Sweets for My Sweetheart — The Semi-Homemade Way!

This muffin pan kit arrived just in time for Valentine’s Day!  My husband is a pretty simple man, all he desired for Valentine’s Day was his favorite dessert: Yellow Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing! Our schedule was jam packed, so I used one of my “semi-homemade” recipes (Cake mix with a little something extra– read through the post to get my baking tip).  The cupcake pan is super cute and I loved that this really came with everything you’d need to make cupcakes (short of a bowl and the ingredients).

The liners were attractive and of good quality and I was able to support the pan with a simple cookie sheet or you could choose to use a shallow baking dish or a pizza pan if you don’t have a cookie sheet in your baking collection.  This would be a cute gift to send to a college student or a friend for a “galentines day” token of appreciation.  Overall, I was very happy with this item.

Here’s my “Semi-Homemade” Baking Tip:  I use Betty Crocker Super Moist Butter Recipe Yellow Cake Mix cake when I’m in a pinch– and to make it taste closer to homemade, I add in a box of Vanilla Jello Pudding— nothing extra– just make the cake according to the cake box directions.

The pudding really does make a difference!  You’ll thank me later!

Marriage Monday: My Marriage Meditations

This was on my heart to share:

When I matured enough to know that  I wanted to be married (having developed an understanding of the privilege and ministry that marriage is), I spent time seeking fulfilment for myself first.

Part of that involved personal goals (degrees, career, travel, etc.) and the other part was spiritual. I wanted to be full of my purpose and personal relationship with God before ANYONE else came into the picture.

Being single was not always easy, nor pleasant for me, but NOW I see how my time of preparation was KEY. I spent time pouring my heart out to God about A LOT of things. Including the type of love I desired.

Not just a relationship or marriage, but a friendship and bond rooted in something much deeper. When I look at my husband, I remember those prayers and there are SPECIAL moments when God brings something to my attention that reminds me of the specific prayers that I prayed.

When people see me with Brandon and comment on the way I look at him or how genuinely happy we seem, I thank God because I PRAYED for THAT and God shows himself strong by reminding me of those prayers every time someone makes that comment.

Do we have hard days? YES!

Have we had some UGLY blow ups? ABSOLUTELY–we’re NOT perfect!

But we’ve GROWN so much more and TOGETHER are becoming so much STRONGER. 

One day I was home from college talking with my mom and I told her, “I’ve been praying and I think maybe I’m not going to be married. Maybe that’s not what God wants for me, but if that’s not it, I’m sure he has something else in store.”

I have a former classmate (who is also a minister) that I laughed with after meeting my now husband. She observed and commented, “As soon as you released that thing (i.e. trying to be in relationships that weren’t God ordained) He gave you EXACTLY what you were praying for.”

Looking back on both of those instances made me realize that SOMETIMES GOD has to see that you’ll pursue his will ABOVE ALL ELSE. (Seek HIM FIRST and HE will give you the desires of your heart–but understand THIS, everything you desire may not be God’s will for your life).

If you’re single now and desiring a mate–KEEP PRAYING and TRUSTING HIM! Keep doing your part. Find fulfillment in your relationship with GOD and your relationship with YOURSELF. When the right person comes along, you won’t miss a beat.

I prayed this prayer (shown below) for years, but it came to pass. If marriage is a true, unselfish desire of your heart, I’m standing in agreement with you. I’ve also included a link to the prayer online. (Originally published in Prayers that Avail Much for Teens)

Future Spouse Prayer

I come before You, Father, desiring a christian mate. I petition that your will be done in my life, and I enter into that blessed rest by adhering to, trusting in, and relying on You.

Father, You desire that I live a life free from care, that I should be content and satisfied in every situation that I am in, and that I should not be anxious or worried about anything. You have said that if I am willing and obedient to Your Word, You will give me the desires of my heart. It is my desire that someday I will be married to the person You have chose for me.

