Sunday, December 17, 2017
 

Emily

Good Morning, Mothers,

Well, I went to Aunt Toot’s wedding reception yesterday afternoon and it was lovely. I really like Jerry, her new husband. He is a wonderful Christian man. I think he will be able to make Toot mind him, as he seems to be a take charge type of guy. Anyway, we all had a nice afternoon. Aunt Toot didn’t get drunk and we were all so glad. No … just kiddin’ ya, Tootie. There wasn’t any firewater there.

Anyway, today Jill and Jane, her sister, are to come for a visit. That will be fun!

I wanted to tell you a wonderful story about Emily, Dixie’s daughter. About 4 days ago, Emily stopped by. I just loved seeing her. Anyway, she told me the funniest story about her and her Mom, Dixie. I asked Emily if I could tell this story on the email and she said, “Oh, sure, tell it.”

Well, Em is 29 now but this story was when Em was about 21 years old. She had gotten mad at her Mom and she told her, “I am going to go out and get drunk.” Dixie quietly turned to Emily and told her that this was impossible. “Emily, people who are filled with the Holy Spirit can’t get drunk.” Well, Em rolled her eyes and went out the door and went to a friend’s and drank a load of beer. And guess what — she couldn’t get drunk. Being determined, she bought some whiskey and drank as much of that as she could hold and she still didn’t get drunk. And she never did get drunk and now knows that what her Mom told her was the truth. Folks filled with the Holy Spirit can’t get drunk. Now Dixie had a lot of faith. I don’t think I would have remained so calm if Mary had told me that. But Dixie rarely flinched over anything. She had raised Emily for the Lord and she just had a quiet, abiding faith and trust in God that Em would always be safe.

Emily idolized her mother. Dixie had the wisdom of God upon her in such a strong way. Even now, though Em has backslid in some ways, I can feel the sparks of Dixie upon her. She is a very young Dixie, but as she matures in Christ, she will be Dixie all over again and stronger yet. I think she will have a double anointing. It was as though Dixie knew she didn’t have long to live and she absolutely gave her faith to Emily.

Sometimes I would go out to see Dixie and Emily would be helping her Mom with the gardening and canning. Em loved it and she was so entertained by Dixie and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was so on Dixie, you just wanted to sit and watch her. She was so entertaining. Emily didn’t watch TV — she watched her Mother. And I know all of this sounds strange but it was the truth. Dixie was so full of the Holy Spirit and so full of wisdom. She didn’t have a phone and never watched TV. She listened to a special program on faith on the radio after supper. Her husband was a truck driver and wouldn’t be home for weeks. But Dixie rarely left the farm and had Em do errands and go to the store so that she could stay home. She loved the spirit of Wisdom. She lived out of Proverbs.

When I first met her, she had just gotten saved. She had an astonishing conversion. She had smoked 4 packs of cigs a day and overnight, after coming to Christ, she quit smokin’ cold turkey — in one day. She had so much faith. After being saved about 4 years, she went way down in her faith. She became a nervous wreck. Then the Lord delivered her in a mighty way. And she found the wisdom of God. From then on, I never seen anything rattle her again. Even when her husband wanted to divorce her, she was fine with that. I think she knew she was dying and she wanted Bill to be happy and to remarry and he did.

Who wouldn’t have loved Dixie? I do pray that Emily will write a book about her Mother. Dixie said her Bible was to her like Daniel Boone’s rifle was to him. Emily said, “Connie, Mom was such a pioneer. She didn’t use electricity or anything unless she had to.” Em says every time she uses her own dishwasher, she thinks of how much Dixie hated them.

Living on Love

And ya know? I dunno. I just feel like I have never written much that comes close to the heart of Jim’s and my own marriage. In our marriage, there was always a sort of back to the land idea. Our love came from, it seems, a secret place that only God could understand.

Our marriage ended many times. Then the impossible situation through faith was made possible. I would just never let Jim go. One time he came home after being missing for months. He walked in the door and said he wanted a divorce. I laughed so hard, I had to run to the bedroom to contain myself. I didn’t want to make him mad. Then I told him that God would help us and I knew he didn’t want a divorce. And Jim said, “But what will we do?” I said that the Lord would give us a miracle and He did. But we hung for many years between the devil and the deep blue sea.

I had nothing to stand on but the Word of God and that was all. Because certainly there was no evidence of good things ever coming in sight. And so, if God didn’t make a way for us, then we had no way to go. So our marriage was made up of miracles. And it was always a sort of Secret Garden made by one anointing after the next one. Had we not had the anointing, we couldn’t have lived. It was made by God daily, it seemed The Christians among us worried all the time about us, “How do they make it?” We raised a big family and never lost any of the kids to sickness. We weren’t on welfare. Jim forbade it.

