10.24.2014

HOPE

Hope. Have been seeing and reading that word a lot lately. Hope & Grace. Over and over and over those two keep popping up alongside the call to pray, pray, and pray some more. If God repeats those things that He wants us to get, then this girl needs to be paying some serious attention to Hope, Grace, & Pray because those three are EVERYWHERE I look!

What about you? Have you also been running into Hope, Grace, & Pray? Thought so. They're all over right now. And I am all kinds of glad to see them too. Praying you are too.

10.20.2014

The Brave

There it was sitting in my inbox, an email from a blog writer I follow daily. As a matter of fact, the article was one I had read on her blog before. But today, today it was as if it were the very first time. Today the words came straight from the heart of Father God to mine.

"I've been rejected for my size -- but Jesus, Jesus takes all of me."
The singer on the stage, she says this, her eyes welling, her skin bare right there in her hands.
Then she raises her hands and she sings --
because the brave always keep singing on their own song --
unconditional acceptance always being the one size that fits all.
Quote from Ann Voskamp's post @ A Holy Experience blog

Here's the link for reading the entire article:
http://www.aholyexperience.com/mymail/136041/5bc7707c10485b1f264bc2013d116bc9/aHR0cDovL3d3dy5haG9seWV4cGVyaWVuY2UuY29tLzIwMTQvMTAvd2hhdC10by1kby13aGVuLXlvdS1kb250LWZlZWwtbGlrZS15b3UtZml0Lw

"because the brave always keep singing on their own song" We're singing our songs loud here today. So many words to share that this mama doesn't quite know where to begin sharing her heart. If the plug ever comes out, there may be a word flood of epic proportions:) Also finishing up the book Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge along with a book by Linda Dillow, What's it Like Being Married to Me? Still plugging my way through the series on A Thomas Jefferson Education. Those Thomas Jefferson education books are taking me a while to digest and get through.
 
Singing the praises of Jesus even as I take stickers out of small hands,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House

10.15.2014

Church?

Hey There! It's super windy outside. Want to come inside and chat? Great! Just a second, I have to get Victorious Man of God out of the pantry. He's probably going after the marshmallows. Oh, guess not. He got some dogfood out for our sweet ole dog. Well, that's better than throwing toy arrows at him. Those two are funny together.

Anyway...where were we? Can't remember? Neither can I. Haha. Oh yeah. Church. Lately, well, longer than lately, I've been thinking about church. What does God's idea of church look like? Not man's thoughts and beliefs about it, God's. Wanting to know God's idea of church, I have been paying extra close attention to scriptures that mention the church, especially those that reference the early church and what it looked like. Have you ever done that? Thought about how the first church and the church of today differ? Or how they are alike?

Until the past couple of years I hadn't devoted much thought to the subject, some but not much. Now, however, I am experiencing a hunger rising up within. This is a hunger of desire. This particular desire is not born of the flesh, but rather this hungry longing is of the spirit. Deep within is an aching desire to gather together in the name of Jesus and worship Him in spirit and in truth with brothers and sisters in Christ who too long to be united through God's love. More than ever I want to gather with other Christians, not to go to church but rather to be the church.

I'm done with getting up on a certain day, traveling to a specific building, singing some songs, and hearing a message that is just like so many I have already heard then traveling back home to go through the week just like every other week before. I want More. More thanking Him. More praising Him. More fruit of the Spirit. More God. More Jesus. More Holy Spirit. More miracles. More giving. More healing. More testifying of God's goodness. More being. More unity. More of the Gospel, it is good news. And less. I also ache for less. Less me. Less doing. Less clockwatching. Less going through the actions. Less religious observance. Less flesh. Less human intellect. Less world viewpoint. Less personal opinion. Less hurting. Less talk of the devil's badness. Less complaining. Less taking. Less being proud of less. Less churchy-ness. Just less of this earth and more of God, all God.

