Adaptabilty Abounds ( Or A Most Versatile Cookie Mix)

Versatile Cookie-M&M version

Practicality has long been a big piece of my existence.

My mother attributes it to my paternal grandmother, a Godly widow of a minister, blessed with supreme thriftiness and clever shortcuts.

I could see that. We lived with her for over two years of my girlhood. This very spry lady did have her affect on me in that time. πŸ™‚

However, I can also see the single mother,  the special needs parent, the preschool teacher, and a just all-around penny-pincher/maker-doer within me as well.

Meaning: In as much as I can lend flexibility to ease my tasks, I most generally do.

It is a mindset I am grateful God has seen fit to both give and to stretch in me. Even when it’s a trifle hard.

And into the midst of this mindset, one of the best things that came to me is my own versatile cookie mix.

It started as a basic chocolate chip cookie- something every baker ought to have in their repertoire.

I was playing around in the kitchen with my usual staples when this one first came to me.

From there, I realized M&Ms are a really good swap for chocolate chips when I had one and not the other.

Then, I noted if I switched out a portion of the butter for peanut butter ( hey, they both have “butter” in their names, so it works πŸ™‚), I’d have peanut butter cookies.

Sometimes, with chocolate chips, M&M’s or just the cute little crosshatch pattern.

One time, I had cashew butter and figured out that worked well, too. Even better with dark chocolate chips. πŸ˜€

Following that, my daughter Sarah and I were bored once (Go figure.).

She loves singing and performing, but my little songbird is finding the Lord prompting shifts into different areas as she seeks what God would have her to do and to be ( Honestly, prayers in that area would be great. Sixteen is always hard. Add autism, and it’s a whole new challenge.)  

This, in turn, has led us to sharing experiementation in the kitchen. She is pretty good already. 😊

Despite her picture loving ways, she was not keen on messy cooking pics, so here is her and big brother Timothy in the fall musical. πŸ™‚

She helped me discover with just a slight reduction of the flour, an addition of baking cocoa, a reduction of vanilla and an addition of peppermint extract, we had some really yummy chocolate chocolate chip peppermint cookies. Very proud of her. πŸ™‚

And those are just some examples of how you can play with this recipe.

This week, our community youth group will get the M&M version, hence the picture, but I will list the instructions for the chocolate chip as well as note the various variations.

*As stated last recipe post, NOT NECESSARILY FOR THE HEALTH CONSCIOUS. * 😁

Mom’s Most Versatile Cookie Mix: Chocolate Chip Edition

2 sticks butter (melted)

1 cup granulated sugar

1 cup brown sugar

1 cup POWDERED sugar ( yeah…I know. Not the healthiest, but this is my super secret key to maintaining nice, pillowy softness in the center.πŸ™‚)

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

2 pinches baking soda

2 pinches baking powder

1 dash salt

3 cups flour

1 bag chocolate chips ( 12 oz)

As per last time, start by melting butter, add sugars. I start with brown as it takes the most time to work in.

My precious powdered sugar. The simple little tweak that marvels young and old.😏

Next, come eggs and vanilla.

Then, come the pinches and dashes…2 each baking soda and baking powder, one of salt.

Pinch
Dash

Lastly, comes flour and chocolate chips. Or, in the case of my M&M crazed youth group, a 10 oz bag M&M baking bits. πŸ™‚

After this comes the playdough play time. Yay! πŸ™‚ Shape them into balls slightly larger than an egg and place them on a lightly greased cookie sheet.

Pop them in the 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. Enjoy the delicious smell wafting through the kitchen as you impatiently wait the lightly crisp but gooey goodness. πŸ™‚

As last time we discussed baking, remember to adjust to your oven’s temperment but don’t overbake! Pull them out when they look nicely set and lightly browned. They will finish cooking on the sheet. Leave them to cool about 5 minutes. Then you may remove them to a plate to finish cooling…if you can restrain yourself from just stuffing your mouth with warm cookies ( What works for me is the reminder of a group of hungry kids looking forward to them. 😏).

