Candy Cane Twists + Missional Weekend Link-up #26

Candy Cane Twists

These Candy Cane Twists are just so yummy that some get ‘snitched’ just as soon as they come out of the oven!!

I have made these just about every year that our 7 children were growing up. Some years I added them to their stockings. It helped to fill them up!!

I hope that my children think back to the memories that were built around Christmas and don’t forget the most important part; that Jesus came as a baby to save them from our sins. We get swept away with the hustle and bustle and often in the business of the season forget the most precious gift of all.

That’s why I loved these Candy Cane Twists because if you hold them like a “J” they will remind your children of Jesus. Then the red of the cherries will remind your children of Jesus’ blood shed for their sins. The white frosting will remind them that they are to walk with Jesus in pureness of heart as He transforms them into His likeness. A reflection of Him.

I hope this Christmas Season is more than the dazzle of lights, decorations, and gifts piled around your Christmas tree. I pray that you know Him as your personal Savior and that He is transforming your life day by day.

Candy Cane Twists

Prep Time: 50 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 16 Twists

Serving Size: Makes 16 Twists

Calories per serving: None that I know of!! ;-)

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 4 ½ to 4 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast (or 2 TBSP)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (have I ever added this?)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ (½ stick) plus 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup snipped maraschino cherries
  • ½ cup chopped almonds
  • No-stick cooking spray
  • ½ cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons milk

Instructions

  1. Directions
  2. In large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar, salt and lemon peel, mix well. In small saucepan, heat milk, water and ¼ cup butter until very warm (butter does not need to melt entirely). Add milk mixture to flour mixture; add eggs. Blend at low speed of electric mixer until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand, gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until double, about 30 minutes.
  3. In small bowl, combine maraschino cherries and almonds for filling; set aside.
  4. Spray cookie sheets with no-stick cooking spray. Punch down dough. On lightly floured surface, roll dough to a 16 X 12-inch rectangle. Spread with 2 tablespoons softened butter. Sprinkle filling over half of the long side of dough. Fold other half of dough over filling. Press top gently to seal in filling. Cut dough into sixteen 1-inch strips. Twist each strip 3 to 4 times; place on prepared cookie sheets. Curve the twists to form candy cane shapes. Cover; let rise in warm place until double about 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375º. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from cookie sheets; cool completely on wire racks. In small bowl, mix confectioners' sugar and milk; ice candy canes to form white stripes.

Notes

*Adapted from the Woman's Day | Supper Special {Great Holiday Baking} December 1984 Edition for $2.25 :-)

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The Missional Weekend Link-Up Party

Featured Post(s):

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Presence not Presence by Betty writing at Worshipful Living

Are you ready to have fun????

The Missional Weekend Link Up Party

1. Link up your inspiring posts

2. Make sure you link back to your post and not your blog’s home page

3. Link back to here or include our button (below) in your post

4. Visit at least 1 other linked up post

5. Spread the word!! Let’s get started!!!

The party runs from Friday – Thursday and is hosted by these amazing blogs (which means your link ups will show up for more people to see!)

 

By linking up at The Missional Weekend Linkup Party you give us permission to use your image in the event that you are chosen to be featured the following week.

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1. Missional Call

2. F Dean Hackett – Foundational

3. WholeHearted Home

4. A Little R & R

This party will run through January 8th, due to the holidays.

Don’t miss a party!

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Russian Caps

I want to thank Rosilind over at A Little R & R for contributing today for our Blessed At Home feature on Thursdays here at WholeHearted Home. We are sharing about celebrating Christmas in our homes and families as we look forward to the birth of Jesus. Rosilind is sharing a very special post today. I hope you are blessed.

Russian Caps

If there is one reason my husband loves Christmas, it is because I make a lot of sweets. He loves his deserts!

It is tricky, though, because the Christmas deserts I like and the ones he likes are not the same. I love Snicker doodles and Gingersnaps, and he likes traditional Croatian ones – of course. That makes sense.

Last year I made these Russian Caps to surprise to him, and succeeded. He declared they tasted perfectly authentic, and I was happy because they were so easy to make!

Russian Caps (Ruske kape)

1 chocolate cake
1 vanilla filling
coconut flakes
chocolate sauce

Cake batter:

4 eggs separated.
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup hot water
2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
2 1/2 TB cocoa powder

Mix the egg yokes and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil and water. Beat the egg whites until firm peaks can be formed. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add to the egg-sugar mixture. Fold in the egg whites.

Bake in a greased and floured 9×13 pan at 350 for 25 minutes or until done (insert toothpick)

While the cake is still warm, turn out onto a tray or cutting board. Using a small round cutter or glass, cut round circles out of the cake.

