Monday, December 18, 2017

Seasons & Celebrations

pt 2 Our Mary

Our dear Mary who is on our grp ..has been so brave thru this whole thing with her brother in law Josh.. The whole family has been so strong.. This morning i felt like  i shud get out this picture album that Mary made for me 2 Christmases ago…i looked thru it and oh the pics made me laugh..My children are all such funny ducks..Christiane Joy called me about an hour ago from NYC…We laughed and cried on the  phone..     i told her i was looking thru the album  that Mary had made of the family..I read to her the words at the bottom of the last page.. They read   ” Everything around us looks so dark and dreary ..except for the stream that is so full of life ..Its a great representation of the Hultquist Family !!! When the world around us seems so dark , you will see the Hultquist clan surviving and thriving on the light and love that is our family” ..John  had a picture he gave to Mary of a field of dry hay..But a stream of lush green grass  grew up the center of it.. John sent it to Mary when she was making the album..The whole writing made me laugh and remember that these sad times will pass..they always do..On the front of the album it says..”Home is where  Our Story Begins”..And well it hasnt ended yet..God isnt dead and He is still on the connie

pt 1 Christmas Eve

Dear Christmas Mothers, Oh what a fun evening i had last nite on Christmas Eve..i fixed Chilli Soup and macaroni salad, and Chocolate Cherry Cake for desert..I made coffee and we had soda pop.. My Brother Kirk brot Oyster stew and deer jerky and sausage. Scott brot sandwich fixings for ham and cheese sandwiches..Anyay we had alot of fun.. and everything tasted so good.. Kambree Kay. 9 and David James 6 were so comical.. They are my Davids children and Tiffanyes..Anyway David J.was at the table eating and Kam next to him..Their mother had fixed them a nice lil bowl of soup and they had a sandwich,,Well lil David was lookin at the chocolate cake..He was tryin to eat in a hurry to get some cake..So i didnt hear his Mom say he had to eat first before the cake.So i put a piece of cake on his plate away from his other food..Tiff saw it and told David to eat and then have the cake..But when David was talking to me Kambree snuck Davids cake and ate it..And so David ask for more cake..i cut some more and went to put it on Davids plate..Tiff thot he had eaten the first piece and she ask me why i was giving David a 2nd piece of cake before he ate his supper? So then i waited and David was eating pretty fast and i gave him his cake..So now his mother thinks i had given David 3 pieces of cake..Well i just thot it was a grandmas privelege to give her grandson a piece of cake before he ate his dinner..Of course David is laughing his head off and Kam is happy because she gets alot more cake ..We all laugh about the time when Kam was about 3 yrs old..i gave her Cherry Chocolate cake to eat with her dinner..Like it was green beans or something..i never did this with my own kids but its fun to do it with the grandkids..i told Tiff my daughter in law,”Well Mother its Christmas”!! Tiff will get me back believe me…Love connie

A Hultquist Christmas Story

This story takes place on the last Christmas we had with Papa..Christine and John and Baby Romeo had just moved here to Iowa from Missouri…They had a sweet lil house right by a park i used to play at as a child.It was a few weeks before Christmas..Christine and John were going to put their Christmas tree up that evening..They invited Jim and i over for supper and then we wud all trim the tree ..But then John called the day before and said they wudnt have the money to buy the tree but they didnt mind going without one this yr as they had just moved in and had all of those expenses ..Jim overheard the conversation i had with John on the phone..”What kind of tree does he want”? i said to John ..”Dad wants to know what kind of tree do you want?”John didnt know what to say..Jim said he wud pick John up from work and they wud go get a real tree..So they did and then they went to the Salvation Army and got lights and decorations.Oh what a joyous evening we had playing with Romeo and decorating the tree…i had brot Christmas cookies and Christine made coffee.. we had so much fun,,And i looked out the kitchen window and the snow flakes were coming down presenting like a message to me..i said in the silence of a winters evening,,”What Lord..what are you saying ?” I looked out the window at the park where i played as a looked so familiar..”what are you saying Lord ? “..i know the Lord was speaking to me of times and seasons of life..Of being a child playing at the park to being a wife ,mother and a grandmother…He was trying to tell me that Papas season of time was almost up…It was very eery..It scared me..i will never forget it..Of course i cudnt receive this message..i had felt cheated anyway as Jim and i had such a short time together after he knew the Lord..I didnt want to let him go..And i hung onto Jim like my life depended on it..But that spring the Lord called my husband home.. The Lord has a time and a season for everything that happens in our lives..

Merry Christmas

Dear Mothers at Home,

This is a sad time for me over this Holiday time. I wish I could write about Christmas Cookies and Sweet Dough Christmas Breads. But you probably won’t get that outta me this year. But I know there are plenty of good sites to go to that will encourage you in your homemaking. Last night, as Annie and I talked on the phone, I said, “Annie, I think the party is over. I may never write again.” Of course, Annie laughed! I always laugh when she tells me anything devastating. But, seriously, can you all send in some writings for the group? If I did quit writing now, at least I have left the world with a few thousand writings. I have written many books of stories.

