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Sunday, November 27, 2011

God Is The Gardner


"I am the Gardner here. I know what I want you to be. If I let you go the way you want to go, you will never amount to anything. And someday, when you are ripened in life, you are going to shout back across the time and say, thank you Mr. Gardner for cutting me down. For loving me enough to hurt me."

Let the Gardner take control. 

I was talking to a good friend Saturday afternoon about my future. I told him that I was unsure of what to do next in my life, and that I was scared of what the future may bring. I told him what I wanted to happen, and he laughed at me. My friend told me to listen to the talk, 'God is the Gardner' by Hugh B Brown. Listen Here. I guess if God lets me go the way I want to go I will never amount to anything. I obviously need to have more faith, which is another thing that my friend told me. There is a passage in Daniel in the Old Testament that he read to me, it is the story where King Nebuchadnezzar creates a golden image and commands all men to worship it. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego refuse and are cast into a fiery furnace. In Daniel 3:17-18 they say to the king:

17. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 
18. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 

But if not. I have faith that God will help me reach what I want, but if not, I must have even more faith. I have a hard time being without some things. I feel more complete when certain things are in my life. I have faith that God will help me find the things that make me whole, but if he doesn't do it in the manner that I would like, which is most likely, I must continue to have faith that my prayers will be answered and my heart will be full once again. 



"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the thing which you think you cannot do."
- Eleanor Roosevelt


During church today I was overcome with the spirit, I felt as though Heavenly Father had prepared every talk and lesson especially for me. He truly knows what we need. Honestly I am terrified for my future. I do not know where I will go or what will happen. I am afraid, but I will be ok. I can do the things that I think I cannot. For the first time this past week I wasn't hurting. The empty feeling that I have felt lately was filled with the spirit. Everything in life has been carefully planned out for me by God. I don't need to worry. Worrying will not change anything.


 In D&C 101:16 it reads, ..."Be still, and know that I am God."


I wondered what 'Be Still' meant, I think that it means to not worry so much. If I put the gospel first in my life everything will work out and I WILL be happy. 


"Be thou humble, and the Lord they God shall lead thee by the hand, and give thee answer to thy prayers."
-D&C 112:10


Sometimes when we pray to our Father in Heaven we want the answer to be Yes.  We must remember that sometimes when God tells us No, it just means that he has something better for us. A lot of the time after we receive an answer or we are told what to do, we want to know WHY?! Sometimes we aren't told Why because we are not ready to hear it. 

In the hymn, Upon the cross of Calvary, there is a line that reads, 'dying brought new birth'. As we sang that song in sacrament today the thought came to me that Change opens new doors. Without change we will not grow. Without change we would not open the doors that are waiting for us. We would be content with where we are, never growing. We all have a hundred different doors that we can open, and if we ask our Father in Heaven to guide us to the right door he will, and I know that the door he guides us to will bring us more joy and happiness than we can imagine. He might lead us to a door and let us hang out for a while, then kick us out again, but it is all part of his plan. We must look at the big picture and know that with every new door comes hope, and we will be guided to where we need to be as long as we put God first. 

I don't know what the next door for me will bring, but I know that as long as I am living the way I am supposed to then it will bring me great happiness. God loves all of us more than we can imagine. He truly cares for us. He will be there in our times of need to buoy us up. Allow change to happen, and have a little faith.

Happy Sunday :)


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Favorite Holiday Treats :)


I really love all the fun foods we eat during the holidays. Well actually I just like food period. haha! But I thought I would share some of my favorite holiday treats that my family loves during the holidays, or anytime for that matter! Enjoy!!

 Artichoke Dip

2 cans artichokes, chopped
2 cups mayo
16 oz cream cheese
2 cans small diced chilies
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Mix it alll together and voila!  Bake  at 350 for 40 min. My family likes to eat it with triscuit thin crisps but any crackers will do!



(high quality pictures I know. I took them on my phone right after we pulled them out of the oven. And yes, we did take a bite out of it before I could take a picture!!)


Pecan Pie

  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 cups chopped toasted pecans
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
In medium saucepan, combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, and stirring constantly, continue to boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the nuts and the vanilla. Set the mixture aside to cool slightly, about 5 minutes. Put the crust in the oven for 5 minutes to warm through. Whisk the beaten eggs into the filling until smooth. Put the pie shell on a sheet pan and pour the filling into the warm crust.
Bake on the lowest oven rack until the edges are set but the center is still slightly loose, about 40 to 45 minutes. (If the edges get very dark, cover them with aluminum foil half way during baking.) Cool on a rack. Serve slightly warm or room temperature.

