On Purpose

My Kitchen View

Delicious autumn, my very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.‚ÄĚ   -George Eliot

Unlike George, only wedded to autumn, I actually love all four seasons. But the countryside is shouting pumpkins and the leaves are drifting down from our trees at Wander Inn.  It is time to slip quietly into our lovely “fall & spice” and make everything nice.

Do you have a favorite season?

Mine without hesitancy is the “next” one. Usually I’m ready to move forward, tiring after a bit of too much heat  then too much cold, then too much rain.

There is an air of expectancy in the next season that draws me in. Apart from house decorating, the calendar informs our home routines and my kitchen menu’s. 

Would it not be far too crummy to be stuck in just one season? And yet. Maybe you are. Today, I heard the voice of disappointment of a “match not made” – oh, the hard dating years. Another voice, a friend stuck in declining health with no good prognosis.  Yet another, heartache so deep words cannot express.

Waiting. Deferred hope. Pain. Mourning. Too hard. Too long. Too difficult.

I’ve had my own share of “fed-ups” with parts of my current season, making me ready to move on to the next. If you’re still reading, maybe you too?

But here is what I know as I lean forward. There are lessons yet to be gleaned in this Right Now season. And here is mine.

Contentment. (Ouch!)

Defined as the sweet, inward, quiet, gracious spirit which freely accepts and delights in God’s wise plan.

Seasons don’t last forever. And even in the most difficult of circumstances, we are held.

   “My times are in Your hands.” -Psalm 31:15
   “I will always be your refuge.” -Jesus

So this Autumn 2021, I’m working on this  character trait of mine. It simply will not do to bake pumpkin pies with a discontented soul.

Fresh grace,

PS – It’s been many minutes since I’ve “Quietly Chatted.”  If you are new to my blog, a warm  welcome. I love your company.

Contact info: monkjo@live.com

On Purpose

the call has come!

We finally received the long awaited news to collect the deed to our recently purchased sheriff sale home (said with a great deal of enthusiasm and gratitude for what God has given us!). Total house rehab begins!

Since our fall season has passed, Chuck still plans to replace all the windows but the new siding, painting the brick and the new shutters will have to wait until spring, along with fun landscaping.

My work gloves – check.
My work shoes – check.
Made-ahead meals in freezer – check.
Hubster ready? Beyond checkūüėä

Being a bit of a wordsmith I had our house named before we even knew if we won the bid. And this name rings ever more true as I daily walk the village streets. I present…
Wander Inn Cottage.

Finding a sense of community to walk in was a big reason for choosing our location. We have met many people these three months and to each person we have extended an open invite to our home. Chuck and I are excited to open our doors to the young couples around us, to share coffee & dessert with the elderly folks and all the in-betweens.

Here are some indoor pics. Warning, you will need to don your “vision glasses.” For today, these photos tell a great beginning love story ‚̧ Just one more affirmation we are tracking this home-journey with our Guide and Architect.

Our dream of hospitality with new friends is calling. Meanwhile, if you are in the area, you are welcome to Wander Inn and check our progress!

(Happy to share address. DM or monkjo@live.com)

On Purpose


Hurry & wait. 6 weeks. And while we impatiently wait for that call on our house to come, we are busy planning and dreaming. I’ll share my wishlist with you. Keep in mind due to the rules on Sheriff sale houses, we haven’t yet walked through the doors, although we have seen certain rooms between curtain panels.

Here’s how it works in our marriage:
We both design. Chuck builds. I decorate.

The Wishlist:

-Window seat by front living room windows…for grands to read and play games. (All the windows and siding replaced.)

-Open kitchen-living area. We can already see that two walls need to come down.

-Barn door into family room to add architectural interest to long wall.

-Large windows in fireplace room to view back woods.

-Chuck build kitchen cabinets and add a square kitchen island (two chairs on two sides).

-Build in some pantry/broom closet space.

-Build a vanity in bedroom. A simple countertop with banks of drawers/pullouts. 50’s style bathrooms are not known for being spacious.

-One accent wall with wallpaper somewhere in the house.

-Chuck has only one wishūüėä. Add on a four-season room with hot tub.

– Outside? Has just one wish too and it ties to the name I chose. Will share that name, hopefully soon. Ring phone ring! (Meaning bring 4 checks to the Sheriff’s office and here is your deed and key!)

And soon we shall find out if wishes only do come true in fairy tales ūüėČ

Just me.

P.S. For those not aware, we sold our wonderful home of 34 years this summer. The Lord in His goodness opened up a fixer-upper on a Sheriff sale. We won the bid! We are beyond grateful and excited to step foot inside and begin work. Oh the adventure (and work ahead!) as we follow God’s unfolding plan for us!

On Purpose

Day 18 EatPlants Experiment

I’m taking a pause to share my heart. It’s okay if you scroll past (wont hurt my feelings). This is for those who don’t know me well. It’s risky to be vulnerable.