Ya know one thing the Lord told me in prayer last night was this. “Satan isn’t after YOU, Connie, he is after your anointing… your gift of writing.” Satan isn’t worried about our flesh but he is always after the Christ within us. He tried to kill Jesus as a baby. Mary had to hide Him to raise Him. And then He ministered for 3 years and then was hung upon a cross and He died. He was a man who was tormented by the devil and was acquainted with grief. He comes for us who are broken in heart. Some of you wonder how I ever made it through 12 years of a horrid marriage. I made it like I am right now with Mary. The hard way? I was human then as I am now. And I suffered it through like I am suffering with Mary. So many around me want me to shut me up as they did the poor that ran after Jesus. “Don’t bother the Master,” they tell me. But Jesus came for us who are desperate to have His touch.

As I stand here writing, I think of what I was thinking and praying about a few days ago. I made myself laugh. This is my life in essence. “I was caught in a tornado and all died around me but I alone escaped to tell you.” Then “I was in a fire that burned up everyone in it but I alone escaped to tell you.” And everyone I was with on the mountaintop fell off but I alone was saved to tell you “God rescued me.” I seem to stand… somehow God keeps me.

I am the type of Christian that gets dropped from an airplane and I land on my feet and hit the road running. Or hit the road testifying. I can’t stop testifying! I know when I am makin’ Satan so mad he wets his pants. But I can’t quit — it’s too much dang fun. It’s like a high to me to make Satan mad. It’s like takin’ off in a jet. It’s an adventure! And we do overcome Satan by the Word of our testimony, the blood of the Lamb, and that we don’t love our lives unto death. But Satan ain’t worried about those who are only religious but have no convictions. Those who have the fire of God upon them are the ones he worries about constantly and he accuses them to the Father day and night.

But ya know Dixie was so anointed. She saw angels and Wisdom. She would see Jesus walk through the house. She knew the world of the Spirit. Emily would go for walks with angels in the evening down their country road. Emily was taught the things of the Spirit. But Dixie told me, “Connie, you can learn things in the Spirit and use them for sin and play with God.” She said God hates that and not to do it. Dixie had another sense called “Faith.” She could still see into the spirit realm, even though she wasn’t walking with God. But, boy, I am tellin’ you what. I know I am in danger of losing my anointing, too. I mean such as it is. I am not as anointed as Dixie or Jill was but I know I have some form of it.

There is such a peace and a covering in my home. I sleep like a log at night without any meds. There is a peace in my home that is so sweet. Jesus is here with me. Oh, He moves too slow (my opinion) and my heart breaks for Mary. But ya know what? It’s like if you were shipwrecked and you were hanging onto a piece of the ship in the water. You have the grace to hang onto the ship’s broken piece. But you get impatient and want to give up. “It’s taking too long, Lord.” But what’s the alternative? You have to hang on or drown. We hate the word “Wait.” But that is our salvation. We have to wait upon the Lord. We have to encourage ourselves in Him and hang on. And if we don’t give up, we see His glory.

I am so aware that, as I write, the Lord speaks to me. But getting me here to write is hard. I don’t want to write — I want to cry and scream at God. “Can’t you hear me? I am drowning! Where is my baby… the one I raised for You, God?” So I come to this e-machine and I lay my hands upon the keys and I write as the Spirit guides me. I am surprised at what I write. Surprised that I can still stand here. I have lost my husband to death and my daughter. How can I stand here and write? It is His grace. His anointing. He is the piece of broken ship I hang onto. And as I hold it, as lowly as it is, He makes my world go round. I am the widow with the bit of oil and meal.

Mary Elisabeth just called me. Thank God! We had a conversation. She said she is coming for Christmas to my Mom’s. She was at the trailer court but I had the wrong one. But I told her I wanted to send her a Christmas card and she gave me the address. And I have her phone number. Thank God! I told her she needed help and she said she knew it. She didn’t want to talk long, but we did talk, and I know she is alright sort of speak.

It’s a long haul. But I have to hang on to the anointing. It’s all I have. It’s all you all have. You who have Jesus have His anointing. He is the anointed Christ. Hang onto Him. Don’t let go and you will see His glory.


Shoutin’ Time in Heaven

Dear Mothers,

I had a lot of interruptions yesterday so didn’t get to write all that was in my heart. One thing I want to say here is this. Ya know it took me 12 years of prayin’ to see my family come into order. But it won’t take you all that long. See, Jill and Dixie and I, and some of the others, found our truth as we went along. But we were trailblazers. And so are many of you! But with my knowledge of the Word and some others — and with what God does for you personally that I don’t know about — you will get a healed family in a lot less time.

See, many came after Edison and improved the light bulb. They took his experiences and added them to what they knew and then perfected the harnessing of electricity. I don’t think Edison could have ever even dreamed up a computer … yet still he had a part in it. I remember when I first got my e-machine and was writing to New Zealand and Australia — wow! I could hardly believe that all I had to do to shoot a message all the way to the other side of the earth was to punch a button. How unreal is that! And how many minds made the computer? It was many people adding knowledge and wisdom to knowledge and wisdom.

