“Oh, Adam…”

Stockton,_California__Weeding_celery_field_on_industrialized_ranch_in_the_Delta_region,_prior_to_ev_______-_NARA_-_537592

We’ve started a new chapter in our lives around here.  We have moved Connor to the big bed – no backing out this time.  Today, I spent 3 1/2 hours trying to get him to stay in bed and take a nap.  During that time, alone, he woke up his baby brother from his nap twice.  Suffice it to say I’ve had better days.

As I was washing dishes tonight, I was lamenting how stressful this day has been, and after bouncing around dozens of thoughts and nearly letting the tears flow a few times, I was reminded of a story I heard at some point as a kid.  It’s about a farmer and his farm hand, and I thought I would relay it here for you to read.  Just something to ponder on as you go through your day.

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There was once a poor farm hand who worked for a rich land owner.  The farm hand had worked hard his entire life on other men’s lands, growing their crops, and, inevitably, growing their bank accounts.  Through all of his work, however, he was never able to get ahead.  He just barely scraped by, unable to provide any more than the absolute necessities for his family, and sometimes not even that.  As the years passed, his hands grew more calloused, his back more stooped, his feet and legs more sore.  His employer, however, was able to buy more land, hire more farm hands, and spend more time inside his recently upgraded and enlarged home.  The farm hand was in the fields day in and day out, from sun up to sun down, and in every kind of weather.  He was weary.

One particularly hot summer day, as he sat in the shade of an old oak tree eating his meager lunch of left-over mashed potato cakes and water, he conversed with his fellow farm hands.  One of the younger men, a newly-wed, talked of his big plans to save as much of his paltry wages as he could and eventually buy his own piece of land – to become his own man.  The poor farm hand remembered having those same thoughts a good twenty years before, and at once, he felt sorry for his young co-worker and resentful at his own lot in life.

Lunch ended, and as the man headed back to the field with his canvas bag slung diagonally across his chest to pick more green beans among the buzzing wasps, he began to ponder why he had to work so hard for so little.  The thoughts consumed his mind as he worked for the rest of the day.  At long last, he came to the conclusion that it was simply because life is not fair.  Why is life not fair, he lamented in his mind as he walked the mile to his two-room house, crowded with him, his wife, and their four children.  It was a thought that he turned over and over for the next several days.  He was finally forced to admit that life was not fair because there was sin in the world.  Life-long Sunday school lessons had taught him that sin had entered the world through the act of one man and his wife several millennia before he was born.

Once the man had reached that conclusion, a new mantra was constantly on his lips as he worked:  “Oh, Adam!  Oh, Adam!  Oh, Adam!”  With each whack of his hoe to a weed, “Oh, Adam!”  With each pull of a vegetable from a vine, “Oh, Adam!”  With each slice of his spade into the earth, “Oh, Adam!”

After a few weeks, the land owner heard the man’s mantra.  The foreman said he didn’t know what the man meant by it but that he had noticed the man saying it.  After several more days, the land owner called the man to his office and asked him why he was saying “Oh, Adam!”  The man felt a bit sheepish for a moment, but then, noticing the land owners austere office space with fresh paint, plush rugs, a book-lined wall, an ornate, hand-crafted desk, and other trappings of great wealth brought about by his own poor, work-worn hands, he felt that old resentment and bitterness rise up.  He told the land owner of all the hard work that he did each day and how he never was able to get even, let alone ahead in life.  He complained of how he worked in the dead heat of summer and the bone-chilling cold of winter and everything in between.  He complained of the pain that his body felt all day, each and every day.  And, at last, he told the land owner of how he had reached the conclusion that if only Adam hadn’t sinned in the Garden, then he would not be working his life away for nothing all these thousands of years later.

The land owner studied the farm hand in silence for several minutes.  Finally, he said, “When you get here in the morning, I want you to come meet me on the porch first thing.  I will speak to the foreman, so do not delay in meeting with me.  I think I have a solution for your problem, but I will need the rest of the day to prepare it.  Now, please, go finish out your work day.”  The farm hand agreed to the land owner’s vague plan and went back to work.  The next morning, he did just as he was told and met the land owner on the porch of the house.  The land owner was sitting on a plush armchair with a small spindly table sitting beside it.  On the table, there was a plain wooden box, a pitcher of sweet tea, and an empty glass.  The land owner stood as the man came up the porch steps and greeted him with a handshake.  “Come, let me explain my plan,” he said.

