Sweet Corn Pie: A Lesson on Flexibility

Sweet Corn Pie: A Lesson on Flexibility - Do you find yourself struggling with the ever-changing circumstances of life? You may want to take a peak at the lessons I learned from attempting to cook this Yummy recipe. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.com

Yum! Yum! There’s simply no other way to describe this Sweet Corn Pie.

Did you hear those words?

Sweet. Corn. Pie.

Uh. Yes, please!

Ever since I began broadening my cooking horizons, I’ve been scrolling through Pinterest looking for recipes that my family and I might enjoy. But rarely do I veer off the “Cooking for Dummies” beaten path. The recipes I attempt must be simple and require ingredients that I already have in my fridge or pantry. Most importantly, though, the recipes cannot contain “google” ingredients. You know the ones. Those strange ingredients you’ve never heard of so you’re forced to either call your mom or perform yet another google search that begins with, “What the heck is a…”

Let’s face it. If I have to google an ingredient, there’s a pretty good chance it’s not in my kitchen and an even greater chance I’m not going to try the recipe.

Fortunately for me, the recipe for this Sweet Corn Pie (There are those delicious words again!) was simple and straightforward. No google required. (You can find the recipe over at Natural Comfort Kitchen.)

I must say that my Sweet Corn Pie turned out perfectly. Well, almost…

You see, I didn’t have Panko crumbs so I substituted crushed Ritz crackers. And I didn’t have quite enough crackers but thought I’d get away with it because who besides me was gonna know how crumbly the pie topping was supposed to be?

I also didn’t have white pepper so I substituted black pepper. And I really should have googled the difference between the two. If I had, I would have known that my substitution of black pepper should have been in a smaller quantity because white pepper has a much milder flavor.

I didn’t have garlic cloves so I used minced.

I didn’t have kosher or sea salt so I used good ol’ table salt.

I didn’t have frozen or fresh corn so I used canned.

And lastly, I didn’t have a round pie plate so I used a rectangular casserole dish instead.

Now, you might be thinking the shape of the dish doesn’t make any difference. Au contraire, my friend. My grandmother and my great aunt prepared the same cornbread recipe all of their lives. The only difference was the shape of the pan they each used and my dad swore that my aunt’s cornbread in a round pan was much better than my grandmother’s cornbread in a square pan! Apparently, the shape of the dish is vital! Sadly, I don’t own a round pie plate. Why would I? I don’t bake pies. (Except for shepherd’s but that’s not really pie, now is it. 😉 )

So it seems my culinary masterpiece was not perfect at all. I improvised all the way through the recipe. But amazingly, the dish was wonderful. Three out of four in my household agree!

As I was eating my slice of sweet corn deliciousness and marveling at how flexible my cooking skills have become, I began to think (“A dangerous pastime – I know!”).

Wouldn’t it be nice if I was just as flexible in other areas of my life? Wouldn’t it be nice if we all were?Sweet Corn Pie: A Lesson on Flexibility - Do you find yourself struggling with the ever-changing circumstances of life? You may want to take a peak at the lessons I learned from attempting to cook this Yummy recipe. | https://acoupleofstarsandahappyface.wordpress.comInstead of whining and complaining when we don’t have everything we want or even need, what if we learned to appreciate and make the best of all we do have?

Instead of counting people out or trying to make others fit our mold, what if we learned to appreciate the uniqueness of those around us?

Instead of insisting on a round pie plate way of doing things, what if we listened to the ideas of others, tried something new and acknowledged that a square pan might be just as good as a round one?

Hmm. That’s a whole lotta “What ifs” in one slice of Sweet Corn Pie! Oops – I mean chunk of Sweet Corn Pie – er – uh – maybe it’s Sweet Corn Casserole…

… ‘Cause everyone knows it can’t be pie unless it’s baked in a round pie plate! 😉

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Breathe

Breathe 2

A couple of months ago, a Facebook friend was struggling with the death of a cherished friend and mentor.  His emotions were wreaking havoc with his mind and thoughts and the turmoil that ensued within was almost more than he could stand.  Post after post on his timeline told of his questions, his lack of understanding and his battle to find meaning in it all.  After weeks of wrestling with his grief and pain, one word began to premeate his thoughts –

“BREATHE”

He finally penned these words:

When you feel as if you can’t go on,
BREATHE.
When the storms of life cover you,
BREATHE.
When you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning,
BREATHE.
When you struggle with your emotions,
BREATHE.
When you feel as all is for naught,
BREATHE.
When you need a refreshing start,
BREATHE.
There are always going to be times when you feel choked off.  But know that the fresh breath of Oxygen will always be there to give you sustainable life.
– Ben Ford 4/8/18

Life can be overwhelming and if we aren’t careful, if we forget that we aren’t meant to do life alone, we can find ourselves suffocating under the weight of our burdens and cares.

In those desperate moments of grief, heartache, sorrow, uncertainty and helplessness, we must remember to breathe.

There is life-giving hope and strength in the surrender to our need to breathe.

