Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Of Cars and Colors

This past Sunday Pastor Leon preached an awesome message on prayer that has kept my mind rolling this week.  Not only the conditions for true prayer ~ a clean and pure heart ~ but simply realizing that God does answer some of the prayers that seem silly or  fulfills the desires of our heart that we may not have even specifically prayed about. It is so important to store those special answers away in a "faith chest" in our heart of hearts to remind us of God and His faithfulness when times of struggle and not understanding Him face us.
I was reminded of the way God specifically answers prayers in many ways already this week and thought some of them were to good not to share.
Lowell has been needing another truck as his is getting pretty rusty and because of its age is requiring more and more work.  He has been browsing trucks on Ebay for probably close to a year and finally found one that is pretty much exactly what he wanted.  Not only is it 4 door, it has big mirrors perfect for pulling the camper, and it has a bigger motor (mundane details to me right?!) But the clincher to me was the color.  Lowell has always liked white and guess what color the "new" truck is?! WHITE!  Now I am not saying he sat there and specifically told God about each of these details but he did mention them frequently to me so (I like to think) God having over heard them worked it all out and even threw in a great price as part of the deal.

I don't have a good picture of the truck yet but I was having fun with the camera and its night settings ;)

With the neat answers to prayer I have been conscious of this week I had to think back to one of my first distinct memories where I grasped the fact that God simply likes to bless us with the desires of our hearts.  I was 18 and in the market for my first car.  I happened to be in love with the color burgandy and remember specifically kneeling by my bed and earnestly asking God to help me find the right car. At the end of the prayer I remember almost feeling embarrassed as I added this line "and God, if you wouldn't mind, could you possibly have the car be burgandy?"  I lay down and went to sleep with a sense of excitement and just knew God was going to take care of it all.  I don't remember how long it took but one day we found THE car in the local paper and I excitedly made the call.  Not only was it perfect, it was from someone I knew in a round about way who happened to be local youth pastors and who understood my great excitement when at the end of the conversation I hesitantly asked what color it was.  The man paused and said "well it's kind of reddish, burgandy I would call it"  That sealed the deal and the car was mine indeed.

My faithful first and very burgandy car!

In the old testament after the children of Israel won a war with the dreaded Philistines Samuel took a giant rock and set it out for all to see and called it the Rock Ebenezer meaning the rock of help, because they had prayed earnestly to God for his help and He had indeed rescued them in a very difficult time.
It is my hope that my children will grow to come to faith in this amazing God and that they will always know and acknowledge how capable He is of answering the prayers of our hearts, even the ones that are beyond the necessary and that our family's Rock Ebenezers will remain strong reminders for future generations of Millers.
God is so good to honor the small details of our lives! I don't always understand his way of answering or his timing and why simple things like the colors of a car are honored while those around us struggle with big mountains like chemo and cancer and 2nd open heart surgeries but I know He is good and has the best interest of all of us close to HIS heart. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Super Delicious (& Healthy) Honey Applesauce Bars

I came across an absolutely amazing-to-good-to-keep-to-myself recipe today.  I was on a search for a way to utilize my freshly ground whole wheat and also use honey as I am completely out of sugar right now.
Years ago my mom gave me the cookbook, Cooking with Wisdom, which I have to admit I rarely use as it is almost to "healthy" oriented for my personal tastes (I love chocolate--carob doesn't cut it!)

However the recipe for Applesauce cookies stuck out to me as one that might be ok, did some revisions, added frosting and WOWZA!  It was a huge hit with the kidos and blew my diet for the day too!

Here is the recipe:

  • 1c honey
  • 1/2 c butter
  • Blend well then add:
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 c unsweetened applesauce
  • Sift together and add:
  • 2 1/2 c freshly ground whole wheat (I used soft white wheat berries that are excellent for pastries)
  • 1/2 t salt
  • 1 t bkg soda
  • 1/2 t bkg pwd
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 t vanilla
  • Mix well and pour into jelly roll pan (12 x 15) and bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • cool and frost with:
  • 1 - 8 oz cream cheese ( I used Nancy's organics with probiotics)
  • 1/2 c butter
  • 2-3 c pwd sugar (dependent on how thick you like your frosting)

Yum Yum and more Yum! 
Grab a glass of milk (which ever you prefer-some of mine had almond and some had regular ole cow's milk) & ENJOY!

