Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cure for depression. Dodie Smith
It was Erma Bombeck who said, "If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?" We all have days that see more pits than cherries. Sometimes it’s easier to open our hearts and encourage others than it is to encourage ourselves. Dodie Smith’s quote is my secret to discouragement. My mother must have read that quote somewhere, because whenever she knows I’m a little down, she will say, "Pam, do something special for someone else.” It works! In focusing on another’s needs your own problems seem smaller and insignificant.
Create a Retreat
Love what you do. Believe in your instincts.
And you’d better be able to pick yourself up and brush yourself off every day.
My big blue chair is my retreat. Now it has nothing to do with the chair. In fact, I’m hoping it will turn into a brown leather wing back sometime soon. It’s not the chair, it’s the solitude I’ve found “in my spot.” A huge basket of my journal and books to my right, and a table piled high with some of my books by a favorite author who inspires beauty and encourages love. You'll also see a glass coaster (encasing Ethan's picture) underneath my ever-present goblet of tea. The safe place -- the place you can unload others' pain and refill your own joy bucket.
As you enter your place of retreat, use your journal to unload your thoughts and feelings. Ask yourself these simple questions:
Who has hijacked my joy?
Can God restore my joy even if the circumstances haven't changed?
Is there something I can do physically to restore my joy?
Discover Peace in Music
From every stormy wind that blows,
From every earthly tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat,
‘Tis found beneath the mercy seat.
Revel in the Love of Christ
When Emily was little, somewhere along the way, when she'd say, “I love you” we'd respond,
“I love you more.” She'd come back with the same words, tagging on, “I said it first!" Many times I have walked away from her, speaking the words, “I love you more,” hoping to have won the argument.
God, too, responds to us in the same way. We sing praise choruses of love and He whispers, “I love you more.” We send our prayers of love heavenward and on the same cloud they float back down to us, “I love you more.”
I love how The Message paraphrases the words Paul wrote in his Ephesians epistle “…take in with all Christians the extravagant dimensions of Christ's love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights!” My heart swells just to read those words. We really can’t take in the full measure of Christ’s love. But in knowing that His love is endless, let it free you to also love passionately and unconditionally.
William Barclay said, "The hand of Christ is strong enough to uphold the heavens, and gentle enough to wipe away our tears." And when tears no longer fill our eyes, peace will begin its assent in our heart until joy has bubbled over -- and oh, the deep burgundy of the cherries will stain our tongues, juice will trickle down our chin and that sweet, yet tart, taste will remind us that sometimes our days are joyful, sometimes overwhelming. But through it all, God is ready to shelter us.
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February 22nd is National Cherry Pie Day
Mini Cherry Pie
Pam from For the Love of Cooking had these pies on her blog. I found them doing a search for miniature cherry pies and knew this recipe of Pam's would be perfect for my project. (Pam actually found them on Georgia's The Comfort of Cooking.)
All you need for three is: