A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.  – Psalm 29:11

heart-shape-1714807__340God not only gives His people strength, but peace.  Isn’t peace something we all want in our world, our states, our cities, our counties, our homes, and our hearts?  Speaking for myself…  yes.  Yes, I do!

God doesn’t want us to worry and fret; He wants us to pray.  Why do we feel so troubled when the Lord’s own peace is ours?  Our peace comes from Almighty God!  What a blessing this is to my heart today!  ❤

With God’s peace in our hearts, we should be singing in stormy weather.  Can you sing while the thunder rolls and the lightning strikes?  If you claim today’s verse as your heritage, then surely it will cause you to sing no matter what is happening around you.  ❤

I’m praying for peace in this world, this state, this city, this county, this home and in my heart.  God is our peace and our strength in every storm.  ❤

 

 

I STILL BELIEVE AS I GRIEVE

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What was happening in America on Saturday, September 18, 1909???

The largest crowd to ever watch a baseball game, up to that time, turned out in Shibe Park as 35,409 spectators watched the Philadelphia Athletics beat the visiting Detroit Tigers, 2–0, on the pitching of future Hall of Famer Charles “Chief” Bender. The A’s were second to the Tigers in the American League pennant race.

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SEPTEMBER 18, 1909

Guess what else happened???  My Grandpa married my Granny!  I don’t have wedding photos – I’m not even sure there are any – this plate is my precious possession to remind me of my Grandpa Frank & Granny LaVella’s wedding day.  Mama told me that it was hand painted by a family friend and neighbor.  It’s not valuable – but it sure means a lot to me.  Granny kept this plate hanging in their bedroom on the farm.

People really do get married at an older age these days.  These two crazy kids were married at 16 years of age!  I think they were married at a judge’s house, if I remember the story correctly.

They had a piece of farmland willed to them, built a little house on it and started growing wheat, horses, cattle and children – by the time it was said and done – EIGHT kids!

Grandpa Frank also drove a truck to supplement their income.  Granny did some sewing and took in washing to help out.  They didn’t have to buy stainless for the kitchen or even entertain the notion of indoor plumbing…  but they were two of the happiest people ever!  They had the same beliefs and the same dreams for their family.  They embraced faith in God above all and were faithful to each other until the end.

I get to thinking about that sometimes.  In their life, they were so firmly rooted in family and values, the fancy stuff wasn’t important.  I loved everything about staying at the farmhouse when I was little because something as simple as snuggling down in one of Granny’s quilts meant more to me than anything fancy and showy.  That squeaky bed was the best, and using homemade soap every morning and eating farm fresh eggs…  well those are memories that will never fade from my memory!

You have to have a dream so you can get up in the morning.  – Billy Wilder

In our day, it seems like we place so much importance on possessing the best of things and less emphasis on growing a strong family.  In the end, what difference does it make if we have a hardwood floor or linoleum?  I wouldn’t want to have an outhouse…  let’s not get nuts!

I miss that farm in Oklahoma…  I felt so safe and secure there in that squeaky bed with Granny’s quilt tucked around me.  It gives me such comfort to know that Grandpa, Granny, mom and dad are in heaven waiting for me.

Happy Anniversary in heaven, Grandpa & Granny!!!

They are with Jesus, and one day I’ll join them.  Maybe I could have that squeaky bed and one of Granny’s quilts in my mansion.  I may not need it since there is no night there and I won’t get tired.  Hmm…  I have to re-think that, don’t I?  Wink!  😉

 

 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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Every right-wing, conservative, Christian in America is praying for hope and change in 2016.  No, not the fundamental transformation of the United States, but a return to the laws already in place that have not been enforced.  What a difference it would make if they would be.

There are a cast of thousands with their respective hats in the ring.  I’m not here to tell anyone who to vote for (like you’d listen if I tried), but I’m going to try to point one blatantly obvious fact out for you, just in case you missed it.

I hope Trump will continue to run under the Republican ticket.  If he runs under a 3rd party it will divide Republicans – split the party wide open!  This not only makes me nervous going forward, but it assures that we will lose the 2016 election.  It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that out.  Split the Republican party?  Yep – and it would leave the Democrats laughing at us…  saying, “divide and conquer!”  It’d be awful if the Republicans were divided.  We need to remain united.  I pray we do.

In a prideful and arrogant tone, he says he does not pray to God for guidance.  He speaks with great candor which is refreshing, however, he lacks any sort of filter (certainly not a Holy Ghost brand of filter), and that concerns me greatly.

