Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fresh baked and delivered!

3:24 p.m. Today's project was first, to bake two of our family's favorite Christmas cookie varieties: "Craisin" (dried cranberries)- white chocolate chip-oatmeal, and mint chocolate layer cookies, more like an iced cake cut into squares. The mint-chip meringues are nicely sealed up and tucked away in a 3 section snowman tin. Lemon squares, a new caramel cookie, and Christmas iced cut-out cookies are still to come, but today was a good start!

The next project, somewhat unplanned, was to deliver a box of Harry & David fruit, nuts and cheese to our daughter's and thus our, in-laws, John and Kathleen Love. We had already sent an amaryllis flowering plant from the same company to Nick and Heather, delivered to their doorstep. It's fun to surprise others with packages that say, "Open immediately!" Adds to the general holiday excitement, which I just can't get enough of.

I hastily wrapped the box while Steve put towels and sheets into the washing machine and got into the Jeep. We had had a great day together, keeping busy with me baking and him dismantling the inoperable wheelbarrow with a sledgehammer. I love the way men can work out their energy with that heavy tool. During my three school board campaigns, I enjoyed not only the security of the sledgehammer in my car as I campaigned in all areas of Riverside, but managed to work off my nerves each time I pounded my signs into the ground! Good for building that upper body strength, too. 1992, 1997, 2001--good times, especially since God had called me to that work of ministry to our city's schoolchildren. There were a few scary times, with our family even being threatened, but we stood up even more. For Jesus said in Luke 9:62, "No one having put his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God." Whatever our ministry is, we need to carry it out, see it through!

We made a roundabout trip over to John's house, crisscrossing the railroad tracks in the Jurupa/Streeter/Grand neighborhood, and gave our gift and got to admire two recent wood pieces he had completed, one made of eucalyptus, one of carob. John then showed us how he uses a laser to pinpoint the location of the drill that is hollowing out a pot or jar. "Now we know a secret of woodworking," I joked with him.

Back on the streets at 3:08, we ran into one after school crowd after another all the way home! Horrible traffic on Central until we crossed the 91, when it finally loosened up.I try to get my errands done and get back home by 2:30, to avoid that very situation, but only God controls everything! The best we can do is prayerfully plan and "cast all your cares upon Him, for He cares for you." (I Peter 5:7)

Earlier in the day, the doorbell rang, and it was our Dewey Pest Control technician here to check the rat traps up in the crawl space. He's done a fine job, and gets over here immediately if we complain of that too-familiar "dead rat" smell. Good thing I had some Mary Kay men's and women's gifts ready to go, because he brought us a Christmas card from his family. It made me think of all those people who make our lives easier and more pleasant, like the newspaper carrier, who gets a gift each Christmas, my speedy and talented hairdresser, who also helps me promote my business. We can each think of those who serve faithfullyand should be remembered at least once a year. As Christians we do give to ministry and missions as our top priority. But the local people we do business with are deserving of recognition too; it's a good witness.
Speaking of a good witness, we were treated to a wonderful Bible study--a live call on speakerphone-- explaining the birth of Christ and how to build your family's Christmas traditions around Him, making Christ the Center of our seasonal activities, at the MK training center in Redlands. Many of the traditions the National Director described were things Steve and I had done with our small children and some, well, it's never too late to start something new, if we can all be in one place at the same time with our kids and their spouses!
I am so grateful for the opportunity and means to give to others, whether my time, gifts, or food, for it is in Jesus' name that I do it. All that I make, bake, or take is from Him--may I always remember James 1:17: "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning."

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