Who’s Baptist Mama?

There isn’t much to say. I wear a lot of hats. I am a wife, a daughter, a mom and a grannie. I wear most of these hats a little lopsided. I am inadequate at all of the jobs they represent! …

Source: Who’s Baptist Mama?

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If I Could Put it in a Pill

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I am re-posting this just because I enjoyed writing it. Maybe you have read it before but this time you will read it with different eyes.

 

I admire my mom so much! She has bathed her kids and grandkids in a gentle shower of wisdom from the moment we were born. When I made a goal in my late 20’s to learn all the skills that my grandmother and great-grandmother had for health care, homemaking and survival, I didn’t quite realize how much of it my mother had already inserted into my heart and mind. You see, my mom is the world’s best teacher.

Moment by moment she taught me. How many times did she unwrap a bar of soap, bring to my attention the pleasant scent and then proceed to take my hand and walk down the lush paths of her memory? Perhaps she would share about my brother who was allergic to Ivory Soap, and then turn down the lane of soap making, including how to leach a passable lye from wood ashes and even how to prepare a stump or a chunk of wood to drip the lye water out. Here, memories were not just how-to facts, they were unhurried visits with the people who had gone on before us. I could see the crepe-like and calloused hands of my great grandmother scooping the soft gel soap from the gourd soap holder into the tub of hot water. I could see her swishing it counter clockwise to make suds and adding in the dishes, glasses first then the dirtier dishes after to be followed later by the cooking vessels. Did she shift about on arthritic legs? Was she gray already? Who were the children at this time? I could see those hands, smell the hot soapy water and hear the sound of a few fingers full of salt being scrubbed around in the cast iron skillet. This would remove anything stuck on before the skillet was rinsed and dried on the back of the wood fired cook stove. After it was thoroughly dry, a bit of lard would be whisked around with those same gnarled fingers. Perhaps a pot of chicory and coffee mixed would be set to cook on the last heat of the cook stove or a pan of water for washing hands and feet before bed. Then on the vine-sheltered porch of my mother’s memory I would settle into an imaginary straight chair leaned against the wall and listen to the after supper “visiting” until the house cooled enough for sleeping. All of this is tied to the scent of soap.

If only my mom could put it all in a pill! I would buy those pills if it took everything I own and I would give one to everyone I love as well as to every kindly stranger I met. I would give one to all the teachers in the schools and pastors behind the pulpits. I would offer this pill to the politicians and pray they would be wise enough to take one. There might

also be the occasional fool-with-potential whose coffee would get spiked unbeknownst to him.

The reality is that the pill doesn’t exist. All I can do is try to follow those old paths that my family has walked and try to connect them to the world that my children and grandchildren live in. Even when they seem too busy, too sophisticated, too prosperous or prideful, who knows what they will remember when they unwrap a bar of soap?

Me Offended? (repost)

I spent a lot of my youth being offended about something.  Much of my early married years I walked in a cloud of hurt feelings and resentment. Thanks to a faithful pastor who wasn’t afraid to speak the truth to me, I began to understand the underlying reason why I was so easily offended.

The present day church is plagued by many problems…as many problems as individual people can have. Of all the sin issues that tarnish and hurt the church today, I believe that being easily offended is one of the most dangerous.

Often people have changed churches frequently looking for a soft spot where there will be nothing hurtful or offensive. Sometimes people leave church altogether because someone hurt them with their words or their actions. Churches are split, pastors are discouraged, marriages are dulled, children are spiritually stunted because people like you and me are too easily offended.

It is clear in scripture that one of the purposes of the church and Christian fellowship is to sharpen the believer. Sometimes this sharpening is painful. Always, as in sharpening a physical knife, material has to be removed in order for the sharpening to occur. We all want to attain spiritual sharpness but few of us want to hold still while the sharpening stone does its work.

What I am trying to teach myself to remember is that the Lord sends abrasive situations ino my life. The brothers or sisters who just seem to be difficult and in need of change may be just the right grit to put the edge back on my life where I have allowed it to go dull. Whoever it is that I most want God to change is probably the person that the Lord has sent my way to sharpen me up.

Why is it that we are so easily offended by people and processes that God intends for our good? There is a simple scriptural reason. We do not love God’s law enough.

Psalm 119:165

165Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.

God has given us his law, not just the 10 commandments or the old testament, but the entire Word of God. If we love the boundaries the Lord has given us for our thoughts and behaviors as we should, we will be hard to offend when God uses another person in the church, in the pulpit, or in our family to bring correction or exhortation into our lives. People have left churches over carpet color, over what someone said about their child, because the pastor preached about something they were sensitive about or because their church had standards of behavior or dress that they were unwilling to submit to. What if these people loved God’s law enough to seek it out and find a scriptural solution to their hurt feelings or resistance to change? What if I love his Law enough? I hope to find out.

God bless you!

Lawana

 

New Mercies (Re-Post from http://lawana-counterculture.blogspot.com/)

Sunrise

LAMENTATIONS 3:19-23

19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Sometimes by bedtime, I feel that I have nothing left. I am sure I am not alone in this. We live in a world that seems to drain us of energy, creativity and strength.For many of us, being in life transitions, starting a new career, managing the schedules of several children, homeschooling, and working hard to provide nutritious, healthy foods for our family require that we stay at the summit of creativity. Sometimes it seems that I need to spin gold from flax. I am sure many of you are in that same situation. However, there is no magic spinning wheel. We can spin diligently and we will only have flax when we are done.

For all our diligence and good intentions, there will always be things that are undone at the end of the day. There will be things that can’t ever be finished and things that are broken that can’t be fixed. If we allow it, our pillows can cradle a mind filled with despair and defeat. At best, some of us will go to bed just not having a plan sufficient to accomplish what needs to be done and wondering how we will approach the new challenges of tomorrow.

That is where God’s mercy comes in. If we are in right standing with our Heavenly Father, we have been bathed in his grace and mercy all day. Through all our challenges a stream of beneficial love bouys us along. It is sufficient and it is specific. We can trust in this love to get us where we need to be and to keep our heads above water. I believe it is when we try to do things in our own strength, paddling with all our might or abandoning ship to take our own direction, that we become fatigued and defeated, at risk of being consumed by life’s difficulties.

I praise God this morning, as the sun rises in the East, there also rises a new tide of mercies and compassion for me. My Father loves me! What a thought. While I was sleeping, He was spinning. He is able to spin the flax of my good intentions to make golden thread. He also can weave from this thread a beautiful fabric. From the plain material that is my dreams, aspirations, and abilities, He makes a thing of comfort and beauty. While I sleep, he wraps me in a garment of new mercies and unfailing compassion. He has spun gold from my flax.

God bless you!
Lawana

New Mercies (Re-Post from http://lawana-counterculture.blogspot.com/)

Sunrise

LAMENTATIONS 3:19-23

19 Remembering mine affliction and my misery, the wormwood and the gall.

20 My soul hath them still in remembrance, and is humbled in me.

21 This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.

22 It is of the LORD’S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

Sometimes by bedtime, I feel that I have nothing left. I am sure I am not alone in this. We live in a world that seems to drain us of energy, creativity and strength.For many of us, being in life transitions, starting a new career, managing the schedules of several children, homeschooling, and working hard to provide nutritious, healthy foods for our family require that we stay at the summit of creativity. Sometimes it seems that I need to spin gold from flax. I am sure many of you are in that same situation. However, there is no magic spinning wheel. We can spin diligently and we will only have flax when we are done.

For all our diligence and good intentions, there will always be things that are undone at the end of the day. There will be things that can’t ever be finished and things that are broken that can’t be fixed. If we allow it, our pillows can cradle a mind filled with despair and defeat. At best, some of us will go to bed just not having a plan sufficient to accomplish what needs to be done and wondering how we will approach the new challenges of tomorrow.

That is where God’s mercy comes in. If we are in right standing with our Heavenly Father, we have been bathed in his grace and mercy all day. Through all our challenges a stream of beneficial love bouys us along. It is sufficient and it is specific. We can trust in this love to get us where we need to be and to keep our heads above water. I believe it is when we try to do things in our own strength, paddling with all our might or abandoning ship to take our own direction, that we become fatigued and defeated, at risk of being consumed by life’s difficulties.

I praise God this morning, as the sun rises in the East, there also rises a new tide of mercies and compassion for me. My Father loves me! What a thought. While I was sleeping, He was spinning. He is able to spin the flax of my good intentions to make golden thread. He also can weave from this thread a beautiful fabric. From the plain material that is my dreams, aspirations, and abilities, He makes a thing of comfort and beauty. While I sleep, he wraps me in a garment of new mercies and unfailing compassion. He has spun gold from my flax.

