September 22, 2011

What does it mean to be blessed?

There is such a great article over at Living Proof Ministries Blog today. It is exactly the life lesson I had when I visited Mozambique a year ago. You will be blessed to read it!

What does it really mean to be blessed? What does it mean to have enough? Can I really trust myself to answer this former question?

The image is one I took in Mozambique, an offering from one of the church's we visited to bless us. (that is a live chicken in the basket)

Two things I ask of you;

deny them not to me before I die:

Remove far from me falsehood and lying;

give me neither poverty nor riches;

feed me with the food that is needful for me,

lest I be full and deny you

and say, “Who is the LORD?”

or lest I be poor and steal

and profane the name of my God.

Proverbs 30:7-9

September 19, 2011


It is amazing how you can acclimate to different environments. I met Charles in Texas while we were attending seminary in Ft. Worth. It was the coldest winter they had experienced in years. Snow, ice, freezing rain. I bought my first ever winter coat (hey, I grew up in Phoenix). It was wool and cute and I wore it all the time. It was cold. Charles and I started dating and he introduced me to hot tea and the fixing thereof. Kettle boiled only, no microwaved water, ready the mug with a Constant Comment tea bag, pour in the water and steep for at least 3 minutes, stir, squeeze bag and save it for the next cup (we were poor seminary students). Add 2 scant spoons of sugar and a swig of milk. Enjoy with cold fingers wrapped around the mug and your boyfriend right beside you. Nice.

From there we moved to a tiny town in Oklahoma....another 2 years of cold snappish winter for that area. Snow, smell of wood smoke in the air. Then to New Jersey for 10 years, where it is cold all winter long. Lots of snowing and freezing rains and lots of hot tea, winter coats and even boots. The fall there was amazingly quaint and fun. Pumpkin picking hayrides at local farms, mums (NJ is prime mum country!), Ivan's Spiced Wafers, canning produce and absolutely electrified fall colored leaves. It was beautiful in fall and very charming with all the farm stands and atmosphere.

We finally moved back to Arizona, but not to Phoenix. We lived in a small mountain town with a miniature ski area and again, lots of snow, short summers, quick falls and damp springs with all the snow melting.

In other put it shortly....and sum things up....we have always lived (as long as we've been a couple) in cold climates. Brrr, hot tea, sit by the fire, wood smoke in the air.

Then five years ago, we moved to Phoenix, where the high temperature is not under 80 degrees until November. We keep the air conditioner on until then too. It's....different. Last year I had a hard time decorating for Christmas or getting into a holiday mood because it was still warm in late November.

Today is September 20 and the highs have dipped into the 90's for a week now. The mornings are a crisp 78. I have already baked ginger snaps and pumpkin bars. I have been cooking things like potatoes and I am looking up bread recipes. Today it slipped back up to 102 but I still stopped by the grocery store to pick up some more pumpkin and baking supplies.

The manager of that store must be new in town! I asked a worker where the canned pumpkin was hiding. She explained to me in detail how it was not the season for it and they will be carrying it closer to fall.'s almost October.

I think I'm re-climatized now....back to thinking like a Phoenician I guess.

September 13, 2011

Big Soft Ginger Cookies....and dumplings

I signed up to make dinner last night for a church member who had her ankle reconstructed. Chicken and dumplings and soft ginger cookies.

I got there and she was so glad someone brought a dinner. She said "Oh that is so nice. I'm so glad I don't have to eat chicken and dumplings another day." I guess someone else made them for her on Saturday and she's been eating the leftovers.


After I told her I brought chicken and dumplings, we laughed. She was embarrassed and I was laughing.

I thought that was such a nonstandard dish to bring someone, but she said I had brought chicken and dumplings to someone else once (I must block these things from my mind...I have no recollection) and she tasted it and really liked it. At that time she had told me that chicken and dumplings were her favorite meal and she just never made them for herself so she hadn't had them in years.

Well, how do you explain that?? We decided that it was in my subconscious somewhere and that caused me to make them for her.

So funny though, how your subconscious can boss you around like that. Things like that always happen to me!

The ginger cookies were so good, they are all gone! Here is the recipe. It makes a neat 3 dozen 2 inch cookies.

Big soft ginger cookies


• 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons ground ginger
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 cup margarine, softened
• 1 cup white sugar
• 1 egg
• 1 tablespoon water
• 1/4 cup molasses
• 2 tablespoons white sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sift together the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves, and salt. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, cream together the margarine and 1 cup sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg, then stir in the water and molasses. Gradually stir the sifted ingredients into the molasses mixture. Shape dough into walnut sized balls, and roll them in the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar. Place the cookies 2 inches apart onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and flatten slightly.

3. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes in the preheated oven. Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely. Store in an airtight container.