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Pondering ‘Peace On Earth’

Often at Christmas time I view ‘Peace On Earth’, that little phrase in the olde Christmas carol with some cynicism.  How can we sing about ‘Peace On Earth’ when there really is hate on a broader level, when there is broken feelings with people I love? This year there has been a fresh perspective, a new understanding, that ‘though the wrongs won’t be righted today or tomorrow’ I can in a small way bring ‘Peace On Earth’ in my domain, to my sphere of influence.

It comes with me praying before the Lord and asking Him what He wants me to take on, who He wants me to reach out to?  It comes with a soul awareness that as I align my heart to His I can bring ‘Peace On Earth’ to my children, to the people I rub shoulders with.

Often in the chaos, the externals are not peaceful but my soul can be at a place of deep peace because the ‘Prince of Peace’ Isaiah 9:6 is with me. And I am learning on those days and in those moments when I am in turmoil that it is an invitation to me from HIM to bring the anxiousness, the questions, and the longings to him.

One day when I was in an anxious funk, I told my kids I needed 30 minutes of quiet and this is what my Kate prepared for my quiet.  It was such a moment of servitude from her even though they are solid wood. 🙂  It brought a beautiful peace to my soul!

When I sat down at the computer to find pictures to put in this post, I  found this picture, taken by one of my sons. I think it fits so perfectly on this topic!  If your world feels a little like this picture…..it’s an invitation from HIM to you…….to quiet your uneasy heart before HIM!

My baby, Will, 2 years old set up the nativity this week with all our stuffed animals.   Joseph was the goat, Mary was the sheepy, and gorilla was the baby.  He had flying cows as stars.  And he was happiest, eyes twinkling when he started with his treasured blankie as the platform.

The moment was so scared and all I could was weep as he narrated the story for me.  At one point when he was placing the wise men, a dolphin and penguin he shouted, “NO ROOM”.  And isn’t that just like us, that the more we let ‘other voices’ crowd things in our heart our peaces vanishes. God touched me in a deep place in my soul this week as he narrated the story for me.

I am so grateful for many things, the ‘Prince of Peace’ constantly with me in this day.  And when I have ‘NO ROOM’ he proposes an invitation to my heart and I can always come to him the ‘God of Peace’. I Thessalonians 5:23

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

DAWN

P.S. One final picture.  We celebrated big this past weekend in DC.  My husband turns 50 this week.  He is such a gift to me!

Grief

We laid my husband’s great niece to rest 4 days ago.

There is something about burying a 3 year old who has fought a battle with cancer that shakes you deep to the core.  The questions surface? You ponder! You cry! You some how come to terms that God  really is ok with the questions, because HE is present and is aware of our humanity!

There is a new element to grieving that I have never walked before, it’s helping my children grieve and grieve well.   We could have left them at home from the service but choose not to.  There is something about them seeing pain with Merv and I at there side.  They need to see our tears, hear the sadness in our voice and then also extend their  own arms and hug the people closest to the situation.

Our Kate, who is 4 months older then Imogen Sky just kept telling me on Sunday, “This is the saddest day ever?”  Yes baby, it is a very sad day! She was trying to figure out why they were burying her in a treasure chest, I actually like that name for a coffin better, I think it will stick.   As we lingered at the grave side, she told me she wasn’t ready to go even though the committal was over.  It wasn’t until we went and laid flowers on the ‘treasure chest’ that she was ready.  She was just disturbed that we would bury Imogene with the worms.  All of these questions were great opportunities to share with her that ‘this world is not our home.’  I don’t know to what degree she comprehends what I shared with her because some of these concepts I don’t get.  I choose to trust that the God who made Kate and formed her; will open her understanding even when it doesn’t seem right that we are burying little Imogen with the worms.

It is amazing how God is in the sadness, the questions?!  You hug your children longer, you linger a bit more as they tell their story. You realize that life, this specific life that has been crafted for me by an Almighty God isn’t meant to be taken for granted. We all know that but it’s in these moments that you ‘get it.’  All of you have had your own moments, your “it” where you heard Jesus calling you deeper into relationships.  That is what this past weekend has done for me!

Cheers!

Dawn

 

Chocolate Chip Cookies

IMG_9852This is the final recipe in the FREEZER MEAL Marathon.  I am sure there will be several batches of these going into the freezer before we start back to school in September.  On those homeschooling days when it is taking longer then I want it to my freezer is my best friend, it has saved my sanity many times!

A little side story about our summer has to do with chocolate chip cookies.  My oldest, Camden is 8 years old and has lots of energy.  Sometimes mothering him requires more then I want to give.  He is very aware of his surroundings, the calender and what we are doing ‘next’.  Most times his ‘next thing’ and my ‘next thing’ are oceans apart.  The reality of laundry, blackberries that need picked,  and hungry mouths take priority over all the fun things on his agenda.  I was praying over this one morning a couple of weeks ago and it was like the Lord showed me that today was the day to teach him how to bake cookies.  So that afternoon we did it.  The next morning was Saturday and I had errands to run. I was in and out all day and he asked me if he could bake cookies,  I kinda muttered, “Sure, you are aware I won’t be here much to help?”.   By his own initiative he took that same recipe and baked perfect cookies.  The rest is history.  He has been baking a lot of cookies this summer.  God is such a creative God. I am so grateful for that prompting. It has helped keep him busy and it has helped me in the kitchen.

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES

3 cups butter, softened

3 cups brown sugar (sometimes I only add 2 cups of brown sugar and then just bump the flour to 1/2 cup more because I think this is too much sugar)

3 cups white sugar, I use sucanat sugar here instead of white

6 eggs

1 tbsp vanilla

9 cups all purpose flour

(do not pack the flour in the measuring cup, if you spoon it in vs scoop your cup full I think you will find you like your end product so much better  )

1 tbsp salt

1 tbsp baking soda

2 tbsp hot water

6 cups chocolate chips

In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy.  Add eggs and vanilla.

Dissolve soda in water.

Add flour, salt and soda mixture. Mix well.  Add chocolate chips.

Make cookie balls.

I freeze 12 cookie balls in quart sized freezer bags.  It’s a perfect amount for us to enjoy a fresh chocolate chip cookie.  Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes.

IMG_9750Cheers!

Dawn

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
180 cookies
Servings
180 cookies
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Servings
180 cookies
Servings
180 cookies
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars together until fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Dissolve soda in water. Add flour, soda mixture and salt to dough. Mix until combined. Add chocolate chips. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-12 minutes, depending on your oven. We like them on the just done side so it is 8 minutes for us.
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Snow Fun

 Mr. Snowman had an umbrella because rain was coming!

Mr. Snowman had an umbrella                                         because rain was coming!

We sure enjoyed our 24″ of snow a couple of weeks ago.  It was a perfect storm because we never lost power and the storm arrived on the weekend.  So fun!  Last week we were expecting an all day rain so the day before it was all predicted to fall we went out with our little spray bottles and colored the snow.

IMG_8453

IMG_8483IMG_8485It was some quick fun.  Fill spray bottles almost full with water, add a couple of drops of food coloring and presto you have snow spray!   I should have purchased larger spray bottles because these little tiny, [cheap] ones didn’t do a stellar job.  It was still the idea that we were painting the snow that pulled the kids in! My baby did not think ANY OF IT WAS FUN!  He just cried the whole time!  He really hasn’t liked this ‘snow idea’ much at all!  Hopefully next winter will be different for him.

This was Will's take on the whole deal!

This was Will’s take
on the whole deal!

Cheers to more snow!!!

Dawn