diggingupbonesbratkin

This blog is just me, talking about whatever is flipping my switch on any given day. Sometimes that will mean I’ll be exhuming things better left alone.

Pray for Healing — June 3, 2017

Pray for Healing

prayer power

In my seventy-five years of living, I’ve learned a tiny bit about prayer.  I’ve also learned a tiny bit about healing and the prayers for healing.

In my experience, there are five different healings.

  1. There is a natural healing of the body caused by the magnificent immune system installed in us by our manufacturer at the beginning of our life. That immune system takes care of us far more and far oftener than we realize.
  2. There is also the kind of healing most of us pray for but few actually believe in, that is, an actual miracle healing. When I was in my early thirties a pelvic X-ray showed a hot spot in my pelvic arch bone.  The doctor said that indicated cancer. I immediately called my church, my family, my friends of different church beliefs and asked all of them to pray for this to be healed. And it was. No surgery, no radiation, no chemo, no medication, it just healed and disappeared. This is the miracle healing we seek but often do not believe in.
  3. There is then medical healing. We are very aware of this and most folks believe in this kind of healing and often this is what one has on one’s mind when one prays for healing. That is why you will often hear things like, “Please give the doctors the knowledge to treat this person’s disease” when you hear a prayer for healing.

Prayer-Connects-us-wth-God1

4. This fourth kind of healing is the healing of the attitude and is talked about in 2 Corinthians 12 verses 8-10. The apostle Paul had an affliction and asked the Lord to remove it. 8Concerning this, I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong. The Lord did not cure Paul’s affliction or heal Paul but the Lord gave Paul an attitude adjustment, or a healing of his attitude.

5.Then there is the healing no one wants to talk about. Sometimes we are healed by being taken from this world and all its troubles to the next life where we are truly healed. This isn’t usually what we have in mind when be beseech the Lord on behalf of someone ailing but it may be exactly what the Lord wants to happen in the life of those who are left here without their loved one.

  1. Be very careful when you pray for healing. God hears those prayers.

prayer of a righteous man

Porch Sittin’ — May 19, 2017

Porch Sittin’

The Front Porch   

firefly-picture-in-jar            

When I was growing up in the 1940’s in a tiny town in the middle of the United States, a lot of summer life was spent porch sittin’ and it was done for various reasons.

In the first place, we didn’t have air conditioning back then and the porch was the coolest place to be on a hot summer day.

Then there was the opportunity to call out a hello to neighbors and friends as they passed our house going to the grocery store and the post office.  This was the most common way to get the current news. Only a handful of people in our town had a telephone and most of those were for business.  People went to the store and post office to collect the daily news as much as for milk or mail.  If we had news in our family to pass along, the birth of a baby, the illness of a family member, a lost pet, new puppies that would be weaned in 6-8 weeks, all of it got passed along and when the neighbor got to the store everyone in earshot heard the latest happenings at our house – – – and told their own which got brought back to us as the neighbor went back home.

There were chores, sometimes, that we carried out on the front porch.  We sat there to snap beans or shell peas and anyone who happened along would cheerfully pick up a few beans or peas and snap or shell with us while the news got told.

After supper, sittin’ on the porch took on a whole different feel. That is when we watched the first fire-flies (though we called them lightening bugs) and listened to the crickets tuning up.  It is where I was introduced to the Milky Way, the Big Dipper,  and the Evening Star. And this is where I introduced my kids to them.

Oh those wonderful days when Mom would stir up the makings of ice cream and pour it into the ice cream freezer and we kids would take turns turning the crank until the mixture froze into ice cream. Oh the goodness of fresh ice cream on the front porch on a hot summer night!

ice cream freezer

It was such a tiny town,  and very few owned an automobile, we would often count the cars that went by in a certain period of time and lay bets of our labor on the outcome. “If more than ten come by I’ll do dishes for you tomorrow night.”  That sort of thing.

This particular time of the year brings swarms of porch sittin’ memories to mind as I see four o’clocks begin to bloom (Mom always had them on either side of the front sidewalk) see lightening bugs blinking on and off at dusk, or get to longing for homemade ice cream at the end of a busy day.  

And oh, the porch I got to sit on!  It was, and is, a dream of a porch just made for sittin’! The picture at the bottom of this article is the house I grew up in and that porch was just exactly right.

Did you ever do any porch sittin’?

Hatcher Hinshaw House

The Face of Love — May 10, 2017

The Face of Love

what-if

We are all familiar with the very well-known and well-loved Bible verses which describe love.  But let’s put a face on love.

