After all, nothing depends on how things turn out–only on how you see them when they happen
– Gregory Boyle –
– Gregory Boyle –
By Martha L Shaw © 2-14-2016
Ah, change, new seasons, lambs, lions, and general discouragement . . . how they do mount up. My left foot is still swelling and painful and my 3 day work week begins again tomorrow which means more pain . . . what to do? Pray a lot, rest a lot, try not to be frustrated, continue as caregiver to elderly parent who lives with me, wonder why she thinks it’s her turn to be grumpy? Nope, foot still hurt. What next?
Mom napping . . . try new nut brittle technique! The result? Delightful caramel color, slightly browned flavor, cashews instead of peanuts, and here it is waiting for you to drop in for some with a cuppa . . . yes, I designed and made the quilted table-cloth too.
In a microwave bowl mix:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
Cook in microwave on high for 4 1/2 to 5 minutes depending on your microwave.
Remove from microwave and stir in:
1 Tbsp butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup cashew pieces (or your choice of other nuts)
Cook for approx 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds on high.
Final step, stir in 1 tsp baking soda then spread onto waxed paper and allow to cool completely, then break into pieces and nibble away. It should keep for a couple of weeks or so depending on climate, but I doubt it will last that long!
Quilt? I had a fat quarter I liked, selected some scraps in suitable colors, chose a simple star block pattern, and the results are what you see here!
This cost me just a dollar or at the most two, yet it is worth more to me than money. It represents everything Jesus came to do and everything He did . . . for me. When I hold it in my hand, the entire circular base of the basket depicts all of the characters in the Bible story we heard a day or two ago. The scented dried florals in it remind me of both the gifts brought to Him at Epiphany and the perfume later used to wash His feet. The handle looks, to me, like a crown of thorns which, we know all too well, was later placed on His head as He was mocked and killed for each one of us. They say a baby changes everything . . . this one did.
How blessed are we to be Christians who know the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and to realize awe and wonder – His awe and wonder = belong to us every moment from this life into the next!!!
Photo by Martha L Shaw – Copyright 12-1-2012
So, I was reading a book on this rainy Sunday. It’s called “Why” by Anne Graham Lotz and it got me thinking . . . so I didn’t finish reading it as my mind drifted. I was thinking about Mary and Martha of Bethany. The book references them quite often. They were Jesus’ friends.
I bet on days like this, and after a lot of traveling on dusty roads doing His ministry, Jesus stopped by His friends’ home and rested. He was human and surely earned His rest breaks, don’t you think? Maybe the thought never popped into your mind. I don’t often think of His needing a sit down, perhaps giggling with His friends, for sure wanting to take off those shoes and cool off His hot, sandy, tired feet.
I wonder what Mary and Martha did when there was a knock at the door and the Lord was standing there? They were His friends, but do you ever completely get used to your Lord coming to call? Think about it. I mean, I adore my rector at church Fr Rick. He is wonderful. Ask anyone. If they’ve got sense, they’ll agree. because I’m right, you know. Know what though? For as much as I love the man, call him friend, call him brother . . . there is that part of me that still says “wow, he’s my priest!” That being said, what was running through the minds of Mary and Martha when a sudden storm drew Jesus to their door, to their sofa, to the guestroom?
I imagine one of the ladies, probably Martha, ran to the kitchen to bake a batch of biscuits. There is something about freshly baked bread, in whatever form you choose. Breaking bread together spiritually or otherwise is such a blessing. The whole house smells wonderful, you know someone is going to snag a piece when the loaf or biscuits are warm and fresh out of the oven and not ready to be cut yet.
I know, I just spent a few minutes on this stormy rainy afternoon making cheesy cheddar biscuits. As soon as they were off the baking sheet, I ate one all hot and gooey. Burnt my fingers on the baking sheet, but that is okay. Yum. It was worth it. So, the rest are cooling slightly as I type this and soon I’ll be sitting with a cup of tea and a freshly baked biscuit. If you were here, so would you be. I have some fruit and you know fruit and cheese go nicely together, so I’d probably put a plate of fruit on the table too.
