The Moment Before and After You Hear the Word Cancer

“I have a little news to share.”

I knew dad was taking medicine for a recent issue but it turned out the medicine was no match for the mass occupying most of his bladder.

With the biopsy looming two weeks later, I protected my thoughts like a mama bear, refusing to allow “what if’s” to sink in and do their damage.


There’s a comforting thread of normalcy that hangs in the air between the moments of not knowing and knowing.


Two weeks following the procedure, the phone rang. The cancer was aggressive, possibly penetrating the nearby muscle. It would be another two-week wait before learning the biopsy results, answering the dreaded question about the lymph nodes.


“If the Lord Jehovah makes us wait, let us do so with our whole hearts; for blessed are all they that wait for Him. He is worth waiting for. The waiting itself is beneficial to us: it tries faith, exercises patience, trains submission, and endears the blessing when it comes. The Lord’s people have always been a waiting people.”  – Charles Spurgeon


There’s nothing fun about waiting, especially when it concerns someone you love. But it does give the heart and mind time to meld together, strengthening the muscles that bow to God’s sovereignty.

On October 11th, we learned cancer had not spread to his lymph nodes. Let’s just say my happy dance learned a few more moves and this daughter couldn’t be more thankful. He still has a ways to go with the removal of his bladder scheduled in November but it’s the first major step toward healing. (We found out yesterday that his surgery is today!)

In the weeks that have passed since dad’s initial phone call announcing “a little news” I would be lying if I didn’t confess the desire to cling to the comforting thread of normalcy where my only waiting time involves a Keurig.


How lovely is the mundane, the normalcy of our days.

But they are to be treasured, not idolized.


It’s a hard lesson I didn’t even know I needed to learn.



Watch for the final two posts of 2019 coming up Tuesday, November 12th (Tiny House Tuesday) and Tuesday, November 19th.

Tiny House Tuesday will unveil the NEW front door color! (Yep, the chartreuse is gone and I can’t wait for you to see it on the 12th).  If you’re a part of our *tiny* kindred community you’ll find the first snapshot of the new door color in today’s Monthly Letter.

For the 19th, in addition to the post, I’ll share a special download for Christmas, KEEPING CHRISTMAS.

Depending on how things go with dad, I plan to share pictures of a decorated tiny house in December, and if you’re a subscriber, watch for your personal tour via video!

A lot of exciting things are happening up on the hill. Thank you for your prayers and for simply being here.

You are a blessing.



Image source by Pixabay.

Tiny House Tuesday // Building an Ark

I love the idea of having a house by the lake⏤just not a tiny house.

When we chose the place where she’d perch, we took a lot into consideration⏤which direction to face, what views not to block, and how to prevent our galvanized roof from blinding our only neighbor. One thing we did not take into consideration, however, was the direction of the river that flows down the mountain behind us, over a berm, and directly by the tiny house.

Once the house is finished we’ll find a way to re-route the river in order to make way for the cottage garden that will include old-timey plants and an iron gate, Lord willing. But before I get too ahead of myself…

Our winter plan included finishing out the exterior by installing the soffits, corner trim, siding, and painting the front door. Brian managed to squeak in soffits and trim despite the downpours, but without a decent stretch of sunshine, the Tyvek continues to show and my front door still stands well-worn red.

Yet all is not lost. Inside the tiny house, wiring for electricity and insulation have begun and once the exterior is finished, we’ll move indoors full-time. Now that it’s lighter longer at day’s end, we’ll extend our weekend warriorship to an occasional weeknight.

Although the Ark-worthy rain has tested every ounce of our patience, it’s also set a simple but significant truth before us and that is the weather is completely out of our control.


And this realization prepares the knee to bow to God’s sovereignty.


Because here’s the thing. He knows the excitement that rumbles through my heart like a freight train at the thought of using this tiny place for His grand glory. Either I trust His timing or I don’t.

Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.

The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:17-19 NIV

And I do.

Dot Divider

So, this is usually the spot where I share the latest picture of our progress, but without any noticeable changes in the past several weeks, serious consideration was necessary for choosing a *tiny* picture for today’s post.

Okay, maybe not too serious.

Insulation Day

Insulation Man

Oompa Loompa Doompa Dee Do…

Gotta love a man who dresses up Willy Wonka style to prevent bringing the insulation fibers into the house. Thanks, babe.


I realize that trusting God in the timing of a tiny house build is a small act of faith compared to what you might be facing today. If so, I welcome the opportunity to pray for you. Simply leave your request in the comment section below (so others can also pray for you), or feel free to email me confidentially using the envelope icon on the home page.

Thank you for sharing a few minutes of your day with me⏤it’s an honor.


  • Did you miss last month’s Tiny House Tuesday // A Tale of Two Gothic Windows? Check it out here.
  • Subscribers! Don’t forget to print out your spring/scripture inspired tags created just for you. It’s included in the March Monthly Letter from the Tiny House on the Hill.



