3-2-1 Awesome


Last night the church I attend and work for held a little event for moms we are calling MnMs–Monday Nights for Moms. MnMs is just a little something we wanted to start doing to get our women together and have a little fun, a little encouragement, and a little bit  of learning about being, well moms. You know how it can be, sometimes we get so busy just “doin life” in our own world, that we forget to “do life” together. And although we get training for a zillion other things,  we often forget to get a little training in the whole mom/wife/woman department. And since the Bible tell us to do these kind of things (Titus 2). . .  MnMs was created.

Of course (heavy sigh), in a winter with virtually no snow, we got snow and  bit of ice yesterday. However, we were not to be deterred!!!  We were meeting anyway!  After all we are MOMS and we needed out of the house! We had a goal to learn about setting goals!!  We started things out spiritually by baptizing a variety of treats into melted chocolate and our veggies into dip as we prepared for the rest of evening.

We tackled our topic on goal setting (if you want to know how I feel about goals, read back a few posts to 1st and goal). We were blessed to have a phenomenally talented woman from our church lead us in how to make antiqued Valentine cards (Thank you Ms Gaby!). But the pinnacle of the evening for me was our 3-2-1 Cup-o-Cakes or 3-2-1 Awesome Cakes as I am now inspired to call them.

My kidmin coach, Todd, shared this recipe with me. His wife shared it with him. Someone from Pinterest shared it with her. But honestly, who cares where it came from??? It’s just too much fun in a cup!!!!  And, yes, there’s a little spiritual application attached.  Ready??? Here’s the thing.

Take:

One angel food cake mix (see it’s spiritual already–angels!)

One one any kind of cake mix  (preferably not devil’s food-bahahaha, just kidding) I did use chocolate for my demo last night.   And. . . .

Mix them together. Really well. Like with a whisk. In a big bowl.  Store it in an airtight container of somekind.

Then:

Grab a coffee cup/mug

Put 3 well rounded Tablespoons of the cake mix in there

Add 2 Tablespoons of water        Stir it up, mix it up, (I don’t recommend shaking it up)  Although the recipe itself does shake things up a bit!

Cook 1 minute in your microwave.    Hence the 3-2-1 and. . . it’s . . .

Awesome!!! I mean open that microwave door and you have CAKE!! In your CUP!!  Just like that!!! So simple. So wonderful. So Awesome!! Don’t just look at it. . . .eat it! Plain or topped with something like frosting, mint chips, ice cream, whipped cream, peanut butter. . . .I dunno. . . whatever you like.

So. Ms Dawn, you say. I think I’m missing something. . . just what is the spiritual application here, besides “angel” food cake?

Here’s the thing.

It’s simply simple. Some of the best things in our spiritual life are kind of like 3-2-1 Awesome Cake–they don’t have to be complicated. They can be those few minutes spent in prayer, those few minutes spent sending out a card, those few minutes letting someone else in front of you in the checkout line.  They can be the homemade card you made at church for your husband or the Double Stuffed Oreos he gave you for Valentines Day. (Yeah, that’s my man in plaid!) They can be the hug you share with a friend or  the “hello” you share with a stranger. The best spiritual things are often simple, and they are meant to be SHARED.

You see, this simple recipe was shared with me by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them, by someone who had it shared with them. Last night, I shared it with our ladies, and I know they are going out and will share it with someone else, probably today. Now as I share it with you, I know some of y’all will be on your way to WalMart for cake mix before the end of the day and you will be texting a friend to see if they’ve tried it yet! Because you, too, have realized that it really does sound pretty awesome, and you’re thinking, “Hey! All these women (and one man) can’t be wrong!”

Well, can you see it now? What we’re doing with this cake recipe. . .that’s what Jesus asks us to do. Get so excited about what He has shared with you that you simply have to share it with someone else or a couple of someone elses. Or a whole group, or the world. When it’s all said and done, I mean, I’m thankful someone shared the recipe with me, but I’m really thankful someone shared Christ with me.  3-2-1 Awesome!!

Zesty!!!

        Zesty!!! What a great word! It’s so fun! It’s. . . it’s. . . .it’s. . . .well, it’s zesty.  This week I’ve had zestiness on my mind because I recently baked some cookies made with. . . you guessed it, zest!!! Orange zest to be exact. Leah, a de-lightful young woman who grew up in our church and is now all married with kids and baking cookies of her own, share the reciped with me via Pinterest (I think) and Facebook  (I’m sure). Truth be known, Leah has shared much more than that with me. As I’ve watched her grow from young teen to a college age student to a now young mom, she has shared joy, servanthood, conviction, her great heart and  vibrant spirit which longs to live for God.  She is honest and transparent and funny and sincere. She was raised simply, and lived simply in a small, small town, with parents who I’m blessed to call friends and champions in the faith.