There are so many different faces of love that I’m barely going to be able to get started here, but here I go.

Even though the faces of love all look different they are still easy to recognize if you are really watching.

The face of love can be seen telling a child to brush his teeth, not to talk with his mouth full, or not to chew with the mouth open. That face of love will teach things like standing up straight and looking folks in the eye when talking to them.

There is the face of love that denies a child the candy on Halloween or Easter because the child is diabetic, or makes the tough decision to put the child through a horrible surgery and recovery period to correct hip dysplasia so eventually the child can be better. It looks a lot like hard-heartedness but is definitely love.  Or, how about the face of love that watches as doctors dump toxic waste into a beloved child who has cancer and prays that God will bless the chemo and cure the child? Yes, I call that love.

Mother-And-Child-Holding-Hands-Silhouette

This may not seem like a whole lot until the day your heart aches because you see a tired mother trying to corral her preschoolers, packages, and purse and you look into her eyes and smile in understanding because you remember your mom doing the same. So you help the mother get it all across the street and to her car and go on with her thanks in your ears and a lift to your spirit while mentally thanking your own mom for raising you right.

If you turned out to be a loving, giving, useful human who is striving to make this world a better place, thank your mom.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8Amplified Bible (AMP)

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong enduredIt does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails 

Don’t forget to hug your mom and tell her,

“Thanks!”

How Big is Your But? — May 1, 2017

How Big is Your But?

but

Do you find yourself using the phrase, “But I” very often?

For example, do you catch yourself saying, “I need to work out… BUT I am so tired.”

I want to get healthy… BUT I love dumplings!

I know patience is a virtue … BUT I just feel so frustrated all the time.

My family is great even though we need to talk about a few issues… BUT I don’t like confrontation.

Each time I use the BUT I phrase it seems pretty big to me. That’s why I’m learning to follow every “but I” with a “But God” statement of truth instead.  When I catch myself saying “but I”… I try to use it as a trigger to redirect my discouraged heart with a “But God” truth.

When we follow up statements with “But God” the BUT becomes smaller and smaller. And let’s face it girlfriends, we all want a smaller but!

Here are a few “But God” verses and there are lots more in the Bible.

Genesis 8:1

But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and he sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.

Genesis 31:42

If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.

Genesis 50:20

You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.

1 Samuel 23:14
David stayed in the desert strongholds and in the hills of the Desert of Ziph. Day after day Saul searched for him,
but God did not give David into his hands.

1 Kings 5:4
But now the LORD my God has given me rest on every side, and there is no adversary or disaster.

Nehemiah 9:17
They refused to listen and failed to remember the miracles you performed among them. They became stiff-necked and in their rebellion appointed a leader in order to return to their slavery.
But you are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love. Therefore you did not desert them.

Psalm 49:15
But God will redeem my life from the grave; he will surely take me to himself.

Psalm 73:26

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Isaiah 40:8

The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever.

Jonah 2:6

To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you brought my life up from the pit, O LORD my God.

Matthew 19:26

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

John 1:18

No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.

Acts 2:24

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

Acts 3:15

You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. We are witnesses of this.

Romans 5:8

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

1 Corinthians 1:27

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.

2 Timothy 2:9

for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.

Yes, I try, but sometimes those “But I” thoughts will slip in despite my best intentions. How about you, do you need help making your but excuses smaller? Then join me in turning those “But I” moments into “But God” miracles.

but shrinkage

Doing the Right Thing — April 23, 2017

Doing the Right Thing

doing the right thing1

When I was perhaps five years old, my mother and I attended an auction of some neighbors and mom bought a rather large box of old pictures. I asked her who the pictures were of, were they some of our kinfolks?  No, they were the kinfolks of the people whose stuff was being auctioned. I wondered why Mom would want pictures of people we didn’t know.  The next day she took me by the hand, held the box of pictures in her other arm, and we went to the people who had been our neighbors and were now residents of the County Poor Farm.  She gave the pictures back to the people to whom they meant so much.  I asked her why, “Why did you do that Momma?”

Her reply was simply, “Because it was the right thing to do.”

We often came home from school to find food sitting on the table and Mom would watch us like a hawk to make sure we didn’t touch it. Then she would gather up however many of us it took to transport the food to whomever she was giving it to. Someone’s loved one had died, someone was sick in bed and couldn’t prepare food for her family, someone was too busy with harvest to have time and energy to prepare food for the family, or whatever reason there was, Mom was such a blessing by providing a meal when it was most needed.  And I remember asking why we were carrying food to others.

