Saturday, October 21, 2006

MamMaw Ritter's Oatmeal

I am not a cook. I have no special recipes that would come to anyone's mind when my name is mentioned. I did not get that particular gene. My mother only got 1/2 of the gene. My sister got the gene -- totally. It skipped me and went straight to my daughter, Amanda (Mandi). I was telling someone the other day that you will never hear my grandchildren say things like, "Remember how MiMi used to bake us . . . . Or MiMi used to fix us . . . ."

No, my grandchildren will say things like, "Remember how MiMi used to take us to those cool places to eat . . . Or MiMi used to buy us the neatest little snacks . . . "

When I was a little girl (and even as an adult) my MamMaw Ritter used to cook some of the best food. She made delicious lemon ice box pies with graham cracker crust, all from scratch. She made chicken and dumplin's to die for. No one could fry potatoes and onions like MamMaw and oh, my goodness, the salmon croquettes. The one dish MamMaw made that stands out in my mind is her oatmeal. She cooked it on the stove -- none of the instant microwave stuff. She would sweeten it and put butter and milk in it. Sometimes she would make toast and crumble it in the oatmeal. My personal favorite was when she would fry bacon real crisp and crumble it into the oatmeal. She would sit my bowl down in front of me. And, even now, I can smell it and see the steam rising. I loved MamMaw's oatmeal.

Not long ago, my little granddaughter, Brooke, spent the night with us. It was getting late and we needed to eat something so I made dinner. When PawPaw, Brooke and MiMi sat down to eat, Brooke said, "MiMi, this is so good. I have never eaten this before but I really like it. What is it?" I told her it was MiMi's special recipe and when she was older I would teach her how to make it.

It was SPAM with cheese melted on top.

There is one thing I have mastered in the kitchen. It is how to make MamMaw's oatmeal. This is Saturday and I am off work today. James was out working on his next big project - putting a cover over the deck. I finished my third cup of coffee and decided I needed a bowl of MamMaw's oatmeal. I even had my bacon fried just right and I added 1 ingredient MamMaw did not have -- dried cranberries. It was perfect. It tasted just like MamMaw made. I could almost feel her with me. I imagined what it would be like if she were still alive and what sort of conversation we would have over our oatmeal. I brought my bowl into office where I sat down to write about MamMaw's oatmeal. I take a bite and oh, it is so good. My cell phone rings in the kitchen and I go to grab it. I talk for only a brief minute. I head back to my office to finish my oatmeal and write. What I found stopped me in my tracks. Lexi (my dog) was eating MamMaw's oatmeal. Yes, her head was in the bowl. The moment is over. I am just going to make another pot of coffee.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

My Breakfast Table

This is what I find on my breakfast table EVERY morning. James' Bible, his book, his glasses and his place mat. He gets up at 4:00 every morning. He is very habitual. He gets ready for work, makes MY coffee, eats his breakfast and spends time with the Lord before leaving for the day.

I can't tell you what I felt this morning when I stumbled in for my first cup of coffee. It gives me great peace to know that my kitchen has been saturated in prayer and quality time with God by the man I love the most. There at the table, he prays for me and he prays for our children and grandchildren.

How blessed is our family to have James. He is a Godly man. He listens to God and He obeys God. It hasn't always been easy for the kids with James being the disciplinarian that he is, but everything he has done and said has been to better the children's lives. He can say "I'm sorry, I was wrong." He can cry. He can be tender and he can correct. He lives a life worthy of being watched and chased after.

Lord, I thank You for James today. I thank You that my husband is respected at the city gates. He is honored by his children and his wife. I thank You that James is truly the Priest of my home. I can trust him because I know he trusts YOU. Amen

My Portion

There is not one of us that do not deal with cares and struggles in life. Some of us feel like we are consumed with fear. I have struggled with fear a lot in my adult life due to past situations in my life where I had no control over what was said or done to me. I have had a situation, actually a person, in my life that controlled me so completely with manipulation and fear, that even today I still deal with it. I have to be so careful to not let my past dictate my future of who I am in Christ Jesus. When you have had people in your life that manipulate and control you, it is very hard to get past it even when that person is gone and out of your life. I think it is because when you feel like someone else is trying to control you or manipulate you, you go back to that time in your life that was so painful.

