Church Wears Me Out.

I made apple pies last night. Yes, I thought we had enough people coming to merit making two,apple pies. I started cooking the pies first, and when I had them made, my pot pies.

I use Pillsbury roll out pie dough. It comes in a long box, and sometimes you can find it around the milk, eggs, and breakfast items.

With this kind of dough, it lays on the pie plate easily, and isn’t any trouble to use. The crust turns out flaky, and wonderful every time.

I use real,butter, and cinnamon, along with nutmeg, and cloves. A dash here and there makes this pie. I don’t go heavy on the spices, but the combination is worth the effort. I use one cup of sugar per pie.

My mother-in-law insisted that “A pie is not a pie, unless it is sweet enough.”

She taught me to make my own crust, and then one day I found that she was using the roll out pie dough. I don’t know the brand she used, but I think it was Pillsbury. What a difference in not making my own dough, although I did make a good pie crust, when I made them regularly.

I purchased about 19 apples for the two pies, and they were green, Delicious apples. I thought I had another kind, but this did make a good, pie. I didn’t taste it, because right now I am off sweets.

I cut the apples, and made the two pies together at the same time……dough on this one, dough on that one. Apples on this one, apples on that one, and let me get some of the apples on that one, for this one….I thought.

I think of my mother in-law every time I make a pie. She shared with me, but I helped her make her pies. We moved away four, years, later, but I lived across the street from Ed’s folks, while we were in Ed’s hometown.

I am grateful, daily, for learning to cook like a, country, cook should. Pies, cakes, meals that were tasty, and good, were the way she baked, and cooked. I don’t think she shared all her cooking, secrets, but I am thankful for learning how to make pies.

I had to step out by faith, and pour the water into the flour, with the Crisco already there. She didn’t measure the shortening. I don’t either. Stir it with a fork , and make sure the flour is salted enough before you pour the water into the little dip you made for it in the flour.

This should make a ball, and then with clean hands, you take this ball, and set it on the dough board. You use a rolling pen, and roll out the dough.

This is where I had trouble making my dough. I couldn’t make it roll out without adding lots of flour, and holding my lips right. My hair was back, because I wore a pony tail. I got both hands into the dough, and used the rolling pen, finally lightly. The dough had enough flour under it at last, and it rolled out. Wow!

I put mine in the tin pie pan, like hers, and I made my first pie ever, at home, away from her watching eyes. I set the oven, and out the pie came.

I had rolled the pie dough too much, but otherwise it was good. Ed was glad to have something that I cooked, and we both ate that pie. He said, “I’m glad that you are listening, and watching how my Mom cooks. “

End of story, and I don’t know if he shared a piece when she came over. I worked with her, and dried the dishes after supper. I helped her in the kitchen every time we ate over there for Sunday lunch, or whenever we were invited.

You know the experience taught me many lessons. I know that in heaven she is pleased, because she sees that I am using what she taught me. I was young, and she included me like a daughter.

So I made two apple pies. I peeled about 8 apples for each pie, and you know, they cooked until they were leaking from the candy that melted, and the apples that were producing some juice, along with the butter that I used generously. I put a stick of butter in my pies, and no more or less. I don’t know that my mother-in-law used that much butter. I use the three spices, and I don’t know that she used the cloves. I have learned that this is a good pie if you pray over it. I have learned that a meal is better if I say the blessing before I start cooking, and all during the cooking process.

Last night when I served the pies, we had a big container, of ice-cream in the freezer. The first one to go for the pies found the ice cream, and everyone had a taste, except me. I was off sweets last night. I don’t know why, but at times, I go off sugar.

I am off it today, so I can’t sample the pie that we brought home. Ed and Isaac didn’t go home last night before they got more pie, and ice cream. I stood a ways from them, and finally found another place to go until they finished eating their pie.

We don’t have long to go in order to get home. I rode with Ed, and we reflected on the night we had with our church people. We are retirement age, and God has given us 28 years with them, and that is not the first church I have been in. This is the friendliest church we have had, but then the other ones were nice as well.

