Here in the Ozark’s, they say if you don’t like the weather…just wait five minutes. The other day a Cold-front swept through our town,dropping the temperature in an hour and a half, from about 58 degrees to about 32. We make sure to keep a watchful eye on the weather channel. If we know a storm is on it’s way, we head down to the market to stock up on food and other necessities just in case the highways become too icy to travel.The roads here are delightfully winding. They curve around old farms, with cows that snuggle together for warmth, penned in by rustic split-wood fences. The rollicking hills, with their take-your-breath-away storybook charm, always inspire me to praise and thank our Creator. Around each bend, boastful oak trees with centuries-old branches suspend a canopy overhead, offering a captivating skyward view for each season. But during a winter storm, the roads turn from enchanting to treacherous. So being prepared, is the best way of keeping your family safe and cozy at home. There is nothing quite like the feeling of being prepared for a storm. It’s a “good mom” feeling. To know that provisions have been made to keep your loved ones warm, fed, and protected is nurturing at it’s finest.
Proverbs 31, starting at verse 10, reveals the essence of the kind of woman we should strive to be. The kind of woman who is faithful, loving, exemplary, moral, wholesome, capable, intelligent, kind, and nurturing. She has a servants heart. She does not have an it’s-all-about-me mindset.

She does take care of herself though, she dreams her dreams, she loves to be creative and enjoys her life and she’s as cute as a cupcake, but not at the expense and neglect of her family.

Here are just a few things the Word of God says about the virtuous woman…”she’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day…she looks over a field and buys it, then with money she’s put aside, plants a garden…First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started…she senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day…she’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking…she’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to the poor…she doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear…her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile…when she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly…her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise…” (Proverbs 31–the Message Translation—–and this is just part of the list!)

Well, this little ‘Ol Italian, pie-makin’, southern girl wanna-be, has a looooooong way to go to fit into Miss Proverbs 31’s cute shoes! But I’m trying!

Like today for instance, ever since the Holidays, my pantry has been a disaster…not a good thing when it’s out in the open for all to see. My motivation was the approaching storm. After clearing the clutter, discarding expired items, and wiping down shelves, I got my pantry all stocked up and organized for the winter season. It’s a mighty good feeling….in fact it makes me feel so good, that I go in there for no reason, other than, to see how clean it is now! I Love it! Now I can see what I’ve got, so I don’t go out and buy a fourth bottle of Ketchup!
So, if you need to come over to borrow a cup of sugar,

I’ve got it, and I can find it!

Plus the makings for soup… chili…

skillet baked spaghetti…

pancakes… cupcakes…

pie of course….

tuna sandwiches…blueberry muffins…

you know, emergency food…

just to name a few.

Getting my pantry prepared for the storm reminded me about preparing the pantry of my heart for the storms of life. When the icy winds of disappointment, discouragement and despair blow through our life, if we are not prepared spiritually and emotionally, they can really knock us down. We all face difficult times, in fact Jesus said “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

Thankfully, we have our loving God and His wonderful promises to lean on:

“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you: He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid: do not be discouraged.” Deut. 31:8

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and he shall direct your path.” Proverbs.3:5,6

“Is anyone crying for help? God is listening, ready to rescue you. If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there. If you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”
Psalm 34:17-18-The Message

I would like to share with you things that I do daily to stay prepared for what may come my way…so I can stand strong in the storm. Store them in the pantry of your heart:

  • God’s Presence- Keep a moment by moment connection with Jesus… be aware of His presence… chat with Him throughout the day…thank Him for His goodness, mercy and grace. He loves you more than you could ever imagine!
  • Prayer- throughout the day, release to God those concerns that are dear to your heart. Cover your family, and friends with prayer. Ask for wisdom. Spend time alone with Him daily.
  • Promises- Read God’s Word…the Bible…highlight those scriptures that comfort your heart and give you strength. Hold onto those promises for dear life. By doing this you will receive wisdom, direction, and faith to trust God in all circumstances.
  • Praise, Worship, Thanksgiving- Praise God for His awesomeness, and glory. Don’t focus on the storm, keep your eyes on the Lord, He is your rescuer and redeemer, He will carry you. He is not surprised by anything that comes your way. He’s got a plan for you. Thank Him for the wisdom, strength, and compassion you are going to gain, by having gone through it.
  • Purity-strive to live an honorable life, obedient to God’s Word. As soon as you mess up, ask for forgiveness ( I pretty much have to do this daily), keep your slate clean. “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from God; your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear.” Isaiah 59:2 Everyday I ask God to “search my heart” to see if there is anything that I am doing that displeases Him (Psalm 139:23-24).

So clear away the clutter of fear and doubt in your heart. Stock up on God’s Word by memorizing scripture (make 3×5 flashcards!) , listening to praise music, inspirational sermons….and then PRAY! Believe, Trust and Be Committed to do these things and you will receive God’s blessings.
I always tell myself:

  • This Too Shall Pass!
  • No matter what happens, I still get to go to Heaven! (because my heart belongs to Jesus)
  • The Best is yet to come!

No one said the Christian life was going to be easy…but hey the benefits are out of this world!

“Keep company with God. Get in on the best.”

Psalm 37:4 The Message

Girls, you are in my prayers! I know alot of you (wherever you are) are facing hard times. Hang in there. The sunshine will warm your face again.

Warm Pie, Happy Home,

is all about giving your best

to those you love.

Thanks for stopping by for pie!

Hugs!

Ruthann

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