Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Grandma's Hands~

 I  look at my hands a lot. I am a hand person. I remember my Grandma's hand~it was beautiful. She only had one hand ~ she lost her right arm due to cancer when I was only five. She is walking on streets of gold this very morning. It was a beautiful hand  that could heal any sick being, it could work harder than any person I have ever known but it could love big!  My Mom's hands are long and slender. I remember when I was sick it always felt so cool on my forehead. She has slender pretty hands.  I remember what each of my babies hands looked like and how I would hold them and they would wrap their little hands around my fingers. And I will never forget the day I held my Boston's hands and I prayed that my little grandson would accept Jesus as his Saviour just as soon as he was old enough to understand and then little Olivia's hands so sweet and tiny. Hands say so much about our lives~enjoy this story about Grandma's hands. I truly believe there is nothing more beautiful than Grandma's hands! 

My Grandmother~
Grandma's HandAuthor Unknown 
Grandma, some ninety plus years, sat feebly on the patio bench. She didn't move, just sat with her head down staring at her hands.

When I sat down beside her she didn't acknowledge my presence and the longer I sat I wondered if she was OK.

Finally, not really wanting to disturb her but wanting to check on her at the same time, I asked her if she was OK. She raised her head and looked at me and smiled. "Yes, I'm fine, thank you for asking," she said in a clear voice strong.

"I didn't mean to disturb you, Grandma, but you were just sitting here staring at your hands and I wanted to make sure you were OK," I explained to her.

"Have you ever looked at your hands," she asked. "I mean really looked at your hands?"

I slowly opened my hands and stared down at them. I turned them over, palms up and then palms down. No, I guess I had never really looked at my hands as I tried to figure out the point she was making.

Grandma smiled and related this story:

"Stop and think for a moment about the hands you have, how they have served you well throughout your years. These hands, though wrinkled shriveled and weak have been the tools I have used all my life to reach out and grab and embrace life."

"They braced and caught my fall when as a toddler I crashed upon the floor."

"They put food in my mouth and clothes on my back. As a child, my mother taught me to fold them in prayer. They tied my shoes and pulled on my boots. They held my husband and wiped my tears when he went off to war."

"They have been dirty, scraped and raw , swollen and bent. They were uneasy and clumsy when I tried to hold my newborn son. Decorated with my 
wedding band they showed the world that I was married and loved someone special."

"They wrote my letters to him and trembled and shook when I buried my parents and spouse."

"They have held my children and grandchildren, consoled neighbors, and shook in fists of anger when I didn't understand."

"They have covered my face, combed my hair, and washed and cleansed the rest of my body. They have been sticky and wet, bent and broken, dried and raw. And to this day when not much of anything else of me works , these hands hold me up, lay me down, and again continue to fold in prayer."

"These hands are the mark of where I've been and the ruggedness of life. But more importantly, it will be these hands that God will reach out and take when he leads me home. And with my hands, He will lift me to His side and there I will use these hands to touch the face of Christ."

I will never look at my hands the same again. But I remember God reached out and took my Grandmas' hands and led her home.

When my hands are hurt or sore or when I stroke the face of my children and husband I think of Grandma. I know she has been stroked and caressed and held by the 
hands of God.

I, too, want to touch the face of God and feel His hands upon my face. 

Proverbs 31

 1The words of king Lemuel, the prophecy that his mother taught him.
 2What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? and what, the son of my vows?
 3Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.
 4It is not for kings, O Lemuel, it is not for kings to drink wine; nor for princes strong drink:
 5Lest they drink, and forget the law, and pervert the judgment of any of the afflicted.
 6Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.
 7Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
 8Open thy mouth for the dumb in the cause of all such as are appointed to destruction.
 9Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.
 10Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.
 11The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.
 12She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.
 13She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.
 14She is like the merchants' ships; she bringeth her food from afar.
 15She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.
 16She considereth a field, and buyeth it: with the fruit of her hands she planteth a vineyard.
 17She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.
 18She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.
 19She layeth her hands to the spindle, and her hands hold the distaff.
 20She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.
 21She is not afraid of the snow for her household: for all her household are clothed with scarlet.
 22She maketh herself coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple.
 23Her husband is known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land.
 24She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant.
 25Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.
 26She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.
 27She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.
 28Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.
 29Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.
 30Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.
 31Give her of the fruit of her hands; and let her own works praise her in the gates.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Most Moist Banana Bread~ Really!

