Thursday, December 22, 2011

Faithfully floured

9:10 p.m. Today's project was to make three more varieties of cookies that my family looks forward to each year: cut-out sugar cookies, strawberry jam-filled bars, and persimmon cookies. The sugar cookies now await icing and decorating, the jam cookies are finished and so are the persimmon. Whether I can make a second batch of mint meringues and a pan of fudge await the verdict of time, pure and simple. The countdown to Christmas Eve's after church meal and Christmas' midday dinner is now truly ticking!

This morning, Steve and I picked up a few last dinner items, like potatoes, beef gravy, extra butter and margarine (for some of the 1960's vintage cookie recipes when margarine was in vogue). I've placed the kielbasa and chicken thighs for my French Market Soup in the fridge to thaw for Christmas Eve, as well as the beef roast for Christmas day. Now I just need to remember to get the beans soaking overnight on Friday!

Steve went with me to our organic market Sprouts, and then to Ralphs, but it's becoming more difficult to keep him with me in grocery store aisles. Additionally, since he doesn't appear "handicapped," shoppers in a rush see no reason to give him time and space to move over in the aisle, unless they pick up on my voice guiding him with phrases like, "Come on, Steve," "Stay with me," "Let's move over this way," or "Why don't you hold onto the cart." People give space and extra time for him to move out of the way most times, but they are very preoccupied right now, and we had a few bumps today. Once other shoppers get a glimpse of his vacant, uninvolved, anxious stare they'll grasp the situation, smile and move out of our way encouragingly. God bless the considerate shoppers in our neighborhood--they make my expeditions with my husband easier to enjoy! I especially appreciate running into friends like Kathy at CVS last night, who hadn't seen Steve for several months, since her son and mine moved apart after college graduation. I know that the change in Steve had to be a shock, but she made greeted him, made eye contact, and her friend was pleasant when Steve tried but failed to shake his hand.

I appreciate the calm, helpful but non-pitying attitude the people we associate with, at church for the most part, or in the neighborhood, take towards Steve and me when we meet up with them. I know that they are grieved for us both, but they never fail to be encouraging.

And boy, do I need encouragement, and though he can't actively express gratitude, Steve does, too.
One way I encouraged Steve today, while having some concentrated time to work on my cookies,  was to have him go get some $.49 tacos at Del Taco with his caregiver. The Lord made that a refreshing time for me to build a nice salad for my own meal before moving to the next recipe. While we need to encourage others, we need encouragement ourselves!

In Deuteronomy 3:28, when God told Moses to turn the leadership of the people over to Joshua, He said,

Command Joshua, and encourage him and strengthen him, for he shall go over before this people, and shall cause them to inherit the land which you shall see.

My Sales Director Laurie encouraged me greatly this evening before our meeting, by telling me, "You're going to run tonight's skincare class." "Why?" I laughingly asked. "Because you're a Red Jacket!" Since I came expecting to be part of our gift-wrapping project, that was quite a surprise. "Do you feel like you're being thrown to the wolves?" she chuckled. "Yep, but I'll do it." There were just two guests that other consultants had brought, and the class went fine. It was odd to give a class without closing each guest with a sale. But that's what sales directors do at every Success Meeting--lead classes for any and every guest of all the consultants. I know that the Lord was leading--He's shown me that it's time to step up! I taught the consultants a couple of weeks ago on time management, and it was well received. I was nervous both times at first--imagine being Joshua!-- but God's given me the knowledge and experience, and it's time to use them.

My day of baking was not only productive, but calming and energizing as well. God was allowing me to do an activity in which I feel quite confident first, in order to prepare me for a task that might have made me panic. But always remember I Thessalonians 5:24,  those of you believers who desire to serve the Lord, whether called to do so at home or in public:

Faithful is He who calls you, who also will do it. 

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