Why is it so Hard to Ask

Photo Credit: Maria Wild

During this morning’s devotions we did something we’d never done before.

At the breakfast table, we read a Proverb and prayed. By one of the girls’ suggestions, we went around the table and each prayed for the person next to us. Prayers were spoken for the biggest to think before he speaks, for the big girl to be gentle to a brother, for the middle boy to remember what he’s told, for the middle girl to be thorough in all of her schoolwork, for a little girl to be kind to her sister, and for the littlest to not be contrary and cross. The middle girl was next to me, and she prayed that I wouldn’t do all the work, and be healthy, and to be very happy. When it was my turn to pray, I heard my words sound formal, respectful/polite/well-mannered…. I wasn’t tenderly asking with innocence and vulnerability like the small prayers said before me.

Photo Credit: Maria Wild

Why is it so hard to ask?

If He loves to give, why isn’t it easier? All day, my children ask for snacks, help in the bathroom, cups to be filled, socks and shoes put on, and help with long words. Sometimes I hear “Mom, Mom, Mom” so many times, surely there is not three seconds between their calls! One thing I know through their asking is that they need me. The kids ask unafraid and relentless, and their asking is a bold statement of helplessness. The asking requires surrender, and surrender springs from humility. I know I lack the humility to ask God the way the children ask for daily things of me. Because in asking, I would be completely yielding to an Almighty God – I would acknowledge my incompetence and inability.

The irony of it is that when I try to ask, I am afraid I don’t know how to do it the right way (James 4:2,3). If we don’t receive because we don’t ask as we ought, then I just don’t ask! I know my prayers are so imperfect and awkward! But when I pray in Jesus’ name (John 14:13), it’s not my stuttered words He hears but the delightful prayers of Jesus. If I trust His Name is enough, than my struggling, messy prayers are all God wants!

If you think of it, this is why Jesus told us that we needed to be like children (Matthew 18:3 ). My kids ask in helplessness, and they just ask – not afraid to sound broken or simple. Children ask because they are dependent. How I want that my heart is humble enough to ask! Just ask!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!

Matthew 7:7-11

with love. Damaris

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Our Many Mothers

On this special day of honoring mothers, I have been thinking and praying more than usual for my mom, my mother-in-law, and our grandmothers. Equally significant, however, are the women in my life who aren’t official moms but provide love, guidance and strength to me – the ones I forgot to commend in my early parenting days. The women who joyfully welcomed me into their home with my mothering blunders and naivety. The many mothers who are far and close, who served meals and watched our children, who have walked beside us during painful circumstances.

This Mother’s Day, I want to honor the many mothers who show up at our doorstep whether we call them ‘mom’ or not. Whether they mentor us, care for us, or just always seem to be there when we need them. Such extraordinary moms deserve our honor. This is not about a lavish gift, but simply acknowledging that they were encouragers in the waves of all the ordinary. These women helped to bring joy in the grit.

Do you have someone like this in your life? We all stand as a testimony of abundant grace shown to us through these women.

This, my friends, is worth celebrating.

with love. Damaris


A Lovely Mother's Day Brunch: 5 quick and easy recipes

With Mother’s Day a couple Sundays away, I have been looking through recipes and making our menu. Since we head to church in the morning, breakfast will be baked oatmeal or maple muffins, but after church, we ‘ll slow down and gather. We’ll delight and give thanks for the joys of a full table, and then I’ll get to open several homemade, art-filled cards. Aren’t they the best?

Brunch is my all-time favorite meal, and surely there is no shortage of brunch menu options and incredible ideas. I compiled some of our cherished recipes which you’ll notice can all be made in advance. We have enjoyed making all of these recipes over the last few years, and they have become faithful appearances on the spring-summer menu.

I plan to prepare only the grapefruit when we come home from church. Meanwhile, the tart, quiche, and coffeecake go into the oven at a low temperature to warm up for 30 minutes or so. This will give the boys time to cut some flowers from the front yard or a branch of crab-apple (or dogwood- the prettiest) to make the best and happiest Mother’s Day table. The only thing that will make this brunch menu better is a fresh brewed coffee. With a little cream. And a little sugar.

