Archive for March, 2009

March 26, 2009

Scones with Honey Butter

p1010003

Good ole Scottish scones made with butter, oats, flour, salt, baking powder, cream and blueberries...

p1010006

Shape and slice....

     

Oven at 450 for about 14 minutes

Oven at 450 for about 14 minutes

p1010018

Break off a piece, spread with honey butter & enjoy with a steaming cup of Earl Grey tea!

p1010025

Drake appreciates great scones...

Colin demonstrating proper scone eating etiquette...

Colin demonstrating proper scone eating etiquette...

Forrest...

Forrest...

Raw, unpasteurized honey from RavenCroft Farm...  check out there blog!

Raw, unpasteurized honey from RavenCroft Farm... check out their blog!

Graeme is still learning to love scones...but he loves the new lambs at Grandpa & Grandma's.

Graeme is still learning to love scones...but he adores the new lambs at Grandpa & Grandma's.

 

Advertisements
Tags: , ,
March 24, 2009

Tips for Tight Places

Earlier, I wrote about claustrophobic places.  When the walls seem to be closing in on you, and you begin to feel like Pooh Bear (a wedged bear in a great tightness).  But take courage, there is relief in those tight places. David prayed in Psalm 4:1 for God to expand him in those tight places.  He had the wisdom to know sometimes God leads us to spacious places, but there are also times God chooses to expand us in those places of great tightness.

If you are in a similar place, whether physical or emotional or whatever, God can expand you.  Here are my Tips for Tight Places:

1 – Pray for expansion:  David admitted that he was in a tight place, and prayed for expansion.  He did not just assume that God would notice and do something about it.  David knew the value of asking.  Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete. John 16:24

2 – Pray specifically for the need:

If any of your lack wisdom, he should ask God who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.  James 1:5

Financial expansion – This can include wisdom in budgeting, discovering new avenues of income, and utilizing current resources creatively.  Watch for out-of-the box answers to your request.  

This past year has been very tight financially for our family. But, we’ve discovered a wealth of things that have expanded our finances and our perspective.  One extremely valuable thing my husband and I did was to attend Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University.  This provided us with tools and knowledge that we quite frankly didn’t possess before.  

We worked with my parents and my sister’s family gardening all summer, and canning the harvest. Anyone need a jar of kraut?  My two older sons and I spend our early mornings during the summer months at a local market garden picking fragrant strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.  Some afternoons, we also sold buckets of berries.  We were rewarded with a small income, and often times with berries as well.  We became berry rich!  Again and again, we discovered that God can expand a limited budget.

3 – Pray and meditate on God’s word – Then would you read a Sustaining Book, such as would help and comfort a Wedged Bear in Great Tightness? – A.A. Milne, In Which Pooh Goes Visiting 

There are many comforting passages from THE Sustaining Book: The Bible. Write them on notecards and memorize them. Repeat and personalize them daily.  Romans 8:31-39 is one such passage:

 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: 
   “For your sake we face death all day long; 
      we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”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.

4 – Trust GodTrust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5 & 6

Tight places can be exceedingly uncomfortable places, but there are places of intense personal growth. Often times, they are a proving ground or preparation for new phases in your walk with God. Trust God not your circumstances, and know that He WILL make your way straight.

March 18, 2009

Fraffles? Wench Toast?

p1010002-11

After reading it cover to cover, I was inspired by Ina Garten‘s book, Barefoot in Paris. Perhaps it was the beautiful pictures, but suddenly I was CRAVING what she refers to as an old-fashioned French nursery dessert: French toast! Not wanting to drag out the big ‘ole griddle or a massive frying pan, I took the next best option – the waffle iron. After I mixed up the eggs and milk (too lazy to drag out a recipe book), I added a little vanilla and cinnamon for some haute cuisine flavor.  Then, I simply dipped several pieces of day old bread from a local bakery into the mixture, placed the slices on my waffle iron and squeezed the lid shut. When the “done” light turned popped on, we plated and devoured our tasty, French-inspired breakfast complete with real maple syrup and butter! Bon appetit!

 

Graeme loves fraffles!

Graeme loves fraffles!

Forrest wants more?

Forrest wants more?

March 17, 2009

An Irish Prayer

607936_28005142May God give you…

For every storm, a rainbow,

For every tear, a smile,

For every care, a promise,

And a blessing in each trial.

For every problem life sends,

A faithful friend to share,

For every sigh, a sweet song,

And an answer for each prayer.

Years ago when I was in Scotland, I remember peering across the Irish Sea trying to catch but a glimpse of the famed Emerald Isle. Four years later, my sister spent a summer near Dublin, and through her stories and pictures I got a fleeting picture of the people and culture. Ten years later, after reading How the Irish Saved Civilization, I developed a more complete picture and appreciation of all things Irish. Now, 27 years later, my son is preparing for his trip to Eire. And, while he is there this next summer, my heart will be peering across the Irish Sea again trying to catch but a glimpse

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

March 14, 2009

Quotes for My 40th!

