Monday, November 17, 2008

Grandma's Recipes

For the past few weeks we have been working on getting my grandmother moved from her manufactured home and into an independent living facility. With the move comes a lot of sorting and clearing out of things, selling things and throwing away. We're in the home stretch, and just the other day I set aside my grandmother's recipe boxes. I knew that I would want to look through them and that my mother would as well.

Today, I was tired of standing, so I sat down to glance at the contents of a few of the boxes. What a treasure trove I found! All sorts of pies, and desserts, sauces and salads, from years and years of domestic service were at my fingertips.

I couldn't help but wonder which recipes were made for guests, and what ones were my mom's favorites growing up. I saw a couple different pumpkin pie recipes: which one was the family favorite? There were recipes from a couple different women: who were they? neighbors? friends from church?

I remembered how my grandmother shared with me that as young as 13 years old she would feed the men that threshed the wheat on her family's farm. She used to make breakfast, lunch and dinner for my grandfather and had his shirts starched and ready each day.

My uncle and mom were raised on some of the recipes in those boxes. There were recipes clipped from the newspaper like "President Eisenhower's Favorite Cake," and others cut from old boxes of C&H Sugar.

I could get a sense of what she liked a lot- or at least what my grandfather liked that she would bake for him. Recipes that called for dates, figs, and citrus were prominent.

I didn't write any down for myself. It was just a quick look-through, but I look forward to writing some of them down and sharing them with my own family. Maybe I'll even surprise my grandma with a treat!

That was my little blessing for the day. It made me wonder what would be the recipes from my box that my children would remember and love. What will I pass down? I'm reminded of the sweet opportunity it is to create memories through the taste buds and at our family table!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Running on Empty

The past two days I have been exhausted. When it hits about seven in the evening, I'm done. My eyes are heavy. My limbs give up, and I have yet to get children in bed.

We're sorting through everything in my grandmother's home. There is so much to do to get her ready to move into independent living, and most of the responsibility has fallen on me to do that. And when she's moved, it doesn't end with that because then the house has to be ready for us to move in.

It's a giant task. And I feel quite spent. I'm running on empty in my flesh.

What I need is to make sure that I'm being filled with streams of living water. That only comes from Christ through His Word. Only by everyday grace promised to me each morning can I continue in the weeks to come.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A Sympathetic Wife

Not too long ago I began praying that I would be a sympathetic wife. My husband has yet to find employment, and in many ways the outlook is no better than when we started. We came out of a ministry in which he was insulted, belittled, and criticized. He saw little fruit, and the doubts cast on him by others still haunt him in some ways. It has been a trying time for him. God is graciously working on him, molding him, maturing him into a better servant, pastor, husband and father. I am grateful for our Maker's work in the life of my husband.

But such refinement doesn't come without cost. There are times when I feel inadequate to uphold my husband, like those who held up Moses' arms as the people of God fought in battle. When his arms lowered, they would begin losing. I feel the pressure at times to hold my husband up, to be his helper as God has called me to be.

Part of holding him up is to be understanding- sympathetic. So, of course, I need the Lord's help. It is only He who can make my heart sensitive and soft enough to feel with my husband as he bears the weight of our family of four.

Yesterday, he got an envelope that contained a recent assignment from school. He poured over commentaries and Scripture of over a week putting together thirteen lessons on Job. In the midst of all this studying, of course, the trials came. His resignation was asked for, and in a whirlwind of events, we find ourselves in a new state with no income, and less severance than promised. But as he looked at the assignment, he saw his grade- 99%.

Good. An A.

Then, the comments. "Excellent!" "Amen!" "Yes."

And, "This is excellent, excellent work. You should submit this for publication," followed by the name of a personal contact of the professor in a small publishing house.

When my husband told me this, I exclaimed, "WOW!" I was truly excited. I was proud. I was so happy that he had a small victory. I knew what that meant to him at the time. It doesn't have to be published, nor doesn't even have to be submitted. The compliment was so much.

I was sympathetic. I was with him as I need to be always. God answered prayer in many ways in that moment through the comments of a professor from the Master's College. My sweet husband was encouraged. His wife was able to rejoice sincerely with him. And my guess is that it was exactly what he needed.

Friday, November 7, 2008


We've almost lived in Oregon for a week, and I can mark that a week ago today we were getting all the loose ends of our home in Colorado packed away for the journey here. A big yellow Penske truck was sitting in our driveway almost full, and I was starting the process of clearing everything out but mattresses and some suitcases.

This week, today, the house is closed and new occupants are moving in. There's a check in the mail that will provide for us while my husband still diligently searches for work in one of the worst economic times in recent history.

I am in the process of helping my grandmother reduce her possessions so that she can move into independent living. When she moves out, we will live in her home.

It's a lot.

I find that at times, the grace given to me is just enough to lean. I find that I simply lean on His everlasting arms. I've been thinking of the hymn.

Since 2004 I have continued to grow a greater and greater love for old hymns. They are full of truth and doctrine. When we sing them, we will often find ourselves preaching to ourselves. So today I'm leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms... safe and secure from all alarms.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.

O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Praying for America

This is my prayer for the people of the United States today:

Father, I know that you are the Author of Time and that you are in control of all things. Lord, may today's election results bring you glory. May the course of America as a nation bring you glory.

We have sinned, God. The citizens of this nation have been greedy, increasing debt, not giving to the needy, and squandering your riches of freedom. Forgive us Father. We have turned away from your holy face and not accepted your grace. We do no uphold life. We do not uphold the joys and freedoms that you have blessed us with. Be gracious to us, dear God and forgive us. Have mercy on us.

May your will be done today as people vote. No matter what the outcome, I will praise you, for you have already written history. You work all things for the good of those you have called. All things are in Your righteous hands, and in that I will rejoice today.