We came to this church in order to help the church while they looked for another pastor. Their pastor started the church, and then he had to go on to another church. They were joyful, and full of enthusiasm. I met someone from the church at our church, and she must have given the session our names.

Ed came back over and over, and finally we consented to come as the pastor’s family. Isaac was four, and 28 years later, we are still there. It would be hard to leave, but one day we will step out into the sunshine, and say good-bye for now.

I dread that day, because this has been life, and work for a long time. I taught school, so I missed the circle times, and the women’s meetings. Then I came at night some.

Teaching school was hard when I had to be a minister’s wife also. I didn’t share much at school, and I tried to live right before everyone. Maybe they knew I was a Christian when I made the sign of the cross before I ate. I prayed silently, before I ate.

People don’t want to talk about God, and they run from ministers, and their wives at times. I knelt when no one was looking, and prayed over my empty, classroom, daily. I found that God was there with me all day long, when I surrendered again, and again.

My strength has come from the Lord on a daily basis. It doesn’t just come. I find myself reading the Bible daily, and right now I am trying to read it again before December 31…the whole Bible. It takes about three months, although I could do it more quickly.

Why rush? I will read, and read, and if I don’t finish by the set time, there won’t be a big, deal made of it. I will continue until I meet my goal. I must read the Bible again, the whole, thing.

This is about my 6th time, and I never tire of it. I have gone from talking about the Bible, It is my strength. I could not have survived teaching without a close walk with God. It takes more wisdom than I have. Yet I know that when I depended on Him, and listened, that the advice He gave was vital.

I wore myself out yesterday. This is my day of rest. It was hard to get up, but I found myself up, and eating with Ed. He has to pick up a branch that has fallen during the storm that came last night while we were at church. It is a huge branch.

I said,” Ed, maybe we need to cut that tree down, too. It could drop another branch on the roof during the storm. “

He said, “That was my thoughts also. I will have to take tomorrow to get it cut up, and to repair the roof.”

So now, Isaac, and Ed are outside dealing with the tree, and the roof. Our, former, resident who lived here, planted several, trees in the backyard. We put in a fence when we came to live here, and we have cut down three, trees.Rather, Ed, and Isaac have cut them down.

We still have some apple, pie from last night. I am sure, when my guys come inside, they will eat some more pie.

I cooked a full meal last night for the Wednesday study group.

I have this way of making pot pie that is not like any I have seen. I make up the recipe every time I make this pie, and last night, the Wednesday study group ate all I made.

I used two, large, Pyrex, dishes ,and I put a layer of pie dough down on the first, one. In the meantime, I boiled carrots,and a few potatoes until they were tinder. I drained the carrots, and potatoes, and put these on the dough. Then I put a large, can of creamy, chicken soup, frozen peas by the handful,and four cans of chicken. Yes, I said cans.

I have tried cooking a chicken, and putting fresh meat in the pies. It isn’t the same as the tender meat that comes from a can. I use white meat, and it works. I make sure it is not in clots, and my hands are clean when I break the meat up, as I put it in the pie shell. The creamy chicken soup is often by Campbell’s Soup, because I believe that taste is everything.

This time I used a, large, can of soup for one, huge, Pyrex, dish. I used two, packages of pie dough for the bottom of the pie, and once I put real, butter, on the ingredients. I sealed the pie with two, more, packages of pie dough. I love dough that is easy to work with, that I don’t have to make, and that always is flaky, and good. I use Pillsbury, and they didn’t pay me to say this.

I Am Too Short Some Days…..

My height has been the same since high school. I guess I didn’t run enough, and I am 5’3. I have green, eyes though, and that helps. Grown-ups would call me, “green-eyes”, when I was little. They are a brighter green. My sisters had brown, eyes, but I was the only one who had the green,eyes. They are so, green that I was called, “Cat eyes”.

I believe the color of your eyes is important. It is important to like the way you are made. I have always loved my eyes, but I had to wear glasses from the fourth grade. If your child is struggling in school, you might need to get his eyes, and hearing checked.