Mom would simply say, “Because it was the right thing to do.”

doing the right thing

My Sunday School teacher was relatively new in town and was a widow with two sons. I was twelve years old and Mom told me to invite her to Sunday dinner after church. So when Sunday School was over I invited Mrs. Valentine to dinner. She asked me if my mom knew I was asking her and I assured her that Mom was the one who told me to ask her. So Mrs. Valentine came for dinner and was surprised that her two sons were also there. Mom had told my brother to ask the boys to lunch and he had. Mrs. Valentine knew her sons were going to eat at a friend’s house but didn’t know she was going to the same place. 

When I asked Mom what made her invite the Valentines to dinner she simply said, “It was the right thing to do.”

As a teenager I saw my mom wear herself out sitting up nights with a neighbor who was at the point of death. I could see how hard on Mom it was to keep losing sleep and asked her why she kept doing it.

She just smiled and said, “It is the right thing to do.”

doing the right thing5When my mom passed away, someone came to me at her visitation and said to me, “You probably don’t remember me but I’m the grandson of the old people you mother and you visited at the Poor Farm. My grandparents never quit praising your mom because she gave them their box of pictures that contained so many memories for them and was practically their only consolation during their years living on the Poor Farm.”

Another lady brought some delicious food to the house to help feed us while we prepared to bury our mom and then the next day after we buried Mom we buried my only sister. The lady told us of how our mom had fed her family during a very difficult time and she was so pleased to be able to do something she knew would please Mom.

That Sunday School teacher? Mom had heard whispers about her that she wasn’t truly a “widow” but was just saying she was to cover up having two children. She was about to  be asked to resign her position and no one in town was friendly toward her.  Mom got acquainted with her and introduced her to others who found out what an intelligent, caring, and yes, truly widowed woman she was and friended her too.  She said my mother was the kindest woman she had ever met.

The granddaughter of the man Mom set up nights with told of how her own mother was worn out from caring for the old man through the day, couldn’t afford to hire a night nurse, and Mom heard of the need and volunteered for night duty. It made it possible for the family to keep the old man out of a nursing home as he had requested. They never forgot Mom’s generous help and what it meant to all of them.

I was sixteen when a teacher at my school was moving away.  I told Mom how I felt about her and she told me when class ended that day I needed to go to that teacher and tell her what I had told Mom.  So I did. I have no idea now exactly what I said to the woman but she came into a store where I worked thirty some years later and when she saw who I was she asked me if I remembered what I said to her. I had to admit I didn’t remember and she didn’t tell me. But she did say she had never forgotten the words I said that day and there was no way she could make me understand what they had meant to her.

I had told her what I was thinking because Mom encouraged me to do so and told me it was the right thing to do. Words I couldn’t remember meant so much to a woman that they still remained with her and gave her a good feeling thirty some odd years later. So it must have been the right thing to do.

doing the right thing3

Don’t ever underestimate the power of doing the right thing. Sometimes, it’s the only gift life gives you and the only gift you can give another.

Am I a Nice Person? — April 12, 2017

Am I a Nice Person?

cell phone drive-thru

Generally, I believe, people consider me a reasonable, caring, nice person. I will hold the door for you even if it means you will get in line in front of me. If I’m checking out at the grocery I’ll not vie for a spot ahead of you in line but will graciously let you ahead of me. If you need directions I’ll give them to you no matter how long it takes and even if I have to translate “north” or “east” into “straight ahead” and “right” for you. I’m generally patient, understanding, and pretty much a what you see is what you get type person and when folks look at me they generally see a placid, old, cow. I admit that I have about as much animosity in me as that grazing cow.

So, why then did I get in such a rage when the car pulling into the Kroger pharmacy pickup lane blocked both entrances?  It just set off my “this is outrageous” meter and made it clang at the highest level of disturbance.  There was a car length between him and the car in front of him. Why didn’t he just pull up and others could have gotten to the second lane? Even when the car in front of him pulled up he kept sitting there. I finally found a close parking space and parked, took my granny cane with the four feet on it and hobbled into Kroger. There my cane and I opted for an electric cart and drove into the pharmacy and picked up prescriptions that were waiting. Carted back to the door, got my cane and purse and prescriptions and hobbled back to the car.

