Wrinkle Free

Mother had a clothes line where she hung clothes to dry. Many times I had to hang clothes up with wooden clothespins when I was a kid, one chore I didn’t really care for. Later on as a young teen, I remember sometimes going to the laundromat by Eddie’s grocery and washing several loads at once, drying in the big dryers, where the sheets especially came out fluffy and more wrinkle-free.

When I married, we had a brand new washer and dryer from Sears. No more hanging out clothes on the clothes line for me. If I added a little Downy, then I could get by without ironing. I was hooked.

When I had kids, I always made sure I bought permanent press that needed no ironing. If something was wrinkled I’d tell the kids to throw it in the dryer with a Bounce sheet and “fluff” it. The only time I ever ironed anything was when I was sewing, or when we were attending a special event. Weddings, funerals, high school graduations.

We have an invitation to a wedding. One of these days, whether by the Lord’s return or by death, those of us who have been born again will enter the Lord’s presence. We will be part of those who go to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb. “Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!” Rev. 19:9. NKJV.

Our garments need to be prepared for Christ’s return, cleansed by the blood of Jesus Christ the Lamb of God and the water of the word of God, but also prepared by our service and good works for Him.

“Just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.” Ephesians 5:25-27

When I see Jesus, I want to be presentable, with my best clothes on, garments that are spotless, fluffy, unwrinkled, pure and holy before the Lord.

Payday

How do you get paid? By the job? By the month? In tips? Once a week?

My first job was working after school at the Hotel Vinita Coffee Shop, which I began in the late summer of 1965 just before rodeo week. From then till June, 2003, when I started drawing a monthly check, I received a paycheck every two weeks at each job I held.

God has a payday system in place in the universe. Spring is the season of planting, summer is the time of growth, fall is the time of harvest, and winter is the time of rest and reflection.

God doesn’t always pay on Friday. He promises us that we will be rewarded but some rewards are given here and some in heaven. Don’t give up just because you don’t see any results. Each seed has a germination time, growth time, a flowering time, seed-setting time, then the harvest. Some corn and tomatoes ripen by 4th of July, but some not until August.

Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness.” 2 Corinthians 9:10

“Now” means at this very moment in time, not the past, not the future. What God is doing for us is in the “Now.” Time is always “Now” to the eternal God, but His ‘now’ and your ‘now’ may not be the same.

God is the source of the seed we plant and the food we eat. He gives us enough seed to plant and to make into bread to eat. God will multiply the seed you have sown, not the seed you have eaten.

And it all depends on your sowing. “Whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  Galatians 6:7, 9. 

Keep sowing, because harvest time is coming any day now.

 

The Truth

I started first grade at Riverside Grade School, only four rooms for four grades—1st through 4th. I have sweet memories of Riverside school. Only one block from my home, it was a red brick square building, with a nice playground. We played on teeter-totters, swings, slides, and the merry-go-round. We had our share of falls and spills off them all, but I don’t remember anyone being seriously hurt.

In the fall of third grade, we had a big production play which we combined with Hall Halsell grade school and performed it in the auditorium. We dressed as pilgrims or Indians, to put on our play. At our own school, we made our costumes. Mine was made out of brown paper grocery sacks. The sack had holes cut for the arms and head, and it was colored to look like an Indian dress with fringe cut at the hem. A paper headband with a paper feather finished the costume.

We made papoose carriers out of cardboard, with straps to put it on our back, and colored a paper sack which was stapled over the cardboard. I don’t remember the baby, but it must have been our own doll from home.

When time came to put on our play, I was proud to march around the auditorium, wearing my Indian costume and baby doll papoose on my back. We sang our songs about the pilgrims and Indians and Thanksgiving and recited our pieces as trained. We learned our stories of Christopher Columbus, the Mayflower, the Pilgrims, and the kind Indians who helped them live through the harsh winters of those first years in America.

Now all those stories and facts we learned are being disputed and contradicted. The stories we learned in Sunday School have been disputed and contradicted too, but the more they are contradicted, the more they are researched, the more they are proven true. Archaeology proves the Bible. DNA research proves the Bible.

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” Isaiah 40:8

Try as they may, the word of God can’t be proven false.

 

Grandmother’s Feather

Grandmother had a feather bed on top of her mattress. When I lay my body down at night, the feather bed enveloped me with sheer luxury, conforming to my every shape. Grandmother and I would lie there in peace, sweet peace, softly talking until I drifted off to sleep. I loved spending my time with Grandmother.

Granddad fixed peanut butter and syrup stirred together on a plate to put on his biscuits. I don’t remember much about what else we ate for breakfast, but there was always brown beans for dinner and supper, no matter what the main dish was.

