an official welcome and give-away

Sixteen changes of address. I counted today, and that’s how many I can credit to my life history. I’ve probably missed one or two, and I’m certain I’m not finished. What I am certain of is the temperamental nature of the moving process. It’s an intricate, delicate course of action and shouldn’t be undertaken lightly.

Accordingly, when I contemplated “moving” my website from blogger to wordpress, I did so with some fear and trembling. It’s not been an easy move for me, but thanks to Jen @ Blue Yonder Design, things are settling down, and I’m learning how to rest in my new home. Jen has graciously worked out some of the kinks and quirks that inevitably come with making such a move. The best part about my moving (unlike the sixteen moves I’ve made with a moving van) is the fact that you made this move with me! When I arrived at my new home on WordPress Avenue, you were here, welcoming me into your lives, even as you have been welcoming me for the past four years. It is a blessing and honor to “do life” with you!

Along those lines, I’d like to open up my front door today, welcome you in, and offer you an opportunity to win a few housewarming gifts. Two of you will receive a package at your front door containing the following items (some of my very favorite things):

My good friend, Rebecca, makes jewelry. In particular, she’s a beader. Over the last few weeks, we’ve spent some time together, designing a survivor’s bracelet that will be available for purchase when my book, Beyond Cancer’s Scars, is released this summer. In the meantime, she whipped up these two beauties for me to use as part of my house-warming give-away.

And how about these beautiful note cards, photographed by my friend, Cindy! I use her cards on a regular basis, always to great applause by the recipients. If you’re a card-sender, check out Cindy’s website to order a set.

Audrey Assad. Heard of her? This is her latest musical compilation. I adore her and am glad to be able to share her work with you.

Last but certainly not least, there are two of my favorite fellas—Harry & David. Ever had them over for dessert? Oh my. Any of their delicacies will do, but the dark-chocolate covered raisins are some of my favorites. Yes, I’m going to try and include them in the give-away despite the onset of summer (subject to change due to extreme weather in your area).

And there you have it. A few of my favorite things to two of you, my gracious, faithful readers. For a chance to win, leave a comment here telling me one of your favorite things about your home. It could be something as huge as a big screen television or as small as a favorite spot to have your morning coffee. What delights are lurking in your home? You can earn another chance to win by sharing this post on your facebook and/or twitter pages. Be sure to leave me a separate comment letting me know. This contest will remain open until midnight, Sunday, May 27th. Two winners will be chosen by random drawing.

Again, thank you for the privilege of allowing me into your life and for joining me on the journey of faith. There are days when my world feels pretty small. Having you here enlarges it. I love you all so very much. As always…

Peace for the journey,
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61 Responses to an official welcome and give-away

  1. Surely I’m not FIRST?!?
    Your page looks wonderful, Elaine. Thanking God that the move is complete and for your generous give-away.
    My favorite place? Well, right now it would have to be the remodeled glider on the back porch. Such a peaceful place to start and/or end the day…
    May God continue to bless Peace For the Journey for many, many more days/months/years! for His glory & the increase of His Kingdom.

  2. FYI… beads are sterling silver and of the highest quality, along with a couple of different links to adjust for size!

  3. What a kind wonderful drawing to have! Your website looks fantastic and comforting:))
    What about my rental house do I love? That I have a home to call mine for however long God leaves us here in Texas. I’ve come to realize I don’t need nearly what I thought I did so I love my den where my desk looks out on the street. But I spend most my time in my tiny backyard soaking up the sun on my patio.

  4. I was so scared when I moved from blogger to wordpress as well! Thankfully there haven’t been too many kinks! We’ve lived in 4 different homes in our 7 years of marriage – we’ll see where the next 7 years takes us! 😉 You have lovely prizes here! Harry & David can come to my house any time! haha

    Sounds cliche, but my favorite thing about my home is who’s in it… my husband and my son make the house HOME to me. 🙂

  5. Love the new site!! Moving is never easy but always promises to be an adventure. One of my favorite things about my home is that it is high off the ground. I found one of only a few hills in Wayne County and was blessed to have a home with a basement. But when it rains, I love to be in my kitchen with so many windows looking out on the fields as the rain pours down. I feel safe and warm and like I’m living in a treehouse!

