Gratitude Day 185 – A Clean House and Soul

Sun., Dec. 30, 2018

Isaiah 32:18 – Then my people will live in a peaceful dwelling, in secure homes, in carefree resting places.

And then it was quiet.

So quiet.

After 8-9 days of company and overnight guests every night, today Hubby Rick took our eldest two grandsons’ home. He wanted to go ice fishing on his way home, so I stayed home.

To the quiet. To the peace. To time by myself.

We feel very fortunate that we’ve had so many days filled with family and friends. At times, the inn was a little full. Getting beds prepared between guests was quick. But we loved every minute of it.

Home is a favorite place. As we have remodeled our Victorian farmhouse and made it our own, it has become a place where I love to just be. It’s filled with items very meaningful and special to us. I never tire of being home alone because it is a place of peace for me.


Home alone, I went full-on into cleaning mode. Yes, I also am a little OCD about a clean house. Getting beds ready for future guests. Cleaning bathrooms and smudged floors. Finding letters leftover from Scrabble and eaten boxes of candy left behind. Organizing the fridge leftovers. Running another load of dishes, now that I have more dishwasher soap, after making a quick trip to the store last night. Wiping down the smears and food left behind on the stainless-steel appliances. Do they ever really get clean?


Cleaning the oven. When I opened it, I couldn’t believe I’d let it get so dirty! Seriously??!! I’m slightly embarrassed by this for those who have peeked into my oven in the last number of days.


Load after load of laundry.


Quietly letting the red and white roses hang their heads after looking so perky and beautiful for many days in a row.

As I cleaned, put away and did some deep cleaning, my heart felt quiet. Good. Satisfied. I love being in my house. I love it even more when it is clean. It truly becomes for me a carefree resting place.


Yes, I’m one those people who will stay up half the night before leaving on vacation to make sure the house is clean before I leave. I want to walk into a house with everything in its place when I get home.

Some people don’t like to clean. Comments like, “It will just get dirty again,” are true. For mean, having a clean house creates a place of peace. Calm. Serenity.

As I cleaned today, I contemplated many things. What do I look forward to in 2019? What are some short-term and long-term goals for me? How can I create moments where I feel peace and serenity on a more regular basis?

I realize a clean house may not create this feeling inside of you. That’s OK. But where is that place for you? What activity helps you feel like you are back where you want to be? Where do you find peace and serenity? How have you built this into your life lately? Will you make it more of a priority in 2019?


For a clean house and a happy soul, I am grateful.

Almighty God, thank you for each and every person who has been in our house these last many days. I feel blessed to have them in our home. And thank you for the quiet today, the opportunity to feel peace, calm and serenity. I pray these quiet moments with you today were as meaningful for you as they were for me. Amen.

Blessings –


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Gratitude Day 186 –2018 in Review

Mon., Dec. 31, 2018

Jeremiah 29:11 –  I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.

I didn’t plan to write this post. Then, I decided that sometimes it’s just helpful to look back, reflect and see how things change in a person’s life. Without benchmarks, it’s often difficult to see where or how something has changed. With this in mind, I am reflecting upon things that have changed, are different, are joys and maybe even a disappointment or two from the past year. Here goes:

Kendra's wedding

  1. I am a very blessed person. By “blessed,” I mean there are so many things in my life which bring me joy every day. I have a super husband. Hubby Rick doesn’t read my blog. When someone mentions something they read here, he may have a deer-in-the-headlights look. He is a great supporter, encourager and often takes one for the Vielhuber team. Other ways I’m blessed? A family that enjoys each other most of the time! Last January, our Deaton family celebrated my Mom’s life together. A great group of friends from many different stages of my life. Great health. A home we love. The list goes on and on. Little things we take for granted: living in a country where we have great freedom, opportunities and plenty (really to excess.) I’m blessed that every day I have the opportunities to do so many things which I enjoy doing.DSC06580
  2. A little over a year ago, I stepped back from serving two churches as the pastor to make more room in my life for things that I’ve felt God calling me to do. This has been a huge change, and quite honestly, taken more time to adjust to than I expected. It’s the first time in my adult life in which I wasn’t “working” a ridiculous number of hours all the time. I have yet to wake up a single morning and wonder, “Just what am I going to do today?” I’ve had flexibility to work on some things that I’ve put off for years. The amount of volunteer work I do has only increased. Recently, Rick attended an event without me because I had prior commitments. When someone inquired where I was, he said “she’s out trying to save the world.” There is a lot of truth in his comment and why I haven’t had a boring day yet. Because of Hubby Rick’s support of my decision, I focus on things that I want to and not feel guilty. It’s been a great opportunity for me to switch gears.letters
  3. Where have I focused some time and attention? Sorting and going through boxes and boxes of things from my Mom. Truthfully, it’s more than my Mom’s things. It’s my grandmother’s and some of my things as well. I’m not quite done … but have made significant progress. I’ve gone from 30+ boxes and totes to just a few. It’s taken a lot of time. Was it worth it? I’m still undecided. My advice? Encourage loved ones and yourself to work on getting through family information and treasures. Doing so allows people the opportunity to enjoy the things you will unearth now. And makes it more manageable for the next generation. I’m a lot more discerning about what I keep of my personal things after going through decades of information.DSC06751
  4. Going through this stuff as well as my Mom’s death encouraged me to invite the first cousins on my Mom’s side to our house for a weekend. This get-together was truly a highlight of the year. I’m optimistic we will do something again.

    After multiple tries, this was the best I could do …
  5. Rick and I enjoy time with our grandkids as we are able. A couple days ago, we had all five for the day. At times, it was loud! It’s a joy anytime we get to spend quality time with them. One highlight was spending nine days with the eldest two grandsons on a youth mission trip to Washington D.C.DSC06807
  6. Rick and I continue updating our 110+-year-old house. We’re in the middle of hopefully our last “big” project and it’s turning out fantastic! I hope to share more by spring.
  7. One disappointment? I haven’t completed writing the book I had hoped to. I’ve worked on significant sections … but it’s still needs a lot of work. Honestly, I haven’t moved it up high enough on the “priority” list; something that will change in 2019. There is another whole part of book writing: developing an audience, marketing and such that also needs my time and time at Midland
  8. Another personal challenge has been feeling part of a faith community on a regular basis. Many weekends, I fill in at various area churches, whether in the pulpit or playing music. I enjoy “choosing” when to help with worship and sharing my spiritual gifts. Because we are at a different churches throughout a month, it’s hard to feel connected to one faith community as I would like.


I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging more consistently this year. Thank you for reading my words. I appreciate every single person who takes valuable time to read how I connect faith to the normal, everyday aspects of life. I pray these words offer encouragement for you to find faith in the simplest ways in your life. The best way for more people to see my blogs are for readers to share and encourage others to follow it. If you find value in what I share, please encourage others to follow along.

I’m still working on a few goals, personal and professionally, for 2019. One thing I know for sure? God has a plan for me in 2019, as well as for you. I pray that you include God in your daily journey. Find the hope and peace God longs for you to know in your daily life.

Before 2018 closes down, make a short list of the things you’ve experienced in 2018: the great, the good and the “needs improvement” areas. I pray a quick reflection can be personally rewarding for you.

Rick & Dianne

For a very blessed 2018, I am grateful.

Holy God – thank you for accompanying me along every step of my journey in 2018. Thank you in advance for being a part of my life and spiritual journey in the upcoming year. I pray that we look to you daily and regularly to see the plans you have for us. Amen.

Blessings –


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