What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?

What Do You See Outside YOUR Open Window Today?
Remember: "When God closes a door, He always opens a window!" You never know what might be out there waiting for you!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Transported Back to A Genteel Age...

Hello Friends...It's time again for the Random Journal Day!  If you haven't followed along on these journeys back through time you have missed out on a few pleasant memories.  Scroll back through my list of blog posts and find the other Random Journal entries that I've shared over the past couple of months...and then click on the link for Random Journal Day and visit some of my other blogger friends who have also shared from the hidden pages of their past.  It has been a very enjoyable ride back in time. Maybe you'd like to join us and share some of your long lost "secrets"!

Today I am returning to the year 1985, and the date was September 24th, the day before my 35th birthday! Wow! My youngest son is now 35 years old...time sure flies when you are having so much fun in life...and I have been.  Let's look in on my memories of that day and find out what was going on, okay?

We had recently moved to a new home and ministry in Georgia, and had finally settled in. I was beginning to relax and enjoy my new friends, church, and surroundings.   I wrote in my journal that day:

"Our yard has many lovely trees and shrubs, and just now, as fall begins, we rejoice in the changing colors of the leaves.  Today I went out and picked marigolds, purple mums, and a beautiful miniature Tropicana Rose, blooming just in time for my 35th birthday...which is tomorrow. 
Tomato Curry Soup
Today I felt like royalty.  This very dear lady, whom I'd never met before, but who occasionally attends our church, Helen Barksdale, invited me and another dear lady from church for lunch in her home. What a delightful afternoon we spent!  For lunch we had a delicious home-made cream of tomato soup, with chopped green pepper, onion, and curry.  Then for the main course we had "Seafood Raft", a delicious seafood and cheese concoction served on a large cut deli-hard roll.  Dessert was home-made apple crisp (I think she called it that) ~ Very delectable!  We each had cups of hot tea served with lime wedges.  Her table was formally set with what appeared to be an old English Ironstone china set.

I felt transported back to a more genteel age ~ where ladies enjoyed formal luncheons and "tea", and polite conversation.  Mrs. Barksdale is very interesting...and truly enjoys talking and entertaining!  Very spry for an octo-generian (I'm guessing). 
This is Mrs. Barksdale's actual recipe book that she gave me after our luncheon together. I feel honored to have been given this, with all of her favorite recipes!  As I said, she was a remarkable woman!
I concluded with this thought...

"I thank the Lord for allowing me to have such a wonderful experience."
What an honor and privilege to be welcomed into the home of God's precious and interesting "characters".  These special people don't come around very often...and are rapidly disappearing from our society.  I am quite certain that Mrs. Barksdale has already gone on to meet her reward in heaven...but how marvelous that her memory lives on in the hearts and minds of those to whom she opened her home and heart.  The recipe book that I pictured here she had created especially for her children and grandchildren, so that they would have those family recipes to share with their loved ones and friends for years to come.  That was her legacy...her "claim to fame".  Although I barely knew her, she included me in her legacy by sharing something that was important to her...not just her book of recipes, but her home, her hospitality, and a part of herself.

I've been chatting with one of my other blogging friends this past week about how we need to leave a legacy to our children and grandchildren...and this blog is a part of that. Unfortunately, if we don't take the time to write it down or print it in a form that can be passed from one generation to another, it may be lost forever.  I don't trust our current computer technology to still be available to future generations. We tend to think that handwritten journals and printed books are obsolete.  But when all is said and done, the only real evidence of our writing will be what is on the printed page...something that can be held in our hands and cherished in our treasure chests. Cyberspace blogs and journals may disappear when the technology advances beyond this current age.  If these writings are not saved to a permanent file that is easily transcribed to the next level...they will be what is termed obsolete. 

I say all of this to suggest that we need to think seriously about the legacy we are leaving for our children. Many of us are sharing our faith, our hopes and dreams, our ideas and life experiences through this media of a blog.  My prayer is that this will have some positive impact on those who take the time to read...and that God will use these messages to inspire and encourage and perhaps even bring some laughter and joy to your day. 

However, if this blog is the only legacy I leave behind, I have missed the boat.  I need to be involved in the lives of people around me every day...whether through hospitality, prayer, encouraging words, or whatever way God leads me. It may be by cooking for my family or for friends in need. It should be by using the talents and gifts that God has given me for His honor and glory, no matter how small or great they may seem to be in the eyes of the world.  Helen Barksdale used her gift of hospitality and cooking to honor me when I was a new young pastor's wife in a strange community. I don't know if she even knew it was going to be my birthday on the next day, but she did something that she enjoyed doing to make me feel welcome, and I was truly blessed. That was how many years ago?  Twenty-Seven years!  And I still remember it! Why? Because I wrote it down...yes, that's partly why...and I'm sure I wouldn't have remembered so many details if I hadn't written it down...but also because she took the time to make me feel loved and special...a total stranger. I honestly don't believe I saw her too many times after that day...but that one day has been captured in time forever because she shared her legacy with me, and it made a difference in my life.

