Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Gift’

Hot Fudge Sauce

Wanna know what makes my house smells  g o o d?

When I make hot fudge sauce. This is a long, drawn-out process, where I am bound to my stove top for a handful of hours.’Burnt’ can happen at any time. IF the jars are not sufficiently hot, and the sauce not just the right temperature, the lids won’t seal.

BUT, it is so worth the effort!

I have to admit, my hot fudge sauce recipe is stellar! I makes jars of it to give as ‘hostess’ gifts, birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, heck, I even used to sell it. But my sales were short-lived, as I had the ‘privilege’ of meeting a health inspector at one of my first ‘Farmer’s Markets’ … sigh, that too is a story for another time. But, I digress.

Other than my kids I don’t share my hot fudge sauce recipe (and they really don’t give a rip about the recipe, because if they want hot fudge sauce, they just open the cupboard and pull out a jar).

Although, now that I think of it, I did give it to a pregnant lady once. Who, in their right mind would ever say ‘no’ to a pregnant lady? Any of us who have been in those tight, water-retained feet-wearing shoes, know that whoever she is, she is not to be messed with. There’s the hormones, the stretch marks, the multiple mid-night (not midnight, but in the middle of the night … although a pregnant lady might see midnight in the middle of the night … sigh, I digress again), pee runs (ha! ha! that is funny … pee runs … oh the irony … I’m sitting here, alone, at 6:57am giggling like I’ve inhaled laughing gas … I digress again), digestion problems that lead to sounding like a sailor whenever you eat broccoli … hum, there’s enough material here to start a new blog entry … suffice it to say, she’s pregnant, who would ever say no to her, knowing what she is going through?! That said, I did have her promise, on the life of her unborn child (another area where pregnant ladies are rather … vulnerable), that she would NEVER share the recipe with anyone else 😉 … oh ya, I could have been a political negotiator!

When I give my hot fudge sauce to someone, there is often a card attached, with directions. Lets face it, it’s not every day that a person gets handed a ‘pickling’ jar with dark brown ‘stuff’ in it … hardly appealing! The directions go something like this:

Remove lid

(duh, ‘metal’ rings … but someone has to say it)

Heat in microwave, til hot and pourable

(mouth is now watering)

Serve on ice cream

(I bought some yesterday … it’s just feet away)

Or on fruit

(there’s strawberries in the freezer too)

Or, if PMS prevails,

(really women are always PMS …

PREmenstral Syndrome

OR

POSTmenstral Syndrome)

Take a spoon,

(I have spoons)

and the jar,

(there’s five on the counter)

put your feet up,

(I’ve been up for … an hour … I need a break)

and enjoy

(all sensibilities about the fact that it is only 7am,

and I am never going to lose weight, have left my being)

So, suffice, it to say, I make good hot fudge sauce. Maybe the next time I write the directions out I will say, it is great for breakfast 😉

Read Full Post »

20140406-220442.jpg

Learning to be thankful, to say thank-you, is a valuable life lesson.

What we frequently omit teaching is that thanks is something that words are, sometimes, inadequate to express.

This past fall our son was fortunate to be part of a provincial championship football team. The team, which hubby was able to assist in coaching, was undefeated in the season and in playoffs.

Once the championship was theirs, so were metals around their necks, plaques, and a pile of athletic wear, handed out at a banquet. The players also had the opportunity to purchase a honking big ring, to remember how their hard work, perseverance and tenacity payed off in being able to call themselves champions.

Our son’s eyes were as big as saucers, sparkling with thoughts of that winners ring placed on his finger, to show to all who looked, that

he was part of a winning team!

The cost of the rings was as significant as their size. My heart dropped when I saw the price, knowing that there was no way that we could budget such a ‘frivolous’ purchase. Hubby and I contemplated making it a Christmas/birthday gift … still over budget. Our son did not have that amount of money, either.

It was not going to happen.

Our son is our child who rarely asks for anything (other than ‘just a few more minutes’ on a video game), and so when he does ask, we know it is something he really desires.

He asked about the ring …

and with a lump in my throat, I looked up (because he has outgrown me) at his deep blue eyes, about to declare my disappointing response,

but he saw the answer before I spoke it, and said,

“It’s expensive, I know.”

And that was that.

This weekend, months after the team hoisted the trophy of champions up into the air, our son awoke, and we handed to him a heavy jewelery store box.

Again, his eyes were as a big as saucers.

“You bought me a ring?” He asked in disbelief.

And we said, “no.”

Hubby then told him the story of how an (unnamed) parent had purchased it for him. They had noticed that Ben did not order a ring, and they wondered if the reason was financial, and, if so, could they purchase a ring for our son.

His disbelief left him as speechless as it did us.

All weekend he has said, been saying,

“I just can’t believe that someone did this for me. I am speechless.”

