Wednesday, December 14, 2011

opening my home & apricot scones (gluten free)

my home is small.  it is a duplex built in the 50's, back when people didn't have a lot of... stuff.  on the main floor there are 2 little bedrooms, a kitchen, 1 large room that works as our living room, dining room, entry way, & office.  we also have a basement that is kind of finished (enough to throw toys and the tv down in part of it).  and we have 1 bathroom. 

i will say it again, my home is small. 

and yet, my home is God's.  i need to be willing to open my doors to anyone in order to minister to their spiritual needs. 

Titus 2:3-5
"Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips not enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good, so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored."

now i'm not going to break these verses down and study intently each word.  i'm simply trying to draw your attention to the call of women of God.  these are a lot of things that we are to be encouraging one another to do/be.  so many things that the 15 minutes we have before or after the church service doesn't allow time for.  no, encouragement of these things are better in a setting of intimacy, specifically, within a home. 

i am "older" than so many other women that i know, that i will always have someone that i need to be an encouragement to.  i also have the opportunity to create the perfect setting for women who are older than me to encourage other women.  how?  by opening my home to a group of ladies.

sometime i am reluctant to open my doors.  i'm afraid people will be bothered by the fact that seating is limited.  i'm worried that one bathroom will be awkward (especially if my curling iron is still cooling on the back of the toilet).  i'm hesitant to try and find a place for people to take off their shoes, to lay their coats, to set their bags.  because, my home is small. 

but the Lord knows where i live.  in fact, He gave me this place to use as my home.  so why am i dragging my feet when it comes to using this house as a place to honor and obey Him? 

is it my pride getting in the way?  is it my laziness overpowering my desire to do His will?  whatever sin it is, it needs to get out of the way and let me obey the Spirits prompting!

i planned for a small group of ladies to come over to my house on Tuesday morning.  i was nerves as all get out, but i was determined to obey the desire that He had placed on my heart.  i cleaned and cooked and rearranged the furniture to accommodate this group of 7 ladies and 6 children.  it was difficult & enjoyable at the same time, planning and preparing for it all. 

and then, Monday night, Christian got the flu bug.  and while at first i was hurt and disappointed, thinking that it had all been for nothing, i realized that God knew. 

God knew that Christian would get sick and i would spend the entire night power napping.  God knew that i would get up Tuesday morning and have to call everyone to let them know that it was off.  God knew that i would have a pile of scones and bread sitting on my table for the next many days.  and... God knew that i had obeyed His leading.  even though my home is small.

i want to encourage you, no matter how big your home is, no matter where it is, no matter how pretty or old or awkward it may seem, it is the perfect place to honor God.  it is a wonderful setting to focus on encouraging others. 

and to help you with your planning, here is a wonderful recipe that any lady will love!  ;)

Apricot Scones (gluten free)
taken from the Dec 2011 issue of deliciousliving (a free magazine distributed by Red Clover)

1 1/2 c. brown rice flour
1/2 c. tapioca flour
1/3 c. potato starch (not potato flour)
2 1/2 t. baking powder
2 1/2 t. xanthan gum
1/4 c. sugar (i used 1/2 c.)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 c. (1 stick) cold butter, cubed
4 eggs
1/2 c. plus 1-2 t. plain yogurt (i used a 6 oz. container)
3/4 c. finely chopped dried apricots
1/2 t. vanilla extract
1 t. almond extract (i skipped the almond extract and just did 1 t. vanilla)
sugar for top of scones

heat oven to 350
mix first 7 ingredients (brown rice flour through salt)
using a pastry cutter or food processor, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.

in a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, yogurt, apricots, and extracts.  add to flour-butter mixture.  mix until just combined.

dust clean work surface with brown rice flour.  turn out scone mixture and pat into a 9x9 square (i worried less about size or shape and instead patted it out to a thickness of about 1 inch). 

cut scones into desired shape and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.  sprinkle top with sugar (i like the big chunky sugar crystals you get at the bakery counter in the grocery store).  bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden at edges.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Sarah, I've so often struggled with the same thing, too worried so many times what others might think. For me, I think it is a pride thing, embarassed that what I have (what God has blessed me with!!) doesn't hold a candle to what others have. Thanks for the encouragement today!! ~Janna
    (and thanks for the tip on dusting pinecones, I definitely could have used that idea when I attempted to clean them up with a feather duster . . . not the best idea I've ever had!!) ;o)


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