Sunday, December 17, 2017

Archive for May, 2004

Nudge the Knot

It gets so hard sometimes. Ya know, we do what we think we should by submitting to our husbands, and then we feel it didn’t work and what’s the use. But in the day to day, the submission is the answer.

For all of us mothers and wives, we sometimes come to a point where nothing seems to work to restore the peace in our homes. And, like Jesus on the cross, we have to just commit ourselves to Him who judges righteously, as Jesus did on the cross. We have to lose sight of our husbands and go on in God.

These men are only flesh and blood and not gods. And sometimes, for all of us women, they fail us miserably. But we have tried to please them, right? And nothing seems to work. They get that burr in their saddles and nothing will take it out but a miracle of God. And, so, ya just have to have faith. God will deliver your husband and give him peace. He always does. And when you have done all to stand, just stand therefore.

Ladies, we need to understand that the Joy of the Lord is our strength. We must encourage ourselves in JOY today. God is a God of miracles and we will see them if we have faith. We must stir ourselves up in the most holy faith. As Dixie always said, “Connie, get into your homemaking; it will break the devil’s back.”

I think we mothers get caught up in the world and the way they think. We just have to stop and remember who we are as keepers at home. We need to just get out in the kitchen and start cookin’ and bakin’ and and stir up the joy in our homes. Just forget our troubles and go on in God.

In a home when things are goin’ wrong, we just seem to keep trying to untie this knot of wickedness. But what the Lord wants us to do is forget the knot and get to cookin’ and to comfort our nests. I mean, the knot will eventually come undone naturally, if ya leave it alone. As you cook and make things and do things with the children, it is like gentle nudges on the knot. And as you dance along in Joy, it is one nudge against the other on the knot and, eventually, it will unravel. Satan loves attention and wants to get you to fighting the knot and to working on it yourself instead of letting the Holy Spirit work it out.

A lot of the problems we get into, we will never figure out until the Lord does a work Himself. We ain’t supernatural … just human beings. And the strongest of believers knows this and knows how to let go and let God. They know ther absolute helplessness to change a situation. God chooses the foolishness of this earth to confound the wise.

God chooses those who are weak to show His power. So, Mothers and wives, let’s get goin’ and prepare our days for Miracles and Joy.

Sunflowers and Herbs

I always plant sunflowers and then the birds eat the seeds and drop them hither and yon in the yard. I just let them come up wherever they wanna. One thing I do in the fall is I cut some of the big seed heads off and nail it to a tree outside my window. This way, the birds will come and eat and you can see them. Some folks take all the seeds out and dry them and put them in sacks. But I don’t — I just leave the seed pods whole.

The sunflowers attract a lot of birds. I have some sunflowers in the front yard by my country mailbox … it’s up on a post. I can see the goldfinches eating out of the sunflowers out my front screened in door.

I also have blue bachelor buttons that come up each year and I think the butterflies are attracted to these. I have many monarch butterflies that dance and play up and down my walkway up to my door. I don’t know if it is the bachelor buttons they like, or some of my other flowers.

I also plant herbs in with the tall wildflowers. Dill, yarrow, two kinds of chives, garden mint. And catnitp, too, grows everywhere up my walk and all over my yard.

I have an herb garden across the front middle of the side yard. I have just chicken wire in back of it, and wood posts to hold it up. On the post, I have a grapevine wreath. In the herb garden, I have ginger root, two kinds of basil, sage, lavender, garlic, chives, a mint that Jim got me — and a pumpkin plant to grow on the fence for color and fun. Also growing on the fence is a hops vine. What a conversation piece this is! At the side of this garden, I have an old white chair and a plant sitting on this. It looks really old fashioned. This chair is one that was wood with an old leather bottomed seat.

Then, back behind the fence I have an old windmill. I have pole beans planted around this and, eventually, the pole beans will grow all over this windmill and hide it by fall. Also, I have the sugar pod peas planted on one side of it, but they will come on and be done long before the beans really get going. Then, in an old pot by the windmill is leaf lettuce. A pot full is all I need, and it will grow up and I will use it and let it keep growing all summer. Then I have a pot of herbs by there, too.

