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…as the work week draws to a close. Have a splendid weekend and make a difference…somehow, somewhere. There’s always a place for differences to be made.

Picture from here

How did you spend your Saturday?

We prefer a lazy start to the day, beginning with a long drawn out breakfast, a satisfying catch up on cable TV, followed by bonding over a great cuppa in the afternoon with a couple of friends.

Hope your weekend was good.

Saw these on My Owl Barn and could not stop thinking about how cute they look.  These shortbread cuties are baked for sale by The Cinnamon Tree Bakery.

Looks like it’s time to get our fingers all creamy and buttery again.

After a small hiatus, my trusty little oven toaster just got busy last night. The smell of bacon and cheese filled my tiny kitchen and hung in the air long after the baking was done. Love the feeling of warmth and cosyness that always come along with baking.

It’s mid-week. What about a scone to lift the spirit? Take some time-out to breathe and watch the world go by.

Bacon and cheese scones

 

Monday was blazingly hot. B.L.A.Z.I.N.G.L.Y. hot. I could literally feel my flesh burning up and in my vivid imagination, saw black smoke emiting into the glaringly bright sky as my flesh popped and sizzled under the relentless blaze of the sun. My head felt like it was on fire. In fact, I was absolutely convinced my hair was being fried into a plate of extremely charred bee hoon.

O.K. Not a very appetizing picture I must say, especially for a blog that prides itself on selling home made with love goodies.

Anyway, the point of this whole little chat that you and I are having is because I have something in my heart that I wanna shout out for the world to hear and to know.

You see, after all the initial excitement of doing up and sending out of our e-flyer, test-batch baking, photo-taking and posting of shots, determination of prices to peg the items at, creation of fb etc….there was silence. And (I don’t know about my fellow friends at lavendernotes) but while I love silence as a form of meditation and calming down, I dislike silence when a response is required. And in this case, there was absolute silence.

And so on that blazingly hot Monday afternoon, as I walked the streets from Vivo City to Chinatown, my question to God was this: Is this really the way to go forward? Have You really called us to do this, O God? What if no one responds? Not even one?” (and you have to understand – lavendernotes project, to us, is not about the numbers – all we ask for is 1 person who would believe in what we do – that’s all).

Anyway, to cut a long story short, when I was on facebook the same evening, I received a message from one of my friends who made an order for 2 bottles of Pitter Patter Cookies (medium size)!!

I was absolutely stunned by the faithfulness of God. Silence is not a delay but a preparation for the display of His magnificent glory!

And the very next day after we’ve received our very first batch of order, we got another two responses.

What an amazing journey thus far, and I believe, with more to come. Oh! To await with anticipation and excitement for greater days ahead – that in itself is an amazing journey. To know that this will in turn lead to a blessing for children in Bethlehem House, and perhaps (who knows where our dreams will lead us as we continue to walk in the ways God has prepared for us?) one day…our jouney will lead us to many more children across the land, touching lives, effecting change, one child at a time…

…it is enough.

It’s been a busy, busy week at work as Christmas draws nearer with each passing day but we’ve been really excited. 

In the span of a week, we’ve set up our very own facebook account, invited friends to join us on the page, emailed out our e-flyer and uploaded pictures. You can now add us as a friend on facebook (lavendernotes joy).

It’s now 3:00pm on a Saturday afternoon. What have you been up to this rainy, cold and lazy day? Here’s one lovely suggestion for you to consider…

via kaleidoscope.cultural-china.com

Ever tried Twinnings Chamomile, Vanilla and Honey tea? It is one of the nicest teas I’ve ever tried, and always out of stock. Try popping one tea-bag into a cup of hot, boiling water and let it sit for 3 minutes. Add a teaspoon of honey to it and take time to savor the delicate taste of chamomile tea leaves and the sweet aroma of vanilla and honey.

Lovely way to while the afternoon away, no?

This beautiful reflection is taken from here. (article “Christmas: Thinking about whose birthday it is”)

It’s been over ten years of nothing under the Christmas tree here.

Strange, the way children teach men.

