He Will Have Compassion


Pinterest Test Kitchen #47 ~ Caramel Crescent Roll Bites

Warm and gooey.

Doughy and dusted with cinnamon and sugar.

These are absolutely delicious and very rich. Perfect paired with a cup of coffee or hot apple cider, they’d make a wonderful treat for Thanksgiving morning.

The original recipe calls them caramel snickerdoodles, I guess because of the cinnamon and sugar, but when I went to make these I only had crescent rolls so that’s why we call them caramel crescent roll bites.

Whatever you want to call them is fine just make sure you call the family in to enjoy them with you or you may end up eating them all by yourself!

What you’ll need:
1 can of crescent rolls
16 caramel bites unwrapped
cinnamon and sugar

What you’ll do:
Unroll the crescent rolls and cut them into two pieces. (They won’t be exact but from the picture above you can see how we divided them.)
Place a caramel square in the center of each piece and roll it up so that the dough completely covers the caramel.
Roll your caramel stuffed dough ball in the cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown.

Allow to warm a tad because the caramel will be oozing and hot but then gobble them up because the
caramel will be oozy and warm 🙂

A couple of notes:
You probably want to line your cookie sheet with parchment paper since some of the caramel may leak during baking.
These are best eaten warm. Once they cool the caramel becomes slightly hard and not as tasty.

A Garden of Yeses

Last week I had the opportunity to sit under the teaching of Douglas and Nancy Wilson at a family conference in Sandestin. It was beneficial for me in many ways, and on many different levels and I am really glad our family was finally able to participate in this annual event. One of the things I realized during the weekend was how differently I would want to parent if we were just starting our family. A different tone and coming from a different place, so to speak.

Since my world is currently overflowing with mamas and new babies I thought I’d share some of my thoughts and observations here. But first let me give a little back story on our early years as new parents. Basically, we were utterly clueless and winging it. We kind of had a vague sense of what we wanted but no idea how to go about it. We knew we wanted obedient children and to get them we knew we had to train them in obedience. Sounds like a good, noble, and holy goal, right? 
It becomes apparent very quickly though that we all want that good, noble and holy thing but there are about a gazillion ideas on how to get there. However, I think there are two broad categories that those gazillion of ideas fall into. There is a “training for obedience” and a “nurturing of obedience”. Please keep in mind that I say broad in a very sweeping generalized broad kind of way. This is not a judgement call on any particular methodology or practice but rather is a glimpse in how my own view has grown and shifted over time. 
To be sure, regardless of which category you fall into, there is training that must take place so my preference for one over the other has more to do with the how of the process. I’m sure in the grand scheme of things the difference between the two ways is not as large as it currently seems to me while it is all fresh in my head. But, being at this vantage point of my life, having raised up my children past those early years, and now seeing the fruit born out in the lives of the children who come from both categories (mine as well as those in my circle of living) I do see a notable difference in the sweetness of the fruit and it’s aroma.
In the beginning we fell firmly in the training for obedience camp. We were pretty tight in keeping the rules and we had plenty of them. Don’t get me wrong. Our home was still happy and loving but we were in training  mode all the time. Everything was a training in obedience opportunity. Honestly, there were a lot of no’s.  We didn’t move things out of reach from little hands, we trained them to not touch. Everything was out and a lot of it was off limits so consequently we spent a lot of time saying “No!” and “Don’t mess with that!”. Which really doesn’t sound that bad does it? Until you look at how God parents.
God created the heavens and the earth, made this fantastic garden and gave it to Adam and Eve as their home. Think about it. All of creation was at their fingertips, and there was exactly one no in the whole place. It was a garden full of yeses. That no was smack in the middle of the garden but it was the only one. Everything else was a yes. That fruit? Yes. Want to climb that tree? Yes. Go for a walk over there? Sure! Swimming in that pond? Absolutely! What? That tree over there? No child, not that one
I am in no way advocating letting your children run free and wild without any boundaries. I am advocating for the rules to be as simple and few as possible. Instead of having that fragile and sentimentally priceless knick knack on the coffee table where it can dazzle and catch their eye and be used as a training opportunity, why not move it out of reach? Instead of a house full of no’s why not a house full of yeses with the only rule be that you obey? Do we really think that without the boot camp obstacle course of off limit things that there will be no way of teaching obedience? I submit that there are plenty of ways and opportunities to train and teach our children obedience that nurtures that obedience in a way that becomes less about rule keeping and more about loving the rule giver.
And isn’t that what we want? To raise up children that not only keep the rules but they keep them because they love the Rule Giver? The great Rule Breaker wants us to believe that we need more rules, that life and freedom is found in keeping a bunch of rules. But the truth is that way back in the garden there was one rule and most of us think it was as simple as, “Don’t eat of that tree.” But the reality was that the rule was, “Obey God.”

Pinterest Test Kitchen #46 ~ Man Bread

What is man bread you say?

Why it is bacon cheddar beer bread, of course. What more could a man ask for in his bread? Or a woman for that matter because to be honest this is just plain old good no matter whether you are a girl or man. It’s just that when you rattle off the name ~ bacon cheddar beer bread ~ it just sort of begs for a man to be heard in the background grunting “Arr Arr Arr” a la Tim the tool man style.

Super easy to make and since the beer is your yeast it’s also fairly quick to put together. Start to finish is about an hour for a loaf of fresh savory bread. We enjoyed it with spaghetti but I think it would be a nice compliment to soups as well. (We do breakfast for dinner upon occasion and this would be perfect with grits and eggs.)

