Building Oak Haven – Sold!

It’s been another busy week. Have I been saying that a lot?

On Tuesday we closed on our current house. 15 days after listing. Amazing.

Definitely a God thing.  Especially since the new buyers generously let us stay until the 31st to finish moving.  We spent the week packing up the rest of the boxes and I spent hours on the internet and the phone setting up our forwarding address.

On Saturday, Jon’s dad, brother, two of the guys from his youth group, and one of the guys from our community group all came over to help us pack out our furniture and move it to our storage units. A sweet friend of mine also came over and helped me move the rest of my plants to our new home.

Our back patio

The stucco guys from JDR finished our stucco this week. Sherwin Williams Craftsman Brown with a lace pattern. I love how it turned out.





our roof going up

The roofers from Fry Roofing were also hard at work and we now have a shingled roof. Oakridge brownwood.






Our rock was delivered by Brookstone Ranch and will hopefully be installed this next week. It looks grey to me right now, but I’ve been assured it will have some nice red, brown, and cream colors under the layers of dust.





This week, we’ll move into our camper, where we’ll stay until the house is finished. It’s small, but its been home before. We’ve stayed in it frequently when visiting family in Pennsylvania and also when we were house hunting when we first moved to Texas back in 2011. Our little dog, Wickie, is a bit concerned with all the activity. He has only known the house we are moving out of.  Thankfully, he has made many road trips with us and is quite comfortable in the camper. Once we get settled, I know he’ll be fine. He’s happy to be wherever we are. Isn’t that what home is all about?

Grace & Peace

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Building Oak Haven – exterior

As we pack up our current home and wait for the closing, the outside work continues on our new home. Juan from UBuild It continues to keep us on track and provide valuable guidance.

Paul Swoyer installed our septic system and sprinklers and Bell Hdyro Gas set our propane tank in place.

patio doors

84 Lumber delivered and installed our exterior doors, along with the frames for our pocket doors. The front door is currently a construction door, to keep the side lites and glass from being damaged. They will be installed toward the end of the construction process. Both the front door and back patio doors are knotty alder. I love the wood and can’t wait to see how they look when they’re finished.

patio ceiling

Fernando Delgado and his team painted our porch and patio ceilings along with our sofit and facia (Sherwin Williams Fresco Cream) and stained our patio posts and beams (Sherwin Williams Cider Mill). The light ceilings brighten up the area and the beams add rich texture.


prep for stucco

stucco going up

JDR Construction prepared the exterior walls with wire mesh and began applying stucco. They will complete it with a lace stucco texture and Sherwin Williams Craftsman Brown paint.


We also made a quick trip to select our rock from Brook Stone Ranch. The rock will cover the front of the house and also our fireplace and kitchen bar. We’ve chosen Palamino Irregular, a nice blend of reds, browns and creams.


Looking forward to seeing how it all comes together. Our excitement and anticipation continues to grow as we spend more and more time at Oak Haven.

Grace & Peace

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First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 67

God, be gracious to us, and bless us.  May he make his face shine toward us. (selah)

Psalm 67:1 (CJB)

This last week has been quite cloudy, reminding me of the predominately cloudy days of my childhood, growing up near the coast of Lake Erie. A place that gets lake effect snow in the winter often gets lake effect clouds throughout the year.

I love the sun and when she hides for too long, I find myself becoming irritable. Finally, after yet another overcast and foggy morning, the clouds began to break up and the sun broke through. My spirits lifted, feeling the warmth of the sun on my face.

Darkness, shadows and sufferings can create clouds in the skies of our hearts and minds. Even busyness and day to day routines can take on the overcast of grey clouds. The Psalmist calls out for the Lord to shine his face toward us, to break through and allow the warmth of his light, life and love to shine over us.

If I had been inside or not paying attention when the skies cleared, I may have missed it. In the same way, if I am not positioning myself or waiting expectantly, I may miss out on the Lord’s face shining toward me.

Each morning, when I rise, along with checking the forecast, I should also be opening up God’s word and allowing it to shine in the dark places of my heart, to bring hope in the suffering and shadows and to fill my daily routines with joy.

Pleasing is the warmth of the sun on my face, more pleasing still is the warmth of the Lord’s smile on me.


Heavenly Father, thank you for turning your face toward me and shining on me. Give me a  seeking and expectant heart that I may turn my face heavenward toward you. 

Grace and Peace

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Building Oak Haven – spring break

Our youngest son spent spring break a bit differently than he probably anticipated. He came home looking forward to relaxing and he did get the chance to rest over the weekend. But on Monday and Tuesday we woke up early and “staged” the house for showing, then vacated to allow for potential buyers to tour throughout the day and into the evening.

