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Friday, March 30, 2012

Gift! (www.thegypsymama.com 5 Minute Fridays)


Hear, ye children, the instruction of a father, and be attentive to know understanding.
Proverbs 4:1(NKJV)


Gift!

GO:
Yesterday would have been my dad’s 79th birthday.  I wasn’t sad.  I smiled all day, and told as many people as I encountered.  I was blessed with a wonderful father.  When I reminded my husband of the significance of the day, he said, “we should celebrate.  Maybe we’ll get a cake.” That’s when I remembered how much I loved my husband for the way he gets me, and when the idea was born….I’m going to try something I saw online and call it “Dad’s Boiled Eggs.”

Cruising FB, I came upon the creative idea of baking cupcakes in real egg shells.  I tried it, and will append this 5 Minute Friday exercise with pictures and a recipe.  I smiled when I saw today’s  5 Minute Friday prompt because I knew yesterday was all about God and my dad collaborating to give me yet another gift.

I had the blessing of a wise and wonderful mighty man of God as a father.  I am pleased to remember him, to share those stories with my children, and to live my life in a way that acknowledges the tremendous impact he had on me.

It also got me to thinking about how God uses ordinary things for extraordinary purposes, like eggshells for cupcakes.  I hope that my ordinary blog, my ordinary life, the simplest things I do or say might be repurposed as vessels to carry His message and His mercy to the world.  To do so would be worthy evidence that God is good. (I MADE IT!)

STOP:

 
Today’s Feast: Dad’s Boiled Eggs 

Backstory~Stef, from the Cupcake Project inspired me to try her “Easter Cupcakes in Real Egg Shells.” I am not ordinarily sufficiently ambitious to attack a project like this, but for whatever reason, I found this particularly compelling, particularly when I remembered:

a)    how much my dad liked boiled eggs,
b)    how my family doesn’t particularly like cake (after a slice or two, we’re done, so I never keep it in the house except when we’re entertaining), and
c)     how this is probably as close as I’m ever going to get to an April Fool’s prank (I sent pictures of these to two girlfriends and called it “the fake out.”

This was remarkably simple, easy, and I’ll definitely do it again.  Besides, it puts one really cool unique technique in my kitchen diva file, and who wouldn’t want that??

First, you prep 10 eggshells.  Using a corkscrew, pierce and gently peel away the smallest portion of eggshell that allows you to dump out the contents.  I tried to go no larger than a dime.  The first egg you will use to make the cupcakes, 2-9 go into a bowl that keeps us in omelets through the weekend. After emptying out the contents, rinse the shells in clear water.  Submerge them in a bowl of heavily salted water for at least 30 minutes.  Drain the cleaned shells on absorbent paper (I put a paper towel on a cooling rack and left them until I was ready to fill and bake them. Preheat the oven to 350˚.










½ C flour
1 egg
¼ t baking powder
1/8 t baking soda
½ C sugar
¼ C butter (one stick at room temperature)
Zest of one lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
2 heaping T fat free sour cream

Sift together dry ingredients.  With a hand mixer, blend egg and lemon first, then add sugar and butter until creamy, Add in dry ingredients, and finally sour cream.

Transfer the batter into a zip top bag for piping into shells. I stood the shells in a mini muffin pan, and carefully filled them. This is key-and more art than science.  Fill shells ¾ full.  The batter will expand, and you want to preserve the mystery in presentation.  Next time I will fill each shell to half, and then top them all off.

Bake 23 minutes.  Remove from the oven and cool.  Keep the carton for presentation and display.  I faked my kids out because they knew I’d never leave fresh eggs sitting out on the dining room table.  When you crack the shells, there are about 2 perfect bites, making one of the best things about this recipe that it is literally a “little sweet,” just enough to satisfy with no guilt.  And, it brings a smile to your face, particularly mine, as I know my dad would have loved it.

Make it sassy….try any or all of the following:
·         change the flavors in the recipe     
      dye the shells (I’m going to try it after salting but before baking
·         
The Final Fake Out-Dad’s Boiled Eggs,
aka two bite cupcakes

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Prayer for Relief…


Make haste, O God, to deliver me!
Make haste to help me, O Lord!
Let them be ashamed and confounded
Who seek my life
;
Let them be turned back
and confused
Who desire my hurt.
 Let them be turned back because of their shame,
Who say,
Aha, aha!
Psalms 70:1-3 (NKJV)

I hereby declare…I’m not under siege, and I’m honestly in a place where I can say, “Life is good.”  Notwithstanding the former, how wonderful is it that even from your happy place, there is Someone who hears and answers random prayers??  This morning, as my husband and I shared prayer time, he tossed off something like, “I’ve got one for you….try Psalms 70.” Like deodorant, like keeping a spare umbrella in the car, like the extra set of keys you secret in the garden, who couldn’t benefit from a prayer for relief??