You want a dryer, dense cake. If you choose to use your own cake recipe, choose one that is not moist, because a moist cake will fall apart while putting the caps together.

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and slice in half.

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Filling:

1 vanilla pudding mix do not use instant
3/4 cup butter or margarine cut into small cubes
Make the pudding according to the directions and cool completely. Once cooled, add the cubed margarine or butter and with an electric mixer, mix well until creamy and smooth.

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On each half of the cake circles, spread some filling and top with the remaining half.

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Then, spread filling around the outside edges of the “caps”. (don’t skimp on the filling – you’ll probably have some left over)

Don’t worry if this part doesn’t look pretty or if you get cake crumbs in the filling. You will cover the cream with coconut.

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Roll the caps in the coconut flakes and set aside, taking care that they do not touch one another.

 

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Chocolate sauce:

In an dutch pan, melt 2/3 cups of chocolate chips and add 2-3 TB of oil.

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Using a small teaspoon, carefully spread the chocolate sauce over the tops of the “caps”.

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Place the Russian Caps into the refrigerator until cooled and the chocolate is hardened.

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Cake batter:

4 eggs separated.
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup oil
1/3 cup hot water
2 cups flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
2 1/2 TB cocoa powder

Mix the egg yokes and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the oil and water. Beat the egg whites until firm peaks can be formed. In a separate bowl, combine the dry ingredients and add to the egg-sugar mixture. Fold in the egg whites.

Bake in a greased and floured 9×13 pan at 350 for 25 minutes or until done (insert toothpick)

Filling:

1 vanilla pudding mix do not use instant
3/4 cup butter or margarine cut into small cubes
Make the pudding according to the directions and cool completely. Once cooled, add the cubed margarine or butter and with an electric mixer, mix well until creamy and smooth.

Chocolate sauce:

2/3 cups of chocolate chips
2-3 TB of oil.

In an dutch pan, melt the chocolate chips and oil. Stir until creamy and smooth.

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Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls + WholeHearted Wednesday Linkup #122

Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls  WholeHearted Home

What Christmas traditions do you have? There is one very special tradition that our family has had for as many years as I can remember. It takes some extra work on December 24th that is so very worth it when we wake up Christmas morning.

Can you guess what it is?

You’re absolutely RIGHT!

Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls!

I made them for my children since my oldest son was just a toddler and now I can actually say that they are truly Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls because I now have 3 grandkids!!

I make them during the day on Christmas Eve and then all I have to do is just warm them up in the oven and whip up the icing. Gotta have the icing! I even make Sweet Jam Swirls and Candy Cane Twists.

We had 7 hungry kids and after baking over 1000 Christmas cookies to give away (and eat ourselves) I had no intention of entering the kitchen for a few days!!

Grandma's Cinnamon Rolls

Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

Grandma’s Cinnamon Rolls

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 40 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 24 rolls

Serving Size: Makes 2 dozen

Calories per serving: None of course ;-) !!

Nut Filling

¾ cup sugar ½ cup chopped nuts 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon

In small bowl, combine all ingredients: mix well.

Maple Glaze

2 cups confectioners' sugar 3 tablespoons butter, melted ½ teaspoon real maple syrup 3 to 4 tablespoons hot coffee

In small bowl, combine all ingredients; blend until smooth.

*Adapted from the Woman's Day | Supper Special {Great Holiday Baking} December 1984 Edition for $2.25 :-)

Ingredients

  • 5 ½ to 6 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 2 packages (¼ ounce each) active dry yeast (or 2 tablespoons)
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup water
  • ¼ (½ stick) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • No-stick cooking spray
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • Maple Glaze (recipe follows)
  • Prepare Nut Filling; set aside.

Instructions

  1. n large mixing bowl, combine 2 cups flour, yeast, sugar and salt; mix well. In small saucepan, heat milk, water and ¼ cup butter until warm (butter does not need to melt entirely) Add mild mixture to flour mixture, add eggs. Blend at low speed of electric mixer until moistened; beat 3 minutes at medium speed. By hand gradually stir in enough remaining flour to make a soft dough. Knead on floured surface until smooth and elastic, 5 to 8 minutes. Place dough in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until light and double, about 30 minutes.
  2. Spray two 13 X 9-inch baking pans with no-stick cooking spray. Punch down dough; divide in half. On lightly floured surface, roll or pat each half into a 12 X 9-inch rectangle. Brush each part with half of the melted butter; sprinkle half of Nut Filling over dough. Starting with shorter side, roll up tightly; pinch edge to seal. Cut each into 12 slices; place in prepared baking pans. Cover; let rise in warm place until almost double, about 15 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 375º. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden. Drizzle Maple Glaze over hot rolls; cool slightly and remove from pans.

Notes

*Slice individual rolls with dental floss before second rising.

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WholeHearted Wednesday #122

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I am constantly blessed that you stopped by to linkup your posts and share in the fellowship each week at WholeHearted Home. It is a JOY to be part of this community and to connect with each other.

You ladies are the BEST!! There was so much hopping around the each other’s blogs this past week. I shared as many as time permitted on Pinterest…watch my boards to see if your post(s) turns up!

Are you visiting my Facebook page? There is a LOT happening there. I am sharing on my WholeHearted Facebook page things that I think you will find interesting. Don’t forget to “Like” my page and “UNLIKE” it if you aren’t interested.

You Were Featured on WholeHearted Home!

Last Week’s Most Viewed

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Chris over at So Much At Home shares “Linkup #25 with Prayers and Praise.” This is 5 year old Taylor, an amazing little girl with an amazing story.

This Week’s Featured FAVES!!

Featured on WholeHearted Home

  1. Growing Together shared “When Your Spouse Seems Far Away
  2. My sweet friend, Kaylene over at Faithful Feat shared “31 Days In Proverbs” a wonderful resource that will be so uplifting to your heart.

Signup for email reminders when WholeHearted Wednesday goes LIVE!!

Simple Guidelines:

  1. Share my button on your post, sidebar, or in a text-link. Thanks!!

  2. Linkup as many posts as you’d like so long as they are wholeheartedly family friendly, wholesome, and spiritually uplifting and honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ. Go ahead and link your giveaways!

  3. Visit another blogger and show her how much you care by commenting.
  4. Permission to feature your post is given by linking with my blog.

I share your posts on Pinterest as time allows, so check my boards, epecially this ONE.


This linkup party will be LIVE until Sunday at Midnight.


Be blessed and
SHARE and LIKE WholeHearted Home!!

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Chocoholic Lovers Truffle Christmas Tree

Chocoholic Lovers Truffle Christmas Tree
{This was originally posted on December 11th, 2012}

Do you remember life before Pinterest?? I found this unbelievable Chocoholic Christmas Tree when Pinterest wasn’t even a dream.

My recipe is adapted from the 1984 Christmas edition of Woman’s Day|Super Special magazine titled “Great Holiday Baking, Cookies! More Cookies!!”

As wonderful and innovative as Pinterest is, my favorite ‘go to’ cookie recipes are in this magazine. This is where I found my beautiful Chocoholic Lovers Truffle Christmas Tree which I make every. single. year.

When I first got married, I had no idea how to bake cookies!! I started making cookies with my two children (back when I only had two children) and eventually that turned into a marathon cooking event where we turned out 1000 cookies and gave them to neighbors, businesses we frequented, homeschool friends, and ate them ourselves.

Maybe you want to try making this tree or maybe you just enjoy looking at pinteresting baking ideas. Whichever you like to do, enjoy!!

Choloholic Lovers Truffle Christmas Tree

Chocoholic Lovers Truffle Christmas Tree

  • Servings: Makes, Makes  about 3 dozen truffles
  • Preparation time for mold. About 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Preparation time for truffles: about 30 minutes.
  • Chilling time for tree: About 4 hours or overnight.
  • Chilling time for truffles: About 2 hours total!

Cardboard Tree Mold Directions

  • 3 packages (6 ounces each) semisweet chocolate chips.
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (NOT evaporated milk.
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract.
  • 1 pound chocolate confectioner’s sugar.

Truffle Coating Ideas

  • finely chopped walnuts
  • flaked coconut
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • chocolate sprinkles
  • Colored sprinkles
  • unsweetened cocoa
  • confectioners sugar
  • finely chopped walnuts
  • any other ideas you can come up with.
  • water.
  • Prepared chocolate frosting
  • water
  • prepared 1/4 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • Chocolate frosting (optional)

Fudge Filling for the Chocolate Tree Mold.

In heavy medium-sized saucepan, over low heat, melt chocolate chips with sweetened condensed milk. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla. Line tree mold with foil and then wrap in plastic wrap. I find that it is easier to remove plastic wrap than foil once the chocolate has set. I have done it with foil too. It works but is harder to remove all the foil. Fill triangular part of tree mold with chocolate mixture. Spread into corners and up sides of mold to top edges. Mixture should cover bottom and sides completely, about 3/8 inch thick. Smooth sides with spatula or knife. Chill mold 4 hours or overnight.

While the mold is chilling, make the truffles and chill them on a cookie sheet.

To make Chocolate Truffles, chill remaining chocolate mixture about 1 hour, or until firm. Shape into 1-inch balls then roll the balls in the desired coating (confectioner’s sugar, walnuts, sprinkles, or hide a Hershey’s Kiss or other candy within the fudge ball as a pleasant surprise). Place truffles onto foil or into paper candy cups; chill 1 hour, or until firm; then store covered until you are ready to place them into the Chocolate Christmas Tree!!

To prepare the chocolate tree, carefully remove the fudge tree from the cardboard mold being careful to remove all the foil or plastic wrap from the fudge (depending on which you used).  The original recipe gave directions for the base a separate square from the triangle tree mold which was ‘glued’ with confectioner’s sugar and water. You may do it this way, but I have found what works best for me is to make a mold that is one unit. I save the cardboard mold from year to year.

Fill with a variety of truffles and add colorful Christmas chocolates wrapped in green, red, and gold foil for added beauty making this such an attractive centerpiece on the party table or for a gift. It has become traditional for me to give this tree to my oldest son each year.

Cardboard Tree Mold Directions:

{12 inch square of  medium-weight cardboard . . . but I have now made a smaller version . . . so make it the size that you desire}

  • Masking tape
  • heavy duty aluminum foil

Measure and mark cardboard sheet into following dimensions (this is for a triangle upper section and square base) Remember, I made the upper triangular and square base into one unit):

  • Two 10 X  1 1/2 inch strips
  • One 8 X 1 1/2 inch strips
  • Two 4 X 1 1/2 inch strips
  • 2 X 1 1/2 inch strips
  • Two 2 1 1/2 inch strips

Cut out strips. Using w inch strips of masking tape, tape together the two inch strips and one 8 inch strip of cardboard to forma standing triangle. Using 2 inch strips of masking tape, tape together the two 4 inch strips and two 2 inch strips of cardboard forms  on 15 1/2 X 10 1/2 inch jelly-roll pan or baking sheet. Using a 16 inch length of foil, place lengthwise over triangle; carefully press foil into center and up inside edges of triangle, forming foil mold. With spoon, carefully smooth bottom and sides of triangle, removing as many wrinkles as possible. Trim excess foil. Using a 6 inch length of foil. Line tree base as well.

White  Truffles:

Servings: Makes about 6 dozen truffles

Preparation time: About 45 minutes

Chilling time: About 2 hours total

(I have rarely made the white truffles as we are most definitely chocoholics!! ;-)

2 1/2 pounds white confectioner’s coating, divided

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

1/8 teaspoon salt (dash)

3/4 to 1 cup chopped nuts

1  1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In heavy, medium-sized saucepan, over low heat, melt confectioner’s coating (see Chocolate Truffles). Chill 1 hour , or until firm. Store covered at room temperature (but again, I always freeze my fudge and never leave it at room temperature).

Chocolate Truffles:

Servings: Makes about 6 dozen truffles

Preparation time: About 45 minutes

Chilling time: About 2 hours total

Ingredients:

3 packages (11.5 ounces or 6 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)

dash salt

1 1 /2 teaspoon vanilla extract

In heavy, medium-sized saucepan, over low heat, melt chips with sweetened condensed milk. Remove from heat; divide mixture between two small bowls. To one bowl, add vanilla  extract. Chill both mixtures 1 hour, or until firm. Shape into 1 inch balls; roll in desired coatings (remember? confectioners sugar, walnuts, sprinkles, you name it . . . roll it in it!) Chill 1 hour, or until firm. Store covered in freezer until you want to add them to the Chocolate Christmas Tree.

I keep my truffle mold from year to year and make a new one when it is needed (like it fell to pieces) I don’t make the white truffles too often (like I said) as we are chocoholics (just wanted to make sure you know we love, love, love chocolate!!) We like to eat healthily and since chocolate has OOODLES of Vitamin “C” (“C” is for Chocolate!!) it counts. I love making the Chocolate Christmas Tree and hope you will want to make it for your loved ones too!!

*Note: I make my own sweetened condensed milk to save money . . . but that is another post on another day, or I will get carried away and not get any sleep!!

Add your own recipes to the Christmas Cookie Round-Up Party!! with Judith & Rosiline!!

Christmas Cookie Round-Up Party!!

Finding Strength In The Valley {Psalm 18}

Finding Strength in the Valley {Psalm 18}

Psalms can just the place to read when you are in the valley. God will speak deeply to your heart and you will find strength for whatever situation you are facing.

In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” ~Psalm 18:6~

Words can so quickly fly between two people. I can create my own valley. God knows that and still waits for us to call Him in our distress. He hears us when we cry out to Him no matter how deep a pit we are in.

