Blueberry Filled Lemon Cake

 

Hello all–  Made this little cake to take along to our Sunday morning group that meets before church.  We’ve been together every week since we were newly weds– 43 years!  And let me tell you, these are my people.

We’ve celebrated babies, and kid’s wedding, then grand-kids together.  We’ve held each other up through cancer and divorce, job loss and problems with our children.  There were camping trips and banana-gram nights, movies and late nights talks over the dinner table together.  When one family lost their family business we chipped in to get their daughter through her last semester of college.  And now we are walking with dear friends through brain cancer and hospice.  There’s more, but I’ll stop– can’t count all the hugs and prayers or the laughter and sorrows shared.

I just wanted to say all this because I’m hoping you have “your people” too.  People who know you deeply and share your faith, who bring meals when you’re down and walk with you in joy and difficult days.  God has them for you– he can help you find them.

 

BLUEBERRY FILLED LEMON CAKE
2 medium lemons, peel grated & juice squeezed
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup canola oil
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups fresh blueberries

glaze:
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice

 

Grate the zest off of the two lemons.  Then cut them in half and squeeze out all the juice.  Set both the zest and juice aside.

In a mixing bowl, beat together the eggs and sugar until well blended.  Then stir in the sour cream, oil and vanilla.  Next , mix in the flour, salt and baking powder.  And finally, stir in all the lemon zest, 1/4 cup of the lemon juice and the blueberries.  Just stir enough until it’s all thoroughly combined.

Spoon the mixture into a 9″ springform pan (or cake pan) that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Then pop it into a 375 degree oven for 45 to 55 minutes until it’s cooked through and a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

While the cake is still hot, mix together 1/4 cup of the remaining lemon juice with 1/4 cup sugar.  Stir until the sugar all dissolves.  Then dribble the sugar over the top of the cake and let it sit for 30 minutes to cool before you serve it up.

 

True Home

Hi Friends– This is a little article I wrote for our the Women’s Blog at our church.  And the subject is dear to my heart– so I thought I would share it with you here…

TRUE HOME

Not too long ago I was mixing up muffins in the kitchen with our small grand daughter when she asked, “Grandma, what happens when you die?” I smiled, glad to tell her about my hope of a home in heaven and the joy forever there. She thought for a moment and responded, “When I die, I think I’ll be a mermaid!” (We need to continue our conversation on this topic).

And it set me to thinking. I tend to love making my home here in this world, our small house, meals with friends, calls from our kids, our tidy little retirement savings—trying to find security and rest in the things I gather around me.

But C.S. Lewis’ words bring me up short.
“The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and pose an obstacle to our return to God; a few moments of happiness, of love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bathe, or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home.”

Home. I love the idea of heaven as my true home, a place where tears are no more and God’s glorious presence is our light.

After a long battle with cancer, my father was in his last days at the hospital. The family would circle around him and talk and sing to him. One of his old favorites was:
The world is not my home. I’m just a passin’ through.
My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.
The angels beckon me from Heaven’s open door.
And I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.

“Set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set you mind on things above, not on earthly things.”
— Colossians 3:1-2

Heaven, my heart’s true home.  Sometimes I scarcely think of heaven, but truly that’s where I want to set my heart and mind.  It’s a comfort to know it’s ahead for us—with dear ones we love who’ve gone there before us, with people at peace from every corner of this world, with the joy of unending days before our Lord.  My true and glorious home.

.

P.S. thanks Jodi for the photo of your home in Ojai Valley

This Day

“One life on this earth is all we get, whether it is enough or not enough, and the obvious conclusion would seem to be that at the very least we are fools if we do not live it as fully and beautifully as we can.”
— Frederick Buechner  (born 1926 NYC, American writer and theologian)

Love this thought.  And carrying it further, this one life is made of single days.  Like today.  I only get this one once.  So I’m starting it with this in mind, to live it fully and beautifully.”