Why does it matter?  It matters because no man should consider himself more intelligent than his maker.  If he does not seek advice from a higher power, then he obviously thinks he IS the higher power and knows all.

He’s mistaken.  I’m not trying to be ugly.  Actually I’m being just as tactful as I can be…  but the fact is, he is mistaken.  We need God in America again…  and in order to get God and His principles back in America, it would make perfect sense in my brain that a Christian should hold the office of president.  Ya think???

Regardless of his economic status, perhaps he does not realize the true scope of the problem.  No one should go around putting down their competition, boasting about how much better they are.  The last time I saw that kind of campaign, I was in elementary school.  I was running for a seat on safety patrol and my competitor told everyone that I stole Twinkies from the coat room from other lunch boxes during lunch hour.

That was totally bogus…  my mom always packed a great lunch with my own Twinkie!  It was immature, but we were kids, so…  And yeah – I lost.  LOL.  I survived.

If he really cared about the Republican party, he’d back off and cool it.  Will he run under a new ticket?  If that happens – we’re sunk.  Honestly, our party needs to get its collective act together.  I’m both mad and sad…

I have no other candidate to endorse at this point, but…  there are some fine Christian Republican candidates running…  ones who would lean on God for guidance.

As you contemplate the candidates, always remember that this is all God’s perfect timing, not ours.  In His time all things will be made known.  In His time we will be taken to heaven.  Remember to always keep Christ before you.

ALWAYS BEFORE ME

I want to encourage you not to choose a candidate to back with feelings of frustration alone.    Please pray about who you will vote for – I mean really pray about it.  Our country is at a crossroads – we need to get this RIGHT!  May God help each one of us as we do our part to regain what dignity for America we can.  🙂

 

STEPHEN FOSTER DAY

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Did you know that Agnes Moorehead was a singer?  It blew me away – I remember her as the witchy mother-in-law, Endora, in “Bewitched”!  I enjoyed listening to this 1940 radio broadcast:

Today we celebrate the life and music of STEPHEN COLLINS FOSTER!

Some music written in the 1800’s came and went with little or no lasting effect, but the music written by Stephen Collins Foster (July 4, 1826 – January 13, 1864) lives on to this day!  Known as the “father of American Music”, he was known for his minstrel and parlor music.  I can’t imagine writing even one song, but he wrote over 200 songs, including “Jeanie with the Light Brown Hair”, “Beautiful Dreamer”, “Old Black Joe”, “Oh!  Susanna”, “My Old Kentucky Home”, “Old Folks at Home”, and my favorite, “Camptown Races”.

An excellent biography is the 1935 movie called “Harmony Lane”.  I was so pleased to find it on You Tube!

It’s so much more entertaining to watch a famous composer’s life story than to read about it!

History is a kind of introduction to more interesting people than we can possibly meet in our restricted lives; let us not neglect the opportunity.  – Dexter Perkins

Now, let’s hear some very talented musicians play this great man’s music!

I like this arrangement of “Oh!  Susanna”, but there’s one line that will bother me until the day I die – THE SUN SO HOT I FROZE TO DEATH…  seriously???

Camptown Races

That would lead one to believe that Mr. Foster was a betting man…  well – perhaps.  I guess this is one of my favorites because it’s the first Stephen Foster song I learned to play on the piano.  Throughout my life I’ve heard Jayhawkers refer to Kansas as DOO-DA, so the song just felt like a part of my childhood.

The state of Kansas and Americana go together it seems.  We’re comfortable with it.

 Professor Johnston often said that if you didn’t know history, you didn’t know anything. You were a leaf that didn’t know it was part of a tree.  – Michael Crichton, Timeline

If I live to be 100, I’ll never play the piano this well – listen to this really cool BOOGIE arrangement of “Old Folks at Home”.  It makes me dizzy just watching him play!!!

Interesting choice for a recital piece…

Jennifer Warnes is one of my favorite singers – her strong, rich voice does justice to this Stephen Foster song, “Hard Times (Come Again No More)”.  I listen with my eyes shut and imagine the Civil War era…  let’s listen to it now.

And what mother did not sing this lullaby, “Slumber My Darling” to her child?  I know mine did. 

A COMMENTARY FROM THE HEART

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GREEN TEA FROM A PINK POT

Tea for Two…  when I was a little girl, mama and I had tea parties.  As I got older, we sat out on the screened-in porch at her house and sipped tea and discussed the weather and other assorted topics.  Nothing earth-shattering, just mother-daughter bonding.  I miss that.

The longer I have to live without my Mama, the more precious her things become to me. I cherish the antique rocking chair that my Grandpa sat in when he relaxed out on the farm. I appreciate the handmade quilt that Granny and Mama made back in the late 1930’s. There is one more piece of the past I have clung to… a pink tea-pot!