But Ladies, use up what I know and add it to what you know and increase in more and more power and understanding. And you know what? Your testimonies will far outreach mine. I will be forgotten someday. But some of you will shine like stars. I am a forerunner because I don’t listen to the world. Hey. Hey???? Do I have your attention? The world and its folks don’t know how to stay out of a divorce! They don’t know how to pray a wayward husband home. Take a dang shortcut and quit listening to the world. They are here to crucify you, but, Girlfriend, if you can live long enough, you will be able to turn around and save their life.

I mean many years ago, Jim was my enemy and an enemy of Jesus Christ. But I loved him and didn’t give up on him. And do you know how you got to know me? You got to know me because my husband supported me so that I could go to the world with a message that Jesus can heal your marriage. Jim became my power to the world to shout the Victory. The man that nearly killed me with heartache has become the hope to many other families. It is no secret what God can do. What He has done for others, He will do for you. The husband who deserted me and sinned against me one day gathered me up in his arms and said, “I am so sorry.” And he lived long enough to give me a place of stability to shout this Victory to the mountaintops, “Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted and to set the captive free.”

Ya know bless Jill’s heart. She would come to my house as I wouldn’t eat for such sorrow of heart. And she would all but feed me. I always tell her that she was the reason I am fat today. But I would not eat days on end. The deep sorrow I felt was killing me. I was 5 feet 8 inches tall and was lucky to weigh 100 pounds. Often I lost weight and got to 95 pounds. I just wept and prayed all the time. But God delivered Jim and He delivered me! And I have told God that I have needed an eternity to praise Him for just this alone. He saved my Johnny Paul in 7 years. And YEEEOOOWWW look out devil, I see Mary Elisabeth comin’ down the pike with victory in her wings!

It’s shoutin’ time in heaven! Oh, yes, its shoutin’ time! I am pullin’ glory out of heaven and makin’ a place for it on the earth. I am binding the evil on earth and the Lord is breakin’ heaven loose for me. Praise Jesus! Its shoutin’ time.

Mountain Moving Faith

Ya know Wild Man would go to the mountains to hide out when he would hit the road. And Mama was at home moving mountains with her faith. I was speaking to mountains to be cast into the sea. Must have made it hard on a wayward husband who was tryin’ to hide out in the mountains that wouldn’t stand still. Then Papa got saved and never again saw the mountains. We were gonna go there so he could show them to me. But we never went. Maybe someday I will go alone but I doubt it. Oh, how I loved that man.

And soon it will be Thanksgiving! I can feel the earth fairly shake as I know all of my seeds are coming home. Christian Joy and her husband are traveling by car from NYC. Hungry hearts longing to see their loved ones again. John and his darling wife Christine and son Romeo will be coming Wednesday night from Missouri. Jimmy and his wife Aleksondra and their little baby girl will come from Illinois and get here Wednesday night. David lives near here and his family will come with the new grandson, Papa’s namesake. And Mary will come, too. Dan will be the only one not coming and he will come for Christmas.

Aleks called a few days ago and she said Jimmy wanted me to make bread for Thanksgiving. She said he missed my homemade bread. I haven’t made it since Jim died. I have never made bread for anyone but Papa. I even made it for him when he was gone, believing God he would be home to eat it. I can’t imagine making bread that Papa won’t eat. And yet Papa sends me his love from heaven, always encouraging me. I know he wants only what is best for me and our children. I know he wants me to make that bread with as much love as ever.

Papa only wanted the best for me after he was saved. He spent the rest of his life trying to make me happy. I am always at peace knowing how much he loved me and honored me. He loved our children and grandchildren. Always wanted what was best for us. He had a heart of compassion for us. His greatest grief was that he couldn’t do more for us. But I was satisfied and happy with whatever he gave us.

I followed this man wherever he went from the time I was 19 years old. And when he did leave me for the final time and went to heaven, I knew where he was and I never feel I am without him. I have never grieved as others grieve for lost loved ones. I just know where Papa is and I know I will see him again. When you are as close as Jim and I have been, you just always know where the other one is. That comes as you go through the pit of hell and come out on the other end. Then the Lord gives you a heaven on earth. And then Jim’s body wore out and he had to leave for heaven. I know he couldn’t help it. It was his time to exit and he went in peace and love. I accepted it and let him go. I submitted to him … finally I submitted to him. Before that, I wouldn’t let him go. And we argued about it. He said a few weeks before he died, “Connie, it is my heart. I am dying.” I screamed, “No, you aren’t!” I wouldn’t let him go. But when Papa knew the time was right, he went on ahead to heaven. I submitted to it. And I felt such a peace. I was able to minister to the children as they all 6 wept and cried out for him. The grief was controlled and peaceful. The minister there said he had never seen such love in a family. If only he knew that all of the love he saw came through years of prayers and intercessions.


