My, this coronavirus scare has certainly done its share of shifting things in all directions exactly opposite of everyday life for millions and carefully planned events of all sorts. All or most people are affected in one way or another. Perhaps bigger than the virus is the uncertainty of how long all this will last and how things will turn out.
As I write, I glance out the window and watch the brilliant sunshine among the fluffy white clouds — one thing that is not affected by the virus. Ah, then watching the full moon on a starlit night reminds me that truly the Maker of it all is still in control. He really is on His throne as faithful and loving as ever, even when that reality gets fuzzy by our earth-bound minds. I certainly don’t understand all He allows on our journey here on earth. But you know, as we trust, even if it doesn’t make sense, He richly provides in ways we never imagined possible.
When I first heard of coronavirus we were having our sick bout, which sounded almost identical to what they described as coronavirus. To this day, we still wonder what it really was. But that’s okay, we don’t have to know, but I do know one thing, I really feel for anyone out there who is not feeling well. May God give each one grace. And to the millions out there that are trying to stay on top with inside out routines, and plans being turned inside out, may God bring ends together supernaturally.
In Sunday School, the brother who had a devotional, spoke comfort and hope especially on the behalf of the coronavirus and how God doesn’t ignore those who depend on him. I was convicted and motivated when he shared the thought, “Worry hampers our efforts of today.” Of all things, if we live our days filled with worry, we are really just spinning our wheels! The biggest challenge for me was how he shared how worry shows a lack of faith and understanding of God. Hmm.. Lord, increase my faith.
Today I told Daniel how ever since I was a little girl I thought it would be such a neat experience to be snowbound. Guess what, we are ‘housebound,’ not by beautiful blankets of snow. Even our church services, which never get canceled, have been called off in honor of the government who advised everyone to stay home unless there arose a genuine need to do otherwise.
Somehow when being cooped up even with your favorite people, things get tested in ways you never really thought they would. Through it, relationships grow stronger, or if left to their natural state simply wane faster than we care to admit. Last week when Daniel shared with all of us in the column about relationships, I was challenged as I quizzed myself whether I’m out to look for love in relationships or if I’m passionately out for the good of others. It seems if the latter is not the case things just don’t come together like I thought they would or should.
We are blessed as Daniel has had orders for furniture in the shop so far. We were thankful to have the go ahead from the local police to continue work there, so he and his brother John continue to work there as usual.
My cousin who lives next door planned to get married on April 11 and have 350 guests at her wedding. Only God knows what will happen. When I talked with her about it last week I sensed a serenity in spite of all the odds poking at her, I just thought to myself, “That must be God blessing her endeavors to just trust Him.”
For most Amish people, canning their own garden goodies is just a normal part of life. When all this came up of people being encouraged to stock up on groceries and any needed supplies one of our church ladies decided to take a tally of her canned goods. Though she hasn’t been out bragging about it, I did find out through the ‘grape vine’ that she has right around 700 jars of canned goods still in stock. Wow, that has out done my shelves of canned goods!
My uncle’s grocery store next door is still in wide open succession. They’ve had phone calls from folks inquiring whether or not they still had toilet paper or bread and flour. So far they’ve had an ample supply of all they’ve kept in stock over the past months. They are selling lots of baking supplies as people are in the process of baking things like their own bread like never before.
In case this may be the story for you I’d like to pass on the recipe Owen introduced us to. He used to bake loaves of this bread by the dozens for churches to use for their Sunday noon lunch.
Amish Multigrain Bread
1 cup flour
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons yeast
1 tablespoon salt
4 cups warm water
1 cup vegetable oil
3 cups wheat flour
7 to 9 cups bread or all purpose flour
Stir together flour, sugar, salt, yeast, and warm water and let set till yeast is melted. Then add oil and flours.
Knead well. Keep adding flour and mixing until dough is slightly firm but still soft. It should still be a bit sticky. Let rise 20 minutes, preferably in a warm spot such as pilot heat of your oven. Divide bread into five well greased loaf pans loaves, kneading each loaf separately to pop any air holes. Using a fork, prick a dozen holes on the top of each loaf to pop any remaining air pockets. Let rise again for 30 minutes or until double, bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from pans, put in bags while still a bit warm to help retain moisture. Enjoy a fresh slice with butter and lots of honey!
Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427