There is just something that warms the soul in a special way – and its present form here at my house is biscuits. It took about 10 minutes to get the “stuff” out and mixed and another 10 to bake and for my “trouble” I have a warm cozy house, a warm cozy heart and soul, and a simple treat that feeds the body too. I bet, if Jesus came to the door, He’d have had one too. Comforting, comfortable . . . that’s what our personal relationship with Him is about. We can go to Him anytime with anything . . . and if He still walked in human form, I bet it might be over a cup of tea and a biscuit. Want to make some?
Easy Cheddar Biscuits:
Mix 2/3 cup of milk, 2 cups of Bisquick Original mix, and 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese together to form a somewhat sticky dough. Preheat your oven to 450 and melt 2 tablespoons of butter to use to brush on top of them.
Drop them onto your ungreased baking sheet – about 10 depending on how big. Don’t over handle the dough – you want them light. Before putting them into the oven, brush them with melted butter. Remove them in 8 or 10 minutes, when they’re golden/lightly browned. Yum. Don’t expect leftovers.
I sat down to the computer thinking I “need to” do . . . “should be” doing . . . “have got to” do . . . and realized sometimes all that must be set aside. Sometimes I need to just be. Yes, that’s right. All those things we let take up our days and nights . . . when we take the time to be with the Lord in quiet and seek only Him, when we take a retreat whether at a place away from home or in a quiet corner of our own house, we are renewed and refreshed and far more enabled to “do” all those things He wants us to. It’s amazing and it’s true. Try it . . . really try it, just once. You’ll be amazed and you’ll realize all our busy hours and days become more manageable when He’s a part of all of our “stuff.”
I sat down to the computer and realized I had a headache. I suddenly thought of a song I truly love and am ALWAYS inspired by and so I played it. Here’s a link to it. Hillsong’s Shout to the Lord. You can find the Lord anywhere you are if you look. Shout with delight! Shout from the mountaintops, shout from the valley, shout from your own backyard. In all things, shout to the Lord with praise! Oh, and did I mention that my headache has gone? Thank you Lord!
So, first I learned about the Lord, then my relationship with HIm grew to a love affair and we cuddled and got cozy in our quiet time together as my relationship with Him grew closer and deeper. It was a delight! Then, He wanted to go still deeper and I did too, but knew that meant stepping beyond the “confines” of my comfort zone.
Where are we headed? I would have to say that I’m learning that one step and one day at a time. He asks me to trust Him and to do things for Him that make me smile and also make me shake! The more I step ahead, though trembling, the more He asks of me. Yup, sometimes I react with “did I hear you correctly?” and when He seems to say “yes, my child” and I’m still shaking, I then sometimes say, “wait a minute. Let me get this straight. Did you REALLY MEAN IT???” He speaks louder and more clearly “yes, my child.”
When I fight the urge to laugh, to cry, to stand still and not move, or to run like crazy in the other direction . . . and finally follow Him . . . WOW! He blesses me beyond my wildest dreams! What’s it gonna be like when we get there? I’ll let you know. Are we there yet? No, we sure aren’t. We run into road blocks, we make pit stops, I get hungry, and sometimes we just need to stop and walk on the beach and feel the sand between our toes and just be together quietly. I sometimes get impatient to “get there” but He keeps reminding me that the trip from where our relationship was to where we’re going is a gift to be savored.
He’s right, of course. So, I am enjoying the scenery we pass along the way. Sometimes, we stop and have work to do together. We meet fascinating people on our journey and some of them love us right away and others find us odd and unfamiliar but warm up to us when they get to know us. I love my Lord and it pleases me to introduce Him around and to bring new friends into relationship with Him.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” Ephesians 3:20-21 NIV