If that tea-pot could talk, what stories it would tell. Stories of how my Granny LaVella finished her chores out on the farm and came indoors to unwind with a cup of Earl Grey and a good book. She used the tea-pot that her family brought to America with them from England so long ago. Great Grandpa Phillips insisted that they bring it with them. The English love their tea, you know! The Phillips family had a pink Jubilee tea-pot.

So many times I think, “They came from England to America and settled in Oklahoma – how does that happen?” It would make more sense for them to settle closer to where they landed. But Oklahoma? Really??? But that’s what happened. I remember Mama telling me that her Grandfather “ran” in the Cherokee strip. When I was very young I did an essay for school about it. Obviously I have slept a lot since then. ❤

I know that Grandpa Frank and Granny LaVella inherited the farm from Grandma’s dad, Great Grandpa Phillips. So the teapot stayed there and was used by Grandma & Grandpa Steward. They enjoyed Earl Grey tea in the evening before bedtime.

By the late 1960’s the teapot came to live at the house I grew up in. I remember Mama brewing tea in it, but she didn’t seem to have a favorite brand or flavor. One funny little side note though, I could tell when she was having a rough day when she drank a second cup of tea.

Now that sweet little tea-pot is mine. I enjoy a cup of hot green tea before bedtime. I drink my tea and then take my insulin. How lovely! 🙂

LIFE ON THE FARM

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I have enjoyed writing poetry using the pen name THE PRAIRIE LADY. The name came about as a joke, really. I was chatting on facebook with my friend, Lucinda Berry Hill (author of “Coffee with Jesus”) and we were discussing the regions we come from. I mentioned that I was a Jayhawker, which means I was born and raised in Kansas. One thing led to another and suddenly I was dubbed THE PRAIRIE LADY.

They say a person should write about what they know, which makes sense because that is the writing that flows and comes most naturally. Anything you try to write with little or no knowledge under your belt will feel “forced” when it’s read. I have a college degree in KANSAS and a lifetime of experience, having lived on the prairie my whole life. I embrace the simplicity and contentment this part of America exudes. We almost pride ourselves on being in touch with nature (ask anyone who has lived through an F-5 tornado).

The nicest comment was posted on facebook shortly after I shared this poem. It said:

“Your poetry is so beautiful as well as accurate.”

I thought that was simply wonderful and appreciate that assessment of it!

My grandpa Frank and granny LaVella had a working farm. I learned everything I needed to know about life at the farm. The early bird gets the chores done earlier and gets to do other things earlier. I don’t know about getting the worm, but this bird did learn that a good stiff cup of coffee helps just before you go out to get started on farm chores. That is especially true in the wintertime. There’s an old saying:

EVERY MILE IS TWO IN WINTER
I learned that if you want something bad enough, you have to be willing to work hard and get plenty of rest at night. Believe me, on the farm you have no trouble sleeping at night. You’re so tired, when your head hits the pillow – boom – you’re out!

It is my hope to eventually publish a book of poetry one day. I’d like to call it THE PRAIRIE LADY’S BOOK OF POETRY. Well, it’s a start, but it will take more than just a title to make it a reality. It will take hard work, but don’t worry… I’m a farm girl and I know how to work hard to accomplish a goal.

There’s no room for manicured nails here… lol. 🙂

THANKS LIVING DAY 3

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PRAYER ABOUT FAMILY

I’ve talked with other adoptees who make statements like, “I really got lucky” or “Wow my life sure could have been worse.” I agree with both statements, but I prefer to believe that my life was a gift to me from my heavenly Father. He had the thing planned out from the beginning. He cares about my life – all of it – from beginning to end.

The biggest part of love is trust as far as I’m concerned. If there is no trust between people – or if I did not trust God completely with the plan for my life, then how could I say I love Him?

It’s not the same sort of trust I have for my washing machine. I trust that it will work as it should, but there is not a particular emotional or physical attachment between my washing machine and myself. I love God because I do trust Him. I’ve witnessed just how well He works all things to the good in my life. He does perform miracles in my life .

I’m so thankful for my Christian heritage. God is good and my faith is in Him alone. He is a risen Savior and His Holy Spirit dwells in my heart. He LIVES within my heart! You totally sang that!  Wink!   😉

My loved ones have gone on to be with the Lord. I miss them every day in so many ways, but I know one day I will see them again. No, it won’t be the same as it was here. I’m excited though because I know once I get there, we will never have to say goodbye again – ever!!! ❤