Quilting Bee circa 1910, New Jersey
Photo by Richard on Flickr CC BY-2.0

Did you grow up in a family that hated wasting things? So did I.

Instead of throwing out old scraps of fabric, my paternal great-grandmother would twist the lengths and sew the resulting cords together into a rag rug. Nothing was wasted.

It was the same on my mother’s side of the family. Material from clothes that were no longer of use would be cut up and sewn into quilts. My Mom recalls sitting underneath the quilting frame as a child when her mother and other female relatives worked together at a quilting bee (Mom thought she was “helping” push the needle back up to the top surface). Even as a little girl, my mother learned an early lesson in letting nothing go to waste.

I must have inherited that trait.

I love recipes that not only produce a yummy result, but that are efficient. By that I mean that you’re not left with partly used cans of an ingredient that will languish in the fridge and eventually have to be thrown out.

I prefer a recipe that uses up the whole can of an ingredient, or, if it calls for 3 egg yolks for the batter, it also calls for 3 egg whites for the filling or a meringue (see cheesecake recipe below). Nothing is wasted. No leftover egg whites that you have to store until you think of another recipe that can use them up.

Likewise, I think God is efficient in how He manages our lives. He won’t waste anything we go through: it all has a purpose, even the negative parts.

After Jesus miraculously fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, he directed the disciples to gather up the remnants of the meal.

“Gather up now the fragments (the broken pieces that are left over), so that nothing may be lost and wasted.” (John 6:12 AMP)

The Disciples Gather the Bread
Detail from stained glass window in the church of San Lorenzo Ruiz in Manila
Photo by Lawrence OP on Flickr CC BY-NC-ND-2.0

If Jesus was so concerned about not wasting leftover pieces of bread, don’t you think He’ll be even more painstaking in ensuring that every part of your life will be carefully used for eventual good?

Our loving Heavenly Father won’t waste the pain you’ve endured. Somehow, it will work into His design for your life. You’ll eventually see that you didn’t go through that suffering for nothing. No part of your life will need to be “thrown out” as meaningless.

It might turn out that the difficult things you’ve endured have made you the perfect person to comfort someone going through the same challenges. We can trust that God will work all things together for good (Romans 8:28).

After picking up the leftover fragments of the five loaves of bread, Jesus’ disciples found that they had twelve baskets full, which is more than they started out with! In the same way, God can take whatever we give Him of our lives, and can multiply it. He can see to it that our efforts for His Kingdom have a ripple effect which impacts more people than we ever dreamed of.

Put yourself in the hands of our loving God, who will make sure that no part of your life is unredeemed or wasted. It all gets used for His glory.

Photo by Piqsels

Heavenly No-Bake Pineapple Cheesecake

This is another of my Mom’s scrumptious recipes: light and fluffy with hints of lemon. It takes a bit of time to make, but is absolutely heavenly on a hot summer’s day. I liked this cake so much as a girl that I would ask Mom to make it as my birthday cake!

(Please note that this is an unbaked cheesecake which contains raw egg whites.)

1 1/2 cups graham wafer crumbs, lightly packed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
2 envelopes unflavoured gelatin
1/2 cup cold water
3 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
Dash of vanilla and salt
1/2 cup milk
250 g package Philadelphia cream cheese
1 1/2 tsp grated lemon rind
2 Tbsp lemon juice
3 egg whites, whipped
1 cup whipping cream, whipped
1 cup canned crushed pineapple, drained

Combine graham crumbs and sugar. Blend in butter. Reserve 1/3 cup of this mixture for topping. Press remaining crumb mixture evenly on bottom and up sides of a buttered 9 X 13-inch baking dish.

Spread gelatin over cold water. Let stand until softened, about 5 minutes. Beat egg yolks slightly on top of double boiler. Add sugar gradually, beating well. Add a bit of vanilla. Stir in milk and a dash of salt. Cook over boiling water, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Let this custard mixture cool slightly.

Blend cheese in mixer. Add lemon rind and juice. Add slightly cooled custard mixture, beating until thoroughly blended. Let cool until thickened and partially set, less than half an hour. Beat with beater until light and foamy and all lumps are smooth. Fold in beaten egg whites, whipped cream and pineapple. Pour into crumb-lined pan. Sprinkle top of cake with reserved crumbs.

Chill in refrigerator for at least 3 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated.

© 2020 Lori J. Cartmell. All rights reserved.

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