Saturday, April 20, 2019

Easter Preparations

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. April, 2014.}

Part 1  (Easter Preparations) (April 12, 2014)

Dear Mothers, 

I am up in the night writing. . . Aunt Tootsie came early afternoon yesterday to help me with some Easter preparations....We had a good time..Then we had a pizza delivered for supper. . 

I had made a Pumpkin Cake too. .This is how I made it. . I used a yellow cake mix, 2 eggs and a can of pumpkin, and a cup of raisins. . I just put the canned pumpkin in a bowl and added the 2 eggs and I beat this up with a spoon. .Then I added the dry cake mix to the eggs and pumpkin and I stirred this good.  . last of all I added the cup of raisins. . Also for spices, I added Pumpkin Spice and extra cinnamon. . . Just stir this up really good ..Then pour this cake mixture into a big oiled baking pan...and bake at 350 degrees until it is done.. about a half hour...To see if the cake is done, I just stick a paring knife in it..or a tooth pick ...if the knife comes out clean, then it is done..

Anyway Mary's family is coming for Easter and David's family. . Then some family friends too. .We will have a ham and mashed potatoes. . My 2 brothers will come with their families. . Everyone brings food to go along with the ham dinner. . 

We always have a good time. . Hopefully we will have a sunny warm day. What are you all having for Easter

Mothers, just walk by faith. . No one's family is perfect . . Just cook up a nice dinner for Easter. . If your husband is gone, just make your dinner as if he will come in the door any minute.  . Don't be sad. . its Easter. . Jesus was raised from the dead. . Nothing is impossible with God !!! Love Connie

 Praise God. . Jesus is Alive !!!

Part 2  (Psalm 91: Under the Shadow of His Wings.) (April 17, 2014)

Dear Mothers, 

Yesterday I was going into the store and something strange happened.  . . First I have to say I was soooooo tired ...I had gone to the Dollar Store and now needed to get some groceries for Easter. . 

But on the way into Aldies, I thought I saw a big eagle or something fly over. . I could see the shadow of his wings on the pavement. . But I couldn't see any bird anywhere. . 

Aunt Toot, after hearing my story, said "Connie maybe it was an angel.." Jill said, after I told her,"You were under the shadow of His wings.." The scripture that I thought of was, They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. . They shall mount up on wings as the eagle. . They shall run and not be weary and walk and not faint.

Part 3  (A Lovely Easter) (April 21, 2014)

This morning I am sitting here wondering how on earth I did what I did yesterday with Easter dinner. . When everyone got here I had most things done.  Usually I need a lot of HELP !!

"Tiffany" my sweet girl.  . David's wife said, "Well Connie, last year when we came you didn't even have the ham in the oven yet". . I had forgotten that.  . I have come a long ways since last Easter. . And the Easter before that, my brother had Easter at his house. . 

For you who don't know, I was diagnosed with Parkinsons. . But I am fighting it and believing God for a HEALING in Jesus name. . 

Tiff brought the mashed potatoes and the green bean casserole. . . and dinner rolls. . I bought an apple pie and I made Easter cupcakes for dessert. . My brothers brought deviled eggs and a relish plate. . . and I baked the ham. . When the ham was done, I had my brother Kirk slice the ham up and I made ham gravy. . . it was too salty. . Next time I will use less broth and more milk to make the gravy. 

But I am super grateful to the Lord for helping me and giving me a supernatural strength. . Jesus is our healer. . . He sure healed my marriage and he can heal all of us ..No matter what it is. . .

Love Connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Saturday, March 9, 2019

World Events - and Keeping Your Home

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. August 9, 2011.}

Part 1 - World Events

Dear Daughters of a New Revolution,

Wow the times we live in, Hu? No time to be Lily-Livered right ? Ya have to hang on to something just to watch the World News. . Well, a set of problems are set before us. . .But our country has been sooo evil and wicked for so many years now. . . Didn't we know that something had to give..?

If this time of trouble will turn things around. . . turn people around. . .  isn't it worth it ? The authority in our country, and it seems in other countries too, is so evil. . Those who make the laws put pressure on the pure in heart to turn away from God. . The Bible says that even the Elect would be deceived in times like these. . . I am up for a new plan aren't you ? I am just going to trust in God for His new way of doing things. . .

