Monday, August 27, 2012

I Did NOT Want a New Clothesline!

I did NOT want a new clothesline! Hanging out clothes always got my lower back out of whack and I had stopped doing it several years ago. But my husband suggested it would be a way to help cut back on our electricity bill, so I reluctantly agreed to give it a try.

We went to Lowe's and picked out the line to use. I wanted it to be smooth feeling and just the right diameter. (My last clothesline was made from a cable and was almost too large for the clothespins to clip on right!) It felt good being able to help pick out just the kind I thought I would like.

After the line was bought, Benny put up some wooden posts in the ground out in the back yard close to the garden.  I didn't much like the spot at first but I have to say that it grew on me.  I was still a little hesitant about the whole thing because of the issue I had with it hurting my back with all the bending and stooping it required.  But Benny fixed that problem by turning a large plastic tub upside down for me to set my clothes basket on.  It made all the difference in the world.  Has not seemed to hurt my back much at all since I don't have to bend over every time I get laundry out of the basket to hang it up.

The clothesline was put up in the very early spring just about the time we planted the garden.  As I hung out the clothes every few days, I could watch the progress of the vegetables growing and budding and blooming and finally producing.  The chore that I was dreading and griping about before I actually started using the clothesline has become a very relaxing outdoor activity for me this summer!

Sometimes something like this happens in my spiritual life.  Through prayer or Bible study, God suggests I do something different. Maybe it's something that looks difficult.  Or maybe He wants me to make a big change in my life and it's scary. Then I may reluctantly agree to follow this new plan.  I may be afraid that I will get hurt.  Or I may feel unsure of what will be expected of me. But if I go ahead and follow God's instructions, whatever it was that He asked me to do turns out to be for my good in the long run.  It may even turn out to be a very relaxing and/or enjoyable thing in my life!

I found a wonderful quote from one of my favorite authors...Elizabeth Elliot...which says this:  "Throughout the Bible...when God asked a man to do something, methods, means, materials, and specific directions were always provided. The man had one thing to do: obey."

God seems to be leading me into some unknown territories just now. I would ask that as God brings me to your mind, you will pray that I do the right thing at the right place at the right time!

God bless you my friends!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just Visiting....Some Random Thoughts

I've been busy today.  Mostly. Rose earlier than usual this morning. Fixed breakfast for Benny and me.
There were tomatoes out on the patio table that needed peeling and putting in bags to freeze so I can cook with them later.  That was my first job after breakfast.

While I was peeling the tomatoes, I started thinking about making a Tomato Pie.  Never had one before but it had sounded good when my friend Anita had told me about making one herself.  Came in here to the computer and looked up a recipe.  Paula Deen's Tomato Pie.  It's done now and sitting on the counter cooling until Benny decides to come in from working on something in the back yard.  Won't be able to tell you right now if it turned out tasty or not but it sure looks good! I think it will go well with the peas, turnip greens, fried okra and cornbread that I have cooked also.

Taking a little break right now til dinner is over and was thinking about what kind of Bible study I want  to do next.  I'm in the last week of Beth Moore's "James: Mercy Triumphs".  While looking through my old Bible studies to see just what studies I have done, I came across my next study I think.  I had found it in a thrift store a while back and forgotten about it.  It's called "The Incredible Power of Kingdom Authority" by Adrian of my very favorite preachers. Always enjoy getting to see reruns of his preaching on TV sometimes now that he's in heaven!

Not sure I'll get to my other kitchen chore this afternoon.  Have a bunch of bell peppers from the garden that I plan to cut up and freeze.  They come in so handy when I'm making spaghetti or soup.

I guess that's about all.  Just wanted to say hello and let you share a little of my day with me!

God bless you, my friends!


Monday, August 20, 2012

The Straight and Narrow


I bought red checked gingham material for new swag toppers to go on my kitchen windows several months ago. As time passed, I thought several times about getting the material out of the drawer and cutting out and sewing them up but always told myself, “Some other time”. 

 Finally I decided to put it off no longer. The red checked curtains hanging at the kitchen windows had already faded to an orangey-red color from the afternoon sun of many years. They did look pretty tacky, so down they came. Using the old curtains for a pattern, I cut out the new ones. My trusty sewing machine was surely surprised to be woken up from a long time of doing absolutely nothing!

After looking it over and putting thread and a bobbin in, I was ready to start. Nothing much to it. Just a lot of hemming. A lot of sewing a straight seam down a long length of material. It was so simple and actually I suppose a little boring, that my mind began to wander. 

How straight the seams and how narrow the hems. Hmmm. That sounded familiar. The “straight and narrow” part. It reminded me of the verse in Matthew 7:14 that says: “Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” 

Straight sometimes seems so boring! 

 And that could be both sewing a straight seam or living a life that is straight in line with God’s Word. What seems to get boring to us at times is actually very needful if we are to have a beautiful finished product! To sew a straight line and keep my seams from zig-zagging all over the place was one of the first things Mama showed me when she first taught me to sew. She wanted her sewing projects to not only be usable but to also be pretty. In life itself it sometimes seems boring to always stay on a straight path of obedience to God. But it’s necessary if we want to be able to look back in life and see a beautiful “seam” and not a big mess! 

