Number Your Days Hodgepodge

1. In a single sentence tell us something about your 40’s. If you haven’t reached that milestone yet tell us (in a single sentence) something about whatever decade you’re in now.

The decade in my 40’s (1991-2001) was the most tumultuous of my life.

(Photo above taken at 2nd rental home 1998ish)

2. Life begins at forty. Agree or disagree? Tell us why. And if not at forty, when?

I don’t agree. I’m too black and white. Life began for me in my mother’s womb. From birth on life has been shaping who I am now. I was born again in 1963 so I’ve been in the sanctification process for 57 years. I wish I had been more obedient in this process.

Sanctification: When you were justified, you were declared righteous by God. Now that you are justified, there is a process of growth and transformation in which you are enabled more and more to grasp the reality that you are dead to your old sinful life and that you actually become more and more like Christ. There are three aspects to our sanctification: definitive sanctification, progressive sanctification, and ultimate sanctification.

3. Share a favorite book, song, or quote with a number featured in it somewhere.

I didn’t remember this great song with a number in the title but Theresa posted it on her post and it really has meant a lot to me over the past several years so I’m adding it in here. Thank you, Theresa!

This quote from the Bible is one I wrote down after reading it.
Jeremiah 32:39 ~I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me forever for their own good and the good of their children after them.
And this quote that I forget who said it…maybe Steve Lawson: “Don’t let your feelings get captured. Your feelings can suffocate your understanding of God. Gaze on the Lord 10x more than you concentrate on your feelings.”

4. A picture’s worth a thousand words, a stitch in time saves nine, back to square one, catch-22, on cloud nine, my two cents…pick a number phrase and tell us how it applies to your life currently.

I will pick “A picture’s worth a thousand words” or 1,000 pieces and 500 pieces. One of our COVID-19 stay at home activities has been putting together jigsaw puzzles. Some of these puzzles we’ve had for years and others were acquired before COVID at garage sales. The Fireside Embroidery one was a purchase during COVID-19. I was happy to see our local grocery store had a rack of puzzles a couple weeks ago and I grabbed this one.


Buying a threefold poster board has really aided our puzzling endeavors. We can move it off the dining room table easily if we are having the kids over for a meal. It also gives a nice flat surface.

5. Last time you drove more than 40 miles from home? More than 400 miles from home? Where were you going? Was it before or after this current season of social distancing?

Today bright and early we are driving to Spokane for a follow-up eye appointment. My surgery was last August. This will be a 70 mile drive from home. This one is during social distancing and Dear will have to wait in the car when I go in for my appointment.

The last time we drove closer to 400 miles from home was December 2019 when we drove to the Seattle area to stay overnight with our “Coast Kids” and then continue on to Chilliwack, British Columbia for our annual MGCC Christmas Party. This was before we knew about this Pandemic.

6. Insert your own random thought here.

I’m going to go deeper into that decade in my forties. Dear’s mother was living with us in a Mother-in-law apartment in our basement. In that decade Dear completed his Pharmacy degree at the University of Washington, had a year of residency, got a job at Immunex Corporation in Seattle Washington. While he was in school I started a house cleaning business and added a medical clinic and dental clinic at night as part of the job. Dear and I worked together in the evenings at those clinics. Because Dear’s mother was living with us we could leave at night after the kids were in bed. I was the skinniest I had ever been with all that aerobic scrubbing.

When Dear’s new career was going well I retired my cleaning business just in time to pull our daughter out of public school and home school her for 4th, 5th and 6th grade. She was experiencing heart wrenching persecution at school. During those homeschooling years with our sons in high school we had a major landslide on our back slope and long story short we walked away from our dream home and started the very new to us need to rent homes while still having all of Dear’s mother’s stuff in our possession. When the major slide forced us to walk away from our home, Dear’s mother moved out of our home to Yuba City, California to live close to her younger sister.

In May before our oldest son graduated from high school, Dear’s mother passed away and we were in Yuba City for the funeral and then having to divide up her stuff between Dear and his older brother and haul it back to our place. In August I drove Josh to Westmont College in Montecito , Califonia. (Santa Barbara), on my own. An emotional time for this mom. We were in our 2nd rental home at this time.

