Blog

Source of Hunger and Satisfaction

Are you hungry? Do you yearn to be satisfied?  Rainbow Garden.JT

There is one source for both conditions. When reading Deuteronomy, 8th chapter, I saw something I’d not noticed before. You know how that is. The Bible is the living word, ever new and fresh.

Moses recounted the Israelites’ journey. God “humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna” (8:3, NIV). God put that hunger in His people and then He fed them. Immediately I thought of the beatitude: “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matt. 5:6). That hunger for righteousness comes from God, and He also supplies what’s needed to fill us. The source is the same for that hungry feeling and the satisfaction we receive when God fills us with His righteousness.

However, Moses also gave a warning. “When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God” (Deut. 8:10-11) – that we assume our own efforts produced the benefits. Perhaps it would be appropriate to say the table blessing after the meal, when we are satisfied, to recognize the source of that satisfying full feeling. Just a thought. But I want to try it out.

Laundry Day

Friday is laundry day for me, and it’s my favorite of house chores. I remember the excitement on the day my mother’s new Bendix washer arrived, replacing the old ringer-type. This front-loader had a “window” (like my Frigidaire today). After the installation my sister and I placed a low stool in front of the washer and watched the various cycles – wash soap sloshing, rinse water filling up the tub, then spinning dry enough to hang on the clotheslines. It was like a special TV show for us girls.

As a teenager I helped with the laundry, including hanging out the clothes, bringing them in, folding linens, and replacing them in the closet (freshly-laundered ones on the bottom of the stack). When I was engaged to Bill, Mother gave me a lesson in the “right way” to hang clothes on the line. Clip Art.JD

For linens that meant attaching pins to each end of a towel, sheet, or pillowcase and connecting the same pin to the next item. Shirts and slacks hung from the hem; skirts and panties from the waist; socks from the cuff. We hung each separate item in groups – all towels side by side and so forth. This made for better organizing when bringing in the laundry to fold. Some I folded at the line, but most I handled on a bed.

We used oval wicker baskets to carry the laundry to and from the house. We sorted the laundry into the washer – a load of whites first, then light colors, and dark clothes last. All our sheets and towels were white so bleach could be used. We organized all linens in the closet according to use, folding towels and washcloths the way we wanted them hung from the racks. We changed bed sheets every Saturday and each sibling took care of stripping and then re-making his or her own bed. Mother’s storage system meant three of each item. One was being used, one being washed, and one stored away.

Those lessons learned as a teen have stayed with me throughout my own homemaking. At first I did use a clothesline and even had church deacons erect one for me when there was none. I especially liked to hang out sheets. Now it’s a dryer positioned next to the washer, and I don’t miss the clothesline chore. But the rest of Mother’s advice has stuck, assuming that I know the ‟right way” to sort and fold linens. I’ve been so attached to that theory that I often re-folded towels when someone helped me. Not good, so I’ve learned to accept the help and wait until my next turn to fold.

Ironing was not part of our laundry days growing up. Mother hired a lady to come once a week and her only task was to iron. Mother said, ‟If I had to earn my living by ironing, I would die trying.” That’s to say she hated ironing. So when I got married to a pastor who needed shirts ironed for Sunday, he taught me how to iron. In those early days before perma-press fabrics, we starched most all our clothes and cotton pillowcases. I recall using Argo or Faultless brands of laundry starch. Before ironing, I’d sprinkle water on the items and roll them up. If I sprinkled more clothes than I got to, I’d freeze those items. Yes, that’s what I did, for it prevented having mildew collect on them before I was ready to iron again. I learned that the hard way.

It’s rare now that I wash clothes and iron on the same day.  Yes, I still iron some items. This chore is preferably done in the evening, watching a music video or movie.

Never Alone

In the car yesterday I listened to a CD, The Best of the Tenors, with Carreras, Domingo, and Pavarotti. Among the selections sung in English I heard “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” I don’t know which tenor started off the song, but another joined in to make it a duet when the lyrics got to the title: “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and they repeat the chorus. Stirring performance.

But what made me enjoy the song most was remembering that Bill introduced this song to me when we attended Carrollton Methodist Church in New Orleans, LA. I was a young teen but he thought I would appreciate the song.

“When you walk through the storm, hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark.

At the end of the storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of the lark.

Walk on through the wind. Walk on through the rain though your dreams are tossed and blown.

Walk on, walk on with hope in your heart and you’ll never walk alone.

You’ll never walk alone.”

Dark Clouds.b&w.EKokoska  These words have new and current meaning for me: “though your dreams be tossed and blown,” for now that’s happening because of aging, physical ailments, and Bill’s dementia. I am confident, though, that we walk together and God walks with us. We have hope that at the end of life’s storm we will see that golden sky together in the East.

I wonder at times if I’m trying to recapture the past with my writing, but I persist and know that God holds our future. He is my hope and stay.

This morning I listened to Susan Boyle sing these lyrics. Such a sweet voice. I recommend the Your Tube for your enjoyment and reflection. Then in the car together with Bill, I played the CD again and told him of my thoughts from yesterday. No comment, only a squeeze of our hands.

Oatmeal for Breakfast

First day of school & it’s not even August. Anyway, it reminds me of this story:

It's Monday  Sometimes a lesson taught is not easily swallowed. Getting ready for school one day my sister and I waited for breakfast and Mother dished up hot oatmeal. My sister ate hers and I played with mine, swimming in milk. Mother could see that we would be late for school if I dabbled too long at the table, so she dismissed us to brush our teeth and head out the door. But before leaving she told me that the oatmeal would be waiting for me after school.