As Christmas approaches, you might be hiding your hurting heart behind a smile. That’s OK. People aren’t drawn to a sour face. Your smile might be catching for more than the people you smile at. Your own smile might start to cheer you up.

When life gets hard and I am in a valley, soaking myself in Psalms is where you’ll find me each morning. God gives me incredible strength for my day through Psalms.

God wants me to declare these things to Him:

  1. That I will love Him
  2. That the Lord is my Strength
  3. The Lord is my Rock
  4. That He is my Fortress
  5. He is my Deliverer
  6. My Buckler
  7. The Horn of my salvation
  8. He is my High Tower
  9. Tell Him that He is worthy to be praised

“I will love thee, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised.” ~Psalm 18:1-3~

This afternoon I literally cried out to God in my distress. He wanted to calm my spirit as I turned to Him.

There is so much to do as Christmas rapidly approaches that it is easy to stress and slip down into the valley. Don’t pass up that time with the Lord and rush on to start your “To Do List.” Your day will go much better if you first prepare your heart while spending time with God.

Join Up Any Time: “Reading Through The Bible” with Good Morning Girls

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I have been “Blogging Through The Bible” with Good Morning Girls. Have you been reading along?

This will be the last week in this session as we will be finishing up this coming Friday and having a break over Christmas and New Years.

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I love having an online ministry here at WholeHearted Home and have enjoyed connecting with two other sweet ladies through my Facebook Group. We will be studying Exodus starting in January and my group will be opened for new members.

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Do you wonder why you would benefit from an online study? It has been wonderful to connect with ladies daily. Courtney shared 6 Benefits For An Online Bible Study Group which will explain all you need to know about the benefits. I hope you join a group!

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Gifting to Missionaries Was Never So Easy!! + Missional Weekend Linl-Up #125

Gifting to Missionaries Was Never So Easy

*Please note that WholeHearted Home is using affiliate links while posting for Missional Call. Please see my disclosure HERE.

When I was a kid in the ‘concrete’ jungle of Hong Kong you had to think Christmas in October. It was the same for my husband who grew up in the Philippines. You could buy almost anything in Hong Kong and cheap at that. Well, almost anything.

It took three months to send a gift for Christmas because it went by ship. The price of sending a gift by air-mail was outrageous. You just didn’t do it.

Gifting to missionaries was never so easy as it is now!!

You can send music, movies, books, and so many things digitally. A missionary probably can’t afford all the things you take for granite in a world that races through cyberspace within seconds to deliver your product.

So, what’s keeping you from thinking of your special missionary this Christmas?

It is so exciting to receive a gift from the States even in Twenty-Fourteen when everything is just a click away!! Even missionaries in Africa have internet connections these days but they probably don’t have the funds to order something special for themselves or their children.

It is better to give than to receive.

Why not take a minute to see what I am sharing and give to your missionary something digital that won’t have to be wrapped and packaged or go through customs.

Today I am sharing the rest of this post over at Missional Call where I am a contributing author. I’d love you to follow me over there!!

The Missional Weekend Link-Up Party

Featured Post(s):

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Dear Thin-Skinned Blogger by My Overflowing Cup

Are you ready to have fun????

The Missional Weekend Link Up Party

1. Link up your inspiring posts

2. Make sure you link back to your post and not your blog’s home page

3. Link back to here or include our button (below) in your post

4. Visit at least 1 other linked up post

5. Spread the word!! Let’s get started!!!

The party runs from Friday – Thursday and is hosted by these amazing blogs (which means your link ups will show up for more people to see!)

By linking up at The Missional Weekend Linkup Party you give us permission to use your image in the event that you are chosen to be featured the following week.

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1. Missional Call

2. F Dean Hackett – Foundational 3. WholeHearted Home 4. A Little R & R

Don’t miss a party!

Sign up here if you’d like to receive a weekly reminder when the Linky Party goes live!

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Our Christmas Book Tradition {Blessed At Home}

I want to thank Naomi over at What Joy Is Mine for contributing today for our Blessed At Home feature on Thursdays here at WholeHearted Home. We are sharing about celebrating Christmas in our homes and families as we look forward to the birth of Jesus. Naomi is sharing a very special post today. I hope you are blessed.Our Christmas Book Tradition | What Joy Is Mine | WholeHearted Home

As we started having children, I just fell in love with the tradition of reading something aloud with my family at Christmas time. I wanted it to be a book our children would enjoy and look forward to each year – no matter their age. And it had to be a book that they could grow with and learn from.

With my research intent on finding the perfect book for our family, I discovered most families read “Twas the Night Before Christmas”. That is a good read for Christmas but I desired something that shared the truth of Jesus’ birth.

