Wednesday, February 4, 2015

That Thing Worth Salvaging


For her birthday a few weeks ago, my sister wanted thumbprint cookies from a bakery in Pittsburgh. My mother offered to make this happen, figuring she'd just call one of the bakeries we frequented when we lived there years ago.

But it turned out to be more difficult than she thought. 

Every one she contacted told her sorry no, they don’t ship thumbprints to Florida. One man she reached told her maybe, but he’d have to ask his brother first. Finally after three days of mulling it over, the brothers said okay. 

{In case you’re wondering what’s so great about Pittsburgh’s thumbprint cookies, all I can say is what's baked here can’t compare with the recipes passed down from generation to generation in the ethnic neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.}



My sister called when the cookies arrived and said they weren’t exactly what she expected. 

They arrived unfrosted with two piping bags filled with buttercream frosting laying beside them. 

Apparently these were frost-it-yourself cookies. 

She also said there was not a trace of a thumbprint on any cookie. 

So I told her to bring them over and I’d try to salvage them.



These cookies didn't look anything like the crumbly shortbread cookies we remembered, rolled in walnuts with the indentation in the middle to hold the almost-solid chocolate icing.

I did what I could. I melted some chocolate chips, a scoop of peanut butter and a chunk of butter and frosted them. 

They actually tasted rather delicious. 

{Which proves that even the worst cookies from a Pittsburgh bakery are better than the best we have here.}

My sister was happy. 
My niece and nephew thought they were surprisingly good. 
And my mother thanked me for saving the birthday.



I’m wondering if you, like me, have something that needs rescued?

Maybe it’s this year {even though it’s just begun} that already feels too full of have-to things, leaving you scant time for what feeds your soul. 

Maybe it’s your wait for that job or relationship or opportunity that your heart so craves. 

Or maybe it’s your hope for a fresh start that never seems to become a reality, despite your prayers and efforts to make a change.



Might you decide to salvage instead of scrap? Treasure instead of trash? Declare instead of discard?

Here's how I'm trying it. I’m salvaging my days by resetting my frame of mind when something small thunders a dark cloud over my mood and collides with my perspective. 

Before my day and my outlook are beyond repair, I’m trying to salvage them. And I'm extending this fresh-start idea to my expectations, friendships, hobbies, hopes, and even a dream or two of mine. 



I’m choosing a verse of scripture - - just one— that I focus on all day, speaking it back to God in my mind until its words liberate my soul. 

And I find those words I’m saying to him in prayer turn into grateful thanks for rescuing me from a life that just a few years ago I was comfortable living far too small.

I think it might be part of this stirring and softening that God is doing with my heart that just happens to be drizzling over every part of my life. 

And when I can salvage my baking endeavors, I'm in for a sweet surprise.



After years of trying red velvet cake recipes, I was ready to abandon my quest for one that stays fresh for more than a day and is worth the effort to make from scratch. 

Until I made a version by Barb Bamber, a Canadian food blogger who shares her beautiful photos and recipes at justasmidgen.com

After my futile pursuits of red-velvet deliciousness, it just happened to be the best red velvet cake I’ve ever made.

It was red-velvet-redemption with a dusting of thumbprints for me. 

And you? What will you be salvaging?
 




I'm linking up with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart and Kelly Balarie's Cheerleaders of Faith. Click the images and read more posts from my blogger friends!





27 comments:

  1. That you can take the daily and bring in such extraordinary spiritual truths ... it's a gift, Valerie. Pure and simple.

    I'd love to invite myself over for a cup of teas ... and just a FEW cookies!

