Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal

I think it’s incredibly crazy how God uses the most unexpected things to bring your mind back to Him or to His word. For example: Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal is one of my favorite fall and winter foods. I love it for breakfast and I love it late at night when I’m craving something that I shouldn’t be eating like. . . .um. . .a dozen chocolate chip cookies. It satisfies my craving for all things chocolate, and it’s good for me.

So yesterday I was whipping up a double batch, and as I started running the ingredients through my mind, my mind was saying, “Add to the water, milk; and to the milk, cocoa; and to the cocoa, sweetener; and to the sweetener, oats; and to the oats, peanut butter.” Well, you get the idea. (Yes, my mind talks to me, doesn’t yours?)

And the next thing you know my mind had switched from oatmeal ingredients to, “Add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

I knew the verse, but couldn’t remember exactly where it came from, (and I should have because God has been bringing me back to it ever so often these days). But since God put it in my mind, off to Bible Gateway I went.

The Gateway took me to 2 Peter 1:3-8 which reminded me again that God has given me everything I need to live this life He has called me to. I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed with some circumstances lately, and I just loved how He took these couple of minutes in the morning to remind me that His power is at work in me. I was encouraged to be making every effort to be doin’ the spiritual math word problems. I need to be adding to my faith, and subtracting from my fear. I need to be adding to my self control and subtracting from my desire to eat that dozen chocolate chip cookies or let those unkind thoughts in my brain slip through my lips.

But these verses for me are about more than cookies or oatmeal. These verses are about knowing God and His awesome power at work in me, and in you; and that simple truth makes me smile, and that truth gives me hope, and helps me to persevere; and the reminder of that truth came to me yesterday through my awesome God and a bowl of chocolate peanut butter oatmeal—taste and see that they both are good.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal
Recipe for Two Servings:

2 cups milk or 1 cup milk and 1 cup water
1 TB cocoa pwdr
1 TB sweetener (or to taste)
1 TB peanut butter
1 cup quick oats

Heat these on the stove until the peanut melts and the milk is steaming. Add the oats and continue to cook for one minute. Cover for 5 minutes or so. Then put some in a bowl. I add more cold milk to mine. Enjoy.

**I also usually add some mashed banana to mine while cooking.
**You can use PB2 for fat free peanut butter, but add a little extra water if you do.
It’s good cold too. But not lukewarm. If you eat it lukewarm, you’ll want to spit it out of your mouth. (Not really)

Words with Friends

Words with Friends…oh yeah….I”m there. I love this game.  When I first began playing it however, I innocently thought it was just a game. You know, just something you played, well, with friends, for fun. . . for pleasure. . . for connection. Well, hello Dawn! Wake up and smell the oatmeal!! I WAS SO WRONG!  This game is about strategy, and cunning, and domination–at least to some people I play.  I learned that you can’t just play your word, you have to play your word  to block your friend from making plays. You need to cut them off from getting ahead.  You need to hold back until just the right time and then make your move.  You need to take advantage of every double letter, triple word score combination you can until the last QAT is played. And then, you post your domination to the world on facebook!!!!

This month our children’s minstry is learning about self control. . . .doing what you should do, not what you want to do. And this past week our lesson has been about our words–which has had our kids thinking a lot about words with friends. So, of course I have been thinking about words with friends.  Not as in the game, but as in our lives.  Our kids have revealed how easy it is for real life to become like the game. One minute you are friends, the next opponents. One minute you are just having fun and somehow the next you have planned out a strategy to bring them down.  The effects of insecurity, pride and self centeredness take over and we lose all self control  finding ourselves belittling, gossiping, or  controlling those we love for our own protection and self interest.  But, it’s not just kids who have that struggle, now is it?

Scripture has more than 400 references to the word “words.”  We speak them, twist them, repeat them, hear them, fix them on our hearts, recite them, uphold them, fulfill them and take them to heart.  We confirm them, mark them, despise them, deny them, search for them and test them. They can cut, ensnare, be spewed, soothe or sharpen. They can be perverse, sweet, seductive, truthful or lies.  And if the truth be told, most of us have used them in all these ways at one time or another.  But when all is said and done, I am thankful for a friend and mentor who passed on these words to me when I was young mother raising our two sons. The cross stitch she gave me hung by my phone for years (before we called them landlines, and most of us still had them!!). It is still hanging in my kitchen today as a great guide to how to choose my WORDS WITH FRIENDS:  Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt so that you will know how to answer everyone (Colossians 4:6).  Thanks, dear friend, for using your words with friends to encourage me and reminding me that someday God would be using my words with friends to encourage others.

If you have a favorite scripture or saying that helps you or your kids use words in an enouraging way, feel free to share it here.  Let’s work together to “encourage one another daily, as long as it is called “Today,” so that none of us may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.”(from Hebrews 3:13)  and if you ever have the time maybe we can get in a quick game of wordswithfriends soon!