Thursday, November 29, 2012

Banana Bread

Small packages deliver the most heartfelt messages.

When this loaf of homemade banana bread arrived in our studio recently, we just couldn’t resist capturing a photo of the warm, nurturing feeling it seemed to bring to our little world.  Wrapped up in a buttery gold satin ribbon, it seemed to hold the very essence of love beneath its simple transparent wrap.  Someone had cared enough to bake a simple loaf of love and embellish it in the grandest style and we were blessed by this gracious act of giving.

With the approaching season of gift-giving, this humble loaf was a silent reminder of the beauty of simplicity. This little package would overshadow the showiest, most glittery gift or ornament of the season.  It was a recipe made with love, care and time and the absolute splendor of it just took our breath away for a few moments.

You can only imagine how divine it was when we took our first bite! Yum.  It was so good we just had to share the recipe with you.  This is a special recipe and we hope it is a reminder that "YOU are a special recipe made by God."  Like this simple loaf of banana bread, you've been tenderly created with love and wrapped in ribbons of grace. And "oh, what a flavor you are!" (© Ann Embry-1999)

Celebrating the simple things,
The Velvet Lime Girls

Rose’s Banana Bread
3 or 4 very ripe bananas
1 cup of sugar
1 egg
1 ½ cup of flour
¼ cup of melted butter
1 tsp. baking soda
I tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
Mash bananas with fork or potato masher. Stir in remaining ingredients. Pour into a buttered loaf pan.  Bake 1 hour at 325.

P.S. Thank-you to Laura's mother, Rose Skinner, for the recipe and to Laura Belle Skinner, Laura's sister-in-law, who baked this lovely loaf of banana bread.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fresh Starts

A droopy looking shrub hung out in our studio garden all summer long, looking like it was barely getting by.  We tried to perk it up with fresh drinks of water and fertilizer smoothies, but it just stood with its head down and slumped shoulders most of the summer.

Deep inside that dreary exterior, though, there was a great work going on.  The Creator knew what He was doing with this one and although things looked pretty despondent on the outside, inside, a magnificent work was being done.

We’ll never forget the day we caught a glimpse of just how extensive the hidden work had been. It all began with a little tender bud. 
A soft pink envelope, barely containing the strong, vibrant life beneath its veined petals.  This bush was coming alive again! It had been renewed!  It had exchanged its former life with a new life … an abundant life … an exuberant life!  This new life filled it up so much, it just began to explode with joy, and flowers burst out in every direction. Wow, what a sight to behold. Flowers everywhere with their hands lifted up in praise!
All of this was inside that old bush all the time!

It made us think of the transformation, the actual exchange, that can happen in our lives and re-create us into the person God made us to be.

It’s conveyed in The Message beautifully:

We don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look … now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new.  The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! (grows, rapidly expands, flourishes) Look at it!

So, we hope you will “look at it!” 
Look at this bush that is now alive and flourishing with flowers!  Let it remind you of the fresh start, the new beginning, the absolute-total-recharge of your life that's just waiting for you.

Celebrating fresh starts,
The Velvet Lime Girls

P.S. A special thank-you to Travis D. Rhodes, Laura’s father-in-love, who gave the small cutting that became the magnificent star in our garden. Like the Confederate Rose, his life overflows with reflections of God's abundance, extravagant love and transforming power.