Today, I stand on God's Word for my life. He has not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love and a sound mind. (see II Timothy 1:7)

I encourage you today to read in Lamentations, chapter 3. It reminds us to recall such times in our lives and be humbled. I am humbled knowing that it was God that delivered me. It is God that sustains me and gives me hope. It is God that picks me up out of the miry clay and sets my feet upon a rock. It is God that gives me sleep and rest. It is God that takes away the spirit of fear. It is God that gives me hope and a future.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.

Lamentations 3: 22 - 24

Verse 22 says "mercies". That is plural. We are not consumed with the cares of life because of His "mercies". He is compassionate and His compassions fail not and they are NEW EVERY MORNING. Oh, I thank the Lord, that when I wake up, He gives me NEW compassion, new mercies and they cannot fail. I thank the Lord that HE IS MY PORTION. I have hope in HIM.

Thank You, my precious Lord, that You are my Hope. Your mercies are extended to me daily. You are compassionate to me, my Lord. You hear me and You answer me. You give me peace in the midst of every storm. You calm my fears. I cast all my cares on You because You care for me. You are my portion, my deliverer, my strength, my strong tower. I will fear nothing because You are my salvation. Amen

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Keep Believing

Yesterday I posted BELIEVE. If you have not read it, scroll down and read it first and then come back to this posting.

This morning as I was studying the Word, my mind kept coming back to the scripture I posted yesterday.

Whatsoever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
Matthew 21:22

Why do we have so much unbelief?

There is only one way to overcome unbelief. It is by studying the Word of God. The Bible teaches us that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. The more we study His Word the more we will understand what His Will is for our lives. The Bible is full of "if you will, I will". This journey is not a free ride. We do have a responsibility to obey the commands God has set before us. However, God has promised us everlasting life with Him IF we do what He has asked of us. Unbelief is simply not having faith that God will do what He said He will do and that God is WHO He said He is.

What are you believing God for today in your life? Have you been praying for it so long that you have unbelief? God is faithful to do what HE said HE would do. Always. It is always a timing thing with God, is it not? We live in a fast paced world where we have come to expect instantaneous responses. God is not fast food, DSL, Satellite, light switches, or any of the other things we expect immediately. God is sovereign. If you are seeking the face of God, you will see the hand of God. You will see the hand of God the very moment God shows you His hand.

Abide in Him and He will abide in you.
Love Him and He will love you.
Trust Him and He will be faithful.


Keep believing!

Monday, October 02, 2006


We all have issues and situations in our lives that need change.

Children that need to draw closer to God and children who need to COME to God. I have a close friend who has just experienced cancer surgery with one of her daughters. Some have children who struggle with submission to authority; children who are ill; children who struggle academically. If every parent reading this stopped to think, you have some sort of issue with a child or children.

How about children who have issues with US -- the parent? No matter how old the child or how old the parent -- there are issues.

There are days when you feel so burdened down with your own situations that you cannot even think about anything else or anyone else. We have all had those days. It may not be children or parents. It could be financial, physical, etc. That is part of life.

I find comfort in this:

Whatsoever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.
Matthew 21:22

Notice the "believing". It is set apart by commas. You can pray all day long but you have to BELIEVE.

Father God, in the name of Jesus, I pray today for my readers. Let them know that Your Word is yes and amen! If You said it we can BELIEVE it! You instructed us to raise up our children in Your Way and they will NOT depart from it. You told us to honor our Mothers and Fathers and that You would bless us with a long life if we do. Your Word tells us that You will never leave us and You will never forsake us. You said we are the head and not the tail, we are above only and not beneath, we are blessed in the city and we are blessed in the field, we are blessed coming in and we are blessed going out. By Your stripes we were healed. Your Word teaches us that we may walk in health, wealth, wisdom and love. We are promised everlasting life with You. You are the Lifter of our heads and the Lover of our souls. You give Your angels charge over us. You make a way for us in the wilderness and You direct our paths. Your Word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path. You give us peace that surpasses all understanding. Your faithfulness reaches to the heavens. Your love and Your mercy endures forever. The seas and the winds obey Your command -- You are GOD of heaven and earth. Your Word says it and today, Father, we BELIEVE it. We accept Your Word, we obey Your Word and we walk in the fullness of Your Word today. Father, help our unbelief. Help us, today, to BELIEVE. Amen