I took the fourth grade over, so I would be with my age, and because I was having problems with the work load, because I was younger than most of my class.It was my choice, and the decision was thought on for days. I was immature, and 4th grade was not easy emotionally. I cried, and carried on, maybe, because I would have scary ,nightmares. We moved, and I took the fourth grade again, in another school. It was a good year. I made straight A’s.

I came to Christ, when I was 8 years old, and this changed me up one side, and down the other. I was suddenly, a, happy, little, girl. I sang, and sang, and sang. Mom put me on the front, porch, and I could ride my bike in the yard, or sing in the swing on the porch. I still sang, and sang, because God made me happy inside. It was a gift, because before He came inside, by the power of the Holy Spirit, I was afraid, shy, bashful, and wouldn’t talk.

I cried when the church sang hymns, and people would say, “Why are you crying?”

I didn’t know why I was so sad when the hymns started. My aunt would come to visit us, and she had a gift of music. Her hands were blessed with music abilities, and she could play all over the piano, and make it sound wonderful, grand, great, and beautiful at the same time.

When I finally gave my heart to God, in Jesus name, I changed to having such joy. It was hard to contain, but I didn’t want to go back to the dark side, to the hopelessness, and the crying when the hymns were played.

I think my favorite,verses now are from Ephesians 2: 8, and 9. They state that salvation is a gift that you accept by faith, and it is not anything that we do to earn it. I believe in the grace of the Lord, and as I get older, I know that God found me, and had mercy on the sad little, girl that I was. I love to play, and my sisters were wonderful, eventually.We invited many children to our yard to play games, and Mom served treats.

I don’t know how to express the gratitude that someone shared Christ with me, faithfully, until finally, one, day, at my Mom’s bedside, I knelt, and accepted Christ as my ,very,own,Savior.

You may think a child wouldn’t understand, but the change happened. I went from darkness of crying when hymns were played, to the light of knowing that Christ was my very own Savior who loved me enough to die for me. I took it personally, and the joy was the gift He gave me.

I have had a hard time containing the joy in church. I love to express the joy I feel when I sing, and I never hold back when I am full of the Lord’s gratitude. I twill, spin about, and dance to the music, and the band leader lets me. She never scolds me for praising the Lord from my heart. She never tells me to stop, and I am free to worship for the while that the band has the service. I vision His throne, and there I am in His Presence, singing. …..Everyone should sing to Him.

When I came back from the pacemaker, surgery, I sat on the front row for one service. I didn’t need to stand for the music, and do the overheads. But I started worshiping the Lord like I do in the choir. There was a hush behind me, and then I heard the congregation joining me in singing. They sang louder, and I loved it.

I believe in singing from my heart to the Lord. I make up tunes, by just singing. The first notes come, and I sing those and God gives me more of the song, and I sing them straight to Him, because He has given me a gift. I have the Holy Spirit inside me, and the moping around is no longer there. I have the joy of the Lord, in a double dose, because that is what it took to make me Glad. He made the change, and they have continued since then.

Do you need the happiness I am talking about? I don’t know that He will give you a double dose, but maybe you really need His joy, and you need to know that He loves you, personally. Christ died for the whole world, and He died for YOU!

I hope you have read all of this from the start to finish. God is real, alive, and Christ made it possible for us to enter the Throne Room ,and worship, sing, and make our requests.

I would advise you to take another look at your life. Is it in order? Do you have hope, instead of depression? Christ in you is the hope of glory. We forget what He did for us on the cross. We forget that He rose again, and He is praying for us in heaven. That is our hope, and the blessed hope is that Christ is coming again for His church. Are you ready? I am.

The peace of God is wonderful. It comes from head to toe, and it settles me from a nervous person, to one who absolutely trusts Him to do what He says He will do in the Word. Do you trust God with all your heart, mind and soul? He absolutely loves you. His love is deeper than the ocean, and wider than the East from the West.

