Thursday, 2 April 2009
Whatever, Wherever, Whenever . . .
"Whatever your God has blessed you with, take it with a grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that, in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily."
I've decided to do a thankful post this morning. Watching all those angry protesters on the telly yesterday made me count my blessings and wish that they would too. Yes, things in the world are a bit more precarious at this time than they were at the same time last year, but I reckon that most of us have a great deal of blessings and things that we can be thankful for, and today I am going to dwell on them.
I have a job. That is a great blessing to me. It not only gives me a purpose each day and income, but it also affords Todd and myself this cottage to live in. My job may not always be exciting. It is sometimes quite dull and full of drudgery, but it is a job, and in today's financial climate, that is something to indeed be very thankful for.
I am thankful for the guidance of my church leaders that have been telling us for years now to store up for a rainy day, to stay out of debt and to be prepared. As each day passes I see even more the wisdom of their teachings, and I am grateful for a heart that listens and does what I am told to do. It might have meant that while others were wearing all the latest fashions and driving around in the newest cars, we were wearing things from a charity shop and driving an old banger. We are also free from all the heartache and hassle of being in over our heads in debt, and we have a nice store cupboard full of food to eat should we ever find ourselves in the position that we need to rely on it. (There have been many times we have had to do just that!) Now we need to kick our own arses and get our 72 hour packs in order.
I may end up each day with more aches and pains than I have muscles, but I am grateful for my health. I have two good eyes that can see, even if I do need to wear glasses. I have two strong hands that can do all the things that they need to do, and I have two working legs and feet that can carry me wherever it is I need to go. I don't suffer from any great illnesses and my lungs are in good shape. I do need to lose weight, but I am working on it, however slowly.
As I sit here and listen to the birds awakening outside these four walls, I am truly grateful to be living in such a beautiful place, where there is peace and calm. The other afternoon as I walked back over to work, I was assailed by the most beautiful sounds coming from a tree next to the hedge along the lane way. Up amongst it's branches I could see a nest, and sitting on the branch next to it, a robin singing it's heart out with the most wonderful song I have ever heard. I could not help myself. I had to just stand there for several minutes and drink it all in. It was a treasured moment.
I am loved. I have a Heavenly Father and a Saviour who surely love me, this I know to be true. I have a husband who loves and cherishes me, even if I do annoy him from time to time with my messiness. I have parents and a sister and brother who love me as well, and some pretty wonderful children and grandchildren who also care deeply for me. When I add to that my friends, both near and far, I can see that I am surely loved and that is a wonderful thing.
I am grateful for my faith. Faith that keeps me going and upright. It heals me when I am wounded and gives me strength when I feel weak. It shelters and carries me through all the storms and battles that life would throw my way. It gives my life purpose and joy. I know who I am. I know why I came here to earth, and what to do while I am here. I know where I am going when I leave this veil of tears and I know how to get there. It is a precious knowledge and a wonderful thing to possess, this faith of mine.
I have intelligence and talents and a life filled with an abundance of joy and blessings, both large and small. I have a heart that can appreciate the little things and that is willing to share my many blessings with others. Any wise man knows that it is in the giving that one truly loves and that you don't and can't really begin to fully live your life until you learn to give it away . . . my cup does runneth over. I am blessed, and I'll wager . . . so . . . are . . . you.
I found this lovely little recipe the other day in an old Taste of Home, Country Chicken recipe booklet of mine. The title of it first caught my eye and then I had all the ingredients so I thought why not . . . I mean how could I resist something called "Sunshine Chicken?" We were not disappointed.
Moist chicken, covered in a deliciously golden sweet and sour sauce, this wonderful dish surely lives up to it's name. I love anything sweet and sour. This went beautifully with some steamed rice and some string beans.
1 (3 ounce) packet of lemon flavoured gelatin powder
3 TBS butter, melted
3 TBS prepared mustard (not the hot English mustard)
1 tsp salt
2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
4 large boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
2 TBS thinly sliced almonds
Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F.
Combine the gelatin, butter, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl, whisking well together. Place the chicken breasts in an ungreased 11 inch by 7 inch by 2 inch baking dish. Brush well with this mixture and then pour any remaining mixture around the chicken in the dish.
Cover and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, basting once halfway during the cooking. Remove the cover, baste again and sprinkle with the almonds. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes longer or until the chicken juices run clear. Remove from the oven and serve.