And, as he attempts to put that lack of words into a thank-you note, he will learn that sometimes thanks seems inadequate for the gift that was given.

And it is not just our son who is speechless, but hubby and I as well.

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

I believe that there are blessings and curses in life, and that they often co-exist in the same event. That is the case for what I have been pondering for a number of days.

Our son had the privilege of going on a three night, four day school sailing trip. It is an annual trip for grade eight students at our school, and one which does not fail to impress, and live in the memories of it’s participants each year, and for years to come.

I was eager to re-unite with our son when he returned, to hear his stories of hilarity and memories made. To hear the stories that will go on, and even expand, as the years go by.

When he arrived, his teacher met me (before I was able to embrace him publicly, in front of his peers …) and said something to the effect of,” your son exhibited great leadership though-out the trip … he showed what a true leader he is.”

I smiled, because it is always nice to have a teacher tell you anything that is not negative … I am more accustomed to hearing, “your son did not do his homework” or “your son is falling behind in …” But the words of my son’s teacher were positive words … right?

Those words have been haunting me ever since.

Yes, I said, “haunting” …first+last

As the days have past, and those words have past through my mind, I have been hearing the story I heard when I was first dating the man who would forever become ‘hubby’ for me. The story of how his mother responded to his decision to pursue ministry leadership …

“are you sure there isn’t something else you could pursue?”

My mother-in-law knew and understood the risks of leadership. She understood that to be a leader (any leader, in any area) is to live a life of high (pedestal) expectations and opens the door to much heartache. She understood that leadership is not necessarily the best future, she understood that leadership requires followers, and that followers can be … fickle.

I now understand why my mother-in-law wished something else for the future of her son, because I wish similarly for my son.

I do not wish for him to grow up as a leader …feeling the responsibilities and expectations of others.

I do not wish for people to follow him … it adds such weight to the walk.

I do not wish for him to lead … what if he leads in the wrong direction?

I do not wish for him to be in the front … in the open one can be so vulnerable to being taken down by the enemy.

But …

I do wish that he use the gifts that God has given, and for him to use them to their fullest, utilizing every bit of talent crafted within him by his Creator. And so, I will try to modify my wishes for him. Instead of wishing he not lead, I wish that God would protect him from the curses that can come with such a gift, that he will be a blessing, and that he is able to feel more blessed than cursed by that which God has dealt him …

and that I, as his mother, would pray for him without ceasing.

Read Full Post »

As I arise on this final day of a two week long break, I open my eyes to all that has been accomplished, as well as all that has not been completed.images-1

Two weeks away from work, away from school, commitments, pressures and deadlines will end tomorrow (Monday) morning when the alarm rudely rings at 5:55am.

It has been a time of celebrating, both Christmas and New Years. It has been a time of cocooning within our own four walls, with times spent with friends, and times spent with only our Fab 5. It has been at time of intense cleaning, purging and sharing of our stuff with others. It has been a good time.

As the two weeks of celebration and relaxation come to a close, as the New Year is barely underway, thankfulness fills every part of my being. It has truly been a blessed break.

Time is a gift that is so sweet, so very, very sweet. It is something we all have, although often is short supply. It is something that we love to give, something that we give grudgingly. It is something we either have too much of, or not enough, and never the right amount at the exact time we need or want it most.

When our children are young and demanding we desire more time for ourselves, more time away from our children. When we grow old we desire most to spend our time with our children, we dream of the days when the demands tired us, we regret that the busy years are gone.

When we are young we count sleeps (okay, some of us do not outgrow this stage … but, I digress) to the times and events that we look so forward to, when we are elderly we awaken and count the blessing of awakening for “one more day.”

I regret the end of this time of break, yet I have lived long enough to know that I am blessed to have been given the gift of this time. I was also blessed to have been away of the gift that is was before the break began, resulting in a return to work with less regrets and more sweet memories to take into this work week, and new year.

Christmas break 2012, and Christmas itself, has been the sweetest Christmas in my memory. I will leave this house, and separate from hubby and the kids with delightful memories to sit back and ponder with great thanksgiving.

It has been …

… yet there is so much to be, if I can appreciate every day in this intentional, thankful heart of blessing of the gift that this time is for me, for we.

Your life
is like the morning fog–
it’s here a little while, int
then it’s gone.”
John 4:14

Read Full Post »

For about a week or more I have been stalked, but not by a vicious serial killer. I have been stalked by a word, the word mercy.

It has been everywhere; in the songs I’ve heard, in the messages shared, in the verses I have read. Mercy has been quietly creeping up in my life, subtly (or maybe not so subtly) forcing my awareness of it’s presence in my life. Communicating to me that I need to pay attention to whatever message it has for me.

