Yummer Wummer! :)
"The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread."~Mother Teresa
And that love-hunger is built right into the DNA of your little ones--and you!
We all crave to be loved, cherished, known, close, held, affirmed.
Everyone longs for love, is pre-wired to need love, yearns to be known and still loved.
The only one-word definition in scripture about God is this: God is love.
Jesus tells us in His last prayer, the high priestly prayer, that God has loved Him since the foundation of the world.
As we can see through the Father sending His son to save us, and through Jesus' example of laying down His life, true love initiates!
Because we celebrate Valentine's Day, it gives us the perfect opportunity, a marker to remember every year, to be sure we intentionally invest in loving those near us.
Take time this Valentine's day (or week!) to send love emails, love phone calls, to leave love cards under pillows, to fill someone's cup of their heart with love that they so need to receive. You will be God's hands, his voice, His touch today when you seek to give love.
Make a list of everyone you know who might really want to know you love them or who could be filled up by hearing words of love, receiving thoughtful gifts of love, touches of love, forgiveness of love. Valentine's Day is a perfect Day to throw out the score of wrong doings and to cover all in the unconditional love He died to give.
And of course, baked goods are one of the traditional ways we celebrate this little fun holiday. I have to admit that I love many kinds of cookies, but sugar is one of my all time favorites since childhood.
Here's a simple recipe for shortbread cookies you can also make to give to someone with your love cards!
Easy Shortbread Cookies
1 1/2 cups of flour (measure exactly or your cookie dough will be too dry)
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1/4 cup powder sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract or 1/2 -1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, depending on your preference!
A dash of salt
Optional: If dough is too dry to handle, add tablespoons of half and half, cream, or milk, one at a time--mix well before adding another if needed. Dough will be quite dry and you can shape it with your hands.
Step by Step:
The first thing to do is to combine the flour and salt in a bowl. In a separate bowl or food processor combine the butter, almond extract and sugar. The consistency should be creamy and it should be "whipped up" in appearance. The final stage requires you to gradually add the flour and salt mixture into the creamy mixture. As you add in the dry mixture, make sure you are thoroughly mixing in the ingredients. As the consistency seems to thicken up, use your hands to essentially knead the mixture.
After you have kneaded the dough, place it on a floured surface. The next step requires a rolling pin (or you may use your hand!) Flatten dough out in the shape of a large circle or square. The rolled mixture should be about 1/4 inch thick. Use a cookie cutter in the shape of a heart or a round cookie cutter that you can modify into the shape of a heart by using a spoon or your fingernails to create a bowed-in area at the top.
Sprinkle the cookies with colored sugar before you bake them--press the sugar into the dough so it won't roll off!
Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes, being careful not to over-bake.
A Happy Valentine's Day to you all--with lots of love memories all day long!