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With Spring right around the corner, I decided to start freshening-up around the old farmhouse starting with my pantry. It was really in need of a good de-cluttering, cleaning and re-organizing!

“The beauty of the house is order. The blessing of the house is contentment. The glory of the house is hospitality. The crown of the house is godliness.” ~Author Unknown

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Let me tell you it was a mess! And that is not a good thing since my pantry is open for all to see.

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When my husband and I designed our house, putting in a large pantry was a priority for me.  Not only is there enough room to store food but also serving platters, extra dishes, small appliances, canning supplies, tablecloths,  paper goods, lunch boxes,and  bowls. But when these things get out of place it can get messy!

I get so many questions and comments on my pantry, I thought I would give y’all a closer look…

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My baking center is attatched to the pantry with a pass through window so I can gather ingredients and pass them into the kitchen area.

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The sheer white curtains were hung as a sweet reminder of the days when  busy farm-wives would set a fresh baked pie on the window sill to cool….the curtains would flutter and dance around it in the fresh country air….

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The pantry is an eight by eight square room that separates the living room/entry from the kitchen. The vintage farmhouse screen door comes with me to every house I move to.

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The farm-y lantern actually flickers as if  there’s a flame inside. I have the same ones hanging around my front porch too.  You can even get them with sound effects. Near my front door I have one that plays cricket and frog sounds and another one that plays the steam whistle sound from a Choo-Choo train! These are the kind of lanterns you would find at an amusement park, and since I’m a Disneyland girl, who loves Knotts Berry Farm and Silver Dollar City, I knew they would be perfect!  The company offers a variety of entertaining sounds such as cows mooing, chickens and roosters, and horses trotting! The company who makes them is called Somethin’ Different, you can click here to check them out.

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The vintage apron hanging on the screen door reminds me that my job as a homemaker is vital to the well being of my family.

“A wise woman builds her house; a foolish woman tears hers down with her own hands.” Proverbs 14:1

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Come on in and take a peek…(it’s clean now! lol)

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The Flour, Sugar, Eggs,Milk, Bread, and  Coffee signs, painted on tin, were found at Gordman’s for around 3 dollars each. They give my pantry an old General Store look.

I stock a lot of my canned goods for those times when the cold wind blows bringing with it snow and ice. It’s a good feeling to have food on hand ( like the makings for Chili or soups)  to fill our tummies so we can stay home where it’s warm and safe. On most days though, we eat more fresh fruits and veggies rather than canned goods.

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I keep a bowl of clothespins handy in my pantry to keep opened packages air-tight….plus it looks cute…cute is important!

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I am serious about cute being important….tucking  little bits of sweetness in the nooks and crannies of our home bring delight to the heart, adds comfort in the corners, makes things cozy. It’s the  sweet little things placed in love,  that help make our house a home.p7

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My canning jars are ready for my summertime jam making!

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This is so HillBilly… I just had to show ya! My funny hubby, who does not have a “Mr. Fix-it” bone in his body (he is a financial genius instead) decided one day that he wanted the screen door to close on it’s own. So he rigged up this weight system by tying a ribbon (somehow he found my cute red and white gingham ribbon…thank goodness! LoL) to a metal basket. The weights consist of one can of peaches and one can of pumpkin. It works!!!! Oh HoNeY!

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HiLaRiOuS!

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Getting my pantry cleaned and organized gave me such a freeing feeling! Like a weight lifted off my back. Don’t y’all just love the feeling when you’ve cleaned out a closet or the garage? It was something that needed to be done for a while but for one reason or another I just couldn’t get to it….until one day I went in to get something and looked on the package to see the expiration date…well, that thing should have been thrown out a loooooong time ago!  That was it! I grabbed my apron and rolled up my sleeves…this was gonna be war and it was not going to be pretty! I knew  right then I needed to clean  every shelf, and check every item for freshness…. I was not going to have  a repeat of something that happened a year ago….

