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"I hope our words inspire, encourage, and help you to know the reality of His joy every day. I love my blog friends and have so enjoyed hearing from so many of you. Be blessed today!"

A visual feast, a feast of my favorite tastes, and the way I spent my Wednesday

 

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This view was of my evening walk down the road next to my home tonight. Today I was thinking about how in heaven, I think God is going to hold my hand and take me for a walk and tell me how to paint the sky. I wonder what His favorite color is? Or maybe He will take me on His shoulders and let me fly into the heavenlies with Him, and as my Father, He will explain to me the mysteries of the galaxies. Yes, I was actually thinking this. (And early in the morning, I walked another 2 miles. Storing up for the winter wonder land when I cannot walk in the snow.)

I have been working too much lately, and it seems unavoidable with lots of demands on my plate during this season of life. But, very soon, I will launch my new book that I am sooo excited to share with the world, and all the work, I hope will encourage many. So, I still do what I used to do–I go on a walk every day, to lower my adrenalin, to breathe in the beauty and to spend one more time talking with whoever is available to go on an end of the day walk me.

Quiet time and tea, then walking, then working–rhythms that I do not miss because they are anchors to my life. Then,

Joel and I grabbed a coffee at our favorite local cafe–Wesley Owens–where they make my two raw sugars stirred up in my cappuccino perfectly.

I worked on my computer for 7 hours today. It is the life of a writer at times. My soul wants more adventure when I just sit and write, but soon the deadlines will be met and I will go adventuring again.

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Today, I talked on the phone with Sarah for a long time at noon.  Then I skyped with Joy and Sarah for another little while later this afternoon.A good mama would have said,”You girls are staying up too late,” as it was after midnight their time. But I was just having so much fun watching them have fun together and to hear all of their stories, to watch them laugh together and to hear them both agree that their brains hurt from so much writing–but that somehow they are enjoying the stretch.

Someone recently accused me of having made this my goal when they were little–to have my children go to Oxford–that it was my false pride that pushed them there. How silly. For one thing, Sarah got it into her head when she was 12 that she would like to go to Oxford where some of her favorite writers lived. Not my idea to send my children far away from me. When they were younger, I was just hoping a truant officer would not come knocking at my door, and that somehow they would grow up and love the Lord.  It was an unplanned miracle that happened that Joy was already going to Oxford for an exchange and that Sarah got accepted into Oxford and had the money at the last moment. I think it was God arranging an unforgettable memory for two girls who also happen to be best friends–only He could have planned something so sweet.

The only other break I took today was to make Joel, who has been such a help and encouragement to me while he is temporarily home, a pastrami, sour kraut, swiss cheese, home-made thousand island grilled sandwich on peasant bread. All was natural and hormone free and organic, as I am sort of a health nut. But it was amazing, even if I say so myself. His appreciation and lip smacking pleasure made it worth the effort.

Fall is truly, I think, my favorite season of the year. These days have been glorious–sunny but cool, and great walking weather for my incessant need to be outdoors. Walking every day with my children started when Sarah was a baby in the stroller. All of the kids slept better when I took them out in the fresh air—and it made them happy, too. There was no end to the interesting things they could see and just being outdoors made them more settled and happier as babies and it gave me, the over-stimulated mama, a rest from the messes inside.

This week, I have been working out some of the bugs on the audio, so that my old messages will be easier to listen to once the bugs are all fixed on the site. Then I will truly go back to having two messages from my previous conference talks a week. But since I did not have anything to put up, I just hated to have an empty day, again, and thought I would just say hi to all of you wonderful friends and share a slice of my day with you.

My sweet Rachael, Nathan’s wife, is coming for a visit this weekend, so I may have to make something special to welcome her. These are my favorite Autumn muffins. A real pleaser. Apple-Pumpkin Streusel Muffins--

(I am a whole grains type and grind my own, use organic turbinado sugar, sea salt, organic pumpkin and apples sort of person, but it tastes great no matter what you use!)

2-1/2 cups flour

2 cups sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup (8 ounces) canned pumpkin

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 cups peeled, cored, and grated apples

1/2 cup finely chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large bowl, combine all dry ingredients and mix well. In medium bowl combine eggs, pumpkin, and oil; add to dry ingredients, stir until just moistened. Add apples and nuts. Fill well-greased muffin tins about 3/4 full.

Make streusel topping, mix:

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons flour

1 tablespoon butter

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Sprinkle topping liberally over the tops of the muffins. (You can double the streusel topping if you want more for the muffins.) Bake 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes and remove from pans to wire racks. Makes 18-24 muffins.

Perfect for autumn!

IMG_1491Another photo of the sunset today. God painted the sky for Joel and me to enjoy and I am grateful.

And now, I am off to sleep.

Wishing you a lovely Thursday. How have you been spending your days?

 

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