Thursday 29 April 2010

Thursday Thoughts . . .

As you all know, I recently went through the painful experience of having lost my job. Through no fault of my own of course . . . it's just the times we are living.

The worst part though, was not the losing of the job, but also the losing of our home . . . as our home was attached to the job. It is one thing to lose your job . . . but when the roof of your head disappears right along with it, well . . . that's a pretty hard pill to swallow.

And then . . . just when we thought that things could not get any harder to take . . . we lost Jess. Our much beloved dog . . . our hearts were broken. We were not sure how much more we could take . . . I was not sure, how much more I could take . . .

One morning when I was feeling a bit blue about it all . . . I read the story of this man who, during the great Depression . . . had lost his job, a fortune of money, his wife and his home. He tenaciously clung to his faith however . . . the only thing he had left. One day he stopped to watch some workmen doing stonework on a huge church. One of them was chiseling a triangular piece of stone.

"What are you going to do with that?" asked the man.

The workman looked up at him and replied, "See that shape up there neaer the spire??? Well, I'm shaping this down here, so it will fit up there."

Tears suddenly filled the eyes of the man as he walked away. God had spoken to him through the workman to explain the ordeal though which he was passing.

"I'm shaping you down here, so you'll fit in up there."

One might be tempted to believe because they are members of a certain church, or a person with deep and abiding faith, that nothing bad will happen to them . . . and sometimes when bad things do happen, you might be tempted to ask yourself . . . why, when you have been such a good person, and done all the right things . . . why are you having to suffer the things you are having to go through???

"But I say unto you, Love your enemies,bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; that ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and the unjust." Matthew 5: 44, 45

He never promised us things would be easy, only that they would be worth it, and that is what helped to get me through a very difficult time . . . what is helping me to get through what continues to be a very difficult time. A stronger pot must be put through the fire again and again, and He is helping to shape me into a stronger pot. However does anyone without faith get through life?? It boggles the mind!

"For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth." Hebrews 12:6

We've had some beautiful weather these past couple of weeks, but it looks like that is going to come to an end today! We will now begin to have Bank Holiday Weekend weather, with rain, wind and colder temperatures! Or "Sod's Law" as Todd calls it! Nevermind, as Annie sings . . . the sun will come out tomorrow! Or at least when the Bank Holiday weekend is over!!

I baked these taste tempting muffins yesterday morning. They're a fabulous way to begin the day. Nutty, and fruity and oh so very delicious!

*Norsk Apple Muffins*
makes 12 large muffins
Printable Recipe

This is a recipe that I have had in my files for a very long time. So long I can no longer remember where it came from! Moist from the apples, with the delicate hint of lemon and cinnamon, and a golden crunch of toasted almonds and cinnamony sugar on top. These are winners!

1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 large eggs
the finely grated zest oe one lemon
1 medium apple, cored, peeled and finely chopped (about 1 cup)

For the topping:
1/4 cup demerara sugar
1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 190*C/375*F gas mark 5. Butter well a muffin tin, or line with paper liners. Set aside.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until light and creamy. Beat in the eggs and lemon zest, continuing to beat until well incorporated.

Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamn together in another bowl and then stir this into the creamed mixture, just to moisten. Gently fold in the chopped apple.

Spoon into the prepared muffin cups, dividing it equally amongst them. Sprinkle the sugar and almonds evenly over the top of each muffin and then dust each with some of the cinnamon.. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, or until lightly browned and well risen. Remove from the oven and let stand for five minutes, before removing from the pan to a wire rack to finish cooling. Serve warm. Delicious!

We have Turkey Burgers over on The English Kitchen today, adorned with a delicious Cranberry Catsup!


  1. That is all so true...with what I have been going through of late..someone said to me; "TODAYS TRIAL IS...TOMORROWS TESTIMONY"...and I am finding it to be so true. We are never done learning and adding to our testimonies. Have a good day :D

  2. Another beautiful story. This truly touches my heart as my grandfather was a stone mason and he died before I truly learned about his craft. Is it not amazing that such wonderful things can be crafted from the simplest of things?

    I have spent another day driving my dad by the sea. How nice it would be to very close as this is one of the few things that calms him now. So I wish you a day filled with the sparkles that filled mine.

    God bless.

  3. You put things right into perspective Marie. I hope things are starting to look up now that you are in your new sweet home.

    Have a wonderful day my friend. Those turkey burgers look wonderful!


  4. Oh, Marie. I didn't know. I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your job, but more so about the loss of your home & your beloved Jess. You are in my prayers.

  5. What a wonderful, uplifting story, Marie! You always know just what to share. Your Norsk Apple Muffins... Well, Norsk is Norwegian. Your muffin are very like an apple cake that we make here in Norway. Very similar to my own take on the apple cake... funny world, huh?! LOVE these muffins... I could eat one now! Enjoy these lovely spring days, dear friend... LOVE YOU HEAPS!! OXOX ((BIG HUGS))

  6. Just as diamonds are formed under pressure, so are we. I don't know what I'd have done over the years without my faith. The beauty of Spring shows us what God can do and his promises to us are true. You've lost much but still have much and that is something to be thankful for. I hope your Thursday brings many blessings your way.

  7. I hope and pray the darkest days are done with now. God set the pair of you a huge task and you were not found wanting. Heck, you even managed to build Ikea furniture!

  8. ......just think yourself lucky MFI closed down!

  9. I loved your thoughts. I myself have had a lot of struggles in life and I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that we are here to learn and grow from our experiences here on earth whether good or bad. I know that Heavenly Father and Our Savior love us very much and they are just a prayer away. Thanks for sharing the story; I loved it.

  10. Marie,

    Even talking about your trials right now blesses me with your optimism and beautiful spirit. My blog has been neglected... because so much keeps happening in our lives with family and friends...though all our challenges are different, they are each real and difficult! This life really is the test!!!
    I am so sorry to hear about your beautiful companion and sweet friend Jess. How hard to lose him in the middle of all this is!
    I am calling tomorrow and putting your name on the prayer list in our four local temples.
    It is SO TRUE it will be worth it!:) (I just hope we all make it out of the refiner's fire whole!)
    Much love, Beth

  11. I love you my dear friend. I know that things are hard for you. I love the faith and optimism you show us all. What a good example you are for all of us.

    I pray for you every day. I think of you every day. I send love over the miles half way around the world to you every day.

    I wish you all the very very best.
    Good luck dear friend. Hugs, Lura


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