As they walked toward the chair, the land owner said, “I have decided that since you are having so much pain and discomfort from the conditions of your work, that I will allow you earn your pay by simply sitting in this chair each day, all day, enjoying some tea, reading books, taking naps, whatever relaxing activity you wish.  You may have the chair moved from the porch to inside the parlor if the weather does not suit you, and at lunch, you will be welcome to eat what my house servants eat.  They have instructions to bring it to you for you to eat from your chair or you may go eat in the kitchen with them, if you please.  I will also have my driver come pick you up each morning and take you back home each evening.  And as an added bonus, I am even doubling your pay.”

The farm hand could hardly believe his ears.  It was a dream come true, to earn money and not work.  To rest, to eat, to be out of the weather, to do nothing and earn twice what all his hard work earned him.  “What is the catch?” he asked his boss.

“Catch?  There is no catch.  There is a condition, however,” answered the land owner.  “You see this box here on the table?”

The man nodded.  “Yes, sir.”

“You must not ever open it, under any circumstances.”  The land owner looked the farm hand in the eye.  “I will know if you do.  And, if you do open the box, everything will go as it was before:  You will come to work and go home on your own.  You will work in the fields, bringing your own lunch.  Your pay will return to its normal rate.  And you will never again utter the phrase, ‘Oh, Adam!’  Do you agree to my terms?”

“How long will you allow me these luxuries?” asked the farm hand.

“For as long as you keep the box closed,” answered the land owner.  “Are you in agreement?”

The farm hand studied the land owner.  The man was known to be honest, a tough employer, but honest, and he seemed to be playing no tricks now.  He slowly held out his hand and agreed.  One signed contract later, and the farm hand was sipping sweet tea on the land owner’s porch.  He leaned back in the chair, closed his eyes, and said to himself, “Finally, my ship has come in.  I’ll sit on this porch the rest of my life.  Not open a box…Ha!  How could I fail?”

The first week of his new “duties” was a cinch.  He hardly thought of the box on the table.  No matter where he had his chair placed for the day, the little table and box followed.  He enjoyed warm, filling lunches from the kitchen staff each day and was never short on tea or even cold water or hot coffee, if he preferred.  He read the newspaper each day, enjoyed naps, and even made a list of what all he would do with all the money he had coming to him.  His wife was suspicious of this development in his job, but she would be convinced of his good fortune with time.  He couldn’t blame her hesitation; life had been hard for a long time.  Each day, the land owner would stop by for a few minutes and visit with man, making small talk and asking him how he was enjoying his new life.  The man had no complaints.

The second week, the man found himself feeling a bit bored from time to time, but he just started bringing books to read and blank paper to write. This kept his mind busy for a couple of months.  And he hardly ever thought about the box that sat beside him day after day.  However, he eventually became bored with reading, and he turned to writing.  He sat an entire morning, one day, trying to come up with an idea to write about with no success.  However, when his lunch was brought to him, the box caught his eye.  I could write a story about what is in the box, he thought.

Soon, the box was consuming his thoughts.  He would write page after page, each day, on stories about the box and its mysterious contents.  Each day was a different story:  a box of money, a box of jewels, a box of love letters, a box of the land owner’s will, a box of human hair and finger nail clippings, even a story about a box of air.  The man would hold the box, feeling its weight, his fingers detailing every bump, groove, and smooth surface of the box.  He would gently shake it, put his ear to it, even sniff it.  Before long, he had abandoned his stories and spent his days inspecting and thinking about the box.  He wanted to know what was in the box.  It became all he thought about.  He dreamt of the box.  He spoke of nearly nothing except the box.  He could get no hints from the land owner of its contents, only reminders that if it were to be opened, he would know.

Three and a half months after signing the contract with the land owner, the farm hand had had enough.  He sat on the porch in his arm chair with the box on his lap for the umpteenth time and said to himself, “Just one peak.  The boss will never know.”  He glanced up and down the porch.  He looked out to the fields behind the house.  No one was around.  No one was watching.  He lifted the box up to his face and very slowly eased up the hinged lid a tiny crack.  It was too dark to see inside, so he lifted the lid further and further.  He had it half-way open when suddenly his nose was accosted by a large monarch butterfly escaping from the box.  He immediately dropped the box and lunged toward the butterfly, but it was fast.  It flew to the ceiling of the porch.  The man jumped to catch it.  It fluttered frantically towards the open air beyond the porch.  The man made one last dive towards it, his fingers missing it by inches, and doing a painful belly flop onto ground just past the porch.