  6. Welcome to your new home! So anxious to hear about your new book! My favorite spot is my hammock… love it, but I need the weather to be favorable!

  7. Jen at Blue Yonder is WONDERFUL. So glad she’s on your “team.”

    And those gifts look LOVELY (though, shame of shame, I would prefer the raisins be covered with MILK chocolate 😉 – yeah, I’m weird that way).

    My favorite part of my house is my front porch – which isn’t usable in the winter, but that’s all right. My second favorite is the neighborhood – I LOVE that my kids have friends nearby.

    • We’re praying for more friends for our kids, Joanne. It’s one area in our lives that is very unsettled right now. Oh, and I love a front porch!!!

  8. Elaine, Love the new website.
    My favorite part of my house is the location on the Perkins Compound as I remember you calling this place. It’s all about family, mom, brother, sister, daughter and grand child living at my finger tips. Oh yeah there is a great front porch swing as well.

    • A nice evening for a swing on that carport, Beth! Make sure and tell your mom I said so. Rocking with you in spirit tonight. Lots of love to all your beautiful family.

  9. Elaine, I love your new “home”!! It looks great! And what a bunch of wonderful treats you are planning to give away.

    I think one of my most favorite things in my home is actually outside my home. I love to garden and digging in the dirt and planting really helps me to de-stress and think. Weeding on the other hand is a different story… And of course, you know how much we love our dogs here at the Bratcher household. So I couldn’t imagine a home without them!

    P.S. I shared this on my Facebook wall. Much love my friend!!

    • What are you growing this year? Do the dogs leave the garden alone? I wish I were an outdoor kind of gal. I greatly admire this quality in others… just love to see people out working in their yards. I just wish my yard was easier to tend and mend. This NC soil, along with the pine trees, well… my yard is a wasteland. Really. Love you back!

      • We are only planting things that will come back every year. This year, the house looks so pretty with all kinds of pinks, purples (iris), and an assortment of other plants that I have no idea of their name. The dogs do stay out of everything. Although this weekend we added another area in the back with a azalea (sp??) bush, etc. and Ellie Mae (the golden) can’t stay out of it.

        Digging in the dirt is soooo soothing, and WAY cheaper than therapy!!!

  10. My favorite home spot is on my swing looking out over our pool and surrounding field. It’s a slice of heaven.

    I love your new home here in blog land and you’ve done a fantastic job. I expected nothing less:)

    I will be sharing this on facebook and Twit.

    Love ya sista!

    Oh..can’t wait for your book this summer:)

  11. Elaine, I’m not a raisin-eater, but you know me and Harry & David — I am so willing to try these! 🙂

    One of my favorite parts of my house is my office. I have a great big, beautiful desk and a wonderful work area. Love it and am so thankful for it.

    Blessings to you this week!

  12. The new website is wonderful…all of you hard work has paid off, girl!

    You have some of my favorite things in your giveaway…bracelets, Harry & David’s dark chocolate, and Audrey Assad!

    My favorite place in my home would be the back yard. It’s my haven. It has my flowers, bird feeders, trees (providing lots of shade), and a two-person swing. I enjoy my quiet time there!

    Have a great week…love to your sweet family.

  13. Your new site looks great! Thanks so much for your words and honesty. I just did Survivor lap at my local Relay and had tears thinking about so many people. God is Faithful and He is Able. Even in the funeral on Friday for a dear coworker with a brain tumor.
    I love my desk with a view that looks out a window from our two story house and I catch a glimpse of the tops of some trees in our yard and look out toward our town’s Main Street. I feel connected and thankful for eyes to see and my senses to enjoy His good gifts.
    Thanks and blessings to you!

    • Everyone needs a desk with a view! Tree tops sound pretty good to me. Can’t see them from the ground; I imagine they hold a witness all their own. Keep your eyes open this week for all the ways God is moving in your life.

  14. Your new ‘home’ looks lovely. I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve moved over the years….and here we are about to move again! What I love most about my present home is the gazebo. It’s our (mine & Brian’s) favorite place to have our coffee. I’m sure there will be many things I’ll love about my new home, but the best thing will be living close to my girls and their families. Right now it’s just a piece of sandy land…and I even love that….no more clay!