Grandmother puttered around in her little kitchen, serving dinner (that is lunch to you) on her 1950s chrome dinette set. The windows all around were filled with potted plants growing up over the curtain rods and all across the windows. Outside those windows were roses and flowering bushes of every kind.

Behind the studio couch in the front room were her piano and guitar. If I was good, she let me play the guitar, sitting in the middle of the couch so I wouldn’t bang it on the wooden arms. And since I took piano lessons, she sometimes let me play the piano. Granddad stood looking over my shoulder, correcting my mistakes, since he had learned to read music by the shaped-notes method and sang bass in quartet fashion.

I loved spending the night with Grandmother and Granddad, always on a Friday night which was church night at their little country church next door. Grandmother was the preacher and played the piano or guitar and they sang together, including me in their songs, and having me sing my specials. They stood me before the church when I was 5, singing Mansion Over The Hilltop with Grandmother.

Most children lose the desire to spend the night with grandma by the time they become teens. I did. When I was a teenager, and got my first car and first job, Grandmother asked me often, “Why don’t  you come and see your poor old grandmother sometime?” and I always said, “I will, Grandmother, one of these days soon, I will.” But the only time I ever saw her was when she came down to Mom’s home to visit. Then I got married and moved away.

I have letters she wrote me when I lived out of town, and then when I moved back to Vinita, I saw her often, but never spent the night with her again. Never settled down into that feather bed beside her and held her hand as I drifted off to sleep again.

It is understandable as children grow up that they grow away from their parents and grandparents. However the memories that are made during those overnights at Grandma’s house will stay with them forever.

“I will both lie down in peace and sleep; for You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” Psalm 4:8 NKJV.

Till the day she died, Grandmother’s little bed was piled high with a feather bed.

The Calendars of My Life

 

THE CALENDARS OF MY LIFE

Just the sight of a new blank calendar with pretty landscape scenes thrills me, but by the end of the year, my calendar isn’t so pretty anymore. Crossed out and erased events, schedule changes, unexpected interruptions, last-minute changes, even tragedies have turned my calendar into a diary of my life.

When I went to work as a telephone operator in 1971, I learned the value of
carrying a pocket calendar to keep track of my schedule. The only practical
way to keep track of days off, holidays, and vacations was a calendar.

You can look back at my calendar of 1974, to see when my son was born, and
1975 when he cut each of his teeth. The 1976 calendar shows when I had an
appointment with a lawyer and filed for divorce. The 1979 calendar shows
dates with my high-school sweetheart and the 1980 calendar shows our
wedding. The 1981 calendar shows the birth of our daughter.

I have lived my whole life by the calendar. Even though I retired in 2003, I am still busy volunteering.  I thought I was finished with a calendar, but here I am, keeping a calendar of appointments again.

I made some important changes to my schedule in the late 70s that I have never regretted. I started going to church regularly. In those same calendars, you will see church camps, revivals, choir practice. I made sure that my two children were involved in every church activity. We scheduled our lives around the church’s schedule.

“Whereas you do not know what will happen tomorrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away. Instead you ought to say, ‘If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.'” James 4:14-15.

If you would like to learn about my life, read my calendars. My whole life is reflected there.

Do-It-Yourself

The first time I tried to butcher my own meat I found out the importance of the right equipment. We used a hatchet to detach the joints and a hacksaw to cut through the bones. I discovered that the knife I owned commonly known as a butcher knife wouldn’t cut soft butter.

Mom had a meat grinder. At least it was shaped like a meat grinder, had holes like a meat grinder, a handle that you turn like a meat grinder, but this meat grinder did not grind meat. It turned meat into mush.

When the afternoon was over, I had the smell of wild meat in my nose, the remains all over me, and I had only saved myself $35. Although the meat was edible, it would have been so much nicer if it had been in recognizable cuts of meat.

My husband and I agreed that the next year the carcass would go to the butcher where it would be cut and neatly packaged for a reasonable price. Our part was to deliver the carcass to the butcher, then pay for it when it was finished.

I come from a long line of do-it-yourselfers. I grew up believing that with the right information and the right tools I could do anything. We are that generation, no, that nation of people who believe we can do anything.

And working our way to heaven is one of the things we think we can do.

Ask the man on the street, “How do you get to heaven?”” He will probably answer, “ “By being a good person.”” Or “Obey the Ten Commandments.”” Or “Do good deeds.” But there are some things you just can’t do for yourself and gaining entrance into heaven is the main one.

“Unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3:3, 16 .There it is in Jesus’ words, what you have to do to get everlasting life and see the kingdom of God–simply believe in God’s Son Jesus.

You cannot do it yourself. Nothing you do or don’t do will get you into heaven.