Friday, 6 March 2009

Therewith to be content . . .

"Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."
~Philippians 4:11

I love this scripture. It helps to remind me of all the things in my life that are important. Things like home and family, of peace, good health and love. Being able to open my eyes in the morning. Feeling the sun on my face on a warm summer's day. The joy of standing in a garden and hearing the bees buzz amongst the flower heads, and the birds singing above me. Feeling the whisper of a gentle breeze as it brushes across my brow . . .

Laying in bed and hearing the pitter pat of rain drops on the skylight above my head. Standing on the drive and watching snow swirl about me and drop from the heavens as soft as goose down from a feather pillow. Listening to the sparrows that live in the eaves of our humble home, their wings softly fluttering behind the walls as they softly chitter chatter to each other whilst bedding down for the night. Hearing the wind howl about, blowing the branches of the rose bush outside our kitchen window against the glass, scritching and scratching as I sit next to my Todd, all cuddled up together in front of the fire, whilst Jess snores quietly by our feet . . .

The smell of home made bread wafting from the bread maker on a cold winter's afternoon, while a humble pot of chicken soup bubbles away on top of the stove . . . an offering from the leftovers of the day before. The sight of my well worn scriptures laying next to Todd's on the top of our kitchen table. The ring of the telephone which ushers in the voice of a much loved friend . . . Looking back on a chore completed and seeing it finished . . . knowing in my heart that I have done my very best.

Having two eyes that see, two ears that hear and two feet that can place themselves one in front of the other and take me wherever it is that I want to go. Two hands that can feel and hold and help and heal. Two arms that can wrap themselves around another and a heart that knows how to love and how to hurt and how to cry, both tears of joy and sorrow. Knowing that as bad as today may or may not be, there is always a tomorrow that will dawn bright and fresh and new and mine.

Yes . . . life is good. Enjoy it for what it is and find peace and comfort in all your heartfelt treasures. Don't wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead. The joy is here. The joy is now and all around you. You only need to reach out and touch it, to claim it as your own, and therewith to be content . . .

As tired as I may have been yesterday, I found myself wanting the comforts of home and family and of peanut butter cookies. You can't get much better than the recipe in the Purity Cook Book, which have long been my standard, and the ones that I turn to time and time again . . .

*Peanut Butter Cookies*
Makes about 3 dozen

Plain, simple and full of buttery peanut butter goodness. A couple of these, fresh and warm from the oven with a glass of cold milk are the essence of pure and simple joy . . . and home.

1/2 cup vegetable shortening (crisco, Trex, or white flora)
1/2 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth, it's up to you)
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup soft light brown sugar, packed
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Pre-heat the oven to 190*C/375*F. Lightly grease several flat baking sheets and set aside.

Place the shortening and peanut butter into a large bowl and cream them together until they are well mixed and light. Gradually beat in the sugars. Beat in the egg and the vanilla.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and beat this mixture into the creamed mixture, mixing it in well and thoroughly.

Shape dough into 1 inch balls and place on the prepared baking sheets, 2 inches apart from each other. Lightly press each down with a fork which has been dipped into warm water.

Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until down and lightly browned on the edges and bottom. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Store in a tightly closed container.


  1. Good morning Marie! I'm hoping this will get through, I have had such trouble with these passwords etc but I think I've conquered it now....she says hopefully!
    I love this post, and agree with all of it. We may moan about endless days of rain but we DO know that it won't be forever, we also moan when it's too hot, well I do anyway, it makes me feel like a wet rag!
    I love the look of the peanut butter cookies too, I remember making these with my girls when they were small, they used to see how many each of them could roll into balls and flatten with the fork...lovely times!
    I'm going to have a go at doing another entry, I did one yesterday then lost it before I could send it, I was so annoyed because it was quite long!

  2. Yay, it went through! It's so long though, almost an entry in itself - sorry about that!

  3. Hello dear,
    I love this write so beautifully the things that I also feel and believe. I am thankful for the same things...except snow of course.... I don't get much of a chance to be thankful for "watching snow swirl about me and drop from the heavens as soft as goose down from a feather pillow." ... except when I visit Utah in the winter...but most of the other things you mentioned I am aware of and thankful for also. Thanks though for the poetic reminder you have given us today.

    I am so tired tonight....but thankful to be able to serve in the temple.We had a busy night which is always great...however 3 of our workers went home sick so we were a bit short and had to cover for each other.

