Last week we won the trifecta of Snow Storm Challenges: No water! No electricity!! No Propane!
Praise God for warm blankets!
Praise God for Hope!
Praise God for gas-filled cars to recharge batteries and find some warmth!
Praise God for restaurants that stayed open!
And Praise God for the Electric Company Power Crews, the dispatchers, the road crews who salted and cleared the roads, cut iced branches on electric lines.
My favorite tree fell apart under the strain of the ice! Fortunately, it fell away from the house and not into the room we were in. So many trees broken under a weight they were not designed to carry.
Did you know that if you drink something super hot in a super cold house, you can blow little cloud vapors? I was knitting a blanket for my grandson – and, honestly, friends, I couldn’t knit it fast enough! Do you ever wonder about God’s humor? Does He enjoy a good joke? A little humor sure can lighten the heart in an uncomfortable storm.
God always leaves something beautiful for us in the midst of the challenges. It just takes believing, opening our eyes and looking in expectation! I found it in so many places. Because there was no electricity, there was no internet, which meant schedules cleared to just be with the ones who live in my house! Out-of-the-ordinary one-on-one time. The storm shook us out of our routine and gave us no-distraction quality time!
The ice, friends, it was stunning. Everything was crystal and diamonds. It made me think about how the hard storms have the ability to form something beautiful.
At night about 11 a.m., we had electricity for 5 minutes (still no propane) – and it was beautiful – the light, the sound of the house humming electric currents. Then – POOF! Gone! No little fan humming in the corner. No currents humming through LEDS. No refrigerator humming in the background. Silence in the Dark!
Late the next afternoon, the electricity came on! The boys had heat in their upstairs bedrooms, but the main floor used gas heat for warmth – and no hot water. Still cold – but with water simmering on the stove, the stove on, heat dripping from upstairs in a very slow drip, reluctant drip downwards, we were probably at a toasty 50-ish degrees.
We socked up, sweatered up, blanketed up – and made it. Thursday the Propane Truck came! Beautiful, warm heat! Beautiful hot water! How blessed! How spoiled we are to live in such luxury – because after 5 days without propane – and 24 hours without electricity – and about eight hours without water – what a reminder of the blessings that literally hum along in our day that we so very often take for granted.
The hands and feet of Christ fixed all the broken lines, removed broken limbs, found solutions to water problems – and never gave up to bring comfort and security back to our community.
We were over the moon when the man in the propane truck came! Like Santa at Christmas.
The electricity went out for a few more hours that night. We learned that if the gas fireplace is on when the electricity goes out – it stays on, though the blower doesn’t work. The hearth was the best seat in the house during those few hours before the electricity came back on!
It was blessing to turn my stove on, to bake, to do the daily tasks in so much comfort. It seems appropriate to celebrate prayers answered – and I’m celebrating with my Muddy Bars.. A friend asked me to bake something like this – I couldn’t find the recipe I wanted, so I combined a couple of my recipes to create these Muddy Bars! Celebrate! Rejoice!
1 1/4 Cup (2 1/2 sticks) butter, softened
3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 Teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 Cup all-purpose flour
1 Teaspoon Baking Soda
1 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon ground Nutmeg
3 Cups uncooked Oats (quick or old fashioned)
1 10 oz jar Sweet Honey Fig Spread
1 Cup Blackberries,
1 Cup blueberries
1 Cup strawberries
1 Cup flour
1 Cup Brown Sugar
1 Cup Oats
1 Stick Butter Melted
Preheat Oven at 425
In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Mix well. Add oats and give it a quick mix. Press mixture into the bottom of a parchment lined 9X 13 pan. Brush with jar of Fig Honey Spread.
Top with sliced strawberries, then halved blackberries, next add the blueberries.
In a bowl, prepare the crumble topping: add flour, brown sugar and oats. Stir to blend. Then add one stick of melted butter. Stir until the dry mixture is crumbly. Top the fruit generously with the mixture.
Bake for 5 minutes at 425°. Reduce heat and bake for 25-30 minutes at 350° or until golden brown. Let cool before slicing. I use a square 2 3/4 Biscuit cutter.
Makes 15 Muddy Bars
Remember Me Monday: #33 & Linky
“I’ll make a list of God’s gracious dealings,
all the things God has done that need praising,
All the generous bounties of God,
his great goodness to the family of Israel—
~ Isaiah 63:7, The Message
In the Old Testament, God repeatedly, quietly and loudly, tells his children, “You have forgotten me!” (Jeremiah 3:32, Ezekiel 22:12, to name a few). It’s a heart cry from a father to a child who has forgotten all the love, all the saving, helping, little and big blessings – and it leaves me stunned when I realize our Father, the creator of the universe, who knows things I cannot begin to fathom, who authors storylines that leave me amazed, delights in all of us so much, He cries out, “Remember Me.”
While every day is a Remember God Day, I am inviting you to join me on Monday mornings to come by and remember what God has done for you, for your family. Maybe God sent a cardinal darting out in front of you, as if to tell you, “I’m here,” or broke a child’s fever after you laid it all down at His feet in a 2 a.m. bedside vigil. Maybe He stood with you in the wait of a prayer sent out, or brought someone you loved to Christ. Maybe He healed your broken heart, gave your courage, or you gave Him your dreams as a love offering only to have Him give them back in an unimaginable way. Maybe God helped you survive to bedtime after a crazy Monday, or forgive yourself for missing it with your kiddos –– Whatever it is, let’s Remember Him. . . in a “Remember Me Monday” love letter.
“My mouth will tell of your righteousness,
Of your salvation all the day long,
Though I know not its measure.
I will come and proclaim your mighty acts, O Sovereign Lord”
~ Psalm 71:15-16.
Let us delight in Him by telling the stories of what He’s done! If you wrote a blog post remembering what He’s done for you, join the linky. If you didn’t but still want to praise Him for what He’s done – write it in the comment section. Then visit a comment before or after yours! One of the beautiful things about the blogging community is the relationships it builds!
Rules? Write long or short, a list or a story, include photos or not. Just Remember Him and what He has done, and let the gratitude of your heart guide you. Let’s make Monday so Rejoice, that the goodness of God spills into the rest of the week!
***All photos marked with Muddy Photography or © Blue Cotton Memory or used within Blue Cotton Memory blog(s) belong Blue Cotton Memory. Going forward, photos will be marked with Muddy Photography.