Do you know why the man was so rude?  Well, as I passed his vehicle on my way into the store I could see the cell phone he was doing something on that made him oblivious to what was going on around him.  But the woman in the car with him was eating popcorn and looking around so why didn’t she tell him he had traffic blocked?

What I wanted to do was grab his cell phone, slap him on the side of his head and tell him, “Pay attention!”

What I decided to do was ignore him and come home and meditate. That’s the same thing as ignoring people except you do It while sitting cross-legged on the floor. Well, my knees won’t let me sit cross-legged and if I got down on the floor Bob would have to rent a crane to get me up. but I can do some pretty good meditating at the sewing machine. 

Why, if I truly am a nice person, do I get in such a rage at a nincompoop with no upbringing?  I just want to tell him, “Buddy, you suck!”

Pray for me, I think I may need counseling.

cell phone

 

The Last Time — April 8, 2017

The Last Time

mom reading to baby

Looking back is something we all do  but it  seems we  do it oftener when we get older. Perhaps because there is more to see behind us than before us?

When my children come to visit now and I see they are in pain, or that they don’t feel well, I think back to other times when they were young and healthy and full of life.

Remember when that child of yours was a baby?  I do, and it seemed like there would never be an end to the diaper washing (yes, we washed diapers back in the day) the bathing, the burping, the spit-up, the floor walking and the singing of the same song at nap time or reading the same book at bedtime.  And you thought you would never get to read anything of your own because your child was saying, “Read it just once more, please Mommy?” And you read it – – – just once more, never realizing that this would be the last time that request would be made. Because believe it or not, young mothers, there is a last time.  And there is no way to know which time will be the last time.

One day you will sit and hold that sweet child while it sleeps and never know that this is the last time you will get to hold him while he sleeps.

One day you start to read your baby’s favorite book to him and he says, “No, Mommy, I’ll read it myself.” And he does. How could you have known the night before that that was the “last time.”

One day you start to tie the shoelace and he says, “No, Mommy, I’ll tie it myself.”

There is the last time for everything.

It doesn’t seem possible when you are hauling a kid around on your hip everywhere that there will come a day that you set them down to walk away and you’ll never pick them up again that way. Just like you will scrub them good in the bath one day and from that day on they will want to bathe by themselves and you will have bathed your child for the last time but you couldn’t have known the night before that it was the last time.

mom with baby on hip

There will come that day that you hold their hand for the last time in the store and suddenly they are too big to hold Mom’s hand in public.

When thunder is rolling, is anything sweeter than a little voice in the dark saying, “Mommy, I’m scared can I get in bed with you?” And you get to cuddle that sweet child without knowing it is the last time he will feel the need for Mommy in the night. 

One day they need you to go to school with them and the next they are so embarrassed if Mom is seen at school You never know when it will be the last time.

One day they will run to you with arms raised for the very last time. The sad part is, you won’t recognize it as the last time until there are no more times.

So while you are living in these times, enjoy the heck out of them and remember there are only so many of them and when they are gone, they are gone. And yearning for it won’t bring back that one last time so you can know and it enjoy it – – – one last time.

Mother-And-Child-Holding-Hands-Silhouette

 

Waiting for Your Ship to Come in? — April 7, 2017

Waiting for Your Ship to Come in?

 

Ships InWhen my siblings and I were young we spent a lot of time shelling peas for mom to can, capping strawberries to be made into jam or put into the freezer for strawberry shortcake, shucking corn, stringing beans, and all sorts of other vegetable preparation. Needless to say,  while performing these duties we talked about hiring all of this sort of work done when we were grown and “our ship comes in.” We had lovely dreams of that “someday.”

Mom, a very practical lady, would tell us that we better be prepared to meet the ship when it arrived. And she would tell us if we wanted to win the spelling bee we had to be prepared by practicing our spelling skills.  If we wanted to win the speech contest we needed to learn to make speeches before audiences.  If we were going to have a big, beautiful home one day we needed to be prepared to earn it when the opportunity arose. Then she would say, “Sometimes you ship doesn’t come in, sometimes you have to swim out to meet it.  You need to learn to swim so you can do that.”

waiting_for_your_ship_to_come_in_word_play_postcard-raa2edecfe394481283c6c5fa8fb4e5b0_vgbaq_8byvr_324

For each of us, the swimming was different.  My oldest brother longed to fly planes.  He eventually did that by studying hard and taking flying lessons. He flew 3 combat missions over Viet Nam.  Another brother was always interested in electricity and how it worked and eventually became a lineman for an electric company and then the owner of his own electric company when the opportunity presented.  And so the story goes for each of us.

