Gingerbread Trees with Juniper Berry Glaze

Today is Thursday, my favorite day of the week, and our Christmas tree arrived!  As each day passes and we get closer to Christmas Day it seems like we are getting more stressed, more irritable, and less Christ like.  Why?  Well, my theory is our focus isn’t on HIM instead it is on the hustle, the bustle, and the gift buying.

In my ladies group this morning we are continuing our study of Having a Mary Heart in a Martha World by Joanna Weaver http://www.amazon.com/Having-Mary-Heart-Martha-World/dp/1578562589 and we talked about how it is a good idea to periodically stop and ask ourselves when we are in the middle of serving, “What am I relying on?  Whom am I pointing people to?  If what we are doing isn’t  pointing people to Jesus, then maybe our intentions are wrong and we need to regroup and refocus.   We need to do this especially during the Christmas season.  Do we really want to pass down the stress of the season to our kids or do we want them to remember the season as a peaceful time, one filled with preparing for Christ’s birth?

When Martha complains to Jesus that she is doing all the kitchen service and for him to talk to Mary because all she is doing is listening to him he calmly says “Martha, Martha you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”  Jesus is not criticizing Martha for her service but for how her service has allowed her to get irritated and agitated.   I certainly don’t want my kids to remember the holidays as a time when I was grumpy and mean, when I was running all around buying gifts and stressing about this party and that outfit, this wrapping paper and that bow.  I want them to remember how I served and hopefully that I served with a warm, kind heart!  I am certainly not perfect which is why my Thursday ladies group is so valuable to me.  We hold each other accountable!

If you want to enrich your daily life grab your girlfriends, neighbors or church group and read this book.  You won’t be sorry!  Serving these cookies during your small groups will put a smile on everyone face.

God Bless,

Karen

We followed the recipe exactly except we didn’t let the half and half refrigerate for 5 hours and we crushed our juniper berries with a mortar and pestle to release their beautiful piney scent.  These cookies taste buttery (which I love) and were only a tad spicy so when I make them next time I am going to double the ginger, allspice and cinnamon.  It isn’t necessary though, I just like the kick the spices add.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Gingerbread-Trees-with-Juniper-Berry-Glaze-236805

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