The Secret To Being Content

Friday, November 28, 2014

When my husband and I bought our first home it was everything I had hoped and prayed for: wood floors, big back yard, nothing to fix, lots of trees, close to my husbands work, family and friends, 2 bedrooms and lots of character. It was my dream home!

Our first son was a year and half and I was pregnant with our second son when we moved in. When he was born there was still plenty of room for both of them in our little abode.  God had truly blessed us!

Fast forward eight years and we are still blessed and living in our little home, the only difference is that we have five children now instead of two!

Growing up I always envied big families. There was always someone to play with and something to do. I  knew I wanted to have a big family when I got married! When I met my husband I have to say one of the things that attracted me to him was his big family. He has 7 siblings! When we were married he was also excited to start a family and if we were so blessed to keep adding to it!

Every time we welcome a sweet new babe into our little home; our joy has increased and our space has decreased but we keep stacking them up and stuffing them in! Though I have everything I have prayed for and more, I have had to fight the seeds of discontentment growing inside of me as our family has grown.

When I start to compare what I have, to the world's definition of  what I need; I begin to believe the lie that I have too many children and not enough space. Instead of  treasuring this precious time with my little ones I find my self dreaming about open floor plans, big kitchens and lots of closets. Frustration and annoyance often steal my joy and peace as I give in to voices all around me that say if I had a bigger house and more things, I wouldn't be so discontent.

My family and I pray to God  that if it is his will he will provide us with a larger space for our growing family. I know that he hears us, and will bring it about in his perfect timing. There is just one thing I don't know...when that will be. So for right now I know he calls me to be him.

When I start to look at all that I do have, instead of all that I don't have; overwhelming gratitude and joy fills my soul. I have done nothing to deserve all that God has given me...nothing, and yet he has seen fit to give me not only my hearts desires: a wonderful, loving husband and 5 beautiful, healthy children, but a roof over our heads and more food and clothes then we need.

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content." ( ESV 1 Timothy 6:6-8)

God is teaching me to be content with much and with little all at the same time. Its not always easy, I don't always learn quickly and respond in the right way but I am thankful for the eternal work that he is accomplishing through my family and I.  He is ever pointing us to our heavenly home and calling us to lay our treasures up there, where our hearts will be fully satisfied in Him.

 This is what his word says:

"For I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed  or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength." ( NIV Philippians 4:11-13)

We have a great secret friends...Jesus is the one who empowers us to live for him in all that he has called us to do,with all that he has given us.

I haven't mastered this lesson yet, I am still learning it in many areas of my life, but I am looking forward to the day when I will never struggle again!

Are you struggling also with discontentment?

Start fixing your eyes on Jesus and thanking him for all that you do have... and watch your attitude change!

Linking up with: A Little R and R

Honey Pumpkin Pie

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I have really been enjoying learning with my children about the first Thanksgiving and how the Pilgrims came to America in search of religious freedom. They went through so many difficulties but still kept their faith and humbled themselves before God as he continually provided for them and protected them.

Thanksgiving was a declaration that they could not have done anything unless he was with them in all their endeavors. As they joined with the Indians to celebrate I am sure they could not help but be filled with gratitude as they remembered all that God had brought them through.

It is also a time for us to look back and remember all that God has done in our lives to bring us to the place we are now... and give thanks.

Of course you can't properly give thanks without partaking of pumpkin pie. It just wouldn't be right. It's hard to imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie but the reality is the Pilgrims did not eat it on the first Thanksgiving. They just didn't have the essential ingredients to make the crust or filling. They did have pumpkin though I am very thankful it has morphed into the delicious tradition it is today.

Don't you love traditions? Even if we don't know how they have all started it's great celebrating with friends and family. Any tradition that is centered around giving thanks to our God, is a tradition worth preserving.

This year I am starting a new tradition of adding honey from our own bees to our pumpkin pie. God has blessed and provided for us through them so it only seems fitting to add some of their sweetness to our celebration.

I hope it will become a tradition in your home also and who knows, maybe there was some wild honey at the first Thanksgiving!

Honey Pumpkin Pie

1(15oz) can pure pumpkin
1/2 cup of honey
1/3 cup of sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp.nutmeg
1/2 tsp.  pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 can(12 fl.oz) of evaporated milk
1 homemade pie crust( here is how I make mine with coconut oil and whole wheat flour)

1.Mix sugar, salt and spices in small bowl
2.Beat eggs in a large bowl
3.Stir in pumpkin, honey and spice mixture
4.Gradually stir in evaporated milk
5. Pour into pie crust

Bake at 425 F. for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350 F. and bake for 45-50 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Place in fridge to cool and let solidify for about an hour. Top with homemade honey whip cream!

Honey Whip Cream

With a hand mixer whip 1 cup of heavy cream till almost whipped then gradually add 1/4 cup of honey and continue mixing till light and fluffy and honey is completely incorporated. Keep cool in fridge till ready to serve.

Linking up with some of these awesome link parties!

He lives to intercede for us

Monday, November 24, 2014

There are times in prayer when you just don't have any words. Your heart is crying out, your eyes are swollen with tears but your throat is dry. These are the times I believe when the Holy Spirit prays through us.