God bless you!
Lawana

You Might Be Over The Hill IF…

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Originally posted here. http://lawana-counterculture.blogspot.com/2012/02/you-might-be-over-hill-if.html

I am 53 years old. Not too long ago I said something about being middle aged. One of my sons said, “Mom how many people do you know who are over 100!” Point taken. I was pondering today and some of the more humorous parts of being on my side of middle age came to mind.

1.You might be over the hill if you have more prescriptions than you have teeth.
2.If all your cosmetics have either wintergreen oil or eucalyptus in them.
3.If you are starting to read those catalogs, you know the ones with the support hose and comfortable shoes.
4.You might be over the hill if you think often of what to do when you can no longer clip your own toenails.
5.You might be over the hill if you wash your hair with a bathcloth.
6.If you could floss with a rope.
7.If you know more about hi fi than wi fi.
8.You might be over the hill if you ever wore and liked Hai Karate or loved someone who did!
9.You might be over the hill if you ever actually did the Loco-motion.
10.If you wore platform shoes and peasant blouses the first time around.
11.If you can’t put on your makeup or shave without your glasses.
12.You might be over the hill if you still miss Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom.
13.You might be over the hill if you remember cars without power steering.
14.If you remember “Gee Your Hair Smells Terrific” and “Lemon Up”
15.You might be over the hill if you owned a bike with a banana seat.
16.If you remember when pop cans had to be opened with an opener and when lift tabs were new, they came completely off the can and you made chains out of them!
17.If wax lips and candy cigarettes were a big part of your childhood.
18.If you know what incredible edibles and gobbledygook are.
19.You might be over the hill if you remember when Klackers were still on strings and likely to shatter and cause injury.
20.You couldn’t wait for the hit parade and the new 45s to come out every week at the record store.
I am there. I am old. I am actually a young person trapped in an old person’s body! I hope you can enjoy a stroll down your own memory lane,

A Curse With a Silver Lining

Muscadine Alabama as it looks today.
Muscadine Alabama as it looks today.

My God is so good! I have been counting my blessings or actually pondering them by category as they are too numerous to count! I have been thinking about herbs and natural remedies. I am what some would call a grannie herbalist. I received some of my herbal knowledge by oral tradition, mostly by listening when the women of my mother’s generation talked about how their grandmothers (women born in the 1860s and 70s) handled herbs and healing. My mother grew up in the mountains of Northeast Alabama in a community called Muscadine. When I was a preteen and at the age where I was (thankfully) required to help with pea shelling, cutting corn off the ear and other minor chores done by my mom and a neighbor or two, I did a lot of listening. In the process I got quite the education about many things. This is when my love for old ways began and when my herbal education started.

As I grew up, married and had a family, my need and desire for herbal remedies grew. I was blessed to have access to books about herbs and later, information and herbal classes on the internet. I wildcrafted and used the herbs that grew near me as we moved around from the South, to Alaska and later to Montana. Over the years the Lord used many people to teach me how to use herbs for medicine, for nutrition and to make herbal salves and other topicals. Wildcrafting herbs and gathering wild foods has been a big part of my life for decades.

As I pondered these things, I was reminded that most of the herbs I use on a daily basis are considered weeds. I have always been more of a forager than a gardener, considering flowering weeds to be “free flowers” I even let weeds like purselane grow in my gardens if they can be added to the salad or the stir fry. Many of the most beneficial herbs are found in waste places, urban interfaces and wilderness. Many are transplants from other continents and may be considered invasive or noxious by other people. To me, they are free medicine, free supplements and fascinating fodder for my mad scientist mind. All this from weeds.

I don’t know if there were weeds in the garden of Eden but part of the consequence to Adam for his sin, was the cursing of the ground. Thorns and thistles were mentioned specifically as part of this curse. I think it is safe to guess that other weeds and opportunistic plants might also be part of that curse. I think it is possible that many of the plants I use are associated with the curse. Even if we only speculated on thorns and thistles, most of them have medicinal value. It is amazing to me that the very plants that God cursed mankind with have a silver lining! Our God is so merciful that even this curse came with hidden blessing.

God bless you!