Pumpkin Spice Scones

Fall is here! Everything you see is pumpkin spice. This is my absolute favorite time of the year. I mean, come on; we have Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas! January 1st rolls around and I wait all year for October to get here again. Hoodies, bonfires, s’mores, decorations….on and on and on. I did say this was my favorite time of the year, right?

I had always heard about scones and seen pictures of them but had never tried to make them or tasted one. So, one morning I was feeling creative and came across this recipe. They were simple to make and tasted great; whether for breakfast, snack, or dessert. My husband said they were pretty good and he’s not much of a pumpkin fan (oh the shame). The kids loved them. My oldest would have ate the whole batch if allowed.

The texture is almost like a biscuit just to give you an idea if you have never had one.

The icing is the only thing I changed up. I only make about half of what the recipe calls for, otherwise, I have a lot left over. Also, instead of using the milk and additional spices, I just used some pumpkin spice creamer that I had in the fridge. It just adds that much more flavor but either way is wonderful.

Here’s the link for the website so you can go on over there and get the recipe!

https://www.iheartnaptime.net/pumpkin-spice-scones/

Chocolate Chip Cookies

So…who doesn’t like a good chocolate chip cookie? Say whaaaat? Exactly! Everyone loves those delicious little bites of heaven! (If you don’t, shhhh!)

There is nothing like a freshly baked, warm chocolate chip cookie with a cold glass of milk and they’re great year round! It doesn’t matter if it’s Christmas or just a Wednesday afternoon. They make great treats to take to work, an after school snack for the munchkins, a late night dessert for that sweet tooth….ah, the possibilities are endless.

What do you do when you don’t live near a bakery? Do you make your own or buy some ready to bake cookie dough? I do a little of both depending on what kind of mood I’m in for example: the mood known as lazy=store bought dough. This day, however, I was in a baking mood.

I’ve tried several chocolate chip cookie recipes all guaranteeing to be the best ever but they never turn out that way. I always end up disappointed. That all changed with the recipe I’m getting ready to share with you.

I was on Pinterest just a scrolling when I came across this recipe called, yet again, Best Chocolate Chip Cookies. I immediately rolled my eyes and thought, “Yeah, right.” Not being able to refuse, I tapped on it and glanced over the ingredients. You know the basics-flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, eggs, vanilla, butter, and the most important (ba ba ba dah…drum roll please) CHOCOLATE CHIPS. Oh, come on, y’all knew what was coming! Now this next one may throw you for a loop. Yeah, it did me anyway. I had never seen a cookie recipe with this ingredient which is what caught my interest and pulled me in. What ingredient could I possibly be talking about? Apple cider vinegar. What? Were you surprised as me? I did a double take. Like actual vinegar…in a chocolate chip cookie? I’ve got to try this! The comments on Pinterest were great so I clicked on the link and got to work. I was not disappointed at all nor my husband or children. A batch barely lasts a day in my house.

I have made this recipe twice. The first time I made as instructed but melted the butter a little too much which produced a flatter cookie. See below.

However, flat or not, they were wonderful-crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside just as promised. The second time I didn’t melt the butter, only softened and by accident I forgot to add the granulated sugar along with the brown when I was mixing. Oops! Hey, it happens. Don’t even get me started on the time I was making gravy and the lid fell off the salt shaker just as I was going to add a sprinkle. Yeah, it ended up being almost half the container. What can I say? When you have little ones running around and bumping into you constantly or talking at fifty mph, your mind wanders and you forget what your were doing. Anyway, I didn’t realize I had done this until after mixing in the chocolate chips. I tasted the dough (don’t act like you haven’t before) and it still tasted sweet with only the brown sugar. So rather than adding the full amount of granulated sugar, I only mixed in half of what the recipe calls for and you know what, still delicious! The cookie didn’t spread as thin and the inside was gooey. See below.

The very light sprinkling of salt on the cookie is a perfect combination with the sweet.

Is your mouth watering yet? Well, I won’t keep you waiting any longer. Here is the link to dear crissy’s site where you can get her recipe. Enjoy!

https://dearcrissy.com/best-chocolate-chip-cookies/

You said give how much?

I’m going to tell you about something God laid on my heart a few weeks ago. So, I used to tithe regularly and often. I’m not saying that in a bragging way but just giving you a little history. We’re not rich by any means but we manage well…most of the time. You just got to have those new shoes sometimes, right? I looked at tithing as my duty to God because the Bible tells us too.