Christians, if you are discouraged, I urge you to read the Word of God daily, and to pray about everything. I have learned to bind everything between me and God, and release, or loose the Holy Spirit of God in me. That works. I may be too short some days to reach a curtain that needs to be washed, but I stand tall in the Lord, because I bow my knees to Him, and find His Presence. Do you? God bless you, if you find Him daily.

There is one more piece of advice I will give you. Find other believers and sing in a church when they sing, and pray when they pray, and listen to what the minister has to say. I am a pastor’s wife, and I know for a fact, that my husband bows his knees, and prays to God until He has the sermon we need. He graduated from college with Cum Laude, so he is not a dummy. People who preach the gospel, are compelled to do this, and to win others to Christ. I am compelled, but I am not a minister. I am his wife, and yes, I do pray much for the services.

Faith comes…….it is a treasure that we seek, and that is the Lord. He is the Lord of glory, and some time He will come back for us. Are you ready?

A Tree Has Dropped A, Huge, Branch In Our Back Yard…

We knew it had stormed in our area. I cooked supper last night, which meant I worked nonstop for four hours on the meal. We had two apple pies, and one chicken pot pie last night. I forgot to make sweet tea. I had to make all this from scratch.

I used Pillsbury pie dough. This makes putting this meal together a little more simple, although I did cook the carrots, and potatoes on the stove in a small pan of water. They were tender in minutes. No one likes hard vegetables in their pot pie no matter how creamy it is.

The pot pie was easy to assemble. I use cream of Chicken Soup, canned chicken, and frozen peas, cooked carrots, and some potatoes. I don’t put in a lot of potatoes. They soften, and I don’t like mush.

The apple pies cooked until the juice in the pies started coming out of them. I added candies to add a cinnamon taste. I always do this, and the liquid thickens with the flour, and turns pink. I have made a plain apple pie, but I call this kind my deluxe pie. It is rich, because I add real butter, and other things to make it sweet. My mother-in-law used to make her own pies. I decided to make one like she did, and I have been making pies since.

One day my mother-in-law came home with a Pillsbury crust for her pies. I said, “Why aren’t you making your own crust?”

She laughed and said, “Pillsbury makes a good dough and it saves time. The cost is cheap. I don’t bother with making pie dough unless I have to, and you should try them.

I don’t buy the other kinds of pie dough, and I can make my crust if I don’t want to go find the store-bought brand. ..only Pillsbury. I am sold on the roll out dough.

At times my hands will be slightly wet when I open the dough package. I said slightly, which means to totally, but almost dry. Have you ever tried to get dough from a package when your hands are sort of wet. It isn’t a good feeling.

I have learned to thoroughly dry my hands after rinsing them off. I don’t usually wear an apron while cooking, but last night I did. My pants and blouse were cleaner for having worn a little snap on uniform that has no sleeves.

I am always putting in washes, but the other day I finally caught up on the washing. This was a wonderful feeling. At times the wash load is huge, and I have to put in several to catch up. Oh for the days of hanging the wash out on the line and letting the sun dry them. I have a clothes rack inside, and it does save money on our electric bill when I dry some of the clothes this way. At times I may run the dryer for a half hour, and then hang the clothes up to dry.

I put them on hangers if I dry them in the bathroom, over the tub. I put them on the wood, clothes, rack, and they take a while to dry, but I forget about them. Nothing bothers them, and the warm, sun comes through the windows, daily. You know it doesn’t take long, and I have clean, dry, clothes that haven’t been in the dryer for a, long, time. It saves money, and we try to cut corners, daily.

When we watch television in the den, I try to remember to leave only one light on in the kitchen, We can still see to get into the refrigerator, and we save money on the electricity. This helps with our bills in the long run. I love to see if we are paying less this month.

A tree has dropped a branch in the backyard, so Ed and Isaac will get busy chopping up the branch. We have a fireplace, but last Winter was to mile. We hardly needed the fireplace.