The so- called experts on tv say not to take your money out of the stock market. . I would say,{but who am I? } to take the money out and pay off your credit cards and loans against the house. . . or pay for the house. . . That way you are still investing, but it's in your own family. . I would say to take the money and do repairs on your house or buy a new furnace or whatever the house has to have to make it livable. . .

I know the housing market is down. . . But You can do a lot if you have your own home. . . Like even start a business from home. . .

 If you lose your house. . . You are out of luck...This is what we girls always told each other in the old days, "Keep a roof over your head."

And it is a good time to buy a house right now, if one has the money... I bought this house a year before the house prices went up. . I bought it in 1973 for 12,000 bucks. . . That included taxes and insurance. . And in, I think, October of 1974 it was worth 24,000 dollars. . Yeah it was a wreck when we bought it, but we have remodeled more each year. . . And I thank God for it now as it is paid off. . That was my investment into my own family...

But I mean, don't get your mind on paying off things that don't matter- then be out a roof over your head. . . The bill collectors aint gonna care if you have a house or not. . . they want their money. . . But if someone has to lose { as plenty of companies will} don't let it be your children or family. . . Put your family first. . . Because if ya have a house to live in, you can start again and maybe get another job and pay the bills . . . But don't pay the bills and lose the house.  . and have no place for your family.

Part 2 - The Wise Woman

When Wildman was getting ready for his last rodeo . . his last ride. . .  to Glory {Heaven}, he worried about having money saved for me to live on. . I told him, "Honey, just pay off the house."  He did and thank the Lord for that. . .

Jim did pay off a car loan too. . I had some hospital bills to pay. . . But I would never pay a hospital bill over losing the house. . I guess what I am saying is, put your own family first and do what you can honestly do with the other bills. . Because ya know it isn't just the poor who are on the streets in big cities. . .

And ya know, we women have so much more than the Depression -Era Mothers had to keep their families afloat. . . We have more kitchen inventions, etc. to keep house with. . If we are wise, we can make it through the coming hard times. . IF we don't panic . . Panic will cause you to make a lot of mistakes. . .

But if you remain quiet and keep your eyes on Jesus, you will make it just as your Grandma and Great- grandparents did. . They made it, or you wouldn't be here right now..!!!

The Wise woman builds her home and the foolish tear it down with their hands. . . The Wise woman sees the hard times ahead and she makes plans to survive these times. . But the foolish woman will panic and lose what she has . .

We are virtuous women and are not confused and helpless. . We are Sarah's daughters and are not afraid with any amazement. . The Lord is on our side and we will have courage. . . We have a plan. . We are not left in the dark. . The wisdom of God is our light.

Love Connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Time

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. December 8, 2007.}

Many years ago when I had a lil 5 year old boy, we got kicked out of our apartment just before Christmas. . A church moved us to another apartment, thank the Lord. . And when we got there, we had no food.  It was a sad time. 

I remember my lil boy telling the landlady, that threw us out, . . "It's almost my Birthday."  I sat at the window in my new apartment and looked out . . I spoke to Jim out there somewhere in that snowy world. . . "Where are you, Jim? It's almost Christmas."  

I just thought, "Why Lord ..why haven't you answered my prayers?" God knew ahead of time what my life would be like. . I was so devastated, but the Lord knew my future. . He had it in His hands. . The Lord couldn't even tell me the glorious answers to prayer that I was about to see in the years ahead. . .

Had an angel come to see me and told me my future, I wouldn't have believed it.  But I was to go on and see 26 more years of a healed marriage. . I was to spend 26 of the most glorious Christmases I could ever imagine.

I was to see my beloved husband give his heart and life to Christ. . I was to have 5 more children. . I didn't know how good God was. .  . I was to give my story of a healed marriage, not just to my state of Iowa, but around the world. . I didn't know the goodness of God or his power. . I wasn't even a writer then. . I was young, just 25 years old. . The world just looked at me and Jim as 2 accidents going some place. . 

Years later, after the Lord gave us a miracle, a lady who was a politician's wife came to me for counseling. . She paid me to counsel her. . She was a dear saint. . That was mind boggling to me. 

 Now at this Christmas time, in the natural, looks so bleak to me.  I think back to that snowy Christmas years ago when all seemed lost. . . . And I think of how God made it all up to me and gave me double blessings. . He gives us exceeding and abundantly more then we can think or ask. . 