Leviticus 27:30-33

A tithe of everything from the land, whether grain from the soil or fruit from the trees, belongs to the Lord; it is holy to the Lord. Whoever would redeem any of their tithe must add a fifth of the value to it. Every tithe of the herd and flock-every tenth animal that passes under the shepherd’s rod-will be holy to the Lord. No one may pick out the good from the bad or make any substitution. If anyone does make a substitution, both the animal and its substitute become holy and cannot be redeemed.

I remember the first time I said, “Hey, I’m going to start doing this!” At the time, I was working two jobs, a full time and a part time, seven days a week. It was a struggle trying to make ends meet at that time and I missed out on church, family time, school activities, etc. Then, one payday, I decided to give fifty dollars to a special charity.

A short time after that I had applied for a different job at a place I didn’t really want to go because I loved where I worked and the people but it had a higher salary. I prayed about it, aced the interview, and waited. One day at my current job I was called into the office and given a speech along with a bit of a raise and a new job title! See, I ended up at the top of the list for the new job but was taken out by someone with more experience. Well, my current employer found out that I was out searching and didn’t want to lose me. You may call it coincidence, but I know it was all God! He used that interview to change my life. I felt more appreciated and it gave me new energy in completing my daily tasks. I was able to pay off my vehicle and quit that part time job. I was less stressed and had more time to spend with my family. All that from fifty dollars!

Malachi 3:8-10

Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet, you rob me.

“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’

“In tithes and offerings. Your are under a curse-your whole nation- because you are robbing me. Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be enough room to store it.”

Well, guys, fast forward a few years–second child, laid off from job, and tithing came to a halt. My spouse was our only income and it faltered as well. So any amount of money that came in I tried to hold on to it for dear life and pay bills as they came due or let ones fall behind that wouldn’t charge a late fee and catch them up the next month while letting a different one fall behind. We struggled yet always seemed to have our needs met. God was still looking out for us even though our faith and trust had faltered.

I have always managed our income and the bills and who gets what. When everything is financially stable, I feel in control. Control is something I had and have trouble relinquishing. Money began to rule me in a sense.

Fast forward a couple more years and God blessed me with a new job. I didn’t bring home as much as I did before because of rising costs of insurance and a new addition but we scraped through. Tithing was still far from my mind and remained that way for a couple years. God would occasionally lay it on my heart and I would look at my account and say, “No, I just can’t this month. I’ll do it next month.”

Well, a few weeks ago, God laid it on my heart again. I sat there staring at the computer screen showing twenty-five dollars left in my account after bills. I said, “God, I’ve put this off long enough. You’ve been telling me to do this and I’m going to trust you.” I donated twenty dollars to that same place that is special to me and took a deep breath as I clicked ‘Donate.’

Let me just say we serve a mighty God. Folks if you struggle with trusting others, God is the one you can count on to never forsake you. Two weeks later, I had a check come in the mail that was more than my monthly salary. The next week my husband had an unsuspected jump in his pay. All that for only twenty dollars!

But guys it’s so much more than that. God wants us to trust Him and depend on Him for our needs. So when you feel that small push to give whether to church, a charity, a family in need; do it! Don’t worry if you only have twenty five dollars to your name! Don’t do like I did for so long and get caught up in ‘Oh, I’ll do it next month.’ That phrase can drag out for the rest of your life and you miss the chance of blessings that God wants to pour upon you!

2 Corinthians 9:7

Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

So, what do you say? Are you willing to trust God today?

Maybe, I shouldn’t have said that…

So, you’re sitting with a group of close friends or family and all of a sudden one person says, “Hey, did you hear about so and so?” Maybe, it was you who started the conversation and maybe it wasn’t; but did you join in? Add in another detail of the story you heard? I’m sure we all have been guilty of this at one point or another. Honestly, it’s one of the things I really struggle with. Actually, I have focused a lot on it this week with myself. My quick devotional that popped up on my phone a few days ago was…

Ephesians 4:29 NIV

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Just the night before, I got on my knees by my bed and prayed for God to convict me of things I needed to work on and change. Reading that verse the following morning was like a siren going off in my head. I set a daily reminder on my phone that reminds me of this verse. I had done fairly well in refraining from getting caught up in idle gossip this week. Then today, out of nowhere, something that happened months ago dealing with someone else popped in my head; it had nothing to do with what me and a friend were discussing. What do you think I did? I blabbed; just as quick as it came to my mind, I spit it out. Later I felt guilty and continuously asked myself why, why, why did I just do that? So tonight, I asked God to forgive me and help me to do better.

