Just Do It!

I don’t think I am a ‘list’ sort of gal. As hard as I try, I can’t seem to stick to any routines that involve charting out our daily activities or my household chores.I’m realizing that at this time in my life, stuff doesn’t get done because it is on the list, it gets done because it is essential. If it doesn’t get done and it is essential, that means I’m wasting too much time, and have to cut back on the non-essentials. As it turns out, maybe there are more people out there like me-
I followed Meredith’s link last week to a blog called Morning Ramble, where Patty was talking about Running a House Simply. There were a lot of good things I took from her article; here are a few quotes:
“Women have kept home and hearth for hundreds of years without having a written plan in front of them every day. It’s hard to even imagine Ma on Little House consulting a meal planner !”

“We are becoming something akin to corporate housewives. Goals, objectives, computer programs to show us when to do this or that, as if we have no instinct as to what needs to be done.”

Then, I followed a link of Patty’s to another article she wrote on this subject, and this line stood out to me:
“I sure didn’t need a chart of what to do, it was simple, when it needs to be done, do it.”

So, all this to say that I think I need to shift my focus a bit- maybe not look so much at housecleaning like “is it the day to clean the bathroom?” but “does the bathroom need cleaned?”, and do it! I am already seeing some good results from asking myself simple questions like that.

Time to go change the laundry…

Maybe This Is Why

I’ve had a post about worship swimming around in my head for weeks now, but it hasn’t yet become something worthy of being published. While brainstorming my words, I’ll either be heading in the wrong direction with my attitude, or come across too judgmental of the other sides, so I table it and post about finger foods and cute babies. Both are safe subjects. 🙂 Perhaps my worship post never came to be because Jeana was supposed to write it. A terrific job she did, too, to the extent that I don’t feel the need to write one of my own anymore. Here’s a quote from her post:

“If I can’t worship God because the songs aren’t my favorites, how will I manage to worship Him when the car breaks down…when my husband loses his job…when a loved one dies unexpectedly…when I find a lump where there shouldn’t be one?”

Don’t miss this post, folks.

Validation

When Elizabeth heard Mary’s greeting, the baby leaped in her womb… Luke 1:41

I just got done watching The Nativity Story, and one thing that struck me upon seeing this story brought to life was how much it must have meant to Mary to have Elizabeth validate what was happening to her. I can’t comprehend what it would be like to be her, and have to endure all the looks and judgmental attitudes. Her faith would ultimately carry her through this difficult time, but I am sure it helped to have little “signs” along the way.

I’m so thankful for the times in my life where God was making it obvious that I was doing what He wanted me to. Answered prayer, a peace when there shouldn’t be, even the words of a child have served to remind me that I am where I am supposed to be. The Lord doesn’t need to validate His work in my life. I should be fine to never have any indication He even exists- many have lived their whole earthly lives not receiving His promises. It is pure grace to get those glimpses of glory, those leaping babies, now and then.

Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished! v. 45

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Satisfying Finger Foods?

I know, the above title may be an oxymoron. I have learned the hard way that when one is invited to a finger food party, one must either eat beforehand, or make their offering very filling, and chow on it. I’m opting for…both. I plan to eat dinner with the fam before I go to next Friday’s fete, and to bring something that all who attend who didn’t eat a real meal will be thanking me heartily that I brought. Any suggestions? I have a couple bags of meatballs, or could do something with shredded chicken or ground beef. Fill me up with your ideas.

Happy Easter!

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I am the first and the last, and the living One…

I was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore,

and I have the keys of death and of Hades.

Revelation 1:17-18

Good Friday

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Well might the sun in darkness hide,
and shut its glories in,
when God, the mighty maker, died
for his own creature’s sin.

 

Thus might I hide my blushing face
while his dear cross appears;
dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
and melt mine eyes to tears.

 

But drops of tears can ne’er repay
the debt of love I owe.
Here, Lord, I give myself away;
’tis all that I can do.

