Friday, February 1, 2013

Enjoying Ill Health

Guest post by Dianna Overholt

       I’ve just spent half a day in bed with a don’t-move headache. A no-lights, stomach-churning, over-the-eyes migraine.
       And I haven’t had such a heart-warming time in months.
       My husband served crackers and tea on the nightstand before leaving for work. “My head makes my stomach hurt,” I groaned, nibbling the saltines. “But I have to eat before taking the migraine pills! Please tell the children that I need to sleep for several hours.”
       With my youngest at age four, resting should be simple, nothing like past experiences of nursing a baby while throwing up.
       Through the dark and quiet walls come the rattle of cereal bowls and the clink of ice cubes. Grateful for my capable twelve-year-old, Angela, I find a position that creates the least pressure on my head.
       Screeech! Bang! The bedroom door lurches open, then shut. I wince.
       Angela approaches the bed with two drinking glasses: one of ice water, one of mango drink. “I’m sorry you’re sick, Mom,” she sympathizes. “Should I make coffee?”
       Screeech! Bang! Nine-year-old Lindsay arrives with a plate of delicacies: a brownie, four frozen blueberries, three frozen raspberries, and a tic tac.
       “Thank you, girls,” I smile weakly. They are wearing matching blue-flowered aprons. “Just leave them on the stand. I’m sorry, but I can’t eat right now.”
       They hover, anxious to serve. “Can we get you anything else? Do you want the fan on?”
       “That would be nice,” I reply, closing my eyes. “I really just need to sleep.”
       Ten quiet minutes elapse. My stomach is riding a stormy sea.
       Screeech! Bang! We really need to oil the door. Bare feet bound in, and two pairs of shining eyes beam over my bed. My little boys.
       “Mommy, I made a card for you!” Four-year-old Rodney bounces up. “Here, open it, Angela helped me make it.” He jumps up and down, up and down.
       Ooh, my head. “Rodney, please get off the bed.”
       The ancient card, picked from a garage-sale bundle, proclaims “With Sympathy”. With one eye open, I read the inside death-in-the-family sentiments framed with alphabet stickers. Suddenly Rodney yanks back the card. “This green sticker isn’t straight!” he cries. He peels it, and the card tears. “Now I need to make you another one,” he pouts, crumpling it.
       Richard’s is on lined notebook paper. In six-year-old wisdom he carefully penned, “Deer Mom, Plez get better soon. You are the best mom in the hole wurld. Can I have a cookie?”
       Screeech! Bang! We really, really need to oil the door. More get-well cards delivered. Lacy, flowered, purple ones with “Get well wishes especially for you!” (Those garage-sale cards were a wise investment.)
       “Dear Mom,” wrote Angela. “I hope you feel lots better quickly. You are a very nice mom and person to be around. I love you!”
       “To the most wonderful mother,” Lindsay’s begins. “I hope you feel better soon! Is there anything I can get you? I will be glad to get it if there is! You are the best mom I could ever wish to have. Thank you for being a great mom.” The corner exclaims, “You are the best mom in the world. You are a great mom.”
       I love redundancy.
       But I am experiencing an over-abundancy of noise and movement and little bodies. I try nicely thanking them for their cards while firmly stressing that no one should come into the room for one hour. They cheerfully troop out.
       I curl around a pillow, recalling my latest episode of caring for my two youngest energists…

