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Country Echoes

By MAE BABER, R.D.2, Brandon, Wisconsin

Monday morning, some might say, is meant for doing the family washing and nothing more. Perhaps I should also be that practical. Here on this Wisconsin Monday morning a small washing is waiting for me but somehow I feel more like chatting with my friends of Country Echoes. (I trust I have some friends among you.) The inspiration gained from both services yesterday is still with me and what a blessing they were! On a morning such as this my heart goes out to those who are starting a new week without the fragrance of a freshly washed soul. Isn't it rather a coincidence that we get our souls washed on Sunday and most of us wash our clothes on Monday? Two washdays following one another -- one spiritual and the other material.

This morning as we gathered for prayer after breakfast we prayed the Lord would help us to see how much we need to keep our spiritual life at a high level during the week lest we rundown before the next Sunday. How often we don't put enough prayer into the fire boxes of our lives! So frequently

the embers become so dim and lifeless in our hearts that we just do not have any steam at all. If there is anything on earth any more dead than a long faced Christian who has let the fire of love and compassion go out in his heart I have yet to meet it. It is even worse than a steam engine without steam or a car that won't run when you need it.

During the past several weeks, each time I decide to take our lowly Chevrolet for a run up the road to the home of our son and daughter-in-law who live next door, or to the village four miles beyond, the pesky thing has a way of stopping as soon as I get on the road. My husband tells me it is the driver, and that may very well be. I will admit I have given him a few sooty glances because of his remarks. I am more inclined to blame the automatic choke for a lack of co-operation. One thing I know - that car and I aren't having the close kinship we once had. I have always liked to drive very much. It is my blundering on this end and a lack of fuel coming in on the other end that is causing the difficulty. One morning I ended my journey next door on foot followed of all things by my loving husband who was driving said car and it was purring obediently. With a sly little wave of his hand he parked it for my return and left in the farm truck. I groaned as I entered the door to have my little granddaughter give me a big welcoming smile. One of these days a column will come through telling about her unusual arrival. She is our first one and we are proud as can be.

Another thing I have on my mind this morning is why we ever gave the name daughter-in-law to these lovely girls our sons marry. Isn't it really a hindrance to start out with these titles-daughter-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law and so on? Surely our American people can come up with something better than this. The wives of our two sons are like our own children to us and I'm sure so many times this is the experience of many parents. God has given us two lovely girls to share our son's lives with them. We thank Him for it and we pray often for the other four who are growing up that this may also be true. But if it were not true in the beginning that there was close communion there I believe it would be easier to cross the barrier without these stand-offish titles. Often we, too, should pray that our children be worthy of the love of those they have taken as wives or husbands. If we are honest with ourselves we can pick out the times when each of us can be quite disagreeable. How long it takes to learn to 'disagree without being disagreeable.' How can the pieces of our lives grow into a beautiful pattern if we don't let the Master Weaver have His way? How can we have His guidance if we do not keep the channels of prayer open that His wisdom overflow to water our parched lives? We get so busy, so tragically busy, with our tasks that the stream dries up and we are left high and dry until we come to ourselves and see the need. How merciful God then is to forgive us and turn on the water of life again so we can build up the steam to be all set for threshing day. Our Supreme Thresherman has told us in other words to 'Get rid of the chaff, and get rid of the straw, so we may have only the golden grain left to sustain us'.

Perhaps I should have washed this morning. Maybe you did not want this sermonette. It is past nine thirty and there is bread to bake too and ironing that isn't finished from last week. How these household tasks have a way of piling up but I know they won't ever run away and I feel better for having talked with you. May the Lord bless you every one.