Pumpkin Dream Cake

  • This morning I received a text from one of my DIL’s asking me to make this cake for her!

She began the text with “since you are my favorite MIL will you make me this cake?” To which I replied “I hope I’m your fav MIL since I’m your only MIL but yes I will make this for you!”

As I looked at the recipe, it did look somewhat different from other pumpkin cakes I have made! The simple fact that it is a sheet cake, not layered makes it easy to begin with! But the fact that stood stood out to me was the cream cheese frosting that had added cinnamon to it! After thinking about what the lady who posted this recipe had shared, I knew this cake would be a winner! Thursday when I bake it, I will take a picture and post comments of the results! Taken from How Sweets Eat

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree
  • 1 ¾ cups brown sugar
  • ½ cup plain greek yogurt
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
CINNAMON CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
  • 2 8- ounce blocks cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with nonstick baking spray.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Note: If you LOVE spice, feel free to add some extra spice in here (pumpkin! allspice! more cinnamon! – you can add another 1/2 to 1 teaspoon if you’d like) as this isn’t overly spiced.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, sugar, yogurt and oil. Once smooth and combined, whisk in each egg one at a time. Whisk in the vanilla extract.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, mixing until combined and no large lumps remain.
  5. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

  6. Note: every time I’ve made this cake, it has smelled “eggy” in the oven which has scared me. No worries – once the cake comes out and cools, it does not taste eggy!
  7. Cool the cake completely. Once the cake has cooled, frost with the cream cheese frosting. Slice and serve!

Soul Shampoo

TThis morning as I stepped into the shower, I happened to glance at once to the shampoo we had in the shower rack. At eye level, I noticed that of the two shampoos we had, both had words that caught my attention. On the VO5 bottle, the words, “refresh and renew” were on the label. On my shampoo, “Hair Food”. Why this morning did these words jump out at me? As I stood there and allowed the hot water to spill over me (and yes, it does take quite a lot of water to spill over me) it hit me why, today, that these words gave me so much thought.

As I thought back over the last few days, some of the Psalms came to mind. Scriptures that remind me that God wants to be the one who not only guards my soul, but wants to renew and refresh me each and every day. HE wants to be my Soul Food. The Great Shepard Who not only gave me life, but is able to keep me, to love me and protect me.

What is my first thoughts in the morning? What and who do I turn to when I need encouragement or wise counsel? Who do I rest in when trouble fills my soul? Is it my Creator, The God who gave up His Son that I might find eternal life? Where does my help, my joy and my strength come from?

What fills my mind these days? Do I look to God to guide me? So many questions began to fill my mind as I began to think about my day. Is He the first thing on my mind or is checking FaceBook? Do I begin to plan my day before asking the Lord how He wants to use me? Do i consider that He might have plans for me that I have to surrender my time and will to do His? Do I look to Him as the giver of the many blessings that pour into my life or do I just think that “it was just a great day” without giving thanks to Him for allowing the good things that do come my way?

It was such a wonderful feeling stepping out of the shower. Not only did I feel so very clean, but “renewed, refreshed” and had been reminded that not only did my hair need cleansing, but my soul needed that reminder this morning (as it does quite often) that God, the great King of Kings and Lord of all, is waiting and longing for me to look to him for all that I need to renew, refresh and feed my soul. He is the Great Shepard and lover of my soul!
Psalm 139:1,3,5,17,23 “O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me…You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest….you place your hand of blessing on my head…how precious are your thoughts about me, O God…Search me, O God and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts.”

Asa 121 “I look up to the mountains, does my help come from there? My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth. He will not let you stumble and fall,the one who watches over you will not sleep. Indeed, he who watches over Israel never tires and never sleeps. The lord himself watches over you!…The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

Isn’t it wonderful that our God, who loves us more than we can ever hope or imagine can talk to us through a shampoo bottle?

in the words of an old chorus “isn’t He wonderful, wonderful wonderful, Isn’t Jesus my Lord, wonderful? Eyes have seen, ears have heard, it’s recorded in God’s Word, Isn’t Jesus my Lord, Wonderful” Yes He is! Let that little chorus be in our hearts today, giving thanks and worship as we surrender this day to Him.

Apple Bundt Cake

This cake is very different from the apple cakes I make. It cooks the apples in a butter-cinnamon mixture before adding to cake batter!

Kelly Minter is a wonderful teacher and author of Bible studies for women for which I am taking right now! At the end of each week of study, Kelly gives recipes that I have loved! This apple cake sounds so good. I am making it this weekend!

