by Phyllis Ducey

I am sitting out in 75 degree weather in the grassland that edges the woods donned with a sweatshirt, cowboy hat, socks over my jean legs amidst swarming mosquitoes in spite of the little battery operated mosquito thingy that promised to keep them away. I had this romantic picture of myself sitting out in the middle of God's country typing on my computer as the world around me was enveloped in a peaceful darkness. (It would have worked too if it wasn't for the dang mosquitoes!)

I never thought we would be blessed so bountifully as to have 40 beautiful acres of grassland, woods, and lake (there is a bit of swamp but I have never seen it and pretend it does not exist). We bought it in the winter while the snow was still 3 feet deep. Each month it has unveiled a new depth of beauty. To us it is almost a piece of heaven on earth (I sincerely doubt heaven will have ticks or mosquitoes). My daughter, son-in-law and their 5 kids love being here. The kids run endlessly; never get yelled at for screaming; and pick all the flowers that they want. This season the property is sprinkled in thousands of white daisies, queen Ann's lace, a type of baby's breath and some charming purple flowers.

I often think of how we got to this point... this place.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans for a hope and a future." Jer 29:11

I remember so vividly telling everybody (including God) that I would not move 1 mile north of Wauconda, IL. (We are now something like 470 miles north!) I hate the cold and yet the lengthy winters here have not bothered me any more than the Illinois winters.

Some people refer to seasons of life as passages but I think of my life in chapters. Much of the time I do not recognize that I am entering a new chapter however, I am usually aware when one has ended. Moving to Minnesota closed 3 or 4 chapters simultaneously turning the pages to open a new one... that was easily defined.

Another chapter's end was when we moved from our very first house which we had lived in for 12 years. When we moved (just to the other side of town) I cried. Not because I wanted to stay in it but because within the walls were the echoes of my babies growing into toddlers; doing their first homework assignments; making my husband and I overcooked (almost inedible) meatloaf as an anniversary dinner; and the sweet memories of us growing together as a family.

It would take a book to cover all the chapter's beginnings and ends. They were not all pleasant and some were so painful I could not wait until they ended. Many, I wondered why God would allow them into my life. Others I seriously doubted I would survive as I felt I was spiraling downward into a pit filled with the black unknown.

"When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul" Psalm 94:19

What carried me through it all was knowing that God is in control. That He knows the end before the beginning and if I stay faithful to Him, His plans are truly better than mine.
"For everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving" 1 Tim 4:4
If I was allowed to follow my plans instead of sitting amidst the beauty of my almost heaven on earth property with the blessings of being a part of my grandchildren's lives, I would still be in the flatlands of Illinois wondering why I had not heard from my daughter lately and being shocked at how much the kids had grown each time I saw them.
"And we know that in all things that God works for the good of those who love Him" Rom 8:28

Below are some wonderful shops that I hope you will take the time to explore and give them some hearts!

Comments (14)

On July 5, 2010 at 1:51 AM , MYSAVIOR said...

Sitting here at around 2AM because my doggie doesn't want to sleep. You, Phyllis, are an amazing writer.


On July 5, 2010 at 2:00 AM , Deb - Two Cheeky Monkeys said...

Beautiful finds to go with your thoughtful post.

:) Deb.

On July 5, 2010 at 3:08 AM , Art and Sew Forth said...

I agree-a piece of heaven! Just beautiful-both the photos and your post.

On July 5, 2010 at 9:07 AM , ZudaGay said...

We go through so many things in life and God can use each and every one to grow us into beautiful vessels He can fill and use for His glory. Lovely really do have a little bit of heaven here on earth. I feel really sad for grandparents who don't get quantity time with their grands and have to cram everything into small bits of quality time.

On July 5, 2010 at 10:09 AM , Sue Runyon said...

I'm getting ready to close a chapter too, Phyllis. Thanks for the great post and I really love looking at the photos--only I wish there was one of you in your cowboy hat :-)

On July 5, 2010 at 10:37 AM , Lizzi said...

What a lovely post! You have writing skills Phyllis!

On July 5, 2010 at 10:49 AM , pfd said...

Sue, I tried to have my hubby take one but by then it was dark and the camera was giving him grief (so were the mosquitoes)

On July 5, 2010 at 11:45 AM , sammysgrammy said...

Phyllis, I almost don't have words to comment on this post. You are our resident prophet - seeing deeply into what the Lord is doing and saying and dreaming - then turning right around and sharing that with us. Truly breaking open the loaf and dividing a piece of life to each one.

On July 5, 2010 at 10:34 PM , KippysSoMature said...

each post is such as encouragement for me Phyllis - I like how you describe chapters, and the Scriptures you have chosen (items too!) I sometimes get so afraid of the future, but I know He who is in control is always good, always faithful, and always provides exactly the very best, and joyous for me - no matter what. It hurts to grow at times - but it is temporary...the joy and blessings far outweigh it...and He always, always leads us through to the other side, (through each chapter) continuously :O)

On July 5, 2010 at 11:05 PM , Peace 2 U Designs By Syds said...

It's amazing to see how God's plan unfolds in our lives.

On July 5, 2010 at 11:30 PM , Sherri said...

Loved this post! Thanks for the encouragement!

On July 6, 2010 at 9:58 AM , Jewels by Trish- Handmade Jewelry- Artisan: Trish said...

I read this with tears in my eyes. Not in sadness, but in joy of the beauty of your place & the feel of God's love in your words.

On July 6, 2010 at 12:34 PM , Amber said...

Your post is beautiful. I love that you mentioned Jeremiah 29:11, and two pictures included that verse also... It is one of my favorites, and I actually also blogged about my life and referenced that verse this week. I love knowing that God has plans for me that are so much better than anything I could ever imagine. :-)

On July 10, 2010 at 5:44 PM , Melanie said...

A beautiful post! I, too, can clearly see the chapters and season in my life as God has led me to places I never would've gone on my own. So thankful for Jeremiah 29:11 and the truth in those words from God.