Forget Me Not Candied Nuts

November 15th is opening day of deer hunting season here in MI.

Mr. 4-Ever loves to be out in nature. He’s a great hunter with both the bow and the gun. Traditionally, he spends the week up north with eight to ten of his buddies. They sit in trees during the day, waiting for the perfect trophy buck to wander into sight so they can hang its head on the living room wall. In the evenings, hover around huge camp fires, belly laughing at bad jokes and swapping stories about the one that got away. 

Forget Me Not

I know better than to send anything resembling a salad or even a vegetable up with him, but I always send a blue ribbon dessert to share with the fellas.

This year I sent Forget Me Not Candied Nuts. They travel well, are super easy to make, always disappear in a flash and make your house smell wonderful while they’re in the oven.

Here’s the recipe: 

Forget Me Not Candied Nuts

A pound of nuts – nuts with grooves like pecans work best.
1 egg white
1 Tablespoon of water of which 1/2 teaspoon is vanilla
1 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Whip egg white with water and vanilla till foamy.
Add nuts, stir to coat.

Mix sugar, salt and cinnamon.
Shake over nuts.
Stir till coated.

Dump on 15x8x1? pan. If you line the pan with parchment paper, you’ll thank me later. 

Bake at 300 degrees for 20 minutes.
Remove from oven, let cool about an hour.
Store in airtight container.

Taste test liberally.
Enjoy!

In the comments below, share your favorite holiday recipe.

Try Something New

 

What’s new? 

A girlfriend I’d been wanting to know better called and asked if I’d like to get together and go for a walk. Alarms went off in my head. Meet for coffee? Sure. Go out for lunch? Yes! Walk? Mmmmn, no. “Walk?” I asked suspiciously. “Sure, walk and talk,” she replied cheerfully.

This is not a good idea, I thought. I hadn’t exercised in a long time. I don’t own yoga pants or exercise clothes. The closest thing to a walking shoe I own is a pair of Reeboks that I bought for an aerobics class I never went to in 1988. 

But I really liked this woman and wanted to spend the time with her.  It’s just walking, I figured. Surely I can try something new. I can walk!

Just to clarify, I asked, “Where would we walk?” I looked hopefully out the window as we talked, willing thunderstorms to come rolling in, but alas, clear skies.

“How about we walk around Reed’s Lake?” she said. Reeds Lake is a small body of water in the center of Grand Rapids. I only knew that because one of my favorite eateries was settled on its shoreline. Maybe I could divert her inside.

Another long pause on my part. Finally, “How far around is that?” “Just 4.15 miles.” The fact that my friend knew it was exactly 4 point 15 miles should have tipped me off that her pace was going to challenging. “We’ll go slowly and if you get tired, we’ll stop,” she said reading my mind. 

“Okay, sounds fun,” I lied.

I put on a pair of grey sweatpants that were actually old pajama bottoms and a T-shirt, laced up my venerable shoes, and set off to meet my girlfriend. 

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Key to Not Feeling Left Out!

Have you ever stumbled into a situation you wished you hadn’t?  

My feelings got hurt when several friends chattered away about a party EVERYONE had gone to. The conversation turned awkward with the realization that I hadn’t been asked to the festivities my friends were reminiscing about because I was no longer a party-girl. Not included.

My smile faded when I saw the beaming faces in my Facebook newsfeed of a friend’s wedding I wasn’t invited to attend. Not invited.

Tears fell hot as I read the note that my relative died but no one thought to notify me. Not remembered.

What do you do when you get left out?

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Tomorrow Is A Procrastinator’s Favorite Word

Tomorrow is my favorite time zone.

Full of promise and opportunity. If you’re a procrastinator, tomorrow might be one of your words in not favorite time zones.

I live in an old farm house with closets the size of your refrigerator. Consequently, I only have room for in-season clothes. Off-season clothing hibernates in the basement. Last weekend, I switched out summer outfits for winter layers.

And I discovered a problem!

My winter bottoms like jeans and slacks were TIGHT! Oh well, I’ll just back up the ice cream binging a bit and I’ll be back in those clothes in no time.

But, wait. Culver’s flavor of the day is my favorite Dark Chocolate Decadence. I can’t start today, I’ll start my regime … tomorrow.

I’ll start … tomorrow.

The next day, I remember we have company coming for dinner in and it would be rude to serve them rabbit food and no dessert.

Again I said, “I’ll start … tomorrow.”

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30 Day Thankfulness Challenge

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God works in mysterious ways

No doubt, God’s ways are far above my understanding, but He is often quite OBVIOUS in His direction. For the past several weeks, nearly every book, magazine article, podcast and Bible study lesson has touched on thankfulness.

Now, I like to think of myself as a thankful person, but apparently, God is raising the barre on my quota. He’s impressed on me to start a thankfulness journal. For one minute a day (I set a timer) I write what I am thankful for.