I am not an “out-front” person. I shy away from attention. My comfy spot is quietly taking up the back corner in a room. So how is it that I can chat it up at my church on Host Team and write about my experiences through social media?

I look for a common denominator. Been a long time since math, but Webster says, “A feature shared by all.”

I love connecting and am drawn to community. If we are honest, we all need people in our lives who get us. People who are honest enough to pull away the mask of perfection. We need each other!

I share my broken-down faults not to bring attention to me and my struggles but to encourage and draw us together.¬† Most of you following my Plant Journey/binge eating (on FB & IG) probably don’t struggle in this area. Yet I could almost guarantee we all share something very difficult. A battle so overwhelming it grips us in heartache as we grope at an uphill climb.

Our broken lives?
Helps us get to Jesus, who ultimately meets our deepest needs.

             There is beauty found in the broken.  Near PA Cabin. 

We all have a story.
We all need someone to say, “Come on, I’ll listen. I’ll share my un-perfectedness. My uglies. We will find our way together.”

It’s not really about plant eating experiments, but opening the pages of my story to invite you in to share yours.

Serving up coffee with some nut milk. Join me? I’d be delighted!

Let’s be brave together.


On Purpose

For Sale

Two little words carry such a big impact.

After picture day in our home yesterday, the sign was planted.

Enter Kleenex box.

“How did this happen? My first thought.

The question really asks, “Where did all those years go?” And, “How am I going to leave this precious season behind?”

My answer. I don’t know.

But here is something I do know with certainty. Chuck and I are following a Guide. A guide who is already familiar with the path ahead of us. We have walked along with Him through many years together and found Him faithful.

So we step forward with Jesus. I picture Him carrying the tissue box. (Insert sweet smile.)


Here are a couple of things that made my job of house-prep-for-moving easier.

Though we do not have a pet, these swiffers work great. We don’t have an inch of carpet in our house so love these. I’m sure there is a more economical solution but this is my fav.

The magic erasers? Hands down the most valuable item in my cleaning cabinet. They really do work magic. Think showers, sinks, walls, appliances, baseboards… worth the money.

Not pictured is the share bag of M&M’s. Just keeping it honest. Because who doesn’t deserve a treat after working hard. (Still working on all these sugary splurges. Little progress to report.)


Thank you for stopping by. Sipping coffee with you has made my day sweeter. I hope yours is sweeter too.

‘Til next cup & less Kleenex, Margi


On Purpose

choosing fun

If you’re a Red Rose tea drinker, you will recognize these little ceramic collectables.

Chuck has collected them for years. They have been accumulating (dust) on his shadow box in his workshop.

As we downsize for our move, another decision. Keep or give away?

Keep! If our little grands have as much fun as I did cleaning and organizing them, it is a WIN!

We like playing restaurant. What if we gave each person a thank-you gift before leaving our diner?

A wee bit of Gigi fun amidst the hard.

Selling/moving update:

1. Stuff is scarce. That task is pretty much done.

2. Filling holes, touching up paint.

3. Deep cleaning this week.

4. Outdoor work began yesterday.

Attitude is everything, so pick a good one.”¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† (Wayne Dyer)

I am amazed how much attitude can change perspective. Another author put it this way.

“Count it all joy…”¬†(James, The Bible)

Today, I’m choosing fun. And working on joy.

So whatcha choosing in your world?

‘Til next chatter, Margi



On Purpose

gaining momentum

“Micromanagement is the destroyer of momentum.”¬† ¬† -Miles Smith¬† ¬†

Micromanage. Usually a term used in the business world which carries a negative connotation.

It’s a problem in the workplace and I’m wondering if the same could be said of micromanaging our personal lives?

Any areas come to mind?

Phones and computers. A bazillion tasks. Photos, files, contacts, calendars, emails, notes.

Finances, office work, paperwork.

Health. Tracking nutrition/diet, supplements, fit bits.

You get the picture! Not that any of those are bad, in fact, some of them are necessary. But oh, can I get carried away, especially in this season of sorting through 34 years of living in our house.

Off in the distance I hear a faint voice. An elderly voice. A voice of conviction.

(I’m not going to change her name because I believe she would be honored to know I passed along her sage wisdom.)

Me, a new mom.

Mrs. Olsen, “Spend your life, Margi, on what is important. I wasted too much time washing walls and turning mattresses.”

I never forgot that conversation. Or her precious life and well-worn Bible.

I can spend truckloads of time being compulsive. Time wasting, really. I can care too much for the minutiae that in the long run matters little.

A life that counts.¬†I think it’s what we all want.

And less wall washing. Unless of course you are staging your house to sell.

I’m picking up momentum.

‘Til next chatter,¬† Margi¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†¬† ¬† ¬†monkjo@live.com

On Purpose


Def: a variety of objects or things

Technically, as a noun there are five definitions of the word. But let’s stick with this variety sort today.

