Mandy Baker Johnson

Living without Shadows

Tag: strength

Settle

Today’s word prompt is SETTLE.

Settle immediately brought to mind the American pioneers of the 1840s and later, forever moving west in search of richer land and a better life.

The American pioneers have fascinated me since first reading Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie books as a child.

Thanks to Laura, I feel confident I could build a log cabin from scratch. Well, so long as I had a strong man with an axe to help! Pa and Ma were pretty amazing as they worked together to build the log walls for their house – this with three girls under the age of about six on the open prairie. How awful when a log fell and injured Ma’s foot. There was no doctor anywhere near, no A&E. Just water heated over a camp fire and rags to bind it up.

Then there was the long winter when their tiny town was cut off on the frozen prairie for seven long months. Blizzard followed blizzard with an occasional short break when hay and wood could be hauled in for animal feed and warmth.

Laura’s family, indeed the whole town, was in imminent danger of starvation when two young men bravely offered to find a settler several miles from town who was rumoured to have seed wheat. With no roads or map, they set off on their desperate adventure across the silent frozen prairie, praying they could beat the blizzards.

Laura’s stories of her childhood and early years as young wife have always inspired me. Especially when life has been difficult.

Adi was made redundant a few years ago and work (and consequently money) was scarce. In the midst of all the worry of ‘will we lose the house?’ and ‘how are we going to pay this bill?’ I took heart from the fact that no matter how bad it was for Laura and her family, they always won through.

So settle is in memory of those early pioneers of the American West. And also in honour of the Native Americans who lost their homes and way of life in the process.

Jesus My Rock

Jesus, You are my rock.
Waves may beat around me but I am secure on the rock.
Howling winds may come against me, but I shall not be moved, as You give me strength to stand.
Hailstones may come in life that cause hurt, but You bind up the hurts and pour in oil for healing.
Cold rain may pour down but You give shelter.
The heat of the day may seem too much at times but You give the cooling wind of the Holy Spirit, and give shade under the shadow of Your wings.

All may be dry around me but You give water from the wells of salvation to refresh me.
Cold air may blast around but Your love brings warmth.

You are our shelter, our hiding place and refuge.

When my legs feel weak, You hold me by Your strong power.
You give me support in every situation.
I am secure in Your arms.

Indeed, You are my rock and the One I can fully trust and depend upon.

 Elizabeth BentonElizabeth Benton

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