Ok. And now a handy list of the other variations on this very versatile mix:

For Peanut Butter/ Cashew Butter, simply reduce butter to 1 stick and add 8 TBL peanut butter or cashew butter. Still add chocolate chips, M&M’s or leave plain with the pretty crosshatch pattern made with a fork dipped in sugar ( as if we need more…πŸ˜‰).

For Sweet Sarah’s Chocolate Chocolate Chip Peppermint: Reduce flour to 2 1/2 cups. Add 1/2 cup baking cocoa. Reduce vanilla to 1 tsp. Add 2 tsp peppermint extract.

Enjoy and pass it on. Thanks so much for reading, dear friends! Blessings and prayers! ❀

Tree by the Stream

New International Version
That person is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not witherβ€” whatever they do prospers. Psalm 1:3

Hey, there, friends. Been seeking in the  Psalms again, relishing their wisdom and beauty.

And, as often happens as I do so, the creative side of me felt stirred. πŸ™‚ 

Granted, I did not add the fruit to this particular depiction of the tree by the stream. I am not sure I’d call myself there yet.

Now, I do think some of the influence is the bare trees out my winter window, but I also think it has to do with the fact my tree is yet in the process-maturing, reaching out, and waiting in season…

But always, thankfully, rooted in the cross. πŸ™‚

At any rate, here are a few words my little tree inspired:

Lord, here am I…

Scriptures open; read this a thousand times…

I feel somehow aged in the Word and grown tall…

Yet, sometimes, how is it I still feel so small?

A tiny seedling fighting to stretch its arms

Out past the hindrances of this world and its harms,

Looking to branches seeming barren,

Longing for the prettier flourishes of warmer days

With fruits aplenty to gather joyfully in,

Wanting for purpose, yet knowing always to Whom I owe all praise.

Oh, how I want to be that tree by the stream,

Stalwart and steady in its season,

Free to reach the skies with dreams,

Drawing everlasting drink from waters that whisper His reason…

Ah, and I can hear Him say,

“In its time. All comes in its time.

Rest rooted with Me by the river while it’s today

And, soon and very soon, you will see these tender branches climb….”

May we indeed seek to be that tree planted by the stream! Thank you for reading! Blessings and prayers! ❀

Hot Cocoa Peanut Butter Cookies or How to do a Cooking Post Without Being Hokey

Well…here we are. My first cookie recipe share.

I thought long and hard how I want to do this. For so long, I have approached each post with the idea of sharing my heart, shaping my words with an artsy sort of flair, and, more than anything, honoring Christ.

I confess I fear this will come off a little bland comparatively speaking.

Or worse yet, out of most my readers’ respective wheelhouses. I have no wish to bore anyone or send them clicking away from here.

Still…there is a reason God pointed me towards this direction, I suppose. It is something else that I love.

Shoot, even my memoir title had a reference to my baking:

Broken Cookies Taste Just as Sweet: The Amazing Grace of Motherhood, Marriage, and Miracles on the Spectrum. 😏

So…it seems almost a given to eventually go here…

Ok. So…a few things to know about my style in the kitchen.

As ever with me, I have some of my own preferences, some old-fashioned sort of touches, and some slightly meandering ways of doing.

One: There are some things I measure fairly precisely. There are others in the Amelia Bedelia spirit I can “little of this, little of that” with.

Two: I do have certain preferences but I also know how to work with what I have. Be it a substitute, dealing with not-my-usual brands, or playing with something to achieve the right texture, I aim for flexibility.

And three: My abject apologies, but these are not going to be recipes aimed at healthful longevity on this earth. In the words of the great Christian comedian, Thor Ramsey, “I have a message: Eat sugar, see God” . 😁

And so, with that…

Hot Cocoa Peanut Butter Cookies

3 cups all-purpose flour

5 packets hot cocoa mix ( with or without mini marshmallows)

2 pinches baking powder

2 pinches baking soda

1 stick butter (melted)

8 TBL smooth peanut butter

2 eggs

2 tsp vanilla

1 dash sea salt ( or regular. I just love the taste of sea salt. πŸ™‚)

1 dash cinnamon

1 bag dark chocolate chips ( or chip of your choosing)

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees. ( This way you don’t forget like I sometimes do and wind up cooling your heels while it’s heating up.πŸ™‚)

Next, melt the butter. It’s so much easier to work with that way with my hand and shoulder joints protesting some of the stirring now and again. And I like my big plastic mixing bowl for this. Less dishes later. 😏

Next, I am shamed to say I only sometimes remember to follow the general rule of  thumb about order of addition, though I do try to have a certain method to the  madness and do hold to one great thing I was long ago advised: stir after each addition.

