Thursday 22 April 2010

The answer to a prayer . . .

In the end, the number of prayers we say may contribute to our happiness, but the number of prayers we answer may be of even greater importance.

— Dieter F. Uchtdorf

I just love this quote by President Dieter F Uchtdorf. He is one of the leaders of my church. I am ashame to say that I had never really heard of him when he first got called. Since then though I have come to love him and his words. He always inspires me.

I have always been a praying woman. I like to think that I pray unceasingly. I often have a prayer going around in my head, an ongoing conversation with my Heavenly Father . . . but before I read this quote, I never thought about my being the answer to another's prayers. Have you ever thought about the number of times that you might have been the answer to someone else's prayer?

What an awesome thought. What an awesome responsibility . . .

How is this done you might well ask??? The answer would be, through and in compassionate service to others. Reaching out to bless the lives of others in countless ways, both large and small . . . a spoken word, a random act of kindness, a prayer said . . . small acts of service that take little effort on our part, but which make a big difference to those that we do them for. Selfless acts of caring for others in small and meaningful ways, that help to not only enrich their lives, but could have an eternal impact on them. In lifting up our fellow man, we cannot help but to rise a little higher ourselves. Losing yourself in service to others, quite often has the added benefit of enabling us to find joy in our own lives, happiness . . . meaning.

I have often thought that a life spent only in selfish pursuits and self indulgence is a life . . . wasted. Pure and simple.

I'd much rather be the answer to someone's prayer, wouldn't you?

Ok, so she's not very pretty, but this newest doll of mine I like to think of as being kind of like a Pug dog . . . she's so ugly she's cute. I have long had a love of Gingerbreadmen and Gingerbread dolls. Indeed I have a whole collection of them that sit along the stairs leading up to our upstairs. They are one of the first things you see when you enter our home and I like to think that they bring a smile to people's faces when they first encounter them. I know they bring a smile to mine.

Just like this little lady. She's very unusual I think. Made of spiced coloured 100%wool fabric, she has little white french knots decorating her head and arms, just like white gingerbread icing.

A lot of love has gone into her and I think it shows in the small details. Right from the red flannel heart that decorates the bodice of her red gingham check dress (that is an antique button which adorns it, from my button box) down to her black felt hand sewn Mary Jane shoes.

Her striped legs are made of men's shirting fabric and her lovely gingham skirt is decorated with lovely white ric rac trim.

If you were to look beneath the dress you would find that her large full petticote is also trimmed in red ric rac, lace and a line of red embroidery. She also wears full pantaloons and a lovely full apron, trimmed with lace at the bottom .

I think she's quite sweet actually. How about you? Could you fall in love with this face? I will be putting her up for sale in my Etsy Shop . Who knows where she will end up. Wherever it is I am sure she will be loved beyond measure.

I had my first appointment with the Nurse here yesterday afternoon. My blood pressure was way up. A bit frightening actually. I don't know if it is all the stress I have been through in recent months or what, but I was quite shocked. I knew I had been having a lot of head aches lately, but . . . anyways, I am determined to get it back down again. I have to go back in two weeks time and have it checked again. I do admit that lately I have forgotten my medication quite a few times, what with the busyness of moving in and everything else getting in the way. I need to cut back on the salt as well. I've been a little too free handed with the salt shaker as well, so it has gone from our table. Things will taste a bit bland to me for a couple of days but I am sure I will eventually get used to it!

I saw Giada making this lovely meal on the telly the other day. She was cooking with children and she did what looked to be some lovely pork chops all breaded and fried and then this creamy orzo dish. I didn't fry the pork chops though . . . I just pounded them and then covered them with some garlic, pepper, paprika, onion powder and thyme. I then grilled them under the gas grill. I left the orzo just the same though, pretty much. I did cut down the cream a bit. It was really quite tasty, even without the salt. Although if you don't have high blood pressure, I'd leave in the salt. (Todd thought he was eating rice. He had no idea it was really pasta. He had two helpings.)

*Creamy Tomato Orzo Risotto*
Serves 3 to 4
Printable Recipe

Ok, so this is not really a risotto in the sense of the word, but it does closely resemble risotto when done, without all the pain and time involved to make a true risotto. This is rich and creamy and quite, quite delicious!

