29 March 2012

A baby and bagel dip

Several weeks ago, my mom and I hosted a baby shower for my sister Kelly.

We are VERY excited about all the pink things that are entering her life.

And we were also excited that her mother-in-law Sharon (who lives very far away) could share in the excitement over all the little pink things.

Kelly and I were also very excited about the Cranberry-Citrus Spread my mom made for the shower. This particular spread holds some sentimental value to Kelly - mom got the recipe after she tasted this DELICIOUS dip at the wedding of Kelly's high school friend, Elizabeth. But it's really good even if it doesn't hold a special memory for you personally. My mother served it with crackers, which was good, but it would be EXTRA good on a bagel. Even my kids loved it! So here's some food for thought....

Cranberry-Citrus Spread
1 block cream cheese
1/2 C chopped pecans
1/2 C dried cranberries
1/4 C frozen concentrate orange juice

Beat cream cheese until smooth. Then add other ingredients. Refrigerate overnight before serving.

This would also make a good snack while waiting on a baby at the hospital. I should probably keep some in the fridge just in case!

04 March 2012


I didn't used to like Sundays.

Things to do at church, dinner to be made, choir practice, and lesson plans and papers to grade.

Sundays involved so much... work. And, the Lord knows, I could have a hard time putting work down. Even at one of my summer jobs in college, one of my higher-ups would tell me after most others had left the office, "Go home! It'll be here tomorrow!" Chuck's words still come back to me at times - especially when I'm so tired and I stand in the dark kitchen staring at the crumbs on the floor! (If I can see them in the dark, then I must need to sweep them NOW!)

It will be here tomorrow.

Well, not that any Sunday is perfect. It doesn't have to be. But during my last year or two of teaching, God convicted me of saving my schoolwork until Sundays. Bringing home schoolwork and purposely putting it off until Sunday afternoon had become the norm. And because of that, I had begun to resent Sundays.

Wouldn't you?

So I had to do things differently. It required planning a little better. But in doing so, the Lord gave me freedom to enjoy my Sunday afternoon with my family.

He also has given me freedom to worship Him with other believers. Freedom doesn't mean that I do whatever I feel like doing. It means realizing that true joy and freedom stem from obeying God. And that means devoting time on His Day to worship Him with other believers.

He has also given me freedom to lay aside my fleshly cares and worries. This is probably the area that is most difficult, because it involves such mental discipline - at least for me! If I will choose to think on the words I'm singing, and think on WHO I'm singing about, how can I do anything but worship? If I will choose to stop and listen to the sermon, and to be sensitive to listen to His Spirit, rather than thinking about my list of to-do's - it is then that I can experience the freedom to worship Him in spirit and in truth. It's an inward focus that praises Him for WHO HE IS and, as a result, longs for the "mind of Christ." Because ALL is focused on Him.

I, like so many other women, and like that woman long ago, tend to be "cumbered about with much serving" - all those things I need to do. But I have to choose that one thing that is "needful." Worshiping Jesus. He offers me such freedom if I will choose to take it!

Take the freedom of the Lord's Day. Trust Him to take care of the details.

All those other things will be there tomorrow.