It was dark, I do remember that. Bedtime. Smoothing back hair, kissing foreheads. On round moon hanging large outside the window, an ornament dangling off stars, decorating the night. I had gifts to wrap. So, pull up the blankets. Prayers. And then, when I’m at the door, one hand on the doorframe, resting in the light of the hallway, I turn to close the door a bit on the dark and he stops me with just one question:

“What does Jesus get for His birthday?”

The words hung… strung me up.

I say the words into the black. Um… A cake? Our love?

I can hear him turn again in the bed, roll over on the pillow. Restless…

“But Mom…. if we get wrapped presents for our birthdays, real sacrifices from people who love us — they gave up other things to give something to us — then why don’t we do that for Jesus’ birthday?”

I stand at the door looking into all that light cast down the hallway.

Why is the sky blue, why do we blink, how do clouds hold all that water, the children ask me a thousand questions and the world spins dizzy on a million questions I don’t know the answers to and I stand in the dark, the light right there, and I grope for the answer that could change the world…

“Why don’t we give up things so we can give to Jesus for His birthday?”

Is it always this way, that a little child will lead them?

He was four or five that year, I can’t remember. I just know that now he’s fifteen and I stepped out into the light and we’ve done all the Christmases since his way, giving away. It’s not at all wrong to do it differently, but just for us… all the Christmas gifts — gifts for the Christ Child.

I shamefully confess I thought it would somehow make me sad. I am a very slow learner.

How could I have thought that only love under the tree would do anything but make our happiness flourish?

The Birthday Child tells us what He wants: Give to the least of these and you give to Me. So this is how we do it: We pick out gifts from His gift catalogues — Compassion CatalogSamaritan’s Purse CatalogPartner’s International Catalog,World Vision Catalog,Gospel for Asia Catalog, and MCC Catalog.

It happens after breakfast, each day for the last two weeks of Advent, selecting one gift for He who is Christmas.

They flip pages, deciding on what to give Him today:

“Anyone think we should get a pair of rabbits today?”

“I was thinking mosquito nets. I wouldn’t want to die of malaria.”

“If we buy a seed packet for a family, our gift is tripled. Did you read the story on page 25 about what a difference it makes for an orphan family to have seeds? The little girl said, ‘Life is much better with food.’

“Why are you crying, mama?”

“Oh, just thinking…how life really is much better with food…”

I’m sitting at the table with the kids all bent over The King’s Catalogues when I finally get what the kids already know: I’d rather only fill a child’s tummy than fill my house with anymore things.

Maybe that’s always the only choice we have to make every Christmas: feed our own fickle wishes or feed the real hunger of Christ?

Nothing can be claimed, taken, received, had; everything we have is gift to us from heaven. All that we have has no other source but the hand of God (Jn 3:27).

So “Christian hands never clasp and He doesn’t give us gifts for our gain because a gift can never stop being a gift— it is always meant to be given.”

When we pass our gifts on — the gifts from Him remaining a gift and being given again — we are the ones given even more of the source of all gifts — more of God Himself. Filled.

When we give to Christ in the hungry, He satisfies our own hunger pangs.

A decade of this, our little family turning the Christmas tree upside down and letting gifts all fall into the hands of the poor and some thought it too strange, all this with no bows under the tree and I really understood but we couldn’t stop seeing just this, Him hanging on a tree. It’s just the way He’s just spoken to us, that’s all.

And then yesterday, my Dad, he stood in our kitchen, his hand on the counter, his farm coveralls still on, him just driving by, and he said it quiet, “I think this year — we shouldn’t do gifts as a family.”  He looked up at me. My eyebrows arched. He understood?

“I was thinking that this year — maybe we should just all go together — and see if we can help drill a well in Africa.”

And that one boy now fifteen, who asked a question that answered everything, he turns to me, his smile lighting the room and all the world.

I always thought that it would be amazing to have a little chalk board to go with a display table full of lovely goodies. Somehow, there’s a certain old school charm to the whole chalk and blackboard relationship.

…slowly, bit by bit, we’re seeing things happen…

Name Card

Stamp Chop

Artwork and layout from Tommyprint.com.sg