Wounded Joy

Hey friends, if you usually read the weekly blog posts in the emails without clicking through to the website, would you, please, click through this time and read from the blog?  Thanks!

Last week after publishing my blog post, I wasn’t as pleased with it as I thought I would be. I felt kind of disappointed. I think it was because I may have left some of my readers whom I love not feeling so great. A blog about joy that leaves you feeling disappointed is lacking something. Oh, I believe everything I wrote. And, Isaiah 58 does keep me on my toes. However, my rendition of it was lacking in encouragement. Therefore I want to write on joy again this week,  especially about wounded joy. This time I won’t think so much about crafting words as I will about encouraging hearts.

I dare say God delights in the details of your life more than you do. For me, the details of my life can be pretty tiring and confusing. It’s hard for me to see how anyone, much less God, could take joy in me right now. I have an elderly mother who doesn’t live as close as I’d like. Care giving is not so easy from a distance. She doesn’t realize her powers of reasoning are not as sharp as they used to be therefore she rejects what care I do give. My joy is tired. I know some of you feel the same way for different reasons and I’m afraid last week’s post may not have left you feeling as encouraged as I would have wanted. Likely it was because my own joy was dragging.

I believe with all my heart that God does, indeed, delight in even the unseen corners of my heart because he loves me and I know that.

He loves you deeply too and while you may not be giving to or volunteering at a homeless ministry right now, you need to know that God loved you before you were born.  Before you had a name, he knew it and knew it would fit you well. His love for you never wavers. not even when your child’s rebellion is on your heart every minute of the day, not even when you lost your job. Unwavering. He never tires of loving you. So open your heart to love and you’ll be amazed how joy comes in not long after. Love and joy. They go together, you know. The more you love him, the more joy takes root in your heart even during those moments of elder care or  when your heart aches for your child. Joy will push up like a daisy through the asphalt.

Today’s recipe is my Thanksgiving favorite. It is a spoonable dressing. No cutting squares rather spoonfuls of deliciousness! You may call it Stuffing. I say dressing because I don’t stuff it into the turkey. Though call it what you may, it will taste just as good! And you can make it up to 2 days before Thanksgiving to save time on the big day!

Sausage and Apple Dressing

1 pound mild bulk breakfast sausage

4 tablespoons butter

1 and 1/2 cups mild onions chopped

2 Granny Smith apples cored and chopped

1 cup chopped celery with leaves

1 tablespoon poultry seasoning

1 cup craisins

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves (optional)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves

6 cups boxed croutons (about 2 bags croutons)

about 2 cans chicken stock (2-3 cups)

1 tablespoon kosher salt

2 teaspoons ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Saute the sausage in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat until cooked through, crumbling coarsely with the back of a spoon, about 10 minutes. Using a spoon, transfer the sausage and drippings to a large paper towel double lined bowl. Melt the butter in the same skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, apples, celery, and poultry seasoning to the skillet  and saute until the onions  are soft, about 6-8 minutes.  Mix in the craisins and rosemary. Remove the grease soaked paper towels. Add the mixture to the sausage, then mix in the croutons and parsley. Next add the chicken stock a little at a time until the dressing is very moist. BE SURE NOT TO OVERDO IT; it should not be mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Place into a casserole dish. (The dressing can be made to this point 2 days before Thanksgiving, refrigerated.)

Bake in a 9 by 13 in. or a 14 in. oval baking dish and place uncovered, in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes, until the top is crispy and the center piping hot. Remove and serve immediately.

last week’s turkey recipe

sweet potato casserole recipe

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