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…this is what happened….one day last year little Summer stayed home from school with an upset tummy and a slight fever.  Wanting to make her as comfortable as I could I made a little bed on the sofa by covering the bottom cushions with a fresh bed sheet, propped up her pillow at one end and covered her with a soft warm blanket and turned  a video on for her. Then I got busy making some chicken soup. Around noon I lined a tray with a flour sack towel, placed the bowl of soup on it with a side of saltine crackers. Then I carried the tray of homemade goodness to Summer. Of course at this point I’m feeling like a happy little mother hen taking good care of her baby chickie……until Summer took a little nibble from the cracker. She grabbed the napkin and immediately spit it out with a loud “EW!”,I said ‘What’s wrong?”  She answered, as she ran to the bathroom to rinse her mouth out and brush her teeth, ”the cracker tastes yucky….like it’s rotten!”  Well, I took a bite…”Ew!” she was right, the cracker was bitter, it had turned rancid.  After I ran to brush my teeth, I went to check the expiration date and yes it was way old…not quite as old as Moses, but pretty old!  Oh for goodness sake! My poor child! I felt TeRRiBLe!  From then on I’ve become a freak at checking expiration dates on food.

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I guess it made sense. We don’t eat a lot of saltine crackers except for when someone gets sick and no one had been sick in quite a while (thank the Lord). It didn’t seem like it had been that long since I bought them. Of course, they could have been sitting on the shelf at the store for a long time. So now I check the dates on the food before I put it in my grocery cart. No more yucky old food is gonna get passed these Mama’s eyes ever again!

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Back to cleaning my pantry….as I was taking everything off the shelves, checking each item, throwing away any expired food and wiping everything down, I began to think about the similarities between the things we stock  in our pantry and the things we store in our hearts and minds. It doesn’t do me or my family any good to have a pantry filled with rancid food nor does it do us any good to have our mind filled with rancid thoughts.  Bitterness, anger, unforgiveness, self-pity, stagnant thinking, unrealistic expectations, disappointments, holding onto the past, bad attitudes, grumbling,  complaining, self- destructive thinking, critical, unkind thoughts toward people, jealousy, hopelessness, dreading to do the things that need to be done, laziness, fear, worry, negativity (thoughts we all have have had at one time or another).  These kinds of thoughts don’t just stay in our mind and heart they come out through our actions and the words we speak (“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he” Proverbs 23:7) causing those around us to experience the bitter taste of our negative attitudes.  They also can make us sick physically, cause us to feel miserable emotionally, and steal our peace and joy.

Why do we keep these miserable thoughts on the shelves of our mind and heart, knowing they will only keep us from the kind of joyful life we all want? Is keeping that grudge on the top shelf worth more than having peace of mind? Uh. No.

What’s a gal to do?

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We need to take stock and clean out the pantry of our mind and heart!

The fabulous news is we’ve got help from the Lord!

He has given us the tools to clean out, freshen, and  sweeten our mind , through the Word of God.  He has all of the tools that we need right there in the Bible. But we’ve got to roll up our sleeves, and take the time to renew and refresh our mind everyday by reading and meditating on His scriptures. We’ve got to take the time to pray! You may have heard this 1000 times but  I am telling you if you aren’t prayerfully meditating on God’s Word everday your rancid thoughts will get the best of you. Now, don’t you want the best of you to be put to better use? I do!

Romans 12:2 says ”… do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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God and His Word is our only hope, because things happen everyday that can cause us to become disappointed, fearful, angry, offended and worried.  If  the pantry of our heart and mind are not stocked fresh with His promises  then our rancid thoughts will soon take over, leaving a bitter taste in our mouth, causing us to forget about His tender mercies, grace, and love. Our spirit gets weak because we aren’t feeding it nourishing soul food. We forget God’s blessings. If we forget His blessings we fail to be thankful. It’s like boarding up all the windows in the house, shutting out the  fresh air and sunshine. Our thoughts become dark and stale. Rancid thinking is faith contaminated.

