Monday, November 30, 2015

November in Review

The beautiful month of November is now past, a month filled with love and warmth, and preparations for our whole family being home for Thanksgiving! It was a busy month, and a glorious month. 

It was a joy for me to write here on my blog during the month! In case you missed some of my posts, here is my collection of posts from November 2015 - click on the caption below each photo to read each post ...

Welcome November

My devotional posts are the heart of my blog. They come from a full heart, as I draw in close to God; taking time to listen, and to share from what He teaches me.

Embrace the Small

A Prayer for Every Day

Created as a Masterpiece

It was good to focus on a few posts of thanks-giving; good reminders to pause in our busyness and to give thanks ...

A Life of Thanks

A Heart of Thanks

I love planning, and love to have a functional and beautiful planner ... so of course, it was fun to share a bit about the planner that I have purchased for the new year!

Planning for 2016

The month of November was a busy month of food prep, and it was also fun to put up three food-related posts during the month ...

In the Kitchen

Make-Ahead Pie Crust

Pumpkin Spice Scones

Our Thanksgiving was extra special this year with our whole family home, coming from San Francisco, New York City, and Dallas, to join those who live near us here in NE. My heart is filled with thanks - our time together was a priceless gift from God. Sharing some photos in digital scrapbooking form ...

Our Family Thanksgiving

And now a new month is waiting to be opened up ... filled with gifts from God, and opportunities to draw close to Him. For He is the giver of all that is good, and the One who holds us through the trials of this life.

Thanks for visiting my blog - you are an encouragement to me as I follow God's promptings to write and share from what He teaches me. You are also invited to view my Pursuing Heart facebook page where I share several times a day ... click here. It's always a blessing to hear from you ... and I pray that you have had a memorable Thanksgiving month!

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Our Family Thanksgiving

It was a blessed Thanksgiving with our family home from TX, CA, and NY - joining those of us who live here in NE. It was all a gift from God - so, so wonderful to spend time together. 

My heart is overflowing with thanks to God, and digital scrapbooking is one way to try to hold the memories close ...

Family truly is a gift from God. We have had our share of trials as a family, times of discord and problems, and I do not take the love and joy that we experience together for granted - it is without a doubt all a gift from God. And I am thankful.

We also were able to have some great family pictures taken, and will be sharing those at a later date ... but for now, I am treasuring the memories of having our six sweet (grown) children here (four daughters and two sons), three of our four sons-in-law here (one was gone, visiting his own mother who is in the hospital in another state), and our ten precious grandchildren. 

Thank You, Lord, for the blessing of family -
each one, a gift from You.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Heart of Thanks

Counting the ways that You love us ~
     at Thanksgiving time, and all through the year ...

  • sending us Immanuel - "God with us"
  • peace amidst the storms
  • undeserving grace & mercy You give
  • Your faithfulness and Your unending love - each day
  • being our strong refuge

  • this beautiful life You have given us
  • the difficulties that this life brings, drawing us to You
  • Your Presence always with us - in the good, and in the hard
  • Your glorious, unlimited resources
  • promises given and promises kept - Your Word

  • caring for our sweet granddaughter Crystal
  • providing the perfect donor for her kidney transplant
  • seven months later - continued amazing recovery for Crystal and Amy
  • how can we thank You enough, Lord?

  • Your care as we helped my 94 year-old father in difficult times
  • for how my brothers/sisters-in-law rescued us in our time of need
  • a season of rest for us after eight months of great trial
  • some unexpected months of improvement for my father

  • blessings of our family - too many to contain, overflowing
  • four sweet daughters, two amazing sons, four great sons-in-law
  • ten of the dearest grandkids - five girls, five boys
  • excited anticipation of all home for Thanksgiving
  • the best and greatest life with my sweet hubby - how I love him

  • this beautiful life You have given us
  • the difficulties that this life brings, drawing us to You
  • how You use both for Your great purposes 
  • Your greatest gift to us: JESUS - "God with us"
  • May You receive all our praise, and may Your Name be lifted high.