What about that time when there was someone you were trying to help and they wronged you in some kind of way so you ran and vented to a family member, then a friend, then a cousin…see a pattern? You have to feel vindicated in some kind of way and getting someone to agree with you or side with you is the quickest way of satisfying that inner need. Yep, I’m guilty of that too. Before you know it, you’ve spread something to a handful of people. Who’s to say they won’t spread it a little further and eventually, down the line you can bet on details being changed. It really is a bad habit. What if we went to God with the issue first? He is the best one to help us.

There’s nothing wrong with having someone close you can talk to. I think we should just be more mindful of what comes out of our mouths. Instead of speaking the negative about someone or a situation, let’s find the good, no matter how small it may be and speak it. Rather than tearing one another down, we should be building up one another and giving encouragement. We are all children of God. We ALL sin. Not a one of us is on a pedestal above the other even though it’s easy for us to think that way sometimes. Our sins may be different but they are still sins. Thank goodness for Jesus is all I can say!

So, my lesson for today is if you have to say ‘But don’t tell anyone’ or you start off a sentence with ‘Well, I heard…’ just stop, think, say a silent prayer, and don’t forget to breathe. If you’re sitting there and someone starts speaking negatively about someone, find something positive to say, change the subject, or be bold and put a stop to it in a respectful manner.

Do you have a hard time with this as well? How do you deal? Leave a comment below!

It’s not all hearts and roses…

Well, it’s been a while since I have attempted to post anything. Honestly, I’ve been a little discouraged and not sure if this blogging thing is for me. I’m not trying to promote anything for money; I just simply want to share with people. Maybe even make a difference in someone’s life even in a small way. And what an honor it would be to help someone find God and to really find out who Jesus is. Truth is, sometimes I feel like I’m still trying to find out. Those are the hard times.

See, there are those who tell you all the good stuff.

‘Once you find Jesus, your life will be so much better!’

‘God is going to bless you financially and you’ll never have to worry again!’

‘There will be no more hardship and trouble!’

Now, as far as finding Jesus and your life being better….oh yeah, definitely! You have accepted that Christ died for you, welcomed him in your heart, and asked for forgiveness of your sins.

Let me tell you, the moment that happened to me, I felt the change. It was one of the happiest days of my life. If you accept Christ, I do recommend getting baptized whether publicly or privately. The experience itself is so special, God is present, and angel’s are singing for you in heaven! The act is a public display of your belief in Jesus and having your sins ‘washed’ away in a physical sense.

But guys, here was my mistake. That day, I thought that I had to be perfect from that moment on and that I could not sin and if I did, God wouldn’t look at me as being saved anymore. I also thought life would be a perfect walk in a peaceful meadow and that nothing would shake my faith. All those notions were completely wrong. I would not say I was misguided but misinformed; not prepared as I should have been. But finding out has been a part of my journey and continues to be. I’m still learning on a daily basis. I have good days and then I have bad days. Times when I am so overcome with God’s presence that I cry or feel like my happiness is going to explode from within. Then there’s those dark moments when you want to scream and ask God if He hears you. Let me tell you, He does.

Over the years since I have been baptized, we have dealt with changes in our family, financial issues, health issues, job loss, wavering faith and lost hope. In those moments, it feels like you’ll never reach the other side. Fear slips in and consumes you. We begin to see the negative and focus on it rather than seeing the good.

When things go sideways we automatically want to blame God because He controls everything. God does not purposely hurt us. He loves us. We are His children. Satan has come to destroy and right now God allows him to have his time. He will sneak in when you least expect it thinking that you’ll turn away from God when things go wrong. God allows things to happen but know there is a reason for it all. Do we know what it is at the time? No. He is the Almighty and His plan is perfect. I remind myself of that constantly. At times, that’s what keeps me going forward when my feet feel like they cannot move another step. Read God’s promises and study them. Say them over and over again. Write them on sticky notes and post them on your bathroom mirror, in your car, at your job. When Satan is attacking you, rebuke him in Jesus’ name and remind him of his fate. He has no power over you. His days are numbered and he knows it. A day will come when God strips him of the power he has here on earth.

Your faith will be tested. Just hold on to that little sliver of hope and know that God already has the resolution in place. That small flame that’s burning inside of you is going to explode into a roaring fire when you realize the strength you have in Jesus.

When you sin and you feel conviction, go to God and ask for forgiveness and try to do better. God knows we’ll make mistakes but He gives us the strength and willpower to do better. He helps us but we have to make an effort on our part.

We live in a world that is full of trials, evil, hatred, sickness, and depression. A world that is taking small pieces of the Bible to support whatever they believe. We cannot do that. Those words are there and we cannot change them. If there is something you question or don’t understand, research and study on your own. Pray and ask God to give you clarification. Discuss it with someone who is knowledgable on the Bible. We have to stop trying to please people of the world and start pleasing God. We have to stop walking on eggshells around people and be bold in our faith and what God stands for and doesn’t stand for.

Here are a couple of scriptures that I like to read regularly and be reminded of:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Do Not Worry Matthew 6:25-34

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.” Hebrews 8:12

Have you suffered in some way and had your faith tested? What did you do? How did you pull through it? I would love to hear from you so comment below!

Why can’t I be like them?

I am by no means an expert when it comes to the Bible. In fact there are many times when I feel relatively small in my faith. Sometimes those nagging doubts leave little room for growth.

Well, this person is so sure in their faith and their place in Christ…

That one over there speaks with so much power…

She says ‘God bless you’ and quotes scripture so well…

He prays over people and speaks so flawlessly and confidently…

Stop there.

This is where we stomp our foot and say, “Not today, Satan!”

We cannot compare ourselves to others. That’s our first mistake and gives Satan just enough wiggle room to start planting doubts in our head and preying on our insecurities. The more we focus on the lies he tells, the more we believe them, the worse they become. We fall away a little here a little there…a small ripple turns into a big wave. Before we know it, we’re filled with doubt and question ourselves everytime we step out in faith to do something for God.

I’m saying this to you as much as I’m saying it to myself. Hold that mirror right there so I can continue talking to that reflection. Raise your hand if you’re guilty of that too. Go ahead, no judgement here.

We have no idea what those people we hold on such a high level have gone through or are still going through to get to that point in their walk with God. Don’t think they’re lives are trouble free and those of us observing are the only ones getting attacked. Let me tell you, that is far from the truth. The closer you try to get to God and reach deeper in your faith…woooweee, Satan cannot stand it! He will attack you in different areas of your life and try to break you but you have to keep pressing on and moving forward. In Jesus’ name, can I get an Amen?!

We have to pray, read our Bible, and act in faith. We can’t give up and stop putting time in with God and expect to get closer with Him. It just doesn’t work that way. I downloaded the free King James Bible app from Google Play Store about two months ago. It gives you a morning verse and night verse with an explanation to help you better understand the scripture along with a short prayer. It only takes a few minutes and helps you get in a routine of regular prayer and time with God. The app also has devotionals, study plans, and more. This is a small step towards my goal. Eventually, I want to get up early enough to spend at least a solid half hour reading scripture, praying, and listening. Also, at night I have a bad habit of laying in the bed and saying a quick prayer. Sometimes, I’ll be so tired, I catch myself repeating the same part of the prayer over or going off in left field from what I was originally praying about. With that being said, I feel another post coming sometime in the near future…muahahahaha(funny sounding evil laugh).

So, do you want to start off your day spending time with God? Maybe, an app like the one I’ve been using can help you as well or a different one. If not, there are so many other options available.

Several years ago, a friend of mine bought me the NIV Busy Mom’s Bible. There are devotionals and study prompts that only take a few minutes. This Bible has been very important in my journey. I was encouraged to dig deeper and find out what the Bible really said rather than hearing it from someone else. It took me a full year but I used this Bible to read the entire thing from beginning to end. There are highlights and scribbled notes, wrinkled pages, and a now worn cover but it was eye opening in ways I couldn’t begin to imagine without reading the words for myself. I got baptized and accepted Christ. For a while, I felt like I was riding this high and I couldn’t get enough. Then slowly, I quit looking at my Bible. I treated it as any other book I had finished and tossed it to the side. Big mistake. A very special preacher told me one time to never stop reading the Word because it would lead to me falling away and I found out the hard way. I had this haughty attitude, ‘Well, I’ve read the whole thing. I know what’s in it.’ The longer I went without reading, the harder it was to get back into it. So, I bought a small journal from the dollar store and began to use for writing scripture and digging deeper for meanings and words I didn’t fully understand. Y’all there are so many guides, books, and devotionals out there if you need that extra help to get you started. Any time you find yourself saying man, I just don’t have the time; grab your Bible and read just one verse. Just one; it will take you less than a minute and hey, you may find yourself wanting to read more.

Start slow and set small goals. As you reach those goals, strive for more. If you dedicate time to God on a daily basis, I promise you it will make a difference in your life. Things will not always be easy. Some days will be really hard. Satan will try to throw things your way to discourage you because he doesn’t want you getting closer to God. Do it anyway! Push through and press on. If you’re not where you want to be, don’t beat yourself up! I have heard Joyce Meyer’s say this many times and it is one of my favorite quotes: “I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.”

I may not be where I want to be, but thank God I’m not where I used to be.

Joyce Meyer

How did you begin your journey? How do you spend time with God and stay encouraged to do so? I’d love to hear from you so comment below or send me a message on the Contact page!

Is all of this worth it?

So, do you ever feel like the walls of your home are closing in? Feel like you’re doing the same thing day in and day out like a CD on repeat? You do? Oh, thank goodness it’s not just me. Sometimes life has a way of doing that to you. To do lists and responsibilities seem daunting and continue to grow at an alarming rate until you’re so overwhelmed that the light at the end of the tunnel disappears. All you can see is the darkness. I still have to pay this bill but we need groceries and don’t forget the car needs to be fixed! Kids bickering, toys flying, spouse zoned out watching t.v. like the whole house hasn’t just turned into a chaotic mess. Put your hands down now, honey. Believe me, you’ll thank me when you look in the mirror and your hair is still there. Don’t pull it out just yet.

But seriously, sometimes I find myself wondering…is this how it is for everyone or just us? Tempers flare, yelling ensues, and everyone ends up being upset. Sometimes, I go to the bathroom when I don’t even have to go, just for a moment of peace. Only for about ten seconds before I hear little feet pounding through the house like a small elephant and then knocking.

“Mom, what are you doing?”

“I’m using the bathroom. What is it?”

“My crayon broke.”

“Well, sweetie, go get another crayon.”

“But I want this one.”

Then the older child knocks on the door. Why did I come to the bathroom again?

“Mom, where’s my hairbrush?”

“How should I know?”

“Well, it’s not in my bathroom and I know I left it there.”

“Oh, yeah, could you pass a polygraph on that?”

“What’s a polygraph?”

*smacks self in forehead*

Sometimes, you just want to go on a vacation for one. Yes, please! But we have to look at the good things and find that little microscopic ray of light that’s shining through. That sweet child who needed that one crayon to draw you a picture that’s so beautiful even though you have no idea what it is. That child who is growing up so fast into a strong, independent, God-loving person yet can still make you grind your teeth together with one roll of the eyes. A spouse that listens to you rant and rave and still loves you even when you’re acting like you’re one trip away from the psych ward.

Look for those small, everyday things; the kisses and hugs when you leave for work, the smiles and eye twinkles when you come home, those rare moments of unrestricted laughter that seems to echo off the walls. That moment after dinner when you look out the window and watch your kids take turns throwing the ball with their dad. The delight and joy on your child’s face when they hit a ball after several, frustrating tries.

Those are the moments that make it all worth it-the stained carpets, little sharp toys that leave your feet feeling disfigured, the marker lines on the kitchen table; all of it. That’s when I feel my heart swell and I know there’s a purpose to all this madness. So, yes, it’s all worth every moment.

Comment below with your struggles or funny stories. What makes you feel like it’s all worth it?

Start a blog…sure, why not?

The thing is…if you asked me why I wanted to start a blog, I’m not sure if I could pinpoint one specific answer. I’ve always had a thing for writing. And I like to cook, a lot. As Flo says on the Progressive commercial, ‘Cycling is my passion.’ Wait…or was it her sister? Technically they’re played by the same person so I guess it depends on how you look at it(insert shrug lol and maybe an eye roll). Well, replace cycling with cooking and yeah, that’s me. At times, I have felt a calling to do something like this in hopes my words can somehow reach someone and help them. I struggle with this so much because I have never been one who is comfortable putting myself out there. So guys, this is huge for me.

As I’m typing this post, my oldest child is talking non stop about random facts and our family dog is snoring beside me. My brain is literally straining with effort in an attempt to stay on track. So if I randomly type something that makes no sense and has you saying ‘whaaaaat?,’ bare with me. FOCUS! See, like that(insert laughing emoji).

So writing, food, what’s next? Oh yeah, experiences, family, God… There are so many different things and ideas floating around in this messy head and I want to share it with you.

I’m so glad that you have taken the time to visit and read my words. You’re officially my homie for life. I hope that you find something on here that you enjoy and that you can relate to. If you have an idea or simply something you want to share, go to the Contact page and send me a message or leave a comment below! I look forward to hearing from you!