Apples

1 cup chopped apples (I am using Gala)

2 tables butter

1 tables sugar

2 tables light brown sugar

1 teas cinnamon

Cake Batter

1 cup sugar

1 cup brown sugar (I use light)

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup sour cream

1 teas vanilla

5 large eggs

2 1/2 cups flour

1 teas baking powder

1 teas baking soda

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees!

Butter A Bundt cake pan, including the tube, and dust lightly with flour, shaking out any excess. Set aside.

in a skillet over medium heat, cook the apples with the butter, sugars, and cinnamon. Don’t over cook the apples as they should keep their shape. Set aside.

for the cake batter combine the sugars, butter, and sour cream in a large mixing bowl and beat until fluffy. Add vanilla and eggs until well combined. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter mixture. Fold in apples and nuts. Bake at 350° for about 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Transfer to wire rack and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out on a plate. Frost with your favorite brown sugar or browned butter frosting!

Old Fashioned Pecan Pie

What better way to begin this cold weather than with a slice of pecan pie for yourself or for you northern folks PEE CAN pie! We just got back from having our traditional Wednesday night enchilada dinner! It is a windy evening with temps in low 40’s and as we drove home, the beginnings of trees having been already decorated with tiny white lights line our street! What a glorious sight and just makes me want to bake more. Because I was just dying to bake this afternoon, I couldn’t make up my mind what I wanted to bake as everything sounded good. So I ask Peter Pumpkin what he might like for desert tonight. He replied with “well, if you really want to know what I would like I would say pecan pie!” So that’s what we have! When I began to look thru the different recipes from some of my cookbooks I came across this one from Fredericksburg Home Kitchen Cook Book (which my MIL gave to me years ago). It sounded perfect AND didn’t use as much butter as the recipes I have used in the past so I decided to give it a try! After all, Peter Pumpkin reminds me that since we are in our “golden years” we probably should start thinking about cutting back on good foods like butter! It was then that I informed him that our golden years were appropriately named for the fact that we were the age where we should be able to have all the butter we liked! Butter is golden!!!

So here is the recipe and I hope you like it as much as we do! And since I only ate one enchilada I can have two pieces tonight!

3 eggs

3/4 cup sugar

2 teas vanilla

3/4 cup light corn syrup

1 cup finely chopped pecans

3 Tablespoons butter, melted

1 9″ unbaked pie shell

Combine eggs and syrup, mix well. Add sugar and beat with wire whisk. Add vanilla. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add pecans and melted butter. Mix well and pour into pie shell. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for about 35-40 minutes until pie is firm to touch in middle!

Seriously cut back on butter, who is he kidding? After all, we went without a lot of butter for 3 months in Italy so our arteries had a chance to clear!

The Long Way Home

This week has been such a time of reflection of where we have come from and how God has brought us back to this place.

Maybe it is the Fall temperatures which have been so welcomed this past week (even had a tornado hit about 1/2 mile from where we live) which has given us a few nights of rain and cloudy days and of course, made me want to bake everyday.

Things now are back to normal as we are totally settled and feel that sometimes we never left Dallas at all! We kind of somehow just fell into our old way of life with some of the same friends who we have done “life” with for some many years. And while that feels wonderful to be able to do that, we also get excited to see the new ways God will use us and new folks that we are getting to meet! This week we had some new friends over for dinner along with a friend who we have known for 20 yrs. It was such a great reminder to us that while it is always so good to still get together with friends who we have memories with, it is so neat to be sitting there making a new memory with people who we have just met!

As we continue to think back over the last 10 yrs of our lives, it is with a great fondness that we can talk about what The Lord has done for us in spite of some trials and unwanted circumstances which came our way! Looking back, we know that God was still working in our lives to bring us to a point which grew us closer to Him and that He has allowed our hearts to heal from the hard days back in 2013 when we left California. Today as we drove out of the church parking lot, I turned to Randy and said “this is the first time I have truly felt like I’m home since we left Pasadena”. It has been a long journey back here! The Lord allowed us a time in a wilderness, not only physically but spiritually! Each place He has taken us has taught us lessons which we might not have learned without being there! Lessons which included times of learning to trust God when we didn’t feel His presence! A lesson that taught us that He is always faithful to lead and guide even though some of the places He took us were not places that “felt right” at the time and used us in spite of our inadequacies. We have learned that if we want to experience spiritual blessings in our lives, we must be totally surrendered to His will, not ours! We must, in our times of brokenness, remember that we still have things that God can take and use for His glory! That our faith, no matter how small, can grow “even when our vision is blurred! That faithfulness isn’t measured in performance or perfection, but by endurance.”