At 20 years of age the will reigns; at 30 the wit; and at 40 the judgment. – Ben Franklin

The first forty years of life give us the text; the next thirty supply the commentary. – Arthur Schopenhauer

Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age. – French Proverb

A diplomat is a man who always remembers a woman’s birthday but never remembers her age. – Robert Frost

To hold the same views at forty as we held at twenty is to have been stupefied for a score of years, and take rank, not as a prophet, but as an unteachable brat, well birched and non the wiser. – Robert Louis Stevenson

There are three hundred and sixty-four days when you might get un-birthday presents…and only one for birthday presents, you know.  – Lewis Carroll

When I passed forty I dropped pretense, ’cause men like women who got some sense. – Maya Angelou

Tags: , ,
March 13, 2009

Auld Lang Syne in March

cake0011Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne ?

-Robert Burns

There are dedicated times in life for reflection.  On New Years Eve, we collectively take a day to reflect upon the year that’s ending as we anticipate the year to come.  Every year, it was a tradition in my family to have chicken on New Years Eve and pork with sour kraut on New Years Day.  In the Pennsylvanian Dutch tradition this is done because the chicken roots backwards and the pig roots forward.  They also believed serving pork and sour kraut as the first meal of the new year brought blessing to the family. New Years Eve is a time of reflection while New Years Day is a time for defining goals, aspirations and dreams.

I am turning 40 in a few days and the past few months have been like a long New Years Eve for me.  There is something about turning 40 that causes you to really reflect upon your life.  Some people will tell you that it is just a number, but I disagree.  What’s important is that we take time at critical junctures in our lives to pause and to ponder.  

In the book of Haggai, God commands not once but twice to consider your ways.  According to “David Guzik’s Commentary on the Bible”, this is a Hebrew figure of speech which literally means to put your heart on your roads.  This implies that we need to reflect upon where we’ve been and where we are going.  But by putting our heart to our roads (to where we’ve been and where we are going), we put our deeds and accomplishments to the fiery test of the heart.  Is this truly lasting? Does this have eternal or termporal significance? What is my purpose? Am I fulfilling my purpose? Am I a positive influence in the lives of others?  In the lives of the next generation? Am I truly serving God? Is my life bearing fruit? 

I would offer after 2 score years what the Psalmist said in Psalms 119:59:  I pondered the direction of my life, and I turned to follow your laws.  My desire is to be as it says in 2 Timothy 2:19 an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.

March 11, 2009

Muffins with Mom!

p1010023-11Today was a blueberry muffin morning.  Blueberries are high in antioxidants and vitamin C.  I also added some ground flaxseed to the batter for extra nutrition (omega-3 fatty acids) and a cinnamon topping for extra goodness.  Muffins with Mom!

Taste and see that the Lord is good! Psalm 34:8

March 6, 2009

Tight Places

CB042434I am claustrophobic.  Well, not clinically, but I really, REALLY do not like tight places!  I cannot remember I time I didn’t feel this way. Crowded elevators, no thanks – I’ll take the stairs!  

Recently while reading a familiar Psalm, I noticed something in the footnotes that I had underlined years ago. In Psalm 4, the NIV version reads “Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.” Who doesn’t want relief, but the literal meaning of this phrase really spoke to my heart and into my life. This phrase give me relief from my distress literally means make room for me in tight places.  Tight Places…

 Guess what? Now here is a revelation: Sometimes I get very self-centered and think that no one could possibly understand my life.  No one else on God’s green earth (or even the current greyish-white) could possibly be going through what I am going through!  Yet, hidden here in the original Hebrew is a gem of truth: David too was claustrophobic!

Am I speaking of an actual fear of Tight Places? No (but I’m sure this prayer would apply there too). Sometimes life gets very tight.  Sometime it feels as if there little room to move.  Sometimes it feels as if you can barely breath.  

The past year has been a tight place for me – financially, physically, spiritually, emotionally.  So, meditating and praying this Davidic psalm gives me great comfort.  It puts my heart at peace to know that David too experienced the tight places. We also know from reading other books in the Bible that the tight places were not the end of David. He survived those tight places.  Eventually, he also moved on to spacious places and greener pastures.

But how did David find relief in tight places?  I think the answer too is hidden in this verse and in his heart’s cry – make room. The King James version puts it this way: …thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress. I’ve come to understand God doesn’t always remove us from the tight places; although He surely can. Sometimes in His great mercy and infinite wisdom, God simply makes room for us in those places and enlarges our ability to cope.

Answer me when I call to you, O my righteous God.  Make room for me in tight places; be merciful to me and hear my prayer.  Psalm 4:1 (my emphasis)