And God Sent A Cat

With everything that’s been going on, and all the craziness of the media, it’s natural that our minds and bodies are going to be more anxious, stressed, and tense.

A few weeks ago, I was praying in my bed, and talking to God about that. I wasn’t really sure what specifically I was worrying about, it was more of a generalized sense of anxiety. For context, I had just been on Facebook and y’all the negativity and fear on there is way out of proportion!

Anyway, so I had been praying about that and for the Lord to ease my mind and comfort me.

Literally seconds later my kitten, Ash, walks in my room, jumps on my bed, and curls up beside me. I started stroking his beautiful white and gray fur and found myself marveling at how Jesus works.

In the midst of my worry and needing comfort, He sent a small cat to stay by me and offer that joy and consolation. Even now, I absolutely love how Jesus used my little pet to minister to my heart.

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Examples of this exist in Scripture as well, the most notable of which that comes to mind is Elijah and the ravens, found in 1 Kings 17:2-6

“And the word of the Lord came to him: “Depart from here and turn eastward and hide yourself by the brook Cherith, which is east of the Jordan. You shall drink from the brook, and I have commanded the ravens to feed you there.” So he went and did according to the word of the Lord. He went and lived by the brook Cherith that is east of the Jordan. And the ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning, and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.”

Through Elijah, the Lord had just said that there would be a drought – no dew or rain for the next few years unless by His word. Not to mention, that Ahab was king, Jezebel as Queen, and they both were exceedingly evil people who were worshipping other gods and sacrificing their own children.

In the midst of this, the Lord used ravens to provide for Elijah’s physical needs of bread and meat. And I also like to think that He used animals (God could have simply caused it to appear or drop from the sky as He did for Israel in the desert) because He knew that Elijah was going to be lonely. Of course, animals aren’t the same level as human relationships, but how many of us during this pandemic have been grateful for our dogs, cats, birds, horses, etc?

Interestingly enough, in the article, “The Health Benefits of Companion Animals” from nps.gov says,

“Animals have been demonstrated to improve human cardiovascular health, reduce stress, decrease loneliness and depression.”

Whether those interactions were passive or active, the article states that benefits of lower anxiety levels were shown, thereby decreasing symptoms of stress.

Isn’t that amazing? As an omniscient God, He knows the benefits of animals even if we don’t recognize it ourselves!

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 says,

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

As the God of all comfort, He knows exactly the best way to soothe our heart, settle our minds, and calm our spirits. He knows what caused our worry and what’s going on in our world. He might whisper a Scripture verse over our hearts, or send someone to encourage us.

And sometimes? Sometimes, He may send a cat.

~ Southern Dreamer

Resources:

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The Best Sugar Cookies Ever

Who doesn’t love sugar cookies? They’re sweet, soft, delicious and you can decorate them with icing and sprinkles!

I’ve always loved my grandmother’s sugar cookies – I remember on holidays, my cousins and I would decorate Christmas trees, snowmen, and Easter eggs. Vanilla frosting would be mixed with green and red dye, and sprinkles of all colors and hues dashed across the yummy cookie plains made for a brightly colored display.

So one day, I decided I needed the recipe! I called her up and asked her what was the amazing recipe that crafted such a delicate, sweet cookie?

And here it is: she uses “Mo’s Sugar Cookies” recipe from Square Table.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon of almond extract
  • 4 cups of flour
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt

For this recipe, I would highly recommend an electric mixer if you have one. You can absolutely mix it by hand (I’ve done it before!), but the dough does get super thick and sticky, so if you have a standing mixer, use it!

Alright, first step is to cream the butter and sugar together until it is light and fluffy. Make sure your butter is room temperature, otherwise this will not work correctly. An easy weigh to get it to room temperature is to set your butter out on the counter for 30-45 minutes. I also recommend cutting the butter into little slices when you put it in with the sugar.

Add the eggs one at a time, making sure to beat well after each addition. Mix in extracts.

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In another bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until it is well combined. I did this in small doses, instead of all at once, to ensure that the flour was mixed in thoroughly.

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If you have plastic wrap, put that over the bowl (otherwise I just used aluminum foil) and place in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

After the time is up, grab some of the dough (I rolled mine on a cutting board, doing small batches at a time since I did not have a large one) and roll to about a 1/3 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters and place onto a greased cookie sheet!

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Ok y’all, here is the thing, these cookies do not look like they are done at 10 minutes, but they are! If you want your cookies to be more chewy/harder, you can cook them a little longer, but I like mine soft so I took them out after 10 minutes.

Let the cookies cool, and then eat them or if you want to make them more fun, decorate them with icing and sprinkles!

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Y’all these cookies are absolutely delicious! Trust me, they are not going to last long in y’all’s house! 🙂

Do y’all like sugar cookies? Let me know if you try the recipe in the comments below!

~ Southern Dreamer