My grandmother, a Godly woman who knew her Bible would quote II Thessalonians 3:20, For, even when we were with you, we would give you this command: If anyone is not willing to work, let him not eat.

When I see young people sitting around waiting for someone to hand them a career I really want to say to them, “Swim out to that ship!”

ship comes in

But You Don’t Know My Family — March 22, 2017

But You Don’t Know My Family

family-9568941-happy-family

Really and truly, as a Christian, I try to live by what the Bible says.  And when I read Romans 12:18  which says, (KJV) “If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men,” the first thing that pops into my mind is, “But God, you just don’t know my family.”

Isn’t it a shame that sometimes it is easier to get along with everyone else than it is to get along with family? Why is that?

When I visited a funeral home to make my condolences to a grieving family friend she was surrounded by a loving family and they all were consoling one another and I thought, “Why can’t my family be like this?”

Last summer the last sibling I had passed away.  That is so sad and made me feel almost abandoned because I’m the youngest of mom’s nine children and they are all gone now except me. And people were kind and came to the funeral home and the cemetery and were supportive. Except for one close relative. She came after the service started and left while the last prayer was being said and didn’t speak to any of the family. Why would anyone do that?

This same relative came and spent a week in our area visiting her stepmom’s family, then called me on Sunday morning of the day she was leaving to go home wanting to know if she could run by and tour my new home.  No, I was about to leave to go to church and there wouldn’t be anyone there to conduct her on the tour she wanted.  Not a word about wanting to see or visit with me – just wanting a tour of my new house on her way out of town.

Yes, I want to live peaceably with others but “others” make it hard.

Social media blows up with images, too, that make me say, “Aw-w-w-w-w-w, why can’t my family be like that?” Brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, gathered around a bride and groom, cooing over a new baby, helping celebrate a graduation. Yes, I have to fight my envy because while I have all these relatives and some of them do all those things, there are those who just seem to make it impossible to “live peaceably” with them.

This week another relative passed away.  I’m sorry, and I sent condolences to her grandchildren, my great-nieces and nephews. Then I got a sweet note back with appreciation for the condolences and a request for prayers for peace this week because there is friction among family members that is making it difficult for those who are grieving.  Why are people like this?

No one person can make everything right and peaceable but one person can control their own tongue. I’m praying I’ll be able to control mine when I’m around people who act like everything should be run in accordance with their rules and for their convenience.

Sometimes I ask myself when I keep my mouth shut for the sake of peace, is it really the Christian way?  Or am I just a wimp?  Maybe I’m not being either; maybe I just need an intervention!

 

Proverbs 21:23 Those who guard their mouths and their tongues keep themselves from calamity.

Please, Lord, help me guard my mouth and tongue!

happy-family-of-5-clipart-addafdb1fc030db4d5a82f1585501240

National Quilting Day — March 18, 2017

National Quilting Day

blue skies block

Does everyone know when National Quilting Day and Worldwide Quilting Day is?  It is the third Saturday in March. Oh my, that is TODAY!

So I’m going to show you what I’m working on, quilt-wise, on this day set aside to recognize quilters and quilting.

I have a huge box of neutral strings just waiting to be sewn into something lovely and another box full of strings of fabric in every color I’ve ever worked with. I rummaged through the colored strings and began sewing together the blue ones and then I made squares of the neutral ones.

Then I split them and sewed the triangles together to make the center of the block you see above.  Then I cut a lot of triangles from blue and from neutral fabrics and sewed them together.  I mean a LOT.  There are 1,188 of the little square blocks that are half neutral and half blue.  And yes, every single one of those triangles was cut by hand, by me, and sewn with its mate, one at a time.

blue skies HST being sewn

And then they were sewn one square to another square.

And then squares were added until there were three sewn together and enough to go at the top and bottom of each block. Then I had to make sets of five to go on each side of the block.

.blue skies hst x 5

I could hardly wait to see these come together!  Here is the first row:

blue skies 1 row

And then here it is with two rows sewn together:

blue skies 2 rows

And I have now gotten four rows sewn together – half way done!

blue skies 4 rows

And my inspiration for this came, as so many of my quilts do, from Bonnie Hunter and a quilt she made and called Blue Skies.  Here is her quilt:

Bonnie Hunter Blue Skies

So this is what I’m working on this National Quilting Day.  I hope your day is as much fun as mine.