The work paid off and on Tuesday afternoon we received word we had a good offer. In fact, by Tuesday evening, our realtor had put together a list of offers we received. Wednesday morning, much to our son’s delight, we accepted one of the offers and cancelled all future scheduled showing appointments.

We had an additional request for our son. During the rest of the week he helped to pack out his bedroom and before he left, turn over his house key. Next time he comes home to visit, it won’t be in this house. He’s an easy going young man, so he’s not troubled by the idea. When I asked how he felt about it, he shrugged and said we’ve moved before.

Thankfully, due to our home stager, we’ve had a head start on packing and moving things to the storage units we’ve rented. We close in a couple of weeks and have to move out by the end of the month. We plan to stay in our camper while the house is finished (some of the work we plan to do ourselves).







This past week, Paul Swoyer dug out the hole for our septic and our gas. Unfortunately, the septic hole and future trenching for the “stinklers” will disturb and disrupt my prayer path and I’ll need to make some repairs.

Our to-do list continues to grow as we juggle the tasks of moving out and the increasing work of the new house. Have I mentioned before how grateful I am for Sundays? In the midst of the busyness, it’s good to stop, rest and catch our breaths.

Grace & Peace

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First Verse, a journey through the Psalms: Psalm 66

Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Psalm 66:1, TLB

I love the awesomeness of being able to access Scripture online, be able to type in a word and have every verse it appears in show up in a list for me. Even more amazing is the almost five dozen english translations I can search.

Psalm 66:1 gives us a simple edict. Sing to the Lord. Everyone. All people. The whole earth. Even creation. Throughout the Psalms, trees, mountains, oceans, birds, every living thing, every thing with breath is called to sing God’s praises. And as we search the Scriptures, we find we are called to sing in many different circumstances.

James 5:13 (CJB)
Is someone among you in trouble? He should pray. Is someone feeling good? He should sing songs of praise.

Colossians 3:16 (CJB)
let the Word of the Messiah, in all its richness, live in you, as you teach and counsel each other in all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude to God in your hearts.

Ephesians 5:19 (CJB)
sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs to each other; sing to the Lord and make music in your heart to him;

Acts 16:25 (CJB)
Around midnight, Sha’ul and Sila (Paul and Silas) were praying and singing hymns to God, while the other prisoners listened attentively.

Luke 19:36-38 (NLT)
As he rode along, the crowds spread out their garments on the road ahead of him. When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen.
“Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord!
Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!”

Mark 14:26 (NLT)
Then they (Jesus and the Disciples) sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives.

2 Chronicles 20:21 (CJB)
After consulting with the people, he appointed those who would sing to Adonai and praise the splendor of his holiness as they went out ahead of the army, saying, “Give thanks to Adonai, for his grace continues forever.”

1 Chronicles 15:15-16 (CJB)
and the L’vi’im (Levites) carried the ark of God on their shoulders with the poles on it, as Moshe (Moses) had ordered, according to what Adonai had said.
David spoke to the chief of the L’vi’im (Levites) to appoint their kinsmen to be singers making use of musical instruments — lutes, lyres and cymbals — to play loudly and raise sounds of joy.

Psalm 13:6 (CJB)
But I trust in your grace, my heart rejoices as you bring me to safety.
I will sing to Adonai, because he gives me even more than I need.

Psalm 28:7 (CJB)
Adonai is my strength and shield; in him my heart trusted, and I have been helped.
Therefore my heart is filled with joy, and I will sing praises to him.

Psalm 42:8 (NLT)
But each day the Lord pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.

Psalm 81:2 (NLT)
Sing! Beat the tambourine. Play the sweet lyre and the harp.

Psalm 87:7 (NLT)
The people will play flutes[a] and sing, “The source of my life springs from Jerusalem!”

Psalm 90:14 (NLT)
Satisfy us each morning with your unfailing love, so we may sing for joy to the end of our lives.

Psalm 126:6 (NLT)
They weep as they go to plant their seed, but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Psalm 146:2 (NLT)
I will praise the Lord as long as I live.
I will sing praises to my God with my dying breath.

When we immerse ourselves in God’s truth, we lose ourselves in the wonder of who He is and what He has done. The Lord rejoices over us with singing (Zephaniah 3:17). How right is the response to return with our own song, for truly, He gives us a new song to sing (Psalm 40:3).

Lift up your voices today and sing to the Lord.

Heavenly Father, you have given us ears to hear and voices to raise in praise. Let our hearts be filled with the music of heaven and may your song be on our lips.

Grace and Peace

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