There is rest and rejuvenation in each breath.

There is peace in the stillness that falls upon our souls.

Don’t allow life’s difficulties to smother you. Remember to breathe and in the quietness of each breath, talk to your Heavenly Father. Give Him your burdens, your troubles, your pain and your unanswered questions. Allow Him to breathe new life within you.

You can find peace in the midst of your turmoil today –

Just remember to

BREATHE.

 


*** The heartfelt words written by my friend not only reminded me of my need to stop, be still and breathe when overwhelmed with life, they also inspired me to WRITE A SONG! I hope to be able to share it with you very soon. So keep an ear out! ***

Pray Anyway

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Though you can’t see an end to your struggle,

Though your heart stings from familiar hurt,

Though your hope has been crushed and your trust has been broken,

Pray anyway.

 

Though you fear nothing will ever change,

Though you worry your cries won’t be heard,

Though your faith has vanished and you’ve nothing on which to cling,

Pray anyway.

 

Though your world, so dear, has stopped turning,

Though you can’t fathom the reasons why,

Though you feel abandoned and your life is in pieces,

Pray anyway.

 

Prayer is more about Gods presence than it is about our problems.

It’s more about who we become while spending time with Him.

It’s about the spark that is reignited,

The faith that is rekindled,

The hope that is reborn.

The resolve that is strengthened,

The healing that takes place,

The rest that is given,

And the peace that floods our souls.

 

The power of prayer is experiencing of the power of God,

Discovering that He is greater than our problems,

That our problems cannot change His promises,

That His grace is always sufficient,

That His love is never failing and

That we don’t have to do life alone.

 

So no matter your circumstances,

No matter your lack of faith,

Never stop praying.

Never stop seeking His Face.

 

Pray anyway.

 

 

 

He Restores My Soul

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Because I overload my schedule,

Because I don’t know how to say “no”,

Because I keep everything to myself,

Because I believe asking for help is a sign of weakness,

Because I carry the weight of the world on my shoulders,

He makes me lie down in green pastures.

He MAKES me.

He frees me of obligations.

He lightens my load.

He loosens my grip.

He reminds me that He is in control.

He quiets my heart and gives me rest.

He restores my soul.

Because He is the Good Shepherd and I –

I am his stubborn little sheep.

 

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 356: The SMILES of Christmas

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Christmas SMILE #22 (Reason to SMILE #356): THE CHRISTMAS SPIRIT

There’s something about this time of year that brings out the best in people. Children begin behaving, doing their chores without complaining, offering to help around the house – mostly to secure their place on Santa’s “Nice List”! Families set aside differences and grudges and gather together sharing, laughing and embracing freely and wholeheartedly. Even strangers stop on the street, at the stores and in restaurants to greet each other and wish happiness and joy to all those around.

Sure, the holidays can also bring out the worst in some people. Crowds at the mall, busy city streets and noisy public venues can test anyone’s patience and place a damper on Christmas cheer. But with every “Merry Christmas” I hear as I navigate this busy season, I am reassured that the spirit of Christmas remains alive and well. And when I return each greeting with a warm SMILE and a Christmas blessing of my own, I am doing my part to spread love and joy to a world longing for Christmas Spirit and longing for the Hope and Peace it brings.

Wouldn’t it be nice if our Christmas Spirit endured all year round?

Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me.

– “Let There be Peace on Earth” by Jill Jackson-Miller and Sy Miller

A Year of Smiles – Day 344: The SMILES of Christmas

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Christmas SMILE #10 (Reason to SMILE #344): THE LIGHTS

There’s a house on my drive home from work that is decked with a huge display of Christmas lights. Glowing Christmas characters and flashing trees fill the yard. And if you tune into a particular radio frequency, you can even hear Christmas music playing along with the blinking lights. This house is a bright and cheery beacon of Christmas spirit on an otherwise dark and quiet stretch of road.

The lights of Christmas are beautiful and whether it’s a simple string of white bulbs draped over the azalea bushes or a grandiose exhibit of colorful luminaries dancing wildly to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Carol of the Bells”, you cannot deny the cheer these lights bring to a dark and dreary world. And for the few brief moments we are enjoying their brilliant display along a neighborhood street or basking in their soft glow around the family Christmas tree, we find a sense of comfort, peace and joy. We forget our worries and we find a SMILE.

Then we drive down the road or unplug the tree lights and the darkness surrounds us once again, stealing away our security and contentment.

Oh, but the respite we find while enjoying the lights of Christmas does not have to end when their gleam can no longer be seen. The darkness does not have to overrun our lives. For there is a Light that brings unwavering joy and everlasting peace. This Light reaches the darkest crevices of our lives, drives out the shadows of our hopelessness and despair and brings hope to a weary world, to a weary soul, to a weary you and to a weary me.

This True Light of Christmas is Jesus. He is the reason for our celebration, the reason for our joy. He is the reason we can SMILE in the midst of our darkest nights.