In general, the next things I add from here are the peanut butter, hot cocoa packets, eggs, and vanilla.

  Following this comes the additions that need explanation: baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon. These I do not have precise measurements on.

Instead, I go with those old school terms like “dash” and “pinch”. This is not to be confusing or anything like that. It’s just that I have figured out about how much works for each of these to do their job appropriately without overpowering the flavor of the whole.  ( Kind of what should happen with the body of Christ, when we allow God His way. πŸ™‚)

Top: my example of a “pinch” Below that, my version of a dash. I like the control putting it on my palm first gives me.

Lastly comes the flour and the chocolate chips. I love the flavor the dark chocolate lends but if you prefer another type, most any chip will work.

Dough should be pliable and easily rolled into a ball,  kind of like what you played with in Kindergarten. πŸ™‚

Proceed like Kindergarten and roll into balls. Size is somewhat to preference but I like a bit larger than a golf ball. Place on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Or use cooking spray of your choice. ( I find this the easiest, most effective method.Β  Easy and effective is always good. πŸ™‚)

.

By now, hopefully your oven has heated up properly. Pop in for approximately 10-12 minutes. Each oven has its own personality, so it pays to watch closely. I like mine set but still soft. They do continue cooking on the sheet, so it’s best not to overdo if you aren’t aiming for homemade  hockey pucks. 😏

Hopefully, they look about like this, if not better…and hopefully, they will last you a little longer than they do with our youth group. πŸ™‚

So…there we go…another milestone in blogville. I shared a recipe. Hopefully, my delivery was not too hokey πŸ™‚ Hope you enjoyed. If so, I will try to add more down the line.

Not your cup of tea…or pan of cookies? It’s okay, friend. I still plan on many other types of posts. Stay tuned! Thanks for reading at any rate! Blessings and prayers. ❀

PS Peanut Butter a problem? Simply substitute a second stick of butter for the PB and it’s still a great cookie. πŸ™‚

In the Shadow of His Wings

Psalm 57 1 Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed. I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills [his purpose] for me.

Hey there…yes, there are no recipes just yet. I was bound and determined this week but my brain kind of went whoosh and erased any memory of attempting pictures of my now devoured chocolate chip cookies. So…next time. πŸ™‚

For now, I shall offer another drawing/poem.

This piece is a much older sketch I recently pulled out and reexamined…

I thought of where I was then-a different period of the painful places known all too well to me. The woman’s posture here reflected my own. Prayerful yes, but bowed with quiet grief.

Uncertain, fearful, full of questions.

Contrasting circumstances in some ways then to now, yet so akin to where I find myself still. I could not help but take note.

And I thought of how I could sink down and commiserate with myself in how some sadnesses never seem to change over the years.

Ah, but I heard the answer in His tender voice, posing simple questions and offering needed insights:

“Dear child, where is the sense in that?  And where can growth occur in such a vacuum?

Look not to the shades of sorrow in the woman’s posture. No…look to the strength of what surrounds her.”

Yes…the wings. Even in my raw state then, He reminded me of the security of His shadow and inspired me to sketch the thought to paper.

To remind me to cling to that hope then. And to remind me the same for now.

So…a few lines stirred my heart to accompany that…

In The Shadow of His Wings

In the place where darkness abides,

I so often find myself residing…

Blown in by sorrow,

Aching ever for the morrow.

Where can I go but to You, oh Lord,

To find the courage to confide?

To You alone can I carry this cry!