    ;-}

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    1. I agree with Linda, Valerie!!What a gift!! - and I'm coming over too!! :)

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    2. Linda,
      Come on over! I'd love to host you for a cup of tea and some thumbprints! Thank you for your oh-so-sweet words about my writing! :)

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  2. Valerie- Yummy! I love this and am hungry now :) - I love the idea of salvaging things that seem hopeless- I am working on verses each day too trying to rewire my faulty thinking and replace lies with the truth- Thanks for this- I am going to go hunt for something chocolatey and delicious now :)

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    1. Susie,
      Yes, there are so many things that seem hopeless around us, and I love the idea of salvaging them if we can -- there's the true miracle, I think. And I would love to have cookies with you and Linda, friend! :)

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  3. Thanks for salvaging a good blog out of the cookie snafu

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    1. Never waste a good snafu! I think someone wise like my mother told me that! haha

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  4. I love your idea of a verse to focus on each day until it liberates your soul. Beautiful words!
    Aaaaaand now I want red velvet cake. :)

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    1. Sarah,
      You must hop over to Barb's blog and see her photos and recipes -- give the cake a try -- it's worth it!

      Delete
  5. Recently we had company and it began to rain on a day we were hoping for beautiful Florida weather. We decided the rain made our outing seem like more of an adventure and made a fun day out of a day we thought our plans were ruined!

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    1. Brittany,
      Turning rain into an adventure -- I love it! Although it's not so good for the hair! :)

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  6. Ahhh, salvaging the day, even when thunder clouds boom all around! Great post! I will walk in a salvaging frame of mind, now...especially on Stormy Mondays!

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    1. Ellen,
      Thank you friend! Love your encouragement! :)

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  7. So much goodness in this post, Valerie. And you have me sitting here pondering what I can choose to salvage today. This just really spoke to me >>> "And I'm extending this fresh-start idea to my expectations, friendships, hobbies, hopes, and even a dream or two of mine."
    Very blessed by your words.
    Blessings to you.
    Beth

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    1. Beth,
      So glad you stopped by and shared your thoughts! Pondering something to salvage takes some time for me . . . so grateful for your words today!

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  8. Just look at those desserts. I think you are trying to make me forget that I want to work out today LOL. I am loving this post Valerie.

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    1. Kay,
      No working out for eating Valentine's Day desserts! Honest! :)

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  9. Love this post---for its wise words & for those gorgeous food pics :) Thanks for sharing & for visiting me at Doorkeeper. Blessings!

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    1. Renee,
      Thanks so much for stopping by and happy to share photos of my baking endeavors!

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  10. I am loving your cake plate in the first pic and the reflection in the window above those old doors is stunning! Your post reminds me of a quote I read somewhere along the way- "It's never too late in the day to start your day over." I'm kind of trying to salvage my year already- it starts with more quiet time in my life and really doubling down on keeping in the the word. I love your approach to keeping one verse in front of you in your thoughts all day long. I am easily derailed by feeling all the feelings sometimes so this sounds like a way to remind me to take a step back and lean on TRUTH! Lovely as always Miss Valerie! Hope you are having an awesome week!

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    1. Heather,
      Isn't that image on the cake plate the cutest? Love your approach to the year -- keeping in the word -- yes, that is the answer!

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  11. The red velvet cake looks delicious. Nice work Valerie! Love the idea of taking one scripture verse and meditating on it daily too. I never thought of being a salvage instead of scrap kinda girl, but your post has inspired me. Thank you for sharing and your encouragement today. God bless!

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    1. Thank you so much for visiting and I was happy to report that the cake was indeed delicious! :)

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  12. I can't think about what i will be salvaging right now honestly because you placed up this wonderful cake photo up for me to drool at lol. I am in love with it

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  13. Great article - I love your statements "resetting my frame of mind" and of being "rescued". In today's hectic life, I often feel "if only".....your statements explain it totally. God is always there for us - thanks for bringing everything front and central. Love the pics!

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  14. Did you know that my stomach is completely growling right now? You made me so hungry - for food and for more of God. I love how you will be wrestling with a verse all day long. Thank you for joining the #RaRalinkup; I am blessed by your words!

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    1. Kelly,
      I just love how you encourage the blogging community! Thanks so much for sharing your words and I love doing the link-up with you!

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