The people walking in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
    a light has dawned.
You have enlarged the nation
    and increased their joy;

For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:2-3a, 6 (NIV)

A tiny baby born in Bethlehem pierced the darkness of a dying world more than two thousand years ago. Though the shadow of death followed Him, the Light of the Son of God could not be extinguished, even on the cross. The Light of our Risen Savior and Reigning King still shines brightly for all to see today. And though the shadows of darkness threaten to overtake us, we’ve no need to fear. The True Light of Christmas has conquered the darkness so you and I can have life – a life filled with uncontainable joy!

 

A Year of Smiles – Day 334

Reason to SMILE #334: A PLACE OF SANCTUARY

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Beginning the day after Thanksgiving, I find myself spending more and more time in my living room. The Christmas tree is up. The lights are sparkling. The room is clean! 😉 And a sense of tranquility permeates the entire space.

This morning, as I sat in the glow of the tree lights, I began to pray for the two SMILES I needed to write today. (Yep. Behind again. <SIGH> ) As I prayed, I leaned back in my recliner and my thoughts turned to the state of all the rooms in my house. (Does your mind drift when you pray? Mine does all the time. I’m so grateful my God is patient and full of grace.) Though my living room is clean, quiet and inviting, the rest of my house looks like a construction site. My dining room is half dining room half wood flooring storage. My kitchen is filled with paint supplies and Christmas decoration boxes. The hallway houses a toilet and miscellaneous tools being used in our bathroom renovation and just about every other room has a new door and frame leaning against a wall waiting to be installed. It’s a mess. It’s chaotic and it is in no way peaceful.

In all of the craziness of installing new floors and new doors and renovating a bathroom, my living room, which is smack dab in the middle of my house and newly decorated for the Christmas season, has become my sanctuary. No matter the state of the other rooms in my house, no matter what craziness is happening in those rooms, if I’m sitting in my living room with the tree all aglow, I can find peace. I can find joy.

Hmmm. I suppose not all wanderings of the mind during prayer time are distractions. Sometimes, those thoughts that seem to pull us from our communion with the Father are actually the whispers of the Holy Spirit calling us to a truth or lesson He wants us to learn. As I was contemplating the contrast between my living room and the remaining rooms of my house, I realized my sanctuary was the perfect example of the mind-boggling peace God offers to his children in the midst of a chaotic world.

Ah! There was my SMILE. No matter what is happening in the world around me, no matter the news stories, no matter the political messes, no matter the financial woes, no matter the family dysfunctions, no matter the worries, sicknesses, sorrows or fears, if I’m resting in the sanctuary of my Heavenly Father’s arms, I can find peace. I can find joy. And I can find a SMILE.

A Year of Smiles – Days 306 and 307

Reason to SMILE #306: THE DRIVE HOME

driving-918950_1280Sometimes you have those days when you can’t seem to catch your breath, when the work hits you as soon as you walk in the door and it doesn’t stop ’til, well – it doesn’t stop. You simply have to get to a point where you say, “Enough. This will have to wait until tomorrow.” So, you dog-ear a page, turn a document sideways in the file, save your open computer files, grab your purse and run.

No! Don’t answer that ringing phone. Don’t look back at those unopened emails. Just go! Get in your car and go.

Ahhhh! As you drive away, the stresses of work grow smaller and smaller. Your headache begins to fade and your attitude gradually adjusts. Although your stomach is loudly reminding you of your missed lunch break, you still cannot help but SMILE. You are on your way home.

And when you get there, you can sit back, relax and enjoy…

Reason to SMILE #307: A COKE AND A NUTTY BUDDY

After supper, of course! 😉 coke and nb

Yep. Sometimes you just need an extra jolt of sugar and caffeine to bring out that SMILE!!

Don’t worry.

After my busy day, not even this could keep me from sleeping tonight.

Zzzzzzzzzz!

A Year of Smiles – Day 295

Reason to SMILE #295: WHEN GOD SHOWS UP FOR COFFEE

coffee mug

And God said, “Hmm. That mug needs a little something extra.”

How beautiful is that! The sun peered through my kitchen window and hit my coffee mug in the perfect spot. For someone who doesn’t enjoy mornings, I was able to find my SMILE much faster when this caught my eye. And this definitely made my morning a bit – well – brighter!

I’ve said it many times before and I’m sure I’ll say it many times to come. The smallest things can make the biggest difference. And God must agree. Why else would He have sent this sparkling SMILE my way?

A Year of Smiles – Day 288

Reason to SMILE #288: CAMPFIRES 


There’s nothing like sitting around a campfire watching the flames dance and the embers glow to calm the nerves and ease a troubled mind. Tonight’s crisp air begged for the warmth of a fire. My husband obliged and I’m glad he did.

I needed to hear the cheerful crackle of the flames. I needed to gaze into the fire’s soothing glow. I needed to feel my burdens float away with the ashes as they drifted through the air and disappeared into the night.

Sigh. 

What a relaxing SMILE!

There is one thing that could’ve made it better, though…

Marshmallows! If I’d only had marshmallows! 😉