I love a fireplace. It is sad that Winter is not so cold as it was when I was growing up. I love snow, and sledding in the snow from a big hill is a wonderful experience. This is August, and I am reflecting on memories of sliding down a hill in the snow.

You must think I am talking about everything on this post. I am. I have been up several times in the night, and this left me with a sleepy hangover. I don’t drink when I can’t sleep. I have been drinking water this week. When we go out to eat, I always have water. They put lemon in it. At times I make a sugar-free lemonade.

I have had two glasses of water this morning. I am still trying to lose 20 pounds. Smile. Will it ever happen!

I Have No Time to Write Tomorrow….

I have ironed my tops, and stacked them, and hung others in the closet. I am getting ready for the rest of the week. I will be busier, and Thursday I will crash at home. The meal for the Wednesday night supper will have been served.

I cook for the Wednesday night supper where the church people come to sing, worship and eat a meal. I am also in the band, so I have to think of something to prepare ahead. I let it cook while we practice. This works unless practice is long. Then I have to check the meal and make sure it is on a lower temperature.

Last week I fixed a pork roast, but this week I am making my version of Pot pie. I fix it with the pastry on it, and it is a pie by the time I finish. I make it plain and simple, but most of the time this recipe turns out and people enjoy it.

I put the pie shell on the Pyrex dish, and seal it like you would a real, pie. Then I add chicken, and vegetables, including some cut up potatoes. I boil the carrots in water. I usually boil the carrots, because no one wants to chew down on raw carrots, or carrots that are not cooked through. I am particular, and it takes a while to make this pie. When I make it for 13 people, I take as much care with it.

I put it in for an hour and a half, and it may not take this much time, but it will be very hot when it is done. Letting it cook for thirty minutes is a good idea. I put potatoes, and carrots, some peas, and a sauce that I make from several things. I can home-make it, or use a can of soup as the base. I add real, butter, and spices such as herb spice, and salt, pepper, Your guess is as good as mine as to how much I put in per pie. I try to stay away from cans of this and that, although the chicken is simply done. The pie shells are by Pillsbury. I like them.

Simple is good, but it takes time to put this together when I have to cook this, and heat up that. I keep working until I have a casserole dish that has two layers for the pie, and a filling that will be yummy. Each pie is different, and I add butter, flour, and plenty to keep it in a thick sauce.

On the top of the pie, I cut it with a knife, and make a home-made design. This lets the pie breathe. I poke the dough with a fork for more air, and soon other spices are put on it . Herb spice goes on the outside of the pie as well. You can use Italian spice also for the inside of the pie.

I bake this pie at 350 for an hour, and yes it is brown, but not burned when I take it out of the oven. I know it is done when it bubbles and sometimes runs over onto the pan below the dish. I have learned to put a pan underneath this pie.

You can make this with a 9 inch pie plate, and serve two of these for a larger group. For thirteen people, I fix a long Pyrex dish, because they love this pie. There isn’t much left at the end of the lesson. People may eat some after the lesson. I don’t hurry to put tin foil on it.

Dessert is special on Wednesday nights. We fix home-made cakes, cookies, or something good to eat. I don’t need to be eating sweets, so I try not to indulge. I am trying to lose, and not gain.

Isaac fixed the cake last week. He made German Chocolate cake, with home-made icing. We had about two pieces left to take home. It was different, fresh, and the icing was home-made. I think it makes a difference when the icing is made over the stove.

Well, I have said much, and it is late. I have written several times because the stats are at 413 for followers, and I wanted to feed you something that you can read and enjoy. Pray for me tomorrow. I will be blessing the meal, and praying over the finished product until it comes out of the oven.

It is a good thing to pray while you cook. I do, because it comes out better. I work hard, and pray that it will taste good. This makes me work hard, but His touch makes it better. I bless the food way before we say grace. Smile. I am not cheating, I am making sure that it is good, and that it will be just what will make them come back next week. I spoil them, but that is fine. If they come to Wednesday night service, I try to make it worth the effort.

