Snow Day!

Yes, we Alabamians got snow! Yesterday I heard snow was coming across the Southeast. “Will we get some snow?” I asked my dad.

“Maybe,” he said. I hoped we would. When I woke up this morning I had forgotten all about it until I saw the snowy scene outside. We got about five inches of snow, the most we have ever received since we moved to Alabama. My sister and I ran outside before we even ate breakfast! We took a walk with the family that lives next door and then we all made a snowman! We had so much fun. Now for some pictures!

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The pictures above are of our backyard, and my neighbors’ houses. 🙂 Isn’t the snow gorgeous? Below is a picture of my little black kitten Texas playing in the snow on our back porch, cute as can be. Can you see the little kitty paw prints? If you want to see a picture of my calico cat Georgia, look at my profile picture at the top of the blog.

Above is the snowman. He is nearly seven feet tall, honest! Below is a picture of all of the snowman builders, my family and my neighbors, by our work of art. I am the second from the right in the red hat.

All in all, it has been a delightful snow day!

-Faith

 

The Reverend’s Daughter, Chapter 3 “Sundays, Songs, and Surprises”

The trumpeter and the crowd held out the last note of a hymn, and the Saturday night street service came to a finish. Five-year-old Marilyn was used to all of the noise, for she went to the street services every week. Dad held them on Main Street in Greensburg, right outside McCurry’s Five and Ten Cent store. Many people were shopping because the stores were open late on Saturday night. Some shoppers would stop and listen to Dad preach. Marilyn looked around at the swarm of people. Suddenly she saw her friend Delores with her family at the other side of the crowd.

“I am going to go see Delores, Mother!” she called, and ran through the crowd. “Delores!” she called.

“Hello, Marilyn,” Delores said. “Are you excited for tomorrow? I am!”

“Oh, yes!” Marilyn said happily. A few weeks previous, Dad had agreed for Marilyn and Delores to sing a duet one Sunday. Tomorrow was the day it would happen.

Then Marilyn heard Dad call, “Marilyn, it is time to go home!”

Marilyn’s family had moved from the storefront apartment to a basement apartment. It was nice, but damp. Marilyn was constantly sick with asthma there, so they had moved yet again to another apartment. Marilyn fared much better in this one.

When they arrived home, Dad turned to her and said, “Marilyn, something very sad has happened.”
“What happened, Dad?” Marilyn asked.
“Your Uncle Bill and Aunt Vivian are divorced.”
“Oh, that is not good,” Marilyn said, her blue eyes looking into his. She did not know what divorce meant, but she could tell by Dad’s expression that it was bad. Thinking about singing in church the next day with Delores made her feel better though.

The next night Marilyn and Delores were ready to sing. Once everyone had filled the pews, Dad went to the pulpit and said, “We have a special song by Delores Gray and my daughter Marilyn. They are going to sing ‘You’ll Never Know Real Peace ‘Til You Know Jesus.'” Marilyn and Delores went up to the front. Then they started to sing in harmony–Marilyn soprano and Delores alto.

You’ll never know real peace till you know Jesus,
No matter how or where you try;
For life is but loss without Him–
Jesus, Jesus.
He died on Calv’ry’s cross to win our pardon,
He rose to justify;
He is coming soon to take us,
to reign with Him on high.

When they finished, everyone clapped. The girls went back to their seats and the service continued. The girls were so happy and proud of how well they had done.

Finally, after a full day, Marilyn and her parents went back to their apartment. She rocked her doll while Dad turned on the radio. News of the war crackled into the room. They had been listening to news of the war ever since one sad day back in December.

On that sad day, Sunday, December 7, Marilyn and her parents were at her grandparents’ house after the morning service at church. Marilyn had lain down to take a nap on the couch in the big dining room. The phone had rung and Grandma Black had picked it up. She talked briefly in hushed tones to the caller, but when she hung up, she told everyone, “We are at war.” Marilyn’s life was different once World War ll had begun.

Now, as Marilyn sat in the living room rocking her doll, Mother came in with a worried expression on her face. “Charles, I just got a call,” she said to Dad. “Aunt Eva and her children are coming to visit next week!”

Aunt Eva (Evelyn McWilliams) was Mother’s aunt. She had two girls and three quite destructive boys. Whenever they came to visit, Mother would hide all of the toys because the boys would break things and tear things apart. Mother was an immaculate homemaker, so it was always quite a challenge for her to have them visit.

