Friday, January 17, 2014

Apple Pie Cookies---------After the Highs and the Lows

So, this recipe isn't exact. I made it up as a way of using up leftover pie and didn't measure, but I think the approximations should be helpful to anyone else feeling creative. And these cookies are yummy! They are similar to sugar drop cookies with the subtle flavor of apple pie. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and please note that these estimates are based around 1/6 of a traditional apple pie.

-1/2 cup butter, slightly softened
-1/2 cup sugar
-3 eggs
-1/6 of a traditional apple pie, fulled cooked
-2 cups flour
-1/4 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-Pinch of cinnamon

1. Cream together butter and sugar, forming a stiff mixture.
2. Add eggs, one at a time, while beating.
3. Smash up the large slice of pie (crust and all!) and add to the mixture, beating it in.
4. Sift together dry ingredients.
5. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture, a little at a time, thoroughly combining.
    -The dough should be quite stiff. If it seems runny, continue to add small amounts of flour until the texture is hearty and, when scooped with a spoon, doesn't slip off-
6. Refrigerate 20 minutes or until dough is slightly chilled.
7. Drop by the spoonful onto lightly greased baking sheets.
8. Bake for 12 minutes or until you can press on the cookie gently without leaving an indent.
9. Allow to sit on baking sheet for two minutes before removing. Sprinkle with sugar.
10. Once cooled, enjoy! : )

Thoughts on the Spiritual Life After Highs and Lows

Life is full of highs and lows. There are those times of elation and joy, when everything seems to just be "right" by our standards. Then, there are those times of tragedy, trial, and suffering. We all have them.

Spiritually, it's pretty common to talk about how "close" God feels in those high and low times. What a blessing that His presence can be so apparent to us. 

We talk about how God, in the most exciting seasons of our life, works so obviously. All things are easily attributed to Him, gratitude becomes easy, praise an attainable standard. He is worthy, almighty, and so good. 

In the same way, when we are experiencing very painful things, we often talk about how God steps in to give us peace and hope. He is our great comforter and healer. The One who knows our sufferings and helps to carry the burdens of this life.

These extreme feelings infiltrate our command centers. When everything is good, stepping in a puddle is silly and fun. When everything stinks, stepping in a puddle is just one more thing to add to the list of ugh. 

And then we live a few ordinary days. We have ordinary tasks, troubles, and joys. There is no infiltrating emotion, just simple reactions to whatever happens. And God feels...absent. Irrelevant. As if He's said "yeah, the boring drudge. You've got this. I'll be back when you need me to save the day". 

Our God certainly doesn't do this. But we feel that way. And it's hard when it seems that the God who has been so active in us has stopped responding. It's the "after" season, when life is just ticking along without major tremor and we're quaking inside because we don't feel like we're really living, at least not fully because the Lord doesn't seem to be there. 

I've noticed in my own life that when the "after" times really shake me up, it's because I've put too much stock in the highs and lows, and given too much power to how I feel. 

My mind is not so much dwelling on living for the Lord when I am caught up in what God does for me in this life. Whether I am suffering or rejoicing, I tend to think more about getting the most out of all this...before it ends. It's an awful thought to consider dying without having felt deeply, because we understand meaning to be tied to emotions. 

And then, these verses, after a chapter proclaiming the Gospel and the risen Lord:

" 'Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?'

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain."

-1 Corinthians 15: 55-58

To remember our place in His kingdom, the presence of our Lord when we feel Him and when we don't; to remember our death in Christ on the cross, the hope of a savior when we realize that we are supposed to give up; to remember our lot in this life, the fears of this world overcome with the promise of the His glory, is to ride out the tides of ordinary life with Christ as the true prize. 

He is always present and in faith we are to remain in Him when we cannot feel Him, despite the whispers of our human emotions, fears, and desires. 

"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." 
-Hebrews 11:1

No comments:

Post a Comment