Be this my steady shadow,

Calm my foolish fears;

Though I am drawn down to depths so low,

Gather Your feathers in; hide me from these my dreaded foes.

Aid me to rest therein;

Teach me that it’s only on Your strength I may depend.

Praise be to the warmth of Your perfect wings;

Thanks be to the Defender and Protector of my every thing!

May we each remember to take every sorrow to Him, to rest in the shadow of His wings alone! Thank you for reading! Blessings and prayers, dear friends! ❀

Road to Zion

Hello, friends. I am sorting further through my ideas. Right now, none of my inclinations seem to want to be discarded, so my best thinking is to expand this space into a creativity blog on several levels ( Thanks, Tina, for the great verse. It really gave me a lot to think on. πŸ™‚)Β .

Of course, the goal of each will be to glorify the ultimate Creator. Without His hand to guide, none of this could even be.

Now, any thoughts of how to monetize anything feel so irreconcilable with my circumstances, this blog, and just plain who I am that I have pretty much taken them off the table until or unless God shows me otherwise.

I look at you all as my friends. Any post motivated by less than just purely interacting with you for the sake of fellowship in Christ feels disingenuous to me.

Perhaps, I am overly squeamish or overly principled. I don’t know. But, there it is. I am nothing if not honest. 😏

So, leaving that aside, I will say from here you will still see much poetry, random thoughts, exhortations, music sharing…

But, interspersed will probably be some original recipes I have tinkered around with over the years. I am excited to begin introducing this venture a little down the road when I have the time to get in the kitchen and get good pictures to accompany.

I will also sprinkle in tidbits of trivia where appropriate, though I will attempt to keep myself from rambling too long. 😁

And lastly, as you will see a few clicks down, I will continue my art.

To be frank, that pursuit is something I am not so sure was necessarily what a typical blogger would call a rousing success the other day, if I sank back into doubts and stats checking. I am chagrined to admit I did indulge a bit of fretting as I looked and saw response was perhaps a bit smaller than I was used to.

That said, I do appreciate the kind encouragements I received. They heartened my soul and renewed the feeling there is something in opening the door that is God directed.

So…the following is not attached to a poem but, rather, a song. As well as inspired by an image I spotted in the video to said song.

Now, to a bit on my introduction to the artists…

Petra was another of those groups I recall my folks introducing me to via vinyl when I was very young. Their lyrics appealed to my poetic sensibilities; their beautiful voices and instruments had my little self in awe.

I may have made brief mention before of pretend concerts my brother and I would put on to their records. πŸ™‚

Usually, in those days, it was thanks to my dad that the house had much spiritual music going at all, but it was a rare and lovely moment when my mom would want to play or talk about their song “Road to Zion”.

It was the one that really moved her and, in listening with her, a chance to see she really was seeking Him in her heart of hearts.

And so, from there, it obviously became very special to me.

And yet, over the years and all the layers they brought, both the painful and the good, I had not thought of it in a long while.

Then, for some inexplicable reason, there it was a couple of days ago, resting on my soul, playing in my head as though I were back at the old townhouse we lived in then, listening to the album on the old turntable we had.

And I just had to look it up, drink in the truth of those words. Next thing I knew, I spotted an image I thought was really cool and I picked up my sketch book and started doodling.

The following is the result. I titled it, unsurprisingly, “Road to Zion”. Hope you enjoy both it and the song. Thanks for reading, dear friends! Be blessed! ❀

Color Drain

Hello there. I just want to first say I appreciate all of you so much, dear friends! Your continued warmth, encouragement, and prayers are treasures to me. I cannot thank you enough.

I have had what I will just call “pit days” for quite some time now and I am realistic enough to know there are likely some pits ahead, but I do feel the fog lifting, praise God. πŸ™‚

Now,  I alluded last time to different ideas I felt God might be downloading for revitalizing this space.

I have even toyed with the dreaded word “monetize” in order to boost our family’s situation, seeing as most other roads seem closed at present, but there is nothing concrete there.

That said, monetizing or no, I have to acknowledge there are inklings…and I am finding myself with a rather interesting problem as a result.πŸ€”

I have several different inklings…and the unusual quandary of which ones He’d have me to follow.

