Tuesday, November 22, 2011

What Are You Thankful For?

What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?

I am thankful for so many things.  I am thankful for the wonderful man that I am married to, and my dear sweet kids.  I am thankful that we have a place to live, and a car to drive.  I am REALLY thankful for a hand-me-down stove to replace the one that was not working when we bought this trailer over two months ago.  And of course I am thankful for tasty food ;)  In fact, I am grateful to have food at all.

I am especially grateful for the little things, in part because I now know personally so many that have far less than us.  Oh, we've had our financial bumps in the road, but visiting with the homeless and needy that come to our church each Sunday reminds me just how much I am blessed.

Those that come to our church are not just "guests", they are our friends, and we love them very much.

It is for this reason that we are sharing something with our friends on the Sunday following Thanksgiving that is very special to us as a family.  And that is my husband's grandmother's famous pumpkin pie.  It is unlike any other pumpkin pie we have ever had.  In fact, it is SO GOOD that last year a volunteer at our church (that shall remain nameless) couldn't quit eating it!  Now that is quite a compliment!

So while Thursday is the day everyone else celebrates Thanksgiving, the most special Thanksgiving we will share as a family is the Sunday after.  And we will all be eating Anna Katherine's Famous Pumpkin Pie, made by none other than my husband.  I love you Honey! And I love you my friends!  See you for our special Thanksgiving ;)

Oh, and this year Christmas day is a Sunday, which means that it will be a VERY special Christmas indeed!  We get to spend it with our buddies, sharing God’s love.  And we wouldn’t give that up for all the presents in the world.


Anna Katherine's Famous Pumpkin Pie

1 ½ cups Sugar

2 tsp. Cinnamon

1 tsp. Ginger

½ tsp. Ground Cloves

1 tsp. Mace

4 Large Eggs

1 29oz can LIBBY's Pumpkin

3 cups Whole Milk

2 Nine Inch Deep Dish Pie Shells (or 3 Regular Nine Inch Pie Shells)


-Mix ingredients, pour into two 9 inch deep dish pie shells.

-Bake in a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 15 minute, reduce heat to 350 degrees for an additional 40 to 50 minutes.

Hint: You can get three pies from this if you have regular pie shells instead of deep dish.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Poor In Money Does Not Have To Mean Poor In Spirit

My mother-in-law has commended me multiple times on finding ways to do what we would not should not be able to do on our income.  I can’t take the credit for this.  God blesses us abundantly when we put ourselves in the position to be blessed.  God blesses those that seek righteousness, that is those that strive to live a life for Him. 

Having said this, I am still far from perfect, and I am not claiming to be perfect.  I am simply striving for His will, and praying that He is able to take my fumbled and imperfect offerings and make them something more than I am able to offer on my own.  And in doing this, I keep reminding myself of the words of an old friend of mine who said, “God does not call the equipped, but equips the called.”

I just have to "run the race" and leave the results to Him, the one who created me.  For us, that means not engaging in the trappings of this world, as much as possible, and setting ourselves apart for God.  We don’t care about the big beautiful house.  I would like the home we have to look nice, but I am more concerned in having safe shelter these days then having the best of everything.  If the big screen TV, cable TV, fancy cell phone or tablet, and brand new furniture, etc. help me in my service to God then so be it.  So far they are not necessary to God’s calling for us, and so I could care less if I have these things.  Satan has no hold on me in the envy of these things.  This is not meant to be judgmental.  I was once in bondage to the credit card and the fancy new leased car.  Now I’m not, and it’s freeing.  That’s just the blunt truth, and no more.

Instead I am trying to focus on the race God has called me to.  For me, that is the education and health of my family, and the building of relationships with those God has entrusted to me.  I am far from being perfect at this, but still I run the race, and leave the results to God.

And you know what?  The more intentional I am for Him, the more He blesses every aspect of my life. 

He has surrounded me with wonderful spirit led friends who bless me every day, and whom I hope I bless. 

He leads me to creative ways to build the relationships around me, simple things like just taking the time to listen and pray with someone. 

This week my son and I will share a low cost outing at Red Robin.  We have birthdays less than two weeks apart, and will be able to redeem our free birthday meals together.  Just need money for a tip, and we have a special mother/son night out.

And we were blessed last week with a group field trip with some friends of ours.  They both had memberships and ride passes to a local attraction.  We were able to enjoy with them what would have normally cost us about $90 between admission and ride costs for FREE.  And again, we were building relationships.

When we didn’t have proper beds for our kids, he has blessed us with FREE, practically new beds offered to us out of the blue by friends.  And as a special bonus, there was even a bed for us that was on our wish list.  They were almost like new!

Last spring we were offered “garden school” with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law.  It was a valuable educational experience for my children, and an even more valuable relationship building experience for all of us.  We may be taking another sister-in-law and brother-in-law up on “horse school” in the future.

Sometimes His blessings are an answer to a prayer, and sometimes a sweet surprise.  God is never late, but always right on time.

It is for Him we are running this race, and there is no one else we’d rather run with!  And even when the road is rough, still He provides in so many creative ways!

Praise you God for those around me!  Thank you for the relationships that you have given me.  Thank you for the provision that you give me through those around me.  Thank you for the grace that you give me when my offerings are imperfect, and thank you for giving me the strength to try again tomorrow.  Praise you Lord for giving us release from the bondage of this world.  We love you.  Amen