All the quick and easy recipes are linked!

Broiled Grapefruit

A simple caramelized topping makes it a surprising favorite. This sweet and tangy pleasure can be served first or right along the rest of the brunch dishes. It is light and immensely refreshing.

Asparagus Tart

This tart makes the most elegant side dish. Roasted asparagus, creamy cheese, and a flaky crust come together so simply and so perfectly. What a beautiful way to showcase the springtime vegetable! Make it ahead and warm it in a low oven (although it is tasty at room temperature too). And when the recipe boasts only three ingredients, you’ve got to try it! Guaranteed to be a delicate delight at the table.

Crustless Quiche Lorraine

Eggs and bacon – no two foods were ever more perfectly paired! The hint of smoky gruyere complements the salty bacon in this scrumptious, easy recipe. Quiche is a staple that pleases everyone at the gathering and is perfect for making ahead (freezes very well).

Lemon-Raspberry Coffeecake

This coffeecake has a creamy center that will be a delightful surprise when served. It can be prepared very quickly if the butter and cream cheese are at room temperature already, and it bakes up perfectly every time. This sweet treat is well suited for making in advance (and even freezing). The slight citrus flavor and the moist crumb, make this gorgeous coffeecake inviting. Enjoy it with a dusting of powdered sugar! It’s especially delicious warm.

Non Alcoholic Apple Cider Mimosa

It is so fun to enjoy a colorful drink! Equally special and healthy, these mimosas are perfect for Mother’s Day brunch! The children will not be able to hold their excitement at our table when they see this treat. The recipe is only two ingredients! Orange juice and sparking cider make it the simplest, quickest drink.

with love, Damaris


Mother's Day Gift Ideas {under $10 and under $30}

With Mother’s Day only couple weeks away, maybe you’ve had your Mother’s Day gift already lined up for weeks (ahem). Just in case you haven’t, I’ve put together a little shopping guide! I looked for exquisite and inexpensive gift ideas appropriate for daughters to gift moms, husbands to gift wives, and sisters or friends to gift each other. The gift selection is from Amazon and World Market, because the comfort of online shopping can’t be beat : )

Gifts Under $30

The VeryVera Cookbook: Recipes from My Table

This fabulous southern cookbook will ensure one’s table is splendid for all summertime gatherings. Stress-free get-togethers are around the corner!

Pom-Fringe Cotton Pillow Covers

The pompoms are so on-trend! The colors are neutrals and guaranteed to look good with most combinations. These pillows are easily mixed with what one already has.

Umbra Tesora Jewelry Box, Copper/Concrete

I love the mix of soft metal with the rough ceramic. Anything to help a woman get organized is a winner, plus the rosy copper makes it a must-have.

18K Gold Plated Initial Bar Necklace

Everyone needs an initial necklace! This dainty bar can be easily layered and makes a sweet personalized gift.

Felt Letter Board

This letter board will be fun to move around the house! Useful for menus, love notes, and making your kids look for all the lost letters : )

Magnolia Table: A Collection of Recipes for Gathering

This is a beautiful book is full of stunning pictures. Great comfort-filled recipes with easy to find ingredients.

Black Round Straw Tote with Black and Ivory Tassels

It’s the perfect time of the year to add a new accessory! This round tote is so fun for summer! It’s softer than straw plus the tassels make it oh-so-chic.

Glass Water Bottles with Wood Lids

These glass water bottles are very practical and beautiful – best combination in my book.

Ivory Macramé Pouch

Boho and hip, this macramé pouch can double as a clutch. Classy enough in ivory for every woman.

Square Black and White Geometric Carved Wood Cutting Board

Cutting boards need replacing every so often. Made of mango wood and enamel, this one is perfect!

