Eating our green vegetables … Zucchini bars!
I asked my husband, “Am I a control freak?”
He said, “well, you are not a freak.” Then he went on to explain how he sees me as organized and that I like to be in control but not in a frreaky way.
That wasN’T really good enough for me to not call myself a control freak but also realistic enough for me to realize that my controlling nature doesn’t always leave room for God to move as He will within my life.
Waaay last May (which seems like a lifetime ago) over a game of cards with two of our grandsons and their parents, we made the commitment for the grandsons to come to Tennessee to stay with us for 10 days in August. At the time the calendar looked pretty clear and I was thrilled to think the boys would be with us for a full 10 days before starting back to school in Denver.
I joyfully began to make lists. A list of food they liked to eat (with some help from their mom). The list of activities to keep them busy. I made the too-hot to be outside list. The rainy day list. The outing in the car list — far enough away to make it a trip but not so far as to become boring. I talked to the neighbors to see who else had grandchildren visiting at the same time so we could have a play-date list. The really sad thing about this list of lists — it is all true! (Help me! :))
So, when on June 27th my summer plans were turned up-side-down I was left sifting through my lists wondering how in the world it was all going to work out. Immediately upon finding out my mom had breast cancer our schedule became jam-packed full. Each and every day brought on another round of appointments in the nearest city with a regional medical center. Did I mention that we live in the country, a 1 hour drive away from that medical center?
All through July my sous-chef dish-washing mom and I would make that drive from appointment to appointment. God was so good to us. He continually met our needs, giving us strength and even sometimes laughter to get where we needed to go. We listened to praise music and talked about how blessed we were to be able to make the drive to a medical center where she could get treatment. We counted all our blessings each and every day. We had each other, a good car to drive, health insurance, loving medical staff, and at home my Chief Culinary Consultant oftentimes had dinner on the table when we arrived home at the end of a long day. My knight-in-shining-armor.
As July gave way to August I felt the weight of August 10th fast approaching. The day my little grandsons, ages 6 and 8 would arrive in Tennessee. I would look over the lists and pray the Lord would make a way for those little boys to have a wonderful summer experience while at the same time not letting my mom down when I thought she needed me most.
Jeremiah 29:11 is that often-quoted scripture when we are looking for events and life in general to go our way.
11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.
As I prayed prior to my little boys arriving I felt a lot of comfort from those words. It was going to be alright. Everything will work out. But it wasn’t until I really tagged on the next verse did the peace come for me.
12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. 13 You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you, declares the Lord, Jeremiah 29:12
It wasn’t until I let go and let God did everything really fall in to place. You see, I have the ability and desire to take my mom where she needs to go, when she needs to go. The Lord has given me the freedom each and everyday to do for my family. But sometimes all those “can do” and “must do” get all mixed up. But it wasn’t until I started trusting Him and praising Him did He unveil His plan for my time in August.
When my little grandsons were here God provided so many neighbors and friends who lined up to help mom get to her daily radiation treatments. And for me He took away the guilt that I should be the one driving her to and from.
There is so much comfort in knowing and believing that long before events happen in our life we have a Heavenly Father that cares enough about each of us to orchestrate just the right plans to get us through each and every life situation.
In my last post, Woo-Hoo From The WHOot I mentioned I would tell you why August 20 is important to my God-story ….
Our grandsons arrived on August 10 and flew back home on August 20. Each and every day I began the day in two ways — first, thanking God for clearing the way for beautiful time spent with our grandchildren. Second, wondering are they up yet?
On August 20, THE WHOot used some of my pictures and a recipe of mine on their blog and it has created a firestorm of activity on my blog. Without a doubt I know that God provided that activity for me when I couldn’t do it for myself. And when I was tired and worn out (August 20) He chose that day to create the biggest amount of activity on my blog that I have ever had. Coincidence? I think not.
My dependence on Him continues to sore as time and time again He shows me how a relationship with Him is the most important thing I can have in my life under the sun.
To me, the most important part of Jeremiah 29 isn’t the part that God says “I’ve got you in my plans” but the part that says “12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you.” He hears me.
Praising Him through our life circumstances makes all the difference. My prayer for you is that no matter what you are going through today, you will call on His name, praise him, and know that you are in HIS plans!
Have a blessed weekend,
P.S. Oh, I almost forgot … the first picture of my little guys holding a zucchini and eating zucchini bars — we just wanted to show their mom and dad that they were indeed eating their green vegetables at Grandma’s!
Zucchini Bars With Browned Butter Frosting
Perfect end of summer dessert when zucchini is plentiful and desserts are always on the menu!
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup vegetable oil*
- 3 large eggs
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 cups shredded zucchini (about 2 medium)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans (optional)
Browned Butter Frosting
- 6 tablespoons butter (do not use margarine)
- 6 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 8 to 10 tablespoons milk
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease bottom and sides of 15x10x1-inch pan with shortening or spray with cooking spray.
- In large bowl, beat granulated sugar, oil and eggs with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Stir in zucchini and pecans. Spread in pan.
- Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown. Cool completely, about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, in 4-quart saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until light golden brown; remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar, vanilla and milk until smooth and spreadable. Spread Browned Butter Frosting on cooled bars. For bars, cut into 8 rows by 6 rows.
This is a Betty Crocker recipe I have used for years and it always turns out wonderful.
*I decrease the oil from 1 cup to 3/4 cup because I just don't think it needs 1 cup. Very cake-like and moist with 3/4 cup.
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