In my mother’s last days she was called upon to endure a new kind of suffering. Through a series of strokes, her final six years of life confined her, first of all, to her home, then to a nursing home. She was weak and helpless in body, but her mind was clear and she held onto that blessed hope she had clung to throughout her life. Becoming more and more available to God for whatever He set out for her to do during those six long years, she drew ever closer to Him, and carried on perhaps the most important work of her life–Prayer. She prayed for her children and grandchildren, for her church, her friends and for missionary efforts around the world. My siblings and I were always encouraged, through a visit with her, to keep keeping on and not to worry about her. Many others who visited her have told me they always left her room with a feeling of being blessed to have been with her.
Under His Wings I am safely abiding,
Though the night deepen and tempests are wild.
Still I can trust Him, I know he will keep me.
He has Redeemed me and I am His child.
Under His Wings, Under His Wings:
Who from His love can sever?
Under His Wings my soul shall abide;
Safely abide forever.
Wm. O. Cushing
Ira. D. Sankey
Such sweet memories of my mother and my sister, Norma, singing this together as my mother played the piano. The comfort of such hymns meant much to me during our stormy childhood.
An entry from Strains of Glory, A Maine Country Scrapbook – The story of my childhood
I want to share these wonderful thoughts from missionary, Karl Sapp in North Pole, Alaska:
If you want to count your blessings, start with God’s promises!
God’s Presence: “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Heb.13:5
God’s protection: “I am thy shield and thy exceeding great reward.”. Gen. 15:1
God’s power: “I will strengthen thee.” Is.41:10
God’s provision: “I will help thee” Is 41:10
God’s leading: “And when He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and His sheep follow Him: for they know His voice.” John 10:4
God”s purpose: “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you and expected end.” Jer.29:11
God’s rest: Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest.: Matt.11:18
Gods’ cleansing: If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9
God’s goodness: “For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will He withhold from them that walk uprightly.” Psalm 84:11
God’s faithfulness: For the Lord will not forsake His people for is great name’s sake.” I Samuel 12:22
This is only 10 – there are thousands more!
Have a wonderful, Praise-filled Thanksgiving!
I rest in solitude on mountain height
the burden of my soul has taken flight
the longed-for distant home within my sight
I know I shall escape the coming night
the sweat of childhood pain has left at last
the river’s cool relief forever past
the earthly joys that God has given me
‘midst Midcoast’s valleys, hills, and rolling sea,
the growing fields of mem’ry hasten me
to deeper joys upon that distant lea.
Source: WINTER STORE
Every winter, when Daddy was around, he would prepare for us in the fall by filling a huge ceramic crock in the basement with alternate layers of shredded cabbage and salt. Mmmmm – it smelled so good as it began to seethe and froth, running up and over the edges so that every once in awhile he would have to place a big rock on top of the cover to hold it down. I loved raw Sauer Kraut, and though now I thoroughly enjoy a plate of Sauer Kraut and Hot Dogs, it definitely was not one of my favorite meals back then.
Another “idea” he had heard about was to preserve eggs in silica gel. We had “fresh” eggs all that winter.
Some winters – Daddy kept layers of raw carrots in sandy mounds on the cellar floor. Pretty handy for a good snack, also. Potatoes, various types of winter squash, pumpkins and turnips were also stored in heaps in the cellar.
In a smaller crock Mama preserved Sour Pickles in a vinegar brine. Yummy! Grab one of those after school, if you can brave the cold cellar to get one.
Put these all together with the many makeshift wooden shelves of her canned Mackeral, Dandelion Greens (dug and cleaned by Guess Who – we kids – no matter what age – never escaped the dreary labor of digging, raking , picking, picking over, shucking, snapping, ), Blueberries, Jams and Jellies, peaches, pears, home made clover honey, green beans, stewed tomatoes,
A bright spot in our lives during one of the times my father had gone away, was a person by the name of Eleanor Fuller. Miss Fuller taught school at Appleton High. Somehow, through their associations, Eleanor and my mother became very good friends. Eleanor would come to visit us occasionally, and sometimes take my mother places. She was jovial and fun to be around. She was short and a bit stocky, with dark curly hair, and had an infectious laugh. She loved to ask us riddles and play jokes on us. My sister, Annie, was not her fan because she made her “toe the mark” in preparation for basketball games, as she was also the coach of the girl’s team. But Annie was happy when they went on to become an undefeated team that year. Personally, I fairly worshipped her as she rescued me from failing my eighth grade finals in math that year. I had lost a lot of time from school because of bellyaches and she kindly and cheerfully helped me to get through the last half of my arithmetic book.