Please don't misunderstand. I am not complaining about how church currently is. I am merely attempting to express this longing that seems to grow with every passing day. New wine in new wineskins is something mentioned in the Bible. Maybe that is what I am hungry for? Maybe something else. All I know is that this hunger will not be denied much longer. Soon, very soon, it will demand to be met. What about you? Do you find yourself hungry for more, and less, all at the same time? Is there a deepseated longing rising up within you that longs to be His hands and feet every day, not only on Sunday? Is there a song of worship bubbling up out of your belly? Is there a Holy roar rising up on the inside of you? Are you sensing the call from the Father to a life of greater? Greater because He is the One in control instead of you?

Yes? You aren't the only one. Neither am I. More than one person I have visited with lately is experiencing it too. More, we are SO hungry for more, and less. Maybe we'll pray together? Pray that together in Him we rise up and allow His Holy voice to roar out of us in a glorious wave of healing, loving power straight from the throne of God. Shall we? Shall we unite our hearts together in Him and allow Him to be and do any and everything He desires? Good! Let's do!

In Jesus' name,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

10.09.2014

Sitting Here With You. Just That.

Hi. Been a long week already? Me too, in some ways. In other ways it has flown by. Everywhere a person turns lately they come in contact with another someone who is hurting, someone who is lonely, someone who is struggling just to make it through this very moment. What do we do when a whole world full of hurt surrounds us? What do we say? How do we help? Aren't these the age old questions? They have been for me. An interview I read this morning helped me answer some of these questions. Maybe it will help you too: http://www.chattingatthesky.com/2014/10/09/leeana-tankersley/#comment-587850.

Can't resist it. I've got to stop and watch these three youngest rewards of mine getting themselves ready to gather eggs. Now for the parade of hens that will pass by the window following them. Oh how sweet it is to be loved by God. Daily moments like these are true treasures for the soul for sure. And if anyone doesn't believe in miracles, they haven't watched a six-year-old Man of God swing a bucket of chicken scraps around on his way out the door without losing any of the contents. I'm serious here. There is no way those kitchen scraps should have stayed in that bucket. No. physical. way. All of this, even buckets of scraps being swung in little boy haste is a treasure of love, a present straight from God. May I never forget to tell Him "Thank You".

The egg hunters have returned with their bounty! A tale of a visiting turkey hen joins the daily number of eggs report. Our roving turkey friend Gertrude appears to have returned. I wonder if she will like having new hen friends to chat with during her stay? A family or two of swans have stopped for rest and refreshment on their fall migration route. They along with ducks provided real live nature observation for learning this morning.

Thankful for God's gifts each day,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House




10.07.2014

Found This Food Blog!


Hi! Come on in! Don't worry about the dirt. Just slip off your shoes and leave them out here by the washing machine with everyone else's. How is your morning? Maybe because it's windy. Maybe because it's cloudy. Maybe because it is the fall season and fall seems so warm and homey to me. Whatever the reason, this mama is into making goodness for the tastebuds lately. Not sure how that explains why I went a little bit gaga over a food blog this morning. *insert sheepish grin* Here's the link: https://go.madmimi.com/redirects/1412690876-7370c3d3748418006ac3303f5887198f-224ac47?pa=25511801902 Mel's Place is the name of the blog, and if you enjoy food that is easy to make while also being ultra yummy, you might go a little gaga too, just letting you know ahead of time.

So far, recipes for Dinner in a Pumpkin, Chocolate Turtle Cookies, 30-second Chocolate Turtle Cookie Sundaes, Easy 10-minute Caramel Sauce, Divine Caramel Sauce, and Caramel Apple Cider Floats have been printed off and now await their trial run in the Abundance House kitchen. It appears as if it will be tasting a lot like fall around here. Doesn't it? Lest you are wondering, we are not, I repeat NOT, going to be taste-testing all the above recipes on the same day. It is doubtful they will debut in the same week. Can you even imagine the sugar rush and corresponding crash that would result from all of that sugar consumption? Oh my. Yes, we're definitely spreading out these taste-testings.

Yesterday afternoon some green tomatoes on my window ledge caught my eye. Do I seriously want to look at those things for as long as it will take for them to ripen? Nope. What do I do with them? Hmmm, I wonder...most everyone in the house likes apple pie and as I recall green tomato pie resembles apple pie...hmmm...do I dare try? Will they even try it? Hmmmm, yep. I'm going for it. Out comes the sugar, lard, and flour plus cinnamon, nutmeg, salt, a bit of lemon juice. Children were dispatched the the garden for more green tomatoes and before long a green tomato pie was cooking away in the counter top oven. (The stove oven was full of supper.)