In Dan’s senior year we moved to our third rental home in October of 1998. In November of 1998 just one month after moving all our stuff to this third rental home the owner of the home told us he had to sell the home. We were devastated with this news not knowing where we could move next. We decided to try to buy this rental and were amazed to find out that there was nothing on our record showing we had defaulted on our landslide house loan! We bought our home in Kenmore not because we chose it but because we couldn’t face moving again. We enjoyed 20 years in that home and made some amazing upgrades to the property. Dan graduated from high school in 1999. We had Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner at this home in August of 2001 and then in September of 200l life changed for all of us because of 9-11. And that my friends was my decade in my forties.

That’s just a little of the story of my 40’s! I’m happy to say my fifties and sixties have been less tumultuous and filled with some wonderful adventures and travel. In my late fifties I was connected to the Mennonite Girls. In my sixties we enjoyed the weddings of our daughter Katie and our son Dan. We made a major move again this time to the country from the city. Blessed with two grandchildren in our sixties. And now Dear is officially retired.

But…we press on to the upward call…

Philippians 3:13-14 (ESV)

13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Thank you to Joyce for coming up with the questions for Hodgepodge!

About Ellen am a wife, mother, baba (grandmother) and a loyal friend. Jesus is my King and my hope is in my future with Him.

15 thoughts on “Number Your Days Hodgepodge

  1. Hello Ellen, the puzzles do help pass some of this lock down time. You have a nice collection, the puzzle pictures are pretty. I try remembering all the good times, I especially love to travel too. Enjoy your day and the week ahead.

  2. PRAISE GOD for your #2 answer! Life does indeed begin at conception. Dave and I met in my 30’s and we married while in my early 40’s…best years of my life. Although God tells me He’ll restore the years the locust have eaten. Ellen, thoroughly enjoyed reading and wondered…but not sure how to phrase the question…what “denomination” Mennonite are you? I worshiped with a Beachy group, my parents have been associated with a different Beachy group for 40+ years and the Mennonite’s near me now aren’t Beachy. AnaBaptist have always fascinated me and I’ve always said if there was a Bretheren group nearby, that’s where I’d worship.

    • Sandra, Although I’m associated with the Mennonite Girls it’s because I’m Russian not because I’m Mennonite. I’ve never been part of a Mennonite denomination. I’ve been in Baptist churhes, Evangelical Free churches and non-denominational. Right now we are members of First Baptist Church in Colville. Looking forward to worshiping in heaven! 🙂

  3. Wow! That was a rugged decade. Very interesting to learn more about your specific struggles and all that The Lord has brought you through. I only recently learned that your mother-in-law lived with you for a time. It’s good to have a handy childcare grammy. Oh, and you have always been cute!

    I also had a cleaning business in my forties, a summer cleaning business as I taught school September–June. I look back and thank God for all He has brought me through…fifties were no picnic and neither have my sixties been. Still, He is good. This life is always interesting if not easy.

  4. My, Ellen, as long as I’ve been reading your blogs, I did not know all about those tumultuous years! You guys have done so well “pressing on to that upward call!”

  5. Love your sanctification answer. Yes, pressing on! That is exactly how I am feeling today. I listened to a really great devotional yesterday on Philippians 3:13. We had a similar living situation with my husband’s mother until she passed away almost two years ago. We are not sure about where we will end up living. Have a great week 🙂

  6. Wow Ellen.. That was a tumultuous decade for you. It’s good to hear this part of your story.. it is evident that God walked with you through it all. Thank you for sharing.

  7. You completed a nice bunch of puzzles.
    I became a grandma three weeks before I was 40!!
    Tumultuous was a good word for your 40’s.
    I guess we’ve all had our not so great times!!

  8. It was good to read of your tumultuous 40’s, Ellen, because those times show God’s faithfulness in your life. There are definitely times in our lives that we’d never want to live over again, but we can rejoice at His faithfulness through it all. Thank you for sharing those years!

    Bekah and I have completed a couple of puzzles. But we’re lagging on the puzzle we’re currently working on. It is Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” and there is just so. much. blue.

  9. A lot happens in ten years! I hope your eye appt goes smoothly. The medical offices seem to have protocol in place to keep us all safe so I’ve scheduled an overdue appt for next month. Your puzzles are fab!

  10. I like your answer for #2 and that is a great song by the Beatles for #3. Those puzzles are wonderful. What a good way to pass the time. Well I think you are the only one so far who actually drove over 40 miles today. Also your trip in 2019 was nice. Thankfully everyone was well. Now when I think back and know that China wasn’t telling us about it I wonder how many people just died from the flu or pnemonia without knowing about Covid-19. Thank you for sharing your 40’s, a very interesting time in your life.

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