Home is Where the Heart is

I have lived in Vinita, Oklahoma, all my life. I went off to college in Tulsa for one year but came home frequently on the weekends. Then I worked a year, commuting to junior college in Miami, Oklahoma, before marrying and moving to Okmulgee Tech school 100 miles away from home for two years.

Faithfully every two weeks, as much as finances would allow, we drove home to Vinita. After graduation, we both had jobs in Okmulgee so we stayed, but I returned home to give birth. I wouldn’t allow anyone but Donald Olson M.D. in Vinita to deliver my baby.

My body dwelt in Okmulgee temporarily for seven years. I even owned an almost-new mobile home there. I worked, shopped, had many friends there, but I really never lived in Okmulgee. After I was divorced, I moved back to Vinita, following the truck pulling my mobile home, containing all my worldly possessions.

 “Home is where the heart is.” Well, my heart was never in Okmulgee.

Many years ago my heart moved to heaven. I became a citizen of the Eternal City of God.  I took a citizenship test, signed my citizenship papers, was baptized into citizenship in the heavenly Family of God. I now belong to the great host of people who confess that we are strangers and pilgrims on the earth and we are seeking a homeland, the City of God whose Builder and Maker is God.

Revelation 21:10, 23-24  nkjv, “ And he [the angel] carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God. The city had no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God illuminated it. The Lamb is its light. And the nations of those who are saved shall walk in its light.”

“For our citizenship is in heaven,” Paul said, in Philippians 3:20.

 Heaven is my permanent home but until I’m gone I’m perfectly satisfied to live my life here in Vinita, Oklahoma.

Cooking Pancakes

My mama had a lady friend who came to town about once a year and spent a few days with us. We kids had to carefully obey Mama when she was there because she expected strict obedience. She expected us to call her “ma’am.” We girls were given the privilege of combing her long silver hair. We sat at her feet and she quizzed us about Sunday School stories and Bible verses.

The one bright point in her visit was when she made pancakes. Her pancakes were pretty, never doughy inside, and she taught us how to cook them.

 We used an iron skillet, which must be hot enough, so she dripped water in the pan to test it. If it sizzled, she poured in her batter. She watched the bubbles on the pancake and when they popped, turned it over.

Here is the secret: don’t flip it again. Leave it alone, until it is done. If you bother it, you might as well throw the pancake in the trash, because you will have a flat, squashed piece of bread instead of a light, fluffy delicacy.

Jesus cooked. He fixed breakfast for His disciples on the shore of Galilee. Peter, James, John, and some of the other disciples went fishing after Jesus was raised from the dead. They fished all night but caught nothing. When morning came they saw Jesus on the shore.

Jesus had a fire going, with fish and pancakes cooking. “Come and eat breakfast.” I don’t know if Jesus gave cooking lessons, but being with Jesus was rubbing off on them. His disciples lived with Him for 3 1/2 years and then were filled with His Spirit.    

In Acts 4:13 the rulers of the Sanhedrin arrested Peter and John, but recognizing they were “uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus.”

They looked and smelled like fishermen. They talked like common fishermen. Their mannerism betrayed their hometown. However what came out of their mouth was inspired by the Spirit of God.

Our life experiences have made us who we are today, including our cooking lessons. Jesus has been rubbing off on me during those times I have been spending with Him.

Natural Beauty

My college roommate and I are still close after all these years and when we visit each other, it is just like old times. Even though we are so very different from each other, what we have in common is our love for Jesus and His word.

She has the most beautiful dark curly hair. Back then she wore it long, down on her shoulders, and it was so glamorous. She is from Pennsylvania with a Hungarian heritage, dark coloring and dark eyes. She is an only child.

On the other hand, I am from Oklahoma with a English-German heritage, so I have fair skin with light freckles, very light brown hair with reddish hints and green eyes. I am one of 5 children.

When we were roommates that year, we did each other’s hair. She knelt by the ironing board as I carefully ironed all the curl out of her hair. She gave me a permanent to make my hair curly.

Isn’t it funny how we women want to change our looks? We are never satisfied with the way our hair behaves naturally, so we are always changing it. But times have changed and now my friend has accepted her curls and I wear mine fairly straight.

God created man and then said His creation was “very good.” Each individual is created in God’s image. How could He have imagined each of us?

We cannot take credit for our looks. God made us the way we are on purpose, so we must learn to value ourselves the way God does. He loves us enough that He gave His only Son for us.

Ephesians 1:4-6 KJV says, “Just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love…to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Because of Christ Jesus, we are “accepted in the Beloved,” beautiful just the way we are.

My Time In History

This morning I started the water in the washer, poured in the liquid detergent, and put in the permanent press uniform pants. When the cycle finished, I threw the clothes in the dryer with a dryer sheet. When they were dry, I hung them on a hanger, and hung them in the closet without ironing.

When my grandma was young, she carried the water from the spring about half-a-city-block uphill to the house to wash with. She heated the water on a wood stove and used her own soap made from lye and grease. She scrubbed the dirty clothes on a washboard in a washtub, in the yard during the summer and in the kitchen in winter, the same washtub they took their baths in. She hung the clothes on a rope clothesline hung between trees to dry. She ironed her clothes with a heavy iron heated on the woodstove.

My mama washed our clothes in a wringer washer. Mom made her own lye soap too, but later bought soap flakes at the store. She used lye soap for hard stains on clothes and to relieve the itch of chigger and mosquito bites and poison ivy. She hung the clothes outside too, but she ironed with an electric iron.

I’ve often wondered why God allowed me to have such an easy life. Why did Mama and Grandma have to work so much harder physically than I have had to? Because it was their destiny, the life to which God called them, their destiny, the life He enabled them to live.

 Mordecai told Esther in Esther 4:14 NKJV, “Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this.”

God gave Esther the personality traits, the looks, the brains, the abilities and talents that she needed and then caused her to be born at just the right time in history, to fulfill her destiny, her purpose in life.

God intended for me to be born in this generation. It’s my destiny, my purpose, my time in history.