What you’ll need:
3 cups all purpose flour

1 TBS baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 TBS sugar
2 cups of cheddar cheese
12 oz (1 bottle) of beer
6 to 8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled (We used 8 slices. Okay probably more but I wasn’t really counting 🙂
2 TBS melted butter (I just used softened butter.)

What you’ll do:
Mix all of your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Add in the beer, about half the bacon, and 1 cup of the cheese.
Stir until well blended. 
Put the dough in a greased loaf pan.
Spread 1 TBS of butter across the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Remove from the oven, brush the rest of the butter across the top, and sprinkle with remaining cheese and bacon.
Return to oven and cook for another 25 minutes.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes before removing from the pan.

It has a great flavor and a delicious crunchy on the outside texture. Next time I think I will double the recipe because our loaf went fast!

How Wisdom Decorates a Home

He tells us that a wise woman builds her home while a foolish one tears it down. And we smile and nod as we sweep our front porch and think of the ones we’ve known who have been folly’s handmaid. We glance around at our tidy yards and manicured bushes and maybe pluck a weed or two  thinking that this shows our humble piety and willingness to admit our own sin.

Only we’re not standing on our front porches being neighborly, we’re actually guarding the door hoping no one will want to come in any further. And if they do darken our doorway we have our fancy parlor with plastic furniture covers all pristine and ready for guests.

We don’t want to walk them down the hall past the snapshots of every hurt and injustice framed by bitterness that we’ve hung. And if they do make it to the living room they are sure to notice the major incident that defines who we are and everything we do hanging in it’s place of honor above the fireplace. On the mantle sits the vase of dried up day dreams sitting in the stagnant and murky waters of “I wishes” and “if onlys”.

Other vases full of our expectations for everyone, even God, teeter on the edge of window sills, just waiting to be knocked to the ground and shattered.

Tiny bumps of our family’s rebellion mar the smooth surface of the area rug they’ve been swept under, causing us to continue to stumble.

Sarcasm dents the walls leading into the kitchen.

Our dishes are chipped and cracked with discontentment as we pile them up in the sink barely scrapped clean. Crumbs of presumption scatter across the counter.

Through the crack of the laundry room door we see the piles of neglect as we ignore our duties and responsibilities. The utility closet bulges and is barely able to remain shut against the unforgiveness and disappointments that we’ve tucked inside.

There are many ways a foolish woman can tear her house down without it looking like she is.

But when Lady Wisdom is bid come inside, to clean and refresh, she throws open wide the windows of our hearts and minds bringing with her the Spirit of Truth that dispels the dark shadows of every corner.  We can take down the mementos of the past that shade the present and toss them into the fireplace along with the “I wishes” and “if onlys”.

We can heed her direction and empty those other vases of our expectations for the people in our lives, and more importantly the ones we have for God, and push them  to a place of security and fill them with the beautiful bouquet of His good and perfect will watered by His sufficiency.

We can stop hiding our sin and take the area rug away and wax and polish a deep shine into the hardwood flooring of obedience. The sarcasm of our speech can be sanded smooth and the vivid shade of a word fitly spoken can color our walls.

Learning the art of contentment despite our situation and circumstances makes for unmarred serving ware. Gratitude can dispose of  the taken for granted crumbs.

We can learn to be keepers of our homes, and joyful ones at that, when we see the provision God has graciously bestowed upon us. We can let go and get rid of all the junk we’ve been carrying around from house to house and relationship to relationship.

The truth is our physical homes can sometimes hide the turmoil and chaos of our souls. Other times it can be an accurate reflection of that chaos and turmoil. But in either case we have to remember that we, since we are in-dwelt by the Holy Spirit, as the Apostle Peter says, are living stones being fashioned into a spiritual house.

May we be as diligent and willing to  clean our minds and hearts as we are to declutter and put to rights our physical dwellings.

Test Kitchen #45 ~ A Bonus Recipe Reblogged ~ Applesauce

Last week my niece was pinning some apple sauce recipes and it reminded me of this bonus recipe I had shared last year. It’s so good and since it’s apple season I thought I’d share it again.

Plus it has the added bonus of breaking the silence that has been around here lately. Life got a little frantic lately and while I don’t look for much to slow down now that the holidays are upon us, I do still want to keep up with the blogging. (May I just say that part of the reason it has been so very crazy is that 4 babies have been born into our church since September? So it’s been busy but full of sweetness!) I miss the blog hopping, reading really great stuff and finding some great recipes. Just got to make time for it all.

But such is life for everyone so let’s move on to the apple sauce recipe. I originally found this one off the label of a Juicy Juice bottle. Super easy and, besides tasting good, will make your house smell o-mazing.

What you’ll need:
6 baking apples chopped into pieces (best apples recommended for baking are Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, and the Pink Lady)
1 1/2 cups apple juice
1/2 cup dried cranberries 
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 
What you’ll do:
Combine all ingredients into a large pot. 
Cook on high heat for about 30 minutes or until your apples are tender.

A couple of things to note:
I don’t like super chunky apples sauce so I used my potato masher to break down the larger apple pieces. Also, I don’t exactly measure out my cranberries~I just add what looks like a good cranberry to apple ratio. And as long as I am admitting that I don’t follow directions exactly my brown sugar wasn’t exactly packed down and if measured out was probably a little closer to 3/4 a cup.