The next week, all of the toys were hidden when a knock sounded at the door. Mother went to the wooden front door and opened it. The three rowdy boys ran into the house. Then Aunt Eva and the two girls entered. Aunt Eva was a  very short, plump lady with a big smile and a loose brown bun. She was wearing a frilly cotton dress colored yellow and orange. Marilyn thought it looked like an outfit a clown would wear, but of course, she did not say so. “Hello Mabel, hello Marilyn,” she said. “Oh, and you too, Charles,” she added as Dad entered the room.

“Hello,” they all replied.

“Oh, Mabel,” Aunt Eva said. “You will not believe what happened two nights ago!”

“What, Aunt Eva?” Mother asked.

“Two nights ago I went to town and I told my husband James to keep an eye on the boys. Well, when I came home, I got stuck to the floor of the kitchen. Those boys had had a jelly fight! I managed to get upstairs to their room, and when I came in, they all sat up in their beds with their hair sticking up on end from the jelly! I was so angry at the mess the house was in. James said he was too. So he had dealt with it by sending them to bed.”

Thus it was every time Aunt Eva came. The boys would run around, the girls would do as they pleased, and Aunt Eva would talk. There was always cleaning to be done after they left.

 

The Reverend’s Daughter, Chapter 2 “One Sunday Night”

One day, four-year-old Marilyn was in her room when suddenly she heard Mother call, “Come, Marilyn! We have to eat supper before church starts!” Marilyn hurriedly changed into her white church dress with lace on the edges. She ran down the stairs and quickly grabbed her apron, knowing she would spoil her dress if she did not wear it.

“Please tie it, Mother,” she requested.

“You should have waited until after supper to change your dress, but regardless–” her mother said, tying it for her. Marilyn happily sat down and Dad said grace. As soon as supper was done, she pulled off her apron and ran to her parent’s bedroom. She opened a door at the back end of the bedroom which opened to a hallway. She ran through the hallway, opened the door at the other end, and entered the church.

The church, which Dad had started not long ago, was in a storefront. Dad had finished his supper before her and was already in the church preparing for the service. Marilyn walked toward him. “My little Marilyn,” he declared, as he scooped her up in his arms, “are you ready for church? The place is bound to be be packed tonight.”

“Yes, Dad, I am ready,” Marilyn said. Then Grandpa and Grandma Black came. “Grandma! Grandpa!” Marilyn called, squirming out of her Dad’s arms and running to them. Dad chuckled as Marilyn received warm hugs from her grandparents. Soon other people started to enter. Lester and Grace Gray came in with their daughters Delores and Dorothy. Marilyn ran to Delores, who was only three weeks younger than her. They were good friends. The two girls went to the pew in front of Mother. Once every pew was filled, Dad went up to the pulpit and led everyone in singing hymns.

O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.

Then the accordion started and they sang another hymn.

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms?
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Leaning, leaning,
Safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.

Marilyn and Delores both loved to sing, and they sang loudly. Then it was testimony time.

“Who has a testimony they would like to share this evening?” Dad asked loudly.

One man, who did not always think through things well, stood to his feet and said bluntly, “I’m on my way to church, and this guy comes up to me and he’s drunk. And I said, ‘Why don’t you come to church with me?’ He did not want to, so I thought of the song, ‘Leave It There,’ so I left him there.”

All of a sudden, Marilyn heard Grandmother Black exclaim, “Ohhh!” Marilyn turned quickly to see her grandmother with her hand over her mouth to keep from laughing as she fell sideways onto the pew. “Leave It There” was a song they often sang.

Leave it there, leave it there,
Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there.

Marilyn could not help but laugh at Grandmother Black. Mother gave her a ping on the head with her finger for laughing in church. Then it was time for Dad to preach the message.

“I do not usually give my sermons a name,” Dad said with a chuckle. “But I want to name this sermon ‘Saved, Sanctified, and Filled With the Holy Ghost’ because that is what we, as Christians, should be. Now everyone please turn to the Book of John, chapter fourteen.”

When the pages stopped rustling, he began speaking again. “First we should be saved through Jesus’ redeeming blood. We should confess our sins and believe in Him. As Paul and Silas said to the jailer in the Book of Acts, chapter 16, verse 31, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house.

“Salvation is the only way to heaven, as Jesus said in the Book of John, chapter 14, verse 6, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.’

“Being saved is the start of a true relationship with God. If you are not saved, then you are bound for hell. That is how important salvation is. We can not go to God except through Jesus. Jesus can save us because of what He did at Calvary. He died to take away our sins and bring us to God. He came to seek and to save, as it says in the Book of Luke, chapter 19, verse 10, ‘ For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.‘ If you believe on Him, you can be saved too.

“Then you need to become sanctified. Sanctified means holy. It is when you become, or try to become, more like God and less worldly. You become different than the world when you start acting differently than the world–when you live for God and not yourself. Living for God sanctifies you because it takes you even closer to God. John chapter 14, verse 23 says, ‘Jesus answered and said unto him, “If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”‘

“Also, in verse 15, ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’

“All in all, sanctification is when we obey God’s commandments and draw closer to Him.

“So now, do you know what Jesus will do after you are sanctified? Verses 16 and 17 say, ‘And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.’

“We can receive the gift that the world does not understand. We can be ‘filled with the Holy Ghost,’ as I said in my sermon title. The Holy Ghost will comfort us and guide us in the vicissitudes of life. The Holy Ghost will also help us to know what to say when we are uncertain. In the Book of Matthew, chapter 10, verses 19 and 20, it says, ‘But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.”

Then Dad invited anyone forward who wanted to receive the gift of salvation or the Holy Ghost. As always, Marilyn went forward with tears of penitence streaming down her face.

 

Something in the Sky

Something in the sky looks promising
In a strange and marvelous  way
Something in the sky looks promising
And it brightens up my day

Something in the sky
Shows me God’s glory
Something in the sky
Shows His creativity

Something in the sky reveals knowledge
Though it does not truly utter speech
There is not a person in the world
The heavens do not teach

Something in the sky shines
From one end of the earth to the other
To show that there is one God
None other like our Father

Something in the sky
Those without belief rebukes
Because God’s work is clearly seen
They are without excuse

Something in the sky reminds me
That everything will be okay
Because my Creator’s beside me
He is with me in all of my ways

Something in the sky
Reminds me that I am His own
Something in the sky
Reminds me that He’ll never let go

-Scripture References-
Psalm 19:1-3+6
Romans 1:20

No Man’s Land

A boy yearned for adventure
To see the Great Unknown
So he got ready to leave
The place that he called home

“Where will you go, son?” his father asked
with a quiet, cautious tone
“To No Man’s Land,” the son replied,
“To find a place of my own.

“I will go out there
And make myself a name.
I might get riches,
Maybe even fame!

“Not only am I going to that land unknown,
I myself am No Man’s Land.
Ruling my life is a job my own
I do not obey any command.

“I am brave! I am strong!
I do not need help.
Look at me! I am bold,
I can do it all myself.”

Foolish boy! Do you not see
The dangerous path you’ve trod?
You are indeed No Man’s Land,
You belong to God.

The Reverend’s Daughter, Chapter One “Marilyn Elaine”

This is written in memory of my grandma, Marilyn E. Williams (October 1936 – November 2017) and based on stories she told us.

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One October day in 1936, as the leaves started to gently change color in the Appalachian mountains, a little girl was born in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Her parents, Reverend Charles V. Elliott and his wife Mabel, were going to name her Laura Catherine after her two grandmothers, but her grandmother Laura said, “You’re not gonna call her Laura.” She went out from the house determinedly and sent out birth announcements that a baby by the name of Marilyn Elaine Elliott had been born. Thus her story began.

Marilyn’s father Charles and his twin Robert were child number ten and eleven in their family of twelve children. Marilyn only met four of them because they all moved out of town. Their mother, Catherine, thought she was going to die when she birthed the twins because she was a tiny woman and the babies both weighed about eight pounds. They grew up to be totally opposite. They couldn’t have been more different. Charles was jovial, outgoing, and athletic. Robert (Bob) was thin and very shy. He would never talk.

Their mother was Welsh and Scottish. Their father, Thomas, was a miner of Irish descent. Unfortunately, when Charles was only four years old, his father was killed in a mining accident, so Marilyn never knew her Grandpa Elliott.

Marilyn’s mother Mabel was born to William and Laura Black. When William was ten years old, he quit school and started working at the glass factory. He carried his lunch pail, a black rectangular bucket that had a rounded top on it like a loaf of bread, to work each day. He was short for his age, so his bucket almost touched the ground. Years went by and he married Laura Soles, who was of German descent.  They had two sons, William (Bill) and Crawford. Their next two children died during birth, but after that, Mabel was born. Mabel was spoiled, but she turned out well anyhow.