I pray for him/her. Father, especially help him/her grow in love, Your kind of love. A friend loves at all times, and I desire for my spouse to be my very best friend. I desire that my spouse be a person who shares the same love that I have for you, someone who will be one in spirit and purpose with me.

I ask You to send mature men and women into our lives to give us good, godly counsel and to teach us how we should love each other and care for our family. Teach us both what You expect husbands and wives to do and how we ought to behave toward each other. Reveal to our hearts Your Word concerning the marriage relationship and correct any wrong thinking in our lives. Grant us knowledge throught godly people, books, tapes, and preaching that will give us understinding concerning relationships, so that we can avoid damaging the relationship You desire for us.

Father, I trust You to lead me and guide me by Your Holy Spirit so that when Your perfect time is right, I wil have the wisdom, discretion, and discernment to know that my choice and Yours are the same for my life-mate, I am secure with the mind and the spirit that You have given me to make this decision.

I pray that the eyes of my future spouse’s understanding will be opened so that he/she will have complete knowledge of Your will in all spiritual wisdom and understinding. I pray that he/she will live a life that is worthy of You, Lord, and pleasing to You in every way. I Pray that he/she will always be involved in doing good deeds, and have a strong, growing relationship with You. I pray that our commitment to each other will continually grow as we draw closer to You.

I pray In Jesus’ name. Amen

Future Spouse Scripture References:
Genesis 2:18-24 Ephesians 5:22-25
Psalm 37:4,5 KJV Philippians 2:2-7 AMP
Psalm 1:30:5 Colossians 1:9,10
Proverbs 17:17KJV Colossians 2:9,10 AMP
Isaiah 1:19 Hebrews 4:3,10 AMP
Matthew 6:33 RSV

image

More Marriage Meditations

In honor of “Marriage Monday” I decided to share some thoughts from a recent conversation with one of my single friends….

My friend asked for some dating/relationship advice and I thought this part of my response was worth sharing:

Marriage is work, but it’s interesting to consider comparing your dating interactions to a job.

We all work some grunt jobs along the way, but a career is the ultimate goal.

Marriage is a CAREER, not a job. You want your marriage to be successful, to last. You may shift from job to job (dating relationship to dating relationship), but you want your marriage to be the fulfilling work you do until your dying day. You want to build something that will go from this generation, to the next, and the next and so on after that.

If you’re the person doing the “hiring” and you already see you have someone that’s not interested in doing the “work”, it seems to me that you’d want to keep that position open for a person with the same long term vision.

Don’t settle for a temporary person– one who has openly expressed that he/she is only looking for a short term position and not a long term tenure.

Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t cheapen your requirements. Hold the position open for THE BEST candidate.

In the end, you’ll thank yourself. I’m speaking from experience here.

image

More Marriage Meditations

We attended a holiday party this week when another young couple asked us how we were enjoying married life after two years and when I responded, “I LOVE IT!” The couple said, “You’ve got to be kidding, most married couples hate each other after the second year.”

That made me really sad, but prayerful and thankful that Brandon does most of the things listed in this article without me ever having to ask. We’re definitely NOT perfect, but my prayer before getting married was that our relationship would be an example to this generation. Marriages CAN and DO work when God is in the midst and you’re REALLY committed to one another and the PROCESS.

YES, marriage is a PROCESS!

I think this generation has been disillusioned into believing that the best couples never disagree or butt heads or argue or feel disappointed by their spouse. Those things DO happen, but it’s in the OVERCOMING of those challenges/issues that we learn grace and forgiveness.  In a weird way, those negative events can strengthen your relationship IF you let them. Just my experience/thoughts and observations from couples with 25 and 50 years in the game!  #marriagematters #morningmeditations #TeamBHenry #thankful #happywife

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their labor:
If either of them falls down,
one can help the other up.
But pity anyone who falls
and has no one to help them up.
Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (NIV)

More Marriage Mediations on FixitWithFran.com