Mealtime Mama: Mason jar desserts you’ll adore


While I was cruising Facebook recently, a friend posted a video about how to make a cake in a Mason jar. I was intrigued.

I jumped over, watched the video and was inspired to make these for my daughter’s upcoming birthday. These fun cakes can be refrigerated for up to a week if you put the top on the jar.

You can just enjoy them immediately, of course, or gift them to friends and family.

fruit in jars

The recipe is easy and the ingredients are few. Adorable, portable cakes in a jar:

  • 1 1/2 cups pitted cherries (or your favorite seasonal fruit)
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries (ditto)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3/4 cup heavy whipping cream (If you want to make your own whipped topping, that is.)

CLICK HERE to watch a video of how to make the cakes. Super easy and inexpensive. Can’t wait to try them!

Devotion in Motion: “Lord, please let them see.”

Today’s Scripture Verses:

22 “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light.

 23 “But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness! “”

Matthew 6:22-23 (NKJV)

By Bro. John L. Cash

I read somewhere that the late Fred Rogers (the children’s saint from “Mister Rogers Neighborhood”) often prayed for others. He said he always prayed the same prayer: “God, encircle this person with Your love.” That’s pretty much a perfect prayer, don’t you think? The abiding love and presence of God is what we all need in every situation we could ever face. Since reading of this, I’ve borrowed Mr. Rogers’ prayer on many occasions.

As I’m getting older as a country preacher, I’m often asked to pray for the concerns of others. And as I pour out my heart before God, more and more I find I’m pleading for them with “all purpose prayers.” I have several such prayers, but today I want to share with you only one. Here it is: “Lord, please let them see.”

I’ve never really understood today’s Scripture lesson (at the top). Perhaps I still don’t understand it fully, but clearly it’s about “spiritual eyesight.” Jesus was always restoring the sight to those who were physically blind. And the Scriptures promise that He loves to bring sight to those who are unable to see spiritually.

So that’s I why I offer up so many prayers that the Lord will grant spiritual sight.

glasses-415256_1280 (2)For those who are downcast, may the Lord heal their blindness that they may see all the blessings that are theirs.

For the rebellious teen, may the Lord heal his blindness that he may see his parents’ love.

For the doubting Christian, may the Lord heal her blindness and let her see the reality of His care.

And so on and so on it goes….

I’m going to talk “out of school” right now. Not very long ago, Susan went through a time of discouragement. (Please know that discouragement is not too uncommon in the work of the ministry. Usually it’s me who is down in the dumps, but Susan and I take turns. Don’t worry, it’s very commonplace. You don’t need to call her or anything.)

But when I noticed she was feeling low, I began to pray every morning, “Lord, please let Susan truly see.” I didn’t tell the Lord what Susan needed to be able to see because I’m not smart enough to know that. God knows what we need to see. And whenever we are truly able to see, the answer to our situation becomes crystal clear.

iphone-410311_1280 (2)Well, a few days later Susan sent me this text:

“I’m so thankful for our boys and how God is helping them to succeed in their lives. I’m very grateful for His blessings. I’m so glad to be on this journey with me and you, us two.”

Well, I am in full agreement with her sentiments. And, I think the Lord answered my prayer.

You need to know that I have a rule about praying for my wife and kids, though.  I don’t pray anything for them if I am not first willing to pray it for myself.

So, that’s why I’m praying this morning that the Lord will enable me to see.

Because without Him, I am the blindest one of all.

john l cashDr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 29 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school, where he used to teach Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where the Preacher is tired tonight because he did a funeral today.) Their kids include Spencer (age 23), his wife Madeline (age 23), and Seth (age 20).

The Rockwood Files: How I failed at donuts

rockwood files color

By Gwen Rockwood, newspaper columnist and mama of 3

One of the great things about being young and broke is that it forces you into new situations. After my second year of college, I decided I was old enough to get my own apartment and stay in my college town instead of going home for the summer. My parents agreed. They also thought that, given my grown-up decision-making ability, I was also grown-up enough to get a summer job and pay my own grown-up rent.

So I filled out applications and one of the first places to call me for an interview was a newly opened Wal-Mart Supercenter. Back then, the Supercenter had a few workers who sped around the store on roller skates to make fetching items quicker. I wanted to be one of those “skaters,” since my years of going to the roller rink on weekends had given me the exact skill-set I needed for such a job. But all the skater positions were taken so I ended up making donuts in the store’s bakery.

My main responsibility was to fry the donuts. After pouring batter into a funnel-shaped machine that hovered over a huge vat of liquid grease, I was taught to pull the machine’s lever so that it would squirt out an exact amount of batter into a perfect circle. Then I’d shift the funnel over and deposit another circle of donut with sprinklesbatter next to it where it would float, sizzle and sputter in the hot grease. My boss, a cranky woman who used far too much black hair dye, was specific about putting six donuts in each row, and I followed her directions closely — for a while.