While at school I gave it no further thought. Arriving home I found that Mother was serious. The oatmeal on the table was now cold. Mother told me to eat it all, which I did. Because of that experience, oatmeal was not my choice of breakfast fare. That is, until one morning when I again faced oatmeal and I had no choice but to eat it.

During high school I had some special babysitting customers. One family always booked me for New Year’s Eve and I would spend the night. That particular New Year’s morning the mother prepared oatmeal for her children and called us all to the table. Not wanting to either refuse breakfast or be a bad example, I ate oatmeal with the children. Surprisingly I liked it, but all doctored up as was offered – butter, brown sugar, and a little bit of milk. Today oatmeal is a favorite dish, especially on cold mornings. The lesson – to eat what’s put in front of me – stuck not only in my mind but in my stomach. I could finally say, “Yum.”

Random Thoughts

+ I did not grow up in a family that teased, but I married into one and our children caught onto the habit. It can be fun most of the time but it can also backfire. Depends on the person and setting. Someone can get hurt by being teased, and it’s usually the one who’s taking life too seriously. Why is it necessary to say, ‟I’m just teasing”? It should be obvious and not demeaning. Just saying. Perhaps you see me or yourself in this thought.

+ My friend Beth calls me her mentor. We met at a writers group here and now we are registered to attend Taylor University’s Writers Conference next month. Mentoring Beth is basically connected with our writing. For example, recently I sent her a template to help prepare a pitch to an agent at the conference. However, the template was sent to me by an author-friend. Mentoring was practiced and promoted in the Bible: Joshua had his Moses; Elisha had his Elijah; Ruth had her Naomi; and Timothy had his Paul. What I receive by mentoring Beth is her respect and friendship, a valuable connection.

+ Throughout the Pentateuch we find offerings made to ‟please the Lord,” and it reminds me of other cultures and their practice of placing food and drink offerings before their stone idols. Perhaps the original status of offerings has been paganized. What I’m most grateful for is that these ‟lasting ordinances” instituted by God for His people the Israelites is no longer functional. That’s because God has given us the once-for-all sacrifice of His Son Christ Jesus. ‟It is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins” (Hebrews 10:4). ‟So Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many” (9:28). Praise Jesus! I am included. You are too.

These random thoughts are my attempt to post a blog today.

100_1950

See the spores on the back of this leaf? This means there will be a new generation coming. It’s a lesson that stuck with me from Biology 101 at Asbury College.

Look What I Found

Looking through some stuff, I found this letter written by three of our grandchildren. Enjoy this excerpt, dated April 1999:

Granny, Hi. How are you doing? Dad told me that he was going to see you at the airport so I decided to write you a letter. School is going great, and I am enjoying all my classes. Algebra II is my favorite, and I have an A in the class. Piano is awesome, and I’m having the opportunity to play things I wanted to when I was a kid [she was 15 ½ when she wrote this]. I just finished “Fur Elise,” and am now working on “Moonlight Sonata.” In English we’re doing the Tragedy of Julius Caesar and I wish I could understand it more.

Congratulations! I heard about the filly being born. I’m so excited, a chestnut with one of the hind legs having a white sock. Aaah! I was so happy when Grandpa called and told us. Well, it’s time for me to go get Anna up because I don’t think Nathan is doing a very good job. I’ll talk to ya later. Hope you have a great flight home. Love always, Sarah

Dear Grandma, How are you doing? Soccer season has already started, and it’s going pretty good. This Saturday I am going to be going to Kentucky for Conclave (Boy Scouts). I heard about the horse and I think she’s cute. Let me know when you name the horse. Your loving grandson, Nathan [14 years old]

Granny, Hi! Soccer is going good. I had to play goalie because our 2 goalies didn’t show up. We lost the game, bad! I had fun doing it. I’m pretty sore right now from diving for the ball and running after it. Ouch! We only had 8 people show up for the game when it should’ve been 13. We lost 10–0! I let 8 go passed me and caught 10 of them. Joanne let 2 go by in 2 minutes so I was put back there to kill myself and to have fun.

I’m trying to work on another story but don’t really know what to write about. Just thinking. Well, have a good flight home. Tell Grandpa I said “Hi!” Miss you. Hope the horse is cute. Tell me the name of the horse when you name it. Love always & forever, Anna [12 years old]

Anna, Nathan, Sarah   

Anna, Nathan, and Sarah – much later date

By the way, the horse was a gift from Stan Froderman, but she stayed in Brazil. Trish named her Kindred Spirit because of the connection that another granddaughter, Chrissa, had with the horse. She got the nickname Kenny.

Saved Mind Items

How the brain works is amazing and quite a mystery to me. Web.brokenI wonder why my mind holds such needless and meaningless conversations and events. Why do I recall what my mother said about seemingly senseless phrases or advice? Such as: my mother explained how to unwrap a piece of hard candy, peel a banana the correct way, and which way the toilet paper should be mounted (back to front, over the top). I recall these bits of wisdom at the oddest time—while brushing my teeth, putting on makeup, making up the bed, tasks that take little or no concentration.

These phrases are stored in my mind and return to question me while I’m doing something unrelated. I may be engaged in a conversation with a family member and something triggers a memory that I feel must be interjected into the flow of what’s being said. What starts this is beyond me, and I wonder if others have this exchange between the mind and mindless tasks.

I may be looking at a design on a shower curtain and wonder how someone came up with that. Then as the design may vary and can either be a mirror image or repeats, I look for differences. It’s mind-boggling, for I could be using my mind in more productive ways. Perhaps I’m a loner in this process, but I doubt it. Our minds are active and often go on tangents. So I continue to ponder this and I’m actually grateful for whatever fills my mind, as long as it’s not hurtful or hateful. I give thanks for the good brain that God put inside me and you. Praise Jesus!