“Our loyalty to God is determined by our faith in His promises, particularly when it requires waiting through bleak and troubled times!”

Our journey these past 5 years has been filled with days of doubt sometimes, but we know we have been given the opportunity to come full circle back to the place that we call home! Not only physically, but in our hearts as well!

We are not only grateful for the lessons we have been learning but for Gods love and PROVIDENCE over our lives!

” Great is thy faithfulness O God my Father, there is no shadow of turning from Thee! All I have needed thy Hand hath provided, Great is thy faithfulness Lord unto me! ”

Quotes are taken from Daily In His Presence

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

Having been assigned to bring a dessert to a luncheon today, I quickly started to explore cookbooks for something pumpkin, since it is officially Pumpkin Month here in Pumpkinville. As I leafed through The Cake Doctor, I came across a Pumpkin spice cake, which I used for the cupcake base (making a few adjustments) and then just added a little cream cheese surprise for the middle, topping it off with cream cheese frosting. The result received many compliments.

Preheat oven to 350.
1 Duncan Hines Yellow or Spice cake mix*See below
1 package (3.4 oz) french vanilla instant pudding mix
1 cup pumpkin, canned puree of pumpkin, not pumpkin mix
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup water
3 large eggs at room temperature
1 teas cinnamon
1/2 teas ground ginger
*because I didn’t have a spice cake mix, I used a yellow one and added an additional 1 teas of pumpkin pie seasoning to the mix, if you use spice cake mix, I would leave this out.

Cream cheese filling
1 8 oz softened cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teas vanilla

Frosting
1 (1 lb) box of powdered sugar (equals about 3 1/2 cups)
8 oz (1 stick) softened butter
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream (add a little at a time, as it might not need all of this, but might need a little more, depending on how thick you like the frosting.

Cake:
Mix all ingredients together in large mixing bowl and beat for about 2 minutes on medium. Set aside

Cream cheese filling:
Beat softened cream cheese and powdered sugar together and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and mix well. Beat until no more lumps appear.

Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan. Add enough batter to liner to cover bottom. Drop about a tablespoon of cream cheese mixture into middle of the batter. Cover this mixture with more of the pumpkin batter until cupcake holder is about a little more than 1/2 full. Bake in preheated 350 oven until cupcakes test done. About 20 minutes, depending on your oven. I always take mine out when the tops look a little shiny but still feel done to the touch. Let cool and continue using batter and filling until all is used. (You will probably have some of the filling left over, but just keep covered in fridge for another use or you can actually add it to your frosting ingredients, as it is just cream cheese and powdered sugar.)

Frosting

Beat all ingredients until smooth and then frost cooled cupcakes. Keep covered in fridge. Remove from refrigerator about an hour before serving time.

In The Belly of A Whale

October, glorious October when everywhere we look there are pumpkins around every corner. Fall….the most wonderful time of the year. My oldest son called from New York this morning, where they have gone to attend a wedding. As he began to describe the beautiful leaves that were changing and how the cool air was just so refreshing, it was easy to remember that soon, we, here in Texas will finally get to enjoy that most wonderful cooler air and the feel of Fall.

