Monday, September 28, 2015

God wants to use me (An Easy Yogurt Bar at MOPS)

MOPS meets many needs in my life. I love getting together with other moms to encourage and pray for each other. I love hearing the advice that our speakers and mentors give. And I love the friendships that I have gained from my Monday morning meetings.

But MOPS also helps meet my need to be creative. At this week's meeting, we all did Zumba for our activity.

I didn't have to plan a craft or fill my car full of supplies and decor. But this morning, I found myself loading my trunk anyways.

We all take turns bringing breakfast items to the meetings. It was my table's turn this week - and I had planned to bring some yogurt and toppings. A few other moms also decided to go this route. Before I knew it, we had a full-blown yogurt bar with an impressive number of toppings.

Last night, I selected out bowls and plates to hold our toppings and cups of yogurt. Using all different vessels made the yogurt bar seem fun and full.

I used little flags made from fabric tape (from the Dollar Tree) and bamboo skewers to serve as labels for a few of the items. Little bamboo spoons helped the moms be able to quickly grab the right portion of each topping.

And, for the first time, I made my own granola. I'd like to say it was because I always make everything from scratch...However, this time....I just didn't want to have to run to the store.

My sister shared with me the recipe that she always uses (found here) and I have now decided that this will become a staple breakfast item in our house. It was so simple, so yummy, and actually, so inexpensive to make.

I followed this recipe here.

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 4 cups oats
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

The brown sugar, honey and oil were melted on the stove and then poured over the oats, cinnamon and salt. After mixing the ingredients. I baked the granola on a greased cookie sheet in a 250 degree oven for one hour. Every 15-20 minutes, I would gently stir the granola, helping it toast evenly. After removing the pan from the oven, I let the it cool for 5-7 minutes and then tossed the granola. The original recipe suggested letting it cool completely and then breaking the granola into pieces. Since I didn't want huge chunks of granola (and I didn't want to spend forever trying to scrape the granola off my cookie sheet) I took my sisters advice and tossed it before it was completely cooled.

I stored my granola in mason jars, but any air tight container will do.

I sure do love these ladies and the time that we spend together. I love that we were able to discuss how to focus on the right aspects of our day, finding time to rest in the midst of our chaos. I love that we were able to laugh with each other as we tried to keep up with our awesome Zumba instructors steps. (One mom did the entire workout while wearing her baby - guess I can't use the kids as an excuse to not have time to exercise!)

And I love that this group provides the perfect place for me to use some creativity to minister to others.

For some, decorating or crafting might be stressful. But it leaves me feeling that I have accomplished something. Martha Stewart says that preparing for guests in your home is an opportunity to make people feel welcome and ensure that their time spent with you is memorable. And, as I decorated the food tables this morning, I was praying for the exact same outcome for our moms. I prayed that they would feel a sense of belonging in that room. I prayed that they would feel that we had prepared for them. And I prayed that they would have a memorable time.

I love that God made us all unique. And He made us all in His image (Genesis 1:27). He made me creative - and He is creative. And I am finding that I am never more content or joyful than when I am using the gifts He has given me for His purpose. I am humbled and thankful that I don't have to try to become someone else to be used by Him. He made me this way and wants to use ME. 

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