Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Ten Things—A Blogging, Writing, Singing, & Life (somewhat!) Update

I apologize profusely ahead of time for this extremely long post!

My poor neglected blog! For over twelve years now, it has existed. Its history is quite a story in itself. As I think back over it, I realize it has weathered many seasons and served many purposes. God has always been at the helm, controlled the content (I hope!), and directed the frequency of posts. I have never been a blogger who committed to posting in a particular rhythm. I admire bloggers who are able to keep up with a certain blogging schedule, but that has never been the case with me, and I am content with only posting when I feel inspired.

Today, I had a bit of free time and felt a God-nudge to just sit down with each of you and chat about a few things on my heart. I think I needed to write this as much to clarify some things in my own mind as to explain what's going on to you. I hope you will make yourself a cup of coffee, hot cocoa, or hot tea, cozy up under a soft blanket or homespun quilt, and patiently settle in as you read.

1. Thank You!

Thank you for still being here with me. Some of you have literally been with me since the onset or near the beginning of Homespun Devotions. However long you've been here, I can't begin to tell you how much I appreciate you.

2. Creative Energy

I'm not sure how it works for others, but for me, blogging requires an enormous amount of creative energy. I feel like I can only pour myself into so many projects at a time that require that much of me, and the older I get, the more I realize my own physical and emotional limitations. There are only so many hours in a day, and there is only so much of me to go around. Since our minimizing journey began, God has taught me so many profound lessons, and some of the most important ones are that it is okay to take life at a very slow pace, to focus on just one single thing at a time and that I don't need anyone else's permission to live my life the exact way He wants me to. I can't begin to tell you how liberating that has been for me. 

3. First Things First

"First things" are really "first people." Following Jesus with my whole heart is paramount. He is my priority. He will get the most and best of my efforts and energy every single day. Following Him encompasses every area of my life, the first and most important being my private life as a wife and mother. So, if you are Kevin or Zach, you are second only to Jesus, and you are going to have my full attention 24/7. Everyone and everything else in my life (except Jesus) is continually secondary and will be dealt with only if and after I have made sure you have the best of all I have to give.

4. Next Things Next

"Next things" are really "next people." Family members, dear friends, fond acquaintances, and a very long list of people I email regularly—many of whom are included in those first three categories—and a shorter list that I keep in touch with by phone. 

5. After People, Things

Those would be the two specific ministries I feel most called to in this season. I'll get into those specifics in #7 and #8 below.

6. The Sweetest Dreams

If you've read my about page, you will know that as I was growing up, there were five cherished dreams in my heart—to follow Jesus, to meet the man of my dreams and get married, to be a mother, to write, and to sing. It humbles me immeasurably to see that following Jesus daily fulfills every one of those closest-to-my-heart girlhood dreams. I could never, in a million years, thank Him enough. If you delight yourself in the Lord, He truly will give you the desires of your heart. His way works. His Word is true and comes to pass, without fail.

7. Writing

I had this notion to keep up with the book publishing rhythm that has been in place for the past three years. By God's grace, I published Biblical Minimalism in 2020, Homespun Devotions: Volume One in 2021, and Homespun Devotions: Volume Two in 2022, In my mind, it just made perfect sense to publish Homespun Devotions: Volume Three in 2023, right? I had every intention of making that happen. But here it is, December 13th, and I am nowhere near to having it edited. The 50 devotionals have been chosen, as I have sifted through the remaining hundreds of blog posts to include, but only a very small portion of those 50 have been edited. I literally loathe editing, and that is why I put it off for so long. I just despise the process of it. It is tedious and tedious and I do not get along. I have thought of hiring someone to edit for me, and that may still be something I end up doing. But, there's this little issue I am wrestling with right now. Am I refusing to hire an editor because I want to maintain control? Does God want me to retain control or release it to someone else? Or would hiring an editor be taking the lazy way out? Is editing something God wants me to do, or is it His will that I delegate the task? I truly don't know, but I will reach a prayerful resolution, and Lord willing, I will move forward with the process. I am trying to let go of my need for it to be published in 2023. I'm not having much success with that, but I'm trying.

As you can clearly see, new, fresh blog writing has sort of fallen by the wayside, mostly because my writing concentration over the past few years has been on books. It's not that I have given up on blogging. I appreciate this blog. God has used it to "enlarge my coasts" in a big way over the past 12 years. If it hadn't been for the Homespun Devotions blog, there would more than likely never have been Homespun Devotions books. But, most of the time, when I feel the urge to write these days, that energy does not go into this blog because it is being poured into book endeavors. If, and this is a huge if, there comes a day when all the books are edited and published—and at least two more books that God is leading me to write and publish are completed—then blogging may become something more regular again. In the meantime, if I feel led to jump on here and publish something, by God's grace I will. My end goal is to be obedient to every single prompt of the Holy Spirit—whenever, however, wherever He leads.

