I wish you could’ve seen her tights and shoes! Elf Babs visited Mission Thrift last Saturday. She spreads her cheer far and wide, and we love her. Cheer and Joy and a Lovely Countenance means more when from a two-time cancer survivor. I tend to listen better. She pulled me aside for a little advice:
“Sue, I gotta tell you. Life is precious. Don’t let the small stuff trip you up.”
What’s tripping you up today? I can think of some (very) small stuff. I faltered some. Tripped briefly. And, thought of Elf Babs (and her tights.)
God knows your small and large stuff, and loves us in it all. Trust instead of trip. There’s goodness in it.
Elf Babs added quietly: “They have found a small spot they are watching. Keep me in your prayers.” Will do, sweet friend. Your life is precious.
Tasting God’s goodness in Elves and wisdom and hope for the future.
O, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who finds refuge in Him.
Whenever you see prideful feelings in yourself, or you feel that you know more than anyone else or care for no one but yourself, then you must let all these attitudes drop like rocks in water. – The Seeking Heart
I will be dealing with such rocks my whole life long, I’ve decided. I’m 61. I’m still proud. I still act like I think I know far more than anyone else. I still care more for myself than others. Even the ones I profess to love the most. What to do?
Drop these like rocks. Pray for mercy. Seek God. Yield to Him, until all is quiet and calm once again.
Dropping rocks may be my main source of exercise this new year. Want to join me?
Cranberry Apple Crisp is a cold snap favorite. Make it tonight and you will be voted Best Mom Ever or Number One Wife or Girlfriend (or, Boyfriend.) Yes, Boys like making this because you use Tools! Yes, get out your apple peeler/slicer/corer and go for it – so delicious and cozy and tasty.
Recipe type: Dessert/Breakfast/Tea time when it’s cold
It’s not necessary to own an apple slicer/peeler/corer, but it’s more fun if you have one. Apples slice easily and kids (and Boys) can participate with abandon! Delicious served warm with vanilla ice cream.
6 or 7 Granny Smith apples
1 (16 oz) can whole cranberry sauce (I used jellied combined with leftover homemade cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving)
¾ cup sugar
2 T. flour
¼ cup nuts
1 cup rolled oats
⅓ cup packed brown sugar
⅓ cup flour
1 t. cinnamon
¼ cup butter, melted
For filling, peel, core and slice apples.
Cut slices in half and place in a 9×13 baker
Combine sauce, sugar, and flour and mix into the apples and mix well.
For topping, chop nuts.
Combine nuts, oats, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon.
Add melted butter and mix well.
sprinkle topping over fruit mixture.
Bake 34 to 40 minutes in oven or microwave on High for 20 minutes, until apples are soft.
San Luis hit 32 degrees last night. Mark, an Iowan, feels right at home. I sleep with microwaved rice packs. We make it work. You should should make it–Cranberry Apple Crisp, that is.
I toured a beautiful new home – open timbers, wood floors, fireplace in the kitchen. I love fireplaces in the kitchen. I asked the lovely host: “Do you entertain often?”
“Not really,” she replied. Sad, I thought. Like owning a Rembrandt (yes, that’s how I think of kitchen fireplaces) and keeping it in the laundry room. No visitors. No guests. No admiring eyes. No mutual appreciating. No enjoying the comfort and beauty. I’ll stop. Too sad.
God, the Ultimate Host, created the world to include us. What a big heart and plan. Look what Isaiah said:
God, Creator of the heavens—
he is, remember, God.
Maker of earth—
he put it on its foundations, built it from scratch.
He didn’t go to all that trouble
to just leave it empty, nothing in it.
He made it to be lived in. (Isaiah 45:18 The Message)
Why go to all that trouble? Here’s why: fill it up. Live in it. Invite others in. What do you have that He did not give? Whatever it is, it’s meant to be shared.
Prayer for December:
“Lord, Maker of the earth and giver of my home,
“Show me who to include in my life and home this Christmas season. You were content with a manger, and a whole host got invited. May I not compare my house with others and may any trouble be joy for the sake of welcoming one to Your table. I’ll need strength and courage and peace, and maybe a little extra cash, but maybe not. I know You’re good for it all. Amen.”