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Tribute to my Siblings

When my parents first married, the doctor told my mother she would not be able to get pregnant.  Much to their delight, the doctor was wrong and I was born 1 month after their first anniversary.
Two years later my sister Janice was born and then came our only brother, Steven and finally my baby sister Rhoda who made her appearance when I was just a month shy of my 12th birthday.

Yup, I'll probably get in big trouble for this one ;)

Janice and I were inseparable doing pretty much everything together.  We shared a room and pretty much everything else till I went off to Rosedale Bible College after I graduated from High school.
Most all of my memories have some connection to something I did with her from music we snuck around and listened to, to being on the basketball team, to favorite foods we shared (she can make a mean Mississippi Mud cake).  We sang together, me singing alto or lead and playing my guitar and her harmonizing with her beautiful high tenor. Of course we had our fights like all siblings do, especially since we were close in age.  (One not so lucky Raggedy Andy lost his leg in one of those spats).

She probably wasn't more then 7 when I remember her declaring she was going to grow up and live in the city which she indeed did.  She is a successful woman in the corporate world.  I couldn't be prouder of who she has become.  She is the official family peacemaker and keeps us all grounded with her wit and wisdom.

I wasn't to sure about Steven when he joined our family soon after my 5th birthday.  Up until that point, Janice and I each had 1 parent "to ourselves" and I was firmly planted in my role of daddy's girl. 
 Soon tho legos and lincoln logs and all things boy became a pleasant part of daily life and I grew quite fond of that little brother. 

who can resist such a cutie?

I wasn't to happy about his love of squirrel hunting and the fact that we had to at least taste the gravy mom prepared with his prize catch however it was obviously part of preparation for being a hunter's wife.  
He got us in trouble too with his precious "Sheila pickles", mom's homemade dills which Janice and I despised and didn't have to eat till we decided to pepper the jar with specks of tolit paper in hopes of making them un-edible.  He tattled and that night Janice & I ate pickles (ugggh!)
We are very different, Steven & I, but he is balance and grounding, bringing common sense to our very estrogen dominated family.  He taught himself to play guitar and has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard.  As adults now, I am honored to also have him as a friend.

Rhoda was a pleasant surprise and welcome addition to our family.  She came along 6 years after Steven and it was such fun to have a baby in the house.  I left home when she was 4 so I missed a lot of her growing up.  Strangely my oldest, Kali  is much as I remember Rhoda.  And like mothers for generations past I am constantly slipping up and calling Kali by Rhoda's name.

no mistaking this is my family...I have actually had the fleeting thought "this is Kali" 

  Being so far apart in age had us on different pages until she got married and we shared the fun of pregnancy together.  Our babies were born 5 weeks apart.  Talk about bonding.

 Yes, I was large as a whale and she trim, fit and glowing.  

She is a vivacious, talented, full of life and is a great  mama to my 2 precious nephews.She also happens to be one of my dearest friends.  

This spring when  mom was ill, our bond as siblings grew deeper and more concrete then I imagined possible.  Certain of them may kill me for posting about them on a public blog but hey they are my family and one of the biggest blessings in my life.  What's not to share about that?!

My brother's old convertible

Steven's beautiful, amazing photographer, girlfriend, Evonda recently captured some very special shots of the 4 of us together. 

Trying to get the brother to smile is nearly impossible


Goofwad 2!

Are we done yet?

The old adage is true, We can pick our friends but God gifts us with family.  
I happen to have given birth to 4 children who in many ways remind me of my siblings and I. I have the same 3 girls and 1 boy.  I have the ornery ones and the grounded ones, the sweet ones and the bossy.  I hope they are as blessed as I am in their sibling relationships and their bonds will only deepen as the years pass. After all siblings are one of the little things that make daily life more special!