Beans & Cornbread

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It is funny how the titles come to me that take me back to years ago. The good ole beans and cornbread, probably quite the dinner bowl in the southern parts of the states. I was raised with them but now rarely make them, although I do enjoy when I do make or eat them.

Back when I was dating my husband, I was questioning everything and the pros and the cons. Should I marry him? There was a hesitancy, but he truly treated me well, unlike other guys I dated. Of course, that surely had to be a sign from God. Right? Little things added up and some things did not but taking a step in marriage is a BIG STEP.

Since my mom always made beans and cornbread through the years to feed all the mouths in our family and company, I mentioned to her one evening that this man I was dating, now for years, loves beans and cornbread. Her advice was that if I can find a man who loves beans and cornbread, he is a winner. Well, I married him.

Then I realized that I made beans and cornbread quite often, to the point I hated them, which is one reason today that I do not make them. It has been years. I can make a good pot of beans, or I used to. Cornbread was not bad either, especially fried. At one point in my small family, I cooked and baked quite a bit. Now things look different in my home, with the boys on their own and my husband living with his mother, caring for her. So, the beans and cornbread, never simmer or are enjoyed but they have been on my mind, which is why I am writing. Maybe for old-time sake, I should make a pot. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not.

Let me know if you have had or enjoy beans and cornbread. Country cooking at its finest.

Tied Up In Knots

Many years ago, while we were in the thick of the pandemic, I sent my son a wind-chime as he had the perfect place. I love wind chimes.

He had just moved into this place with a back yard that reminded me of Gatlinburg. It was in the middle of a big city but hidden. I always loved to visit and help clean up the yard or help him in the house, giving it a mother’s touch and food on the stove.

This was such a big change for him. He had never enjoyed yard work growing up, as most kids, but this place captivated him and his time, as we were all home bound. This was actually a move of God for him to be in this place at this time.

Prior, he had an apartment by himself and with his work, being able to work from home, he was isolated from people. He is a people person. Work was demanding and placed him alone in this apartment for hours at a time, getting overwhelmed and I knew depression was grabbing hold. He is a lot like me so I recognized what was happening. I have written about him several times in my blog here. The Lord has a calling on his life, he knows it. Sometimes, running away from such seems like it will work but it won’t. I have been there, too. You can run but can’t hide.

This big house and yard came available and two roommates joined him and it was perfect for all three. Again, a God thing. I feel if it had not taken place, especially with the stay at home ruling, I may not have a son right now. Depression sucks life from you.

I am proud of him to move forward but also seek help from a doctor. It’s okay to take anti-depressants, if just for a bit to get through whatever. Some may feel that is a lack of faith and place that condemnation on you but it is not their journey and none of their business. Take care of you.

The wind chime arrived and soon was hung up in the tree making the sounds that some love or hate. He was not so sure at first and him and a roommate had to put a cord around them, to stop ringing. We laughed over this but soon they enjoyed the sounds and how pretty it was in the backyard.

Things happen and another move to a smaller, better house and by now the ban from leaving home and restrictions were lifted. This house had no real place to hang the wind chime. A little tree in front had to do so it would not get tangled. It is a long wind chime, perfect for the other yard.

Time went by and it remained and ringing but either wind or the neighbors twisted it up and now it was jumbled up and not pretty looking or sounding. He threw it in the shed. I was saddened but understood.

Recently, he was coming home. I have a great yard and trees so I told him to bring to me and I’ll use and enjoy once I get it back to it’s purpose, so he did.

Oh my! It was a mess. I had no idea of how this would ever be put back together. As I watched television one night, I thought I would tinker with it, one tube under, another one over and continued.

It was overwhelming. I would work on it and put it down and try another night. A couple of times I was tempted just to pitch. Not worth my time. Looking at it though, the tubes were pretty, the string was strong but it was tied up so bad. I just wanted to give up.

Isn’t that just like life? There are things we need to do and conquer but it is too hard. Thinking there is no way it can happen. Hopelessness enters our minds and we stop.

I laid this out on the floor, which was for a good week. Each night I would move tubes under and over and I started to make headway. I’d get frustrated and stop. I knew I had to keep going and finish. I have come too far to end. Again, life experiences we deal with.

