Saturday, February 18, 2012

Trying Hard

Well she tries to believe it
That she's been given new life
But she can't shake the feeling
That it's not true tonight
She knows all the answers
And she's rehearsed all the lines
And so she'll try to do better
But then she's too weak to try
~ You Are More
(Tenth Avenue North) 

You can't get to Heaven by working hard to earn a ticket,
and I can't become pure and holy by trying really hard.

It is God who saves, and it is God who purifies.
His grace made me His, and His grace will make me all His.
He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it!
Jesus is the Author and Finisher of my faith.

I've tried so hard, and the results are only failure; but His grace is sufficient for me.
Thank You, Jesus!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

He Would Run to Me?

Humans are slow to forgive.
Humans wait, aloof, arms crossed, for you to walk the whole way to them.
Humans accept apologies with words of reproof, to clarify that their forgiveness does not excuse the wrongs that you did.
Humans take you back with limitations and qualifications.
Humans may remind you later of your unworthiness and guilt.

But when you return to God, He runs to you. Runs!
He is looking for us, waiting. And when we come to our senses and start to walk home, the moment we come into view on that dusty road He runs to meet us, throws His arms around our necks, and proclaims a party.

Would He really do that? Would He run to me?
Luke 15 says He would.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Cooking with toddlers . . . and allergies

No one in my family has a food allergy, so when I eat or cook I pay no attention to the ingredients list. It tastes good, so that's all that matters, right? But now that I have toddlers in my classroom who have food allergies, it's a big deal. Did you know how much stuff has soy in it? Bread, margarine, sprinkles, EVERYTHING!!! What is it for, anyway?

So this week we're studying cooking.

Monday we mixed goop - sounds fun, right? Trust me, it was. =) 4 cups of cornstarch and two cups of water, mixed together (it's stiff at first), makes enough for 12 toddlers to touch and play around with. It also makes a very sticky white mess all over everything.

Tuesday we spread jelly on English muffins. Jam and bread both have soy.

Wednesday we rolled cookie dough - eggless, soyless cookie dough. Mom already had the recipe for cut-out cookies, and I googled egg substitutes. It turns out that applesauce and mashed bananas work great.

Here's the recipe with alterations: Cream together 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 cup real butter, 1/2 cup applesauce, and 1/2 mashed banana. Add 1 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. lemon extract. Stir in 4 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. soda. Shape into roll 3 inches in diameter. Wrap in wax paper, and chill. Do not freeze. Roll out; cut shapes.

Wednesday night after church I baked the cookies (at 350 until lightly brown), and this morning I searched the dairy crisper in the refrigerator for real butter to use in the icing. To my dismay, 8 sticks of margarine met my eye. No butter. I ran to brush my teeth, and carefully locked the door before driving around the bend to the nearest grocery, then rushed back to stir the following ingredients: 1/2 stick butter, 1 pound powdered sugar, milk, and 1 tsp. vanilla. It was ready just in time to put everything away and head out the door to work.

The kids loved spreading the icing (and some of them enjoyed adding sprinkles . . . umm, no, I didn't even research how to make soy-free sprinkles. Really, who puts soy in sprinkles? Oh, well.) Nothing like 12 sticky, messy kids smiling up at you while stuffing frosted cookies in their mouths and signing for more.