The Hultquist Gang

When our first son Jimmy got married to Aleksondra, he was nearly shot. Aleks would spend all afternoon making a wonderful meat sauce for Jimmy’s meat. And Jimmy would sit down to eat it and say, “Where’s the ketchup?” He didn’t know that anyone lived without ketchup. Aleks would just have a million fits over that. Jimmy then tried to never ask for it again. Aleks now doesn’t allow ketchup in her house. Jimmy, being a Hultquist, tries to keep the cook happy.

Aleks is such a good cook. Jimmy used to follow her all over the kitchen as she cooked. She would wear the long tie-around skirt with the knot at the waist. Barefoot, of course. Very sexy … no wonder Jimmy wanted to kiss her in the kitchen. Aleks doesn’t allow anyone in her kitchen. I got to go in once but I knew I was makin’ her nervous so I try to stay clear. One time as she was taking something hot out of the oven, Jimmy decided to tickle her. I can’t believe he did that! Anyway, she screamed bloody murder and put the pan down and came after Jimmy. Boy, he didn’t do that again!

Jimmy is very politically correct and educated, unlike the rest of us hillbillies in his family. He is the typical oldest son. But every now and again, Jimmy’s upbringing comes out. Like about the second year of their marriage, he brought his poor unsuspecting bride home for Thanksgiving at our house. She knew the family but didn’t understand us as she was raised on the East coast. We in the Midwest — big difference! So anyway, it was a rather cold, cloudy day when they pulled into the driveway of our house. The ground was wet and it was cold. As Jimmy arrived, Dan (17 at the time) and David (19) pulled Jimmy from the car and wrestled him to the ground in the mud. Aleks was in SHOCK! I was in the house with Jim and my guests, as they came in, told me what the boys were doing. I was so busy, I didn’t even go outside and Jim was very matter of fact about it. Like “What else is new?” And poor Aleks is screaming the whole time, “Jim, get up — you are a married man.” My sister-in-law comes in and tells me, “Connie, it looks dangerous and the neighbors are gathering. If you don’t stop it, they will call the POLICE!” Jim says, “Aw, they’re just havin’ fun.” Finally they stopped and they all came in for prayers and a nice Thanksgiving dinner. Jimmy came in with a big smile on his face like he had a lot of fun. The boys always thought Jimmy was too educated so they enjoyed roughin’ him up. Sorta breakin’ him in so he wouldn’t be such a stuffed shirt. We enjoy seeing Jimmy with his hair tousled and a little mud on his shirt.

One holiday — I can’t remember, I think it was another Thanksgiving — Papa Jim’s back was out but he didn’t tell anyone. John wanted to wrestle with Jim. So John came up behind Jim, put his arms around Jim’s chest, and lifted him up in the air. Jim’s feet were about a foot off the ground as John is tall, anyway. But I looked at Jim’s face like “Oh no” and Jim had this worried look on his face. All of a sudden, this peaceful grin came over Jim. As John put him down, Jim says, “Oh, thanks, John you put my back back in place.” We thought that was hilarious. Jim felt so good after that.

Another time — well, about 3 years ago — Dan, then in his early 20s, was pretending to be Groucho Marx? And he was standing there talking to Jim and jumped into Jim’s arms. I held my breath as Dan outweighed Jim and was taller, too. Jim stands there holding Dan like all was well. I said to Dan, “Dan! Dad isn’t as young as he used to be.” Dan rolled his eyes and said, “Yeah, Mom, I just thought of that as he held me.” My gosh! The man was about 62 at the time and 3 years from dyin’. But he loved holding Dan as he always had.

But those boys wrestle something terrible. Johnny says he can still take ’em all. But that’s his story ya know. Johnny, at 31, is getting older and Dan, at 24, is getting stronger so I don’t know what will happen this Thanksgiving.

At Home with Family

Dear Mothers,

This evening, Jimmy (age 39) our oldest son and his wife Alecksondra and their little baby will be here. We will all gather at my folks for supper. The kids around here and their families will be there, too. My Mom is making Tacos and I will bring my macaroni salad. Then for the 4th we will all go to my brothers who lives on an acerage. And John will shoot off firecrackers for all of us to see.

July 4th is John’s Christmas! He presents the whole thing as if he is on stage. He introduces himself like he is a Show Host. And then he proceeds to blow things up. The explosives fly through the air and are way too much for the area. And the debris falls from the trees right on people’s heads. Makes me wanna cry to just think of it.

Jimmy hasn’t been home for July 4th in many years so he will love all of this. Alecks, who is much more sophisticated then the rest of us, will say to Jimmy, “Jim, I have a headache — can we go home?” About the time things that are on fire start coming through the trees? Hmm, it ain’t gonna be pretty. There is a big difference between the people who were brought up on the East coast and the ones who live in the Heartland. Alecks is very educated, too. People from the East are a lot more sophisticated. Jimmy, who is a wild and crazy Hultquist, acted like he came from the East to get Alecks to marry him; then he showed his true self.

