Sunday, December 17, 2017

Spiritual Crafts

Papa went in to work. Before he left, I told him, “Boy, I am out of groceries. I don’t have much to cook with.” He said that we would get groceries tomorrow. Anyway, I found a ham bone with some meat on it from my freezer. (We had a ham and I saved the bone. It may be from Christmas …I forget.) Anyway, I have my ham bone in my old cast iron Dutch oven and I am boiling it down. I put in an onion and some black pepper — it smells good as I write.

Once I get all the meat off the bone, I will use some of the broth to flavor some green beans from my garden, and some potatoes. Then I will use some of the broth and meat to make gravy. I will make biscuits for supper, or cornbread. (I am out of bread, too.) But I have my garden tomatoes and peas. We plant the Sugar Anne Peas with the edible pod. I have all that I need. PTL.

But, ya know, I love to just make do. I have had to, raising 6 children. I had to learn the old time crafts. Making my own breads and soups. I made most things from scratch. I read a lot of cookbooks and learned to make cottage cheese and farmers cheese. I learned to make butter. I learned to make soap with goat milk … and many other crafts. I have leared to grow and use my herbs. Learning all of this just made me confident as a mother at home. I just figured “Ya know, if the pioneer mothers did all of this, then I can too. I can make a home from scratch, too.”

As a young mom, I really learned to be a kitchen scientist. I read about the different yeasts, how it is in the air, and how you can attract the different yeasts to make different things.

Housewifery is a craft to be learned. To be skillful in housewifery gives you the confidence you need to feel content in your home. You don’t depend on the world; you depend on at-home know-how. You learn to dip and flow with the seasons of Spring and Summer and Fall and Winter, instead of what is goin’ on at the grocery store.

When Spring comes, I start looking in my yard for my wild onions, and the lemon balm, the mints and other herbs. They are so juicy and flavorful in the spring! As the summer goes on, I think about my tomatoes, and is the basil growing? What’s goin’ on in the garden? As Fall comes, I think about storing food for the winter, and as winter comes, I go into another stage of making sure I have enough baking supplies, as we eat more breads in the winter. The kids are here more for meals and we have more family gatherings. Papa and I make a trip to the Amish village to buy bread flour and cocoa and other baking supplies.

I have learned to turn my face away from the world and listen to God concerning housewifery. It is an honorable craft to be learned and valued.

Ok, I want to compare this also to the Spiritual Crafts of faith concerning the housewife and Mother at home. Ya know, there are spirtual crafts for women that they need to understand. A woman needs to be as wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove.

I was praying this morning about Esther and Queen Vashti. Now, one woman stood up for her rights and the other woman submitted to the King and saved a whole Jewish Nation. Good night! Who do we want to be like? Esther never ran in on the King and started hollerin’ at him that he was crazy. Some of you do that, and that is unwise and unprofitable concerning your family.

We as women need to learn the spirtual crafts of being a housewife and the keeper at home. Some wives think they can run out the door and go to work and everything will fall into place while she is gone. Like the dress laid across the sewing machine will somehow come together by itself? And the children will teach themselves the Bible. No. She takes her hands out the door with her … the ones that are supposed to be building a home. Do you want to be like Esther and save your Nation, or like Vashti … be right and get thrown out of your home?

I guess what I am trying to say here is that we can train our spirits in the area of Keepers at Home, just as we learn the physical crafts of housewifery. I am trying to say that we must learn the spiritual gifts as they relate to us in our ministry at home. In the church we learn spiritual gifts, as they apply to whoever. But we must learn to be mature and strong, concerning submission and patience and love, concerning our families.

In the physical, you should learn the arts and crafts of homemaking. So that you can say, “I am not afraid of not having enough. I know how to make soap and cheese, and I could live off the land if I had to. I am not afraid because I know how to live on very little and I know how to cook everything by scratch.” This gives you confidence and courage as a keeper at home.

And also, you need to sharpen your skills in the spirit. You need to keep your faith motor tuned up and oiled at all times. So that you can always say, “I am not afraid. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

See, I am not a very good example, but I live by faith most of the time. It is a habit with me — it has become second nature. I scare people sometimes. Aunt Toot used to come over to my house to visit and she would say, “Well, Connie what will you do about this or that?” She worried over me that I wouldn’t make it. My own folks used to be scared to death, watching me and how I do things. I get some kind of ailment that would scare anyone spitless and I will ignore it. I mean, it seems I am ignoring it, but I have a plan. I ignore it until God tells me something about it; then I react.

But, see, I have lived like this for 30 years. Faith is how I live. I didn’t learn it going to church. I learned it through having a hard marriage. I learned it through having kids that didn’t do what I said to do. I learned it through spirtual warfare — through prayer and intercession. I had to learn to follow God and to know Him personally. Good night! He is all I have had at times. I mean, I used to be about the poorest woman I knew. Anything I wanted to give away, no one wanted. But I learned faith through obedience in my home as a Keeper at home.

Some women try to get enough faith to leave home and to divorce the family. Well, she is following a false God. No, you must learn how to use your spirtual faith muscles in the arena of your ministry and calling. You learn love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, meekness, and self control as you are obedient to your husband and are a loving mother. Leaving the family to go learn the spiritual gifts and fruits of the Spirit is running after a false God.

You must willingly yield yourself to God in order to learn Christ and to know Him. We learn how to trust Him as the finances are low. We just have the confidence that he put us there in the home for a reason and he has a plan. See, when we had most of the children at home, often the grocery money would have to go for an emergency or whatever. I learned not to be afraid during these times. I went through this enough that it was almost like a game to me. And I almost got so I thought it was an adventure to look forward to. I got over the fear of not having enough to feed the kids. I went through it enough to see that God was going to work on my behalf in a supernatural way. He was not going to let my children, who I had by faith, go without … and He never did.

I saw so many miracles as I waited upon the Lord and did not fear. I learned faith as I waited upon Him. I wouldn’t even tell anyone that I didn’t have groceries. I was upstairs prayin’ one day about not having groceries, and a lady came by with about 2 bushels of apples. And that was normal, ya know? When I needed something, the Lord would provide.

I know you could tell me a time when God answered your prayers. But the Lord wants us to live like this all the time. The just shall live by faith.

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Happy Housewifery teaches wives and mothers how to make Godly homes and encourages them to love their husbands and children in trying and difficult circumstances.

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