8. Singing

Aw, this! This just might be the main culprit that has sabotaged my "Publish Volume Three in '23" obsession. Did I mention that there is only so much creative energy in me to go around? Mountain Hope Band has been a wonderful experience for me. It ignited a long-shelved passion to sing, and I am eternally grateful for the opportunities God has opened to us. Our little band has undergone some sad changes this year when Pat, who is having multiple health issues, had to stop playing with us, and Michael, who was playing bass for us, moved away. I miss doing gigs with the band, and as I have waited to see what God's will is for Mountain Hope Band moving forward, I have been enjoying multi-tracking songs and uploading them to our YouTube channel. This gives me an outlet to keep singing. I try to upload two songs per week.  I would love for you to visit our channel and give a listen. If you enjoy it, please consider subscribing. 

In this post, I talked about the day God made a way for me to go to Nashville and record two original songs that He inspired me to write. The CDs produced from that day in Nashville collected dust for years. They became something that vexed me because I could never make any sense of why God had me make the recordings, only to have them never be heard. Fast forward to the day Mountain Hope Band did a live radio show, the DJ played those two songs on the radio, and a listener contacted him saying she had been trying to find "When You Walk Through the Gates" online. Of course, it wasn't posted anywhere online, but Zach and I soon remedied that by uploading a video of it to the Mountain Hope Band YouTube channel that Zach had created to upload some of our live performances. We later uploaded the 2nd Nashville-recorded song, "Dear Lord, I'm Coming Home."

Kevin and I had to drop something off to the DJ on the Saturday following Mountain Hope Band's live performance, and as we sat outside the radio station waiting for him to finish that day's show, we turned on the radio to listen. As God would have it, in those moments, the DJ happened to play "When You Walk Through the Gates." I sat there and cried like a baby. All those years later, God was finally using that song, allowing it to be heard, permitting it to fill the airwaves. Praise His holy name. 

As of this writing, the "When You Walk Through the Gates" YouTube video has now been viewed nearly 52,000 times and "Dear Lord, I'm Coming Home" has over 28,000 views. Only GOD.

9. Help Wanted

1. Chuck and I are looking for a banjo player and a bass player (and/or possibly other musicians) to perform live with us, in case anyone is interested. If you would like more information, please email me at 

2. I am looking for advice from someone who understands the ins and outs of multi-tracking recording from multiple locations. I would like to add instrumental tracks to the songs I am uploading. If you know about this sort of thing and/or play a musical instrument and would be interested in collaborating with me, please let me know.

10. "God is True"

When Dad was in ICU, just a short time before he died, my sister, Debbie, and I stood beside his bed and sang a song that our family has known and sung for many years called, "God is True." Though the events surrounding that time were so charged with emotion for me, and I don't remember this part, Kevin tells me that I sang that song multiple times to Dad during that timespan. 

When I started uploading songs to our YouTube channel, "God is True" was one of the songs that I was most passionate about sharing. There was only one problem. I could not find the lyrics anywhere! I remembered some of them, but not all, and I wanted to make sure I got them right. I searched online, in our personal songbook, and everywhere I could think of to find the lyrics, but they were just nowhere to be found. I started to wonder if my Mimmie may have written the song. She wrote several songs that are recorded in a little notebook that my Aunt Linda recently gave to me, and "God is True" sort of sounds like one she would write. I searched through that little notebook, but the song was not in there. Sadly, I have no way to confirm whether or not she wrote it. I continued to search for the lyrics to the song, unsuccessfully, until one day, I was flipping through some papers, and lo, and behold, there were the lyrics to "God is True" written in my dear Mom's handwriting! It felt like Mom knew about my frustration and wanted me to find that piece of paper! Oh, was I happy to find it! Thank You, dear Lord, for bringing it to me.

While I do not know who wrote the song and cannot give proper attribution, I recorded it and posted it on our channel. The stunning photos in this video were taken by my dear friend, Marilyn Moseley. You can find more of her beautiful work on her blog, Mountain Top Spice. You can also purchase her amazing book of photos, Through Love's Eyes, on her blog. She also makes lyric videos, using her outstanding photos on her YouTube channel. Marilyn was so kind to send me around 70 of her photos to use for my videos. I have just about used them all, at this point. Thank you, dear, sweet Marilyn, and may God forever bless you for being so kind to me!