Monday, March 26, 2012

First, give thanks....



First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
Romans 1:8 (ESV)

Quick! When you wake up in the morning, what do you do first? Do you:
a)    groan because another day is upon you,
b)    jump up, cursing the alarm,
c)     stretch to see what hurts,
d)    smile at the thought and promise of another day, or
e)     give thanks?
No judgments, I’ve been guilty of a through d at some point, and oh, let’s be honest, so have you.  Here’s a challenge, it’s time for a reset.  If you haven’t already, let’s make an effort to start by giving thanks.

Friday, March 23, 2012

LOUD! Gypsy Mama's 5 minute Fridays...


Make a joyful noise unto God, all ye lands:
 Sing forth the honour of his name: make his praise glorious.
Psalms 66:1-2 (KJV)

LOUD!

GO:
Walking the dog this morning, I was kinda feeling in the groove.  It’s a good day, a Friday.  I had the wonderful experience of having a blog post I really cared about featured on BloggyMoms.com, felt free and cool in my running shorts and vintage Steigman t-shirt, the sky was blue, the clouds were white, everything was good in my world.  When “Surely” by Israel and New Breed came on the iPod, I took a cursory look around and began to sing, LOUD! Yeah, baby, it’s me and the dog and the Universe engaged in the act of worship.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

It’s not that time….Elegy for a murdered son Trayvon Martin


To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven
:
A time to be born,
    And a time to die
;
A time to plant,
    And a time to pluck what is planted
;
A time to kill,
    And a time to heal
;
A time to break down,
    And a time to build up
;
A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh
;
A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance
;
Ecclesiastes 3:1-4(NKJV)


“...I pray your death will not be in vain. We will stand for you and 
see that justice is served in your senseless murder.
 Rest in peace, dear son...rest in peace." JC
Sybrina, I cannot imagine your pain at sending a son to eternal rest; saying goodbye rather than saying goodnight.  I cannot fathom the hole in your heart, but this I know; “to everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…a time to be born and a time to die,”… this cannot be that time. 

I too held a brown boy under my heart, carrying him as part of me until the day he came to the world.  It was a time to weep, and a time to laugh.  A time of great promise in America where I never imagined that being mother to a young black man meant I had given life to a gravely endangered species.  This cannot be that time. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

It’s time to go sit on the hill.


      I will position myself on the fortress. 
      I will keep watch to see 
      what the Lord says to me 
      and how he
a will respond
      to my complaint.

Habakkuk 2:1 (CEV)


I’m a little slow….sometimes it takes me a minute to get the message.  Lately, I think I know what I’m supposed to do, but I’m so busy, mostly busy making empty noise, that there are few quiet spaces to hear His Voice.  I talked to my Gayle as I walked the dog this morning, where the thought occurred to me, “it’s time to go sit on the hill.” Just on the heels of that conversation, I popped onto FB where my incredibly wise and wonderful friend J wrote in a status update, “When one door closes, God opens ten more. Usually, you don't realize how many paths have been carved out for you. Peace be still and wait on His calling.”  Whew...direct hit.  It's time to go sit on the hill.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Brave (or not)...5 Minute Fridays @ www.gypsymama.com


  I say to the LORD, You are my God. 
   Hear, LORD, my cry for mercy.
 
Sovereign LORD, my strong deliverer,
 
   you shield my head in the day of battle.
 
Psalm 140:6-7

I don’t have to be brave.  I can pretend to be, I can act as if, I can look the part.  I don’t have to be brave….it’s unnecessary.  When you finally begin to acknowledge that we are made strong in confessing our weakness…you no longer worry about it.  I didn't say that I was good at it, or that it’s always the way I behave….it’s a construct.  It’s a goal.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Thank God it started with prayer...


After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, Dont be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, Dont be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.
Nehemiah 4:14 (NIV)


I’ve had a migraine for the last several days, and after 3 or 4 days of constant pain and a life that doesn’t stop, I get a little cranky.  I’ve been trying to remove myself from situations where I lash out in exhausted, pain-fueled frustration, but I’m not always successful.  My children got an earful this weekend.  When my patience is already worn thin and I’m not feeling well, things I might better tolerate from my happy place really rub me raw.  Thank God this morning started with prayer.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

NOT about me...


Two are better than one, 
   because they have a good return for their labor
: 
 If either of them falls down, 
   one can help the other up.
 
But pity anyone who falls
 
   and has no one to help them up.
 