Then I came across this wonderful book called “Once In A Year” by Elizabeth Yates. I purchased this book from Upper Room Books when they re-released it several years ago. When I read it the first time, I knew this was the book I had been looking for. This book was published in 1947 to great acclaim and in it Mrs. Yates covers the warmth and awe of the Christmas season.

Once in the Year: A Christmas Story

The book shares the Bible truth of Jesus’ birth out of the gospel of Luke as well as the wonder of Christmas with the sharing of two familiar Christmas legends: the flowering forest and the barn animals talking at midnight. The story follows young Peter, his mother and father and Old Benj beginning Christmas Eve through Christmas morning. The story is told from Peter’s point of view and you embrace his journey of discovering the wonderment of Christmas.

This book also has the most beautiful artwork throughout. It is lightly illustrated with the charm of a New England Christmas. The illustrations, drawn by Nora S. Unwin, are perfect for this Christmas story. I tell you, if you have not read this book, you need to. We have read it to our children for over 15 years now and will be reading it once again this year. It’s our Christmas book tradition and I hope it will continue when our grandchildren grace our home.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is…”When something wonderful happens to people on Christmas Eve it was to be cherished in the heart and in the mind. We must not be afraid of the wonderful things, nor must we let others laugh them away from us. Only thus do we learn to hold our dreams in the face of the world’s derision.” When I read this quote, I’m reminded of Mary’s song of praise in Luke 1:46-55. She ponders all that has happened and cherishes it in her heart. No one can take that away from her.

Now, if you don’t have a book tradition for Christmas, why not start one? Traditions impart legacy. If you don’t pick this book then find one your family will love and look forward to reading every year. Next, gather everyone into the family room. Add pillows, blankets and hot cocoa.Grab the book you have chosen and read away.  If you choose a book that’s a little too long for the wee ones, break it up over a few days. When we first purchased “Once In A Year,” our children were little so I had to do chapters instead of reading the whole book in one sitting. That’s perfectly okay. Eventually, they will get old enough to sit through the whole book. And remember this: It is never too late to begin this wonderful tradition in your family.

Let me leave you with another quote I love from the book…”On Christmas Eve the world and all the ages bring their wonder and their beauty to the manger where Love lies cradled. That is why time can slide together on this night alone, flowers can bloom as in summer and a child can look at her mother as if there were no years between them.

Do you have a Christmas book tradition in your family? Please share with us what book you read and why.

 SiggyJuly

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Hungry For God…Starving For Time {Review} + WholeHearted Wednesday #121

Hungry For God...Starving For Time

Today I am sharing a book review from Lori Hatcher about her newly released book, “Hungry For God…Starving For Time, 5 Minute Devotionals for Busy Women. This is a sample devotional from her new book. I am excited that Lori has another book out since I have been so encouraged from her last book, “Joy in the Journey, Encouragement for Homeschooling Moms.” If you have ever stopped over to her blog, you will know her writing to have warmth as she encourages you in your walk with the Lord Jesus.

Facetime: God, sometimes I’m stubborn and balk at my husband’s leadership. How can I become more submissive?

I was sitting in the hall awaiting test results when the office manager called me into her office. “I can check you out now,” she said, motioning me forward.

“The nurse told me to wait here until she gave me the results of my bone density test,” I explained.

“Oh, you don’t have to wait,” she said with a confident air, “I can tell you what they are. You have early osteoporosis.”

“Really?” I said, taken aback, “how do you know that?”

“I can tell by looking at you,” she said, “You’re a skinny white woman.”

Turns out this office manager-turned-prophet was right—I did have early osteoporosis. And the condition is most common in—you guessed it—skinny white women.

The people most likely to develop osteoporosis are Caucasian women with small bone frames. These three factors genetically predispose me to this condition.

Like osteoporosis, I have another genetic predisposition directly related to my gender—the propensity to usurp my husband’s authority.

Skinny White Woman

My great- great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Eve was the first to exhibit this tendency, and the gene has replicated itself faithfully since the beginning of time. Just like my mother’s Portuguese/Italian ancestors passed on their dark hair and inability to speak without moving their hands, Eve has shared one of her most troublesome tendencies with me and the rest of our gender.

This willful condition manifests itself in many ways. Here are a few:

Our tendency to question our husbands’ knowledge or experience.

Our tendency to assume that our way/perspective/insight is automatically correct.

Our tendency to disregard his input and do what we want anyway.

The good news? Recognizing our problem brings us one giant step closer to a solution. Or at least a plan of action.