The land owner heard the ruckus and came rushing out to check on the man.  The man was winded and stiff, but unhurt, unless you counted his ego.  Once the land owner was satisfied the man was okay, he turned to see the empty box on the porch floor.  “Hmm…I see you opened the box.  It would seem you’re no better than Adam was all those years ago in the Garden.  Your crew is in the western fields.  Get your hoe from the shed and see your foreman for your assignment.”  The land owner reentered the house without looking back, and the farm hand got to his feet and slowly trudged to the tool shed.  Never again did the farm hand complain of his lot in life or blame Adam for how unfair his life felt.

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I did embellish this story some.  I have no idea who originally came up with it, nor do I remember who told it to me.  I just find it useful for keeping perspective.

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Diet- friendly Banana Oat Cookies

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Hello and Happy 2015!  I don’t know about you, but I can’t hardly believe it’s the year twenty-fifteen, the year we have been anxiously awaiting since the first time we saw Back To the Future II.  Well, Doc, it took us 30 years longer than you, but we finally made it, lawyers and all.  We may not have hover boards and self-drying jackets (Though, I hear that tennis shoes with automatic laces will be hitting the market soon.), but we do have a plethora of clean-eating, healthy diets.  And, just in time to aid in your personal vow to loose weight and get healthy this year, I am sharing this recipe I was shown on Facebook.  It’s supposed to be egg, dairy, and wheat free.  However, I did use whole milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips in my particular version, so it’s not dairy-free.  It’s a simple recipe that’s easy to alter to your particular tastes and preferences.  You can add coconut, nuts, or other dried fruits – just whatever you’re craving.

These cookies do have a different texture, an almost spongy quality because there is no flour.  They taste pretty good, however, despite that.

Enjoy!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 mashed, ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup applesauce
  • 2 cups oats (I used quick oats, but I imagine old fashioned ones would work just as well.)
  • 1/4 cup milk (The recipe I followed called for almond milk, but I just used whole milk.)
  • 1/4 cup raisins (The recipe called for half a cup, but I substituted some of that for chocolate chips.)
  • 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Mash bananas in mixing bowl.
  2. Add applesauce, milk, vanilla, cinnamon, and oats.  Mix well.
  3. Fold in raisins and chocolate chips.
  4. Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes.  (They will stick if they are in there too long.)  Once the bottom edges are browned, they are done.

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Dawn’s Remarkable Fudge

Candy-making….  Nowadays, we can easily come across candies of all kinds all throughout the year.  Candy shelves line the check-out lanes at the grocery stores.  Quarter candy machines stand beside the doors of barber shops, restaurants, and big box stores.  We even have entire stores dedicated solely to candies and confections.  It’s not often, anymore, that we get into our kitchens and actually cook candy.  And, often, when we do, we mix up a concoction of almond bark, cereal, and nuts:  melt, mix, harden, break.  Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy some “white trash” candy, as it is often called, but there is something about standing over a pot of bubbling sugar and milk with a thermometer that really makes a person feel as if they have conquered the kitchen.  If baking is an art, candy-making is a science.  That sugar and milk has to boil at just the right temperature for just the right amount of time, or the candy won’t set properly when it is finished.  And then, there’s the waiting for it to set up or harden.  (Of course, we are blessed with refrigerators and freezers, so we can speed that process up a bit, these days.)  Now, I do not say all of this to scare you away from candy-making.  By no means!  Get in there, and make some candy.  The funny thing about candy, even if it doesn’t set up right, it often tastes just fine, even if you have to eat it with a spoon.  😉

Happy candy-making and Merry Christmas!

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Ingredients:

  • 4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 2 tbsp. light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. butter (or coconut oil)
  • 12 oz. (1 pkg.) chocolate chips
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Butter a 4-quart saucepan.
  2. In the pan, combine:  sugar, milk, evaporated milk, corn syrup, and salt.
  3. The milks, sugar, salt, and syrup heating up.  Thick pans and wooden spoons work best for candy-making.

    The milks, sugar, salt, and syrup heating up. Thick pans and wooden spoons work best for candy-making.

     

  4. Over medium heat, cook until boiling.
  5. Once it’s boiling, cook until you reach soft ball stage (238-degrees).  Stir only to prevent sticking.  The mixture should boil gently over the entire surface.
  6. Place the tip of the thermometer in the center of the liquid you are trying to measure.  Do not set it on the bottom of the pan.