Wondering how the pie turned out? Well, responses varied but all agreed that more sugar would have been nice, ice cream too would have been good. The general consensus was that it wasn't apple pie, but it would do in a pinch. For a couple it would have to be a pretty dire sort of craving need before they would be tempted to eat it again, but the rest of us agreed to withhold forming an opinion until trying one with more sugar added. Oh yes, most of the taste-testers stated they would prefer seeds be removed. Tomato seeds in their pie was just too "weird" for them. Personally, the green tomatoes remained too crisp for me. I like my apples on the mushy side in pie. I know, I know, mushy apples in pie is totally unacceptable and all kinds of wrong, but that's how it is for this girl. For the record, I made My Beloved a coffee cake. He was greatly relieved.

What? Oh, it is that time again. Isn't it? How does the time fly by so quickly when we're together? If you have the time, I think you will enjoy visiting Mel's Place. I'll try and remember to let you know how the recipes turn out. Time for a hug! Want to take some coffee home in a to go cup? Uhmm, I just thought of the perfect warm drink for this fall, non-alcoholic hot buttered rum! Oh yeah, that's what I'm talkin' about. Rich, creamy warmth sipped beside a crackling fire in the woodstove. Can you feel the warmth running over and through you like a soothing balm? Me neither, but I almost can. Guess we'll just have to make some one of these days.

There is a comforting warming balm that flows over me regardless of the season, the presence of God. Whether there is a fire crackling in the woodstove or burning in the firepit outdoors, God's presence warms, soothes, and comforts always. Living for and Living God is the ultimate, the ultimate everything. Praying Him for you this fall season dearest ones, just Him. Here, I'll walk to the door with you. Thanks for dropping in. I love it when you come over. Thank you for taking the time out of your day to spend with us here. It is a gift of time and please know how very much your sacrificial gift is appreciated. There are only so many hours and minutes in a day. To think that you would spend any of those moments visiting Abundance House is a humbling honor. Here's your coffee! Oh! Here's a piece of coffee cake to go with it. See you later! Good-Bye!

Love & Prayers from Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House



10.06.2014

A Fall Morning

Ahhh, dishes are done, floors are swept, Papa and older children are all out and about working somewhere on the ranch. The morning sigh has been heaved. Time to get to the tasks at hand. But first, first some time at the bench.

There has been a lot of pondering on this bench lately. Exactly what is this bench? email? a blog? or is it more, much more? Is it important? Does it bless anyone besides its author? Have I yet again taken a concept too literally? Was this gathering around the bench simply an act that my own heart hungered for or is it an ache in the heart of others too? A hunger-created ache for gathering and connecting not just our hearts but our every day lives in the security of God's love garden? A desire to share recipes alongside deepest fears, needs, desires? What is this bench about anyway? Is it merely a romantic figment of idealism?

Questions roam the paths of my mind much as the wind rises mid morning here on the ranch at Abundance House. In spite of numerous confirmations from God the questions still blow in and brush the walls of my mind with reckless abandon. Ignoring the wonderings is impossible despite the fact that I would  very much love to do that very thing. What is this bench, and why do I feel such a drawing to it?

Oh my. Oh dear friends, if only you cold hear the song flowing and soaking through the house this morning. "He loves us, oh, how He loves us, oh how He loves us, oh how He loves." Isn't that the answer to those questions dashing in the mind? Isn't that the reason we're at this bench, because we're hungry to gather in God and His love? "Jesus You're the center...Jesus, nothing else...nothing in this world but You." Because Jesus is the center of everything, and He in us draws us together like nothing we've ever known? Something none of us can quite explain is calling us to draw close to not only Jesus but each other? "Jesus be the center...every knee will bow, every tongue confess...Jesus...sing that name...Jesus...healing in the name of...Jesus...our hearts, our head, Jesus be the center. It's all about You, all about You..."

