Friday, February 26, 2010

No More Hiding.

I feel like I've spent the past few weeks in hiding.  Not physically, of course... physically I've been busy with family, home and work.  I've been planning vacations and travelled to Las Vegas for a long weekend with my husband, sister and brother-in-law.  (It was fabulous and I promise to write a post about it when I can get the pictures sorted.)  I've been doing the things that I always do.

Emotionally I've been shuttered up inside my own mind, locking myself away from my family, friends and even God.  I've holed myself up in a prison of my own making with my fears and anxieties until I feel like I could burst from the pressure.  But why?  Why do I do this?  I know that God's word tells me not to be anxious.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." ~ Philippians 4:6

And I know that the Lord wants to provide me with the strength that I lack on my own.

"..For this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength." Nehemiah 8:10

But Satan still whispers lies to me.... lies that tell me I am too small and insignificant for God to care, that I am alone and friendless, that who could possibly want to be bothered with my trivial issues.  And I let myself believe these lies.  It is far easier to hang on to my sack full of ashes and carry it around with me than to lay it at the feet of Christ.  These ashes are MINE, they are a part of me.... what happens if I let them go?  Who am I then?

Starting today, I'm saying it out loud..... SATAN, I'M FINISHED HEARING YOUR LIES.  My LORD, my God is my strength and my peace.

"Peace that Jesus gives is not the absence of trouble, but is rather the confidence that He is there with you always." Pastor Phillip Crossman

Friday, February 12, 2010

Valentines Day Cookies!

Pardon the excruciatingly, terribly horrid picture!  It was taken with my phone.  Holding the camera and supervising a 2 year old in the kitchen just wasn't possible.  Tori and I made decorated sugar cookies for her Valentine's Day party at daycare.  I've always been very apprehensive about decorating (or even baking) cut out cookies before.  Royal icing has not been kind to me in the past.

Several months ago I started reading  Bake at 350.  The blog is written by Bridget (a fellow Texas girl and  the neighbor of another of my favorite bloggers) and she gives great step by step instructions on how to make your own super cute sugar cookies.

I used her recipes for Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing just as written.  Read through several of her posts and the FAQ's and you'll quickly pick up on her helpful hints.  Here are a few that I found especially important.


1)  You CAN use cold butter and skip the step of chilling the dough!

2)  Thick cookies and a well floured surface to roll them on (wax paper) are the way to go.

3)  Parchment paper lined cookie sheets.

4)  Freeze each batch for 5 - 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before you bake them.  They held their shape perfectly.


1)  Do NOT overbeat.  I did and it made the icing very hard to pipe the outlines.

2)  Using plastic craft bottles for the flood icing was brilliant and so easy!

3)  Stir thinned flood icing gently and let it set for a bit before you use it to reduce the amount of bubbles.

Decorating the cookies was much less intimidating than I had expected.  They turned out super cute.  Unfortunately, because of the humidity and the fact that I did them pretty late last night they hadn't had time to dry completely before I had to package them early this morning.  There were a few smudges.  I would suggest a 24 hour drying period after you finish decorating.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Through the Trials.....

I missed WFMW this week and I haven't really given much thought to writing a blog post.  I'm going through some trials right now that are really leading me to dig deeper into the "Faith" portion of my blog.  I'm still cooking up a storm (baking = therapy for me) and I'll post some recipes soon, but right now I want to share a note I posted on Facebook a while ago.

I love looking back on postings here or on other websites and knowing that I was led to write those specific words so that I could go back a read them at this specific time.  I posted this note months ago.... and boy do I ever need to read it now.

Does God give us more than we can handle?

Often during times of trial we hear that God will not give us more than we can handle. But is that really true? Will God give us a burden that is too heavy for us to bear?

Some people look to 1 Corinthians 10:13 as assurance that God will not place more upon us than we can deal with. I don't believe that is what the passage means at all.

"No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it."

Paul is writing in this letter to fellow Christians in Corinth. If you look at the entire text he is warning them about getting comfortable in their faith and succumbing to the temptations of sin, as the Israelites did before them. In verse 13 Paul reminds us that God will not allow us to be tempted beyond what we are able to resist.

There are storms in our life too strong and violent for us to weather alone. There will come a burden too heavy for our shoulders to bear. We will be put through trials that are more than we can handle. The fact is because of the first sin of Adam and Eve all of mankind will suffer during their lifetime.

So what do we do now? If we are too weak to endure these hardships alone what possible hope do we have to make it through this life?

The glorious news is that we have God! If we choose to accept it we have a love and hope in the Lord that will endure any trial, weather any storm. While God will give us more than we can handle, He will never leave us to handle it alone. He wants, even requires, us to turn to Him for assistance. He is an ever present strength, a deliverer and our shield in the storm (Psalm 144:2).

My dearest friends please know that whatever your burden is, no matter how great or small, how heavy or light, that the Lord will willingly carry it on His shoulders if you will hand it to Him.

It was easy to write this when I wasn't struggling, and now that I am having a hard time it is great to read them... and to know that I know that I know that they are true.