    Place the tip of the thermometer in the center of the liquid you are trying to measure. Do not set it on the bottom of the pan.

     

  7. Once it has reached the soft ball stage, remove the pan from the heat.  If you have an electric stove, this means moving the pan entirely off the burner because the coils will hold heat for quite some time after you’ve turned the burner off.
  8. Add chocolate chips, butter, and vanilla.  Stir only enough to melt and mix in the chips.  Don’t worry about the mixture being lumpy; you will beat it later.
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  10. Allow the mixture to cool, without stirring, until it is lukewarm (about 110-degrees.)
  11. While you're waiting, take a picture of your assistants because they are too cute not to.  :)

    While you’re waiting, take a picture of your assistants because they are too cute not to. 🙂

    Say "Hi!" Zachary.

    Say “Hi!” Zachary.

     

  12. If you have a hand mixer, use that for the next step.  If, like me,  you only have a stand mixer, then butter the bowl, and transfer the fudge to the bowl.
  13. Now, beat the fudge vigorously for about 10 minutes or until it becomes very thick and loses its gloss.
  14. I mixed mine on a medium-high for several minutes using the paddle attachment.

    I mixed mine on a medium-high for several minutes using the paddle attachment.

     

  15. Spread into a buttered 9×13 pan.  Allow to cool for several hours on the counter or 2-3 hours in the fridge.
  16. Press the fudge out to an even thickness.  This recipe makes about 2 1/4 lbs. of fudge.

    Press the fudge out to an even thickness. This recipe makes about 2 1/4 lbs. of fudge.

     

***Every time this recipe called for using butter, I used coconut oil, and it worked perfectly.

***A recipe by my step-mom and sister Deanie Y. and Dawn R.

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Roasted Pumpkin and Shallots with Sage

roasted pumpkin and shallots and sage

I made this side dish a few days ago for a meal that my church provided for a grieving family after a memorial service.  I had a pumpkin that I needed to use, but I didn’t want to make a pie.  A quick Google search turned up this recipe from Martha Stewart.  I got several compliments about it and enjoyed the spoonful that I ate, as well. In fact, I’m planning on using my other pumpkin to make for Thanksgiving, also.  It’s incredibly simple – practically foolproof and uses very few ingredients.  I recommend it, especially if you’re looking for something to do with those little pie pumpkins you bought for fall decorating.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 medium pie pumpkin (about 4 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and chopped into 1-2 inch pieces
  • 2-4 shallots, quartered lengthwise (I cut mine into eighths and then halved the longest slices.)
  • 3 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh sage, roughly chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, toss together all ingredients until pumpkin and shallots are coated in oil and seasonings.
  2. Spread into one layer onto a large cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 450-degrees for 30-35 minutes, tossing once halfway through.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

God bless you!

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God’s Timing: A Visual Aid

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This is my next door neighbors’ magnolia tree, as seen through my bedroom window.  It’s a big, beautiful tree.  Right now, it only has one blossom on it, that I’ve noticed, but it is still nice to look at.  It stays green all year round, which I didn’t realize magnolias did, and it sits just yards away from the western side of our house.  It is actually closer to our house than it is to our neighbors’.  If you look closely at this picture, you can see some power lines running right next to the tree, even somewhat tangled in it.  I’ve got a story about that, and if you’ll indulge me, I will now tell it.

Yesterday, little man and I went up the road about 70 miles to my hometown to run a few errands and visit some family.  I had it all planned out, even down to where we would eat lunch.  I had to make a stop at a store in one town, then head another 20 minutes down the road to my hometown.  I would stop at the Sonic there and get a one dollar hotdog and some tater tots for my lunch and use a coupon for a free kid’s meal for Connor’s lunch, and then head on to the first of my several visitation stops before coming back home and cooking a quick supper of spaghetti.

Well, my plans changed once I made it to my old stomping grounds.  The entire area where Sonic is located was out of power due to a short, strong rain that had come through just minutes before I made it to town, so no Sonic.  Instead, I headed out to the south end of town to my grandma Margaret’s house and visited with her for a couple of hours.  We left there and headed to the north end of town to my grandma Carolyn’s house.  A quick look as we passed through told me Sonic was still in the dark ages, so still no Sonic.  After a couple of hours with Grandma C., I decided we needed to head home so I could get supper on the table at a normal time, but it had started to rain and was coming down a decent clip.  On a whim, at the last moment, I decided to go ahead and make a stop at my dad and step-mom’s house the next street over.  I figured it had been awhile since I’d seen them, and I didn’t want to get blown off the freeway trying to make it home in the deluge.  My dad was working, but we stuck around and visited for a couple of hours anyway.  By then, it was five o’clock in the evening.  It was too late for cooking a quick supper, so I was glad to still have the Sonic coupon and opportunity for a cheap hot dog.  Nic wanted tacos from his favorite taco place, so Connor-man and I headed out.