Here at our bench there is a safeness, a security that can only be found in the love of God. Whether expressed as the warmth of home, evening's coolness in a garden, steaming liquid in a cup of coffee, cocoa or tea, the coziness of a fire, comfort food, colorful garden produce, new chickens, a duck's waddle, a hug, or a loving compassionate quietness as the other pours out his/her heart, our bench is Jesus at the center in visible form. At least my heart longs for it to be. And your heart...

What is your heart longing for, dear reader? Are you soul hungry for a gathering together in God's love? Do you find yourself moving through your days with a deep gnawing ache for more, more than what you alone can find? A wanting for what you can't quite describe or explain but a wanting nonetheless? Something similar to a fresh from the drier warmth of a blanket but tucked around your heart and soul instead of shoulders? Are you lonesome for the love of friends and family without fear of judging or disapproval? Do you need a safe place of loving welcome?

If these words could have come from your own heart, then please know Abundance House is just such a place, a place of refuge for gathering together. We are gathering together at this bench until God lovingly leads us elsewhere. Some days our bench will be inside by the fire. Some days we'll stroll around the yard laughing at the parade of chickens and ducks following. Other days we'll only have time to zip in and out for a mini-visit. We're real people after all. Some days there simply won't be time to gather anywhere other than in loving prayer and kind thought while moving through our day. No matter, we will gather still. Whether thought, prayer, or blog post, gather together we will. Deep within my heart I know we have been called to do this very thing, for such a time as this.

Other bloggers have used words such as meeting at the bench, becoming an Esther generation, many other words. Whatever the words used, all expressions are singing the same message. All of us everywhere are hungry, hungry for Him, hungry for each other, hungry, heart and soul hungry for more. There is more for us to do, and each of us knows it. Way down deep inside we know the words Mordecai spoke to Esther so many, many years ago are also for us today "Who knows but what you have placed in the kingdom for such a time as this?" It's time. Time to gather, to love, nurture, nourish, and comfort one another. Gathering together as friends and family is vital. This gathering isn't only for us but also for those around us, those we don't yet know. IT IS TIME. Time to allow God to draw ALL men unto Himself, through us.

Will you gather with us still dearest friend? Will you come and meet with us? Will you allow us to love on you in this safe place of refuge? Oh how I pray you will. God and I, along with friends and family yet unknown are waiting for you here at this house of Abundance. There is an abundance here, an abundance of God who is love. He is here too. HE is the One holding us all so gently and lovingly close in His bosom. In Him we are all One. It is in His love I say good-bye this morning. Until our next gathering together know you are not alone. You're not the only one with a hunger of heart and soul for more.

On a personal note, 19-month-old Victorious Man of God sends his love. He is busy watching big sister's baby doll while insisting I need a straw in my glass of water. Mighty Man of God crossed another threshold of growing up this past weekend. Two bottom front teeth were lost. This is an event he has been eagerly awaiting ever since older sister lost hers several years ago. Oh dear. Our dear ole dog has moved from his spot by my feet to a location farther away from the duck decoy Victorious Man of God insists must "fly". Now a barstool is being shoved my way. Apparently VMOG wants to sit beside me and hold sister's babydoll. If only you could see how sweet this little guy looks sucking his thumb with a tiny babydoll tucked under his arm. As sweet as he is, our good-byes couldn't have come at a more opportune moment in this ever-evolving scene of adventure otherwise known as life here at our house. Nap time is upon us. Mama's visiting time is over. Hugs and prayers to each of you!

Until next time,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House



10.05.2014

Just a Thought...

Good evening. The sun has gone to bed for the night. The last remaining rays are almost completely hidden from view. It's the end of the first day of the week, Sunday. With supper cooking it seemed like the perfect time to slide onto our bench for a few seconds. Can't stay too long or supper will burn. Leftovers are bad enough without being burnt besides!

There is this thought that has been twirling around inside my head periodically for several years now. Will share with you before heading back to stir my leftovers. Maybe we'll get to sit and visit more later on this week. Here's a hug just in case the week flies by without another visit.

"If it isn't all about God then it isn't about God at all." 