After I’d been making donuts for a few weeks, I figured out that, if I was fast with the lever and precise in my placement, I could fit not six but seven donuts into a row. Proud of how I’d figured out a quicker, more efficient way to make the donuts, I didn’t mention it to the cranky boss because I was a humble girl. Didn’t want to brag. I worked all night and finished frying donuts earlier than usual, thanks to my more efficient system. I moved over to the donut decorating table to start the next task.

That’s when my boss showed up and asked why the donuts I’d just made had bumps on them.

“Bumps?” I asked.

“Yes, bumps. Did you put too many donuts in a row?”

“Well, I put seven donuts in each row, but they fit in there perfectly.”

“They only fit perfectly when they’re still batter. When they plump up, they crowd into each other and fuse together and then they have these bumps on the side,” she said and held up one of the offending donuts. “I told you to put six donuts per row, didn’t I?”

There was no point arguing with the bumpy evidence. I’d screwed up, and I doubted that offering to eat the mistakes was going to help my case. I apologized and said I’d do it exactly the way she instructed from that point on. And I did, partly because she was a scary boss and mostly because I wanted to make pretty donuts.

In the end, it turned out to be a good lesson about art, work and life. Even though we live in a fast-paced world where “more” seems to be “better,” there are still times when restraint and patience are exactly what we need. There’s still a market for craftsmanship and beauty, and sometimes those things can’t be rushed or forced or outsmarted. Sometimes we need to let time “plump up” our projects until they become exactly what they’re destined to be.

gwen headshot 2014Gwen Rockwood is a mom to three great kids, wife to one cool guy, a newspaper columnist and co-owner of To read previously published installments of The Rockwood Files, click here. To check out Gwen’s book, “Reporting Live from the Laundry Pile: The Rockwood Files Collection,” click HERE.

On Your Mind: Is this a red flag for abuse?

on your mindNOTE: The question below reached us through our “online hotline” button which lets anyone send a question to a local counselor at Ozark Guidance — in a completely anonymous way. The email comes in with no email address and no identifying information. We set it up this way so women would feel free to write about anything on their mind.

pushed in angerToday my husband pushed me in anger. I was not bruised but it shocked me. I have an 8-year-old son (with him). I am glad at least my husband followed me into another room so he did not witness this because I would never want my son to do this to a girl.

We have been married 10 years. He sometimes gets angry and gives me the silent treatment, but has never touched me in anger before. I want our family to stay together and do not want to overreact, however, my training tells me this is a warning sign of potential abuse….

Thank you for your note. You’ve exercised good judgment in this situation in several ways; one is that you recognized that this was not OK. Your spouse should not physically react to you in anger.

Also, you recognized that you don’t want your son to witness violence in your home. Another way you exercised good judgment is that you paused long enough to say, “How should I react to this situation?” Ask yourself the following questions:

  • “How did my spouse react after the incident? Did he recognize that this was not OK?”
  • “Have I seen my spouse react appropriately when he is experiencing anger?” (Appropriate reactions could include discussing his anger in a calm manner, taking time alone to process his anger, or anything that does not make you feel like your safety is being violated.)

Other questions you might ask yourself include:

  • “Was I able to discuss the incident with my spouse in a safe way?”
  • “Do I feel comfortable around my spouse following this incident?”

If you’re unsure about any of these questions, talk to a mental health provider about your feelings and concerns. You have an appropriate level of concern in this situation. I would recommend spending some time thinking through these questions and determining if your home is a safe place for you and your children.

You may decide that this was a unique situation that your spouse regrets, or you may come to the conclusion that you and your son should seek other living arrangements. Either way, this is an important topic for you to give a considerable amount of time, effort, and thought over. Ozark Guidance Center is here to help, so contact us anytime at 479-750-2020.

Therapists at Ozark Guidance would be happy to answer your questions and read what’s on your mind. Click the butterfly icon below to fill out an anonymous submission form with your question or concern. The form contains NO identifying information and is designed to give local women an online place to share concerns with a person qualified to offer feedback.

Disclaimer: This RESPONSE does not provide medical advice It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on nwaMotherlode or Ozark Guidance websites.

Mamas on Magic 107.9: Helpful tips for Mompreneurs

Mompreneurs sliderMamas, if you’ve ever thought about starting your own home-based business, you might want to hear the audio files below. Recently during our Mamas on Magic 107.9 radio segment, we talked about “Mompreneurs” — moms who attempt to raise kids AND a small business at the same time.

Since Shannon and I became mompreneurs ourselves six years ago, this topic is a fun one for us. We hope we’ve passed along a few helpful tips to our fellow mamas who might want to jump into the small business trenches with us.

Click the LEFT side of each audio bar below to hear the discussions. (And tune in to Magic 107.9 each weekday at 7:45 a.m. to hear more of Mamas on Magic.)

Our mompreneur story

Tips on getting started

Secrets of success

More secrets of success

Should your hobby become a business?


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