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?

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

If I Could Put it in a Pill

scan0001

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?

Growing Pains

I don’t have a photo for this post because I can’t keep up! A couple of days ago, I had some little children. I had one a little older and 3 within 3 years (yes, 2 were adopted) and then a 6 year gap before the really little ones. Tonight though I am sitting in my living room with no children! My youngest is at home and in bed. The oldest has been married for over a year, my 18 year old has just moved into his own apartment and invited my 10 year old over for the night and my 17 and 16 year olds have gone to a youth banquet.

A friend of mine sent us a large take and bake pizza. I cooked it and nothing else for dinner tonight. We had leftovers! This is not right. I feel that we are becoming a midsized family. I can’t remember when I last used the commercial sized cook wear. It is really exciting to see these young people reaching their goals and stretching toward their dreams…but it is really strange.

I remember when we had growing pains in the beginning. Suddenly one box of noodles wasn’t enough. Soon, no matter what I cooked it seemed to never be enough. There were never any clean towels, or clean spoons or vacant bathrooms. The storage spaces in our home overflowed to occupy every horizontal surface.  There was no room for one more book in the book shelves and we had a mountain of shoes beside the door at all times.

Suddenly, with the second son leaving the nest…and taking his stuff…and taking some of our stuff, this old house is feeling a little empty. We actually have about 6 inches of empty space on a book shelf and this son hasn’t even taken the vhs tapes of when he was in the orphanage or his photo albums. He did take 7 towels and suddenly we have room for most of our towels. He took 2 pots and some cooking utensils. Now we have almost enough room for our pots in the cupboard and the crocks that we stick the utensils in are not longer at risk of cracking from being overstuffed. 

 I have images in my head of what this house will look like when the children have all gone to their big lives. We will have only one refrigerator. The book shelves will have been looted of everyone’s favorite books and we will have to resort to buying decorative thingymabobs to fill space where the books used to be. We will have 4 towels. We will have only tiny pots and pans with one or two big ones in the basement for Thanksgiving and Christmas. We will have one bathroom that never gets used. We will have a home office, a craft room and a guest room.  We will get to go to bed whenever we want. We will be able to complete our sentences without interruption. We will eat convenience foods and buy name brand ice cream. We will  be best friends and deeply in love …and we will miss out kids! Hey kids! Wait uuuuuup!

God bless you!

Lawana