Mary bought me four packages of seeds for Mothers Day. I have them growing in there … can’t remember what they are now, but will know once they get here. They are all coming up good. I know one is basil.

Basil is my favorite herb of all. I love all the kinds. Probably my favorite is holy basil. I used to use the stems for Bible markers. This herb is very fragrant. In the summer I use sweet basil a lot as a garnish for a plateful of sliced tomatoes. I use it in every salad in the summertime. I even put this in with arrangements of flowers for the table. Another favorite is the curly purple basil. Also, the mammoth basil that is about the size of a lettuce leaf. Basil is just for one year, here in Iowa, as the harsh winter kills it each fall. So I have to plant it each year, and I can’t get all the kinds I like, always.

Then, back by my dining room, I have a kitchen garden. This garden is small with tomato plants and peppers, sweet and hot. Also, I have many herbs back here, and horseradish. Plus I have my Seven Sisters Rose bush. This is my pride and joy; I love these little roses and I make many things with these. Also, back here is the old kind of catnip and comfrey.

Then, way back in my yard is the canning garden. This is a big garden where I have my rhubarb and red raspberry bushes. It’s here we will plant more tomatoes and peppers and cucumbers, I think … I don’t know yet. It has been too wet to plow that big garden up. And, man, this weather has been very hard on our gardens … it’s very wet.

Joy of the Lord

I think we kinda get off the mark sometimes with our homemaking. I know I do. Then I get discouraged and think, “Well, I goofed again” and then I don’t want to get back up. I think, “What’s the use? I will never show a pattern of good works, as I keep falling.”

Well, sometimes the Lord calls ya out of your homemaking for a time, and then ya just stay out there. Like duh? We don’t go back in. Well, we must be normally into our homemaking … day to day, I mean … and if the Lord calls us out for a time, we shouldn’t make a religion out of it. Just get back with the program.

I read a story once about this dear mother of many children and a dear husband. It was during the Depression era and most people were very poor and couldn’t afford a doctor. Mother had a gift of doctoring, and she kept her family well with her gift. But then there was a flu epidemic. The neighbors began calling for her to come and help. Her famiy knew that she was gifted but hated to see her go out in the night and away from them. But she was faithful and wouldn’t turn anyone down. But then, as soon as her job was done, she was back to her famiy, ministering to them again. She showed a pattern of good works as a stay at home Mother. Years later, her family needed things, as they were poor too. A package came in the mail for their family. It was clothes for her children and material to make things with. No one knew where the package came from … no return address. But everyone knew it was a payment to the Mother for saving someone’s life during the flu epidemic.

This mother was faithful — she was a faithful mother and wife and neighbor. She was a keeper at home and her husband trusted in her. He knew that her heart was home, and he was at peace as she ministered to others. The children were at peace as they, too, had compassion for others. Mother had a servant’s heart. She loved the Lord and couldn’t stand aloof as His sheep suffered. She knew how to wash the saints’ feet and yet, she was a keeper at home and her mainstay was husband and children.

It takes a wise and strong woman to burn both ends of the candle this way. It takes a wise and discerning mother to be trusted like this, to minister to the sick and maintain harmony at home at the same time.

The virtuous woman could do this. She could reach out her hands to the poor and yet look well to her household at the same time.

And mother Connie is learning how to do this and don’t have it straight yet. I either go one way or the other and, often, Papa’s blood pressure then goes one way and another, too. I am not spiritually strong enough yet to maintain my walk. I will get it, though, as the Lord leads me along. As I go from here to there, Papa chases me in his heart, wondering when supper will be ready, and duty calls me back to reality and my place as wife and mother and keeper of my home.