Hang with me here. I have a lot of stuff. In fact, stuff fills up our 5 bedroom, 4 bathroom home. Not to be left out, stuff fills our many outdoor spaces we’ve been blessed to own.

In spite of my yearly challenges to declutter, closets and spaces are crowded.

Let me get you quickly to the point of my “stuff” sharing. (After all, you too are busy taking care of your stuff.)

After long and prayerful consideration, Chuck and I are putting our family home up for sale this spring. We have been here for all our 34 married years. Many of you know I grew up next door. These two properties hold my memories.

Hard decision. Did I mention hard?


Our future plans? We will be looking for a small ranch. Less bedrooms. Less bathrooms. Less outdoor structures. And less cleaning (insert smile).

The Lord has given me a song in this season. A song from my childhood. Can I share it with you? In its old-timey way, the words speak what is in my heart.


I’d rather have Jesus than houses or lands. The moving season is untethering me bit by bit.

Letting go of stuff? Not as hard as I thought.

I’ll write more in days to come. Today, back to sorting.

Thank you for following QC (quiet chatter). How many cups of coffee could we enjoy together talking over our stuff?!

How I wish we could!


monkjo@live.com    Always open.








On Purpose

a long pause

Come on in. Grab a throw and scoot your chair up to my chippy white table. Coffee or tea?

How I wish it were really possible to open my door to your company!

But the next best thing in my world is connecting with you over this blogosphere. And since it’s been over three years, we have a lot to catch up on. Quiet Chatter has begun!


#1 ¬†Anything fun¬†out-of-this-world happen to you these past couple years? Good or bad?¬†I’d love to hear.

#2  So far, 2019 is bringing:  a) hope

b) inspiration  c) longing for a nap  d) pray for me.

#3  What was one bright spot in your day, today?


#1   best shared by pics. #7 on the way in May!

#2   a, b, c and d.

#3   our 3 month gym membership expired today! I thought I had one more month. I got in one last swim. Thinking through the travel time factor, expense and freezing temps, it was music to my ears. Tonight I begin the free school indoor walk 2 minutes from home.

More coffee? Or time to tackle that to-do list.

In this newish year I hope you are kicking your goals, if you bravely made any. I just achieved one of mine Рchatting with YOU!!!!!!!

Thank you for stopping in. Your visit made my day! But before you go, will you take a verse with you?

The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.‚ÄĚ
(Zephaniah 3:17)

God is with us.
God saves us.
God rejoices over us.
God quiets us with His love.

Promises to unpack.

For me today? I have some big ole’ worries swirling around in my heart. I am in need of “quieted by His love.”

Hunkered down in this wintry weather,


On Purpose

another steep climb

This summer we spent a lot of time back in the hills of Pennsylvania, hills I’ve been acquainted with since childhood.

It was a beautiful day when I stopped to snap a photo of this particular hill.

As kids we used to run up that hill. My title says it best, “A Steep Climb.” It’s steeper and longer than this photo suggests.

Climb. It demands all we have physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Perhaps you, like me, can identify with some of the following.

  • loneliness
  • broken dreams
  • financial distress
  • child running from God
  • cancer
  • spiritual desert
  • job uncertainty
  • addiction
  • broken relationship
  • chronic pain
  • loss of loved one
  • rejection

Whew! I’m tired just writing this list. Yet I know someone who is in the “climb of their life” in each of the above mentioned. I find my own name by too many. And this list could go on and on.

But every climb needs a rest stop.

When we experienced turbulent times a couple years ago with our oldest son, I was once asked why we didn’t¬†do something.¬† Put in more effort.

While not offended by their question, here was my response taken from my journal. (The journal which now has 473 entries.)

“Resting on God isn’t doing nothing. Rest is our action verb. Prayer is our weapon. Resting is trusting in a God who is bigger than the challenge before us. Resting is releasing our son into God’s care. It may appear that we are doing nothing, but as we rest and trust, we are waging war against the enemy.”¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†8/9/13

Sometimes climbing involves simply standing still.

Hear the words from Jeremiah, one of the great prophets of the Old Testament, who was well acquainted with steep climbs. He was bold and did not give up in what God called him to do.

I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint,” says the Lord. (Jeremiah 31:25)


Trekking with companions makes the climb easier.

As I write this morning, I’m not sure if one of my journey-followers will be able to read this post. If I could dedicate the words I try to string together on this blog, I would honor my Auntie Marion, my mom’s sister in Michigan. She has been one of my great cheerleaders in encouraging my¬†writing.¬†

Aunt Marion is nearing the top of her steep climb against cancer. She is getting closer to Heaven. “You keep¬†resting and trusting,¬†Aunt Marion, and I will keep writing.”

I remember as a kid lying in the grass watching the clouds. No matter where the climbs in life take us, it is always a great place to rest. Look up!

Jesus beckons: “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.


ps… if your hill is too steep a climb and you need a walking partner to share or pray with, I’m here at monkjo@live.com