When Randy (oops, sorry, Peter Pumpkin and I are known as Peter and Penelope Pumpkin during this time of the year) aka, Peter and I began to realize that our travel time for 2019 was drawing to a close back in July and it was time to settle down here in Dallas, we had been praying about the church we would be attending, once we were here. In our minds, we knew that the church where we had belonged for 12 years was probably not an option as we were living in a totally different area of Dallas now. So we began to visit the churches around our new location. There were four churches which we felt would be possibilities. Like everyone, we had a checklist of things that were important to us. Did the church have Sunday School? Did it have a choir? Was it a church that preached that the Bible was the infallible Word of God and were they mission minded? Did they have a traditional service where there was a good mixture of hymns and praise songs?
Were the people friendly? As you can see, we certainly had a list of things that we had told God that was important to us. Why is it, when we are trying to find answers to our needs and questions, we tend to think that we need to tell the Lord what we need, as if He doesn’t know exactly what it is that we need?
As time went by, we had marked off a couple of churches that we did not feel drawn to or that just did not feel was doctrinally correct. But, we still had First Baptist Dallas which we had begun to visit. We loved everything about it. We loved the preaching that was truly so Biblically correct. They music was just amazing and the orchestra, do not even get me started on how this music major loved the beautiful music that was such a huge part of the worship service there. They had terrific Sunday Schools and it was not far from our home. One by one, we would check items off our mental check, each week we visited there. Each visit there we felt brought us closer to thinking that this would probably be the church we would grow old in. BUT God………..you would think that by this time in our lives, we would remember that sometimes our plans are just not lining up with God’s perfect plan for us. We think that just because we have found a place that seems “right”, it might not be what is right for us. This week, on FaceBook, a friend of mine posted a little slogan that has meant a lot to me the last couple of weeks’ Discernment is not the wisdom of knowing right from wrong, but the knowledge of knowing right from almost right.
Was there anything wrong with us making First Bapt Dallas our home church, no. Was it almost right as opposed to right? Well, here is how the Lord spoke to my heart Sunday, Sept 22nd.
We had gone to church that morning as we had the previous 3 Sundays at First Bapt. Wonderful sermon on Revelation and such amazing music. We left there on cloud Nine, and we talked in the car on the way home that we certainly loved the worship time there. But why were both of us not feeling like we should be there? We came home after having lunch and Randy laid down for a nap. This gave me a chance to work on my Bible Study lesson, which is a book on Elijah that I am attending on Wed mornings with a group of women. As I read about Elijah in 1 Kings 19:15-18 when God told him to go back the same way he had come,to fulfill some assignments God was going to use him for, these were the words that jumped off the page to me.
“Sometimes God moves us in new directions, but often He tells us to go back and stay the course. He sends us right back into the same group of people with fresh vision and purpose.” I began to weep. I sensed in my spirit that God was telling us to go back to Prestonwood, our home church before we had moved to California and Arizona. We truly had no intentions of going back there, when we knew we were moving back. It seemed illogical for us. It wasn’t close to where we were living. Why would the Lord call us back? Didn’t He know that it was 20 miles up the tollway? Didn’t He know that we wanted a church that was close by that we could drive our wheelchairs to as time went on? The church has so many new folks that have joined? Why would He ask us to go back? Had I, like Jonah, in the belly of a whale tried to run from God in fulfilling His purpose for us? Did we really think that we would know better than He where we should go?
When Randy woke up I shared how I felt that God has spoke to my heart about this and he agreed that the least we could do was go visit the next Sunday. So visit we did. What joy filled our souls. We left there excited and couldn’t wait for Wednesday night to get here so we could go back to the Wednesday night service they hold the first Wednesday of each month. So night before last, we attending that First Wed service. We got in the car and Randy looked at me and said, that was such a sweet service.” We knew in our hearts that we were being called back there. For what reason, we don’t know yet. But to see friends we have known for years and to just be loved on was such a great blessing.
As the Elijah study continues and I finish the book of lessons, this was in yesterdays study.*”Though we should always be open to new relationships and friendships, we should be careful to treasure the history we have with loyal friends.”
But God….we had prayed for months asking for direction. We knew He would be faithful to lead us and direct our paths. But we still tried to tell God what we thought best. You would think by this time in our lives, we would quit doing that. So thankful that those two little words, “but God” can change our perspective, our knowledge to know that He cares and is involved with the small and large details of our lives. But God…He will always lead us to not just to what is almost right, but what is perfectly right…every time we lean on Him and wait on Him to reveal His perfect plan.

* Elijah, Spiritual Stamina in Every Season by Melissa Spoelstra

Spiritual Shelves

Isa 43:1 “But now, thus says the Lord, he who created you, o Jacob, He who formed you, “Fear not, for Ihave redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine.”
Matthew 6:30 “And if God cares so wonderfully for the lilies, that are here today and gone tomorrow, He will certainly care for you.

Yes, we have moved a lot. Yes, each move has shown me several different aspects of Who God is and how He delights to give good things to us.
This morning, as I was making breakfast, I happened to just glance over to the shelves which are in our kitchen. When we were in Italy and had begun to look for a place to live, through the internet, we knew the area we hoped to be in. Because we were dependent upon some friends of ours to check out any place that looked like it might be a possibility, we began the search, knowing that if this was where we were to be, God would provide a place. And that He did. We signed the papers via computer after Jack and Dena went and walked us through this place, via Face Time so we could see it (other than just the pictures on the web site) before making a final decision.