Initially, it was a piece of cake. It doesn’t take much effort to fill one minute with home, hubby, health, kids, etc., but now on day seven, the flow is slower. You can test me in this. I’d love the company.

Thankfulness rewires your mind. 

As the flow of things to write on my list dwindled from a stream to a trickle, I realize God is using this journal to cause me to deeply reflect on my blessings. 

Honestly, girls, God is wooing me and maybe to you, too, to appreciate what I have and not take it for granted. To chuck the “What have you done for me lately” attitude as I pray for more stuff and overlook what I already have.

Follow the example of Paul

Paul says in Phil 4:6, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice.” 

What he practices a lot is thankfulness.

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful” Col 3:15

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Say Yes To Jesus!

That’s why they call it Good News

At the close of a retreat last weekend, Camilla* came to me surrounded by her posse. All weekend I had talked about transformation and invited the audience to take one step closer to Jesus. Camilla wanted to know what her next step with Jesus should be.

She said, “I’m not all that close to Jesus, what do I do?”

“That depends. Tell me more. Have you received Jesus as Savior and gone cold?” I asked.

“No,”  she said, “I haven’t ever done that.”

I paused.

“Are you ready to do that now?”

The women standing around her held their position, their encouragement, and their breath.

“Yeah, I think I am,” she said. “What do I do?”

I said, “Put your hand in the air and say, ‘I say yes to Jesus.’”

She tried. The words got stuck. Her eyes leaked. Her face reddened. Then after about three minutes of trying to choke it out, she put her hand in the air, and stammered, “I say yes to Jesus!”

We all whooped and shouted and hugged her.

The process begins with the first step.

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Celebrate! You’re A Work In Progress

My birthday was last week and I had a ball. (see photos below – and, yes that’s a tiara, cuz – that’s what happens when you take a dare at 50 and it starts a tradition!)

In the afterglow of a day of celebration and indulgence, I’m taking a timeout to look ahead. How do I get to this time next year wiser, healthier, better off than I am right now.

We are all works in progress.

Progress being the operative word. If we are not making progress we are stagnating or worse yet, decaying.

Mirriam-Webster defines progress this way: to move forward: to develop to a higher, better, or more advanced stage

Listed antonyms of progress are: decline, descend, deteriorate, weaken, decay, or relapse.

We are either progressing or decaying.

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Don’t Give Up Too Soon!

Don’t give up too soon.

It was 17 years from the time God called me to write my story to the time “The Widow Wore Pink” was finished. My literary agent pitched it to umpteen publishers. The book was rejected over and over. It felt like I was rejected over and over.

Whispers from the enemy said, “God can’t be trusted. He set you up to be disappointed.”

I could have given up with a sigh, It’s not meant to be. Or, It was never meant for publication – just family legacy, or (my personal favorite) It’s too late. You missed it. 

But, God …

When it was finally in print and released for sale, I knew I’d experienced a little miracle. That book has gone places and changed lives of women I will never meet. It has opened doors for me to speak that would otherwise slam shut in my face.

Don’t give up too soon. Don’t give up short of your gift arriving, your promise being fulfilled, your healing coming to pass or your deliverance delivered.

God does not make things easy. He makes things possible.

When we come up against hard things, we need to lean into God. As we wait, He builds our character. He builds our trust in Him. He provides fresh testimonies of faith when we trust Him to deliver what we cannot manufacture.

If we never bump into anything hard, we become sloppy and soft. We’d never grow, or experience miracles, or appreciate favor balls from heaven without hard stuff in our lives.

If God was a genie in a bottle instead of our loving father in heaven, we’d never even speak to him except to make a wish. And what kind of faith does that grow?

When all seemed lost

  • On the beach of the Red Sea (Exodus 14)
  • In the fortress of Samaria (1 Kings 6-7)
  • On the 6th day marching around Jericho (Joshua 6)
  • In the belly of the big fish (Jonah 1) 
  • On the road to Bethlehem (Ruth 1)
  • The day after Jesus was crucified

Biblical heroes and heroines in the Bible were tested in their faith and their fortitude. And were rewarded abundantly.

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Be Prepared Like First Responders

Where were you on 9/11/19?

Did you see all the replays and death counts and photos of heroes? I used more than my share of tissues crying over lost lives and shattered dreams.

First responders run toward danger and smoke when everyone else is running out. I know this cuz my kid’s a firefighter in a big city.

He is aware of the danger but executes his job courageously having been thoroughly trained for every conceivable contingency.

Even the photos you see of fallen heroes are part of their training. Eli called me the day his was taken.

He said, “Mom, I had my death picture taken today.”
“What? Your what?!?” I asked, not believing what I’d just heard.
“My death picture. That’s what the guys call it.  We have our picture taken in front of the flag wearing our dress uniform. If we die in the line of duty, that’s the picture they put on my casket and use in the media.”
“Oh.”

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