Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mmmmmmm Mmmmmm Good!

I really intended to post this earlier than the day before Thanksgiving but never got around to it. I wanted to share a favorite, simple, kid pleaser recipe that graces our Thanksgiving table every year. They are a southern delight, and are served hot from the oven at a tavern in Colonial Williamsburg. I'll be baking a batch today....

Sweet Potato Muffins

Christiana Campbell’s Tavern
Sweet Potato Muffins
(6 dozen)
1⁄2 cup butter
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 eggs
1⁄4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1⁄4 cups sweet potatoes, baked and mashed
1 cup milk
1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
1⁄4 cup pecans or walnuts, chopped
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 cup raisins, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Grease 1 1⁄2-inch (mini) muffin tins. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and mix well. Blend in the sweet potatoes. Sift the flour with the baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Add alternately with the milk. Do not overmix. Fold in the nuts and raisins. Fill the greased muffin tins 2⁄3 full. Bake at 400°F for 25 minutes.
Note: Sweet potato muffins can be frozen and reheated.

The girly girls do not like nuts or raisins, so I put some batter in the muffin tin for them first, and then add the raisins and nuts to the rest of the batter for everybody else. They also like to sprinkle a bit of cinnamon/sugar mix on the muffin tops before baking.

They are easy, and so yummy and are a great addition to a bread basket!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The encounter

I didn't know what to call it. I knew it wasn't a coincidence. I knew that God had clearly sent somebody across my path at a time I was doubting as a sign to remember that all my hope is in Him. Some might say that it's a small world. And while it certainly can be, God orchestrated the events- not chance.

What am I talking about? Divine confirmation is what my bloggy friend Adeye calls it and I really like that! Her story is great, so go check out her post.

But here is what transpired with me...

I know deep in my heart that God has called us to adopt a waiting child. It is a desire that He has put there. There are so many obstacles, but I hold firm to the truth that He has called us and that it is His will that we care for orphans. I know someday, in His perfect timing, it will come to pass. But it has already been 18 months since this was first laid on my heart and there is no starting time on the horizon. I often get discouraged and then something happens out of the blue that puts orphans or adoption or China smack dab in front of me and I know that it's God telling me to keep my focus on Him.

A few weeks ago we went to Texas. It was an award business trip. It was paid in full for Paul, if I were to attend we'd have to pay airfare and other expenses and that wasn't in the budget and nearly impossible. I prayed for a month that if God wanted me on that trip, that he would provide the finances. A bonus came about that I had no idea was even a possibility right before the deadline to sign me up, and so God said "Go" and I did!! As we were sitting at the airport I saw a Caucasian dad with his Chinese infant. They were on our flight. She was adorable, the dad was very hands on and obviously smitten. I couldn't take my eyes of the pair and Paul noticed them too. I had just been reflecting on how this trip didn't seem possible, but God had provided and here I was. That was just about the time I noticed the father and daughter. I felt Him saying to me "Look what else is possible, too."

Fast forward to this past Saturday. I had a craft show at a middle school in the town where my Mom and Dad live about 1 1/2 hours from me. The show was slow, but my mom and I were having a great time just hanging out together. I looked up and saw a man I thought looked familiar. Then the stroller he was pushing came into view. It was the dad and daughter from the airport, along with his wife and their 8 year old Chinese daughter. They walked right into my booth space! I asked him if he was on a flight to Texas a few weeks ago. He thought for a moment and then his wife said "Yes you were, the first leg of your flight to Omaha." I told him that we sponsored a Chinese orphan and had noticed his daughter. He remembered our brief conversation on the gangway when Paul told him how great his daughter had been on the flight. And then we talked for almost 30 minutes. Their older daughter was 8 and was adopted 7 years ago. They had just brought home Sophia in September and she had turned 1 last week. They had waited almost 5 years in the NSN track for her with a lousy non Hague agency. We talked about China and adoption. And all the while Sophia was blowing bubbles and smiling at me and bouncing all over her stroller. Her full head of hair bouncing right along with her and she sang and cooed and giggled endlessly at me and my mom. (They got quite a few bows for all that hair!!). They left my space, only to return about 30 minutes later for even more bows and more conversation. Their presence sparked conversation between my mom and me that went on for hours after they left. They waited 5 years from application to "gotcha"??? I realized that my journey had begun. It's just not measured (yet)in documents or check lists or payments due. It's a journey in my heart in mind. In the past eighteen months my heart's been broken for the orphan. I've learned about special needs and realized that's the path I want to travel. I've begun to teach my daughters about compassion and orphans on a level that can completely understand by getting them involved with sponsorship and New Day. And I remember to trust that the official journey will one day begin.

What were the chances I'd travel 1.5 hours to a very small, poorly attended craft show and have an opportunity to meet and talk about China and adoption with the same father/daughter pair that crossed my path at 5 AM a few weeks prior and who God used to speak to my heart??? It wasn't chance at all. It was divine confirmation.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Craft show season

And I'm Busy. Busy. Busy.

I had my second show of the Fall season last Saturday. It was outdoors. I usually stay away from outdoor shows after October, but the vendor price was right so I thought it was worth the chance. I opted out of a show three weekends ago due to weather and lost my booth fee. But this time it turned out to be a simply beautiful day- although I set up bundled up in my winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves. My mom was able to help out, and that was great. I have been doing shows for almost 5 years and this was my first time not doing it solo. I have shows the next two Saturdays, then I get a break and then I have two more. This Saturday's show has typically been my highest grossing, so I have great expectations. Now I just need to work on creating more inventory in the next, oh, 3 days!!!


Sunday, November 8, 2009

He knew I'd need tissues

Back from Texas. Yee Haw!! We had a really nice time. Paul's company put on quite the event and San Antonio was a great city to visit. The Girly Girls had a fantastic time with Nana and Grandpa. I'll put together a post about all that later. We just got back last night, so I still have to upload pictures.

But about those tissues. Whew. Seems like I have been sniffling all day. I'm not sick. I'm an emotional mess over the fact that there are so many orphans without a mommy and a daddy. As I was gathering the girls church bags this morning I had one foot out of the car and I felt compelled to reach back in and grab a few tissues. No real need. Noses are all good- everybody is healthy- and I had forgotten that it was orphan Sunday. But He knew I'd need the tissues. Our church only briefly touched on the subject. A father who has adopted from China a few years ago and just brought home their second daughter 6 weeks ago spoke very briefly and then a ShowHope video was played.


My heart has been so heavy, burdened for going on 18 months. I cling to the fact that I know that He has called us to adopt and in His perfect timing we'll begin the process of bringing our daughter home. Until then I pray for softened hearts, for His provision and that He'll continue to show me how I can make a difference in this fallen world. I know He is faithful. I cling to that truth. And in fifteen minutes I'll be watching the Cry of the Orphan broadcast. I have an entire box of tissues right here.