“This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”  — Psalm 118:24

P.S.  photo from our Wisconsin travels last summer

My Notebook

Hi friends– If you’ve been reading here for a while you know Larry and I are going through some difficult life circumstances (that I really can’t spell out here).  It’s going to go on for a while and while I would never say, “Yes let’s do this again!!,”  it’s been a blessed time in many ways for us.

When friends and family started to come around and encourage us, I started to keep a notebook– words of love and strength from friends, from the Bible, texts and notes and things I read…  One friend texted me every morning for weeks last summer with fortifying thoughts and I wrote those all in the notebook.  Plus I listed over 50 people who told us they were praying with us.

All these notes are a joy and a picture of of God’s care for us. I love reading over the pages.  Here’s a few things from the notebook:

“In order to realize the worth of an anchor, we need to feel the stress of the storm.”  –Corrie Ten Boom

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”  — I Peter 4:7

“Everybody has stuff– No one gets a stuff free life”  — my friend Betty Key

“A season of suffering is small price to pay for a clear view of God.”  — Max Lucado

“Love you guys and so sorry you have to go through his, but we are praying something good comes of it”  — text from Joanne

“Nothing escapes the hand of God, especially when it involves his beloved, you.  xo”  — text from Debbie

“Some advice from “Finding Nemo,” –Just keep swimming!”  —  text from Jenon

“The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you with his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”  — Zephaniah 3:17

“Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.  Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.”  — Psalm 86:3-4

“I lie awake at night thinking of you, of how much you have helped me, and how I rejoice through the night, beneath the protecting shadow of your wings.”  –Psalm 63:6-7

There’s more in the notebook, but I just wanted to say what a help and strength all words have been.  So thankful.

 

Kindnesses

Hello all– The flu bug has finally hit here at our house.  How about with you??  (hope not!)  But one benefit of being down is all the kindnesses the come.  Larry making mugs of tea, inquiring phone calls, get well texts…   It’s reminding me of the importance of small kindnesses.

Here’s a few thoughts about kindness I came across:

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” – Mother Teresa

“Kind words produce their own image in men’s souls; and a beautiful image it is. They soothe and quiet and comfort the hearer. They shame him out of his sour, morose, unkind feelings. We have not yet begun to use kind words in such abundance as they ought to be used.” Blaise Pascal

“Nothing,” wrote Tolstoy, “can make our life, or the lives of other people, more beautiful than perpetual kindness.”

“Always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else.”
1 Thessalonians 5:15

So true.

P.S.  The photo is of our grand-guy Eero helping his newly walking cousin make her way through the arboretum.

Keeping it Simple

Hello All– After a fine, very full Christmas time, things just got real quiet around here.  I’m ready for simple.  Simpler meals.  The house cleared of Christmas clutter.  A emptier schedule.  Shorter to-do lists.

So while I love the fresh start chance to make those New Years Resolutions, I want to keep it simple.  I have just two resolves.  Love God– think on him, talk to him, love and worship with all my heart, rest in his love for me.  And second, Love People–  Imagine what would make them feel loved, cared for and do all I can for them…

If I can do those two, it’s enough.

“Love the Lord your G0d with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… Love your neighbor as yourself.”  –Jesus (Mark 10:30-31)

P.S.  The photo above are two people we truly love, Jac & Jackie, hiking in Wisconsin last summer.

Christmas Hope

Blessed Christmas to you friends–  This has been such a full Christmas season for us–real joy sitting around a beautiful table with our SF family this past week,   cheerful -if not totally melodic- caroling with the lovable neighborhood kids, watching Larry tell the Christmas story as a shepherd in our church’s Bethlehem Walk…

And there’s been deep sadness walking with a with a friend as her husband suffers dearly, our son’s family still evacuated because of the wildfires, a serious eye injury to a close friend and continued legal stress…

Life is complicated.

But these Christmas lyrics have stuck in my mind– “The thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices…”   I’m thankful to know that thrill.  There’s hope and deep joy in walking with God in these days.

Hoping for the thrill of God’s hope and moments of true joy for you and your family this Christmas.