We pack up and go home when everyone has gone, and the dishes are done. I am tired, and the next day I may not be so speedy to go down to the church. I try to find three days to pray for the church. You know that Wednesday is one of those day.

I am retired, and this is the way I give my time to the Lord. I am getting older, but I have been given a release from the doctor, and I won’t have to go see him until November. This is my heart doctor. Ed says I have more energy with the new pacemaker.

If you have heart problems, I would say a pacemaker would make a huge difference. It has for me. I used to get tired, and rest on the couch. Now I don’t rest, and I find more to do at home, and at church.

Today I cleaned little areas that needed cleaning. Ed killed a bug, and that got me mopping, and cleaning the kitchen all the more. They don’t show up much, but I try to prevent this. With two of us cooking it is not always easy to make sure there isn’t something on the floor, or on the counters. I mopped, and swept the kitchen and the den today, and the bathroom.

Tomorrow I will have my thoughts in another direction. I am still trying to read daily in my Bible so I can finish by December 31st. I read through the Bible one time a year at least. This year I haven’t read it all the way through, and I am starting over. All the surgery is over, and while I have the time, I will read and mark off the chapters until I have all of it read. I am not rushing, but it does take time to read the Bible all the way through one time.

Life is busy, but I try to keep Christ in my thoughts all day long. I read today, and then when I had read enough, I got up and started cleaning, and doing what I needed to get done. I am almost all the way through Matthew. I think I have about 4 chapters to go. I didn’t have the energy to keep reading today.

Bubba didn’t follow me around as much today. He is my cat, and he will try to get up in my lap when I sit down in my chair that also has a stool to it. The other day he scratched me. We both jumped, and in doing that, he was more frightened than I was. I put antiseptic on the place. I try to be very careful . This was also where I had the itching before when I had to take medicine.

Life is short. I hope this is enough to read until I get to writing on Thursday. May I encourage you to read daily in your Bible, and spend some time praying. You never know what God will do when you pray, and yield to Him. He loves you and has a perfect plan for you. Why wouldn’t He want you to take the time to read, and pray, and humbly submit to him from head to toe, inside and out.

I do this daily. It works for me, and I say, “Submit, and He will give you wisdom that is beyond you. Set your face like a flint, and study the Word of God for yourself. He will teach you to abide in Him, and to listen for His advice.

Too many times we get caught up in situations, and we forget to give God a chance to talk with us. We are not supposed to be anxious, but to give ourselves to Him, and let Him have our struggles, and problems. The more you tell Him the better. Take the time to submit, and to talk to Him. Kneel if you will. Trust Him with all your heart, and don’t lean on what you think you should do. In all your ways acknowledge His Presence, and He will deliver you from the plans that the devil has for you.”

Are you His child? It is a matter of saying, “Father, I submit to you, inside and out, from head to toe, and I give you my life, in Jesus name. Come in Holy Spirit, and forgive me for trying to run things my way. In Jesus name”

What’s For Supper?

We are having pineapple under pork chops with brown sugar to taste. This goes with carrots, and another vegetable. Ed is visiting now so we have some time.

I broke a ,white, melamine, dish that slipped out of my hands. It broke into a thousand tiny pieces. I think this set of dishes is getting old. I broke another dish yesterday. I love them because they are blue and white-flowered dishes. The bowl I broke is a, bigger, bowl that had cantaloupe in it.I am sick that it made such a mess. I had to mop the kitchen after we carefully picked up all the pieces that broke . There were more tiny, pieces, and these are really dangerous to leave.

I am glad that neither one of us have gotten hurt the two different times the melamine has broken. Yesterday, Isaac broke a dish. Today, I was at fault. We have used this set for maybe ten or fifteen years.

So what is for supper? I know we are having tiny sweet potatoes, also. They are the smallest ones I have seen this year. Small means they are good to eat.

I hope to lose some weight before going to the doctor. I had some yogurt today with Ed and Isaac. Yesterday I had some, also. I will try to behave. Frozen yogurt has a good taste, and it is not as fattening as the real ice cream. We eat it even if the day is not so hot.