Friday, October 31, 2008

Living a life that makes a difference

Ed and I took a trip to PA this month and I got to celebrate Thanksgiving with my sisters. (The Amish & English). They have their own families so they pick a date in the fall to get together. It so happened that I emailed Liz and ask her if they had a date picked out yet. Since I haven't been available to celebrate with them, she doesn't check with me. So this picture was taken several decades ago but to show you how mixed up we are. 8 out of 12 were at my sister Anna's house this fall. The day was interesting - my oldest sister said that since "the English" don't bring things to do with their hands, she decided to be like us and not do anything, just sit and visit. I have needle work I wanted to finish up but forgot to take it along. We had a nice quiet, interesting afternoon visiting with each other. Families are gifts from God!

Ed and I had a big surprise last Sunday, we had a lunch planned with the Sonnentag's and Kramers, but what they didn't tell us was that they invited Dennis & Joanne Willcott to lunch too. Dennis was a board member and Joanne helped me with Missionettes and Bible Studies. So we had a fun reunion. They moved to PA in the 90's job related and now are back in Wisconsin. Life has interesting turns of events. They moved back home to Wisconsin and we are planning to move home, back to PA. (I wish we would have taken a picture).

Another big event in my life this week was joining the modern age and signing up for Face Book. So I have all these friends out there. This should be more fun! Brent our son tries to keep Ed and I current with all that's going on out there in cyber space. :-) It takes time for me to adjust and change . . . but its coming along! From Amish with no modern gadgets to computers and online . . . .

So next week Ed and I get to travel to CA and enjoy a week of vacation with the Assistant Superintendents of the Assemblies of God. Ed has had this title for several years now which gives him meetings to attend in Waupaca monthly. Our life has slowed down considerably which is nice. We get to enjoy and experience life as it comes down the road. I am looking for a job, partime hopefully. While we are here in Wisconsin, I would be happy to work full time. Especially with the holidays that would be exciting to be in the excitement of things.

Things will be different this year. In years gone by we were serving the church and working with them and now whatever God brings into our lives. My devotional today give talked about how to make life meaningful 1) How to line up our priorities, 2) Lighten up your attitude, 3) Look up to God. This is what I am working on in my life - honoring God in everything that I do.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

God's Promises

Years ago my father in law was visiting us in Sheboygan. We were having a conversation at our kitchen table, just him and I. He was trying to decide what to do with the family farm. He purchased this farm from his parents years ago. I never met his parents, just his brothers and sisters. Anyway, he asked if I wanted to live in Transfer when we retired. Well, I was only fifty that year and the "r" word was not in my vocabulary! I felt indignant thinking about retirement at that time. Realizing that retirement was something that I would need to think about in the future and make adjustments for.

God gave me Jeremiah 29:11 years ago; for I know the plans I have for you. . .plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. I go back from here and read verse 10 . . . when seventy years are completed . . . I will come to you . . .and bring you back to this place. We are waiting for our house to sell before we can go back. :-)

I am living out that life right now. My husband retired after 29 years of ministry here in Sheboygan. I am very thankful that God allowed us to stay put for these many years! Its not that usual for a pastor to only pastor 2 churches in his lifetime! (We still have many more years left?!) So I don't know if this will be the only churches . . .

I am finding life interesting. . . I need to find a job to pay for my health insurance. Its interesting that we bought into a life that spends money for "just in case" . . . but that is how we live life today. Its not that I am against it either. The Amish way is that when disaster strikes a family the community get together and either take an offering or have an auction.

Several years my oldest sister and her husband had an auction to sell their machinery they didn't use anymore and their children didn't want. The food service they used donated their profits to a local Amish family that had something tragic happen in their home. I don't remember the details anymore.

The community I grew up in Lawrence County PA has a very large group of Amish. They have taken families and moved from there to go and establish other communities in other states. I had uncles when I was still Amish move to Michigan. I don't remember any details anymore.

Anytime I want to remember things I ask my older sisters for information. I think my husband gets a kick out of having these Amish as relatives . . .

My parents have been gone for a long time now and I was never "shunned" so they can (are allowed) to do business with me.

In thinking about my parents, when they passed away in the early nineties. When a person is "shunned" by the Amish they aren't allowed to be buried in an Amish cemetary. When my dad passed away they let it be known to us that he could be buried inside the fence. I didn't realize I had such deep feelings but my answer back to them through my sister Emma; they shunned him since the early sixties, I did not want him buried in their cemetary! So both my parents are buried in a Mennonite cemetary. (Is this really better?) Anyway, that's what we did.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Canning . . .

Canning. I am canning tomatoes today. A friend gave us tomatoes to can. The only problem I had with canning today - I looked in my cupboard for canning jars . . . I took them to PA! I have been reading about freezing tomatoes; so that's what I decided to do with them today. I'll let you know if I like to use frozen tomatoes in our soup.

My growing up years, this was a very important part of life. Canning. We spent hours picking and preparing both fruit and vegetables. We had a huge garden. My mom always said that we would never go hungry. We might not enjoy what was served but something tasty was on the table. Mom would stew tomatoes and we would put it on potatoes. We would make a gravy with the tomatoes. I have never made it again after I left home. I don't ever want to taste it again either. :-) Now I love stewed tomatoes, sometimes I have a real craving for them.

We would have rows and rows of canned product. I grumbled in those days! When I got married I told my mother that I had no intentions of canning. Soon after we got married she brought tomatoes to our apartment with some jars to help me get started. I did can what she brought to me that day but that's all I canned that summer.

My family would can our meat too. I must not have helped with this because I was in school. The Amish can meat in the winter because they don't have refrigeration. I only remember butchering a pig once. I know we must have butchered cows too but I don't remember anything about it.

Ed and I went off to Rhode Island a year after we were married; Ed attended Zion Bible Institute and I got a job. We were allowed to eat in the Bible School's cafeteria whenever we wanted too. (Or needed too). After the first year in Rhode Island, we went back to Transfer for the summer; Ed had taken a leave of absence from his job so he had a good job that summer. I started canning and canned whatever anyone would let me can and took it back to RI! We loved and ate everything we took back with us. We ate hamburgers and hot dogs so I would can hot peppers to help spice up the sandwiches. One batch I didn't wear gloves, I burned my hands badly! Yikes.