One time at Thanksgiving at our house, Jimmy and his new wife of about a year were just getting out of the car to come into the house. It was pretty cold out and a bit muddy in the yard. As Jimmy was getting out of the car, the brothers threw Jimmy to the ground to wrestle him in the mud. Jimmy, at first, was taken by surprise but then really got into it and had fun. His poor wife stood in shock and kept screaming, “Jim, get up — you are a married man!” She almost had a anxiety attack. Jimmy just kept on goin’. Pretty soon, the aunts and uncles were coming. My sister-in-law runs in the house and says, “Connie, you better go get those boys. The neighbors will call the police.” I am, of course, in the house workin’ like a dog to get the meal on and wasn’t about to go out and make my boys be good. Jim thought it was funny so he didn’t stop ’em. My sister-in-law told her daughter, “Those boys need a time out, right, Ashly?” She was brought up in a houseful of girls so she had never seen such crazy goin’ on before.

Aunt Toot used to just about croak at my house. I would be serving coffee as if all was well. And Dan and David would be wrestling in the living room. Toot would say, “Connie, won’t those boys get hurt?” Heck, I didn’t even notice them.

Jimmy invited us all to his wedding in New Jersey in 1998. What a riot! Jimmy told his guests that we weren’t his real family — he had just rented us to make people think he was a wild and crazy guy. They played music from the 1950s for the wedding dance. Dan ran and jumped over Christian Joy’s head, and she is about 5 ft 9 or 10 inches tall. Well he did that among other things.

My Mom used to have nightmares after coming to my house for dinner. For one thing, my little kids were always playin’ under the table. And Mom would be talkin’ to me and then she would lift up the tablecloth, look under the table, and say, “Are you sure you want those kids under there?” One time I wasn’t watchin’ the kids and Mom asks for a fork to eat her pie? They brought her a B-B-Q fork. I didn’t even notice it. But later in the week, she brought me over a new set of silverware, as she thought I had lost mine. After that, she expected all of my silverware to match on the table. But I had the kids set the table and I just wanted all of the dishes to be clean and in order. Matching silverware was beyond me. Just before Mom and Dad would come in, I would tell the kids, “Make sure Grandma and Grandpa’s silverware match.” Well, the kids would do unreasonable things with my silverware!

And ya know, if the back end of the house didn’t blow off and Papa could still put food on the table, he thought all was well. His view of all is well was a far sight different than the norm. What made our lives really hilarious is that I was so overwhelmed, in the summer especially, and I would just go ahead and submit to anything Wild Man came up with. I mean, most women will try and talk their husbands out of some things. But, heck, I didn’t have time to do anything but keep truckin’.

After Jim got saved, I had 3 more children in about 5 years. Jimmy had joined the Navy and called home collect from Guam and other countries. We had phone bills of $500 a month. Jimmy would send the money to pay for it after the phone company was ready to shut the phone off. We were always runnin’ like hound dogs to the phone company with a check, yellin’ “Don’t shut it off — we have the money!” It was always in the nick of time. As our whole lives were spent in the place called “Nick of Time.” Once, when Jimmy had just gone into the Navy, he didn’t call or write. I called the Navy and asked where he was. He tells me later, “Mom, you are supposed to go through the Red Cross to get ahold of an enlisted man.” They had gone into Jimmy’s barracks with “Seaman Recruit Jim Hultquist?” Jimmy stands at attention. “Sir?” “Your Mommy called. She said you forgot to write home to the family. Write your Mom a letter.” Well, Jimmy always kept in touch after that. At home on leave, he would remind me as he was leaving to catch the bus, “Mom, don’t call the Navy.” Well, what are ya supposed to do if you are a worried mom?

But, oh, that Papa. Ya know, even in his old age, I just felt like he could do anything. As long as he was with me, we would be ok. Often, as I would hug Jim and hold him tight, I told him, “You feel in my arms as you always have.” Jim remained about the same weight as he always had been. To me, he was always 25 years old.

Dan said he dreamed of Dad the other night. Dan is still in NYC with Christian Joy. Anyway, Dan says over the phone, “Mom, I dreamed that we were at a family gathering. And Dad was there as usual. I thought to myself, ‘He can’t be here.’ But I thought that, because he was, I would just hang out with him and be with him, as I have have missed him so much.” The other kids have similar dreams. I have many daydreams of Jim.

I wonder if he will be watching Johnny’s firecrackers in the sky with us on July 4th. It wouldn’t surprise me.


No Other Gods Before Him

Dear Kitchen Saints,

Oh, wow, it’s summertime and the livin’ is easy.

This morning as I prayed, the Lord set before me life and death. He said I could either be happy or sad today. The choice is mine. I could either lay Mary and Brandon on the altar as Abe did or I could make gods of them. Isaac was chosen of God to do great things. He wasn’t a son Abe wanted to spare. He was the son of promise. Abe and Sarah had walked by faith to receive Isaac. Laying Isaac upon an altar was the hardest thing in this world for Abe to do. But it was a test for Abraham and he passed and God sent Abe another sacrifice.