    • Yes, but even in the “sandy land” there is a vision for the future! You see it. God sees it, and one day soon, you’ll be enjoying your coffee with the comfort of family. I look forward to monitoring your progress!

  15. Lovely gifts. Love our garage. Have screeens on overhead doors, small area with carpet, table, chairs, entertainment center. Great place to start and finnish the day.

    • I grew up with a screened-in porch, Karen, and spent many evenings swinging with my dad late into the night. Not quite the same as a screened garage (trying to visualize this in my head), but I think the concept is the same! Blessings.

  16. Oh my, you are funny girl! Home… I used talk about about all the time. Home meant Michigan, it meant family, it meant a place where I belong, fit in and dont have to put on makeup! Today, I AM home. Literally. Living with mom and dad in michigan along with my husband, two grade school girls, and don’t forget the dog Charlie! So, now when I talk about home I’m speaking of my literal home in Chicago. The place where my daughters grew up,the home which still holds all our belongings, the place that was a sanctuary when the church sanctuary was not enough. (Elaine, I think you are stirring a writing assignment out of me) The Lord is teaching me that this world is not my home. He is my home. “find rest in the Lord, oh my soul” it’s a wonderful, uncomfortable, beautiful place… Home.

    • Exciting to hear, Shane! If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the course of my 46 years, it’s that I’d better keep the tent pegs pliable!!! These are your settling in days. Praying God anchors you close to his heart as you move forward in your faith.

  17. Greetings and thanks for sharing the wonderful site and song (which I shared on facebook.) I am new to your site…about a week old… but feel so comfortable reading and participating. You are one of the ones the song was written for.
    What do I love about my home? My office chair. It is a the place I go when I want to “talk with the Lord”… “listen for the Lord”… or to rest my 60 year old bones. I purchased it at a house sale because I loved the print, it is wild! But I had no idea how comforting and comfortable it was going to be.
    The side kick to the chair is an old typewriter stand that I have had for over 30 years, and it has made it with every move (14 and counting, I think I have one more left in me) and I roll it from room to room as needed. It is battle scared, yet still always ready for the task at hand. Makes me think of how the we are as seasoned believers.
    Be blessed in your new “home” here.

    • Jane…

      We’re so glad you’re here! I have a few pieces that have made every move with me as well. We all need some familiar to carry with us into the unfamiliar. The familiar keeps us sane and connected to life when all else around us falls prey to chaos. Blessings, new friend. You’re a wonderful addition to my journey.


  18. LOVE your new site! It is beautiful.

    I love how quiet our place is — when you are renting, that is not always a guarantee. So for us this has been one of our best places thus far because it feels so private, and lovely, and ours.


  19. Love the new clean look of your site and your picture is beautiful. The best thing I like about our house is where it is located. It is in the beloved mountains of my childhood, and I am surrounded daily by God’s beautiful creation. Seems like the promised land to us in our retirement years.

    • A little piece of heaven on earth! Yes, I would agree–there’s something quite heavenly about mountain living.

  20. Such lovely and thoughtful gifts….much like the words you share !

    The bay window in my kitchen is the spot I gravitate to when I feel the urge to ponder…nature’s wonders always help keep my thoughts in line when I need to focus on something….very calming and therapeutic….

    • I like positioning my computer near a window… keeping watch on the neighborhood! Unfortunately, I’m easily distracted by the comings and goings of the outdoors.

  21. Wow! What a gracious hostess you are! And I’m soooooooo glad that we were able to make this move with you! I would have been so upset if you had moved off and left us without your sweet fellowship! 🙂

    All the goodies look absolutely wonderful Elaine!

    • Opps….forgot to tell you something I like about my house. I love my large roomy kitchen! In years past in addition to being where I cook it has been the schoolroom to homeschool our three kids, the music room where piano lessons were practiced and memorized, the place where I had my devotion time with God, and for a long time the southwest corner was my sewing nook.

      • Wow, you’re a busy bee today! Kitchens are a great place to plan a day, live a day! Love you friend.

  22. Hey Elaine!

    Love your new home!! Beautiful, cozy and inviting. Just like you!