But Glory Be! Oh mY! His Word will bring light and a fresh breeze of sweetness into our mind so we can clearly see the thoughts we need to discard and replace them with God’s sparkling goodness!

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Sugar Pies here’s what to do:

Start with asking for forgiveness. Ask for God to change your heart. Then whatever negative thoughts are in your mind find a scripture  that relates to it. Highlight it in your Bible, write it down, read it  and pray it over your situation each time this thought bothers you….that could mean you’ll be reading it several times a day! That’s a good thing! Write it on sticky notes and place them around your house to remind you. Write it on your cute chalkboard!  I’m telling you this will bring freedom! That same feeling you get when you clean out your pantry, scrubbing the shelves with a bucket of hot soapy water and throwing away the outdated stuff that’s just been sitting there rotting. ( We don’t want to serve our rancid thinking to our family!!) Pretty soon things will start to feel bright and cheery again! But remember you have to keep it up, or things will go back to how they were.  Fill the pantry of your mind and heart with God’s goodness. Here are just a few samples of scriptures to get you started.

Need to be more loving?

Read: 1 Corinthians 13

“Love never gives up…love cares more for others than for self…Love doesn’t fly off the handle…Love doesn’t keep score….Trusts God always…always looks for the best…never looks back but keeps going to the end.” ~The Message Bible

Need to forgive someone?

Read: Matthew 6:14-15

“In prayer there is a connection between what God does and what you do. You can’t get forgiveness from God, for instance, without also forgiving others. If you refuse to do your part, you cut yourself off from God’s part.”  ~ The Message Bible

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Been critical?

Read Luke 6:37

“Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults–unless, of course,  you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier.” ~ The Message Bible

Read Proverbs 18:21

“Words kill, words give life: they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”  The Message Bible

Read Ephesians 4:9

“Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. say only what helps, each word a gift.” ~ The Message Bible

Want to change?

Read Acts 3:19

“It’s time to change your ways! Turn to face God so he can wipe away your sins, pour out showers of blessing to refresh you.”  The Message Bible

Angry?

Read Romans 12:19

Don’t insist on getting even: that’s not for you to do. “I’ll do the judging,” says God. “I’ll take care of it.” ~The Message Bible

dsc01834Want joy?

Read Psalm 16: 8-9

“Day and night I’ll stick with God. I’ve got a good thing going and I’m not letting go. I’m happy from the inside out–and from the outside in, I’m firmly formed.” ~The Message Bible

Read Philippians 4:4

“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in Him!” The Message Bible

Dissappointed?

Read Psalm 121:1,2

“I will lift up my eyes to the hills; from whence comes my help? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

Read 2 Corinthians 1:4

“God comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, He brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we  can be there for that person just as God was there for us.”  The Message Bible

Read 2 Corinthians 4:16

“Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace.” ~The Message Bible

Need direction?

Read Psalm 19:13

“Clean the slate, God, so we can start the day fresh! Keep me from stupid sins, from thinking I can take over your work.” ~ The Message Bible

Read Proverbs 3:5-7

“Trust God from the bottom of your heart. Don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go. He’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!”  ~The Message Bible

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Well, Sugar Pies, isn’t it wonderful that the Lord can use our everyday moments…like cleaning out a pantry….to shine the light on the joy-giving path so we can see the best way to go and the best thoughts to think? I want God’s best for me and I know you do to!  Get ready to roll up your sleeves sistas and let God throw away any rancid-cracker thinking and scrub your heart and mind sparkling clean through the cleansing power of His Word

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Be faithful Sugars, to read it, pray it, and obey it and He will set you free and  fill your heart up with the brightness of His love! Tell your family to get their sunglasses ready because you are going to be RADIANT with the sweetness and goodness of the Lord! (I can see you’re glowing already!)

Blessings and hugs honey’s!

Aunt Ruthie

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