When I found out I had osteoporosis, I didn’t sell my bike, buy a padded suit, and subscribe to Wheelchair Monthly. Instead of resigning myself to “the inevitable,” I got busy. I did some research and discovered what I could do to either slow, stop, or reverse the condition.

I can employ the same active approach to my predisposition willfully to disregard my husband’s leadership. Instead of saying, “Oh well, that’s just how I am …” I can take conscious steps to change.

I can commit to:

Ask for my husband’s advice and input instead of assuming I know what’s best.

Acknowledge that while his perspective is often different from mine, it, too, is valuable and worth considering.

Listen fully to his thoughts and ideas, not just long enough to know which direction he’s heading and formulate an argument against it.

When I went back to the doctor two years after my initial diagnosis, my bone density numbers had not only stopped decreasing, but had actually risen. By taking active, positive steps, my prospect for long-term health improved dramatically.

I wish my prescription against the disease of willful independence worked as quickly. I suspect, like my tendency to talk with my hands, I’ll have to work on it for the rest of my life. Thankfully, I can trust that as I yield my will to God, he’ll continue to enable me to be a wise, respectful wife who honors my Savior as I honor my husband.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Ephesians 5:21

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This devotion is an excerpt from Lori Hatcher’s new book, Hungry for God … Starving for Time, Five-Minute Devotions for Busy Women.

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Lori knows what it’s like to be busy. And what it’s like to struggle to make time for God. Her passion is helping women connect with God in the craziness of everyday life. Like a spiritual power bar, Hungry for God is the nutrition women need to get through the day. A Yankee transplant living in Columbia, South Carolina, Lori uses her speaking and writing ministry to equip and empower women. She’d love to connect with you on her blog (www.LoriHatcher.com), on Facebook – Hungry For God, and Twitter @lorihatcher2

 

 

WholeHearted Wednesday #121

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I am constantly blessed that you stopped by to linkup your posts and share in the fellowship each week at WholeHearted Home. It is a JOY to be part of this community and to connect with each other.

Here at WholeHearted Home

Let the baking begin!! I love baking cookies and this week I’ll be baking cookies in case you drop by. I’ll be giving them to neighbors and the UPS and Fed Ex guys too. Just in case you can’t drop by, stop by my Christmas Cookie Round-Up Party and see what I have shared from my own kitchen and blogs around the block. I hope you share your favorite Christmas recipes too!!

I am sharing my famous Truffle Christmas Tree (yes, all fudge) as well as my Gramma’s Peanut Butter Fudge.

Christmas Cookie Round-Up Party!!

Last Week’s Most Viewed

Beth over at Messy Marriage shared Lessen Stress with 2 Thoughts and had the most views!! It is so worth it to click the picture below just to listen to Beth’s video!! She has so much wisdom and humor that you will really enjoy what she shares.

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This Week’s Featured FAVES!!

Featured WholeHearted Wednesday #121

  1. Darby over at Darby dugger shared “Feelings Follow Actions” is such a good read!!
  2. Beth over at Messy Marriage shared Lessen Stress with 2 Thoughts and had the most views!! She also is sharing a video!!
  3. Jenny over at Women With Intention shares a post I wish I’d written ;-) 31 Days of Decluttering in December: Introduction
  4. Stephanie over at the Multi-Taskin’ Mom shares a stellar post that may get you doing spending some intentional time with your littles – Pre-School Sensory Activities

Simple Guidelines:

  1. Share my button on your post, sidebar, or in a text-link. Thanks!!

  2. Linkup as many posts as you’d like so long as they are wholeheartedly family friendly, wholesome, and spiritually uplifting and honoring to the Lord Jesus Christ. Go ahead and link your giveaways!

  3. Visit another blogger and show her how much you care by commenting.
  4. Permission to feature your post is given by linking with my blog.

I share your posts on Pinterest as time allows, so check my boards, epecially this ONE.


This linkup party will be LIVE until Sunday at Midnight.


Be blessed and
SHARE and LIKE WholeHearted Home!

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I Haven’t Decorated For Christmas Yet!!

I Haven't Decorated for Christmas, Yet!!

And Why That Can Be Overwhelming

I haven’t decorated for Christmas yet and that can be overwhelming!! I keep seeing beautiful pictures on Facebook on how this friend and that friend bought their tree. Then they display -gorgeous pictures and comments of their experience in decorating their tree and their home.

Then I am filled with guilt.

Guilt that I didn’t get our tree yet, let alone decorate.

Our decorations still hibernate in our attic in red plastic bins as I contemplate all the other things I must do first. It is a busy December.

How about you?

Are you one of those who managed to get your tree up and decorated the day after Thanksgiving, along with a lengthy shopping trip to Amazon (which reminds me, I haven’t done that yet!)?? Did you?