    I so enjoyed our nice visit this morning. Hearing your voice surely makes my heart leap for joy.

    have a good day....Don't work too hard while I am snoring away in my cozy bed...that would make me feel guilty. John is climbing in bed right now. He still is not well. I must not keep him waiting for our night time prayers so I will say good night...I mean good morning.. and send my love as always, Lura

    ps. Pnut butter cookies are John's favorite. I will try this recipe for sure

  4. I thank God also Marie for the gift of contenment for I believe it's something few possess especially in the times in which we are living. thanks again for the recipe!! Marie x

  5. Oh, Marie.....SOOOO yummy looking. I MUST try these - and, what a shame(!!) - nobody else in here likes peanut butter!!! I'll just have to TRY to eat them all myself!

  6. I think you covered just about everything there could possibly be to be thankful for in your entry today. Peanut butter cookies seems to be the all time favorite and what I call comfort food. Thank you for a wonderful entry reminding me of the important things in life today.

  7. Thank you as always for expressing how I feel even when I forget to mindful ...

    have a great weekend!!

  8. Don't wish away your days waiting for better ones!

    Such good advice!! Enjoy the reads here as always!


  9. When I first started blogging I came across your blog and have to say it is one of the brightest spots in my week when I sit down on Friday's to read. So I came out of lurking just to say that your blog brings a smile to me always. Your gift of writing is just so delightful.

  10. Hi, Marie! Oh, but I loved this sweet, tender post! I feel much as you do, am thankful for many of the same things. So much to ever be thankful for...And today sure is a great day to be alive! After a busy week hope you get to put your feet up a bit this weekend and just enjoy! LOVE these cookies...mmm...peanut butter--a favorite! Hope we get a chance to chat this weekend. Have missed getting to talk to you lately! :o) LOVE YOU HEAPS! ((HUGS))

  11. I totally agree - there is nothing better than a favourite cookie recipe to cheer you up and bring feelings of comfort. Sometimes there are a lot less baked cookies than the recipe says for me - raw cookie dough sorts every problem and is SO very good !!

  12. Those cookies look good Marie!
    As I have peanut butter in the cupboard, Paul might just get some made for him! Thanks for sharing x

  13. Good morning! Great post as always. Thanks for the inspiration. You motivate me to be better.

    It is so fun to write to you know because I can imagine you sitting right here in my house.

    You are such a dear lady. I love you and am so glad you are a part of my life!

  14. What great thoughts you share today! I have been in bit of a low since my daughter and Grandbaby have gone back home. So I needed this to remind how many joys and blessings surround me daily. Thank you! My oldest has been asking for Peanut Butter cookies as of inspire me!

  15. MMMM, peanut butter cookies all curled up by the fire. What a wonderful thing. Life is good! That reminds me of my Dad. He always wore a hat that said "Life is Good" and always lived his life according to that phrase.

    Have a wonderful weekend dear Marie!


  16. You have such a talent for beautiful writing! I too love that scripture verse! God is great and you know when you are truly living in the beauty of real life when those little things matter the most, not other things of worldly ways! AMEN to that!!!

    YUMMY cookies! Peanut butter are a childhood favorite!! :)

  17. whoa! my favorite cookies. oh my, now I am going to have to make some of my own!!!

  18. I went to my kitchen and made these cookies. They were so easy and delicious. Melt in your mouth good. We could not stop nibbling them.

  19. I just KNEW God would have never given us anything so vile as peanut butter without also giving us something to do with it! At long last I get to use the jar I have had in the cpboard for eons!

    Dear Marie, I do love your posts and one of the reasons is that they are for everyone, LDS or not, or even nothing in particular. I wish I had your serenity.

    Is there anything that gets you really rattled though? I mean in your own personal day by day life, some trivial (ish) little hiccup that really sets you snarling?

    I challenge you to tell us 4 things (not involving the rest of the world) that can make you come over all unnecessary. You're not allowed to say "After you" !!!!!

    Oooh aren't I horrid! Here's a sample of the first thing today that's made me mad: the little front wheels on my wheelchair got pointed in opposite directions and refused to budge until Keith came and gave them a kicking! Aaaargh!

    love, Angie, xx

  20. Peanut butter cookies are a classic and one of my favorites!


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