This from the woman who has had her creativity more or less frozen for nearly a year.😏

So…what are these inklings I speak of?

Well, in general, being a creative sort, I have been pondering the ways which stir my creativity most and still keep the necessary “Just a Jesus Girl” component. I mean, I really don’t think that should or ever will change.

Of course, tops is writing. That cannot and must not end (Well, duh. πŸ™‚).

Then, I thought of my baking. I have considered if I might have an avenue for sharing some of the cookie secrets that have had my family and our youth group happily sugared up for so many years…

My passion for oldies- be it movies, music, books, or television- is a little tougher to call a creative pursuit so much as sharing my joy of others‘ creativity, but this fount of trivia inside does cry out for someone else to listen sometimes-besides my poor family. Believe me, they get plenty of my rambling 😁 (Though it has given two of my kiddos the respect of being experts in rare trivia in Scholars’ Bowl, so it has its perks) .

And then, last of all, is the thing I landed on introducing first…

And that is my art.

Ok. Now, if you take a trip in the Wayback machine to the archives, you will occasionally see a hastily scribbled doodle or two from me, but it has been a long while since I shared any or attempted anything in earnest.

Like many things in the winding walk of depression, it dropped off after a time.

And then, one day-down in the pits-the painful scratching sensation deep inside begged to be excised. I picked up a charcoal pencil, a few oil crayons, and began to sketch out what was happening within.

Now, I did it at first with no notion of really showing it to anyone. This sort of art was a far cry from my classroom bulletin board days.

The sort of expression which I guard perhaps even more closely than any other.

For, perhaps, it is a level of raw exposure even beyond the written word.

Not to mention the tastes on this particular medium are so very much in the eye of the beholder…

And I am so often reluctant of my oddities being under the observation of said beholder. πŸ™‚

But, I have been stirred in my heart of late and encouraged by friends there is worth in opening the door a little further.

So…in the spirit of sucking up courage, taking another mincing step in trust, screwing my eyes shut and pushing the publish button, I present my first piece in a long while, along with a poem inspired by it…

“Color Drain”- done in charcoal pencil and oil crayon

Minutes drag in snagged up lines,

Yet years seem to swallow the hours on a dime…

Heart was once a brimming palette of hues

Yet emptied now of any power I can deduce.

All the color feels drained from my being

And harshest winds hiss a hideous refrain:

“Nothing is true. Nothing is freeing…”

I know it’s not so.

It cannot be.

I was sure there was a time

Someone set me free.

But something in the mad swirl

Of watching my joys cast themselves off

In this bleak downturn of my world

Steals at the strength of my resolve,

Makes me forget He on whom it should revolve.

Oh, Lord, help me gather these scattered pieces of my soul!

Remind me that, even in these draining days,

You and Your truth alone remain in control…

Thanks for reading, dear friends! Blessings and prayers! ❀ May we each remember He alone remains in control.

At the Well

Hello there…my heart has been tugging off and on to get back here.

To explore the corridors of my thoughts, examine the patterns in the twisting walls, and wonder at the brushstrokes of my oft-tortured psyche.

And, most of all, to ponder whether I can really keep beginning anew after so many fits of molding sand only to have it crumble between my hapless fingers…

To find something to be fortified with.

And I find this post among many others….nearly a year later.

All too quickly do I see the cry of my heart then remains the cry of my heart now…

It is strange and a bit sad to see how I am still so much in this mindset.

And yet…I recognize again how much He has sustained.

Yes, there has been pain, uncertainty, fear, sorrow.

A fair amount of stagnation and the clinging of the old demons’ claws.

Yet, He remains. And He allows me this chance to be a breathing soul still upon this earth.

And He keeps on growing me…

Though there are those areas in my being that honestly still wrench against it yet….

I still don’t know what to do with this space and, thereby me, though inklings are downloading I may share down the road.

For now, (re) read these words, if you will, and know that I have not forgotten to lift you in prayer, dear friends, even as I hope I can remain in yours…

Jan 28, 2021:

It’s been a long while since I really spoke of my hurt.