True enough. I need to remind my girls their true home is with their MOM. Maybe I can pass this plaque around on Christmas. They can fight over who gets it for the year – as in, “Who’s annoyed most by Mom this year? Okay, you win.” They can hang it in their laundry room or behind the refrigerator.*
Will you be spending Christmas at home this year?
Due to failing health, she’s not made the trip to San Luis the past four years. But now, she’s Home. No holiday hassle (“I want to be fair,” she’d worry, “now what did I get Bonnie already? Bethany? Mary? What about you?”) She did love those two-for-one sweater sales at Gottschalks. And, Gottschalks loved seeing Betty Moore walk through their doors.
No more. She’s walked through her final door and Home at last. Here’s a comfort for your day, in case you’re already burdened with the cyber Monday run-off and the holiday hoopla hassle:
“So we always have courage. We know that while we live in this body, we are away from the Lord. We live by what we believe, not by what we can see. So I say that we have courage. We really want to be away from this body and be at home with the Lord.” (II Corinthians 5:6-8 NCV)
So glad for Mom. She always wanted a Victorian home. I’m sure she’s loving it.
My prayer: you’ll know where to find your Home. And, take courage in the meantime.
*Plaque made by Pink Marmalade Designs, sold in Hands Gallery, San Luis Obispo. A lovely gift from Donna and Karla. See Hands Gallery here.
We got new ovens. They didn’t fit, but Mark and Roger got them in eventually. Later. A week later–people brought us meals because Mom went to Glory–so a week later, I realized…
…we got the wrong ovens. Long story. Longer return process. Mark tackled the drips and spills until it shone like new, and posted Blue Tape across both ovens: “DO NOT USE THIS OVEN,” the normally mild mannered man-in-plaid exclaimed. “You are not to use this oven [who was he looking at, I wondered?] He continued, [did he think I didn't hear?] “You are to NOT to use this oven [he is a man of few words, few, but repeated often.] “This oven is to REMAIN CLEAN until we return it on Saturday.”
I admit it. I thought I could sneak in a small use or two before Saturday. Who would know? After all I am having a Pampered Chef cooking party on Wednesday (you’re invited.)
But when the Blue Tape came out, I was doomed. Who can cross Blue Tape? We will be using the old grey mare microwave back on the counters for the party. Ah, well.
I’m grateful for Mark’s work based on love–the building and the cleaning.
Jesus cleaned me up at the cross. We celebrated Communion on Sunday. I love communion. I remembered (“Do this in remembrance…”) I’m His because of His blood. God drew me to Himself and washed me white as snow. When God looks at me, He sees His Son and snow. No Blue Tape necessary. No sin can tarnish how He sees me. No attitude (yes, I get attitude)–no attitude can cloud His eyes of love. A huge relief. I sinned at least 12 times since lunch.
I’m grateful for His work based on love–the giving and the cleaning. There’s no way to repay. I taste His goodness when I see my oven (and my man-in-plaid.) I accept His grace greater than all my sin.
See here: “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1) Are you in? Better than Blue Tape.
O, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who finds refuge in Him.
Marketing is all about trust. Who do you trust with your teeth? Your car? Your health? Your life?
When you trust Jesus, you’re in good hands for eternity. The problem is trusting Him with your dailies. Am I convinced He has my best interests in mind? Does He understand what’s happening with my family or this remodel or my job? Can I trust Him with today?
Jesus wants us convinced. HIs Word is a great marketing tool.
Marketing is nothing new. The chief enemy of your soul markets tirelessly: Satan vs. God. He started in Eden. “Don’t believe that, Eve, you won’t be happy. Here – try this. You won’t be sorry.”
She was sorry.
Me, too. I don’t blame her. But, I wish she hadn’t trusted the false advertising. If I know in advance that Satan only wants to hoodwink me, would I be less gullible? I hope so.
Here’s a test:
Satan wants me far from God. God wants me close as possible.
Anytime I feel distant from God, I can say, “I think Satan is winning the marketing campaign. He’s getting his way. That’s stupid (and a little embarrassing.) Lord, convince me! Help me trust what You say. Amen.” Amen.