Marilyn often visited Grandma (Laura) Black. There was a couch in the large dining room along the side wall. Crawford would lie on the couch to take a rest. When Marilyn was a toddler, he would let one leg fall off the side of the couch and say, “Help. I’m falling. Help me get back up.” Marilyn would happily come over and struggle to get his leg back on the couch. Then he’d say, “Oh, thank you.” But as soon as Marilyn walked to another part of the room, she would hear her Uncle Crawford call, “Help, I’m falling.” She would come back to help him over and over. It was a funny game, since he was quite capable of getting his leg up by himself.

Laura’s mother was Molly Soles. She was a tall, severe-looking, gray-haired German woman who was very stern. She would make Laura and her sister go out and get themselves a switch. It didn’t matter what they did; they got a whipping every day. When Marilyn visited her great-grandmother Soles, Grandmother Soles would flick her long, bony finger and hit Marilyn’s head as Marilyn walked by her chair. This made Marilyn cry, and Uncle Crawford got very angry at Grandmother Soles. Laura grew to be the opposite of her mother. She did not want to lay a hand on any of her children.

Marilyn’s Grandfather (William) Black, known as Pa (pronounced puh), took her to the park one Saturday afternoon. She swung in the swings and he took pictures of her. With a loving, godly family, this little blonde-haired, blue-eyed girl was ready to see what the years would unfold.

Nighttime

I am waiting for the morn
To break into the night
I am waiting for the morn
The dawn’s bright early light

Patience and peace shall get me through
This still and quiet night
Patience and peace shall get me through
Until the morning light

Not only patience and peace
But the one above
Who loves me at all times
And guards me with his love

Our Regency Ball

I know this does not fit the theme of most of my posts, but one of my friends suggested I do a post about the Regency ball we had on October 22. It was held at our friend’s historic home in Anniston, Alabama.

Outside the Parker House

The house is so amazing, as you can tell from the picture above. We went early to set the refreshments out. At 2:15, the guests started to come.  They were all required to wear costumes. They were introduced into the parlor (pictured below). Isn’t our little friend so cute?!?

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We all started to mingle and talk in the parlor as some other guests started to arrive. Here is a picture of one of my sisters and some friends.

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More mingling.

Guests Arive

Some men came dressed in military uniforms.

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After all of our guests arrived, we introduced our friends who owned the home. They are in the picture below.

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We all talked and danced.

English Country Dancing 3

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Gothic Dance Video 2

Cumberland Reel Video

The Wilsch Dance

There was also music by some of our guests.

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Then my brother took pictures. Here is the picture of my family. I am close to the middle, in the white dress.

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We had a total of 59 guests. It was a large and wonderful crowd. Here is the group picture.

The Group

We kept on dancing and talking until 8:00. We had such a fun and blessed time!         I hope you enjoyed this,

Faith

 

 

 

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Things I Have Learned from My Cats

I have a cat and a kitten. I wish to tell you what I have learned from them, for I have learned a great deal. But before I tell you what I have learned, let me tell you about them.

My cat is named Georgia Cherokee Williams. She is six months old. She is a calico, with bits of orange, brown, gray, and black. She has an extra long tail that I just love. She is the cutest thing; I mean cutest. She is feisty, but can be sweet at times. One of her favorite things to do, besides adventure in the woods, is to sit on my lap and knead my legs with her paws. She does this to my siblings, too.

My kitten is named Texas Cheyenne Williams. We think she is four months old, but we’re not sure. She is all black. She is so sweet, sweeter than Georgia, but at times she likes to run and play. She loves to crouch down in the grass and stare at us with her big yellow eyes, then, when we come to her, she darts into the woods!

Now that I have told you about my darling  kitties, I shall tell you what I have learned from them.

1. Cats have to get used to each other.
When Georgia and Texas first met each other, they arched their backs and hissed at each other. For the next few days Georgia was so angry at us for bringing Texas into her territory that she would not let us hold her. She and Texas  fought together all the time. Mom said that they were seeing who would be in charge. I knew the answer. Georgia calls the shots in this cat territory! After a few days, they stopped being enemies and became friends. They still fight a lot, but it is just for fun. They are often seen cuddling together. They are best buddies. They are both cute, so together they are double cute! Georgia acts as both sissy and as mommy to Texas; Texas learns from Georgia and loves her so much. I am so glad they have each other.