1/2 pound of orzo (rice shaped pasta)
1 TBS olive oil
1 medium banana shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 small clove of garlic, peeled and minced
1 cup of diced cooked tomatoes, drained
3/4 cup cream
1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil. Add the orzo and cook until tender, stirring often, some 8 minutes. Drain well, reserving about 1/2 cup of the cooking water.

In the meantime, while the orzo is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallot and garlic. Saute until tender. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 8 minutes. Stir in the cream and peas. Add the drained orzo and toss to coat. Remove the skillet from the heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and enough water to make a creamy consistency. Season to taste and serve immediately.

Over on The English Kitchen today, a Mild Lamb Curry. Delicious!


  1. Good morning, dear Marie! Do hope you will be OK with your blood pressure...that is a worry. Be taking good care... and don't forget your meds! ;o) Being an answer to someone's prayer... That is, I admit, not something I think of often--that little ol' be could possible be just what someone else needed. But anything is possible--LOL! This is an amazing thought... I must ponder this one more. For I do love to be of service and good to other. But to be the answer to a prayer--that it big! Your new doll is such fun! I just love her dress--so pretty! And LOVE today's recipe. I like orzo a lot...not always easy to get here though, strangely enough. Just wanted to let you know too, that all went well with Charlie's tooth surgery yesterday, and his recovery should be good. He's going a bit slow & snoozing a lot today, but that's expected. We're just relieved all went good and that he will be fine. I will probably do a little Charlie update at the weekend... It's Earth Day today, so though I'd let Planet Earth have the focus at the blog today. ;o) Hope you & Todd are having a lovely day! Catch up at the weekend? I hope so! LOVE YOU HEAPS OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  2. We just never know how our own lives might touch that of another. Even when we think that what we do doesn't matter, it really does. I hope that you will remember to take your medication and with watching your diet and getting some exercise too that blood pressure will come down. It is important to take care of ourselves if we want to be of help to others. I do hope your Thursday is a great one.

  3. I believe the Lord does use us to answer the prayers of others very often if we are listening to the spirit. I also love Pres. Uchtdorf!

    I always think about that story he told about when his mother was traveling with him and his siblings. They were very young she had to get off the train at one of the stations to get food for the children and when she returned the train had been moved. I can always imagine the terror she felt as she prayed and prayed and ran between all the trains until she found them.

    I hope your B/P will improve very soon. Take those pills and you will begin to relax quite a bit now that you are settled in to your lovely new home!

  4. Lovely words Marie. Sure after the stress you had that you BP will be up, you shouldn't worry too much about it. I know plenty of nurses who say that the NHS are fixated with BP and cholesterol. This is often to do with targets they have to meet. You mentioned you were walking at night, cutting back on salt, that will bring it down I am sure. Try not to worry. Love Lucie x

  5. i just love that quote from pres. uchtdorf-i hadn't read it before! thanks so much for sharing it, it really made me think about how i need to think about others more often.

    i hope your blood pressure calms down-you have been under a lot of stress lately. hope you are better soon!! luv, hoLLy

  6. Hello my friend!

    Take care of yourself! It is good that you had that checked out and know what to do to remedy it. Your orzo looks so good. I love orzo!

    Your new doll is so sweet. I am sure she will go to someone who will treasure her! Have a wonderful day my dear friend!


  7. Hi there...I love your new lady, she's a cutie and dressed with fluff and are so creative! You take care of yourself, don't want that BP to get worse! I thought you mentioned walking the other day too, that is so good for us...take care..sending you xoxox's...come say hi :D

  8. I have not had orzo for ages, it looks lovely and thanks for reminding me about it.

  9. You'll probably find that missing your meds was gthe prime suspect in your BP hike. And with the strain you've been under it's a wonder yoyu didn't have yourself a well-earned nervous breakdown, never mind forget your pillss!

    You're a star andan artist and I think Miss G Bread is lovely

  10. Dear Marie

    I hope your blood pressure problem is soon sorted out and that you get rid of the headaches too. I'm not surrised your blood pressure is raised after all you have been through. Just take care of YOU! Cutting out the salt and loosing weight is what I was told when I was diagnosed. The salt was easier than losing the weight though. lol
    I agree with the Dieter F. Uchtdorf quote.
    He is so right!
    I never did get your new address that I asked you for so forgive me for not sending you a housewarming card.
    Hope you are settling in well.

    Jeanie xxxx

  11. what Mama wouldn't love a sweet face as hers. She is just darling. I love her dress and shoes too...your so talented...good to see ya creating in your new home. Hugs, Mica


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