For some of you, this week will be a crazy one with travel or hosting guests. I thought our family would have a rather quiet Thanksgiving holiday but somehow that has all changed. And that is not a bad thing. I'm looking forward to the events of this week. It just won't be quiet and boring!
I'm listing the same goals for this week as I had planned earlier but realize that for me they will most likely be pushed into next week. (And to be honest, not many weeks did I complete the week's goal. But if I got started I deemed it successful.)
Week Seven - Baking Week - November 24-29
In past years, Thanksgiving week for us has been the week to start holiday baking. When our children were small, every year we got together with some friends from Ed's job and made Christmas cookies together on the Friday after Christmas. Eventually as we had more children, this got too crazy to do with another family, but we still enjoyed beginning Christmas baking this week.
I like to bake several kinds of Christmas cookies and freeze them. Then they are ready to place on a plate for a quick gift or take caroling.
I also hope to make a batch or two of Bulgar Rolls. I know if I ask my mom or my mother-in-law what they want me to bring to the family gatherings at Christmas and New Years, they won't have any idea yet what their menu will be. But if the experience from past years holds true this year, the week of Christmas I'll hear, "Do you mind bringing your Bulgar Rolls again?"
I love making Bulgar Rolls and enjoy being asked to bring the same tried-and-true recipe every year. But it always annoys me to have to bake a double batch of Bulgar Rolls right in the middle of the busiest part of December.
Last year, since our baby was due at the beginning of January, I made the Bulgar Rolls early and froze them. Even though our baby was born New Year's Eve, I was able to pull out the rolls in time for the family gathering on New Year's Day. (My mother-in-law will probably never get over the shock that we showed up at her house with a one-day-old baby but we couldn't resist the chance to show off the baby and eat Chocolate Pie. And we didn't stay long.)
As I said, with the plans we have this week, I don't expect to get much baking done. But I'll be making my plans and hope to hit it next week.
What are you baking?
Preparation in Scripture
I found this interesting passage in Nehemiah.
"So they read in the book in the law of God distinctly, and gave the sense, and caused them to understand the reading.
And Nehemiah, which is the Tirshatha, and Ezra the priest the scribe, and the Levites that taught the people, said unto all the people, This day is holy unto the LORD your God; mourn not, nor weep. For all the people wept, when they heard the words of the law.
Then he said unto them, Go your way, eat the fat, and drink the sweet, and send portions unto them for whom nothing is prepared: for this day is holy unto our Lord: neither be ye sorry; for the joy of the LORD is your strength." (Nehemiah 8:8-10)
I have often heard this last line "the joy of the Lord is your strength" - I even have it hanging by my sink - but I couldn't have told you the context. Here Nehemiah has been teaching the people the law of the Lord and they were grieved by what they learned. (I'm guessing because they realized that they had not kept God's law.)
So I'm taking from this passage that joy doesn't come from a lack of sorrow or hardship. Joy comes when we have prepared our heart to seek God, when we have heard His Word and are broken from our sin, when we have accepted His forgiveness, and have extended gifts to others.
Then we have His joy which in turn brings His strength.
And that is something worth thanking God for this week.
Only one more week on this Christmas Preparation Countdown!