2. Cats go the people who pet them.
Some say that cats stick by the people who feed them. This is only part true. At meal times, cats will go to the one that feeds them, but during the day, cats stay by the one who pets them, whether it be the one who feeds them or not. My siblings and I are homeschooled, and many a time neighbors’ cats have found out that we are here all the time, so they come for us to pet them. One neighbor’s cat was at our house more than she was at her owner’s! I loved that kitty as if she was my own. She was so very sweet and docile. (I could honestly give her bear hugs, and she would not complain!) Another example of cats going to the one who pets them is a story about Georgia, before we got Texas. When we went on vacation this year, we asked one of our neighbors to feed Georgia for us. We asked another neighbor to pet her, because she is used to getting lots of pets from us. When we came home, we could not find Georgia anywhere on our property. Guess where she was. At the house of the neighbors who pet her! She wanted to be pet! Cats truly do love to be pet and cuddled.

3. Cats are quirky.
Yes, indeed, cats are very quirky. Cats have their own things or places that they like. For example, my cat Georgia used to like to sit on a piece of wood under our porch stairs. Whenever we wanted her, we knew where to look. Texas took to sitting in a concrete rain gutter right by the steps where Georgia sat. They were almost always there, in their places. This same thing is true for many cats, especially old ones. They have their own places where they like to hang out. This is another thing that makes cats fun and special.

4. Cats like those that don’t like them.
This is funny, and maybe silly, but true. Here is an example. My daddy is not a big fan of cats, but cats still like my dad. They will walk right up to him and purr. The reverse is very true as well. I am a huge fan of kitties, but often kitties run away from me! Cats are very interesting.

5. Cast Your Burden On Yehovah.
Now it’s time for more spiritual stuff. Here’s a story of how I learned to cast my cares on Yehovah, and He sustained me, like it says in Psalm 55:22. Back in early May, I suddenly had an intense want to have a cat. I mean, I’d always wanted a cat of my own, (we hadn’t had a family cat since I was seven), but neighbors’ cats had come to visit, like I’ve said, and I’d been fine. Well, in May, neighbors’ cats stopped visiting. (Neighbors’ cats had stopped coming before. Once there were no cats on my street for a year or two, but this time was different). I wanted a cat more than I’d ever wanted any toy or gift. As I said before, my dad is not a big fan of cats. I asked him earnestly for a kitty, and he said, “I will pray about it.” I went to my room and asked God for a cat, trusting Him with the answer. I cast my care on Him. Little did I know, Yehovah was already acting on my behalf. Without my knowing it, a homeschool girl told my sister Amy Grace about some kittens that could be adopted. Mom and Dad both decided they wanted one, and one day at lunch they told us we were getting a kitten. I was beside myself with joy! God had not only given me a cat, He’d given me a kitten–even better! I was so happy and thankful. I could not wait for my kitten to come! One day we went to meet the kitties. As soon as I saw the calico kitten, I knew she was the one I wanted. I knew that God had made her for us. On June 12, 2017, Georgia Cherokee came to us. She has been a tremendous blessing ever since, and proof that if you cast your cares on Yehovah, He will sustain you.

6. God gives boundless blessings.
One early September day Georgia was out in the woods. I knew that she would be back later, and that she probably would not answer my calls, but I missed her, so I went out looking for her. I called, “Georgia!”
A neighbor heard me and said, “Are you missing a cat?”
“Yes,” I replied.
“She’s right here!” my neighbor called. I went to see, but the kitten was not Georgia, it was a darling black kitten. I’m telling you, it was love at first sight! My neighbor had found the kitten in the woods. She was so sweet, and with Dad’s permission, we fed her. I asked Dad what we would do with the kitten, not thinking he would let me keep her, and he said, “We will wait and see how Georgia takes to her.” I’ve already told you what happened when they met. Anyway, that Saturday, Dad said we could keep the kitten. Texas Cheyenne became our second little blessing, a true testament to the fact that God will sometimes give you even more blessings than you could even think of having! I never ever thought that God would give me two kitties. It is still so incomprehensible. God can give you more blessings than you could ever dream of. He is a good Father and he gives good gifts to His children.

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All in all, I have learned a lot from my kitties. Whether you like cats or not,  I hope you have learned a lot from my experiences. I also hope that if you have a pet, you will learn as much from them as I have from mine. That’s all for now. Thanks for reading!

-Faith-