Apple pie

2 9” shell, unbaked
6 cups apples
1 tbsp lemon juice
¾ cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg

Sprinkle apples with lemon juice. Blend sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg together. Add apples and toss until coated. Spread apples in pie shell. Cover with 2nd pie shell. Bake @ 375 for 45-50 minutes.
                                                                              

Cinnamon Rolls
these really are the best cinnamon rolls in the world! they take a bit of work to cook but SOOO worth it
Bottom of Form
Dough:
1/4-ounce package yeast
1/2 cup warm water
1/2 cup scalded milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter or shortening
1 teaspoon salt
1 egg
3 1/2 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling:
1/2 cup melted butter, plus more for pan
3/4 cup sugar, plus more for pan
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins, walnuts, or pecans, optional
Glaze:
4 tablespoons butter
2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 to 6 tablespoons hot water
Directions
In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water and set aside. In a large bowl mix milk, sugar, melted butter, salt and egg. Add 2 cups of flour and mix until smooth. Add yeast mixture. Mix in remaining flour until dough is easy to handle. Knead dough on lightly floured surface for 5 to 10 minutes. Place in well-greased bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in size, usually 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
When doubled in size, punch down dough. Roll out on a floured surface into a 15 by 9-inch rectangle. Spread melted butter all over dough. Mix sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over buttered dough. Sprinkle with walnuts, pecans, or raisins if dsired. Beginning at the 15-inch side, role up dough and pinch edge together to seal. Cut into 12 to 15 slices.
Coat the bottom of baking pan with butter and sprinkle with sugar. Place cinnamon roll slices close together in the pan  and let rise until dough is doubled, about 45 minutes. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned at 350 degrees F.
Meanwhile, mix butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Add hot water 1 tablespoon at a time until the glaze reaches desired consistency. Spread over slightly cooled rolls.

Gingerbread
½ cup softened butter
½ cup sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ cup molasses
1 egg
1 tbsp vinegar
 2 ½ cups flour

Cream together butter and sugar. Blend spices, baking powder and soda. Add to creamed mixture. Beat in molasses, eggs, and vinegar. Stir in flour. Divide dough in half. Cover and chill for 2-3 hours or until easy to handle. Roll out on lightly floured surface to 1/8” thickness. Cut shapes and place on greased cookie sheet 1” apart. Bake @ 375 for 5-6 minutes



Pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

1 ½ cups canned pumpkin
¾ cup brown sugar
¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
½ tsp cinnamon
¾ cup oil
7 eggs well beaten
2 tsp baking soda
2tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
4 ½ cups flour
                                                                                                         12 oz bag chocolate chips
Mix first 7 ingredients together. In a separate bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Stir dry ingredients into pumpkin mixture until well blended. Drop by spoonfuls onto lined cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.




Enjoy all these yummy treats!
 Tomorrow I get to make the stuffing for Thanksgiving dinner & I am SOOO excited!
 Wish me luck!


Friday, November 18, 2011

Thoughts For The Day


 I have this thing for words, although I'm not very 
good at expressing myself. 

When I come across a quote that can describe my feelings
 or make me feel better in some way
I write that bad boy down in my quote book 
and remember it forever. 

Beautiful words make me happy. 

I can't properly form sentences without being slightly "hickish"
as my dear friends love to call me, 
so I'm glad other people can. 

Most of the time when I speak I usually end up being 
corrected because I say,
 "have you ate?"  instead of, "have you eaten?"

Obviously I didn't get 'The Gift Of Tongues' ;)

Here is a post dedicated to the beautiful words
 that others have spoken.


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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Beautiful Words

"The only way to get through life is to laugh your way through it.
 You either have to laugh or cry. I prefer to laugh. 
Crying gives me a headache."

 ― Marjorie Pay Hinckley


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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blessed




I LOVE the Holiday Season! 
During Halloween I kept saying how much I loved Halloween & how it's such a great holiday, and now that it's over I have realized that it isn't just Halloween that I love, but really all holidays! 
Thanksgiving has never been a big deal at my house, 
(my parents even left me home last year sad huh? jk parents I promise I'm not mad about it still) 
 but after being scolded ;) for wanting Christmas to come  and listening to Christmas music (oh no! I am just like my mother! help!!) I decided I needed to put more of an emphasis on Thanksgiving. 


My roommates and I even started decorating my apartment for Thanksgiving. :)
Yes those are weeds we found in the side of the road in a vase, don't judge us we are poor. 
















I read this quote and thought that I have so much to be grateful for. I will definitely try harder to be thankful all year, not just during the holiday season.

'The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts. No Americans have been more impoverished than those who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
- H.U. Westermayer

This Season of Thanksgiving I am thankful for my blessings. 
I really am a very lucky girl. I have been SO BLESSED in my life!
 I have an amazing family and wonderful friends. I look back at my short life and I honestly feel a bit like an idiot! 
I realize that the hardest times in my life have been the greatest blessings, of course at the time I didn't see the blessing.
 Where on earth would I be without the blessings that have been given to me? Some things haven't happened the way I would have liked them to, but I'm not in charge, and of course everything has worked out for the best! 


Jeffrey R. Holland pretty much sums it all up right here...



Give Thanks. We have been soo blessed!
Happy Thanksgiving!