 Narrow sometimes seems so confining! 

 I’m thinking of several places I’ve been that seemed to be narrow and confining. One that comes to mind was a narrow suspended bridge with metal fencing along each side. It might seem confining. But to me the narrowness was instead comforting! For you see, the bridge was up on Grandfather Mountain and on each side was a drop of about a mile! Sometimes I complain about the narrowness of my life. I would not be surprised to find out someday that God used this narrowness to protect me from greater harm in one way or another. 

 The bigger picture...the finished work. 

 The new curtains now hang at the windows in my kitchen . The straight seams and narrow hems un-noticed now because of the bigger picture of the finished curtains. I’ve not yet seen the finished picture of my life. But I believe that when I do, all the “straight” and “narrow” places will take such a lesser place in the finished work that I won’t notice them. I won’t remember that I sometimes viewed the straight or narrow places as tedious or boring. I will just be fascinated with the beauty of the finished work that God has done in my life.

May God bless you real good is my prayer!


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Just Thinking About School Days

Schools in our county will be starting next week.  For the past couple of weeks the first sight that meets my eyes when I walk into Wal-Mart or any store similar is all the menagerie of school supplies. There are lists of supplies needed for every grade. Just the smell of all the paper goods and the pencils, etc. takes my mind back to my own school days.

I started to school in 1959 as a first grader. (In those days kindergarten was not required and only a few children went.) I entered first grade not knowing much of anything. My teacher, Miss Jackson, printed each child's name on a piece of yellow cardboard marked with two solid lines separated by a dotted line.  Then she taped that cardboard to the top of our desks so that we could learn to write our names.  Amazing now that I did not even know how to write my name at age six! I also learned to count and memorize the alphabet. We read from learning words by sight. No phonics back then that I remember. Thankfully I was a quick learner. Nothing to my was just the way I was born.

The school had no A/C in the summer but I don't remember being unbearably hot. I guess because none of us were used to A/C even in our homes. The floors were some kind of wood with little tiny ridges in the grain.  The sort of wood that would leave a splinter it you rubbed your hand across it. It was kept oiled and ever so often Mrs. Windham...our janitoress....would clean them with some kind of pink colored granules that she spread over the floor in sections and they swept up.  The ceilings were high and the halls wide. It was quiet and orderly. The principal Mrs. Nabors made SURE of that!  At lunchtime we drank our milk out of little milk bottles that had a cardboard cap on top that we had to remove.  And then for an extra three cents a day one could have a little bottle of chocolate milk for a snack in the afternoon.  I remember sitting mine on my slanted desk for just a minute one day and the whole bottle spilling in my lap! I had on a red and white checked gingham dress with a gathered skirt.  Brrr.  That made me chilly having a wet dress for the rest of the afternoon!

During recess we played outside if the weather was good. On rainy days there were toys and games on shelves on one side of the room. One day while out on the playground I was trying to go across the monkey bars but my grip was not so good and I fell, landing on my back and sort of knocking the breath out of me. A bigger boy...probably in third grade or so...came and very nicely helped me up and took me to the teacher who was the playground monitor that day.

Strange the memories I have of those days.  I loved learning.  I still do.

Maybe that's one reason that this time of year is always exciting to me.  For sixteen years I taught our three children their school here at home.  For sixteen years I reveled in buying new school supplies for them each fall.  The crisp new paper and notebooks.  The yet unsharpened No.2 pencils. The crayons. The construction paper. The workbooks. The textbooks. It was always an exciting time for me.

As we started our homeschool journey, I oftentimes...wondered how long it would last. You see, although I dearly loved the new school supplies and the beginning of the school year, usually around January or February both myself and the kids would be getting weary of the reality of school. Every day. Day in and day out.

But thankfully we were able to stick it out through the good and the bad. The tiring and the invigorating. The exciting and the boring.  Each of our three children graduated from our home school. Each of them received a full academic scholarship to Northeast Mississippi Community College. Each of them are responsible adults holding down good jobs.  Was it because I was a great teacher? No. I don't think so. Was it because they were all just smart and would have done well no matter where they went to school? No. I don't think so entirely.  The Lord did bless them with good minds for sure. But I think that God just blessed our longing to give them a Christian education. I give Him all the glory for any good that came from our home school.

It's been over fourteen years now since our last child graduated from high school.  I've grown accustomed to not having the school supplies in the house new ever fall.  But I hope I never grow accustomed to seeing and recognizing the blessings of God in my life.  Homeschooling was one of the biggest jobs I ever undertook. It was a commitment . At times I felt like it was just too big a job.  Not only one of the biggest but one of the hardest jobs I've ever done.  But no question that it was the most fulfilling job I ever started and finished! I will never regret the time and energy I spent teaching our three children how to read and write and think for themselves!  I consider it a privilege that God let us be able to do that.

"And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry:" 1 Timothy 1:12 

I, too, want to thank Christ Jesus my Lord , who enabled me and counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry of teaching our children...not only how to read and write and think but teaching them about Him.

May God bless you!