Archives for February 2011

Revolve Tour


You know those times that you think you are doing something for someone else, and then you realize that actually, God had in his plans to get your attention instead?  Yep, just had one of those times this weekend. 

After a pretty stressful week at work I was tired, and just wanted to be home for a couple of days to regroup.  But I had purchased tickets several months ago for my daughter Hannah and I to go to the Revolve Tour, a Christian weekend conference for teen girls.  We were going with another friend of mine, her daughter and another friend of the girls.  I knew Hannah was excited, and I wanted to be, but I had that Friday-night-checked-out-glassy-eyed feeling as we drove the giggly girls downtown.  I called Jon at his hotel somewhere across the country as we headed toward the conference and mentioned in a little bit of a martyr-like way with a hint of a sigh, that I’m sure the girls will have a lot of fun so it is good that I’m taking them.

This is the part in my story (this one and many others) that I have to chuckle as I think of God, and His completely different intentions for me than I think He has.  In this example, I was completely convinced He had intentions to teach my thirteen-year old some things about friendships, Himself, and maybe a little advice on “realizing how much your parents do for you” 🙂  However, as the bands began to rock, and the speakers began to share, I found myself sitting there, tears streaming down my face, feeling like every word and note floating through the air was headed straight for my heart.  The topic of the weekend was God’s purpose and plan for your life, something that I really needed to think about since I had been feeling a little lost in that area lately.  Since I have been working almost full time, I have loosened my grip on what was so sure for me for so long….fulfilling my “purpose” as a stay-at-home mom and wife.  It was something I needed to wrestle through with God, and I do not doubt that months ago, when I bought tickets thinking this would be great for Hannah, He knew I would need to be there just as much, if not more, than her.  He knew, in His sovereignty, that I would have just had a major life transition, and that I would be a bit broken at this very point in time.  To rephrase it, I would be ripe for listening to what He wanted to say to me.

I feel like I have to re-experience this truth over and over in my life, but “God is near to the broken-hearted/down/stressed-out/at the end of their rope/confused/sad/defeated….fill in the blank.” And when we are in that place, we can be free of our own capabilities enough to really be able to not just listen, but hear.  I know this, because just six months ago I sat for a full weekend at the “Women of Faith” conference (a big girl version of the Revolve Tour) and just thought it was nice.  I was in a good place then, not too much struggle going on in my heart, and guess what, I left the conference thinking, “Well, that was good.  Nice.  Maybe I’ll go back in a few years.” No tears, no heart shifts….just fine.  And to be honest, I like it when everything is nice.  I don’t want to live in struggle-ville all the time.  But there is a great gift that comes with struggling….nearness to God. 

I felt God say to me this weekend, that I needed to trust him and his plan for me.  That I needed to keep communicating with him, and that He would direct my path.  I didn’t leave with all the answers, but I did leave with a renewed closeness to my Heavenly Daddy, and if it takes going to a teenage conference to get that, then sign me up again!

Sharing The Good Stuff : Cease-Fire


“I never find forgiveness easy, and rarely do I find it completely satisfying.  Nagging injustices remain, and the wounds still cause pain. I have to approach God again and again, yielding to him the residue of what I thought I had committed to him long ago.  I do so because the gospels make clear the connection:  God forgives my debts as I forgive my debtors.  The reverse is also true:  Only by living in the stream of God’s grace will I find the strength to respond with grace towards others.
A cease-fire with human beings depends on a cease-fire with God.”

-Philip Yancey, “What’s so amazing about Grace?”
Bekah, posted this on her blog this week.  It reminded me of how much I enjoyed this book and the wisdom within it.  Thanks Bekah!

Don’t forget to get signed up for our GIVE AWAY!  Details on the Give Away post below!!!

Recipe : Chocolate Dream Whoopie Pies

Everyone loved these!  The cakes are easy and the filling is a little tricky, but worth it!  If you ever need a filling for a cake, use this filling.  It tastes like it should be in a wedding cake.  Amazing!

Chocolate Dream
Whoopie Pies

1 pkg. (18 1/4 oz.) chocolate cake mix
3 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

2/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup 2% milk
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
2/3 cup shortening
1/3 cup butter, softened
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1.  In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, eggs, oil and vanilla; beat on low speed for 30 seconds.  Beat on medium for 2 minutes.

2.  Drop by 2 tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto greased baking sheets.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15-18 minutes or until edges are set.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks to cool completely.

3.  For filling, in a small saucepan, combine the sugar, flour and salt.  Gradually add milk.  Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.  Stir in chocolate chips until melted.  Cool completely.

4.  In a large bowl, beat the shortening and butter until fluffy.  Beat in chocolate mixture and vanilla.

5.  Spread chocolate filling on the bottoms of half of the cookies, about 2 Tbsp. on each; top with remaining cookies.  Store in the refrigerator.

From Taste of Home February/March 2011
Prep: 40 minutes   Bake: 15 minutes   Yield: about 1 dozen

Recipe : Red Velvet Whoopie Pies


The Red Velvet Whoopie Pies were a fun addition to the Whoopin’ it Up Party.  I am not a huge fan of red velvet cake, but I was really glad we tried them.  

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. red food coloring
11/2 tsp. white vinegar
1 tsp. clear vanilla extract
21/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp baking soda

1 pkg. (8oz) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 1/2 cups confectioner’ sugar
2 tsp. clear vanilla extract

White baking chips, melted

1. In a microwave, melt chocolate; stir until smooth. Set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, sour cream, food coloring, vinegar and vanilla.  Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well.  Stir in melted chocolate.
3. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto parchment paper-lined baking sheets.  bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set.  Cool for 2 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
4.  For filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until fluffy.  Beat in confectioners’ sugar and vanilla until smooth.  Spread filling on the bottoms of half of the cakes, about 1 Tbps. on each.  Top with remaining cookies.  Drizzle with melted baking chips.  Store in the refrigerator.

This recipe is from the Taste of Home. February/March 2011

Our Life : Whoopin’ It Up!


Erika and I have been buddies since 7th grade.  She and her family live just one street over and Erika is pregnant.  She called to ask if I had any of those ‘whoopie pies’ in the house the other day.  A craving, dare I suggest?  Turning down a pregnant friend is not an option so, I told her we would make them on Friday.  A few other neighborhood friends joined in for the fun and it turned into a good old WHOOPIN’ time.  We made 5 different kinds of whoopie pies!  I got 5 large bowls, taped the recipe by the bowl and off we went.      Everyone went to work on a recipe.  We talked, laughed and cried and made Whoopie Pies.  It was some good old fashion girl time.  It was FUN!  Then we all went home got our pj’s on and came back to enjoy dinner and American Idol together.  Making Whoopie Pies is a great girl friend gathering.  All whoopie pies have similar ingredients, but very different flavors.   I am going to post the Whoopie Pie Recipes over the next few weeks, so you and your girl friends can enjoy them too!

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