Generally mercy means that one who deserves punishment is given the gift of not receiving that punishment. This freedom is unmerited, undeserved, and it is freely (not forcefully) given. It is an action on the part of the merciful, not a feeling or emotion.

When one asks of mercy from another, they ask knowing that they do not deserve it, but also knowing that the one they ask is fully able to give it, fully. When one gives mercy, they do so not out of ‘feeling’ sad, or compassion for the other, but they grant mercy because it is what is asked of them. The act of requesting mercy is a humble one, the act of giving mercy is an equally humbling one.

In the Psalms David cried to God for mercy over and over again:

“Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer” (Psalm 4:1)

Have mercy on me, LORD, for I am faint; heal me, LORD, for my bones are in agony” (Psalm 6:2)

“I said, “Have mercy on me, LORD; heal me, for I have sinned against you” (Psalm 41:4)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions” (Psalm 51:1)

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed” (Psalm 57:1)

have mercy on me, Lord, for I call to you all day long” (Psalm 86:3)

“Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name” (Psalm 119:132)

I am not exactly sure why it is that mercy has been stalking me. Usually when a message is delivered to me in this way my reception of the message comes when I already know why it has come, or it comes as I become aware of the lesson I need to learn, or the message I need to learn. I am not sure whether this message of mercy is to prompt me to be merciful or if I might be the one crying for mercy from another.

Whatever the case, even as odd as it seems, I know where this message has come from, and I know that this messenger is always trustworthy and timely. So, here I sit unwrapping this gift, and holding it close for the day the I will need to make use of it.

Read Full Post »

Monday morning in staff devotions, a teacher shared a story called Serpent, by Joan McCarthy (from a publication called Pro Rege, December, 1997), and I loved it! Then, two days later that same teacher read it again, this time in devotion time to his class, and I loved it more!

Today, I want to share the story with you, enjoy …

Serpent sinuously slips unseen and smiling through the grass with eyes narrowed to cruel slits. It has heard the cry of pain and rejoices.

“That cry echoes across the universe. it trumpets my victory. “Scream Eve, scream,” it hisses. “Today something new will be added to creation. Adam, the namer, will have to provide a name for the cessation of life.”

On its belly it slithers silently to a low tree and peers at the woman who lies curled beneath the branches. Fear and pain are on her dirt streaked face, and sweat gives a sheen to her skin in the light of early dawn. She moans. Serpent tingles with delighted anticipation and moves up the trunk of the tree and on to a branch to watch with eager, glittering eyes.

“You chose to know good and evil, ” it lisps. “My gift to you, Eve. Know evil. Know pain in your once perfect body. Feel the coming of the end. God has cursed us, but your screams are my laughter in God’s face.”

Eve’s body jerks at the sound. She recoils in recognition and struggles to push herself away, but the tree trunk blocks her. “Not you. Not now, ” she whispers through clenched teeth. Her whole body begins to tremble before Serpent’s icy stare.

“Yes, woman, it is I, the one you accused.” Serpent brings its head within inches of her face. “But why are you fearful? I sought only to make you wise. This suffering is the Maker’s doing. It was the Maker who denied you eternal life and drove you from Eden.” Serpent draws back, lays its head on the branch and coolly regards Eve. Remember the Maker’s words, ‘you shall surely die.’ What do you think is happening to you now woman, you mere afterthought of a jealous God?”

Eve’s eyes widen with terror and she screams for Adam. Serpent sneers. “Ah, yes, Adam, the crown of creation, over there crouching behind that tree. He is not in pain. His body is not swollen and deformed, but yours ….” Serpent averts its eyes in revulsion. “Adam blamed you, you know,” it says turning back to her. “Now see what has befallen you while he goes free. Perhaps, the Maker is destroying you and will create a fresh, new Eve for Adam, one that will once again delight his eyes. You will be returned to dust and the breath that quickened you will blow, lost forever.”

Serpent draws its face close to hers. “Call on me. I have the power to deliver you from your pain.”

Eve stares, her eyes wide with bewilderment that changes to horror. She tries to move toward Adam. In a louder voice Serpent addresses her once again. “So you not know what awaits you? See the fear in the eyes of Adam. He shall not help you. His manhood melts before your cries. He hears his own mortality in them and knows terror for the first time. He will run as far as he can from you and your groaning. You shall face your end alone.”

Serpent draws back to watch with a satisfied smirk as Eve’s body convulses once again. Her hands tear at the swollen belly. But, this time, no sound escapes her lips.

As the pain ebbs, her eyes seek the man. Seeing him, indeed, gathering himself to flee, she calls out with all her strength, “Adam, stay. Be man for this woman.”

Adam hesitates and turns his head to look back at her. She extends a trembling hand to him. “Do not fear my pain, Adam. It is mine alone. you too will have pain that will be your own. Comfort me now as you shall desire to be comforted.”

