Ups and Downs of life

When life gets tough with many ups and downs you never expected that life would hold for you, it seems those things you loved in your past, remembrances you might say, seem to warm your heart and are like comfort food to your soul.

One such remembrance for me is when I was little, I grew up on a farm in the Shenandoah Valley is as follows. My Dad raised chickens as one way of making money and had an egg route where he delivered eggs. We would start out early in the morning going through the hills and valleys surrounding our home to bring eggs to each person who had signed up to receive a dozen or so. Dad would lift me onto the medal dash board that extended out on the passenger side, wide enough to sit on, of an old bread truck and we would go from house to house. We greeted people everywhere we would go, and I was given the job to give each person their eggs. Dad would always say, “Now be careful they are breakable.” The people were always happy to see us and would take items from their table – a slice of pie or cake, or a cookie after a warm chat and send us on our way. As a child it seemed that everyone was ready with a dessert. We would see the beauty of the gardens of each home we entered and some people had flowers on china, wall paper, curtains or cupboards.


Another remembrance is as a child I loved Sunday School and my mother was a Sunday School teacher. She would teach her lesson to us throughout the week. She cooked for the field hands and her kitchen was clean and smelled of country cooking (fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy) and a hint of the waxed wooden floors permeated the air. She often made huge bowls of oatmeal cookies, cakes, banana pudding and pies to serve to the field hands and if not them, to family members. She made many a doll for children who needed them and taught many various crafts. She made many a blanket that still warm many to this day. With her hands she loved to labor to bring joy.

As a result I too love anything with a school/Sunday school theme, gardens, and tables. As I reflect on the past I reach out for that comfort food and project through my art and crafts the warmth they have given me. Thus these bring healing for the troubles to the ups and downs of life.
Img 2108Img 2112click on photo to enlarge

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About rko777

I am a novice writer and painter who loves to be creative. I love singing but can't sing without a hymnal, except for children's songs. I love to make up my own songs and love the old hymns. I love to garden and got that love from my Mom and Dad who taught be everything I know from planting to harvesting to canning. I'm happy gardening, walking with my pug, JD Sir Winston Churchill, painting, and crafting. I love to spend Saturday's sitting in my rocker going through a bible study. I love working with elementary school aged children and seeing them use their creative gifts. I have taught Sunday school for a number of years and taught in the public schools for 18 years. I might say I'm retired but I spend most of my time subbing and enjoy it immensely. The kids spark my own creativeness.

17 thoughts on “Ups and Downs of life

  1. Rena, the homespun flavor of the ‘remembrances’ you share sure brings warmth to the soul and the artwork pictured is beautifully joyful!

  2. Rena, so sorry that you are going through ‘downs’. So happy for you that you have your faith and your family circle comfort to pilot you through.

    The little angel girl with red hair and angelic wings must be you Mom shining through the colors of your heart.

    Was this your Mom’s table and chairs? Or, maybe one like you had when you enjoyed her fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and gravy. Also her huge bowls of oatmeal cookies, cakes, banana pudding and pies.

    YAY! I’m starting to visualize my sitting at this table with Virginia apples crushed into the home rolled hot double crust of spicy apple pie!

    Thanks for a ride in your Dad’s ‘old bread truck’ as we ride the ruts of an old familiar road.

    I pray for your healing and daily comfort as you travel your road to healing of the soul.

  3. Love the artwork, Rena! You are so blessed to have the wonderful remembrances you have spoken of here. “The people were always happy to see us and would take items from their table – a slice of pie or cake, or cookie after a warm chat and send us on our way”……now that warms your heart. Thanks so much for sharing your Mother’s table and your art.

  4. My husband and I read online (CNN) and shared together our thoughts on this (see link below) story last evening that highlights some thoughts on forgiveness. We would like to share with you. Hopefully it will be of help to others that may be traveling the downs of life. I think the title of the little girls story warms the heart and the end warms the soul as forgiveness became her goal! You can read and watch the videos by clicking on the link below as Rebecca shares her story.

