Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Crockpot Apple Oatmeal

(adapted from Fix It and Forget It Cookbook)
2 cups milk
2 tbsp honey (or brown sugar to your taste, or agave nectar, or maple syrup or ....)
1 tbsp butter or coconut oil
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp cardamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 cup old fashioned oats (don't use the quick cooking oats -- they get mushy)
1 diced apple
1/2 cup dried cranberries (or other dried fruit; a tropical mix with mango is interesting)
chopped walnuts or pecans (optional, but they really add a lot in texture)

Spray slowcooker with pam(That's very important!)
Mix all ingredients together in slow cooker. Don't worry about getting everything evenly distributed; you'll stir it up in the morning. Cover. Cook on low 5-6 hours.

You do not need to get up at 1 a.m. to turn this on. Go buy one of those little gadgets that can be used to turn a lamp on and off while you're on vacation (they're popular for turning holiday lights on and off too). Turn on your crockpot and plug it into the gadget. You'll wake up to a lovely fragrance!

You can do this with steel cut oats too. (Notice this uses a bit more liquid) Somewhere I have a recipe that uses dried apples--you make a mix of the dry ingredients and just add milk. Sooooo easy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


Today my husband and I overslept and lost an entire hour. Somehow we both got to our destinations at the proper times, but I had no time to read my Bible. Because I lead a Bible study on Tuesdays, I feel a little undernourished and ill-prepared if I miss my Bible-reading this day. On the way to study, I listened to a CD that I'd burned for a friend. I wanted to be sure that it played properly. One of the tracks is Selah's "Be Thou My Vision." The ancient words suddenly seemed fresh and new to me today, and I felt nourished and encouraged and prepared.

Here are the words. I will not comment on them--they are complete in themselves.

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

--At­trib­ut­ed to Dal­lan For­gaill, 8th Cen­tu­ry

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"May I never be a shadow..."

My friend Velma writes a weekly e-mail devotional called "East Window." Here is this week's edition:

“Thanks for the Memories……..”

I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. 2 Timothy 1:4

In recent days after attending functions I haven’t attended for awhile, I was reminded of the power we have to leave deposits of our own heart in the hearts we meet on our way. In my own heart, memories of other cherished friends can be like the strains of my favorite music or the taste of a favorite food.

Father, I thank You for this ability You’ve given us to nourish and refresh each other. I’m reminded of an old bit of poetry I cherish---

“I will not wish thee riches nor the glow of greatness, but that wherever
thou go some weary heart shall gladden at thy smile, or shadowed life know sunshine for a while. And so thy path shall be a track of light, like
angels' footsteps passing through the night.” [author unknown]

Father, what more could I wish for myself than this, I am cheered to realize that in my present disability I still have the power You gave me to bring happiness to others. Bless all of those who give me such love from their hearts. May I never be a shadow on anyone’s day—only light from You. And may the glory always be Yours.

--Velma Schlabach Cozzutto 09/19/09

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Comfort and Joy

I had a blah day yesterday. Today I was cheered up by these verses:

Bring joy to your servant's life, since I set my hope on You, Lord. Psalm 86:4

Happy are the people who know the joyful sound; they walk, O Lord, in the light of Your presence. Psalm 89:15

When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy. Psalm 94:19

That last verse holds a very special memory. I read it when I was beginning labor with our oldest living child. After losing two babies to early miscarriage, I had given up hope, and I expected nothing more than a funeral as the outcome of that labor. I read that verse and knew that God would give me comfort. He did more than that...He gave me a beautiful healthy daughter. Now the verse reminds me of the dark tunnel of fear and grief that God pulled me out of that day--and the great joy of holding my baby. She's almost eight now.

Lip Balm and Soul Balm

Out of earth's sorrows, into Thy balm,
Out of life's storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
--from a hymn: "Jesus, I Come" by William Sleeper, 1887

I don't use the word "balm" often, unless I'm talking about lip balm. Now that I think of it, that's a great illustration of God's word. My lips get dry and cracked in the desert heat unless I apply lip balm every day. Similarly, without a daily application of God's word, my soul becomes parched.

To hear more of this hymn, check out Scott Wesley Brown's version on the album Hymns, the Old Made New.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finer Things Friday: Albinoni and Quiet Time

Amy at Amysfinerthings hosts Finer Things Friday. This week her "Finer Thing" is Sleep. I understand. Sleep is precious and vital when you have small children in the house.

At our house we have a Quiet Time every afternoon. The girls all have a Quiet Time Place where each of them is alone. My seven year old makes paper crafts with quantities of tape, my five year old looks at books and hums to her toys (and still falls asleep most days), and my three year old cuddles up with her doll and takes a nap. I read or write or exercise or sleep.

My children prefer to sleep with music and in the afternoon Mama chooses the music. It has to be just the right music that will allow me to nap if I need to, won't keep the kids awake, but won't put me to sleep if I'm trying to get something accomplished. I found something perfect: this Albinoni Adagios CD. The Baroque style is refreshing and helps me focus if I'm writing, but it does not keep any of us awake if we desire to nap. It's truly a Finer Thing.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Today I read two familiar verses from Hebrews. I usually read the Holman translation or New King James, but today I read the New American Standard Bible. I noticed the use of the word "confidence" where I am accustomed to reading "boldness."

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)

...We have confidence to enter the holy place by the blood of Jesus. (Hebrews 10:19)

These verses always amaze me, in any version. I grew up in a Christian home, so prayer has never been a new concept to me, but I still find it incredible that I can confidently talk with the Creator of the Universe...all because of Jesus' sacrifice.

The word "confidence" showed up in my Psalms reading today also:

That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,
That they may arise and tell them to their children,
That they should put their confidence in God
And not forget the works of God,
But keep His commandments. (Psalm 78:6-7)

The preceding verses urged the people of Israel to tell their children the mighty works that God had done. Here we see that this telling would influence their children's confidence in God.

This made me ask myself, "What mighty works of God in my own life do I need to be sharing with my children?"