It occurred to me recently that many of you newer readers may not even know that much about it beyond snippets still given here and there.

A dig through the more distant reaches of my archives would enlighten, of course.

And I can make it more convenient by indicating that you may click here for perhaps the best rundown, if so inclined.

But, overall, there are reasons I resist touching too much on it.

I haven’t wanted to feel as though I am eliciting sympathy or sinking down into the past and staying there.

I also don’t want to dip into any unfair comparisons from past to present.

Insecurity has a way of painting everything in dark, foreboding shades.

What may, in fact, be unintentional on the part of a loved one now looks like the same heart-shattering experience as before when glimpsed through the lens of an oft-wounded soul.

Still, I am nothing if not honest here.

The fact is, though I speak often of “Be still and know that I am God”-something I am truly striving to live in the light of every day-there is a growing melancholy weighing on my heart at present.

A deep-seated sadness settling in that is stealing at my ability to rightly express it.

Depression has long been with me, mind you. We are certainly not strangers.

More than once, it nearly snuffed the life out of me, in fact.

Now, it is something that hovers in the background and makes itself known by turns.

Right now? It’s a “making itself known” season.

I fight to go to sleep with this heaviness these days, reawakening frequently, an unidentifiable fear cloaking me in the midslumber haze.

Where it is coming from, I can cast about a few ambiguous notions, but, where there are some aspects of my life to definitively point to as a source, I can’t necessarily call too much of it concrete.

Is it all rooted in my past, so littered as it is by abuse and abandonment?

Or is it my ever-present anxiety over signs that such pain, real or no, is or is about to revisit me?

Angry shouts do ring in my head long after they have ceased and have an unfortunate tendency to visit me in my dreams.

It’s quite the challenge to rest my soul in any “it is well” feeling, even when life is managing fairly pleasantly, let alone when it is not.

For there is the nearly constant question mark in my head:

“When’s the next time the wounding will come?”

How will it come?”

And-“Will I be able to sustain myself following it?”

Now, there are days I can rightly shove this aside and recall to myself just Who my sustainer is.

Most days, in fact.

But, other days?

Ah, other days, I find myself forgetting.

Perhaps, it is the old recordings in my head getting louder, stating in dismissive tones how try as I might, I’m still just no good.

A loser.

A wimp.

A tramp.

Unwanted.

Unworthy.

Unable.

And I know that I know that that is most emphatically not true-not in God’s eyes!

But…circumstances make my hands slow to switch off the tape sometimes.

So…what do I do?

Dig myself further in one way or another.

Either into deeper wells of sorrow, cranking up that ugly noise and feeding upon the slow death of it.

Not a good thing!

Or…the better part-

I dig in deeper to prayer.

To worship.

To His words-to me and for me.

The far superior well to spend my time in by far!

Full of Living Water ready for the drinking in.

Bread of Life to feed upon.

Brothers and sisters that come alongside and nourish you even further in encouraging words.

And, of course, The One who intimately knows sorrow to carry the burden of it beside me.

It doesn’t mean I don’t still feel what I feel.

There’s a funny little truth about hurt.

It does not disappear in a snap.

Painful memories are long and thoughts often remain reactionary.

Trust is a shaky rope bridge at best.

Time to heal is key and, even then, some scars are prominent.

But, in that gift that is time, wounds can be eased, joys resurrected, trust finds firmer feet, and life continues on…

With all its seasons of delight and grief, smooth planes and blessed bumps alike.

Not absent of hurt by any means.

But, perhaps, richer for it.

Whatever season you find yourself in, dear friends, may you find the well full of the riches of life in the Lord! Blessings and prayers! ❀

Michael W Smith Missing Person

Hi, friends. I don’t really have too many pithy phrases to offer today except I really, really miss sharing my old tunes with you. πŸ™‚

Dozens of Smitty songs have moved me from teen years on, but this one hit my heart hard from the first listen and has never left.

And it just felt right for where I have been this last little while. For it reminds me of the importance of deep, honest reflection before the Father’s throne. Only then can we find what we are searching for. Even ourselves.