 As you follow Christ you will see His glory.  . Decide that you will not be defeated and that you will not quit. .

love Connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Walking by Faith - Remembering son David

{From the Archives of Connie's Letters. June 2015.}

Ya know in my testimony "Bring Him Home"... I explain that when Jim came home and had given his heart to the Lord, he had asked me to have another child. . We had 3 children already ...Well I didn't want to have anymore children at the time. . Jim never stayed home over 3 months.  . and when he asked me to have another child he was due to leave me again. . He had been home about 2 and a half months. . I was trying to keep a cap on my fears. .

Yes I believed he was truly a Christian now. . But even Christians make mistakes. . I was wanting him to prove himself and be home maybe a year? at least? before we took on another baby..? 

But the Lord spoke to my heart that I needed to continue to walk  by faith. . . So I said "Yes" to Jim's desire to have another child. .  I wanted another child too. . .but I was just wanting to wait a while. .

Anyway our dear David was due on Jim's birthday, Oct 27th. . Jim got to see him being born. . Jim  hadn't been with me for the first 3 children. . Jim had been healed and was to be home with us until he died, 27 years later...

Our David was always so quiet .. A  peace maker.....He was deeply spiritual. . When I homeschooled the children, we started every day with devotions. .The children had to answer questions about the Bible. . David always knew the answers. . And when most of the kids moved away after Jim died, and they were grown. . . David never moved away. . His wife, the other day, told me that David stayed close to watch over his mother. . me. . He refused to leave.

David is our son who died a year ago on June 16th .  . He died at age 33 . . His wife had their children pick out bushes and plant them in their yard as a remembrance of  the first year after David's death. . The plants were called David. . . and they were white. . I had often written about the pure white rose with the crimson stain. . .

About a month ago, David's wife brot a pic over that she framed. . David was an artist. . Anyway, it was a pic of a Locked heart with a ribbon flowing through it that says Mom and Dad on it. . Now Jim and David are in Heaven together.
And I don't mean to say David was perfect. . But there seems to be a reason for his birth. . probably more than what I know. . And a reason for his death. .
After we had his memorial and we were all out visiting on my front  porch, carloads of  kids rolled in and came up on the porch. . I heard over and over . . . as they shook hands with me and introduced themselves. . "David was our best friend"... I fought back the tears then as I do now. . I trust in God to heal my broken heart. . . .Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him. . Love Connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Menus for the Week

 {From the Archives of Connie's Letters. May 2012.}

Dear Home Keepers,

On our response group Canaan suggested that we all make out menus for the week.  . I think it is a good idea. . . I used to do this when the family was home. . Anyway hopefully we can all get some good ideas from each other for meals. .

This is how I used to do it . . . On one piece of paper I would write out my menus.. Then on the other paper I would write down the grocery items I would need to make the family meals. .

If Jim was working and got off work in the evening, then I would have the family meal around 5:00. . And if he was working a 2nd shift, I would have a family meal before he went to work in the afternoon. . .

Then we just had simple breakfasts, they varied.  I made barrels of pancakes. . and fried eggs. . Sometimes we had oatmeal or just toast and a glass of milk . . The meals we had when Jim was at work were just leftovers or sandwiches. . . Or just popcorn with a vegetable salad. 

I make the regular popcorn in a skillet on the stove. . Not microwave. To make real popcorn, just put about a fourth cup of oil in a skillet on the stove. . Then pour in about a half cup of popcorn. . Put a lid on it and shake it up a little bit to redistribute the popcorn so it won't burn. . Turn the heat on high ...then turn it down a bit when it starts to pop good  . . . it only takes about 10 minutes to make fresh popcorn.  And oh it is so good .  .We liked to eat apples with our popcorn. . and Kool-Aid to drink. I would eat my popcorn with cheese and dill pickles. . Well it is fun to have popcorn for supper. . I usually drank ice tea with my popcorn. 

The popcorn is done when it stops popping in the skillet . . Be sure to have a big bowl handy to put your popcorn in when it is done popping.  . After it is all done just melt some butter and put it on the popcorn and stir it up with salt sprinkled on it. . Sometimes we would put Parmesan cheese on it..  plus the butter. 

You can even buy bulk popcorn at the Dollar Store now. . And to some of you older ladies - Many younger ladies in this generation don't really even know about cooking popcorn on the stove. That's why I am explaining it. . I am not trying to insult anyone's intelligence.

