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My Summer Diary

Hello Everyone!  It's good to be back!

I hope you found time to relax and enjoy your summer with lots of fun, friends, family and fellowship.

Since it's been quite a while, I thought I'd share a more personal, summer diary; a what I've been up to, what's on the horizon, type of post.  lol.  I thought I'd do it in a question and answer format.   Like I'm interviewing myself.  Haha!  :-)

Karen, what did you do on vacation?

My husband and I took two weeks off.  The first week was during an oppressive heat wave.  We couldn't really enjoy our porch because it was so hot, but I did have fun going shopping to find a few nice pieces to decorate the porch.

These pillows are the perfect pop of color for my neutral porch.  :-)

I love the bird & ivy detail on the stand.  :-)

Love having fresh flowers growing in pots.  :-)

We also took a day trip with our daughter and granddaughter to a lake to cool off from the heat wave.

Say "CHEESE!"  <3

Great lake for swimming.  Crystal clear!

My husband and I took a day trip out to the Cape to the Heritage Museum in Sandwich, Massachusetts!  It was the perfect "Karen" place to go.  lol.  It had gardens and museums whose focus was artwork, the kind of artwork you can "crawl into".   My favorite!

This is probably the most photographed area at the Heritage Museum

They had lots and lots of beautiful hydrangeas!

The following week my husband and I went to the Berkshires.  We had a very relaxing time where I was able to catch up on some reading while relaxing on our balcony.  We visited the Norman Rockwell Museum and took a ride on the Mohawk Trail where we stopped at the Bridge of Flowers and went to see the crater holes by the falls.  The highlight of the trip was going to the top of Mt. Greylock to watch the sunset.  It was amazing!

Stockbridge, Massachusetts

Bridge of Flowers


War Memorial Tower at the summit of Mt. Greylock

Sunset views from the summit of Mt. Greylock

The final weekend of our vacation, we enjoyed the beautiful parks that are right near our home, and of course, fishing.  :-)

Sunset fishing in the canoe

A rare sight on this pond, water like glass...

Gorgeous sunset at the park in our town.

Beautiful walk along the ocean

Sunset over the pier at the park in our town

The Old North Bridge

The Old Gristmill

What books have you been reading?

I read my dear friend, Alicia Ruggieri's book, A Holy Passion:  A Novel of David Brainerd and Jerusha Edwards.  Alicia took historical facts and resources about David and Jerusha and wove together a beautiful fiction novel about how their relationship with each other could have played out.  I'd like to believe their relationship was exactly how Alicia described it!  :-)  You can shop for it here.

{It just so happened that my husband and I had already planned a trip to Northhampton during our vacation time and so after reading Alicia's book I knew I wanted to go to the cemetery where David and Jerusha were buried.  It was such a surreal experience to stand where Jonathan Edwards once stood as he mourned his dear friend David and then once again, his precious daughter Jerusha.  Let alone to think of the spiritual legacies that were buried beneath.}  

David Brainerd's tombstone, Bridge Street Cemetery, Northhampton, Masssachusetts

Jerusha Edwards tombstone at Bridge Street Cemetery, Northhampton, Massachusetts

I also read Rory Feek's book Once Upon a Farm.  Rory Feek is the husband of Joey who died of cervical cancer a couple of years ago.  It was such a good read, filled with hope and encouragement.  It truly showcased that a life of Faith will always experience joy after mourning.

I just started reading Beth Moore's book, The Undoing of St. Sylvanus.  And I must say, I knew nothing about the content of the book prior, and suffice it to say, the first few pages I was like "huh??"  lol.  But I've heard great things about it, so I am going to keep on reading.  :-)

What books of the Bible have you been studying?

I have been in Leviticus for a few months now.  And I will admit that it's never been an easy book for me to read or one of my "favorites".  BUT I bought myself the Give Me Jesus Journal by the Well Watered Women Co. and it has soo enhanced my time in the Word.  There are four guided questions that they suggest asking yourself after you read a passage and it has been amazing!  I am gaining much more insight now from Leviticus!  I highly recommend it!  You can shop for it here.

I took a six week break from Leviticus and did Sarah Koontz, Living by Design Ministries, Reclaim the Sabbath free online Bible study which you can sign up for here.  It totally opened up my eyes to the Sabbath.  I confess, I always viewed it as an "Old Testament Rule", but Sarah's study opened up great Truths about God's intention for the Sabbath in a Believer's life.  I highly recommend it!

What are you looking forward to?

  • This weekend my brother and his family are coming to stay with us for the weekend.  My niece is looking at colleges here in Rhode Island!  Oh how wonderful would that be to have her close by!  We shall see.  :-)
  • My parents are coming up the following weekend!

I love sharing our new screened in back porch with family and friends.

