


All this when we thought we’d be building a house . . .


But, as I told you before, Builder #1 had a cancer scare and needed to deal with it. Builder #2 looked so promising, but his numbers came back double what we expected. DOUBLE. Builder #3 (third time’s a charm! three strikes and you’re out?) is working on numbers now.


In the meantime, we’ve put all of our plans and dreams back on the table. Everything is held loosely.


The doctors tell us Renaissance Man will have a higher than average chance of another retinal detachment. But they say farm-related activities will NOT add to his risk.


Over the last month we’ve gone back and forth between building at the farm as planned (though perhaps building an even smaller house) or selling the farm and building, buying, or renovating somewhere else. I’ve fought the urge to grab a plan—any plan!—just to regain a sense of direction and order in my world. But God’s peace has been ever-present, and I’ve honestly been able to practice what I say I believe.


The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in all things by prayer and petition with thanksgiving make your requests known to God. And the peace that passes all understanding will keep your heart and your mind in Christ Jesus.


How about that? Even my always-racing, prone to anxiety MIND has experienced a blessed quiet in the midst of Life’s crazy unknowns.


My faith is being refined.


This little tiny house with its beautiful valley views, morning mists, and Creator-showing-off sunsets has wrapped itself around us. Outside its windows, racing baby chipmunks and riotously-loud bullfrogs remind us we’re not alone.


We’ve experienced peace explainable only by God’s presence in the midst of our circumstances.


So many times over the past few weeks I’ve wanted to come here, to encourage you in your own “unexpected”. Honestly? I’ve also wanted your companionship, and I wanted your encouragement.


But when Be still and know that I am God was the voice in my head, I knew I had to be still; to walk TO the Light where I would find the only companionship and encouragement that truly matters.


Where I would be purified from sinful temptations to worry.


Where the spilled, sacrificed blood of Jesus would remind me that this world is not my home. That the path I’m on here is temporary, and the only thing that really matters is whether my choices today bring His kingdom to earth.


All that matters is whether I walk to the Light, in the Light, and reflect the Light.


God, I’ve met you face-to-face in dark places and bright ones. I’ve felt your presence. You have not been all in my head, but in my heart; in the core of my being. We’ve walked together my entire life. When I take our relationship for granted as I sometimes do, may I quickly return to you, the Light that brings both warmth and illumination to my path. From here to eternity . . .


What has this year been like for you? Predictable? Surprising? Difficult? Leave a comment and share. My Place to Yours readers are wonderful people. Let’s be here for each other—through good times and bad.


  1. Hi Susan nice to know that the difficult times are behind you and also that you have been strong enough to go thru it all with your inner strength .
    God is the inner voice that speaks to us all the time and I have always felt that at least.
    May you always stay strong and enjoy the beauty that god has surrounded you with. Have always enjoyed reading what you write.. it’s like a conversation with a friend. Take care.

    • Rachna, thanks so much for your words of encouragement and appreciation. The best compliment you could give about my blog is “it’s like a conversation with a friend”. That means the world! Thanks for taking the time to comment. I hope you have a wonderful day!

  2. Oh, my dear Susan. I feel I am such a negligent blogging friend. I hope knowing you are always in my prayers brings some comfort. Surely your spirits needed the quiet and stillness with God during this time. I fully understand the need for spiritual peace. We need the quiet to recognize that God’s plan is ongoing. Sending love from me to you.

    Our path with my mother is ongoing. I believe her dementia has progressed to the point that she is no longer capable of the anger she was in the past. I think you will understand why I see that as a blessing. The inability to continuously fuss and fret means to me that she might be more peaceful. She stays in the bed most of the time, and she continues to loose weight. I am looking at it as the progression of her failure to thrive.

    I pray for God’s guidance for strength and wisdom in the lives of all.

    • Beverly, I think of you and pray for your family often as well. What a mixed blessing to learn of your mother’s more peaceful spirit. I know her cantankerous attitude has been such a drain on you for so long, and yet this change obviously signals more permanent change — and loss. You have been such a faithful daughter, and God has been faithful to strengthen and give you wisdom as you’ve made decisions on behalf of your mother. Thankfully, your sweet husband is by your side! (What would we do without those supper-cooking men in our lives? I shudder to think…)

      Stay strong. May tomorrow be a blessed Lord’s day at your house.