Anyone else working your way through this?
Oh, come on! You know you have a stash, still. Halloween was about a month ago, and if you're like me and don't want your children eating much of it at a time, it sticks around for a while.
As I snitch another piece to munch on while accomplishing things during nap time, I am noticing more and more a trend in the chocolates. The chocolates are starting to taste a little fruity. Why? Because they're all mixed in with the Skittles and Starbursts and Twizzlers and other fruity things. And those wrappers aren't thick enough to keep the flavors from mingling.
See where I'm going with this? What if we're sort of like the candy? When we mix and mingle with other "candy" in our life, the flavors can mix and mingle if we hang around them too long. So, if we're supposed to taste like Jesus, but we hang out too much with things that don't taste like Him, we're not going to have that pure taste anymore. We're going to start tasting a bit like all the other stuff, too.
Think maybe that's why God told the Israelites over and over to be set apart from the peoples around them? And why he reminds us to not be conformed to the world? Makes sense to me. Guess I better eat this chocolate a little faster ...
It's the gift-giving season. That makes me think of this story about my daughter.
We got invited to a birthday party for a couple of her friends -- twins. We picked up a little something for each, some bath paint and magic towels. Nothing special, but things all four-year-old girls enjoy. As my daughter picked out a towel for each of her friends, she grabbed ones she herself would love. One was Rapunzel, and one was Doc McStuffins. I tried to talk her into at least picking two princesses, but she declined, saying she liked these. I just had to hope her friends did, too.
Of course, among the hundreds (maybe not quite that many, but it feels like it) of gift bags I own, I didn't have two the right size that were similar. I picked out several girly ones and let my daughter choose which two to use. These were her pick. She picked one because she liked the flowers, and one because it had hearts. Okay.
I don't think the girls even noticed what their gifts were wrapped in, so I probably shouldn't have given it a second thought. But I did. I wanted her to treat both girls the same. And she did. She didn't worry that their gifts were a little smaller. She gave them both things she loved wrapped in things she loved. It was all the same to her.
Maybe a good lesson for us as we go into this season full of gift-giving and gift-receiving, too. Let's keep in mind that not only are we giving things we think you're going to love. People are doing the same for us. Or at least we all should be.
On this day when so many in our nation are thinking more and more about what they are thankful for, I just wanted to take a moment to let you all know how thankful I am for you. Over the last year, I have had quite a few people tell me they stayed up into the wee small hours to finish reading my book. I've had several admit that my story made them cry, or that they could empathize with my characters. I've gotten nothing but good reviews. I've received encouragement and seen your excitement when I posted about my new book coming next year. Thank you for all of that. You'll never know what it means to me. Without readers, me writing stories is pointless. So, thank you be for being not only readers, but amazing ones.
I hope you and your family have a blessed Thanksgiving.
I don't know about at your house, but here's what half the shelf behind my toilet looks like:
My kids LOVE bath paint. Mostly, they just smear it all over the walls, but that's okay, too. If you look at this stash closely, you'll see THREE bottles of purple. My daughter's favorite color has been purple pretty much from the day she was old enough to declare a favorite. Until just recently we were out. Let me tell you how we ended up with such a stash.
A few weeks ago, my husband and I enjoyed a rare evening away, attending a party at some friends' house. The sweet lady who babysat my children was there from dinner through bedtime so she got to experience the joy of bath paint as well evening prayers. That evening, my daughter prayed that God would bring her more purple bath paint since she was out. A few days later, that same lady happened to be walking through Walmart's Christmas section and stumbled across a stash of bottles for $1. I had already shopped for some more for my son to give his sister on her birthday. Needless to say, God answered her prayer.
It just struck me how for something so little, and so unimportant in the overall scheme of things, He made it quite obvious that He was working in our lives. I didn't even know about the prayer until after she had received all the bottles. But God did. And he used our friend to answer it. How cool is that? Ever wonder if God is using you for anything, big or small? Have any experiences where you know for sure He did?
It's the holiday season. You know what that means. Baking. Lots of baking. We've already made several loaves of banana bread and pumpkin bread. Some cupcakes. And a quiche a few weeks ago.
I was in the mood for something different for dinner one night. What hadn't we had in a while? What sounded good? I started thinking about maybe a pocket dinner, like a homemade pizza pocket or something. That led me to thinking of pie.
I love pie. LOVE it. However, this ...
... it's just a pie crust. Supposedly an easy thing to make. Four ingredients. Just throw them in the food processor and pulse until mixed to a grainy texture. Slowly add the water until it comes together. Form into a ball and then roll into what resembles a bit of a circle that will fit the pan. What's so hard about that?
I don't know why I'm so intimidated by it, but pie crusts scare me. I usually cheat and buy the frozen kind, honestly. My sister rolls her eyes. My mom doesn't understand. But pie crusts just aren't my forte.
But I made one that evening when I wanted a quiche. And it turned out okay. My husband said it was good, despite the fact that it smelled like play dough before I baked it. Who could ask for more?
I just warned him that he shouldn't get used to it. This girl can only handle so much stress in dinner-prep.
What intimidates you in the kitchen? Got any pie crust tips?
Our congregation this year has had the overall goal of encouraging one another. One of the ways we're supposed to be doing this is by sending cards. There's even a "mailbox" set up in the welcome center for those who are sending notes "in house." A sweet friend volunteered for the job of sorting them and letting people know when they got mail. One of the older couples has definitely taken this challenge to heart. Every few weeks, I'll get another sweet note from them, with a scripture that always seems timely, some words about how to stick it out and keep on going, and the signature that it was sent in Christian love. If you know me at all, you know I love getting mail. Not bills, obviously, but real mail. Especially when it's a surprise. And when it includes encouragement and God's blessings, that's even better. I've really not taken advantage of this as I should have. I love sending letters, but keep finding excuses to do something else instead. So, I'm hoping I can start to be more like this sweet couple and remember that it could be as much a blessing to someone else as they have been to me this year.
Do you love getting mail? How would you do in a challenge like this?
This is a place for me to share thoughts and ideas not just related to writing. Thoughts about what's going on in my life, about an idea I got that I thought shareworthy, or just a funny anecdote.