I finally got the tubes and string in order. What a fantastic feeling to conquer. While I still have to hang the tubes correctly, I will attempt. I will also go through the frustration and hopelessness of it not being right. Still, I will move forward. Soon, it will be hanging in my tree and I will enjoy knowing its history and the pain to get there.

Again, life. We have to keep moving forward and not give up. Many trials and misfortunes may come but soon if we don’t give up, there’s joy and a pride within ourselves that we made it through.

This hopefully will be something that will strengthen you or my son’s ability to keep moving forward whenever times get tied up in knots and it seems there is no way out and feeling like throwing our hands up in defeat. A story his mom has written, understanding him and how each one of us struggle at times. Life experiences. Life happens.

Don’t give up.

It all falls together

One More, Gone

I found myself the other day feeling the loss of many in my life, but not in death basically, but out of reach. Our relationship will never be the same and our paths may never cross again.

Honestly, I have had to fight through the anger when this has happened. Anger with the Lord. Why? Why are you removing them from my life. I feel so alone. I miss them. I don’t do well with change and feeling abandoned tops the chart in my emotions. Lord, why is this happening as I am alone already?

Through the last few years, more losses but now I try my best to grasp that even though another leaves, the Lord is still with me. It is that knowing deep within that He will never leave nor forsake me. I know that but I am human, too. Loss is hard. I miss them even before they are gone.

Saying goodbye to another just this week, due to his family moving to Arizona, a loss. Odds are I will never see or speak to him again. Our paths crossed. I’m thankful. This happens all the time and I am sure with you, one moves, one retires, one is sick, etc., but they all accumulate to where a sadness develops, as you miss them and the relationship.

The other day, thinking over all of those that I have lost, just in the last five years, I was sad and selfish and wanted to have a poor me, pitiful pity party. I did not do so but I felt it coming. To remind myself, I was blessed to have them in my life for the period that I did was truly a blessing. I hope that I blessed their life in some way.

As I write this, I thought about my former counselor and her last note to me about being a stepping stone in my life. While I understood that from her, I was devastated our time was done too soon, as we just talked about having one more year in counseling together. I was angry with her and reading those words she wrote and even angry with the Lord. I was not done, my dependency on her was still needed, I thought and of our plans. We were making so much progress. Just the visual of a stepping stone and her writing that to me, I wanted to pick that stone up and smash it into smithereens. No matter, it was over and done. I’m just a closed file in her filing cabinet.

As for being angry with the Lord, it is okay and it is okay to scream that you are angry, you may even hate Him at that moment, as He let you down, too. He knows it anyway. Actually, it’s freeing to do just that, scream. Go ahead.

I have had to wonder nowadays if I hear from another person in my life, calling or telling me of whatever is happening in their life and of their situation, and they will be leaving me, too. Am I putting up a wall to avoid such hurt or am I just accepting the fact that nothing or nobody is permanent in my life. Perhaps reluctant to be friends because they might leave. Is this reality or a cold-hearted feeling I have anymore. Dealing with abandonment in my life, this really knocks me off kilter. Please don’t leave me! A part of me is that I understand, and I really do. There is also a part that throws a temper tantrum, fine go ahead and leave me. The sensible, understanding adult and the anxious, fearful child fighting within.

Thankfully, in time I get it together as change and loss is hard. Even through the dark, lonely and emotional stages it all brings, I know I am not alone. Even though I was angry with the Lord, I know He loves me still and I Him. I can share my broken heart yet again but yet again be reminded, He is right here with me.

Like the sweet church song we sing, ‘I don’t know about tomorrow but I know who holds my hand.’ In life we are faced with many losses and situations we don’t know which way to turn, our steps are unsteady, our faith is wavering and we finally throw up a white flag, surrendering our need and call upon the Lord.

In those midnight hours or when you or I feel so alone, people have left our lives and no hope in sight, there is One that we can call out to and He hears our cry and sees our tears while collecting them. How sweet and caring is that?

So I have learned through my losses, I am sad and tears will flow while grief is present. I am not to build a wall to not be hurt again, as I will be, but to accept and wish them well on their journey. Hopefully, I was a stepping stone in their life as they were in mine.

A loss is great but the Love of God is even greater!

May you feel His Love all around you in whatever you might be facing or going through. You are going ‘through’ so have hope because He knows your name, He knows where you are right now, and He knows where you are going. Be Blessed