I was recently given an amazing devotional book that has blessed me just within the first week of reading it. It is entitled "Rain on Me-Devotions of Hope and Encouragment for Difficult Times" by Holley Gerth. My dear friend, Mari, sells this book through Blessings Unlimited: http://marinegrete.blessingsdirect.com/Products/Directory/CUST043/ProductDetails.aspx?prodid=849&cid=300
In the introduction it says, "Wherever you are and whatever your storm might be, know that you are not alone. God is with you, and he is whispering messages about the rain to your heart that will change your world forever if you ony dare to believe them."
One of this week's excerpts was entitled "Where is God When it Rains", and it talks about staying under the shelter of God's umbrella in the midst of a storm. I must admit, when the rain pours down in my life and things seem overwhelming, like on the days when I miss Savannah so much that it physically hurts inside, I want to run far away into the rain as fast as I can. On days like that it often seems so hard for me to see God, to feel His presence. But, it is on those days that He is simply telling me, "I am here, and I am giving you my umbrella of Love to cover you; I am walking through the rain with you." I am learning that I have to make a choice everyday...to stay as close to God as possible, wrapped in His loving arms, shielded from the storms around me.
God has also shown me through the unconditional love and support of my precious husband and dear friends that we are not meant to go through storms alone. Grief, loss, hurts, burdens, and sorrow lose strength and power over us when they are shared with others. Holley Gerth has also written the words of a Hallmark Card that perfectly describes what my husband and kindred spirits have done for me this past year.
"I wish I had a big yellow umbrella
that would keep all of the rain out of your life.
I would hold it over your head,
and the drops would splash, splash,
and you would never even feel them.
But, I don't have a big yellow umbrella,
so I'll walk through the rain with you."
I know that several of my dearest friends are hurting deeply now, and I pray that God will show me how to love them and help me to encourage them to find strength under God's umbrella. I encourage you to "walk through the rain" with your friends. Listen to them, sit with them while they cry, and love them in extravagent ways. Be a "foul-weathered" friend.
2 Corinthians 1:4
"He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us."
On a different note...
One of my hubby's favorite things during the Holiday Season is Eggnog. We buy the fancy-smancy type...Promised Land's Organic Homemade Eggnog. I decided to experiment with the eggnog this year, and the result was a Eggnog Spice Cake that my hubby declared "DELICIOUS!" So, if you are a fan of this popular holiday beverage then try this recipe out. It would be a great addition to a Holiday Party or a perfect Gift for friends and neigbors. Just package it on a pretty holiday plate (available at the Dollar Tree) and you have a yummy and inexpensive gift.
~Eggnog Spice Cake~
1 package spice cake mix
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups eggnog
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tablespoon vanilla
Powdered sugar for dusting
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. GENEROUSLY butter and flour a standard Bundt pan (or use cooking spray that contains flour.
3. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Beat five minutes, on medium speed with an electric mixer.
4. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
5. Cool 10 minutes and invert onto a cooling rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.
This goes great with a glass of eggnog or a cup of coffee or cocoa.