Praying all of everything is about God for each one of us this and every week,
Abundantly Blessed @ Abundance House blog

10.02.2014

Hugs & A Recipe

Hi! It's still windy outside, though not as much as yesterday. Yesterday was fierce. I brought the recipe for Beefy Pot Pie with me. Would you like it? Here it is. If beef isn't what you have on hand, just adapt the recipe to fit the ingredients you have. Chicken, pheasant, and/or turkey could be used though I might switch out the cream of mushroom for cream of chicken if they are. Venison, antelope, elk, and other red meats could be used with the recipe as it is listed. Feel free to tweak as desired. Garlic is a nice addition. This recipe will serve 4-6.

BEEFY POT PIE
Approx. 6-8 minute steaks dredged in flour and just browned on both sides - do not cook through
2 small cans of cream of mushroom soup or 1/2 of a large can
1/2 onion sliced into rings
4 carrots sliced
Approx. 8 potatoes peeled and sliced or cubed to desired size

Pastry enough for a double pie.

Cut steaks into small bite-sized pieces and combine with remaining filling ingredients. Roll out 1/2 of pastry and place in pie plate. Add filling. Cover with remaining pastry which has been rolled out. Trim and flute edges of pastry. Cut holes or slits in top of pastry to allow for venting of steam during cooking. Bake at 375 1 hour or until veggies are tender.

Unbaked pie can be frozen for future meals.

If a large crowd were gathering, this recipe could be multiplied and baked in a large casserole dish. It doesn't have to be in a pie plate. As a matter of fact, a cast iron skillet makes the most delightful crust. There is just something so rustic and fall like about cast iron too. It looks perfectly wonderful and homey on an autumn table.

Perfectly wonderful and homey and autumn. Isn't that just exactly what the days have been recently? Well, except for the wind. I'm not complaining about the wind mind you. It just prevents a person from fully enjoying the outdoors when it is blowing a gale force. Remember that "No Wimpy Prayers! No Wimpy Praise!" instruction from my friend? Well, it's another day of answer to my non-wimpy prayers! Another day of meals either in the crockpot or ready to go into the oven with time for school left over besides. In our house, THIS IS HUGE people!!! HUGE!!! AND...I forgot to give thanks for the 7 quarts of green beans on my pantry shelves and the 20 plus quarts of dried beans that Not of this World canned too. I did the green beans, mostly. I might have had some help from Not of This World. Thankful for that too.

As we enter the final few days of awe between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, I am continuing to examine my heart along with praying for instruction and wisdom on how to manage myself and home to the glory of God. How did your Rosh Hashanah feast go? Are you enjoying this new Jewish Year 5775 so far? We at Abundance House are. Learning about God's feasts has been so much fun and rewarding. We are thankful He led us to His feasts and more of Him. These aren't Jewish feasts; they are God's feasts. Leaving our bench today with a song. "Praise God from Whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen." I could almost hear you harmonizing, especially on the final Amen! Lovely. Thank you for praising God with me dear friend. Brothers and sisters from the heart, a dear sweet treasure for certain.

Full of His glory and autumn splendor,
Abundantly Blessed

10.01.2014

Cherry Pie Bars


OH Good! You're here! I was hoping you would be! On my way upstairs to tackle afternoon lessons I thought I would drop off a yummy recipe as I went by. Here it is. Hope you enjoy them! Colonel Redeemed has requested them for his birthday cake. They are that good - and easy too! Talk to you later on. I'll bring the recipe for Beefy Pot Pie when I come. 
Hugs,
Abundantly Blessed

CHERRY PIE BARS
1 C. butter softened
1 1/2 C. sugar
1 t. vanilla

Cream together

4 eggs

Add one at a time, stir after each one.

3 C. flour
2 1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Sift together and add to creamed mixture gradually. Beat after each addition. Spreak 2/3 of the mixture into a greased jelly roll pan. Spread 1 can of cherry pie filling over batter and drop the rest of the batter over the cherries. Bake 30 min. 

While still warm, drizzle with  icing made from 1 C. powdered sugar, 1 t. vanilla and enough water to make it pour from a spoon. 

Cool before cutting.