I’m a horrible neighbor. Well, I do wave when I pass someone out in their yard but gone are the days when parents sat outside as their children played, visited and even shared a glass of lemonade or iced tea. I can’t blame the culture but think about it, you must hurry home to fix supper or you have a project to work on. I know that’s been my excuse for years. There were times the power went out or a storm blew down some trees, then we saw the neighbors, but I’m extremely guilty of running into the house and doing my thing.
I don’t really remember what I was looking for, but the kitchen drawer was the spot I chose to start. Everyone has “that drawer” in the kitchen, be honest, everything paper and otherwise that you have saved is there. Addresses, recipes, pens, birthday candles, I could go on and on. As it turns out I found several recipes, some I had made before and some not. I picked three and decided to rustle up all the ingredients and make them.
After a hundred-dollar trip to the grocery store, I was ready to proceed. My son and his family were on the way home from a trip and I wanted to prepare a great meal, so I chose three out of the ordinary (for me) recipes to make. I will share these recipes at the end of this post.
There is a certain significance to these recipes in that my mother-in-law, Kathleen McDonald, who had a huge impact on my cooking and all-around housekeeping skills, wrote one of these recipes with her own hand. She’s been in Heaven for about ten years now, so it was particularly moving for me find this recipe. That was the Broccoli Salad. The Four Layer Pie, our all-time fave, was another recipe, although written by me, but was another family recipe I got from Grandma.
She was what I would call a precise cook. As I put these recipes together, I was reminded of her special and neat way she cooked, especially the Four Layer Pie, because you could see the layers both defined and beautiful. The Broccoli Salad was cut in tiny little pieces, again, precise and beautiful to behold. My daughter pointed this out when we ate mine, but, oh well, it’s me. As I was pressing the crust into the pan for the pie, and thinking of Grandma McDonald, I sized my cooking skills up as too good for “Worst Cooks in America,” yet not good enough for “Chopped.” Funny what you think about when you’re cooking.
That to-do list God has for you today most certainly includes prayer. And you can’t go wrong using the mnemonic device ACTS: Adoration. Confession. Thanksgiving. Supplication.
The word “adoration” reminds us that God is worthy of praise and his awesomeness should bring us to our knees. He’s not just more magnificent than the Grand Canyon or Niagara Falls, he is the Creator of those natural wonders. If we start our prayers with humble adoration to a glorious God, we’re headed in the right direction.
Confession breaks the hold of sin in our lives so we can pray from a clean slate. God already knows where we fall short of his glory, but doing our own personal inventory will surely lead to an attitude of repentance. Confessing our sins begins the process of breaking the pattern of sin. The exciting news is that when we come to God for forgiveness, he has already forgotten our sins, casting them away “as far as the east is from the west” (Psalm 103:12).Continue reading
5 Tips to Help Moms Cope with Stress
Even with a clear game plan in mind, raising kids properly is one of life’s richest challenges. It is not uncommon for a mother, particularly, to feel overwhelmed by the complexity of her parental assignment. In many homes, she is the primary protector for each child’s health, education, intellect, personality, character, and emotional stability. As such, she must serve as physician, nurse, psychologist, teacher, minister, cook, and policeman. Since in many cases she is with the children longer each day than her husband, she is the chief disciplinarian and main giver of security and love.
The reality is that she and her husband will not know whether or not she is handling these matters properly until it is too late to change her methodology. Furthermore, mom’s responsibilities extend far beyond her children. She must also meet her obligations to her husband, her church, her relatives, her friends, and often times, her employer. Each of these areas demands her best effort, and the conscientious mother often finds herself racing through the day in a breathless attempt to be all things to all people.
What Do You Want for Mother’s Day?
I ask my mom this question every year. But I know the answer. “Nothing.” So, as a mom myself, I know what she means. “Something.” By something, I mean, remember me, call me, send a card, send flowers, come for a visit, take me out to eat, write me a note, draw a picture, just something as a reminder of me being your mom.
If that wasn’t clear enough, allow me to elaborate. If you are blessed to have a mother on this earth, there is nothing she would like better than a call from you this Mother’s Day. FaceTime is even better. And a visit, well, that’s the coolest! We all get busy and the days blast by, however, Mom is special, and she deserves your undivided attention for at least a little while on this special day.
Here Today Gone Tomorrow
I don’t mean to be trite, but two funerals in two days, really? I have never been more aware of the frailty of life as I am right now. In reverse order, last Thursday our sweet friend, Tressa, breathed her last breath. When the cancer metastasized, she was doomed. No one more precious, a young mother, wife, lover of Jesus and just all-around good person.
A few weeks ago, our friend, “Brother Jim” was working on his computer one night after his wife went to bed and just died. He just peacefully died.
You Hurt When You Heal
I hurt my lip. All my dermatologist friends will cringe if they read this. I was at the beach for an early spring outing with my children and even bought sunscreen on the way. But I forgot to tend to my lips.
With that, a huge swelling sore came up and it was not pretty. After caring for it for 2 weeks, it has finally gone down to a manageable red spot. Still tender, I got to thinking about how awesome healing is. But you hurt when you heal.
What’s your poison? What’s your kryptonite? What gives you anxiety? I just realized that mine is avocados. I love them, I eat them, they are delicious and wonderful, however, this does not mean that they as a fruit, or vegetable, are without remiss.*
My fellow moms hear me when I say, I love avocados. A friend told me a few weeks ago that she and her husband split one a day to help their cholesterol, now if that’s not motivation to eat them, I don’t know what is. I bought some last week, determined to eat one, or part of one every day. Thankfully they turned out to be good and I ate them all within their “fresh” time.Continue reading
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
Mother. Every time a child is born—so is a mother. It has often been said that in that one moment when a mother sees her newborn child for the first time, nine months of discomfort and the hours of pain and delivery are completely forgotten. An innate eternal bond is instantly formed that transcends and eclipses all other relationships.
The word “mother” is used nearly 300 times in the Bible, and Strong’s Concordance tells us that the word literally means “an intimate relationship… that bestows benefits on another.”
Talking about Death with Children
It’s not something you typically think about until it happens. Your elderly aunt or parent passes away, or a friend or relative dies in an accident. All too often lately, someone is diagnosed with cancer which adds an element of talking about death, but it usually just becomes “the elephant in the room.” Children should be prepared in a comforting way for death, yours especially.
Years ago, my daughter Sarah, a particularly tender-hearted child, was troubled. I knew it. She was only about six years old and she came to me and said, “Mommy, I’m not ever getting married, I’m going to take care of you when I grow up.” In my motherly wisdom, I said, “Oh, my sweet heart, God has a wonderful plan for your life and one day you will meet a young man, fall in love, and have a family of your own, Mommy will be ok.” She’s in her forties now and has a beautiful family, and, well, she could still take care of me in my old age as life has it. God’s plans are better than our plans for sure.Continue reading