And I try to teach you all to be at home and be lovers of the family’s soul. I don’t seek to teach you to be selfish and just serve your own. But I long to teach you to be faithful, and we learn to be faithful first as we forgive our husbands seventy times seven. And we keep our hearts clean and in love with our babies. And then God gives ya extra to give it out to the saints still under the heading as keepers at home. You learned to be faithful at home and now you become powerful to reach out to those who are suffering.

But, ya know, a woman who is faithful is faithful in all things. If she is a faithful mother, she will be a faithful wife and neighbor. Yet, she has a discerning spirit and she gives first to her own children, and she stays under the authority of God as she stays under her husbands authority. This woman is a soldier, a servant of Christ. She is an obedient servant. She goes when He says, “Go” and stays home when He says, “Stay Home.” She doesn’t run out of the house for the almighty $ but with compassion and love.


When the children were young, I always had such a hard time keeping food on the table and, often, the Lord would remind me in the summertime to fix Jello. It makes the table look festive and fun, to have a big fancy bowl of Jello on the table. My own mother fixes it for every holiday. And all of us just love Mom’s Jellos, but then we forget to fix it ourselves. Yet, the in the summer, when you are so busy, it’s simple and fun to just fix Jello.

We never had air conditioning when the children were little and in the evening, after a hot day, I would just get out cold things to eat from the refrigerator for supper. Sometimes I would fix strawberry Jello with bananas in it and the little marshmallows. Often, I would make two kinds for the table as we needed to use two boxes, anyway. I would just make it in two small bowls. Jim likes Lime Jello with celery or carrots in it.

My Mom used to cut a square of lime Jello and put it on a lettuce leaf on a little saucer for our family meals when I was growing up. And then she would put a dab of Real Mayonnaise on the top. Mother had some cute little crystal dessert goblets, and she would fix the boxed chocolate cooked pudding mix and serve each in these goblets. We would put milk over the top.

Well, folks in the old days put milk over everything. Sometimes, we even put milk over our Jello. Mother would make chocolate cake and, in a few days, it would be pretty dry, so we kids would get a piece and put milk over it and eat it like that. Then we ate a lot of bananas in a bowl with sugar and milk over the top. It’s common to see Papa take homemade bread and put it, crumbled up, in a bowl and put sugar and milk over this, and he eats it as a snack.

I know some of the kids that our kids bring over would say, “Oh, thats Ghetto!” No. A lot of the old-time cooking was just plain Good Common Sense!

Back in the late 1940s, cooking mixes started coming in, but they were not like now. There were just a few, and they were fun. I mean, most of the housewives made everything from scratch and the mixes were just fun stuff like Jello and the pudding mixes. And that is basically how I cook now. I don’t use a bread machine for my bread, and I make it by inspiration.

When the children were all home, we were so busy, and if I had a get together here for a birhtday or some holiday, I always made the ice box cakes. They were so good and so easy and quick to make. I would just make a yellow cake mix and, after it was made and baked, and out of the oven and cooled, I would make up an instant vanilla pudding mix and pour this over the cake. And then I would make a chocolate cake, too, with the chocolate pudding mix over this. I always had to make two cakes. Anyway, I would make these up and keep them in the refrigerator until my company came. Oh, they tasted so good on a hot summer day!

I was such a busy mother and always just used paper plates for company. No one cared — they knew I was busy with all the children. Then I would serve coffee and, often, Kool-aid for the children. I usually added juice to it. And, yes, Papa drinks coffee in the hot summer.

The real treat to folks isn’t the food, but the hospitality and the friendship. Making your company feel welcome is so important. Also, to keep the atmosphere happy and rollin’.

Usually, no matter what desserts we had, Papa would go to the store and buy a big bucket of ice cream, and that went on all the desserts.

I had the five children at home and Jimmy in the Navy. Often, he came home on leave and we had many who came to gather to our home to visit, each time he came home on leave. Even though Jimmy was the guest of honor, he would sit in the living room, balancing his paper plate of dessert on his lap with the other kids by the coffee table. We used the big table for the adults.

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