Category Archives: Journey through Lent 2021

That mystery of how a stain can remove a stain still gets me every time <3

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Greetings to you on this beautiful Good Friday. 

As I was pondering and praying what to share, I kept thinking of something that happened a few years ago on a Sunday morning as we sat in worship at Zach and Rachel’s church. 

Graham got to sit with us . Since he has been baptized, he takes communion. 

As he pulled the foil top off his cup, it tipped a bit and some of the grape juice spilled on his nice crisp khaki pants. 

We took our communion with the pastor’s leading us through and then I watched as our little guy tried to rub away the small purple stain on his pants. 

Of course his efforts were to no avail and if you think me a cruel grandma for not jumping in to help, please don’t. 

I knew he was embarrassed by his spill and he didn’t think anyone had seen. I didn’t want to make it worse by giving attention to it. 

After a few more swipes at it, he pulled his shirt tail a little longer and covered it over. I noticed when we got up to leave, he checked again to make sure it wasn’t noticeable. 

At that time and many times since, I have cried tender tears for that little man. 

And really…for all of us. 

We are prone to staining ourselves, you know. 

When we do, we want to make it go away or get it washed up or at least hide it so no one can see it. 

Alas, there is nothing we can do in and of ourselves to make the sin and shame of our human nature disappear. 

And how blood, which makes a pretty hefty stain in its own right, can be the only thing that cleans up the mess is a mystery I don’t have the answer to.

But this I know with all my heart. 

The Blood of Jesus cleanses us from all our sin and shame. 

I am so very grateful. 

Easter blessings to you and yours as we celebrate what He did for us <3

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No fooling…it is actually April 2021…how did that happen?

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I hope our neighbors didn’t mind me snapping a picture of their daffodils.

Do you love daffodils? I am envious of people who can grow clusters of them whilst we are spraying foul smelling concoctions on our little patches of tulips to keep the bunnies at bay.

Seriously, we have to be some kind of designated sanctuary amongst the animals. They are immune to my “no critters please vibe”…

case in point…

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This little momma waddled from the front of the house, where she is making a nest in the most impossibly safe place by the edge of our driveway, to partake of the food the squirrel and grackles kicked out of the bird feeder this morning.

It’s like I’m Dr. Doolittle. Only when I talk to the animals, they don’t listen because I keep asking them to behave and they just don’t.

But in other news…

It is the beginning of a new month so time for us to recap March and forecast April.

Let’s see how we did:

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In March I shared my reading stack to work through.

It is not because I don’t care, but I have only managed to move forward in a few and so I will report on those:

The Hobbit is wonderful. I had forgotten how much my mind can draw grand pictures when a great author gives me the details to hang this crazy imagination onto. But the blessing and curse of such a mind is that I must limit my reading. Otherwise I find my reality blending with the fantasy and hence I have learned that fiction is a treat taken in small doses for one like me.

I read a few pages often enough to keep the story alive in my mind when I return, but not enough that I am consumed by the weaving of the tale and lose interest in the actual world in which I live and function.

If you are someone like me, use fiction sparingly and only for brief bouts of a refreshing. You know who you are <3

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I am very much loving Priscilla’s teaching on Elijah. I have not been able to stay on task in the weekly format, so I am thankful I did the online study so I can move at my own pace.

One takeaway this week was the realization that on Mt. Carmel, Elijah witnessed a frenzied and somewhat shocking display by 850 men who were priests for Baal and Asherah.

I think in the past I have downplayed what a scene this was to behold. As I read and listened to Priscilla’s teaching, I pictured that awful scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom where they have him held captive and my heart races in unhealthy ways just thinking about it.

And Elijah stood alone in the midst of all of that.

Wow.

The study is a good one. If you have the opportunity to study this one, I highly recommend it.

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Finally, I have probably gotten the most reading done in the biography of Elisabeth Elliott.

It is very interesting and I am learning a lot more about her than I ever knew, but it is also a bit disconcerting because a lot of information is shared from her personal journals and I feel like I am reading someone’s diary and I can’t say as I like that.

I think of my own journals and things I have written and they were not for public viewing. It is an odd feeling to know so much about someone’s life.

I find I tend to skim over some of the more personal thoughts shared in this, but also enjoying learning about the personality behind this incredible woman of faith.

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So there you have my book reports for the month.

I hope to continue to be disciplined to read, but I also have so many other little projects on the burner.

Like … knitting a hat, exploring some dessert recipes for spring, starting some zinnias from seed and trying to figure out where to plant pumpkin seeds the boys saved from our fall pumpkins.

April should bring some new additions to the butterfly garden, a little trip we have planned that I hope to share photos and stories about and who knows what else before the next thirty days pan out.

How about you?

What is on your heart to do this coming month?

Would love to know <3

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A little mid-week treat for you <3

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I am scrolling through a gazillion pictures on all media trying to find a picture of these as a finished product and am hitting a zero.

Trust me – they are gorgeous and delicious.

I made them for us one of our Sunday mornings when going to church meant sitting at the coffee table and watching online.

Then I made them for Thanksgiving and they barely made it to the end of the meal before everyone had gobbled them up. No turkey pun intended.

They are delicious and easy and here is the recipe which I have no credit to pass along except I cut it out of one of those bonus sections our newspaper does every now and again with recipes and decorating tips … so kudos to you Decatur Herald and Review.

Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Prep is about 30 minutes and then 1 3/4 to 2 hours in slow cooker on high and 30 min to cool…only we never wait that long.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 6 T. Butter, cut up
  • 1/3 cup half and half
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. Corn starch
  • 1 Tbsp. Pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 recipe cream cheese frosting

Line a 3 1/2 quart casserole slow cooker with parchment paper, extending paper up sides halfway. 

Stir together flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. With pastry blender or two knives cut in the 6 Tbsp of butter until pieces are pea size. 

Stir in half and half and pumpkin.

Turn dough on lightly floured surface, knead gently 10 – 15 strokes or until smooth. (10-15 is enough) Roll out to 15×10 inch rectangle. 

Spread with 1/3 cup softened butter.

Mix pumpkin pie spice, corn starch, and both sugars in small bowl and sprinkle onto of dough. RESERVE some to sprinkle on top!!! 

Roll up starting from short edge and seal seam – cut in 10 slices. 

Arrange cut side down (which I never understand because aren’t both sides “cut”…)

Sprinkle with any reserved sugar mixture. 

Cover and cook on high 1 3/4 – 2 hours…check for doneness. You can use a thermometer and check to 185F, but I just checked for “doughy” look around center pieces. TURN THE PAPER ABOUT A HALF WAY TURN MID WAY THROUGH COOKING – although I forgot the first time and they did fine. 

Remove paper liner from crock pot and maneuver onto a plate as able to handle. 

Spread with cream cheese frosting and enjoy!

Cream cheese frosting:

Beat 2 oz. softened cream cheese (I use the Neufchatel version), 1 T. Softened butter and 1/2 tsp vanilla on medium to high 30 seconds. Beat in 1 cup powdered sugar until smooth. If necessary add enough milk to produce better spreading/drizzling consistency. 

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