Why pickled watermelon rind? you ask. Well, what do you usually think of when you’re done eating the fruit? It’s just trash, or for the really ambitious, it’s good for the compost pile. But did you ever imagine that the throwaway rinds from a summer fruit could instead be useful, let alone tasty? When you wash and prepare them, boil them till they’re soft, and boil them again in a sweet and sour solution, the result is unexpected – you certainly did not plan to fall in love with them, as my skeptical family has. (One year I even figured out how to wash the seeds and turn them into beads.)

So it is with our lives: we are unlovable without Christ. We are refuse, all our good works are as filthy rags. Jesus pulled me out of the garbage bag, washed me, chopped me up, boiled me in the refiner’s fire, then sweetened me up again in the boiling pot! “…and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away.” And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ ” (Revelation 21:4-5a) I am on a constant journey to spiritual healing. I am justified in Christ, yet still in the process of sanctification.

A Little Bit About Me

I have now been married over 30 years, and have 4 cats and 2 children (4 if you count the two that graduated to heaven already), and I’ve been a homeschooling Mom for about 19 of those years by now. For our recent anniversary I posted on facebook that “we have faced better & worse, sickness & health, joys & sorrows, in riches & poverty, . . . and we’re not dead yet!” The house is full of yarn and fabric that I keep meaning to get to, as well as thousands of books, gospel tracts, and an unusual collection of hand-me-down furniture.

As a kid I got to use the leftovers from my mom’s sewing projects to make doll clothes (we had a Tammy doll back then, not a Barbie), and I still save fabric scraps for making patchwork quilts. In later years I used my miniature sewing skills at a puppet theater – actually those designs were quite large in comparison. I even save the very ends of balls of yarn to make the centers for granny square afghans. You don’t want to know how many unfinished projects I have (literally) hanging around in tote bags!

Recent recycling projects: cut plastic grocery bags into strips, combine with yarn, then use a very large needle to knit heavy-duty shopping bags. Save attractive glass jelly jars and knit or crochet lace covers for an attractive candle holder or vase. Old jeans are good for skirts, tote bags or purses, as well as quilts. Upcycle the like-new edges of old flannel sheets and towels into sanitary pads (I know, TMI, but trust me, it’s worth it! see http://www.hillbillyhousewife.com/sanitarypads.htm for more information).

“Join us… Leave your fields to flower
Join us… Leave your cheese to sour
Join us… Come and waste an hour or two…”

Pippin, Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz


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