    “A little girl’s memories stir questions about good and evil.

    http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/2011/terror.small.town/part1/index.html

  5. Think you for the story of Rebecca Nicols and her memoir of “The Devil in Pew Number Seven.’ She says of forgiveness,”If I had not forgiven, I would be crazy in an institution somewhere. My parents had planted the seeds of forgiveness in me as a little girl: Pray for those who persecute you and bless those who curse you.
    “Sometimes, when people forgive, they feel like they’re saying what that person did was OK. That’s not what it’s doing. When you forgive, you’re letting go of the pain and giving it to God.” Thank you – I love the phrase letting go of the pain and giving it to God.” If she could do it we surely can with God’s help.

    The table may be similar to my mothers. She always had a table for sewing items, a kitchen table, and a table to feed a lot of people. The kitchen table was used to spread out patterns which were sometime created by her with newspaper and since she never seemed to have pins she would use drinking glasses to hold the pattern in place in order to cut it out. Sometimes the kitchen table held a lot of different types of desserts or food. Sometimes it was covered with cookies to cool and for kids to come and grab for a snack. Sometimes it would hold canning items. Sometimes it held crafts she had come up with for Sunday School. Sometimes it was just for the immediate family to sit, say grace, and eat. It would also hold a sandwich which was always ready when we returned from school. Oh the stories that table could tell. Perhaps the new table needs to
    hold some hot apple pies soon.

  6. We see in the story told by Rebecca how forgiveness, as well as honesty has such great freedom. So often people tell a fantasy story and not the heart story. Rebecca and many other great writers and singers like Judy Collins and others share their secrets openly and honestly so healing can reach across all barriers to healing. I heard Gloria Vanderbilt tell about losing her son in an interview on CNN. It is amazing how stories when told in truth sets the soul free.

    How great to be living in the life of the internet where we can see and hear stories throughout our day and night. In this interview I heard both Gloria and Judy Collins share a sorrow they both had experienced. Then we saw the victories of fame in their writings, art and song. Judy sang “Amazing Grace”, what a voice.

  7. Rena your story is touching and reminds me of my mother’s homemaking deeds of helping daddy tend a big garden and canning the tomatoes and beets and pickles and other goodies from that blessed patch of land beside our house. Today is Sister Grandma’s birthday anniversary and your tales of the old homestead and your mom take on a special meaning, especially today.
    Thank you.

  8. Mary Reinert in writing a review on Amazon about: “The Faith Club: A Muslim, A Christian, A Jew” writes:
    “As a wonderful pastor once said from the pulpit, you can’t deal with a forty year old’s problems with a belief system that you learned when you were twelve. This book is a definite help in growing that faith; but growth is sometimes painful and what you started with may not be what you wind up with.”

    I thought, WHOA! The pastor said 40 year old! How about 50, 60, 70, 80 plus plus year old’s belief system.

    Wonder what Rena’s Mom and Dad were going through? What they were feeling, thinking as Dad drove an old bread truck delivering eggs? And, Mom as she cooked and dealt with life’s problems?

    Wonder what Rena’s belief system is as she paints, gardens and cooks and deals with life’s aches and pains? Her story replies. “As a result I too love anything with a school/Sunday school theme, gardens, and tables. As I reflect on the past I reach out for that comfort food and project through my art and crafts the warmth they have given me. Thus these bring healing for the troubles to the ups and downs of life.”

    Jesus said; “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear.” John 16:12 From the Pastor’s point of view and from the view of Jesus we will find growth charts that chart our path as we go along our way!

  9. When we place our lives, truly, in the hands of the Lord, He orchestrates all these events in our lives and brings them into a song of our own life line. When we snatch back our lives from Him for whatever reason, or if situations or circumstances beyond our control, { like as in the instance of a small child} and things happen to us that we believe is not for our good, the melody becomes dissonant and dischordant. But when we give those events up to the Lord and put Him in back charge of our life’s path, He creates the music of our lives and is the conductor and the director as well as the Composer, celebre’. Bravo! Lord Jesus. This famous hymn says it all.

    Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
    Take my moments and my days; let them flow in ceaseless praise.
    Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of Thy love.
    Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for Thee.

    Take my voice, and let me sing always, only, for my King.
    Take my lips, and let them be filled with messages from Thee.
    Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect, and use every power as Thou shalt choose.

    Take my will, and make it Thine; it shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart, it is Thine own; it shall be Thy royal throne.
    Take my love, my Lord, I pour at Thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself, and I will be ever, only, all for Thee.___Frances Havergal 1874
    AMEN, FRANCES!

  10. Song reminds me of the scripture Psalm 34:19 NIV A righteous man may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all;

    When one is going through trouble and they know God they lay flat before him and call out to him saying words of the song witht their whole heart. God in turn seems to work on the character of the person transforming it step by step – renewing the mind – casting out what is not to be there and replacing it with gems of the King – King Jesus. The process may be slow but the steps and transformation are worth it.

  11. An artist among many other gifts by the name of Priscilla suffered with panic attacks and other mental fears including the struggle with family metal disorders. An amazing woman in how she learned to tell her story. I read one of her stories where she writes about her Mother being an artist and teaching and introducing her to the gift of drawing and painting. She writes; “…while drawing or painting. No matter how anxious, bored, or worried I was, I felt better when my hands were moving, sending healing signals to my brain. My mother must have felt the same way.”

    Priscilla’s Mother now has Alzheimer. As Priscilla sorted through her Mother’s house she found rooms full of art supplies, papers and junk. She also found; “a stash of vintage beads and pendants in her basement…” Then she says, “I signed up for an introductory jewelry-making class…and, then I became obsessed…she goes on to say, “I sold my wares at local craft shows and stores.”

    Art can serve as a haven at times for those that are going through the ‘downs’ (Rena’s word, downs)of life. Rena writes in response to song MG posted; “The process may be slow but the steps and transformation are worth it.”

    It seems from hearing other’s stories that healing is obtainable with lots of work and help. Art has played a part in Rena’s life and in Pricilla’s. One takes the talents and spiritual gifts that God has given and uses it to help themselves and others and joy returns in buckets of bubbles, it seems.

  12. Does anyone agree that the “downs” in life, can be a period of time when God is trying to build character in us? If this is the case…..I don’t ever want to miss what God wants to build in me. How about you?

  13. I have heard this many times, Needles. I have also heard no valleys no peaks.

    “Spencer Johnson, M.D., is one of the world’s most respected thinkers and beloved authors including #1 title Who Moved My Cheese?” Dr. Johnson also wrote:
    “Peak and Valleys.” If you don’t have this book click and read a little and I think you will be sold on peaks and valleys.
    http://peaksandvalleysthebook.com/chapter-one

  14. Just from reading a little from the above, as you suggested Sara, there was an expectency that a valley was generating an exciting change. I would agree with Needles that I wouldn’t want to miss character building…that’s an eternal quality that we will carry always.

  15. Interesting scripture and footnotes in 2 Corinthians 4: 16-17. Read with me: “That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!” (footnotes for verse 17) “Our troubles should not diminish our faith or disillusion us. We should realize that there is a purpose in our suffering. Problems and human limitations have several benefits: (1) They remind us of Christ’s suffering for us; (2) they keep us from pride; (3) they cause us to look beyond this brief life; (4) they give us opportunities to prove our faith to others; and (5) they give God the opportunity to demonstrate his power. See your troubles as opportunities!”

  16. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore, I accept weakness, mistreatment, hardship, persecution, and difficulties suffered for Christ. It’s clear that when I’m weak, I’m strong”__2Cor. 12:9
    NOTE* Paul says, “difficulties suffered for Christ”. However, when overcoming the difficulties that life throws at one, rather than striking back, complaining, refusing to go through a rough situation (copping out, abandoning ship) one would have to ask the Lord for His strength to see it through even if it is not persecution for the Gospel’s sake.

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