Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. Psalm 37:4-5 (NKJV).
Anna Daisy’s definition of delight in the Lord was in ‘serving others’! I learned the entire chapter of Psalm 37 is what she lived by when we read the Bible together in the last years of her life. My earliest memory of this Anna Daisy, is standing by her side as she sewed clothes for others on her old treadle Singer Sewing Machine. She began sewing doll clothes when she was a small girl. She cut her own patterns. One day I came home from college and she rushed from the bedroom holding the garment she had just completed – praising the Lord. She explained, “The thread and this dress ‘came out even’.” She gloried in small achievements and celebrated singing the Doxology often.
She made music with her life and found joy in the melodies they made. In her writing of her life, I learned that she made music with paper wrapped around a combs, a forgotten autoharp in the attic, and a saw. Her Dad found she had an ear for music, and she began taking piano lessons because she wanted to accompany her Dad’s choir in the Ebenfeld Church.
As a child, my brothers and I were often awakened by a rousing melody from the piano, and fell asleep to a soft piano lullaby. She played for many funerals and weddings, as well as church services. She taught me to play the piano…as well as many other students. She taught her piano students to “pray as you play.” She always gave God the glory for a way to praise Him. When my Dad came home from his rural route expressing a need for funeral or wedding music for his patrons, Mom always said ‘Yes’. She didn’t know the word, ‘No’.
Her ability to make-do with what is, astounded me. She sewed dresses from printed feed sacks. If a hole appeared in the cloth, it was covered with a pocket or an embroidered daisy! When my brother, Jim, needed a prop plane for a school play, Mom made one out of cardboard and wheels that rolled across the stage. When I wanted a desk, she built one for me. When Dad planted and harvested sugar came during WWII sugar rationing, Mom used her wringer Maytag washing machine to extract the syrup.
Mom was hospitable, even to feeding Charlie Collins, one of my brother’s friends. When she compared notes with his mother, Mom learned Charlie ate with us, and went home to eat again. A pan of Mom’s cinnamon rolls often found their way to Midwest Christian College when I attended between 1947 – 1950.
At the age of eighty-six, she wrote about her ‘accomplishments’ five years before she died, with a lingering disease – pulmonary fibrosis. One lady came to visit Mom and confided to me as she left. ”I came to minister to Ann, and she ministered to me.” When I checked on Mom afterward (she lived with us for her last four years), she mentioned trying to ‘minister’ to her friend.
When Mom taught 45 piano students each week for a period, her strength left her, and she was not able to function for a time… words became her constant companion. Now I have a filing cabinet filled with treasures of poems, articles, devotions, and stories she has written.
Anna Daisy wrote about her ‘inner life’ and commented. “It has always been a puzzle to me – Why would God take a sun- burned country child and make her feel so loved? I knew I was not always loveable.”
She often exclaimed to me, “Why does God spoil me so much?” She told me not to place her on a pedestal. Her granddaughter, Anna Payne, replies …maybe a footstool?
Mom spent hours preparing and teaching Bible Study to various groups. She used charts she made, and other helps to clarify the Word. Mom directed the choir at church while I was in high school. One of my favorite songs was – My God and I walk in the field together…and now she is.
How did Mom end her autobiography? "I have seen bad things turn into blessings. I have felt God’s ‘moving spirit’ with a coming change to prepare me for a bend in my road. I have sensed His Presence in my darkest hours of sorrow and pain. I have had a tip-toe peek into heaven. I have had gifts and privileges given to me I would not have dared to ask for, yet God gave them to me." This brings deeper meaning to Psalms 37:4 - Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. My faith holds me in God’s care. I pray that I can remain faithful until it turns to sight on the other side. My prayer is that Papa and I may tell God, “Here are our children, our grandchildren, and our great-grandchildren, and those who come after. They all love and obey you!”
(Mom wrote the story of her family life and history in the book, The Lines Are Fallen, republished October 12, 2017, by Anna K Payne -- https://www.amazon.com/Lines-Fallen-Anna-Daisy-Siemens/)