~Isaac Watts

Squeezing In The Other Holidays

pancakes.JPG As both St. Patrick’s Day and Purim fell during Holy Week this year, I wanted to do at least a little something for the both of them, still emphasizing Easter over all three. Monday we had green pancakes (yeah, I’m quite frugal with the food coloring 🙂 ), and we talked a little about the Saint and his ministry. A is studying the Middle Ages right now, so it fit right in. hamanhats.JPG

Today we made Hamantaschen, or Haman’s Hats, to celebrate Purim. I like these cookies because a) the dough is not very tempting to eat, so the kids just stick to making, not eating and b) the cookies themselves aren’t that attractive to my kids, either, as they aren’t big jelly fans. Win win! The result is something closely resembling a nutrigrain bar. I’ve used a recipe that I originally found on Highlights for Children. Since I can’t find it there anymore, I’ll post it here, for my own future reference. We used strawberry preserves and orange marmalade for the fillings, which were a hit with…just me. And my neighbors.

Hamantaschen

2/3 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 egg

1/4 cup orange juice (smooth, no pulp)

1 cup white flour

1 cup wheat flour (no substitutions for correct texture)

2 teaspoons baking powder

Various preserves, fruit butters, and/or pie fillings

Blend butter and sugar thoroughly. Add the egg and blend thoroughly. Add OJ and blend thoroughly. Add flour 1/2 cup at a time, alternating white and wheat, blending thoroughly after each addition. Add the baking powder with the last half cup of flour. Refrigerate dough overnight or at least a few hours. Roll as thin as you can without getting holes in the dough (roll it between two sheets of waxed paper lightly dusted with flour for best results). Cut out 3 or 4 inch circles and place on baking sheet. Put a dollop of filling in the middle of each circle. Fold up the sides to make a triangle, overlapping the sides as much as possible so only a little filling shows through the middle. Squeeze corners firmly, so they don’t come undone while baking. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and before filling spills over!

Traditional fillings are poppy seed and prune, but apricot is [recipe author’s] favorite. Apple butter, pineapple preserves and cherry pie filling all work quite well. Look for Simon Fischer Brand prune lekvar if sticking to Jewish tradition.

The number of cookies this recipe makes depends on the size of your cutting tool and the thickness of your dough. At 4 1/4 inch round and medium thickness, one should yield 20-24 cookies.

Don’t Forget…

scan0050.jpgGod is still in the business of resurrection. Hopeless cases like

an unhealthy habit

a fried server

a broken relationship

addiction

loving the unlovable

forgiving the unforgiveable

are not really hopeless at all. It is completely a matter of perspective.

Be encouraged this week: those who trust in HIM can be secure in the knowledge that this all ends well.
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39

A Special Week Begins

In the service today: four praise songs with the word “hosanna” in them, right in a row. Must be Palm Sunday. 🙂 It hits me all over again how fickle those palm-wavers were, to have already dispensed with their King by Friday. And so fickle am I, too, that I am convinced I would have been in both crowds as well.tue.JPGI want my children to be familiar with this week. I want them to know it inside and out, backwards and forwards. Oh, sure, like Luke said this evening, there is nothing ‘holy’ about the week before Jesus’ death. But I think it is important to have tucked away, hidden in their hearts. Things like Zechariah’s prophecy of Him riding on a donkey (God does what He says He will do!). Moments like Jesus’ final teachings, where He had to be saying, in so many words, goodbye (“It is for your good that I am going away”). wed.JPG Incomprehensible hours spent praying in the garden, while His disciples slept (yeah, I would have been in that crowd, too). Incredible awe and gladness and relief at His glorious rising from what should have been a tightly-secured tomb. I guess I see Easter Week as the perfect place to start. Christmas is nice, and I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate it. But Easter gives us our identity. Easter gives us a hope, and a future.

 

Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy. John 16:22