The rain was at a steady sprinkle, which I was thankful for, even though I was sure it would follow me all the way home.  I made one more quick stop at my mom’s work to pick up some paperwork, then headed down the road for food.  The food, however, took much longer than I had expected, at both places.  I wound up being about 30 minutes later than I would have been without the stops, and I was lamenting at being so late.  The rain continued to taper off and was all but gone entirely by the time I made it home about seven in the evening.

I was about ten minutes from home when I noticed that there were a lot of leaves, twigs, sticks, and limbs strewn about everywhere:  in yards, on the highway, in parking lots, you name it.  Clearly, a storm with a lot of strong wind had just come through minutes before me.  Not a tornado, but certainly something I was thankful I wasn’t trying to drive through.  I turned onto our road, and noticed even more limbs lying around in the pecan orchard, and as I neared my next door neighbor’s house, I saw what looked like two downed Bradford pear trees in their yard, one on each side of the driveway.  When I got closer, I realized it wasn’t entire trees, but a large limb from each tree had been blown off by the wind.  Then, I noticed smoke on the far side of the magnolia tree, which is on the far side of their driveway.  I couldn’t tell what was burning from where I was, so I looked closely as I passed by, worried it was our house.  It turned out to be the tree.  The Bradford pear limb had pulled some power lines into the magnolia, and the magnolia leaves were trying to catch fire from it.  It was smoke and sparks when I saw it, but one small dry, dead limb was well on its way to catching fire.  I pulled into the neighbors’ driveway and told them about the smoking magnolia.  They immediately called the fire department and another neighbor.  Before long, we had a collection of trucks, neighbors, and firemen out in front of ours’ and our neighbors’ houses.

Thankfully, the tree never did catch fire, the firemen were able to remove the fallen pear limb from the wires, and the electric company turned off the power remotely until they could free the wires from the magnolia tree.  We spent about 13 hours without power waiting on that fix.  No one was hurt and no further damage to anyone’s property occurred.  Even our milk is still good.  I call that God’s provision.

However, as amazing as God’s provision is, what struck me most about the whole thing was God’s timing.  If my hometown hadn’t had a power outage, I would have used my Sonic coupon for lunch, leaving us with yet another expense for supper.  If it hadn’t been raining as hard as it was when I left Grandma Carolyn’s house, I would have come on home.  If the restaurants hadn’t taken so long getting the orders out to me, I would have been driving through and gotten home during the storm that caused so much damage.  If I had already been home, I would not have known about the smoke coming from the magnolia tree.  That’s not to say that no one else could have seen it, but they may not have, if anyone else would have passed by before dark.  What if that tree had not been noticed, and it had caught fire?  At best, the neighbors would have lost a lovely, large tree.  At worst, we, or even the neighbors, could have lost our home. None of that may have happened at all, and I know there’s no point in worrying about the “what if’s” of life.  I’m not suggesting we all start doing that.  What I am saying is this:  God clearly wanted me to be late in coming home yesterday.  He wanted me away from home yesterday, and he wanted me late getting back.  The entire day, down to a cheap meal ($2.92 for two people, by the way), occurred in such a way as to keep me in my hometown for far longer than I had intended.

God’s timing is perfect.  We get frustrated with people, things, and situations that cause our schedules to go awry.  We gripe, complain, and lament, even, when we have to improvise or play it by ear.  Most of the time, God’s timing of things is not something we see so easily.  It is something that often is years in the making, and we, being the imperfect humans that we are, forget what all happened or just simply don’t connect the dots.  Then, sometimes, God’s timing is as clear as day.  It’s right in our faces, demanding our notice, our praise, and our gratefulness.  It’s a reminder of what all is going on behind the scenes every day, whether we remember it or know it or not.  God is always working, and His timing is always exactly right.  He is never early, and He is never late.  He just wants us to trust Him.

