What do you want out of life this season? This was a question our pastor posed from the pulpit. She encouraged the people not to be domesticated christians, but to be vibrant Holy Spirit filled warriors. As I sat there and thought, my mind drew a blank. What did I want out of life this season?
Later that night I reminisced about pastor’s thoughts and the spiritual gifting test I had taken. Gift of Faith it read as my number one gifting. The definition read “ It carries the notion of confidence, certainty, trust, strength, and assurance. The gift of faith is rooted in one’s saving faith in Christ and the trust that comes through a close relationship with the Savior. Those with this gift have a trust and confidence in God that allows them to live boldly for Him and manifest that faith in mighty ways. The apostles moved in faith when they spoke for the lame to get up and walk, they just believed.”
Warrior, confidence, strength – yeah that test pegged me wrong. I cannot be bold I thought…my life has been anything but “domesticated”. They do not know me. In fact at times, people have told me my life has been “too much” for any one person.
After all, I have experienced death & loss, and the murder of family. I have lived among drug addicts, alcoholics, witches and christians alike. I have lived in poverty, lied, cheated and stolen – I have been abused, strangled, beaten and raped. I have experienced the brokenness of almost every dream, and the brokenness of the foster care system. I have had the joy of adopting – twice. I knew the voices of depression, anorexia, and suicide and yet overcame.
I understand the pain and sacrifice to advocate for special needs children. I have seen the blind healed and disappearance of cancer from my body. I have experienced pain of miscarriage, and rejection. I understand the harshness of the world against teen mothers. I know how jaded the world can be against ethically diverse families. I have waited countless nights for God to heal my husband and finally see him saved. I sat alone praying night after night and cried enough tears to fill 100 mason jars.
I have gone through all this and more…..BUT, me a warrior, no, definitely not. A warrior is trained and ready. They know the fight. They have strategy. That was not me. It wasn’t until I took inventory of my life that I realized the purpose of the experiences. The enemy threw almost everything he could at me to grind out my faith. Even some my own family have questioned why I still clung to hope. “After all you have been through how can you still believe there is a God?” Even though I suffered, some say unimaginable pain, at times- lived more life then most would ever see in one lifetime before the age of 35 – I never stopped believing. I guess the simple fact that I endured and didn’t give up makes me a warrior. God my strategy.
Jesus said : Do not be afraid – Just Believe.Mark 5:36
I began to smile then laugh at the simplicity of it – Like the Grinch in the last scene of the movie “It came – It came just the same…” Prehaps confidence in faith -I thought- just like the grinch – isn’t something I do…. or even confidence in myself (goodness knows I need to work on that) but something “I AM.” – ( more specifically – I AM that I AM)
Then suddenly like the grinch my heart was filled with joy- I understood the purpose of the pain and that it had only strengthened faith and the scripture “Therefore brothers and sisters, Count it all joy when you meet various trials” (~ James 1:2. ) It all made complete sense. He already brought me through all that – I knew that. What else is there really? I never had to DO anything except believe that He would do it.
Me with no great talent, me the work in progress, me with no “warrior” skills, me the “lack lustre prayer”, me the hot mess mom. I could believe. That is something I CAN do. Something I have been doing it all along- He pulled me through – He will do it again if needed. All I need to do is have confidence HE can do the impossible – not worry how I will get there.
What do you want out of life this season? I want to JUST BELIEVE!
Apple & Honey Turnovers – Originally Posted by Gingered Whisk
I love turnovers they are easy but showy. I always keep a stash of puff pastry in my deep freeze. These can be whipped up with any home canned pie filling but we enjoy this – honey & apple blend- that I found on the Gingered Whisk. Pop over to her site to find an easy home made puff pastry too!
- 1 pkg puff pastry thawed
- 4 Granny Smith Apples
- ½ cup good quality honey
- 4 TBSP unsalted butter
- 3 TBSP chopped fresh thyme
- ½ tsp vanilla paste
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tb cornstarch
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp milk
- Core and dice the apples.
- Heat the honey in a large skillet over medium-low heat until simmering.
- Add the apples, thyme, and butter.
- Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, or until the apples are slightly soft and caramelized looking.
- Mix 1 tb of cornstarch with the pan juices cook on med low until thickened
- Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla paste, ginger, and salt.
- Allow to cool to room temperature.
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Line a baking sheet with a silpat mat or parchment paper
- Flour the counter and roll the dough out into a large rectangle.
- Cut the edges of the dough off to form 4 straight edges.
- Cut the dough into 12 equal squares.
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg and 1 tsp milk together and brush one corner of each dough squash with it (so one corner and the two sides that form it).
- Spoon the apple filling into the center of each square of dough.
- Fold the squares over to form a triangle (so the non-egg washed corner come to rest on top of the egg-washed corner.
- Press seal with the tines of a fork.
- Pierce the tops of each turnover with a sharp knife a few times to allow steam to leave and then brush with the remaining egg wash.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Allow to cool on a wire rack.