       Christmas Eve, 10:20 p.m. One last check on the boys as they drifted off to sleep. Then I heard it. A groaning cry. “My tummy hurts!” Quickly guiding Richard into the bathroom, I ran for a bucket.
       In disbelief, I heard Rodney crying out. Just in time, I stuck the bucket under him. Within a minute, they’d both vomited. The stomach flu, no doubt.
       My husband’s face registered complete disbelief. I couldn’t help laughing. “If I’m going to stay up with one, I may as well stay up with two!”
       What a night: two boys and two buckets. Every 15-20 minutes I leaped up and grabbed one or both buckets. A well-synchronized pair, they always vomited within a minute or two of each other. Once I had a bucket held out in each hand.
       Poor little boys with faces white and tummies twisted. I lovingly patted their backs. I wiped faces, and offered sips of Sprite. My own stomach never once churned. With a book and a Bible beside me, I read, slept, jumped up, prayed, snoozed, jumped up, and repeated.
       My husband and two oldest children, squeamish and wide-awake, retreated to the farthest end of the house where they tried drowning out the acoustics.
       Occasionally my husband emerged to peak in. “I wish I could help,” he’d say, “But my own stomach is hurting.” His face would twist into a something-smells-awful look and he’d breathe, “You’re beautiful. You are so beautiful!” before quickly retreating.
       Activity finally ceased at 2:00 a.m.
       In the kitchen, dishes rattled and banged. The door remained closed. I felt myself drifting away.
       Then right outside my door:
       “PSALM 88.”
       It’s Lindsay. With loud and great expression she reads the entire psalm. “O Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee:… for my soul is full of troubles: and my life draweth nigh unto the grave. I am as a man that hath no strength:… Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me;… thou hast made me an abomination unto them: I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. Mine eye mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee, I have stretched out my hands unto thee.”
       My eye was not only mourning by reason of affliction, it was weeping from laughter, and the love-warmth of children.
       (Later I discovered that Angela, knowing her sister greatly dislikes dishwashing, suggested that she’d wash while Lindsay read a Psalm. Lindsay had picked the Psalm at random.)
       Eventually I slept, eventually the pills worked, and I awoke with pain abated and a warm realization.
       The realization was that in the “normal” sicknesses of family life we’ve formed some  one-of-a-kind memories that cannot be created any other way. Difficult memories, tiring ones. But memories of support and care. Memories of being there for each other when we most need a loving touch.
       So I stand with a bucket outstretched in each hand and I say that almost I enjoy ill health.

~ Guest post by Dianna Overholt who is a Mennonite mother of five and author of Guiding the House, which is a delightful Home Organizer.  See our last giveaway for details.  

And here is the EXCITING announcement!  If you missed out on the giveaway, you can now get your very own copy HERE for only $9.95!  Don't miss it!

"I absolutely love this planner. It is keeping me more organized and love the different sections included in the planner..not just calendars but places to keep food inventory, bible verses to memorize, projects, and more. I will definitely purchase again. I'd recommend it to any SAHM / SAHW / or anyone wanting to keep track of sections it offers other than just the calendar portion."

"I am new to planning my days, but am already helped by using this. Everything I need to remember is kept in one place. The layout is great and the quotes are inspiring and helpful. Thank you Dianna for designing a wonderful planner!"

Also you can find more details at Dianna's site Guiding the House!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cross Stitch Bookmark Birdhouse Chart

This is my project today.  If I have figured out the PDF link correctly, you can access it too!

Cross stitching is something I used to do a lot of, and thankfully kept all of my patterns and thread because now our daughter really enjoys it and it is something that we enjoy doing together in front of the warm fire.  

I love creating these memories with her and the in depth conversations we have while we stitch away...


Find this pattern and many others on my Needlework ~ Cross Stitch and Embroidery board.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Baking Ideas

These are some of the cutest and easiest goodies to make for Christmas.  We simply dip pretzels into some almond bark and the children and grandchildren LOVE to decorate them in any way they choose.  Honestly, these are much easier to do and clean up than sugar cookies.  Usually when we get half way done with sugar cookies, I am left to finish decorating and clean up and by then, I'm exhausted!

Here are some other GREAT ideas for you that I will be doing this year....

Monday, December 10, 2012

Homemaker's Organizer Giveaway

This giveaway is now closed.  

Congratulations to Anne Kimball at Life on the Funny Farm
chosen from, for winning this incredible Homemaker's Organizer!

Thank you for all of your entries!  I had the most enjoyable time visiting everyone's websites!  

Be sure to click on the link below to purchase your own copy!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Dinner Tonight

Our family really enjoys Meatloaf, especially since we started having our own grass fed beef waiting patiently to be used in our freezer.  My recipe is my Mother's own famous recipe with lots of good spices, sauces and a bit of oatmeal, and bran in it.  It is delicious, but takes quite a bit of time to prepare.  

