Lovely Little Things

I love Valentine's Day. Not in the I-have-to-be-pampered-today sort of way. I don't like putting those demands on other people. But I love it because it's a fun, cute day that is completely nonsensical. A day of hearts and random acts of love and a reason to bake new things.

Making these mini heart pastry-pie things made my day.
Not that it was easy, mind you. I had our new puppy underfoot because it's been cold and wet and he needs some lovin' + indoor time. So of course he peed on a chair within five minutes. Then when I came back from cleaning that up, baby girl had the mixer in her hand. I of course proceeded to spill vanilla all over the counter (though, if I was going to spill something, that was the best-smelling choice ever).

Basically, it took me all morning (and part of the afternoon...) to achieve these cute little morsels. Was it worth it? Yes. Halfway through did I want to give up? Also yes. But I love cutesy things and baking and it honestly made me really happy to spend ludicrous amounts of time on this one unnecessary thing.

You can find the official recipe here. My tips on the recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. But that's not the real reason I'm writing today, so, moving on.
I'm in the process of learning to let God plan my days. I started this awhile back, when I wrote about the cage that to-do lists can put us in. It gives me a chance to let Him handle the situation - before I plan my way around it. It offers the perspective that interruptions are meant to be, that I'll get done today what needs to be done. And it means that I have time to see the special little things He's placed for me to find along the way.

I'm not proposing a structure-less life. One of the best things I've ever done is decide to be a morning person and get up before the baby to do a workout/yoga/devotions alone, and that requires some discipline (but there have been a lot of days this month that I've been too exhausted to keep it up).

Letting go of my crazy plans and my lists and my expectations has given me freedom. I've discovered I pray more. And I laugh a lot more, too.
You don't need Jesus to be a part of your day if you're the one taking control. We can only see grace when we are vulnerable enough to need it. Yet there's something about needing other people that we avoid. If we have all the stuff and money and plans and knowledge that we need, then there's absolutely no opportunity for someone to help us. No chance for God to come to our rescue.

Letting my day take shape under His timing has been a huge blessing. I have had to need people. People to offer a dryer for my laundry, people to carry my groceries to the car, people to answer my millions of questions about how to do life differently in Texas. 

How are we supposed to show love if no one leaves themselves vulnerable enough to need it?
Besides being able to receive love and grace, I also have extra time to notice the little lovely things along the way. The stuff God put in our world to make us smile. 

Take a minute and look through your day and notice anything positive or funny, that maybe only you care about. Not just things that you're thankful for because they're practical or better than they were before. Choose things that are lovely, that you love to love. Things that make you happy. Smile and breathe deeply. You always have time to enjoy His good gifts. You always have a minute to spare to thank Him for the beauty in this world.

Here are some tidbits that I've noticed:

  • Waking up early with the baby, and being struck by the melody of birds singing just outside.
  • The heavy calm that comes with an all-day drizzle.
  • When my baby sees my face and smiles, just because it's me.
  • A cloud of runaway balloons in the sky, a whimsical rainbow in contrast to the dark sky that's spitting rain.
  • The times I am able to get completely through a workout or yoga session without having to get the baby - so, so thankful that He gives me times like that.
  • Friendly strangers at the grocery store. 
  • The sheer awesomeness of having a washer and dryer in my house! When you have a newborn and you're going through a million burp cloths, baby clothes, and of course all of your clothes that have turned into milky messes, and you have to endure three flights of stairs to get to the laundry, you really appreciate having one ten feet from your bed.

Tips for the Recipe:

  • Dough. Yes, Pillsbury pie crust dough is worth the extra buck or so - the generic store brand was sort of crumbly and thin and lacking.
  • Jelly. Use good jelly (and more of it) if you want that strawberry flavor to come through.
  • Cream cheese. I decided to double the recipe, but that left me with extra creamy filling on my hands. Any ideas for repurposing the stuff? Quick, before I give my husband the bowl and he eats himself sick!
  • Seal. Seal those babies up good, otherwise you'll be scrubbing burnt heart innards off your cookie sheets like I will be...tomorrow...because dishes can wait. But seriously, jelly likes to bond with things for life.
  • Sugar sprinkles. If you put them on too soon, while the pies and the melted butter are hot, they will sort of melt, too. And if you wait to do it, they don't stick at all. For the second batch, I just sprinkled on a little powdered sugar. It was much simpler and just as cute.

I think that's it! They're really easy to make. That is, if you don't have a baby interrupting the process...


  1. This is a great reminder as I sit here with my coffee and long to do list. I have so many plans for myself today I need to stop and let God plan it instead!

    1. Yes, don't be limited or overwhelmed by your to-do list! God wants us to be free from the "have-tos" so that we are able to rejoice in the day He has made and what it might bring <3