We have learned that from each move, we learn certain things to be sure to look for. Actually, some of the places where we lived for a month at a time overseas, reminded me of certain “necessities” such as a garbage disposal or dishwasher or washer/dryer hook ups, (which some of the places we stayed did not have them) that we should always be sure of before deciding. Realizing that most places now have these conveniences, automatically,I didn’t think too much about asking about laundry rooms or microwaves. The area we were interested in was built in the 50’s and 60’s and not your typical new Texas house with large closets or modern kitchens. They have large rooms and lots of character, but not all have built in microwaves or private laundry facilities in each condo. However, ours did have the laundry hookups…but…they were in the kitchen. Never noticed that when we were looking at it on FaceTime. My trade off is I have double ovens, which is actually more important to me than having a separate laundry room. In fact, I have got use to them in the kitchen and used them as extra counter space when needing a place to let dough rise, or cookies cool that leaves me my counter space by the sink. All this to say, that this morning, as I passed by the washer and dryer, as I glanced up at the shelves above them and the shelves opposite them by the fridge, I just stopped for a minute and realized that God is just so precious. Because I am a junkaholic and love to keep and display items which have become so special to me, I love having spaces to put out these different things that have special memories to me. Yes, we have scaled down our living space the last 3 moves which has forced me to “reduce and refine” but there are certain items which are near and dear to my heart that I keep until the kids back up a dumpster when we are gone and throw away everything that didn’t come from Crate & Barrel or Ikea. But that’s for another story.
As I looked at the items sitting on the shelves, I began to think back over some of these and how each one has been such a great reminder of God’s love and provision. He is so good to give us things that might seem so small to others, when in fact, these “small” little blessings are just a great reminder on days when we are in need of remembering how faithful He truly is. I didn’t even think to add “extra space” to exhibit important things to my list of things to ask Him for when we were moving here. But, because He does know our names and the desires of our hearts, we can always trust His heart to know that He wants to give us good things, even when we sometimes don’t think to ask Him.
Today, as I sat down to finish my lesson for tomorrows Bible Study, the author ask us to think of a time, when we sensed God’s presence this week. My answer was…this morning as I looked up at the shelves and could sense Him telling me that He loves me and He knows me by name. AND…He knows I needed shelves so I could have a place to see my sweet memories! That’s our God and He is a Great God. May I always remember that in times of difficulties or circumstances which might tempt me to forget that.

Chocolate Sugar Cookies

A dear friend gave me this recipe last week after tasting them at her house. She followed the recipe and they were delicious. However, I wanted to make them for kids using fall themed sprinkles on the outside without the cayenne, so I just deleted it and the cinnamon….I have eaten about 10 of them. Guess my cholesterol count will be back up to normal next visit to the dr. Had been so excited when at last visit, it had dropped 50 points after we returned from Italy, but since we are back home and the baking has begun, and we are back to taking the car everywhere, my dream of a cholesterol count being around 200 is slowly fading.
However, enough about health and cholesterol, if you are wanting a wonderful little chocolate cookie that simply gives you a marvelous chocolate flavor and is a great cookie to mail, then this is your recipe. Peggy, thank you for sharing this gem of a cookie recipe.

2 1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 teas cream of tartar
1 teas baking soda
1/2 teas salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teas vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.
In a medium size bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Stir to mix. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar and beat for about 2 minutes. Add the eggs and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture until dough is well combined. I added about 2/3 cup chocolate chips at this point, but the recipe did not call for them.

*I combined about 1/2 cup sugar and fall themed sprinkles in a small bowl. Using a cookie scoop, roll each scoop into the sugar/sprinkle mixture and place on a baking sheet, lined with parchment paper, Bake for 8-9 minutes and let cookies cool on paper towels. You can freeze them at this point for later use, of course, keeping about 2 dz out to snack on while cleaning up the kitchen and watching Wheel of Fortune.

Soap Opera Marriage

This post is a little different from previous posts. Next week I will be starting a new Bible Study of the life of Elijah from 1 & 2 Kings in the Old Testament.
Looking through the new study book for this course, one of the questions ask is,
What things in todays world is discouraging to me?” As I thought about that question, one of the things that came to my mind are the many marriages which are struggling. It seems that each week brings a new story of friends or acquaintances whose family is being torn apart by divorce. As I think back about my life and the struggle which resulted in divorce and the pain it caused for those in our family and friends, it made me stop and think about things we hear and know which certainly have not helped in today’s marriages. Yes, today’s marriages seem to be so different from the marriages of years past. What I am writing today is part my story and partly, stories of what I hear from friends whose kids are in the midst of trying to either save a marriage or trying to reconcile to the new season of being a single parent. Hopefully this post will allow someone to see themselves or someone they love and know that there is hope and there is a Heavenly Father Who is there to walk with them through what will be a very tough time.