Has anyone ever heard "God is True"? If so, do you happen to know who wrote it? I would love to hear from you if you do!
I am so thankful that our God is true! Thinking of this song today reminds me of something Zach said in a testimony in church Sunday morning. He said God has never failed him, not one time, and how he is reminded of that every day. It thrilled this mama's heart to hear her boy boldly proclaim the faithfulness of God! Zach is such a dear blessing to Kevin and me and to all who know him.

I pray that whatever you are facing, dear reader, you are continually reminded that God is true and that He will be with you always.


  1. Beautiful post, Cheryl! I love that you listen to the Spirit's prompting you to share. It makes me happy knowing that you do what you love: care for your family, write, and sing. Praise God!
    I enjoyed reading how the Nashville recorded songs got to be played on the radio and that they're touching lives. The words you write and sing are such a gift and a blessing!
    I pray that you and Chuck will find the musical help you need.
    May God bless and keep you!
    Much love,

    1. Thank you, dear Valentine! I so appreciate your precious encouragement, your kind words, and most of all, your prayers. You are such a blessing to me. May God bless and keep you, too, and I send much love back to you, sweet friend.

  2. I'm so glad to see you back here, Cheryl, and to catch up on all your news! I've never heard "God is True" before - it is a delightful song, and I will make sure I'm subscribed to your music channel on YouTube so I won't miss a post in the future.
    May your Christmas be a blessed one for you and yours!

    1. Dear Martha! I think I have four blog posts of yours sitting in my inbox that I have been hoping to have time to read and absorb. I so appreciate your kindness in supporting me when I am so lax in doing that for you. I so appreciate your subscribing to our channel and trust the music will be a blessing to you. May you and Danny have your most blessed Christmas ever!

  3. Hello dear friend! I enjoyed this little catch up soo much! Praising God with you in all the ways He has blessed you and in all the ways He has shown you that He sees you, hears you and knows the desires of your heart. Praying God's blessings over you and your family in 2024.

    1. Hello, to you, dear friend! It meant so much to me to see that you had visited and left such sweet encouragement behind. I appreciate your prayers so very much and am so thankful for your precious friendship. May the Lord richly bless you and your family in 2024, also, and always!

  4. It was so nice to see your post pop up in my email, dear Cheryl. Your testimonies are just beautiful and it was wonderful hearing you sing your beautiful songs. The end of your post, with Zach saying that God has never failed him was so touching to my heart, too. I’ll bet you just cried tears of joy. God surely gave you and Kevin a loving, faith-filled son. God bless all of you. Sending love, joy, and peace and hope this Christmas season.

    1. Thank you, dear Kitty. Oh, I did! I sat there in church and cried as I listened to Zach speak. He is such a dear blessing to us, and I will never be able to thank God enough for allowing Kevin and me to be his parents. I send much love, peace, and hope back to you this Christmas season, dear friend.

  5. Dear Cheryl ... what a lovely, leisurely visit with you ... a real treat. I absolutely agree with you that there's only so much creative energy to go around. May God lead you clearly to what breathes life and hope in your soul and lead you forward in that direction. May the celebration of His birth fill your heart and home with joy and peace. It's an absolute joy to call you friend and I praise God that He has brought us together in this online life.

    1. Dear Linda, your kind words of such sweet encouragement meant the world to me. I LOVE the way you worded that. "what breathes life and hope in your soul and lead you forward in that direction." It is an absolute joy to call you friend, too, and I praise God along with you that He has brought us together. You have been more of a blessing to me than I could ever put into words. I feel so bad that I have fallen so far behind in getting to read and comment on your posts. I pray I can do better going forward. Sending love and hugs your way this beautiful Christmas season, in Jesus' precious name.

  6. Cheryl, this is a precious post that I enjoyed. It was great to catch up on all that God has been doing in your life! Blessings always, my friend!

    1. Thank you, dear Pam! I am so thankful you enjoyed this post. May God richly bless you and your precious family in 2024!

  7. You are always an inspiration, and a beautiful source of encouragement, Cheryl! Your heart for the Lord, and love for your family, and your extended blogging family is just precious! I understand the feeling of being stretched and stretched, and feeling the time crunch. There is only so much time with which to give. You are giving all and much much more. Your music is such a blessing on YouTube, and I praise God for bringing the words that the old song, God is True back to you, through your mother's handwriting! What a miracle! Only God! May the Lord continue to bless all your endeavors for His kingdom!!!

    1. Dear, sweet friend! My eyes are filled with tears as I just sat here and had time to absorb your precious comment. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you said. It meant so much to me. I dearly love and appreciate you and your support and friendship. May God bless you always.