 It is so comforting to know that as we come to God; giving him our situation, our burdens, our loved ones, our lives, he intercedes for us. Jesus...himself intercedes for us! He lives to intercede for us.

As I was reading these words I felt his peace pervade my soul and his presence so close. I pray that you will experience the same as you read these words of life also. Whatever you are going through, whoever is on your heart; take hold of these truths... He is able to save to the uttermost!(completely,at all times)...those who draw near to him.

When you don't have the faith,when you don't have the strength, when you don't have the words...he is interceding for you.

Linking up with these awesome link parties.

homemade pie crust with coconut oil and whole wheat flour

Saturday, November 22, 2014

When I was younger and dreamed of having a husband and children to cook and bake for; making homemade pie and crust came along with my dreams of being a wife and a mother. It's just one of those things you have to master if you want to have cool mom/wife status.

Though I have made many pies and crusts over the years, I can't say they were all success's; in fact some have been complete failures. I might have even shed a few tears over them. The thing is that my husband and kids love pie; as do I. In fact we would rather have pie then cake. So I have been determined to master this domestic right of passage, even if it brings me to tears.

 Lemon meringue,pumpkin and apple are a few of our favorites. Breakfast, lunch or dinner you will find us enjoying their sweet delights. I can't imagine why anybody wouldn't like pie. If you are one of those strange people, I am sorry, but we just can't be friends anymore.

Though I love pie I have to admit that I have a love/hate relationship with pie crust. Many times I have attempted to make pie crust in the hopes of having that flaky, buttery bite;(and also bragging rights) but it seemed it was not meant to be as over and over again it would crumble into pieces under my hands.

 I quickly took the hint and gave up putting my time and effort into something that I was clearly not going to master. Pre-made pie crusts became my new best friend. Though I still enjoy a good store bought pie crust, I couldn't admit defeat so easily to my delicious homemade foe. So I have gone back into battle and I am pleased to announce I have been victorious!

 Here is what I have learned and how I make my crust:

1. Combine all your ingredients in a food processor. It gets everything to the right consistency.
2. Make sure your ingredients are all cold: water, butter; I even put my flour in the freezer.
3. Slowly add water. You can't take it out but you can always add more. I found my problem was that I was adding too much and it would cause the dough to become crumbly and fall apart. If this happens to you add more flour.
4.When you have formed your dough into a ball put it in the fridge for at least an hour before rolling.
It may be hard when you pull it out but once you start rolling it will start to soften and become pliable.
5.Roll it out as thin as you can. If it's too thick it will become too hard to eat.
6. Leave about an inch of crust on the edge, then double over to form edge.
7. Form ridges with your thumb and fingers around the edges.
8. Put foil on edge of crust to keep from browning in the oven.
9. Keep in the fridge until you are ready to put the filling in.
10. Use left over crust to make cinnamon and sugar crisps( roll out leftovers and simply top with cinnamon and sugar and put in the oven till cooked through about 5 min) Enjoy with ice cream or while your waiting for your pie to cook!

Here is the recipe I use thanks to Ina Garten. I've switched out the shortening for coconut oil. I just can't do shortening. Butter yes. I use 2 cups of whole wheat flour 1 cup of all purpose.You could go whole hog if you want and use all whole wheat, its up to you. Believe me, you won't even miss it. I also usually double the recipe so I don't have to make another mess and keep it wrapped up in the fridge ready to go whenever we have to eat pie.

If you have ever had dreams of making your own pie crust, don't give up! Dreams do come true! ( You just might have to work at them a while:)

Linking up with some of these awesome link parties!

Honey Panna Cotta

Monday, November 17, 2014

Don't be fooled by the foreign sounding name. This might be the easiest elegant dessert you will ever make!

I am all about easy so this was a no brainer. I came across a recipe for maple panna cotta and thought why couldn't I exchange the maple for honey?

Thanks to a little help from Wikipedia I learned that panna cotta( Italian for cooked cream) was traditionally made with honey after all. I guess my instincts weren't too far off, though they used to boil fish bones to thicken it. I'll stick to gelatin, thanks!

 My husband keeps bees in our back yard( I just help eat the honey) so I am always looking for ways to incorporate honey into everything. Not only is it good for you but it is pure goodness on your taste buds. I love rich creamy desserts; think ice cream and panna cotta is right up there with it. Paired with honey it fits all my sweet tooth needs.

Though this is a very simple recipe it does take 2 hours to chill, so make sure to prepare it in advance and it will be ready when your after dinner (anytime) cravings start.

With thanksgiving right around the corner this will be another great dessert to be thankful for!

Honey Panna Cotta
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens magazine

2/3 cup of honey
2 cups of half and half ( or 1 c. heavy cream and 1c. milk)
1 package of gelatin 8oz.(this is what I used)
2 tsp.pure vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt

1. Pour honey into a pot and simmer just until it heats through and isn't so thick. Whisk in half-and-half.
2. Remove from heat. Stir in gelatin. Let stand 5 minutes.
3.Warm over low heat; whisk until gelatin is dissolved( do not bring to boil) Whisk in vanilla and salt.
4. Pour mixture into bowls or tart dish.( I used a 27cm  round dish)  Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours or up to 3 days. Makes 4 servings. Serve with whip cream or berries if desired, but it's pure decadence all by itself!


CopyRight © | Theme Designed By Hello Manhattan