Love Connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Message of the Hour for the Family

 {From the Archives of Connie's Letters. December 2012.}

I never learned one spiritual thing from folks feelin' sorry for me, or on a bed of ease.  I think I learned most of what I know from the hard times.

When I would go up for a prison visit, I would ask Jim how he was doing? He would say "Just doin' time. . . Hard time.." And it was hard...but in those times we learned how to follow Jesus. . . I did go through the fire. . and it was hot with many trials . . But I feel that the Lord rewarded me and gave me more peace then what a lot of folks have.

I am very peaceful here at home. . . I just feel the angels around me. I feel God's love surrounding me. . . If I do get down or depressed, I just read my Bible until I feel better.

But it is the truth that will set us free and nothing else. . . And if a true believer tells us something to help us, we should listen. . . I have been praying so hard lately.  I can see that I have gotten so generic lately.

Ya know I like Benny Hinn, the TV evangelist? I don't get him on my TV lately as I don't have cable. . . But I used to have cable and I would watch him here and there . . . And as I was watching him one day I said out loud, "Ya know if the preacher would ask the audience, 'How many here need healing of the body?' I bet it would be about a fourth, maybe, of the people need healing of the body. . . But then if Pastor Hinn asked, 'How many folks need a healing for their broken families?' I would imagine about the whole audience would need a healing for the family. . . Because the TRUTH is not told."

Christians are running around marrying and divorcing like crazy. And then after a divorce, Mother has to go work and the children's lives are turned upside down. . . And ya know Benny and his wife separated . . . then in 2010 they divorced. .  . But just lately they went back together.  I think the Lord allowed this to happen to the Hinn family because it won't be long and he and his family will be preaching about the restoration of the family.  Now we will get somewhere in the body of believers.

This is why I feel so thankful that Mrs. Nancy Campbell put my testimony on her Facebook again and I was able to update it.  Because, to me, the message on the healing of the marriage has got to be the message of the hour. . .

Love Connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Warm and Happy Kitchens

 {From the Archives of Connie's Letters. Fall 2006.}

Mothers who have busy warm kitchens and happy hearts can make good bread.  Your yeast is alive and loves to be warm and active. I think old houses seem to make good bread. I think it is because of all of the other yeasts in the house.  Yeast is in the air and a housewife can learn to harness and use whatever yeast she needs. Like a sour dough starter is harvesting yeast for bread and rolls.

I know this house is loaded with yeast of all kinds. The Old time mothers knew all of this and used what she had to make her food.  But I usually tell a young mom that if she can’t make a good family bread then it was because she didn’t love it enough.

A happy kitchen with steaming soup simmering on the stove and the coffee pot perking is a joyful place to make bread. Your bread won’t rise in a cold kitchen and if is too hot it will die.

The old time mothers used to sing in their kitchens. An old friend of mine used to say that her Mom always sang a certain song when she made bread. When she got done with all of the verses then she knew the bread had been kneaded enough.

My friend thought as a child that the song was a part of the recipe. So when she grew up and was a young bride in her own kitchen she thought she had to sing the same song. So she did!

In the old days when the family needed to be cheered up, mother seemed to be the inspiration to get them up and going.  Mother would announce, “Well, you all are hungry so I will fix supper.” 

Maybe the afternoon was quiet and not much going on. But as mother would get up to put her apron on things would begin to move about again.  She would scurry the children about to pick up their games and get ready for supper.  She would tell the boys to bring in the wood for her cook stove and some for the fireplace.  Mama would tell the girls to help peel potatoes. Pretty soon the family would smell Mamas biscuits and fried meat on the stove.

Last of all before the family sat down to supper Mother would stir the gravy. As she stirred she would tell the girls to set the table and slice the bread, Light the lamp on the table and call Papa in for supper.

Meal time was an event, a time to fellowship with the family. After supper mother would set out a starter for bread making the next day.  After the supper dishes were done and the girls dried them and put them away, the table was cleared and Mother got out her mending. Papa read the evening paper and the children played games and did  homework.

The winter kitchen was the warmest place in the house and the family stayed in there and kept warm.

Is your kitchen warm?

 Love, Connie

* Order Connie's book, "Dear Kitchen Saints," available on Amazon. It is autobiographical and tells the beautiful story of her marriage testimony!* 


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