My friend and I were tweens when she was given a birthday card by a youth leader. The card had the words "good luck" crossed out. The woman told my friend she didn't believe in luck. We thought she was a little wacky for thinking that.
About 38 years have passed since I was a tweenager (you're doing the math aren't you?) and I can tell you the trials have been many. Have I been unlucky? Some might think so. If I were to compare blessings vs. trials in two columns, the blessings would far outweigh the trials. I've been blessed beyond measure.
Look for your blessings today, write them down. Look for your blessings tomorrow, write them down. Do this everyday in a special notebook. I guarantee your spirits will be lifted.
When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done. Johnson Oatman, Jr, 1897
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Many of you asked for my recipe for shredded wheat bread after reading my post A Promise in a Loaf of Bread. I will share it with you today.
I have two go-to cookbooks written by a woman named Marjorie Standish. They are:
Cooking Down East, published in 1969 and Keep Cooking the Maine Way, published in 1973 both published by the Maine Sunday Telegram
They are favorites of my mother, myself and now my daughter. The recipes are easy to follow, there are no exotic ingredients, and there are interesting notes about each chapter such as:
Baking beans is one of the best of all Maine cooking customs, isn't it? Have you ever stopped to think of the many times you have walked into a cozy Maine kitchen and smelled them baking? All kinds of beans, baked in all sorts of ways and by all kinds of fuel.
There are two other booklet style cookbooks that she wrote which I have. One is a how to guide for making chowders and stews, and the other for cooking seafood.
My husband, who was raised by his grandparents, speaks fondly of his grandmother's cooking. These recipes follow her style. There are some recipes however I won't attempt like the Jellied Veal Loaf which does not appeal to me in the slightest.
Mrs. Standish began her Cooking Down East newspaper column in the Maine Sunday Telegram in 1948. It was published in the newspaper for 25 years, and prompted the writing of her cookbooks. Having a degree in Home Economics from the University of Maine at Farmington (then called Farmington Normal School), she taught for five years as a home economics teacher. Imagine my surprise one day when an older woman I know told me Mrs. Standish was her Home Ec teacher.
Now for the recipe as it appears in Cooking Down East:
Shredded Wheat Bread 2 cups boiling water 2 shredded wheat biscuits 2 tablespoons shortening 2 teaspoons salt 1/3 cup molasses 1 yeast cake 1/4 cup lukewarm water about 5 cups flour, unsifted
Measure water, shortening, salt and molasses into mixing bowl, crumble shredded wheat into this. Dissolve yeast in warm water, add to first mixture when it has cooled to lukewarm.
Add flour by cupfuls, using as much as batter will take, until you have a stiff dough. Knead for 8 minutes. Grease bowl, place dough in it, let rise for 2 hours, covered. Punch down, let rise another hour.
Turn out on floured board, whack down, let relax for 10 minutes. Make into 2 loaves, place in greased pans, let rise until doubled. Bake at 400 degrees for 50 minutes. Turn onto rack, brush tops with butter, cool and store.
I would think there might be some (myself included) who wouldn't wait for it to cool before trying a slice, and I doubt you'd need to store it for long.
There are more little gems in this cookbook. I have fond memories of my mother's Melt in Your Mouth Blueberry Cake, and Doughnut Muffins. I'd be happy to share those with you as well if you'd like.
These cookbooks are available on Amazon, or you may be able to find some on ebay or in used bookstores.
Thanks for stopping by Little Birdie Blessings today. I'm appreciative of each of you.
Around the year 1904, a woman named Civilla D. Martin was at home confined to bed due to illness.While her husband was away one day preaching, she wrote the hymn God Will Take Care of You. When he returned home, she gave the words to him. He sat down at his organ and wrote the music.
I’m sure this hymn has impacted many lives, and to this day still does, including my own. One man in particular, about 25 years or so after this was written (1930), was hospitalized with a severe care of shingles. Prior business deals had failed, he was in physical pain as well as emotional pain, filled with despair and little hope. One morning while in his hospital bed, he heard this hymn coming from the hospital chapel. Be not dismayed whate’er betide, God will take care of you; Beneath His wings of love abide, God will take care of you. God will take care of you, Through every day, over all the way; He will take care of you,
God will take care of you.
The man followed the music into the chapel and as he listened, he felt his burdens lift. All worries left him, as he realized just how much God loved him. He later recalled those moments in the chapel as the most dramatic and glorious twenty minutes of my life. Who is this man who was so filled with despair? Mr. James C. Penney, founder of the American Department store chain, J.C. Penney.
Thanks for visiting today. Whatever your circumstances, know that you can look to God for your strength and help. I take comfort I can claim the words of this hymn as my own.
Fear not, for I am with you;
Be not dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you,
Yes, I will help you,
I will uphold you
with My righteous right hand.
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It was my birthday, and the day God provided for me in a mighty way. My daughter was 4 years old at the time, and I was struggling as a single parent. I remember specifically wanting to make shredded wheat bread. My senses took over and I could almost taste and smell it. Reaching for my go-to cookbook, I found the recipe. I was ready! There was just one problem. I didn't have all the ingredients. Going to the store was not an option. I didn't have funds to make the purchases and I didn't think the store clerk would give me the items based on the fact it was my birthday.
In despair, I sat down at the table and started crying. Not because I didn't have the ingredients for shredded wheat bread. I was crying because I felt very alone and I was tired of life being incredibly hard.
A knock at my door snapped me out of my pity party. It was my neighbor Maryanne, who knew it was my birthday and had a gift for me. She asked if I liked shredded wheat bread as she handed me a loaf of warm bread she had just baked for my birthday. True story!
I believe that God allowed the events of that morning to unfold this way, so I’d know without a shadow of a doubt who the source of the provision was from. God was speaking to me, and used my neighbor to accomplish His task. I realized at that moment I was not alone, not abandoned, and not in despair. He was right there with me. My daughter and I were going to be okay.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you;
he will never leave you nor forsake you.
Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.
Just be nice - - smile, say hello, show kindness, forgive someone. This verse basically instructs us to treat others as we would want to be treated, and forgive as God forgives us. A pretty graphic from an old book can be our reminder today. Have a blessed day! And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32