Bonnie starts her new job in marketing this week. I think she’ll do well. People are apt to trust young women with broken glasses. They look smarter, don’t you think? Convincing?
Mark thinks the plaid shirt might help. Thank goodness Trulia offers full dental and vision insurance. Duct tape until it kicks in. Lord, have mercy.
Giving thanks in abundance of leftovers?? I am! We have tons of stuffing and mashed potatoes leftover. See my favorite casserole for the mashed potatoes here. So tasty and delish!
Jesus said, “I come to bring life, life abundant.” (John 10:10)
I give Him thanks today for abundance. Good food, good friends, good family memory-making. Warm and delicious “Friends-Giving” Potluck last night – fabulous Pozzoli soup and Pumpkin Pecan Dump cake. Steve’s here with ukelele and games. Bonnie found JK Rowling’s latest book and she’s cozy in the guest room. The girls got to the chocolate chip pie first–two slices each (warms a mother’s heart.) New neighbors said “yes” to the invite and made themselves at home. Mark from Mission Thrift said, “I’m thankful for your invitation. Otherwise, I would’ve been alone.” (SOOO sweet. So glad to have him at our table.) Mark from Here, finished the under-counter lighting – I know, while I was cooking this morning. I did punch him once. Just once. I don’t think anyone else had to cook around sawdust and drills, but…Let there be light! (and there was.) Delicious cranberry jello from Suzanne, and she and Karen got in two trips to Michael’s for a yarn sale (to each their own abundance.)
Abundance. There’s sweetness in it. Praise God from Whom all blessings come. Happy Thanksgiving! May you recognize His abundance today and all year.
On the night He was betrayed, Jesus took the bread and gave thanks. He passed the cup, and gave thanks. He knew what was ahead, but gave thanks.
While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.”
Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. Matthew 26:26ff
Thursday we break bread (and turkey and pie and Heather’s yam casserole that’s more like pie and corn casserole and chocolate chip pie and more.) We give thanks, though broken. Not a perfect person in the room.
What’s your brokenness? Health? Family? Finances? Friends?
I’d prefer perfection. Easier on my soul.
I’m sure Jesus would’ve preferred no pain, no shame, no cross. But on the night He was betrayed, He gave thanks. For that reason, any day is Thanksgiving.
The girls are home, plus one. Bethany brought a friend from Penn State. Sarah fits right in. She likes my cooking so I adore her.
Here’s the Man-in-Plaid after hearing Bethany has a cavity. Poor Dad. Give thanks, dear, it’s only money.
Growing up, we had the adult’s table and the kid’s table. Maybe two of each. Chip and Melody and Peggy and Lynette and my sisters and I would get one table. All the stuffy adults would get the long table in the dining room. We had way more fun, we thought. Later, we’d come home from college and get put at the adult table. I guess my folks wanted to see if we’d grown up at all. Now I think they wanted to spend time with us. We left all too soon. Our two eldest come home this week. I want them at my hip. Not sure they’ll comply.
I mix up the seating usually, or let my youngest pass out the name cards and see where everyone ends up. I love it when the girls “randomly” get seated by adults who pour wisdom and humor alongside their sparking cranapple juice. We do thumbprint pilgrims for all ages.
Where will you be seated this Thanksgiving? I need to sit at Jesus’ table everyday so I taste His goodness. Then it won’t matter where I sit.
The Psalmist said “taste and see that God is good.” Do you know He’s good? I can’t taste if I’m not up at His table, seated, ready to eat and love and forgive and maybe just laugh. We laugh a lot at our company dinners. It makes the food go down easier. I think Jesus would laugh if He’d stop in.
Someone said, “Ministry is spillage.”
When I’m filled up with Jesus, He does the spilling. I can let Him worry about the seating arrangements. But, I do need to fill up. Who will be at your table this Thanksgiving? Maybe you will be the guest. Either way, someone next to you can taste His goodness. It’s not too late to invite a friend. It’s never too late to spend time at His table.
O, taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him (and sits close to Him.) Psalm 34:8