Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Cake Pops Cure All

Sometimes when I'm stressed, I bake.  Nothing like adding one more thing to the mess, right?  Well, during a break in sickness a month or so ago, I saw this recipe pop up, and just by chance, we had everything we needed.  
I feel like she is the Pioneer Woman of baking.  There is nothing I've ever made on her site that wasn't easy to follow and delicious!  So, of course, her cake pop recipe had to be, too.

It was!
I made her vanilla recipe but coated most of them with chocolate.  I just prefer milk chocolate to white chocolate.  The kids seem to, too.

I didn't worry about finding styrofoam to put them right-side-up, so they look different but still taste the same.

Do yourself a favor, and make these!

Monday, April 2, 2018

He is Risen...and Lent is Over

Well, Lent is over.  And, once again, I feel like I kind of failed.  I know that's an issue with pride, and that, in and of itself, needs improvement.  I didn't give anything up.  I was only going to read my Lenten study and pray more.  Guess how many days I even made it with my study this year?  I think 14?  And, I hear over and over again that we need to let Him write our Lent.  But, sometimes it's so hard for me to not view that just as an excuse to not try or a cop-out.  Isn't this supposed to be a period of fasting from the things that pull us away from Him?  Aren't we supposed to turn our eyes and heart back to Him and His passion over and over again and in some way feel that in our own lives?

Instead, maybe I only participated in two weeks of my study.  Maybe I ate more junk than I typically do during ordinary season.  Maybe I even did more internet shopping than I have in months.  And, that plan to not yell at my children maybe even got worse than it was before Ash Wednesday?


I had it all wrong.  I seem to always.  I want to focus on making me better.  I want to correct all of my failings (and believe me, there are a lot).  I want to be less addicted to sugar, online shopping, yelling and failing again and again to make prayer a prominent part of my daily life.

I want to fix me.  

But, I can't.

He can.  But, I can't seem to let Him, and I have no idea why.  And as every Ash Wednesday rolls back around, I give it my hardest try (or maybe I don't)...but again it ends in a way I don't want it to...with a greater inward focus and an even farther distance from He who is calling me closer.

Lent was truly given to me this year.  It came in the form of the death of a grandmother, maybe ten days that weren't infested with sickness (we finally fumigated our home, ha!), and exhaustion.  It came in the form of having many opportunities to work on my patience with my children yet missing them almost every time.

And, in the stillness, I know He was saying, "Little one, I'm giving you so many opportunities to come to Me...to lay it all down and let me envelop you in my love.  Stop trying so hard to do it all on your own.  Humble yourself and come to Me for help.  That is all I want...you...to come to Me."  But, I didn't.

It was late one evening that I was spent and ready to fall flat into bed that I picked up He and I.  I had not journaled, read my Bible, or prayed silently in days.  I really just wanted to sleep but I felt guilty.  And this is what I read...(Jesus' words to his daughter, Gabrielle)

"Keep in mine this prayer, 'Lord deliver me from anxiety about trifles.  Everything is insignificant apart from God whose life in you should daily seek to increase.'"

"With your merit in mind, I wanted you to seek Me in the darkness and to discover Me again in the half-light.  Light untold will be for later on.  Didn't I myself pass through dark hours when My divinity seemed to drift apart from My humanity?  How I fraternized with you, taking upon Myself all of your weaknesses, My poor little ones.  I was indeed 'a man' among men.  And even before my passion, I knew what suffering was.  I loved it for the love of you, My children.  Love it for the love of Me.  I'll transform it into transformations for others, and into glory for you, since you find everything again in Heaven.  So take courage for suffering, My little children.  There are some people who can't do without suffering, so deeply have they experienced how it brings them close to Me."

"Then turn your sorrowful eyes upon Me.  Show Me your sufferings, My dear little ones.  You are already in My heart even though you thought you were so far from Me, so far.  Day by day, try to find Me in you, and there, like very little children, give Me the marks of tenderness that you would give to a mother or a beloved father.  How happy you will be when you have acquired this habit.  How sweet your life will become."

Love suffering.

Love suffering for the love of Him.

Got it, God.  Help me to turn my everything toward you.

My pride fills me up so much that I desire perfection and convince myself that He desires that, too.  And, while I do believe He wants us to strive after Him in the very best way we can, He doesn't want us to do it on our own.  We can't.  And, in thinking so, we don't need Him.  And, in failing over and over, He shows us that His mercy endures, and than only His hands can both carry His cross and ours.  

Forgive me, Lord.  And, help me.

We truly did have a blessed Easter.  Even in my frustrations with myself, I do know how much I have to be thankful for.  Thankful for this faith that continually pushes me closer to Him, for the trials that make me do these inner-critiques, and these seven people who show me what it means to be His. 

We spent the day at one of my most favorite Masses of the year (Christ the Lord is Risen Today will always be one of my favorites) next to Good Friday, ate a wonderful meal with family, and sat back and watched the joy of childhood.

I get caught up in myself too much and in trying to do it all right all the time, but the truth is, I don't even know what that is, and I just run myself ragged trying to be something that is impossible for me.  I'm going to try not to feel like a fraud.  I'm going to try not to busy myself just for the sake of being busy.  And, I'm going to try to let Him regain control of my life...if for nothing else than showing these sweet ones how to let Him love us.

Have the most blessed Easter season!  He. Is. Risen.  Alleluia!