On the home front, Hubby got the water well going, but we will probably end op having to replace the old jagger pump. He may switch to a compressor. Bug is home sick with her tummy. I had to pick her up from school yesterday. And Pete is home with extreme dizziness. Probably another ear infection. He has a deviated septum. He goes to the doctor at 2pm. I washed dishes all night to catch up. Now it will be laundry today! The baby chicks are thriving. Another hen just hatched out a set. And Emmy should have her foal any day now. Would you believe we found three more kittens by another cat?!?
THE BIRTH OF THE SONG "PRECIOUS LORD"
Back in 1932, I was 32 years old and a fairly new husband.
My wife, Nettie and I were living in a little apartment on Chicago's Southside. One hot August afternoon I had to go to St.Louis, where I was to be the featured soloist at a large revival meeting. I didn't want to go. Nettie was in the last month of pregnancy with our first child.
But a lot of people were expecting me, I kissed Nettie good-bye, clattered downstairs to our Model A and, in a fresh Lake Michigan breeze, chugged out of Chicago on Route 66.
However, outside the city, I discovered that in my anxiety at leaving, I had forgotten my music case. I wheeled around and headed back.
I found Nettie sleeping peacefully.
I hesitated by her bed; something was strongly telling me to stay.
But eager to get on my way, and not wanting to disturb Nettie, I shrugged off the feeling and quietly slipped out of the room with my music.
The next night, in the steaming St. Louis heat, the crowd called on me to sing again and again.
When I finally sat down, a messenger boy ran up with a Western Union telegram.
I ripped open the envelope.
Pasted on the yellow sheet were the words:
YOUR WIFE JUST DIED.
People were happily singing and clapping around me, but I could hardly keep from crying out.
I rushed to a phone and called home.
All I could hear on the other end was "Nettie is dead. Nettie is dead."
When I got back, I learned that Nettie had given birth to a boy.
I swung between grief and joy.
Yet that night, the baby died.
I buried Nettie and our little boy together, in the same casket. Then I fellapart.
For days I closeted myself.
I felt that God had done me an injustice. I didn't want to serve Him any more or write gospel songs.
I just wanted to go back to that jazz world I once knew so well.
But then, as I hunched alone in that dark apartment those first sad days, I thought back to the afternoon I went to St. Louis.
Something kept telling me to stay with Nettie.
Was that something God?
Oh, if I had paid more attention to Him that day, I would have stayed and been with Nettie when she died.
From that moment on I vowed to listen more closely to Him.
But still I was lost in grief. Everyone was kind to me, especially a friend, Professor Fry, who seemed to know what I needed.
On the following Saturday evening he took me up to Malone's Poro College, a neighborhood music school. It was quiet; the late evening sun crept through the curtained windows. I sat down at the piano, and my hands began to browse over the keys.
Something happened to me then. I felt at peace.
I felt as though I could reach out and touch God.
I found myself playing a melody, once into my head they just seemed to fall into place:
Precious Lord, take my hand,
lead me on, let me stand!
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn,
Through the storm, through the night
lead me on to the light,
Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me home.
The Lord gave me these words and melody, He also healed my spirit.
I learned that when we are in our deepest grief, when we feel farthest from God, this is when He is closest, and when we are most open to His restoring power.
And so I go on living for God willingly and joyfully, until that day comes when He will take me and gently lead me home.
And now for the envelope please. Today's Journal link. Written by Barbara, who has three teenagers and has been married for 21 years. She lives in West Central Florida, where her hubby is a farmer. Barbara has two journals that I read under the screen name, stronghands63.
I'm not just a farmer's wife
Barbara's entries are warm, funny and real. You leave feeling like you know her.
Last, but never least our daily thought on anger and words. Genesis 49:5-7: "They are men of violence and injustice. O my soul stay away from them. May I never be a party to their wicked plans. For in their anger they murdered a man and maimed oxen just for fun. Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce and cruel." Just to be angry is not sin. You know Jesus was angry when he cleansed the temple. But we all too often get angry for totally unrighteous reasons. Selfish reasons. Anger left to simmer can lead to violence. Don't keep company with angry people! My mother's mother, Mama Ruth always said you could judge a lot about a man's character by the way he treated animals. Violence and cruelty are never God's way! We are in the world, but be not of the world. May God bless each soul that happens this way today.