An old friend, Mrs. Trecek, came by last evening. Her daughter Evie had won me to the Lord in 1966. So Mrs. Trecek has kept up with my life all of these years. She says to me, “Connie, send your life story to Readers Digest.” I told her I didn’t think it was poilitcally correct enough. Mrs. T. and I sat quietly and talked about the Lord. I showed her a picture of Jim and me at the prison on our wedding day. She said, “Oh, Connie, have that blown up and put it on the wall.” What a riot! That picture was in a prison magazine years ago. Jim and I were one of the first couples to be married in prison and have pictures taken from inside the walls.

But, see, our marriage was never built with anything except the miracles of God. No marriage counselor would have helped our marriage. Jim always sat and told any counselor we went to just what the Counselor wanted to hear. Jim had no way with words. I was the words person in our relationship. I often spoke what Jim was thinking. I wrote to Jim every day in prison and this is when I guess I learned to write on a daily basis. Oh, yes, Jim and I tried to be normal and do stuff like everyone else. But about the time we had it down pat, Jim would leave and be gone for about 3 months. So, I mean, if the supernatural didn’t happen, then we wouldn’t have made it. So our marriage was continually made up of a series of supernatural miracles.

We always made people around us nuts because they would ask, “Well, what will you do if your car falls apart or you have an emergency?” We only had enough money, in the beginning, for the house payment and utilities and some food. If we had an emergency, then the money had to come out of the food money and then we would have had no food. And many weeks, it was close but God would answer my prayers and send me food for the family. I wouldn’t tell Jim we had no food. I knew he didn’t have any money so why tell him? But everything was by faith. And you can live like that if you have a lot of love. Don’t try that if you hate your husband and you are lookin’ for an excuse to leave the lousy bum. But, yes, I can honestly say Jim and I lived for the most part on love.

Like Mrs. T. said yesterday, “Connie, you loved your Jimmy from early on.” And I said, “Yes, I did and I thought he was handsome even in his old age.” I thought Papa could do anything and would always be here to protect me and love me. I didn’t care how much money we had. I was just happy that God delivered him and that he was saved.

By Faith

I wish so much that I could get down to the bare bones of what our marriage was made of. My writing is to be to the wives who think their marriage can never be resurrected. My writing is to the marriage that is dead and lost. How do I penetrate the broken heart that seems sealed against all hope? I have been there, A, where you stand. I have been there, P, and so many of you. I can tell you that God can raise your marriage from the dead. But not in the works of the flesh but by the anointing of the Spirit. It is the anointing that breaks the yoke. It is not our works — it is the touch of Christ that breaks the yoke of wickedness.

I haven’t made a loaf of bread since Jim passed. I wonder if I ever will again. I hope I do. But I remember when I had a bag of flour and not even 25 cents to buy a loaf of bread. And I had some yeast and God taught me to make my family’s bread. I can’t imagine now baking a loaf of bread that Jim will never eat. But there is still more to it then that. Papa would want me to live again and be happy enough to make bread. He loved the joy he felt when I was mixing and kneading the dough. Each loaf he would often say, “I think that’s the best bread you have ever made.”

Well, my bread was always made by faith in the beginning. Later on, after the children were all gone, then we lived a lot easier. But in the old days — man, I had to rock and roll to keep up with making food to feed our children. I would make pancakes for breakfast and, if I had a cup or so of the batter left, I would use it to start my yeast rise bread. I never wasted anything. I would always make sure I had some kind of bread made and lots of vegetables and fruit. We had meat but not a lot.

Papa was so impulsive. When he did things crazy, I would just stand back and wait awhile. Often he would see he had acted too soon. But there were many days that I would hear the Lord’s silent moment come so that I could talk to Jim. And I would sit and talk with him and help him sort things out. Sometimes fear would just electrify him. And sometimes when fear would grab me, Jim had a way of making Satan let go of me. Jim could make me laugh or say, “Let’s go to the Dollar Store.” As a seasoned Christian, I had learned to follow Jim as the Priest of the home. And even though a lot of times he didn’t speak out of a prayer, I knew to follow him.

The only time I ever remember out and out defying him was a few months before he died. He had said to me, “Connie, this pain in my chest is my heart and not the hyenal hernia.” I turned to him and said, “No, it is not your heart. It is not.” And he argued with me. “It is my heart and I want to die here.” And I screamed back to him, “No, Jim, I won’t have it. It is not your heart.” But, ya know, it was his heart. But Papa told me he was leaving this time. And no amount of me tryin’ to pray for healing or whatever was gonna work. It was Papa’s day to go to be with Jesus.

We took that thing to the end and played it for all it was worth. Satan never did kill us as he had been tryin’ to do for years. And when the lights went out and the party was over, it was indeed over. Without God’s power we had no life of our own. We were not miracle working people. We only believed the Lord and He did the miracles. We had seen many miracles as God was on our side. And He was on our side in Jim’s passing, also.

We all who know the Lord are living an everlasting life right now. Some of us are on earth and some in heaven. But we live in His kingdom now. Soon we will see our loved ones again. But in all things we are more than conquerors in Him who loves us.

I still don’t feel l have gotten to the reality or the bare bones of our marriage and what it was all about. But someday I will.

Love,
Connie

 
 
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