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The Curse Of the Mosquito

A mosquito on a leaf

That, my dear readers, is a mosquito.  If you’re not familiar with it, it is basically a blood-sucking demon.  Considering that it’s indigenous to basically the entire planet, however, I’m betting you’re familiar with it.  Last summer, we moved from an area with just a general amount of mosquitos to an area where they could eat you alive in about 10 minutes flat.  I’ve never hated nor feared mosquitos so much in my entire life.  Seriously, when you’re faced with hundreds of mosquitos on a daily basis, you start to understand the fear of mosquito-borne illness.  And when you have a small child and are pregnant, that fear increases exponentially.

Recently, I posted this on Facebook:  “Everything in creation has a purpose. Worms turn the dirt. Snakes eat other varmints. Bees help in plant fertilization. But I am convinced that mosquitos and flies are just pure curse, especially mosquitos.”  It was humorous little status update that received a dozen “likes” and one comment (a hearty “amen”).  However, it has stuck with me.  And as much as I hate to admit it, even the things of earth that are purely curse, have a distinct purpose.

God originally created this planet perfect, pristine.  The lives of mankind were without any kind of difficulty.  Even the animals lived in peace with one another.  The weather was always perfect; there was always food; there wasn’t even a need for clothing.  Then, mankind sinned, and everything changed.  There was only one rule in that perfect world, and the human race couldn’t even obey that one rule.  As a result, God cursed this planet as a punishment for our sins.

The curse included everything painful about our world:  illness, hard work and toil for little or no reward, pain, death.  Sin has taken root in our very souls, and we see the results of that every single day, over and over again all over the world.  Greed, envy, hatred, bitterness, strife, foolishness, self-importance, and the list goes on and on.  It’s a disheartening world in which we live.  Even when we go to walk outside in our own back yards, we encounter stickers and briars growing among the grass that will prick and wound our skin.  And there are mosquitos that will bite us, causing an itchy spot, at best, and death, at worst.

You see, even parts of our lives that are purely curse have a purpose, to remind us of what we are:  sinners.  We are sinners, even those of us who are among the saved, the Christians.  We have sinned in the past, we sin now, and we will sin for the rest of our natural lives.  We have disobeyed God.  We have turned our backs on Him and declared that we know better than Him and can make it through this life on our own.  We don’t need our Creator.  We, as a whole, have even declared that we are better, smarter, greater than our Creator.  We have spat in His face and thrown everything He ever gave us back at Him, ungrateful to and despising Him.  We are sinners.  You are a sinner.  I am a sinner.

Those mosquitos, though I will not start liking them anytime soon, are a reminder to me of just how far I have fallen.  They are a reminder of just much I have despised God and just how much I need Him.  They are reminder to me that I am not in control; He is.  He decides where and how many mosquitos are born.  He decides if, when, and which mosquitos will bite me and my family.  I have no control over any aspect of those mosquitos.  I even spent an hour this morning spraying a gallon of mosquito repellant stuff all over the outside of the house, but there are still hundreds of them buzzing away out there, in the same places that I sprayed.  My husband and I mowed the grass within an inch of its life, yet mosquitos will still be out there tomorrow.  We do not control God’s creation, no matter what we think.  We do not control when our lives begin, nor when they end.  We do not even control whether we will catch a cold, regardless of how many times we wash our hands and use sanitizer on grocery carts.  These painful things, mosquitos, death, and sickness, are part of the curse.  They should remind us of our utter need for God, how powerless we are.

Though I will continue my war with the mosquitos, spraying them with insecticides, using repellant on my body, mowing the grass, and everything else, I can be thankful that God is in control of everything and sent those mosquitos to remind me of that.  It’s not a fun thing, but it is oh so necessary.  Just something to think about the next time you get bitten by one of those blood-sucking demons.

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Chocolate Chip Muffins

choc chip muffins

I made these a few days ago for breakfast.  Connor loves them, and I’m mighty fond of them myself.  I’ve even gotten Nic to say he will try them tomorrow morning.  🙂  They are just a basic muffin with chocolate chips mixed in the batter.  Yummy and simple.  Mmm!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 3/4 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/3 cooking oil
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.  Make a well in the center.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine egg, milk, and oil.
  3. Add all at once to dry ingredients, stirring just till moistened.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Fill greased or paper lined muffin tins 2/3 full.
  6. Bake at 375-degrees for 18-20 minutes.
  7. Makes about a dozen muffins.

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From Better Homes and Gardens Quick Breads Cook Book, copyright 1975.

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