Gifts Under $10

Castelbel Floral Matisse Wild Rose Hand Cream

I have this hand cream, and it’s very luxurious for the price. It is creamy but not greasy with a lovely rose scent.

Cactus Potholder

Who needs a little more cactus in their life? Maybe one just needs more fun in the kitchen : )

Botanical Print Ceramic Nesting Measuring Spoon

The green shade of these measuring spoons will bring a smile to the baker’s face. So fun to update an old set or just have two!

Fueled by Coffee French Press

The gold finish makes this French press a feminine treat. Let’s go for that second cup of coffee with frothed cream!

Rose Iced Tea

Everyone drinks so much more in the summertime! This tea is extra special and unique.

Lagoon Blue Etched Wood Salad Servers

The teal etching is beautiful and ethnic. Perfect to use for Mother’s Day brunch!

Moroccan Rose Soap Petals

We currently have these in our bathroom and have gifted them on numerous occasions. The fragrance in the water is faint but the feel is luxurious. They are the true size of rose buds or larger.

Gold Dust Korean Beauty Hydrogel Sheet Mask

Enjoying supple and dewy skin might mean one needs a little pampering and lots of hydration. This Korean line is making an appearance everywhere!

Gold Love Chains

Wearing bracelets is a summer thing, and this set is so delicate! They will be charming to wear with both casual and dressy outfits.

Watercolor Ceramic Tea Rests

Most people don’t enjoy their tea with the bag still in it. These pretty dishes are the graceful solution to the next shared cup of tea. They could also hold rings and watches at the bedside table or while doing dishes.

with love. Damaris


Family Currents

This week, we celebrated Mother’s Day. My mom was only a phone call away, and Nathan’s parents live within a half hour from us. We spent the afternoon with them after church. This Mother’s Day was beautiful! The simplicity of it made it beautiful – Nathan and his Dad made every effort to prepare Sunday dinner, and it was a delectable success. I made a Red Velvet Trifle (with chocolate ganache – decadent!).


In the mornings, we read Scripture with the kids. Recently we’ve read through the Psalms, but this week, we have been enjoying God’s Battle. We have previously read God’s Names and God’s Design. These short readings at the breakfast table always encourage my heart, and I pray it turns the children’s thoughts toward God as they begin their day. Each chapter even has questions at the end – although we rarely make it into those, ha!


We have been loving this diffuser and this set of essential oils! My favorite oil blend is so relaxing! I try to remember to refill it at night with a purifying oil blend. When I go downstairs in the morning, the house smells so clean! I know one of my maids has been working (wink, wink).


These cuties are sporting new shoes! While the big kids were at art class, the three youngest and I found this sale, and oh how a girl loves her shoes!

with love. Damaris


Mother's Day Maple Muffins

photo credit: Alexander

These blonde beauties are pure maple goodness! Gena, a sweet friend, brought Nathan and me a dozen of these muffins the night when I first became a mom. I was overwhelmed, in love, and ravenous, and these maple muffins were manna to me.

Since this Sunday is Mother’s Day, I made four dozen blonde beauties today. One dozen was for Nathan to take to his office. They rave about them. I was delivering another dozen to a friend, so two dozen would stay on the cooling rack to be enjoyed with our dinner…and hopefully breakfast too. Of course, we had to “try” them before we left for the delivery, then we came back and had to have just a little-snack-muffin…or two… or three. The warm maple scent filled the house (and our tummies).

When Daddy came home, the littles were still holding on to the last of the tender crumbs.

photo credit: Alexander

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (optional)

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cups any milk

  • 1/2 cup oil or melted butter

  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees or 350 degrees for convection setting. Line or grease your muffin pan. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients until well incorporated (no need to over mix). Spoon the batter into the muffin pan. Bake @ 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

If you’re looking for a Mother’s Day brunch treat or yummy breakfast for the kids (& Mom in bed!), these will satisfy everyone. Do you enjoy delivering little baked blessings to friends, too? Tell me how they turn out for you.

with love. Damaris