Sunday, January 30, 2011

Show Me Some Love~ Just Because!

"Most people need love the most when they deserve it the least"~ Sheri Rose Shepherd
A "Just Because" Gift

I am always amazed when someone loves me in spite of myself.  
There are times when I'm not very lovable, 
but there are people in my life who keep loving me anyway.  
God's grace is like that~ undeserved and still given freely.

That's the way it is with a "Just Because" gift.  My friend, Pam, told me that she would occasionally buy her kids sweet little gifts, that weren't based on their performance, or because it was their birthday,  but simply "just because she loved them."

As I adopted this gift-giving practice, our family began to affectionately call the gifts "JB's."  Blake, Emily and Austin have been recieving "JB's" for years~  little undeserved gifts that help them understand, in a very  simple way what God's grace is like; a love that keeps raining down on them... even though they do nothing to deserve it.  Why don't you start the "JB" tradition with the ones you love?  

A "JB" is a gift of unconditional love.
  • A fashion magazine that your daughter would love catches your eye at the news stand
  • While ordering your latte' at Starbucks, you decide to pick up a gift card for your college-aged son 
  • Select a new Matchbox car to add to your little boys race track
  • Pick up new hair bows from the drug store for your grand-daughter
  • Grab your candy lovers favorite treat from the check-out line at the grocery.
When you give a "JB," add a little index card or shipping label note that affirms your love for them.  When your loved one asks "why the gift?" simply remind them that a "JB" is just like God's grace, an undeserved gift "just because!"

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Welcome, Neighbor!

The bundt cake is out of the oven~ 

Just imagine its warmth seeping through the 
bottom of the plate...
the scent of cinnamon wafting up through 
its wax paper hat. 
Oh,  how I wish we could brew a pot of french roast coffee and share a slice!

The summer of  my 13th birthday,  our family piled into our green Impala and moved 1,500 miles away from the small Texas town I knew as home.  With each rest stop on that long trek across the country, fresh tears erupted from my 
13 year old broken heart. 

The day after we moved in, our new neighbor, Nan, in her perfectly quaffed hair, manicured nails and cheerful flower garden walked over with a beautiful smile and a bundt cake. It was a warm, spongy cake, splashed with powdered sugar icing that tasted delicious; the perfect antidote for my homesick heart.

I don’t have Nan’s original recipe, but Mrs. Botsford (one of my mom's dear friends) made a simple, yummy cake that I have always loved.  It is a wonderful bundt cake that would bless any new neighbor, welcome a baby, or bring comfort to a sick friend~
Add your names and phone number to the back!
Wrap it in cellophane from the dollar store, tie it up with raffia and a sweet "blessing" ribbon, and tie on a standard shipping tag with a greeting (make sure to add your name and phone number to the back as a courtesy).  
Sweet, simple, and packaged with love...

"Bless Your Neighbor" Bundt Cake

1 cup oil
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup buttermilk
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups flour
1 t. salt
1 t. soda
1 t. cinnamon
1 t. nutmeg
1 t. vanilla
1 cup coconut
1 cup pecans
Combine all ingredients in the order listed.  Bake in greased and floured bundt pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. After it cools, dust with powdered sugar.

Rather Cater than Cook?  Head to Nothing Bundt Cakes~ They'll do the cooking and packaging for you!