Ecclesiastes 4:9-10(NIV)



A friend God sends is the one you hug when you'd rather feel sorry for yourself; making you feel strong instead of sad. Giving your heart away is the surest way to make it grow.

Thank you dear friend, for reminding me despite my insistence to the contrary, that it’s NOT about me. Thank you for kicking me out of my own way, sometimes gently, sometimes not so, but always in love.  Thank you for being a constant reminder of the abundance in my life, including the blessed gift of your friendship.  Thank you for affirming that The Divine sent you to me and me to you, proving once again, that God is good.

 

Friday, March 9, 2012

Empty (5 Minute Fridays)


For He hath satisfied the empty soul, and hath filled the hungry soul with good things.
Psalms 107:9 (DRA)

I decided to give 5 minute Friday a try (trot on over to www.gypsymama.com for more information)….but made it more difficult for myself by following my blogging habit of beginning with a scripture.  So…empty…

Empty pockets, empty days, feeling empty? Lost, without purpose, without a plan? I guess that might be what you’d say about my life…but my life is not empty.  When we say empty, are we talking about lack? What we might not have, what we might not keep, what we desire but can’t afford. 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Where does wisdom begin??


Wisdom begins with respect for the Lord; 
       those who obey his orders have good understanding.
 
       He should be praised forever.
Psalms 111:10 (NCV)


http://www.windstarembroidery.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=4449 
When I told my husband that today was the final of 31 days of praying for him, he asked if he could have another month. (I said, “Of course.”) When I told him that the scriptural reference for this last day was “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” Psalms 111:10 (KJV21), he said, “Fear?” We agreed that fear likely originated with an older translation, but it got us to wondering? Where does wisdom begin?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Not a raging optimist...


People cry out when they are in trouble; 
       they beg for relief from powerful people.
 
 But no one asks,
'Where is God, my Maker, 
       who gives us songs in the night,
Job 35:9-10(NCV)

Henceforth will I look on all things with love and be born again. I will love the sun for it warms my bones; yet I will love the rain for it cleanses my spirit. I will love the light for it shows me the way; yet I will love the darkness for it shows me the stars. I will welcome happiness as it enlarges my heart; yet I will endure sadness for it opens my soul. I will acknowledge rewards for they are my due; yet I will welcome obstacles for they are my challenge.
~Og Mandino


There is only one more day in my 31 days of sacrificial prayer for my husband.  “Awed and astonished” am I at what it has wrought, for  me, for my beloved, for friends who’ve shared the challenge with us, comments I’ve received from readers here, etc.  My pebble tossed in the ocean stills ripples. I may just keep praying in this way, but I won’t be blogging daily about it.  Once again, it’s time to do a new thing.  Today’s prayer for my husband is that the Lord would place a song in his heart.  The easy thing would be to say that he’s a “whistle while you work” kind of guy, but he isn’t.  He is not a raging optimist. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

live wisely...


So be very careful how you live. Do not live like those who are not wise, but live wisely.
Ephesians 5:15 (NCV)

I like Facebook.  I play games, I catch up with friends, follow “butterflies” (in this case, any interesting thing that catches my eye, happily wandering down the Internet rabbit hole.  I play games on my phone, too.  Someone might call it wasting time.  (My beloved does, but is far too well-bred to say so).  He doesn’t get it.  Today’s prayer (the 29th), that he might learn to manage his time well, may well be just for me.  Or, in a stunning twist, maybe today’s message from the Universe is for me to teach him to lighten up?

I appreciate that he is sober, serious, focused.  His discipline has blessed my greatly, inuring me with far greater capacity than I would have had alone, but I’m the fun one.  He actually tells people that I’m his only vice….but here’s the secret…he likes it that way. 

Today’s lesson is a simple one. To learn to manage well.  All work and no play would make my beloved boring, and he is not.  All play and no work, well, that’s not practical either.  He does manage his time well, because he is neither dull nor lacking discipline.  And when he needs a little fun, he’s got me.  I guess you could say I bring him joy (he says so *smiling*).  And knowing that your joy is right where you can see it when you need it, who needs better evidence that God is Good.

 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Safe...


for he guards the course of the just 
   and protects the way of his faithful ones..
Proverbs 2:8(NIV)

"Lead us to the place,
guide us with Your grace
To a place where we
'll be safe."
from The Prayer
by

David Foster and Carol Bayer Sager


It is four weeks today that I’ve been praying for my husband.  As we walked the dog, I told him today’s prayer was for his continued guidance and protection.  He thanked me.  Actually, he said something more like, “I really appreciate your prayers.”  It wasn’t what he said, it was that he said it.  He knows that I continually seek God’s covering over his days and his life, but the simple act of thanking me meant so much.  In the safety of intimate relationships…how often do we practice courtesy?

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