As I listened to a friend the other day talk about one of their children’s marriage, we began to think back over our lives from when we were the age of our kids and what we felt contributed to some of the problems we had as young marrieds.
In the 70’s, I remember watching soap operas during the day while doing housework or taking care of babies. Thinking back over those years, it came to mind that as I would sit and watch, the addiction began that I couldn’t just watch one; as one ended, another would begin and I would tell myself that I would just watch one more. It became something that I found myself adjusting my housework or meal prep for times that I could sit down and watch my programs. When my husband began to tell me that my mood changed depending on what had happened that day on my “soaps” I laughed. But after a while I began to look at my marriage as one which did not look like the one on TV. My view of marriage became distorted. I began to expect my husband to be like the one I watched everyday in a world that definitely was not real. Reality became blurred.
Yes, there were other problems in the marriage, but this loss of reality certainly did not help. I remember a friend talking to me about my marriage and was I doing everything I could to make it whole. Yes, the old saying that “it takes two” to make it good or bad is true. But what was I really doing to help make it “good”? At the time, I thought I was doing my part. I kept a clean house, always had meals ready, took care of the kids and was always up at the school volunteering for anything needed. But, what was I doing for my husband and I? Now, when it is so easy to see some of the things that we now know were certainly not contributing to a healthy marriage, it would be so great to be able to help young marriages by using the wisdom gained through the years.
Looking back, when our marriage was deteriorating, I choose women for my friends whose marriages were falling apart. Instead of choosing wise Godly women who would have helped me and been able to guide me with God’s Truth, I choose the ones who sometimes encouraged me to divorce or would sympathize with me to the point to where I thought it was all my husband’s fault. It is so easy to criticize the younger generations today in saying that they are the “entitlement” generation which thrives on wanting everything they feel will make them feel better about themselves. But didn’t I do the same thing all those years ago? Now, it is easy to see that I wanted it to be all about me and what I needed and wanted.

Also, I did not do “everything” I could have done to help the situation. Reading today’s devotion from Jim Cymbala led me to think so much of our young marrieds. So many make decisions that hinder not only their spiritual growth, but hinder God’s working in their marriages. It’s not only the younger marrieds but couples who have been married for years. When we are facing battles in our lives, why don’t we turn to the Lord, instead of to the world? Why do we think that the world and friends who are not walking with the Lord, can give us the Godly wisdom which will insure that we can truly say, “we are leaning on God and His guidance? We don’t live in a sin-free world and we do know that Satan is out to destroy families and marriages. Knowing this, why does that not make us lean on God that much more? We struggle with daily life decisions. We struggle with daily relationships. We struggle with knowing how and what to do to help our kids have a life that allows them to see how important God is to us.
All these struggles are real. BUT…there is an answer. That answer is Jesus Christ who wants our hearts, our lives and our worship. Why do we think that we can walk in the world, yet expect Him to work a miracle in our life? As I mentioned in this mornings devotion, Pastor Cymbala wrote, “God is ready to radically change things because no obstacle is too difficult for him. Possibly you face a dilemma of some kind today. Maybe it is related to your marriage or a son or daughter who is not serving God. Or possibly you need the Lord to heal you in the realm of your emotions. Whatever the case, remember that we have a God who can “break out” and supernaturally help us. And it all begins when we slow down and humble ourselves in prayer. We must bring our individual circumstances before God, as David (in the Psalms) did, with a yielded will that desires to know what he wants us to do. “Break Outs” begin not with noise and clamor, but with a surrendered heart.” *
Why not commit our lives to daily walking in His ways, read God’s Word, surround ourselves with people who lead us to the Cross, not away from it. Attend a Bible believing church and allow ourselves to have Christian friendships which will walk with us in our struggles. Begin our day asking the Lord to guide us into ALL TRUTH and then use us for His Glory, not our own.
Soap opera marriages are not real. But God Is…trust Him and depend on Him wanting to “Break Out” of our old patterns and expect Him to do mighty and glorious things.
*taken from Jim Cymbala Daily Devotions