8 overly ripe bananas
3 cups unbleached flour
2/3 cup melted butter
2 cups organic brown sugar
4 beaten eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
2 pinches of salt

(Makes two loaves)

  • Sift together flour, salt, soda and powder in a separate bowl
  • Mix brown sugar and melted butter until well blended. Add in a beaten egg and vanilla. 
  • Add mashed bananas and flour to the above mixture and mix until well blended.  *Don't over mix!*
  • Pour into two buttered bread pans. Bake at 35o degrees for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

'Tomorrow Will Be A Better Day"

Good Morning~
It is just a couple days from the official first day of Autumn. It is hot and humid here in Missouri and I am ready for cool~ crisp days. I am anxious to see our new little city turn the beautiful shades of fall. 

I have a new neighbor that has sure made my adjustment here in the capital city much sweeter. If you are  reading~ Joanne, you have been a blessing to me. 

Yesterday, Joanne had to put down her cat named Punkin.  I have buried a whole cemetery 
of pets and pets just find a way deep into our hearts~ don't they? When I sent back how sorry I was she lost her Punkin, she replied with, "Tomorrow will be a better day." 

What I have come to know about Joanne in this short time I have known her is she is the most positive Christian I think I have ever met. She always sees the brighter side of life. So this response is normal for her when she has a broken heart.

The truth is for the believer that no matter what we may face in this life ~Tomorrow will be a better day. Maybe here on earth or just maybe in our home on high. We have a future and a hope in our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. We can rest assure that God will take care of all our tomorrows and tomorrow will be a better day. I think that is reason enough to celebrate this day. 

Jeremiah 29:11-13King James Version (KJV)

11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.
13 And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

God Bless Us Everyone~ Holiday Book Review

What a fun book. I was so excited to sit down and dig into it.  It grabbed me at the first sentence. I was a little afraid it may be just the same Christmas story we have all heard over and over. That certainly was not the case. 

Charlie is the star character of the book who has had a hard road to walk after her parents both became incarcerated. She finds herself unemployed as a teacher and forced to return home to her grandmother's home that raised her. Upon her return, she is faced with many surprises and God has a few lessons of forgiveness for her to learn. 

This is one holiday book you won't want to miss. I rate this book 5 stars. I really enjoyed it.

This book was provided to me in exchange for my honest review.

Purchase a copy: http://bit.ly/2bUfaqD

About the author:

Eva Marie Everson is an award-winning speaker and author of The Road to TestamentThings Left UnspokenThis Fine LifeChasing SunsetsWaiting for SunriseSlow Moon Rising, and The Potluck Club series (with Linda Evans Shepherd). She is the president of Word Weavers International, Inc., a member of AWSA, ACFW, RWA, the director of Florida Christian Writer's Conference, and the contest director for Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer's Conference. She and her husband make their home in Casselberry, Florida.

Friday, September 16, 2016

God Is A God Of Second Chances

Albert Einstein wrote a letter to his son~ Eduard. His advice was ~ "Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving." The advice was wise and practical that the great physicist passed on to his boy.

Sort of reminds me of the Christian walk. When I gave my heart to Jesus it was forever. So ~ by faith, I keep moving ahead even when life is painful. We all have those little slivers in life that just keep us on our knees.

Sometimes in the Christian walk, we as Christians experience personal failure and lose our balance and fall. But GOD~ in His goodness is waiting to pick us up and get us moving again. The only true failure in the Christian walk is staying down and no longer moving ahead in the spiritual life.

God records a few blunders for us to realize that we to need a forgiving Saviour. Abraham lied to Pharaoh about Sarah. Jacob lied to his father to steal his brother's birthright. Moses didn't stick with God's plan by striking the rock. You know what? In spite of their blunders, this is what God had to say about them.

Hebrews 11:39

 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith,

Even though these people fell ~ they repented and turned back to God and kept moving forward in their spiritual walk. They served a God of second chances.

Guess what? He is a God of third and fourth chances too!

When To Harvest Bittersweet~

I search high and low for bittersweet each year at this time. After some research~ I found out that bittersweet was once planted by highways and railways to prevent erosion. They soon discovered that it grew out of control and reseeded itself everywhere so they stopped planting it~ bummer! I love bittersweet.

A couple of years ago I went to my local nursery and bought myself a plant. Bittersweet needs both a female and male plant to produce berries. It only takes one male plant for six to eight female plants. However ~they now have a plant that is both~which I bought. I was not so convinced but it did work.  Bittersweet must be planted by fences or trellises because they climb.

 Fall is a great time to plant bittersweet. If mulched and protected over the winter it will thrive and remain maintenance free for most of its long life.

Bittersweet is ready to be harvested when you see the orange capsules of the fruit split open to reveal fruit inside. Cut the stems the length desired and twine them up and hang them upside down in a warm~ dark place. As the berries dry they will split and crack open.  Once dried they will make a nice display that will last for many years.



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