The recipe Leah shared with me is basic, simple and pure. Then you get out an orange and get to zesting!!! Just by adding some zest, followed with a spash of juice you get KAPOW!  This little ZEST of orange transforms this little biscuit of a cookie into sunshine in your mouth!! My friend Leah, is kind of like that cookie.  She’s “just a mom,” “just a wife,” “just a small town girl, living in a lonely world” (whoops! lost track there for a moment!) but because of Christ in her, she is something special. She makes you take notice, she makes you smile, she makes your day a little better just because she’s around.

I’m so glad God allowed someone to discover that the zest, that thinnest of thin sliver of peel, when added to a recipe has the power to well, ZEST THINGS UP!  Zest is fresh, zest is fragrant, zest permeates whatever you add it to.  You see, zest is powerful,  and what is so amazing is that is takes just a little. I mean just a little, bitty bit to make a big difference.

Sometimes I think we believe that we have to do something really big, really special, really amazing to make a difference. But I think it’s when we get ‘zesty,” that the real differences are made. A zest of kindness, a zest of joy, or patience, or helpfulness, laughter, prayer can make all the difference in someone’s somewhat plain, ordinary, mundane day. Zest is like a breath of fresh air in our lives, and in the lives of those around us, and that zest reflects the character of our God to the world.

So thanks, Ms Leah, for being a great example, a great mom, wonderful wife, and “zesty” friend. Oh, and thanks for the cookie recipe. Not only was it good, it was good for me. (and my blog!)

Oh, and that cookie recipe. . .you can find it here at http://www.stephanieskitchen.com/2011/05/orange-zested-cookies-w-sweet-orange-glaze/

I Find That Very Pinteresting

Ahhh yes, I have become a Pinterest fan/follower/almost addict.  There are some things I really like about this wonderful sight where I can find awesome things–well, I mean where other people have found awesome things for me, and all I have to do is “pin” them to an imaginary board  (is it imaginary???) so I always know where they are.  I have yet to score a direct pin. But, alas, maybe someday.

However like all good things there are pros and cons to this Pinteresting phenomenon. Here are a few I’ve found.

5 Great Things About Pinterest

1.  Pinterest can spark your passion for God.  Through pics and posters of great Scripture, you can find your heart renewed and excited about the things of God.

2.  Pinterest can show you some great ways to show love to your spouse.  I made a board simply called “Husband Love” and am filling it with things that remind me why I love my husband, things I can do or make to be sure I’m showing him that love.

3.  Pinterest can help you better yourself as a parent.  I love all the great ideas for activities, helps, tips, etc. that I’m finding that relate to parenting. Chore Charts, postive sayings, love notes, winter (summer, spring, fall) things to do with your kids. Get out of the rut and find some great ideas for free.

4.  Pinterest can be a catalyst for bringing back the lost art of hospitality and entertaining.  There are more than a bajillion ideas on how to have any kind of party, gathering, game night. . . .don’t know what to do? Now you do.

5.  Pinterest can motivate you to get healthy and fit.  I have to admit, I get a little motivated by the slogans and sayings and Dr. Oz’s list of foods you should have in your house. I’m eating a little better and moving a little more than I did before.

5 Not So Great Things About Pinterest

1.  Pinterest can fool you into thinking you have passion for God. Pinning a page with a great scripture is not a substitute for digging into the treasure of God’s Word and then living it out. Take Caution that you don’t spend all your time “pinning”, and find yourself stilling “pining” for the One who wants your heart most.

2.  Pinterest can keep you from really loving your spouse.  If what your man or woman really wants and needs is for you to spend some time with them– like really talking or listening or going out sometime–Make sure you aren’t spending those precious moments with a laptop pinning “How to Really Love Your Husband” pictures to a board. Reading about love and really loving ARE NOT the same thing.  And one picture from someone else’s life does not their life make. Yours either. Grass looking greener. . . .start taking care of your own yard.

3.  Pinterest can mess up your head when it comes to being a parent. If you make the subtle mistake that a good parent is one who is doing all the stuff you see on Pinterest you are going to find yourself pinned to the wall, so to speak.  You probably can’t afford all the stuff you are pinning, and your kids don’t need all the stuff you are pinning. Your kids need you, so turn off the computer and go play with your kids, oh, and read the Bible with them. Maybe you can share a verse you pinned!

4.  Pinterest can actually keep you from entertaining. When you realize you don’t have that many mason jars, and that fondant isn’t really your friend, and that there is no way to keep up with the cyber Joneses who live, well who knows where they live but not down the block, you are likely to just forget having the real Joneses over. Besides who wants to have anyone over when you can just pin pictures about having people over. And then you won’t have to clean your house or do the laundry.

5.  Pinterest can motivate you to a false body image.  As far  I can tell, I’m seeing a lot of young (and older) women pinning pics of women who have been airbrushed and eating disordered to fame (I wanted to say  “to death”, which sadly is the truth, so I’m saying it anyway) . It’s not real, it’s not realistic, and it’s not healthy.

So have fun, just be careful little eyes what you pin. . . .