So many of us as homeschooling mothers have given our all to our children and they are not easy to give back to God. But we must give them back to Him as He knows how to take care of our family Jewels. He won’t let us down if we have faith in HIM.

He will set before us life and death. Heaven or Hell — faith or fear. This day, what will we choose. Whom will we serve today? God or Satan? If fear and confusion is first place in our hearts (our minds) then we are serving Satan and making a god of him. But if we choose to serve God in our temples (our minds) then He will rule and reign in our lives.

The kids that give us the most trouble, we pray over the most and they end up being the greatest of blessings. I have told you many times of my beloved son John’s testimony. Lately, as I prayed with Nancy she said, “Had Jim been here, this wouldn’t have happened with Mary and Brandon.” I had told John this. And he said, “Mom, I don’t have the fire Dad had. But I am a full grown man and I will take care of my sister Betsy (Mary Elisabeth).” Imagine the worry that took off of my shoulders.

Mary is hiding out from Brandon. I am prayin’ he will find her. He is a good hunting dog, and a loving Shepard. I know that. I don’t know where she is, either, but have her cell phone number. But can you imagine how much I don’t need this? This is enough for Jim to storm out of heaven and come back to life.

But ya know, God tells me this. “No woman when she warreth entangles herself with the cares of this world.” I am here to do a great work for the Lord. I don’t know if I will get it done or not. But it is a fight of faith. I am used to fighting in faith. We plant faith seeds and then we allow them to be aborted. Our seeds of faith have to be left in the ground. They have to be watered and prayed over. What digs them up? Mark 4 says it is the pride of life the lust of the flesh (worry) and the deceitfulness of riches.

Will we choose this day worry over faith in God? Will we look at our homes and say, “There are giants in the land too big for me to handle.” Or will we say, “Yes, there are giants in the land but we can get through them with the help and grace of our almighty God.” Will we be faithful Mothers or will we fall near the end of the race and not get back up?

Jim and I had prayed so much over Mary and Brandon. Brandon had asked Jim’s permission to court Mary and Jim gave his permisision. Brandon had a good job and was a steady worker. And when Jim died, Brandon didn’t work again. By the way, the Lord healed Brandon of the Chrones. Either that or he is in remission. He was a rack of bones and I had to look away from him and say to God, “If he lives, he lives and if he dies, he dies.” And he lived. No one knows how. But he seems to be fine. Gained weight and looks healthy. But I stand on the scripture “What God has joined together let no man separate.” Mary and Brandon were joined by God, and no man can separate them. I didn’t raise Mary fuel for Hell and didn’t, with Jim, give her to a man who won’t be a good husband to her.

I stand alone on God’s word. He hasn’t let me down yet and I know He won’t. He is on my side. When Satan comes in as a flood, the Lord will raise up a standard against him. I know a standard is here and I expect many miracles.

Suffering Saints

Yesterday I went to the store and, oh, the angels were everywhere around me. I could feel them watching me. Their eyes were upon me. As I went to pull into my driveway, a dove sat right in front of the car and wouldn’t move. I was half in and half out of the driveway. I finally got the car in as I prayed.

The Lord will hover over a broken and contrite heart. He broods over many of you who fight back tears to read this writing. He is near to you and knows your heart. But I can say truly, “It is well with my soul. Yes, His grace is sufficient for me. I am not afraid of what man will do unto me. I am not moved by what I see but only what I believe.”

I was a faithful mother. I didn’t plant seeds of adultery and fear into my home. I planted the seeds of Godliness. I am not going to dig around in an unfaithful mother’s garden and try to get food. I will reach into my own secret garden of faithfulness and eat of the Bread of LIFE.

Mothers, don’t let the devil tell you that your prayers were for nothing. If you have long suffering and patience, you will see the devil eat dung. You will see God’s hand move and He will answer every prayer you have prayed. He holds our prayers in golden viles. He counts our tears. He is touched by our grief and He has carried it for us. He will answer our prayers for His own sake. He walks with us and wants to be glorified. We are not lost street children. We are Mothers in Israel. He knows what it means to weep over His own rebellious children. But He never gave up. His Father’s heart was long suffering to those He loved.

And ya know, while the church is hoopin’ and hollerin’ and havin’ a good time, the remnant cries out for some real answers. If you are broken hearted today, dear kitchen saint, rejoice. Your redemption draws nigh. I am beleiving God for many miracles today. Not just for my own family but for all of you and your homes.

Mothers, ya know? When we are in such a dire place, it is good? We have nothing to hold onto except His Presence. And, oh, He makes a lighted path before us. He has made one for me. Let me tell you about it in the next email.


PS As I was reading this and getting ready to send it, the Lord said to me, “You won’t give up on this, as you never have, and you will see Victory as always.” I laughed real loud at the devil. I bet the neighbors heard me through this open screen door. Good Grief. But the Lord told me, “You are still a tough old dog and you will chew on this until you see MY glory.” Yes, Satan is building me another testimony. Whose laughin’ now, devil?

Lazy Days of Summer

Oh, as children, we kids loved the summertime. Getting to go barefoot and playing in the garden hose. On the weekends, we went on picnics and went swimmin’ in the lake. Our family went to Minnesota and swam in Leach Lake. Then we would be all day pickin’ leaches off of our bodies. (Are you reading this, Julie? Now you know why I am not afraid of bugs.) But we loved the hot summer days.

Later on in the season, I would go stay with my aunt on her farm. The mornings would be busy with housework, etc. Then in the afternoon, my aunt and gram would watch TV and snap beans to can. It would be too hot to do much work, and I only remember a few fans. And ya know, the farm families ate with the season. If the garden beans were ready, then we ate beans every day with a meal. When the tomatoes came on and the mothers were canning them, we ate tomatoes with each meal. Then corn on the cob and we ate that until fall. We never tired of these vegetables because we didn’t eat them fresh in the winter. But the cucumbers were so good. One recipe for them is very simple and what we all ate growin’ up. Just slice your cukes in a bowl and put in about a cup of water. Then put in about a fourth cup of vinegar and about fourth cup of sugar. A pinch of salt and some black pepper. Now we mixed these cukes up with an equal amount of sliced onions and green peppers — the longer they sit in the fridge in all of this mixture, the better they get. And then the housewives just kept adding more vegetables to the bowl as they continued to set them on the table for each meal. We ate those all summer.

When my children were little, we would hurry about and get the house cleaned up if we knew it was gonna be hot. Then, right after lunch, I would walk my children to the library. When we came home, I would put a clean sheet on the floor and they could spread their books out and have plenty of room. Then I would fix a box fan right in front of them so they would be cool. I would get out their bed pillows and they would rest and read for the afternoon. I loved those lazy, quiet days of napping with the childrn next to the fan. I would read, too, on the couch.

One thing I enjoyed, too, was making things for the refrigerator for the hot days. I would make a lot of Jello. The Lord is telling me today to do this again and to make a nice cool summer home. It is His grace to me — it is His faith idea for me and I can’t wait to do all of this. To have macaroni salad and some cold canned fruit in bowls to eat for lunch is fun. It’s nice to pull out homey things to eat with cold sandwiches. To have a jug of cold ice tea ready made in the fridge is what I grew up with.

Often the Mothers would sew in the afternoons when it was very hot. To sit and do handsewing, patching or knitting. My mom and aunt would make doll clothes with me. Then, about 2:30 or so in the afternoon, they would start picking up their sewing and putting things away for my dad to get home. Mom would have iced tea or something cold for Dad to drink and, of course, supper was always at 5:00.

Then the evening was family time. Visiting with the family or with neighbors and friends. The evenings would be so hot and we would all sit on the porch until the evening cooled off and then we went to bed. We had barely any fans. But the Lord has given me such JOY today as I think of the Old Fashioned summers. I have a window air conditioner now. But I have to work to keep this house cool.

Baby David will be here this morning. PTL. I am so happy that I get to help with Baby David who is only 7 weeks old.

Papa’s presence is always with me. It used to be that he had to wait for me to get done on the email. Now I write to him first and then I write to you all. I write to him in heaven on just plain paper. I know the Lord gives him my words.

The utter sweetness that is in this house is so worth keeping. Lord God, please keep me as I keep house.

Merry Christmas

I am up in the night thinking of Christmas Dinner at noon today. My brother Scott gave our family a nice ham for Christmas. I had two chickens out thawing for dinner today. And Papa says maybe we could have the ham, too. I said, “Honey, my oven is not that big.” So we put the ham away for another day. Oh, men. At Christmas, they love to watch the little woman cook.

Anyway, I tried to stay in bed this morning. I mean, after all, it is 2:45 in the morning. But I went ahead and got the crock pot goin’ to make sure it boils for the mashed potatoes. And I put the chicken in the oven. I will bake it tonight and then just warm it up for my company. We will have 12 for Christmas Dinner.

I put two whole chickens in the oven in a big pan. I made a marinade for them. I just took about a fourth cup of vinegar with a fourth cup of oil, added spices, and put this on the chickens. The spices were celery seed, black pepper, salt and garlic. Then I just put a bunch of paprika on it to give it a festive look. I put some onion in the cavity of the chicken to hide the the poor onion from Papa. He loves onions but he don’t know it. I put the oven on about 450 and it will brown good. Then I will just turn the heat down and let it simmer until done. I want it to be a nice roasted brown. Then, after the chicken is done, I will take it out of the pan and make a gravy with homemade noodles in the pan, and then I will lay the two chickens back in the pan on the top of the noodles. I will just put the whole pan on the table.

I have some sage I dried from my garden and I will decorate with that. I bought some Amish made noodles and didn’t make my own this year. Then I will make dressing {stuffing} in another pan and a vegetable, and then we will have the mashed potatoes. Mary will bring bread and my Mom made a relish tray. I have cookies made and Aunt Toot’s pretty candy and some fudge. I guess no one will starve to death.