Let us praise You at all times
and exalt Your Name together
on Thanksgiving Day
and on every day of our lives.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A Life of Thanks

The giving of thanks,
morning and evening
of every day.

The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
Great is His faithfulness;
His mercies begin afresh each morning.
(Lamentations 3:22-23)

A life of thanks ~
during this Thanksgiving week,
and all through the year.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pumpkin Spice Scones

I don't often get around to making things that I have pinned to my Pinterest boards, but when I do, it is usually a fun treat! This pin drew my attention a few weeks ago, and I decided to give it a try this past week. 

It was a real treat to make these Pumpkin Spice Scones! I haven't made scones for quite a long time - these were easy to make. I also liked how the directions called for patting the dough out into a 4x12 inch rectangle before cutting into triangle shapes.

I used parchment paper instead of spraying with cooking spray, which made for less cleanup - and the scones also browned so evenly. 

As I usually do, I doubled the recipe. Of course! So we had some to try the day I made them, and plenty to put in the freezer to use on Thanksgiving morning. I decided to try freezing them (after doing a google search if freezing is recommended for scones), and found out that they do great! 

Store in an airtight container (with frosting on), and freeze. Let them thaw, enjoy them at room temperature ... or after thawed, put in microwave for about 10 seconds to enjoy them lightly warmed. We had to try thawing a few, warmed them up a bit - delicious!! 

From one of my Pinterest boards ...

Click below for this recipe from the blog:

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Created as a Masterpiece

We don't have to look far to see beauty. The beauty of God's creation, the beauty of what man, made in His image, has created.

There is so much beauty to be thankful for during this month of Thanks Giving, and all through the year. And maybe, if you are like me, we need to be reminded that we can and should also be thankful for how He made us.

As women, it is so easy to compare, and to wish we had more of this, or less of that. If only we could be different in this area or that area, then we would be happier and have more worth. I have fallen guilty of this comparison trap more often than I care to admit. 

And I have often needed to be reminded of the Truth ...

For we are God's masterpiece.
He has created us
anew in Christ Jesus,
so we can do the good things
He planned for us long ago.
(Ephesians 2:10 NLT)

"What if we stopped listening to our hearts when our feelings don't tell us the truth and instead we chose to believe God's words more than our fear and doubts?" (Renee Swope in A Confident Heart Devotional)

I don't have to be the
strongest, wisest, or best
for God to use me.
I simply need to have a
heart sold out to Him,
willing to be used by Him.

You are His masterpiece, I am His masterpiece. Each of us created uniquely, for His great purposes and glory. And we can be thankful, and we can accept ourselves just as we are - made in His image, created as a masterpiece, to be a beautiful fragrance of His love to those around us.

Trust that God made you
just as He wanted you to be,
and then be the best YOU.
Discover and offer
the unique personality traits
God gave you
to impact those around you.

Sharing thoughts and quotes from my journal, as I continually need to be reminded of His Truth. And I am thankful ...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Make-Ahead Pie Crust

These are busy days here at our house, as we prepare to have 24 (yes, two dozen!) family members here for Thanksgiving Day! Our whole family will be home - our six grown children, four sons-in-law, and ten grandkids. With the two of us, and my 94 year-old father, and my husband's brother - we will be 24!

I'm always needing to prepare as much as possible for our Thanksgiving feast ahead of time. And of course, my sweet daughters bring part of the meal, too.

Pie crust is one item that can be prepared ahead of time. Yesterday I took time to prepare a Pie Crust Mix recipe that I have been making for years. 

After mixing up the ingredients, I rolled out the dough for several pumpkin pies, packaged up the pie plates, and then put them in the freezer. It will be so easy to pull them out during Thanksgiving week, fill with pumpkin pie filling, and bake.

The rest of the pie crust mix was divided into five freezer bags to pull out and use in future weeks/months.

You can view the recipe, along with some photos explaining the process of making the mix - by clicking here.

What kinds of pie will you be having on Thanksgiving Day?

Linking up with: