I hope you all had a good week. Were you able to get outside and enjoy some lovely weather? I did. Monday evening was almost chilly it was so cool. Tuesday evening was perfect. The kiddos were all over and rode bikes for at least an hour after supper. Wednesday was warmer and yesterday was at least 90º. Yeah, it was quite a change. But this morning is lovely and we have the windows open again. I'm not sure how warm it's supposed to get, but we'll leave the house open as long as we can.
I finally reached the end of the next blog story you are going to get. :) I haven't finalized the title yet, but you should be getting part 1 next week. I hope you enjoy it because it is long. And I don't mean 4 or 5 parts long!
Now I'm trying to figure out just what I should work on next. I know what I'd really like to work on, but I'm having trouble really getting into it. Perhaps that's because I was also trying to keep enough other things written to post. Or perhaps I was just getting distracted by the other two stories I am working on. Either way, I haven't made much progress at all. You can all be praying for creativity and wisdom as I write. Oh, and focus. :) (Please don't tell me I'm the only one who gets distracted!)
Oh yes, Blessing Counter tagged me for the Quote tag. Well, since I don't post more than once a week on here, I thought I'd just give you a quote for the next three weeks. How does that sound? Sorry, I don't have any fancy graphics for these quotes. If anyone wants to volunteer to create something, let me know and I'll send you the quotes. :)
I believe that it is no more necessary to be faithful in preaching the Gospel
than in washing up dishes in the scullery.
~ J. O. Fraser
And now, back to the last part of this chapter of Hymns in the Hills.
To the Work
“Yes, sir. Tomorrow is Sunday, though I know it must be hard to remember when you live so far from town and can’t go over to prayer meeting during the week. Sometimes the weeks were so busy back home that even Papa had a hard time realizing what day it really was. But what time, please?”
Instead of answering, her uncle looked across the room at her aunt. Neither one said a word, though Aunt Lillian gave a slight nod. Only Baby Mattie’s jabber broke the breathless hush of the room as everyone waited to hear the answer. At last Uncle Benjamin cleared his throat. “Well, seein’ as we live so far outside a town,” he began, “we ain’t never went ta church regular like. Sometimes the roads are too muddy, or it’s rainin’ or some such thing.”
“But it was really sunny today, Uncle, and I heard Zeke say it looked like it would be sunny tomorrow.” Belle had never missed church on Sunday except when she was sick and couldn’t go. The thought of not going when she was perfectly well and the sun was shining made the homesick feeling rise again. She bit her lower lip and blinked back the tears which burned in her eyes.
“Well, I reckon if’n ya can talk Ez or Zeke ta hitch up the wagon an’ take ya, ye might could go.”
“Oh, thank you, Uncle!” And Belle, unmindful of those watching, threw her arms around her uncle’s neck and kissed him.
Looking slightly pleased, Uncle Benjamin raised an eyebrow. “Don’t ya go ta thankin’ me yet,” he said. “Like as not Zeke an’ Ez’ll be wantin’ a day a rest at home.”
Turning at once to her older cousins, Belle asked if they would take her to church in the morning.
There was but a moment of hesitation as the two young men exchanged glances before Zeke gave a nod and said, “Yep, we’ll take ya.”
“Thank you!” Belle’s radiant smile seemed to light up the darkening room.
“Pa, can I go too?” Ali asked.
“Ask yer brothers. If’n they don’t mind, I shore ‘nough don’t care who goes ta church tomorrow.”
Instantly the room was filled with pleas to Zeke and Ez to take them too, for a trip to town for whatever reason, was an adventure not to be overlooked. Finally Aunt Lillian ordered everyone to be quiet. “Give yer brothers a chance ta talk. They kin say who all kin go n’ who can’t.” She looked at Zeke.
“Any that want’a go an’ are ready when we leave, can come ‘long. Sade, Si, ya want to go ta church with us in the mornin’?” Zeke had left his post by the door and moved beside his father’s chair. Two little blond heads were shaken. “Then I ‘spect we’ll be takin’ Rome, Kade an’ the girls.”
“Kin ya manage all the young’uns without us, Ma?” asked Jess.
Aunt Lillian gave a smile. “Since yer pa’ll be here, I kin manage.”
Belle, who had been thinking since Zeke told her she could go, now turned once more to her uncle. “Uncle, don’t you and Auntie want to come to church too?”
But Uncle Benjamin shook his head. “No, Child, you go ‘long with yer cousins tomorrow an’ another time maybe we’ll go too.”
With this Belle had to be content, for she had never learned how to argue and wouldn’t have considered doing it now.
Putting Benny down from her lap, Aunt Lillian stood up. “Any who are thinkin’ a goin’ ta church in the mornin’ ain’t goin’ dirty. Ez, fetch the tub, an’ Zeke, take yer brothers out ta the barn. Use the old trough an’ make sure the young’uns git clean. I ain’t sendin’ my young’uns ta church with more’n a week’s dirt on ‘em. Pa, will ya start pumpin’ water? Jess fetch clean nightshirts fer the boys, an’ make sure ya get ‘em fer Si and Benny too. I know they ain’t goin’, but that don’t mean they can’t get cleaned up too.”
By the time Belle was in the room she shared with her cousins, she was more tired than she ever remembered feeling. Mattie and Tabby were both asleep, worn out with crying through their baths. In silence the older girls prepared for bed.
“Are ya still goin’ ta read yer Bible?” whispered Ali, when Belle reached for the book.
“But aren’t ya tired?”
“Yes,” admitted Belle, “but I know I will rest better if I have a sweet promise of Jesus to rest upon.” A smile broke over her face as she saw the next verses. Softly she read them aloud. “For I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul. Upon this I awaked, and beheld; and my sleep was sweet unto me.”
Jess’s voice sounded from across the room. “What does that word ‘satiated’ mean? I ain’t never heard it before.”
“I asked Papa that once and he said it meant to satisfy so much that the satisfying spilled over in abundance. That’s how Jesus satisfies; He does until it overflows. But sometimes I don’t let Him satisfy.” She heaved a little sigh. “I want something more, something else, when all I need is Him.” There was a long pause before Belle added, “But when we let Him satisfy, our sleep will be sweet.” Gently shutting the Bible, Belle knelt in prayer. She had a promise to rest on. Though she was weary and tired, He would satisfy her and make her sleep sweet. All she had to do was accept.
Rising from her knees, she blew out the candle and slipped into bed beside Ali with a sigh of contentment.
“Belle, when will ya teach me ta read?”
“Soon, Ali, soon.”
Have you ever gone to church with your cousins?
Would you like to ride in a wagon to get to church?
Do you want more of this story?