Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies by THROWING PINECONES

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies-16 Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies-39

Okay, guys, before you even pre-heat your oven take the butter our of your fridge in advance. It needs to soften! I had a struggle and a half, because I didn’t read the recipe in advance. So, here is your chance. Go. Now. Take it out of your fridge. But, if you are like me and totally forget, or don’t allow enough time for it to soften (despite ample warning!), have no fear! Just cut the sticks of butter in half or in fourths if you’re in a hurry and seal tightly inside a zip-lock bag. Place bag in a warm bowl of water and it will quicken the softening process. You’re welcome.

Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 1/3 cups oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp. pumpkin spice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

Butter/Sugar Mix

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup sugar

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 cup pumpkin purée
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional Choices
  • 3/4 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup craisins (and/or raisins)
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts
1 // Mix together dry ingredients, set aside.
2 // In a mixing bowl blend butter and sugars until fluffy.
3 // Mix in the wet ingredients to the butter/sugar mix.
4 // Add in the dry ingredients and mix well.
5 // Add semi-sweet chocolate chips, craisins and nuts.
6 // Grease cookie sheet and Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes, longer if you want them a bit less chewy.
Pumpkin Oatmeal Cookies-62

In Trusting // 3 of 7 in a Series on Vulnerability

vulnerability in trusting

If you missed the part one and two you can catch up here.

vulnerability // part three

My goal for this series on vulnerability is to show the value and importance of healthy vulnerability in an applicable way. Yes, there is a lot of “big pictures” to be considered when talking about confession and learning, but my focus is on the smaller picture. Like the two before this, I went into the topic of trust with that same mind set, but was quickly stopped at a halt. When you open your bible looking for what God says about trusting people he straight up says, “DON’T!” . . .

Jeremiah 17:5 (NIV)

This is what the LORD says

“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans, who rely on human strength and turn their hearts away from the LORD.

To understand these harsh words let me bring you back to a point I made in the first post of this series. Guys, we are a broken people! Our hearts are prone to wickedness and sin. Therefore, we know that people are not worthy of our complete trust. Ever.

In today’s world this sounds incredibly rude. To say that all people are evil and not deserving of our trust is a bold and outrageous thing to say to the ears of most. But if there is ever truth in anything, there is truth in that. God himself is the only one deserving of our trust. He is the only one who will never fail us, never mislead us and never let us down. As God’s children we know this to be true.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:4-5

This is the big picture.

The smaller picture in this case feels a little less specific. While God may not say to trust people we are to love them. That he says over and over.

1 Corinthians 13: 4-7 (NIV)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Here, God tells us to always trust and earlier he said to never trust his people. But I must ask, what is the power behind love. What is the true, most pure definition of love? The answer is God himself. God is love. (1 John 4:8) So, in trusting God’s people we must experience love, we must experience Him and trust in Him and Him alone. He will guide us.

On a smaller scale trust is a delicate thing, one easily broken and painstakingly healed. Often times, because we place our trust in man, there is a certain fear that follows trust. Fear of lose, fear of failure, fear of worthlessness. God also speaks against such fears!

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:18

While yes, placing our whole trust in man is foolish, there is something to be said about being vulnerable enough to face your fears and open up to someone in this way and love them; trust them.

In my family we were always taught that when you let someone borrow something to not expect it back and if by happen chance they do return it, in whatever condition they return it in, it is a blessing. Sometimes I think trusting people is similar. Yes, we should trust them, we should open ourselves up and let people in, but not without asking God to guide us all the while. If you don’t involve God in where you place your trust your trust will be broken. Our full trust should be placed in God, who rules over everything, who created everything, who loves everyone, he will never break your trust and he will heal your trust broken by man.

In Learning // 2 of 7 in a Series on Vulnerability

vulnerability in learning

If you’ve missed something you can catch up here.

vulnerability // part two

Learning is hard. Allowing myself to be vulnerable enough to welcome potential embarrassment, failure and disappointment is a job I’m not partial to welcoming. The thing is, simply confessing and apologizing just isn’t enough. God calls us to be better than that. Like I said, it’s hard.

You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? James 2:14

James teaches us that our faith without deeds is dead. In the same way words must be followed by action. It is on a smaller scale is where I believe many of us struggle. There is so much room for embarrassment, failure and disappointment. It is a real test of character to be able to learn well. The question you should be asking yourself is: Can people see the Jesus in the way I learn?

As a child I fought tooth and nail with my parents about my spelling words. I was (and still am) terrible at spelling and I always had to study extra hard. I knew there was an issue, but the work to solve that issue was hard for me to face. I spent many hours with my mom and dad angrily repeating the spellings, many hours of claiming, “well, this is how my teacher spells it!” and many hours crying and crying due to pure frustration. And it’s all I remember now.

When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. (1 Corinthians  13:11)

Now, we are adults.  Let’s act like adults. Men and women of God. Let’s accept that fact that we are wrong, and work toward growth. We are no longer children that won’t admit we can not spell. We are now adults that have the power to both admit to and correct consistent misspellings. This is the larger scale to this lesson.

See, it is on the a larger scale that we know we are saved by God’s grace and we need His perfect teaching. On a larger scale we know we can never reach perfection. On a larger scale we know we are sinners and will always be broken, but dare I say it again, “Faith without deeds is dead!”. Can people see Jesus in the way you confess? Can they see Jesus in the way you learn? For some people you are the only bible they will ever read. Let’s welcome vulnerability and learn like we were created to learn.

This Summer // What I’ve Learned

Photos for Print-4

This summer. Those two words. I say them with a little disdain, a good deal of joy and a lot of relief; this summer is (basically) over. Let me give you some back story.

Two days before my wedding I (re)submitted my résumé and application for employment at a local coffee shop I have wanted to work at for ages. The last night of our honeymoon I got a call asking if I could do an interview that day and I promptly responded with a resounding “YES” and was hired roughly 15 minutes into the interview! A huge prayer answered!! The thing was I had already accepted a wonderful opportunity to be a photographer for Black Lake Bible Camp, and it was only two weeks away. It was too late to back out, and my new job would require 30-35 hours of my week. To put it nicely I was very busy. And tired. But God taught me so much this summer.

This summer I’ve learned that not every photo needs editing, not every deadline needs met and that it’s crucial that you rest. I’ve learned the importance of reading, quality time and quiet time. I’ve learned that a silent prayer is more powerful than a screaming hope and that just a moment with Jesus just isn’t enough. I’ve learned more and more how to be the women God created me to be. And guys, it’s exhilarating.

Looking back I am grateful. I am grateful for the support of my husband, friends and managers. I am grateful for the exhaustion and for the busyness. God is preparing me for something big, I can feel it in my bones.

God calls us to be bigger than ourselves. God calls us to be bold for him. And he commands us to take a break! As I enter into Autumn, my season of rest, my prayer is that I do just that. That God teaches me even more in this season and that I am oh so obedient His lessons.

 

In Confessing // 1 of 7 in a Series on Vulnerability

confession is a scary word - but there is such beauty in it

If you’ve missed something you can catch up here.

vulnerability // confession

The word confession seems like such a scary one, in fact I was hesitant to put it in the title. Confession feels like a word only the mega religious use, the kind that hang terrifying pictures of Jesus above their mantle or the ones you feel intimated to stand next to in church. Either way it’s a word most people avoid. It’s about taking ownership of your own fears, ignorance and failures; it’s about humbling yourself to that idea; and it’s about actively engaging in growing. In a culture where success equals joy this is especially difficult to understand.

In truth we are weak and broken and in need of saving. God wants us to realize that. Sometimes it feels much easier to confess to the idea of being broken as a whole, “sure, nobody is perfect”, we can say. Yet, when we when misspell something, say the wrong thing or tell a white lie, taking ownership of that single event seems much more daunting. Often times we fail to realize that even confession on a smaller scale is essential. We need to humble ourselves fully to the fact that we’re broken in every aspect of our lives. It is tough.

God doesn’t ask us to confess our fears and failures so that he feels stronger, it isn’t to give him control and it most certainly isn’t to punish us.

“God loves us SO much the way that we are, but He loves us too much to let us stay that way.”

It is only when we confess that we are vulnerable enough to accept forgiveness, to change and grow. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.” (1 John 1:8-10) 

God paid the ultimate price for our failures. Death on a cross. Murdered by his own people. If we pretend even for a moment that we are perfect that is basically a slap in the face for God; you are making him out to be a liar!

In reality my purpose in writing this is not to condemn you, nor is it to judge you. It is to help you realize that confession is so much deeper than just a one night outpouring of your fears and failures. It is a life time demeanor and character trait. It is coming back to Christ again and again constantly working on making him proud. It means confessing to even your family and friends and asking for prayer and forgiveness and understanding.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16)

It is humbling yourself to even the small failures and recognizing that it is only God that can make your broken self fully, perfectly whole.

 

 

An Introduction // A 7 Part Series on Vulnerability

the is beauty in vulnerability

Being strong is something that our culture really values. For us strength is essential, and while there is some truth in that, think of how Jesus weakened himself most of all. It was at that moment that we should all look up to Him the very most. For us admitting that we are weak is the exact opposite of strength, but in God’s eyes it is the very definition of being strong! Crazy, right?

This is an idea I have always struggled with, especially as a women. God calls women to be gentle, which really trips me up. I don’t want to be gentle! I want to be a strong bold women for Christ! But still God calls me to be gentle. A few weeks ago I heard a friend of mine define the word gentle in a way I have never heard. He said that, “to be gentle is to have strength under control.” This made me think. We all know that God is indeed the strongest of us all, but he is also the most gentle and the most vulnerable. I began to think of all the areas in our lives that God calls us to be vulnerable, at the unintentional prompting of a dear friend, Meri.

Below is the table of contents for this series, you can expect a post every Monday for the next seven weeks!

A seven part series on how God calls us to be vulnerable.

1 // In Confessing

2 // In Learning

3 //  In Trusting

4 // In Sharing

5 // In Loving

6 // In Receiving Love

7 // In Proclaiming God

I am looking forward to sharing this series with you and can’t wait to hear all your thoughts!