Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Pecans, A Preemie, and some Peppermint Perspective

Ahh... the holidays. The season of cheer and sharing. I love this time of year!

One of my favorite things to do at this time of year is make gifts to bless others. Every year it's something different, from handmade cards to cookies to oven mitts sewn by yours truly. This year, I've made spiced pecans and peppermint bark. Actually I am cheating a little because those were my love gifts last year, too. But I figured I had the learning curve conquered and I could just whip up a batch or two for those few special people who mentioned how much they loved it last time.

I was wrong.

Last year's Peppermint Bark,
Sugar Plum Drops, and Spiced Pecans

The pecans turned out very well. I can hardly stop eating them long enough to bag and give them away. I am on the second batch now. If I am lucky there will still be some left by Friday for the party I made them for.

The peppermint bark? Well, just as with last year, the peppermint bark is a little hit-or-miss. You see, it has to be done just right. Try to put the two layers together too soon, and the end result is marbled. Wait too long, and the white and dark layers don't stick together.

But I tried it last week and it worked perfectly! I forgot exactly how significant that was, and allowed myself and my family to eat quite a bit of it.

Then I made it again today... and all I can call today's product is Peppermint Cuss. Because that's all I want to do after watching 80% of the batch split apart along the color line as I was cutting it up. Grr! Frustration. If you would like to attempt the recipe for yourself, feel free to click on the words above for the formula! My advice: use Kroger brand white and chocolate chips, and err more on the side of marbled chocolate.

Beautifully, er... flawed

As my wheels were spinning over the failed batch of candy, two things happened. One, a cheery song from my childhood sprang to my mind, involving the use of the word peppermint.

Apple red happiness
Popcorn cheerfulness
Cinnamon singing inside
Peppermint energy
Gumdrop holiday
When you give Christ your life!
-Warren Watkins

At first I was irritated by this tune that would not stop running circles through my head. I am trying to have a tantrum here, people, and those words are NOT helping! Popcorn cheerfulness, indeed. Bah.

Funny thing happened, though. Finally I sat down and looked up the words. Oh, yeah, they are from a kids' Jesus song. And while we all know that life with Christ is not always cinnamon and gumdrops, some truth remains in these words. Candies and treats are the best things in a kid's world (just ask mine), and that is exactly the role Christ plays when we allow him to be in charge of our decisions and run our life! Yes, you read that right, I am likening Christ to the best treat ever. And that is soooo much more awesome than what I made today.

Guess I will just take these words as a reminder to loosen up and remember the big stuff.

Speaking of big stuff, the second thing that happened today is that I was made aware of a friend's preemie born last week, who is barely clinging to life. Little Lia struggles with each day, just trying to survive long enough to become a full term baby with the added stability that a full gestation brings. I am especially struck by her situation, as she was only due to be born a week or two before our own new one. She was born 9 days ago, yet is still more than three weeks away from what was supposed to be her birthday.

If you think of it, please offer a prayer for this precious newborn in her fight to survive. Her mom is with her, but dad (a friend of mine from college) and big brother have to remain at home, two hours away, through this scary time. Mom is pleading to be held up in prayer, as her words are gone. Me, I cannot even imagine the toll the situation must be taking on the family.

Click the photo to read about Lia at Caring Bridge

As I read through her mama's journal, I am simply driven to my knees. The raw entries reflect the depths to which we sometimes are pulled. What do you do when you are truly living hour to hour? In my head I know God is enough, but I cannot say that I have been tested to my limits as this family is being tested tonight.

And so all I can do is pray. I pray that the Holy Spirit will intercede for this mama, as she has no words to pray. I pray that he will give strength and sustenance to this family as they walk through a wilderness. And I pray that he will give physical healing to this tiny baby, and allow her to grow up knowing the love of two parents who love the Lord.

And I am stewing over ruined candy? Talk about resetting my perspective! It's not worth the effort to be frustrated, because too many other things are more important. Tonight I will hug my babies a little tighter, and thank the Lord for their presence in my life. Yes, a little Peppermint Perspective was just what I needed today.


  1. Okay...I laughed out loud at the new name for your goodies...peppermint cuss. :)

    But indeed, I will lift this precious little one and her family up in prayer.

    Blessings, Krista,


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