  • And most of all, I am looking forward to meeting my newest grandbaby in November.  My daughter is due November 4th.  Lexi is so excited and keeps talking about her "baby sister", but my daughter and son-in-law are waiting to find out the gender.  Almost everyone, except Lexi, lol, is convinced its a boy.  We shall see!

What are you looking forward to ministrywise?

  • Starting up our Women's Bible Study at church again.  We will be kicking off another study in September.  I had such a lovely experience in late spring when I had the privilege of leading the ladies at my church for the first time in a study on the Book of Ruth by Well Watered Women Co.  It was an excellent study!  You can shop for it here.   
  • Meeting together again with our small group in September.  We opened up our home last year and although hospitality is not my gift, lol, it was such a blessing to have everyone here.  It is so important to fellowship with a body of Believers.
  • Getting back to blogging.  During my blogcation, although I enjoyed the rest, I found myself getting excited when the Lord would spark an idea for a blog post, and then I would quickly jot down notes so I wouldn't forget.

What did the Lord teach you while you were resting and resetting?

So many things!  I made a conscious effort to truly sit and be still before the Lord.  To quiet my mind and body, to just be silent before the Lord.   Within a few minutes or maybe a half hour, something would pop into my mind that I knew was from the Lord.  I was in awe to be in His presence, and hear Him speaking to me and to be still long enough to truly listen...  I called these my "Be Still and Know Moments" and jotted them down.  In the weeks to come, I'll be sharing the wonderful insights the Lord blessed me with.

What have you been enjoying the most this summer?

It's funny, but every year it's different.  Like three years ago, it was going fishing all the time in our canoe; last year, it was taking walks and enjoying beautiful sunsets.

But this year, hands down, I have enjoyed my back porch.  It's like I'm a whole different person when I am out there!  ESPECIALLY at night!  I LOVE sitting in the dark and listening to God's creatures making their comforting noises.  It reminds me of camping as a child.  I love looking at the stars in the sky or having the moonbeams stream in or watching flashes of lightening as a storm approaches.  My absolute favorite place to be is outside and this has afforded me to be outside morning, noon and night, and NO BUGS!  lol.

Praise the Lord! 
Praise God in his sanctuary; 
praise him in his mighty heavens! 
Praise him for his mighty deeds; 
praise him according to his excellent greatness!
Psalm 150:1-2

 So what have you been up to?  :-)

You might find me on these link-ups:
Grace & Truth Link-upWoman to Woman Ministries, Inspire Me MondayA Wise Women Builds Her HomeSpiritual Sundays, Soul Survival,  Good Morning MondaysTell His StoryFaith & Fellowship Blog Hop  Tuesday Talk   Faith 'N Friends Sitting Among Friends   House to Home  ,Wonderful Wednesday , Literacy Musings Mondays,Imparting GraceDance with Jesus Booknificent Thursdays  Fresh Market Friday Moments of Hope Wonderful Wednesdays , Tea & Word Tuesday Heart Encouragement Thursday Hearts for Home Messy Marriage Link-up Friday at the Fire Station Link-up Tune In Thursday Faith on Fire Link-upSunday Scripture Blessings Link-up, Sunday ThoughtsWriter Wednesday, Faith Filled Friday God Sized Dreams Link-Up Sitting Among Friends Be Thee Inspired Graceful Tuesday Link-up Aprons & Pearls Link-up Trekkingthru Link-up Coffee for the Heart Link-up Encouraging Word Wednesday  Grace Moments Link-up  Encouraging Hearts and Home


  1. Karen, hi! What a lovely get-to -know-you post ... and welcome to Cape Cod! It truly is a beautiful place to live in. And your header is so refreshing this morning.

    Summer's a good time to take a break, isn't it ...

    1. Hi Linda, Thank you very much! :-) We've lived about an hour away for 35 years, but we rarely visit Cape Cod, and I don't know why! lol.

      It is indeed a beautiful place!

      Thank you. :-)

      It was. I am definitely glad I did.

  2. What a beautiful gathering of thoughts and photos from your summer! Those images of your travels are just stunning. Thanks for bringing brightness to my morning here! I have loved Alicia Ruggieri's books, but I have not read this one about David Brainerd and Jerusha Edwards. Now I will definitely add this to my wishlist. Blessings to you!

    1. Hi Bettie, Thank you!

      You are very welcome. :-)

      It is such a good book!

      I always appreciate your sweet visits.


  3. Sounds like you had a lovely summer- thanks for sharing! And I love the photos- the sunsets are especially beautiful!

    1. Hi Lesley, You are very welcome!

      Thanks! They truly were beautiful! I never tire of them. :-)

      Thanks for visiting.