Serpent drops his coils from the branch and slips to Adam’s side. “Flee, Firstmade. Save yourself. She has no comfort left to give you. If you stay, you will see her end and taste your own. Turn while you can. You never needed her to do great things. She was only a gift, a helper for your great deeds, a pleasurable amusement. She has ceased to be helpful or amusing.”

Eve rises on one arm. “So not listen to the words of the cunning one. Serpent twists truth. I have always been with you. The Maker did not start over with me. He drew me from you-as you have said, ‘bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh.’ All we have left of the Maker’s image is each other-together we bear that image in its completeness. I do not believe the Maker will destroy part of it. We must not let this evil one tempt us to shatter it and doom us to wander incomplete and alone. That will be worse than pain.”

Adam stops. Slowly the terror leaves his eyes. Serpent rises up before him. “Take care. She deceives you once again. you are the important one.”

But Adam pays him no heed. With his eyes fixed on Eve’s, he goes to her. He cradles he in his arms. With gentleness he wipes her brow and holds her through her pain.

Hissing in disgust Serpent tries to insinuate himself between them. “Fool, fool, save yourself.”

Suddenly Eve gives a great cry and Serpent sees her drew something from her own body. Its eyes widen in horror. Eve has not died. She has brought forth a new creature, small and wet and shining in the growing light.

Then the new one opens his mouth and begins to cry. The gleam returns to Serpent’s eyes. “This is not a new creation. It too feels pain. It is just one of them. I will coil around the door of his heart and have my way with this one too. I can wait.”

But the crying hushes. Adam, his face full of wonder as he tries to name what he has seen, has broken a large leaf from a nearby tree and brought it to Eve. She covers the man child with it and cradles him to her body.

All that can be seen is the kicking of tiny heels. A smile of triumph flickers across Serpent’s face and then suddenly dies. A shiver runs along its body, and it quickly lowers it head and slides silently away through the dust.

Read Full Post »

I have this desire that rarely gets fulfilled, but I dream of often. I awaken, later than normal (meaning pretty much any time after seven in the morning), only to the sound of my Beasty scratching under her ears. There is no hubby snoring away beside me, no teenagers needing a drive anywhere, or help to open the pool. I stretch, and sit on the side of my bed to find a note with my name on my bed table. As I reach to enfold it, the following is written:

We have gone out for the day, the whole day.
We will not call, or text or contact you.
Enjoy this gift of a day to enjoy the quiet of our home,
as you wish,
hubby and the kids

And with the reading of the final line, a realization hits me,

I am home alone …

Hallelujah!

(oh, and did you catch the reference to the Princess Bride? “as you wish” … a little romantic reference always makes me happier).

What happens next is a bit of the Tom Cruise dance from the movie Risky Business, and Kevin from Home Alone eating way too much ice cream.

After the initial euphoria is spent on dancing in my underwear (T. M. I … too much information!) and eating ice cream for breakfast I would spread myself across the sofa and smile my biggest Cheshire Cat smile … and smile a contented sigh.

Hey, it is not that I do not love my family, or that I would wish them away. They are four of the best pieces of my life! It is just that once in a while, the thought of being home alone is simply so very delectable to me. The thought of having every waking hour, all to myself, with no expectations of anyone else, just about makes me want to burst with excitement.

And what would I do with all of those hours alone to myself? Well, after the dancing and eating of ice cream … I would probably write a blog post or two (because I love it) … make my bed (because it is my habit) … clean the bathroom (because it needs to be done) … make cookies (because hubby and the kids would love to come home to them) … finish a project or two (because there is always a project or two that is undone in our home) … and weed the garden (because there is just never any desire to do it when others are home).

Hum, other than the dancing and ice cream eating, it really looks like a pretty normal day … but, I desire it so much!

Hey, a girl can dream, right?!

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

The Wild Heart of Life

"He was unheeded, happy, and near to the wild heart of life." ...James Joyce

Ishshah's Story

Tell the story. Live the story. Be the story.

This is Ellen Peterson.

Playwright and actor Ellen Peterson writes mostly true stories.

Widow's Manna

A widows journey. Discovering God's provision is just enough for each day.

My life in words...

My heart and soul explode with joy- full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure

Explore Newness

My quest to do or learn something NEW as often as I can!

Malcolm Guite

Blog for poet and singer-songwriter Malcolm Guite

Musings of an Aspie

one woman's thoughts about life on the spectrum

Finding Purpose

Insights on thriving in the modern world

itsawonderfilledlife

looking for wonder in everyday life

Have Kids, Still Travel

A Family's Adventures Around the World

LoBrow | UpStyle

Castoffs are the new couture

Vonj Productions

Bringing you love through spirit!

colorfullyaliveart

Get to know me and my art...