Simple and Addictive Holiday Recipes From My Kitchen To Yours

Girls, I have kept these holiday recipes secret for decades,
but they are just too good not to share.

These recipes for easy pumpkin pie and super simple fudge
are easy to make and taste like they took hours.
When I say the candied nuts are addictive, I’m not joking!
So good!

From my kitchen to yours,
just in time for Christmas dinners, parties and last minute gifts,
Merry Christmas!

Best Ever Pumpkin Pie 

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When Holidays Are Hard, Take Heart

It’s December.
That wonderful time of year … for many.

But for some, when it seems like the rest of world
is celebrating Merry and Bright lives,
you feel overwhelmed and alone in the dark.

When holidays are hard, take heart.
God is with you.

Marilyn* watched her husband pick at his dinner.
“I need to tell you something,” he said without looking up.

There was a long pause before he continued.

As she waited, she imagined all sorts of things.
Maybe he’d lost his job.
Maybe something had happened with one of the kids.
Maybe he was sick.

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Do You Speak The Language Of Kindness Fluently?

 

There are many languages in the world.
English, Cantonese, and Arabic to name just a few.
Also, there is the language of Love,
the language of Patience,
and the language of Thankfulness. 

This weekend I am thinking of things
I am specifically thankful for.

What’s on your list?

I have the usual stuff …
health,
home,
hubz,
happy children. 

But also electric lights and curling irons,
hot and cold running water on demand,
appliances that ease and expedite my life. 
For moms and dads and cars that start. 
For air conditioning and forced air heat. 

I’m thankful that I live in America.
I can vote,
continue my education,
and go to stores or movies
without much fear of being
blown up,
hijacked or
sold into slavery.

There is another language we must practice.
It’s kindness.

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From Unmet Expectations To Realized Blessings

Mr. 4-Ever was at deer camp last week. It made me think of this funny story.
It happened several years ago but the lesson is as true today as it was then.

Girlfriend! It is my expectation that when daddy goes deer hunting, mama gets a staycation complete with chick flicks and good chocolate! Not that decoy candy you keep around so your kids stop looking for your stash. 

When my man goes to deer camp with the boys it means there will be no one in my house asking for food, beverages, clean socks or a back rub.  There will be no one who needs advice, an extra $20.00 or a ride somewhere. There will be no one playing the piano badly, tracking a trail of mud through my kitchen, or falling off the jungle gym requiring a trip to ER.

Deer hunting camp is great for everyone. The boys will eat bacon at every meal, sit around a fire sharpening knives to throw at trees and not change their undies for two or three whole uncivilized days.  

I could hardly wait for their adventure and my staycation.  

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My (Practically) World Famous Apple Pie Recipe

Do you harvest or can or preserve food?
I’m up to my eyeballs in apples this week.

I’ve spent hours and hours
peeling, coring, slicing, saucing, & freezing …

I have
apple sauce,
apple pies,
apple crisp,
and
apple cobbler
ready to go!

As I’m sure I’ve told you,
I’m practically famous
(at Mr. 4-Ever’s deer camp)
for my delicious apple desserts.

So, by popular demand,
I’m sharing my best applesauce and apple pie recipes.

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Do You Wish God Still Wrote On Walls?

Do you have a big prayer concern?
Have you prayed and prayed and there has been
no answer or healing or breakthrough.

Don’t you wish God would just
write the answer on your wall?

Be careful what you wish for!

I dare say that if God’s hand appeared,
we’d still question and fuss
if not fall over in fear!

It is true.
We’d love to know what to do to stay in God’s will and experience his best for us.
So many of our questions are not specifically addressed in the Bible.
Is it God’s best for you to be married or single?
Is it God’s best for you to stay at your job or start your own biz?
Is it God’s best for your child to go to private or public school?
Is it God’s best for you serve in this ministry or that one?

Aside from writing on the wall,
how do you know when and how God answers your prayers?

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Are You A Good Listener?

Are you a good listener or do you jump to conclusions,
fill in the pauses, and hijack conversations? 

A man in the back row of the church comes forward for prayer.
The pastor asks him what he wants.
“I need prayer about my hearing,” says the man.
The pastor prays passionately over the fella, then asks loudly,
“How’s your hearing now?”
The man replies, “My hearing isn’t till next Thursday!”

 

It’s funny until it’s YOU feeling misunderstood and unheard.

Does it ever feel like you are in a sound proof room
and your prayers are not getting through to God?
Have there been times when God is silent and you question his listening skills?
If he is listening like the Bible says, why aren’t your prayers being answered?

A better question might be are you listening?

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Why You Need To Pray Persistently

 You can learn how to pray persistently from children.

If you have kids,
or have spent any time with kids
you know they ask for stuff and they ask a lot!
Their persistence yields many yeses.

 I’ve got two kids but one was much more persistent than the other.

He’d ask.”Can I have it?”
(whatever “it” was he couldn’t live without)
“No,” I’d tell him.

He’d wait about a minute and ask,
“Can I have it now?”
“No!” I’d answer.

He’d wait about ten minutes and ask again,
“How ’bout now? Can I have it now?”

He’d keep this up for days or even weeks
if it was something he really wanted.

Honestly, he got a lot more stuff than his brother did,
because he was so pleasantly persistent.

Today, that kid is a mighty pray-er.
He goes after prayers like he used to go after
a new toy
or driver’s license
or raise in his allowance.

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Your Questions, God’s Answers

Have you ever been desperate to hear God’s voice? 

Has daily life ever felt so demanding you weren’t sure what to do next? Has your phone rung in the middle of the night with unexpected news about a loved one? Has the diagnosis from the doctor brought a sense of fear or unrest? Have you wanted an answer from God, but didn’t know where to turn?

I’ve been there.  When my son was arrested for a serious crime after I’d tried to be the best mother I could be, I felt alone. Angry. Hurt. Fearful. Disappointed in God. Those feelings intensified following his conviction and sentencing. 

Here’s what I began to learn.  I needed to give myself time to grieve my losses.  Maybe you’ve been there, too. I discovered it’s okay with God to cry out my pain and hurt.  Our tears matter to Him.

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