From Hearth and Heart

October 25, 2013 | My Jottings

Since we of the frozen north are totally weather obsessed and I jumped right on that bandwagon when I moved to Minnesota in 1981, I will open this post by telling you that it has been in the low twenties recently, and not long ago our high temp during the day was a mere 29 degrees (minus 1.6 Celsius). So imagine my happiness when two men arrived the day before yesterday with our new gas insert and installed it into our dining room fireplace! It took them about four hours, and right before they left one of them gave me the tutorial on how to use the remote control.

I love that we can set the thermostat at, say, 65 degrees, and then if the house gets cool during the night (IF the house gets cool during the night? IF? In Minnesota I’m asking IF?) the flames jump to life and the kitchen and dining room are cheery and warm when I get up at pitch black-forty-five to start breakfasts.

Our oldest Schnauzer Edith figured out within a few minutes that standing about 18 inches in front of the double doors below would bring comfort to her old Schnauzer bones, and it was sweet to see her just standing there soaking in the heat in a place she’d never lounged before.


In early November it will be daylight savings time and we’ll have to set our clocks back one hour. This will mean yippee for those of us who get up early since we’ll get an extra hour to sleep. But it will mean that by Christmas it will be dark by 4:30 p.m., and I’m already thinking how lovely it will be to have our dinners by firelight. Snowflakes falling outside, savory smells wafting from the kitchen, dancing firelight within arm’s reach while we eat….ahhhh. Now if I could only get someone in here to take care of making sure those savory smells waft.

Michael has a doctor’s appointment today, and I’m hoping this will be the time when an in-home evaluation is ordered, and someone knowledgeable comes in to assess things and advise us on what other things to attend to. I’m hoping that occasional respite care can be arranged. I emailed my CBS core leader this week to tell her that things had taken such a turn with Michael that I wasn’t sure I could leave him for two hours anymore. I realize that unless I have someone come in on Tuesday mornings, I may not be able to return to Community Bible Study this year. I will not be content with just anyone coming in to be with Michael, and I pray that the right person/s is out there. An indifferent college student who took a home care job just to get a paycheck while studying for her degree probably won’t work. An overzealous, seemingly perfect young man who talks too much and acts like Michael’s new best friend would set my radar on high alert immediately. Gahh… I need to just release this to the Lord.

My dear friend Carey and I were going to meet for lunch yesterday but it began to be apparent that I shouldn’t leave, so I asked her if she could pick the food up and bring it to our house. She graciously agreed and acted like that was a better idea to begin with, because that’s the kind of encouraging and wonderful friend she is. We sat at the table and had good food from Burrito Union, and talked about our families and how our perceptions of our heavenly Father are changing and coming more into alignment (I hope) with who He really is and what He wants in our lives.

The other night as I was taking a bath and listening to Pandora, an old (beloved) song by Jennifer Knapp came on, and I experienced one of those rare moments when I knew the Truth was resounding into my spirit and I was receptive enough to fully take it in. The words to the song are:

When it rains or it shines on this pillow of mine
I will lift up my head to the sky
So I have a chance to see
Where my hope has come from
Know there’s nothing that I can’t abide

When nothing satisfies you
When nothing satisfies you
When nothing satisfies you
Hold my hand

Send forth Your light Lord,
And send forth Your Truth
Let them guide me to Your Holy Place
Then will I go to the Altar of God
To my Joy, my Delight and my Strength

When nothing satisfies you
When nothing satisfies you
When nothing satisfies you
Hold my hand

Why are you so downcast o my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God
My Savior, my King
My Savior, my King

When nothing satisfies you
When nothing satisfies you
When nothing satisfies you
Hold my hand

I cried as I listened to the words and wished that somehow I could really, physically reach out and find the hand of Jesus to hold onto. I told the Lord that. I know most of the spiritual answers to this longing, how He resides in those who’ve called out to Him to save them and we find Him through them, how people all over the world are His hands and feet, how the Holy Spirit often comforts us and prays for us in times of grief and trouble, and how we don’t hold onto Him, because He is already holding onto us. I believe all that, and I’m so thankful for it. And I have experienced the wonder of finding Him in another yielded person. But I still would like to be able to hold onto the nail-scarred hand of the Savior and feel that infusion of strength and hope and joy that would surely come.

Well, little Louisa will be arriving for some grandma time today, so I must close this for now. Thank you for stopping by here, and for leaving your comments. I hope your weekend is sweet and that the Lord helps us all to love and bear with and encourage the people in our lives….


  1. Tauni says:

    I so know what you mean Julie. I was at a church service many years ago and the teaching pastor made a comment about wanting to see & feel Jesus with skin on!! I loved that phrase, and while I agree that God’s children here on earth are his hands and feet, it would be nice none-the-less to touch Him ourselves. And, one day my friend, one day we will ~ XXOO

  2. Just Julie says:

    I know you understand, Tauni. And yes, I think of that day and wonder what in the world I will do? Rise into the air for joy? Bow down and weep? What a hope we have… xoxo

  3. Roberta says:

    You have been given a truly hard assignment, Julie. God knows. And I don’t think he would think it inappropriate for you to tell Him so. I imagine He would tell you how you have showed Him how much love you have within you, and how He knows, despite the pain and sacrifices, that you can carry through His task with His aid, with His grace. I believe He has given you His nail-pierced hand to hold, Julie, because you are kin to Him in love-filled suffering.
    I pray you will find the respite care that I know God wants you to have, to be able to take care of yourself as you care for Michael.
    Love you!

  4. Just Julie says:

    Oh Roberta. Thank you. You really should have my last name, because your words are always a balm to me. 🙂 I am very grateful for you…. xoxo

  5. Ember says:

    Thinking of you for the doctor’s appointment xxx

  6. Just Julie says:

    Thank you so much Ember. The appt. went okay — we at least ruled out a couple of things. More phone calls to make, and two more appts. to go to. I hope you and your family are doing well? xoxo

  7. Helen in Switzerland says:

    Dear Julie,
    you’ve been in my thoughts such a lot recently. I’m sorry Michael is taking a turn for the worse and I pray that you will get the help you need. You will be happier and be able to take better care of him if you get a break too and I’m glad that you see that you need that too. Praying that the Lord will find a solution for you. Much love and virtual hugs!

  8. Just Julie says:

    Thank you Helen! I’m always amazed and humbled at the friends from around the world who bless my life because of Blogdom. You are one of those… xo

  9. Ganeida says:

    I think I will email you. Love & prayers from the *Duck Puddle*.

  10. Just Julie says:

    Sounds good, Ganeida. Stay dry! xoxo

  11. Shari C. says:

    What a beautiful song, Julie. Thanks for sharing it – I’ve never heard that song before.
    How did the dr’s appointment go for Michael and you? I will keep praying that God sends competent and trustworthy help – the best helper possible!

  12. Just Julie says:

    Michael’s appt. went all right, Shari. No UTI, all tests normal. The doctor thinks he needs to see a neurologist and we’ve been going to one in the Twin Cities, but think this is a good idea too. We’ll see what that visit brings. Thank you for your prayers and love… xoxo

  13. Susan A. Reed says:

    Oh Julie, I did not know that Mike has been having so many new problems. You are the best wife for him, but you so need to care for yourself too. Will pray that God will work out all the details for all of you.
    love in Christ, Susan

  14. Just Julie says:

    Thank you so much for your prayers, Susan. They mean so much! Blessings… xoxo

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