Also, this morning, I took out some grape juice to tone the Cordial down a bit. Yeeow!

Last night when Toot came over, she brought in a sack for my Christmas present. In it was about 10 cans of cat food. I tried to be polite. She loves to do this stuff. Bring Peggy Sue a present and not me! But it was a joke and she went back out to the car and got her pretty holly candy. Very funny, Aunt Toot.

Well, I deserve it for all the suffering Johnny used to put her through when he was a boy. We were always kidding Toot and putting her in embarrassing situations. Like the time she came over in a new outfit her husband had just bought her. John shot her with invisible ink. Wow, a big black spot right in the chest of a light mint green outfit. You should have seen her face. She about fainted. I thought she was gonna cry so I start yelling, “It’s invisible ink — it will become invisible.” I am looking over at John and whispering, “It will become invisible, right?” John just stood there enjoying the parade, acting like maybe it wouldn’t come out invisible. So I deserved cat food for Christmas this year. But never fear, the next practical joke will be my turn to perform on poor Aunt Toot. Hmmm I will think of something. I will let you know.

Well, I think maybe I can go back to bed. I will put the oven on very low and cover the chicken.

Merry Christmas.

A Lovely Christmas Evening

Dear Christmas Mothers,

Last evening Lynetta came by for a Christmas visit. We laughed and had fun and drank a sip of the Cordial. And, of course, Lynetta took pictures and put them on the group. Peggy Sue had a merry time, too, although she was not allowed to drink the Cordial.

I often refer to Lynetta as Aunt Toot when I write about her. She used to be on the response group but is on the big group now. Anyway, she forgot her reading glasses on the table. She wrote me an email and thanked me for putting them up for her and not allowing Peggy Sue to wear them. Ya know, Peggy Sue would if she thought they would fit. Peggy Sue was her general happy go lucky self and put on a show for Aunt Toot.

Wild Man was at work. When Jim got home he visited awhile and ate and then he went to the store, as we needed eggs for today. But, of course, he brought home a poinsettia for Toot. It’s traditional!

Lynetta brought the most stunning Christmas holly I have ever seen. She made them out of cornflakes. I think she made them like you do the Rice Krispie treats but you do it with cornflakes. Then she put in a gorgeous dark green food coloring. So then she bunched them up like leaves and put dark red “red hots” candy on each bunch. They weren’t round piles like a cookie? She made them in the shape of leaves. They were honestly, without any exaggeration, the prettiest things I have ever seen. Jim thought so, too. We just had a fit over them. She put them in a black plastic plate and put a clear cover over them and a gold bow on the top. Absolutely stunning! She said her kids eat ’em. Man, I don’t think I could eat one.

I will take some to the folks this evening for Christmas Eve. But I will definitely freeze some to just look at. Our Mary will love to see them, as they are like something she would make. They look really old fashioned. I think folks used to make like little wreathes with them in the 1970’s and then put the red hots on. But, to me, they are more artistic in the shapes of holly. Aunt Toot put like about 5 red hots in the middle of each cluster of leaves. Then, to separate the layers, she has the white wax paper. This white paper adds to the picture as it looks like white snow. If she is on the computer today, I will ask her to send the recipe.

One simple candy I made, too, was as follows. You just melt almond bark in the microwave, then spread it on a buttered cookie sheet. Then, while it is hot, you sprinkle crushed candy canes over it. Then let it dry and then break it up. Just put the candy canes in a plastic bag and crush them with a hammer. Anyway, I have had a lot of compliments on these. I took them to my aunt at the nursing home and the nurses asked my aunt to get my recipe. She had invited them to sample some. I will take a plate of this candy mixed with the green holly leaves from Aunty for Christmas Eve. It will make a lovely plate of candy.

I have a big old fashioned plate to put it on. I had gotten this plate at a sale. It is chipped on the side. But it is about 100 years old. The art on it is beautiful. It is different colors of green with large red and white and pink roses. Perfect for Christmas, and a perfect backdrop for Aunt Toot’s stunning handiwork.

This morning, I am boiling eggs to make filled eggs to bring. Mary is bringing breads. She used a cup of butter instead of oil in her Pumpkin Bread. I can’t wait to try that.

Tomorrow, for Christmas dinner, I am baking two whole chickens. I will make crock pot mashed potatoes. Then I will make noodles and gravy and sage dressing. I will have about 10 for Christmas dinner. I can’t wait to see Baby Rose. John’s family had to go back to Missouri for Christmas, but we will have them next year. I will miss little Romeo but we gave him many gifts and kisses before he left. I love that little boy so much. He is so ornery like my boys were.

Merry Christmas. Hold onto your dreams.

Recipe for Holly Leaves

1 stick of magarine
40 marshmallows or 4 cups mini marshmallows
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. green food coloring
4 cups of any brand of corn flakes

Mix & lay on way paper in clumps.

Sprinkle with red hot candies…allow to harden on wax paper before putting on serving plate or storing.

Aunt Toot's Holly Leaves

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