Why not make a difference in someone's life today? Use whatever talents and gifts God has given you to bless someone else...maybe someone who doesn't receive too many blessings in life...or someone who is lonely or new to the community or your church.  Go out of your way to share your legacy as soon as you can. You'll be blessed in the process probably just as much if not more than the recipient!  Try it and see!

Something as simple as a "Seafood Raft" could change a life!
Maybe you have a special recipe you could share to bless someone else!
It doesn't have to be fancy...it's the idea of sharing time and love with another
that makes the difference.
Remember, clicking on a photo will enlarge it so you can read it better!

These are the original recipes written in Mrs. Barksdale's own handwriting!
What a treasure!

Blessings to you, my friend!!!

Postscript:  When I was putting Mrs.Barksdale's Recipe Book away after writing this, I discovered a little note tucked inside that she had written to me when she gave me the cookbook. This is what it said:

"Dear Mrs. Steiner,  This book cover was made by Sharron Stubbs last Christmas to put my favorite recipes in for my granddaughters.  Just three people besides them have a copy.  I want you to have this one.  You have made me so happy talking to you this afternoon.
In Christian Love,
Helen Barksdale"

Now do you understand what I meant about the giver of the blessing being blessed in the process?  I believe Mrs. Barksdale was probably lonely...and she did what she did to bless me, but also because perhaps she needed to be blessed as well.  God works in mysterious ways.  I'm so happy I have this memory in writing to share with you today. This is why we need to write journals and remember these precious people and pass their blessings along to others.  Go and do likewise my friends!!


  1. A very warm memory for you. I have a friend who is almost ninety who opened her home to my family and to the church family any time we needed a place to land. She and her husband moved to Virginia a few years ago. They were from their originally. I miss her and her friendship.

    1. It just goes to show that no matter how old we are (or think we are), we can still be a blessing to someone else...just by doing the things we enjoy ourselves! This is a timely reminder for me as well. Thank you, quietspirit, for your thoughts today.

  2. So encouraging! Thank you Sis! Just keep on being the
    special person that you are!
    Love you Sis!

    1. Awww, thank you my "little BIG sister"! You are an encouragement to ME. I love you.

  3. Thanks for this. What a sweet memory--of your lunch, of Mrs. Barksdale and her precious gift to you. It reminded me of a similar woman in my own life (when I was a similar age to you then). May we be such blessings to those who follow after us!
    And thank you for the words about our legacy--that's exactly why I've kept my journals for all these years.

    1. Yes, jeskmom...we we go and do likewise. We don't have to be great cooks or have fancy houses...just share what we have...go out of the way to do something special for someone else once in a while...and we will feel soooo good afterwards! Yes, I do want to leave such a legacy.

  4. Replies
    1. It truly was, Kristina! I'm so glad that I captured that memory in my journal...otherwise it would have gotten lost in the shuffle of my worn out brain! It was a pleasant memory to think about again. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. This is so awesome! There is a quote I love which recommends inviting someone dangerous to lunch...it is tongue in cheek, but I like the thought that we can reach out always and share our gifts freely and we find adventures, blessing and wonders in unexpected places-with those we may not have assumed we'd find such pleasure! What a blessing to have shared that day, details, meal. Oh, I so appreciate the imagery and all you shared in this beautiful memory. Thanks Pamela- this post is a treasure- More-so the actual real time spent, lived out and enjoyed which all were made richer by...love all the pictures!

    1. Yes, Dawn, we DO need to take steps out in faith and invite someone "dangerous" or lonely or new or different to lunch...even if we can't do it at our homes...just spending that time with someone "out of the norm" at a cute tea room or cafe' for lunch can make the day special for that individual. I like to try to do this once in a while with some of the ladies who volunteer to help in the church office where I work. The are mostly widowed older ladies, and they always appreciate the opportunity to have lunch with someone...and I love to talk to them and learn about their lives. We can learn so much from listening the older generation sharing their memories. Just an idea...

  6. Wow! This post is just jam-packed with richness and inspiration! You have so much wisdom and you spoon it out with such grace Pamela! I am glad we "met" here in blog-land!

    1. Susie, what wonderful words of encouragement...You have such a positive way with words. You have been an inspiration to me in so many ways...yes, I too am glad that we "met" here in blog-land. I look forward to the day that we will meet for real...we will have all of eternity someday to share our special memories!

  7. I love how you took the time to record these lovely memories - it's so special how flowers are such an important part of your life and I think it's great that you've recorded the food of that special day. I'm sure that as you remember it, the memory of the scents and tastes help transport you back to that place!

    1. Thank you, Brianne. It's funny that when I wrote that journal entry so many years ago I never dreamed that one day it would be a blessing to so many others through this medium of the internet! The blessing just keeps getting passed on and on and on! Mrs. Barksdale must be smiling from heaven as she sees how her simple act of friendship and hospitality has encouraged many more than just little ole me! Thanks for stopping by, Brianne! May your day be filled with pleasant memories as well.


Thank you for visiting here today. I would love for you to sign my guestbook and let me know you stopped by. I always enjoy reading your comments and words of encouragement! May you be blessed as you go on your way. Please come back and visit again soon.