    Now…my favorite thing in my home. I would have to say my comfortable recliner and my homemade quilt that I wrap around me as I enjoy my time there.

    Looking forward to the new book. I knew God would redeem each and every single step you took on that journey.

    Love you♥

  23. What a lovely new e-home you’ve furnished. It suits you well! I hope & pray it will host many an amazing tale, not to mention a flourishing domain for eternal friendships.

  24. Marilyn Harrell told me about your website. I will be checking it out and enjoying your input.
    The favorite thing about my home is my screened in porch. It is fantastic. My son, Gary, screened it in for me. I can sit out there and read or just watch the birds on the feeders.

    • Huge fan of screened in porches, Martha! Thanks for stopping by. Marilyn is a great friend!

  25. wifeforthejourney:

    Hey, do you think anybody would think you were playing favorites if I won? I mean, at least somebody could split the raisins with me. Can a guy get a break here? 🙂

    Contests are fun and so is winning! Love you,


  26. Your new page is beautiful and I’m not sure I mentioned that the last time I visited. It reflects you so well.

    I think there will be many new adventures on this very page, and I can’t wait till the new book is out and hope to be one of the first to own it.


  27. One of my favorite places at home? My at home ‘office’, which is actually GRANDGirls’ bedroom but it also contains my desk with lap top, a table for my sewing machine with fabric and patterns tucked beneath it, books galore and a recently added – beautiful deep purple African Violet that is just blooming its little heart out.

    And yes shared your link on Facebook! Great new web-home!! Keep to it 🙂

  28. Very nice website! I can’t wait for the new book. You are an amazing woman with an even better story to tell. Love to you!

  29. There isn’t one thing special I like about my home because I am grateful for my entire house. I never thought I would be able to afford to purchase my own house, so when God made that possible I was so grateful. It’s not large nor fancy, but it is mine and God provided it because of His grace and mercy. God is AMAZING!

    • Have a home to call you own, Brenda, is a special thing indeed! I hope to have my own home one day… in the mountains! Love you!

  30. Hi Elaine! I love your new home…..I am contemplating a switch to WordPress also but too scared to do it…..but maybe you have inspired me. The thing I love about my home is the peace I find there, the quiet, the love that surrounds the little things that all represent a trip here or a loved one there. What I will miss most when I leave this home is the little workshop/shed, now prayer closet I use. It is filled with everything from tools to Christmas decorations, to odds and ends that won’t fit anywhere else. But it represents my prayer times with God in the morning, and my best friend whose tools are there. They represent how she is always to quick to fix what is broken. She fixes things even before anyone else notices they are broken and she is first to help out our neighbors when they need it.

    What an honor it would be to have your welcome package at my door, Elaine. Even better would be you!


  31. I have been seriously contemplating making a move myself! I’m becoming a bit lonely over in bloggerland since so many of my friends have moved away. And…I love your new site, clean, fresh and welcoming! Wonderful assortment of gifts, I of course LOVE Cindy’s cards and use them regularly myself but would always welcome more if I were to win! Blessings to you friend!

  32. Well, since 1/2 of the post was missing when I left my first comment I didn’t realize I was suppose to tell you something I like about my ‘real’ home. For me: It’s paid for! But mostly, I just love how comfortable it is and how much of Mark still exists within it’s warmth.

  33. I have a little nook in my living room where I put a bunch of decorative items- it has its one spotlight on it. It’s a fun showcase for my pretties!
    family74014 at gmail dot com

    • Aubrey… I’d love to see your nook! I have a couple of areas I use for my trinkets, but I don’t collect much any more. With us moving like we do, it just gets too hard to keep things. I do, however, have a nice collection of Amish quilts that always make the move with me!


  34. I LOVE your gift of words. I am always blessed when I read your blog. I was praying for you tonight, and thought I’d read some of your posts. Hope you can get to Washington VERY SOON!! Love from all the Pages

    • We hope to get to Washington this summer; the kids would love to visit the waterfront! Summer’s in full swing at our house; hope everyone is doing great on your end. We love you all!

  35. I added info about your blog information to my twitter and Facebook account. Forgot to say that my favorite place is out on the deck or in my yard with a good book or my bible. It doesn’t get any better than that!

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