Saturday, October 27, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Slow Cooked Apple Butter

Did your heart explode with joy when you read the title of this post? Mine did when I saw it online. Mine finished cooking when I woke up. And waking up to this Apple butter is like waking up in a cinnamon apple orchard, the smell is incredible.
This recipe is so easy, as long as you have a little extra time to peel the apples. I used Gala, but any apple will do, except maybe gold or green...though I've never tried those! I think Gala or Honey Crisp (my favorite!) would be the best apples to use.
Put it in your crockpot this afternoon and eat it tomorrow on toast. (or a peanut butter sandwich)

Apple Butter

  • Apples- enough to fill your slow cooker 3/4 up (I used about 6 medium apples)
  • 1 Cup Agave Nectar (or honey)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cloves (not whole)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • dash of salt
  • 3/4 Cup water
After peeling, coring and slicing your apples, fill your crockpot until it’s 3/4 full. Add all the rest of your ingredients and stir until well coated. Cover and cook on LOW overnight. I cooked mine for 15 hours, about 1:30pm to 4:30am (there's obviously a baby in the house for me to be up and getting it out). Mash it all up and spread it on toast. Must be refrigerated.

It's even better when it's cold out of the refrigerator I think. Anyway, this reminds me of my grandmas apple butter that I used to eat growing up.
You should make this. Think about the smell of the cinnamon orchard that could be spreading through your home!

recipe idea came from:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Doing Your Husband Good and Not Harm

"Remember, we're on the same team."

That's what my husband Ernie says to remind me that in our marriage we should always be for each other, thinking of the other, and seeking the other's good. Because sometimes I forget that, then it's as if Ernie and I are on different teams and things turn into a battle, and in battle you are only looking for how you can win and what will most benefit you. The worst part is when it's a battle, the other side is the enemy. Ugly.

Some friends and I are memorizing Proverbs 31:10-31. The last few days I have been thinking about verses 11-12:

"The heart of her husband trusts in her,

and he will have no lack of gain.

She does him good, and not harm,

all the days of her life."

This catches my attention so much when I come across it, like I need it to be my alarm clock so that it's the first thing I hear every morning, so that I can remember that I'm not going into battle today, I'm looking to serve my husband today.

I thought through for a bit what it means to be bringing harm to your husband, and any husband who is a believer in Christ I think could tell you these are true. It's bringing harm to my husband when:

-I tear him down in front of other people, or talk about his weaknesses for fun.

-I dismiss his correction or I dismiss any kind of guidance in a conversation from him.

-I use words like "always" or "never". ie: "you always get mad" is communicating that Ernie is mad at me 24/7, "always" non stop. Which is never true. So he's left feeling like he's failing around the clock. It's not good to make the leader feel like such a failure.

-Putting the opinions of my friends or family above his.

-Assuming there's just things I already know about, so I don't need to necessarily take to heart if Ernie wants to guide me through like household things, details about the baby, ways I could grow in being hospitable, just things I see as 'woman stuff'.

-Feeling like I always have to correct him, especially in front of people.

-Using hateful words.

Just reading those feels draining, so I can only imagine trying to lead a wife or family and having those things beating me to a pulp spiritually. It will spiritually take a toll on them, it's worse than physically punching them in the face. If I'm doing that all the time, I'm killing him.That's why it's harmful.

Now, for a breath of fresh air (finally). Here's some ways I can be doing my husband good:

-Pray for my heart to have joy when he comes home from work. To be showing thankfulness that he's home with us and he's worked hard for us.

-Doing what I can to make our home a place of rest and encouragement for him.

-Listening to (even looking for) his guidance and leadership in our decisions and conversations.

-Taking to heart and reflecting on any correction he has for me, remembering God uses him to teach me things. Not seeing this as a way my husband is out to get me.

-Look for what he needs prayer for specifically and pray throughout your day for him.

I think when we are practically looking for ways to be "doing our husbands good and not harm", we are setting up an environment for our husbands to grow in their walk with the Lord. And our husbands have a sweet trust in us as their wives, because they know we desire for their good.

So, what are ways you can do your husband good and not harm?