Merry Christmas everyone!!! I’m so excited because finals are done and I’m going to/have already been slaving away in the kitchen since I finished last Friday. God is so gracious in giving me seasons of hard work, hectic schedules, test after test, no sleep and then providing rest and relaxation, because He knows our limits and will never push us past that! To be honest, it felt like God was practically dragging me across the finish line, especially after that 10th final, because I could see that bright light at the end of the LONG tunnel. So here I am, 11 finals later. There’s ALWAYS so much to be thankful for! ‘Tis the season for long shopping days at the mall, cozy lazy days at home, overdosing on Christmas music, giant family reunions, and of course baking! Here’s a cookie recipe that is perfect for gifting or just for eating all by yourself, if that’s how you roll. It’s a basic brown butter chocolate chip cookie recipe, with mini Christmas M&Ms that I found at Target. Aren’t they the cutest?!
Amidst all of the craziness of this joyous season I am reminded every day that this Advent season really has nothing to do with the eggnog, cookie exchanges, poinsettias, Christmas trees, peppermint mochas, Christmas carols, or even the gifts. At least not the ones we give to one another. The greatest gift of all was and will always be Jesus, the One who was born to die. And if he had not died, we would still be in our helpless estates, with no hope. But we have hope! Because Jesus became poor so that we could become rich.
“The Son of God became a man to enable men to become the sons of God.”
– C.S. Lewis (1898-1963)
I love this post from She Reads Truth:
This Advent season has been exhausting for me. I always plan to sit by the fire with hot chocolate and candy canes, to read sweet Christmas stories and buy thoughtful gifts, but I end up running late, blowing my nose loudly, and eating Thanksgiving leftovers way after Thanksgiving.
But Advent is a time to quiet my heart and meditate on the magnitude of God’s gift. And on top of that, I want my heart to overflow with jolly ring-jing-jingling. But seriously, everyone in my house is sick so I’ve been meditating on the magnitude of dog hair on the floor, and the only jingling has been toy cars in the dryer.
I think we’re all kind of crazy like that. We go around and around and we can’t look up to consider anything but our present circumstances. It’s a struggle to connect the physical life with the spiritual. The physical life is just so loud, and it’s actually opposed to the spiritual life.
The physical part of me would miss Christmas completely because there’s so much hollering and nose blowing to occupy me. Why would I bother thinking of others, or looking to Christ?
God knew this about us. He knows we are a bunch of selfish, hungry stinkers with tunnel vision. He connected the physical and spiritual for us in the person of Christ. Christ became low so we could understand Him.
What does it mean to become low? C.S. Lewis says, “If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.” And that’s the flavor of it. Imagine becoming a slug and trying to convince the other slugs that redemption is at hand. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, you slugs! They would just sigh and slime away.
That’s what Christ did for us. He became low for our sakes. He gave up His glory and endured all manner of earthly suffering. He gave up everything. And because of this, we gain everything.
Why do I let the details of the physical world obscure this most important spiritual fact? Because I’m a slug trying to understand geometry. It’s hard.
This is why I need Advent. I love that the church points us back to Christ’s birth year after year. Because every year I need to read these dear words:
“But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.”
Look up this Advent season. Look to Him who became poor so that we could be rich!
Here’s the recipe:
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 Cup packed light brown sugar
1 Cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon pure vanilla
3.5 Cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips
1 bag mini M&Ms
Preheat oven to 350F.
In a medium pan, melt butter until it turns golden brown. You’ll see it caramelize and there’ll be small brown specks forming at the bottom of the pan. Once it’s melted and browned, let it cool for 5 minutes.
Cream wet ingredients: butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla.
Mix together flour, salt and baking soda. Add dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
Stir in chocolate chips and about 1 cup of M&Ms. Press into a large whoopie pan, or make scoop by the tbls and place on a parchment lined cookie pan. Press more M&Ms onto the top of the cookies.
Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown on bottom. INDULGE!
For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.
~2 Corinthians 8:9
by His grace,