Today, on Pinterest of course, I came across this easy sounding Meatloaf recipe that I decided to try.  You can find it and many other delicious recipes on my Yummy Recipes board.

The recipe calls for:

1 pound of ground meat (beef or turkey)
1 egg
1 box of Stovetop Stuffing
1 cup water

Mix it all together and bake in a bread loaf pan at 350 for 45 minutes.

That amount might feed a smaller family, but we like having Meatloaf sandwiches from the leftovers so I doubled the recipe using:

2 pounds of grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free, Highland Beef
2 free range, home grown chicken egg 
(probably from a Barred Rock hen, the one that likes to eat all of my Kale)
2 boxes of incredibly processed Stove Top Chicken made with Whole Wheat
2 cups of raw milk

I used the whole wheat to make myself feel better about using processed boxes of stuffing with so much other excellent home grown and raised ingredients.

When it's just about done baking, I'll smother it with our homemade Amish Tomato Ketchup from our homegrown tomatoes......YUM!!

To finish the table, we'll have some canned peaches, spiced applesauce and hopefully a small salad from the lettuce still growing in the greenhouse!

I promise, if the recipe isn't any good, I'll be sure to add on to this post to let you know, but since we love stuffing, I'm pretty sure we will enjoy it.

~ Much later.....this recipe is delicious.  Our daughter said it was the best Meatloaf she had ever tasted!  I will tell you that you can clearly taste the stuffing in this meatloaf, so if you do not care for stuffing, I wouldn't advise making it.  If you love stuffing the way we do, you have GOT to try this!!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Deciding to be Cheerful

Are you naturally cheerful?  
Does being cheerful come hard for you?  
How do you keep a cheerful heart?

Generally, I am cheerful.  All the time?  No.  Sometimes I don't want to be cheerful.  That doesn't mean that I want to be gloomy on purpose, sometimes I need cheering up.  It is a rare occasion, but it happens.  

What I find, when I'm not cheerful, is that my home is not cheerful.  My family gets moody and the mole hill turns into a mountain.  Does it need to?  No.

When I recognize that I am being a half full glass type of person, I have to make the decision in my mind to stop being such a puddle glum (as my Mom would say).  

The benefit of age, is that I've learned from experience that if we implement what scripture says in our lives, it truly works.

For me it took age, for others who learn at a young age, they are blessed. 

We cannot live by our emotions.  We must resolve in our mind to do what is right and to choose joy, choose happiness, choose to love our husbands, choose peace, choose wisdom, choose to walk the narrow path, embrace being set apart, choose to teach these truths to our children and choose to love God with all of our heart, with all our soul, with all our MIND and with all our strength.  

Today I choose to be cheery.  Today I choose to be joyful that our little calf that struggled through the night is taking her bottles eagerly.  Today I choose peace even though my home is not as clean as I'd like it to be since we've been calf sitting for over a week.  Today I choose to love God with all my heart knowing he will not allow us to go hungry even though the tomatoes need to be canned and there isn't enough time in the day for me to do everything that needs to be done.  

I truly understand that God is teaching me through this, giving me the strength I need for today so I choose to be cheerful that He loves me enough to walk through today with me, holding my hand, guiding my heart and filling my heart with peace for whatever today holds.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Learning As We Go....

It has been quite awhile since I've posted and for that I apologize.  At times life gets so busy, I can barely remember what my name is.  Some of you may know that I have another blog called Ozark Mountain Family Homestead, and others of you may not.  My initial purpose for this was to keep the homesteading topics for those truly interested in them separate from the topics that Christian women are concerned with.  I was concerned that some women would shy away from the homesteading aspects.  That concern is valid, however, it is who I am and it is what my journey is about which is what this blog is supposed to give you a picture of.  So in the future, I intend to post about all aspects of our life right here and I hope you will be encouraged by it.

This past month has revolved around calving, hatching eggs, fiddle festivals and through all of this, how to glorify God in our every day thoughts and actions.  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...