Purple hull peas & teaching kids about Jesus

peasI don’t know about y’all, but my most favorite part of summer is all the fresh fruits & vegetables. We had our little container garden on our back deck.  It’s certainly, a do again.  I like having the fresh cucumbers & tomatoes.  And the fresh herbs have simply made our grilling out of this world.  My uncle called me the other day & said,

“Do you want these purple hull peas, I just picked out of the garden?”

Why yes, I reckon I do.  These are the peas that are grown in the same ground my grandparents had their garden.  So, it kinda tugs at my heartstrings. These are also the same peas Miss Neenee told me about Sunday night,

 “Mama, I was hungry, when we were at church.  All I could think about was eating peas & cornbread, when we got home.” 

I’m not saying we are properly raising our daughter, however, I just don’t know of anything else you could take away from that. Raising a proper Mississippian takes a little time and effort, and having a palate for southern cooking doesn’t hurt either.  Because we LOVE to eat.  And Miss Neenee does, too.  Thank the Lord.

aneely

We had one of the people from Lads to Leaders come speak to us at church Sunday. If you are wondering what Lads to Leaders is, it’s the largest training tool the church has for our youth.  However, I guess that’s not really right.  Adults can participate, as well.  But it’s mostly youth driven.  Bro. Roy Johnson talked about doing all we can to keep our kids in church.  He said statistics show that at a young age children make up their minds about the Lord, Bible, & church.  And a lot of it has to do with who is responsible for their upbringing.  I’m not talking about the parents that don’t take their kids to church.  I’m talking about the parents that have the kids at church.  Sometimes the ones who darken the door every service.  Those kids, that decide,

 ”This is not for me.”

 And by the time they get old enough for car keys, they are gone from the church.  Or when they are finally old enough to move out, from mama & daddy’s house, that is all of their church going.  Those kids, are the ones, that may have not seen mama & daddy love the church like they should have.  Those are the ones, that may have always been present, but on the car ride home heard about how it was too cold in the auditorium or too hot.  Or how long the preacher made the sermon, or did you see what kind of dress so & so had on?  Or did you notice those kids running around, babies crying, or the BIG one- Mr. Brown that sits way up front in the church building, doesn’t speak to Mr. Smith who sits all the way in the back corner of the other side, because when he was little his grandfather & the other guy’s grandfather had a disagreement.  We think.  They don’t really know about what or who.  But they can’t speak or look at each other, anyhow.  Y’all.  This really hit me hard, because I know all about this stuff.  My Daddy was the preacher, when we were growing up.  We heard everybody’s business.  But you know what?  My Daddy & Mama loved the church & taught us kids to love the church.

And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou riseth up. Deuteronomy 11:19 (KJV)

That’s what I want to teach to my kids & grandkids. I want my family to go to heaven.  However, I can’t expect my kids& grandkids to learn about the Lord, love the church, & want to be a part of something, that I don’t whole heartedly believe in.  You have heard the old saying, “Do as I say, not as I do.”  Believe me that doesn’t work here.  I just pray the Lord will see fit to help me be a good example to my kids, grandkids, & family.  I don’t ever want to be the reason to make anyone stumble.  Some may believe wealth & success comes from the world, jobs, what you own.  I would think you should feel the richest & happiest in the world if your family were faithful Christians.  Nothing beats that.

It’s August.  As in August.  Summer is on the downhill stretch.  And if you ask me how many of my summer goals I met, well, not many.  I don’t like to point fingers, but this thing called a broke foot didn’t help the cause much.  Now, don’t start gettin’ all worried.   I am fine.  It’s just a ridiculous inconvenience.  That’s all.  I hope you have had a great summer, minus the broken bones.  I have to be going now, because I should be washing clothes.

august

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Preparing For Winter in the South

big-vegetable-garden-lgFall is in the air, in northeast Mississippi.  It seems just like yesterday, we were complaining about the hot, humid, weather.  Now, it seems we may be getting a much needed break.  This time of the year puts me in mind of my grandmother & preparation. 

You see, as I was growing up, both sets of my grandparents planted & grew gardens.  Me and my brother stayed with my Mama Boyce & Papa Clyde, (Daddy’s mama & daddy) while Mama & Daddy were at work.  This meant after school & summers were spent, doing whatever it was we could get away with, at their house on Leedy Hill. Papa Clyde & Mama Boyce always had a big garden every summer. We affectionately referred to it as the truck patch.  I never really knew why it was called a truck patch.  It wasn’t even close to a truck.  If anyone out there knows, please enlighten me.  Anyways, we worked in the garden all summer long.  We would get out in the hot morning sun & pick whatever it was that was in at the time.  We picked purple hull peas, squash, tomatoes, okra, corn, cucumbers, butter beans, green beans, pretty much anything you could think of.  Then, there were plums, apples, strawberries, mucadines, peaches, pears, all kinds of fruit trees, too. My brother can still tell you the exact whereabouts the pear tree was on the property.  I’m sure because he picked up many a pears off the ground, before they ruined.  Mama Boyce made sure little went to waste around there. We shelled peas & butter beans, snapped green beans, shucked corn, & basically helped to work up the vegetables, so that Mama Boyce could put them up.  She canned & froze the vegetables.  She made pickles out of the cucumbers & okra.   She would call my Aunt Edna over to make jelly. 

My Aunt Edna laughs & says, “Mama had a child for everything.  If she needed something from town, she would call on Mary Helen.  If she needed to go to the doctor, your Daddy took her.  If she had to go to the hospital she wanted Tooter to help her.  If she needed help when she got out of the hospital, she would call Nancy.  If anyone was coming to visit or if the garden came in, she called me.”  Looking back, summers were dedicated to preparing for winter. It was a canning, freezing frenzy of a time.  Mama Boyce & Papa Clyde were determined we were going to have plenty to eat, while it was cold outside.  We had a big family, so that was a lot of preparation. They most certainly knew the importance of working & not being lazy.  The result, from the summer garden, was food in abundance all winter long.  It was a matter of taking care of their own.  Not haphazardly tossing caution to the wind, just sitting around waiting for someone else to provide for us. They realized things just did not happen.  They taught us hard work & preparation is key to success & survival.

Proverbs 6:6 says  Go to the ant, thou sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

7 Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler,

8 Provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest.

There is a method to the madness of an ant.  It’s preparation.  Just as my grandmother saw the importance of preparing for the winter.  There was no rest for those few months.  But, in the colder months, when our bellies were full of warm comfort foods, we understood why she insisted we be such worker ants.  It’s easier to appreciate the bountiful harvest, once the hard work is over.

There is something else that’s being prepared right this minute. That’s our home in heaven.

John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

I am so thankful for my preparing grandmother, but I am most thankful for my preparing Savior. What a blessing to know Jesus is making preparations for me to come be with Him.  That makes me smile!  I hope it makes you happy, too.  His preparations for us as Christians, in the end,  will make everything worthwhile.  Just as my earthly grandmother was so thoughtful in her preparing for our needs, the Lord is thinking of us right now, while he prepares for us to be with Him for eternity.  That should just make us feel really good.  Like chocolate gravy & biscuits good.

I am so glad you came by to visit with me today.  I always love when you stop by.  I hope you are getting some good fall weather wherever you are. Enjoy the rest of your day!  As for me, I have to be going, because I should be washing clothes.