When Love Lands in Unexpected Places

by Cathy Baker @cathysbaker
“Trying to figure out God is like trying to catch a fish in the Pacific Ocean with an inch of dental floss.” -Matt Chandler, The Explicit Gospel

I thought I had it all figured out.

As I assembled my Valentine Promise Jars last week, I sensed I should leave one tag without a name. This didn’t make sense. I’d made “the” list and now the only thing left to do was to assemble the gifts and fill out a tag for each recipient. But on the morning before Valentine’s Day, there sat one lone jar of promises on my farm table. I prayed that God would lay on my heart the name of the person He intended it for.

Valentine Promise Jar

Almost immediately, a dear friend in our church came to mind. Because I’d made the jars with singles in mind, I was surprised. This friend is married with four beautiful {inside and out} children. However, when I handed it to her on Sunday morning there was no denying it was meant for her.

When we’re willing to release our intended outcomes, we are inviting God to do what only He can do.
On that same Sunday, our church learned that a business we had planned to bless with gift bags filled with goodies could not be accepted. Of course, that simply means God wants His love to land elsewhere. Praise God! On a human level, it was a little frustrating, but when we focus on God’s sovereignty instead of our best intentions, He is glorified in ways we could never imagine.
Has there been a time in your life when You’ve seen love land in unexpected places thanks to God’s sovereignty? Please share in the comment section!
“Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him? Who could say to Him, ‘What are you doing?'” Job 9:12

The Fragrance of Love: God’s Sovereignty


by Cathy Baker
“Tell her the child is with Me and that she will see him again one day.” -Steve
It’s a sentence found in my story featured in Chicken Soup for the Soul’s Hope and Miracles, released February 10th. In it lies one of the many reasons I LOVE Thee: His sovereignty. 
When I heard Steve’s words spoken to me thirty years ago, I knew of Christ, but I didn’t know Him personally as my Lord and Savior. (An eternal difference!)
I wasn’t overly surprised by his assurance that I would one day see the miscarried child because, after all, I was a “good person.” Of course I’d be in heaven! My concern was for the baby. 
And then I came to know—really know—Jesus Christ in a tiny duplex on the outskirts of Spartanburg. Now, as I reflect back on Steve’s words spoken to me that day in the hospital, I stand in awe of God’s sovereignty, mercy, and grace.
God knew I would be with him in heaven one day…
but on that day in the hospital, 
I was far, far away from him. 

I realize the above post will be more fully understood after you’ve read my entire story but for today, I simply praise God for His sovereignty — for knowing all things from beginning to end. And that love is, and always has been, His motivation.

“Our God is in the heavens; He does whatever He pleases.”
Psalm 115:3
Care to join in the praise? How have you seen the sovereignty of God in your life?  

The Fragrance of Love: Family

by Cathy Baker

Families are like fudge… mostly sweet with a few nuts. Author Unknown

I LOVE my family. 

No naming names here Uncle Jim but I find this quote to be quite true, at least in my family—and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

My dad’s mom (Ma-Ma) was a master-maker of that particular type of chocolate concoction, offering up a butter-like consistency with an ever so slight crunch of sugar.

I remember Ma-Ma’s arthritic fingers carefully stirring chocolate chips, vanilla, marshmallows, and nuts in her white Pyrex bowl.  

When God handcrafted our family He melded together a unique blend of personalities, strengths and weaknesses, much like He did with yours. 

In God’s sovereignty, He knits us in the mother’s womb of His choosing, for His purposes and ultimate glory.

Growing up, the dreaded part of the fudge-making process was the constant stirring of sugar and milk until it came to a rolling boil. If not carefully monitored, liquids quickly scorched, leaving behind wasted ingredients. 

The Waltons and other idealistic family shows left many craving that type of harmonic setting for their own families. Truth is, God has used the rolling-boil point of familial situations to teach me deeper aspects of my walk with Him, producing a peace that far surpasses that found on Walton’s mountain. In Him, nothing we experience as a family is truly wasted. 

After pouring the warm sugar mixture over the dry ingredients, the fudge is blended, poured into a prepared pan, and refrigerated. 

The baking process involves a variety of steps, and this final one reminds me of another family…God’s. I don’t need a village. I need a kingdom. People led by the living God who pour out truth, even if it means getting messy. We need not belong to the same denomination, worship the same way, or wear the same thing. When our desire is to put the Gospel on display, we blend beautifully. 

Of course, I can’t close out a post on loving my family without sharing pictures of my favorite three-wee family members. (Soon to be four via international adoption but we can’t share pictures quite yet. Stay tuned!)

Oh yes, I LOVE my family. (Especially my Uncle Jim who has rarely failed to make us smile over the years. He’s my kind of nut!) 

Your turn! Would you care to share one favorite thing you LOVE about your family? 

But from everlasting to everlasting the LORD’s love is with those who
fear him, and his righteousness with their children’s children– Psalm 103:17
Tiny House on the Hill

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