I don’t know where you are in your walk with Christ or even if you have one at this point (If you have questions on this, feel free to reach out via my about page.), but I pray this touches your soul in whatever way God intends.

Have a listen and be blessed ❀

Spending

Hello, friends. This is not quite the first poem I’d pictured sharing in coming back, but it comes of one of those little grains of a thought that grew into a full-grown ponder before I knew it. So…as ever, I must surrender any personal agendas and give in to His…

Spending, spending…

Everybody seems always busy spending

Something.

Granted, sometimes necessary in the state of living,

Or, one hopes, in the fond act of giving.

But, other times?

Ah, naught but a careless fling!

Cold hard cash water-spouting out

First comes to mind,

But not this alone, oh no…

So many other gleeful sprees

Consumers cavort in so free…

So many mindless fritterings we can find!

Some of us stupidly spend away our given talent;

Some pitch on the wind their precious time.

For others, principles are too easily sent

Only to come back oily and bent,

And perhaps, most tragic of all

Are those whose bodies, whose very hearts are cast

Aside to be nickled and dimed…

And what by these misguided attempts

Do any of us stand to gain?

For, in the end, none are exempt

From answering to how we spent our days.

That is why it is imperative

All He allows us to possess

From our moments to our gifts

We must rightly lift

Up to the cross and nothing less.

For all other seed-scattered pursuits

Produce none but rotten fruits.

Such poison it is to the foolish soul!

Ah, Lord, over all that is spent we need You in control!

Yes, indeed, here are the purse-strings of my very being,

Every second of my time,

Take and assist,

Teach me to wisely budget, cautiously resist

Spending wily-nily this God-given life of mine…

May we be ever prayerful in how we spend our lives! Thanks for reading! Blessings and prayers!

Here

Well, hello there to anyone still hanging around these incredibly silent halls.

Don’t adjust your dial (oy, does that ever date me….😏)

Yes, it’s me.

I am here….

And I’m not.

Huh? What now? πŸ€”

Well, I don’t want this to be misconstrued.

This is not the umpteenth “Welcome Back, Kotter” moment in my life.

Expect no sudden, prolific flow from this pitiful scribe’s brain.

Those things which I wrestled with when I closed this door continue to press in on all sides. My ability to articulate as well as just the sheer drive to do so remain largely seized up inside.

Seriously. You should see how my fingers stutter over the keys right now, trying their darndest to summon up the right phrasing.

But such is the land of living. Questions dangle, obligations loom, but still, we put one foot in front of the other.

Or one finger after another on homerow….😏

So….if this is so much like a dental visit ( the yanking teeth kind), the biggest question might be why do it at all?

Well, nothing profound really.

For there are no big “wows” in my world to report.

The family is in the thick of what it always is right now…school, music, and scraping together a livelihood.

My pain goes on, too, but, hey, there is breath in my lungs, so that’s good.

But, overall, it’s such a nothingness to share I hesitated long and hard whether I even should.

Still, something in my gut just had a longing to come and be here.

Just for a few moments.

To say hello. To say I miss you, friends.

To say I think about and pray for you often.

And to remind myself vulnerability isn’t the same as weakness.

That derision isn’t always a forgone conclusion to opening my troubled soul.

That I can still form a few paltry words here and maybe find a friend genuinely glad to see me on the other end.

For there is worth in that simple thing, I suppose.

In this all-too-often harsh, cold-shouldered world, we have need of one another.

I know this in the depths of my being but, sometimes, depression can hem in on all sides and give a pretty convincing argument to just stay in that isolated place for safety’s sake.

Admitting to it can be the challenge of a lifetime.

But, perhaps, well worth trying…

Again, where this isn’t to say I am returning to penning a lot of profound thought, there is a lovely something in being here I cannot deny.

Now, I don’t really know what awaits me following the press of the ol’ send button, of course.

And, again, no idea what the future of my work here holds.

Yet, I know I must follow the Godly hand guiding it…

So, for the first time in months, let me say thanks for reading, dear friends. Blessings and prayers. ❀