Thanks for joining my fur baby and me as we wade through life’s puddles.
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Finding Gold in Life
What was your favorite Christmas gift as a child?
I was eight the year Easy Bake Ovens hit the stores. My mom, a single parent, could not afford a gift of that size. When I spotted a huge gift under my aunt and uncle’s Christmas tree with my name on it, my heart thrilled with hope.
Do you think I got my wish? Could this be why, fifty-some years later, I still love to bake?
Your turn . . .
The main character is a mouse named Nonny. Her full name is A. Nonny Mouse. I love that!
Unfortunately, it’s only available on VHS. We keep looking, hoping to find it on DVD. We’ve played our copy over 20 times–it’s that delightful!
What about you? What’s your favorite Christmas Movie?
Do you have a favorite Christmas cookie recipe? Here’s mine. Easy to make, fun to decorate, and a surprise kiss or star in each!
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 dozen chocolate kisses or chocolate stars
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
If using chocolate kisses, cut the tops off before starting. You will have to force yourself to eat the tops, or give them to a spouse or child.
Mix shortening, sugars until fluffy. Add the egg, extracts and beat well. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix well. Form dough into 1-inch balls. Press each ball around a chocolate star or kiss until it is completely enclosed. (If dough is soft and sticky, add an additional 1/4 cup flour.)
Bake for 10-12 minutes on ungreased cookie sheets. Decorate with icing and/or sprinkles and jimmies in Christmas colors.
Recipe will make 3 1/2 dozen.
What is your favorite Christmas cookie recipe? Have you started baking yet?
If holidays bring you more stress and worry than peace, you might enjoy the following 7 Time Management Tips for the Holidays listed below. Knowing how creative you are, I believe you’ll find at least one tip you can use.
What time-saving tips do you use during the holiday rush?
The Woolly Worm Report
Did you know there is a surefire way to predict winter weather? According to early American folklore, you can forecast the harshness of an upcoming winter by examining the brown band around a woolly worm’s middle. The thinner the brownish red band, the harsher winter will be.
But I have my own methods. As we go on a walk up the country lane near our home at Nevins and I spot a woolly worm scooting across the pavement, I’ll note its coloration. If it’s dark brown or black, representing the bare earth, I predict a mild winter with no snow. If it’s orange—a happy, warm color—I maintain the upcoming winter will be warmer than usual. And if the woolly worm is white or tan, I report that winter will be fast and fun, with snowfall only on Christmas Eve.
Scientific? Hardly. Accurate? Rarely. But my overly biased woolly worm reports make us laugh every time. And giggles help us get through the long, freezing months better than gripes. I imagine even the woolly worms laugh. At me.
I may not be able to predict the weather, but I’m convinced that the Apostle John predicted accurately when he told us Jesus is coming soon. I hope you and I will spend eternity together with Him, in that lovely city where every day is bright, and every woolly worm gives a sunny report.
The above is an excerpt from my book The Heart of Humor: Sixty Helpings of Hilarity to Nourish Your Soul, a combination of funny stories and articles on how humor helps.
Do you like Winter? If not, which is your favorite season?
When You Need Emotional Healing
My friend is tired to her gut, Lord. She’s tired of pretending she’s okay when she wants to scream and weep and sink into the earth and never hurt again. You know how she feels, for you felt that same screaming ball of nothingness in your belly as they draped You onto two wooden beams, then nailed you fast, so You wouldn’t escape the pain. A pain not only physical; but the vilest soul pain that You were separate from Your Father’s heart and His gaze that kept You close, and His voice that wrapped You.
The Father turned His back on You, and You bore it so we wouldn’t need to. Yet, she bears it anyway; broken and not knowing she can be whole. Or empty of hope for even a scrap of a put-together life.
Jesus, Shepherd who never leaves a sheep alone, hold her until the hurt leaves. Tell her she’s not a disappointment to You. Sing her songs You composed only for her and no other, so she’ll feel Your custom-made love and know You had a reason for her. Show her that reason in a thousand ways, dear Mender of Broken Lives.
She knows she’s broken, but she doesn’t know why, or she doesn’t want to know for fear the pain is all her fault. Set her free with the truth that the thief has stolen her joy and ripped her value away. Shine the light of Your admiration for her into the deep places she’s not aware of, so she’ll believe and not argue when You say, “I love you, daughter.”
Grace her to release offenses she’s held tightly in her fists and locked in the oldest diaries of her memory. Cause her to walk upright, gazing into Your broad smile of forgiveness and strength. Guide her steps to sweetest life. Make her believe that she can be whole, as she rests in the crook of Your arm and listens to Your lullabies.
In Jesus’ Name, so be it.
References to Scripture: Matthew 27:46; John 10:11-17; Psalm 139; John 10:10; I John 4:18