  4. Karen, it sounds like you've had a lovely summer! Thanks so much for sharing the photos and telling us about your vacation. I love your back porch area. Those pillows are perfect! :) Blessings to you! I'm your neighbor at #InspireMeMonday.

    1. Hi Gayl, You are very welcome!

      Thanks! I think so too. ;-)

      Thanks so much for visiting.


  5. Good morning! Your photos are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing snippets of your summer. I love your porch. It looks like the perfect place to sit and read. I hope you stuck with Beth Moore's book because it truly is a good one.

    I wanted to let you know that I saw you used to link up with #TellHisStory. Jennifer graciously handed the baton to me several months ago and the linkup is still going strong. You can find it at my place: mary Hope to see you there.

    1. Hi Mary, Thank you!

      You are very welcome!

      It is!

      I've been so busy since I started it, I haven't been able to pick it up again, but I am planning to do so. Thanks for spurring me on to keep with it. :-)

      Oh! I will make a note of that. Thanks so much for letting me know. I will surely be visiting. :-)

  6. Karen, I loved this!! Your pictures made me miss New England--especially the old graveyards! :-) Your porch looks so wonderful and inviting; I can understand why you are enjoying it so much! I'm glad that you're back and am really looking forward to your writing <3. I miss you dearly!

    1. Hi Bekki! Awe, I'm so glad you enjoyed this!

      Oh it is Bekki! I just LOVE it out there! Every time I am out there, I realize how blessed we are to have been able to do add it on.

      Thank you Bekki. <3

      I miss you too! I think of you often.

      Blessings sweet friend.

  7. Oh, sweet friend! It was so nice to get to stop by and visit with you and see all about your wonderful summer! I LOVE the look of your porch and can only imagine how Jesus comes down to commune with you there! You have certainly been sitting at His feet, and I can't wait to hear all of the nuggets of wisdom He has imparted to you! I am so excited for you over the upcoming arrival of Lexi's little "sister!" Won't it be something if she was right all along? I so enjoyed this post and learning all you have been up to. Sending much love and many hugs and blessings your way!

    1. Hi Cheryl! Thank you so much! Indeed He has so many times. <3

      I know! Right?! lol.

      I'm so glad you enjoyed catching up. :-)

      I am still getting back into the swing of things as we are still just so busy as a family, but I have all of your posts in my email inbox and look forward to reading them. :-)

  8. I've been to Sandwich! You're so lucky! I want to read that book of the Brainard's - thanks! I'm reading Love Does and Everything Always - so life changing! We go on vacation in two weeks to Idaho and a dude ranch in the Grand Tetons!

    1. Hi Sue, Sandwich is so pretty. Yes, we are so blessed to live near such beautiful areas.

      Oh wow!!! When I was 16 years old me and my family stayed at a Dude Ranch near the Grand Tetons called Triangle C. It is such beautiful country out there and the mountain air smells heavenly. I've always wanted to go to Idaho it seems to be just as beautiful. You will love it! Thanks for sharing that. :-)

  9. It sounds like a nice summer break. I have just been home and enjoying a quiet schedule with no lunches to pack, school runs, and not much happening. I have gotten some reading done. Beginning to dig in 2 Corinthians in preparation for autumn small group.

    1. Hi Beth, That sounds wonderful too! I was just saying to my husband that this was probably the busiest summer on record for us, and we are still going strong. A quiet schedule sounds nice right about now. ;-)

      I love to read books, but only get to do so on vacation it seems.

      That will be a great Book of the Bible for a small group. Our small groups are going to go through the Book of Acts.

      Thanks so much for sharing. It was nice to get to know you. :-)

  10. It sounds - and looks - like you had a beautiful summer! Of course, I enjoyed seeing all the photos as you captured the beauty all around you. Waiting for a new arrival can be so hard, especially on little ones. We had a new granddaughter arrive just 12 days ago. The excitement and wonder of it all is such a blessing. This was a lovely post and I enjoyed getting to know you. Blessings!

    1. Hi Joanne, Congratulations! How exciting!

      Indeed it is! :-)

      Thank you so much for your kind words.

      Your visit has blessed me. :-)

  11. Looks like a very nice Summer. Great sunset as well as other photos. I've started reading Jesus' words only, and for the Summer, we enjoyed having the son and his family most weeks and week-ends as my DIL is a traveling nurse and she was working in the area. Blessings for a great week ahead and thanks for sharing at Sunday Scripture Blessings.

    Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

    1. Hi Pea bea, Thanks!

      Thanks so much for sharing what you've been up to this summer. I really enjoyed catching up with you!

      So glad you had time with your son and daughter-in-law and family.

      Thank you. Same to you!

      You are very welcome!

  12. Thanks for sharing this at Booknificent Thursday on!

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