You know, it’s OK if you are like me and don’t have your tree up yet. If you did, you would be one of those who would end up with a dusty tree by Christmas that had been knocked down by the cat numerous times. Your toddler would have redecorated the tree countless times and your children wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on their schoolwork because of a heavy case of excitement.

So no. I haven’t decorated yet, nor do I have our tree up yet.

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What Am I Going To Do Before Putting A Tree Up?

There is so much to do this time of year. The hustle and bustle can sure distract from Jesus who is the reason for the season.

You might have some commitments to finish before getting involved in decorating your tree. It might be wisest to wait until you complete them. You might want your children to finish school.

Whatever it is, just prioritize all those things on your imaginary or real To-Do List and slow down a bit and enjoy your day. Stop and have a cup of coffee or hot chocolate to warm you up first. Enjoy the moment so that you don’t remain in the urgent.

R-E-L-A-X!!

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Here are the things that I am doing first:

  1. I first sat down with a cup of hot chocolate and detressed. Anxious thoughts over all that we need to do (and all at once, I might add) only add to your stress.

  2. I cleaned. I will thoroughly cleaned the house but not on the same day as decorating day.

  3. I have been decluttering a few things throughout December.

  4. I went out and picked a tree and put a deposit on it. No, I didn’t bring it home yet, but it will be there later this week when I have more time. I hope I’ll have more time!!

  5. I will get the decorations down from the attic ready for decorating day.

  6. I will first finish my online shopping from Amazon. I need to make sure nothing stands in the way of getting gifts on time.

  7. Now, I am going to relax about the whole decorating thing and get to work on those things that must be done first this week.

  8. Then, I am heading for the kitchen and bake some cookies and play some Christmas music!!

Do you have your tree up? Are you feeling pressured and overwhelmed with all that you have on your plate during December?

Photo Credit

Christmas Cookie Round-Up Party!!

The ‘How Long’ Psalm

The How Long Psalm

Have you ever thought God has forgotten you?

Has there been a time in your life that things were so tough and you just weren’t sure where God was in it all?

In Psalm 13, David asks God ‘how long’ five times.

1. How long wilt thou forget me, O LORD?

2. [How long] for ever?

3. How long wilt thou hide thy face from me?

4. How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily?

5. How long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?

~Psalm 13: 1-2

The How Long Psalm 2

The days are loong with littles and it seems like they will never end. They drag on with the same messy kitchen floor and fussy children day after day. Of course, each moment that passes isn’t all bad as there are many moments of joy with these little tikes.

There are days that stretch endlessly when you are covered with slime and the smell of caked on stale baby smells. Thirteen seems ages away let alone the empty nest.

But wait.

The How Long Psalm 3

You don’t really want to rush through these years. You are simply weary and discouraged.

I was there just a few short years ago with breast milk soaking my shirt or formula (which by the way stinks) as I fed our babies.

I remember one New Years Eve retuning from a party with seven young children. Five pretty small. We walked into our home and suddenly most of them started throwing up. That was a long night.

How long?

How long will we be caught in our present troubles?

David felt so overcome by his problems and was crying out to God for relief.

He runs to God and starts pouring out his heart. Is God the first person you run to?

“Consider and hear me, O LORD my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death; lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.” ~Psalm 13:3-4~

When was the last time your enemy showed up with a gun, ready to fight you in a battle?

Our enemy is usually more stealthy than that. You might not even think of yourself as being in a battle.

The battle isn’t your cute kids, or those cranky or even disobedient teenagers in your home. Your enemy is Satan trying to get you to be discouraged and making the most of your weariness.

Your enemy is waring against your flesh.

David finds the solution and victory in his God. His solution is recurring over and over throughout Psalms.

Redundancy, you ask? Yes! And we sure need its repetiveness.

David declares the solution to God.

“But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation. I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.” ~Psalm 13:5-6~

  1. Trust in God
  2. God’s mercy
  3. Rejoice in your salvation
  4. Sing to the LORD
  5. God has dealt bountifully with you and me!

No matter how bad your day has gone, no matter what circumstances are in your life, you can trust God infinitely.

If you can’t at the moment think of anything to be thankful for, you can thank God for your salvation.

You can sing to the Lord and find how wonderful it is to have your spirit lifted even when your problem is exactly the same.

No problems?

Praise the Lord and thank Him for that. You can put this post on the back-burner for a rainy day when you will need these solutions that David gave us through his example in Psalm 13.

Photo Credit

Each week, I am “Blogging Through The Bible” with Good Morning Girls where I am writing about Plsams this month. You can join in anytime and learn to know God in an intimate way.

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