From the Archives
Family communication is so important, especially when it comes to your kids. See how Proverbs 31 and a quick and easy shortbread cookie recipe can help.
She Watches Over the Affairs of Her Household
Have you ever experienced “Women’s Intuition,” either as a wife or mother, or perhaps as a child – wondering how your mother knew? I believe the Lord does give us special abilities to interpret what might be really going on in our families. However, I also believe that the biggest way in which He allows us to see these things is in listening and paying attention to the people and events around us. We have to keep the lines of communication open.
This is truly a gift for women. If you will notice, women are the ones who naturally watch and listen. Sometimes this is misinterpreted as being nosey and other times as being a people-watcher. I don’t think this comes naturally to men, nor do they seem to understand it. On many occasions my husband has wondered why the kids told me things that they didn’t share with him. All I could say was, “I asked them about it.”
Listening is Key
My daughter has a friend that I actually taught when they were in 5th grade. I used to get such a kick out of being around her. I could always tell which boy she liked after being around her for about 5 minutes. She was always amazed and thought I was a special power or something. What she didn’t realize was that although she considered it a secret that no one knew, she was very open and talked freely to me. All I had to do was listen and fill in the blanks.
It was pretty much the same with my daughter. Keeping the lines of communication open gave her the freedom to tell me things that went on in her life. There were times she told me things that I thought I could have actually gone without knowing! However, it allowed me to watch and monitor the influences and decisions she made throughout those critical years. Open communication and trust is so important in knowing what goes on in your household.
Kids Communicate Differently
I realize that all kids are not this open. In fact, I almost had to drag information out of my son. I found that the key to communicating with him was:
- Listening intently to all that he said
- Showing interest in the things he chose to share
- Asking questions in a non-interrogating way
- Having his friends over to our house
I know this all appears to be about raising children, but this also applies to our lives in general. If we are called to “watch over the affairs of our household,” that means all of it. Listening and communicating is also important with our husbands, employers, teachers, etc. This works in all relationships.
As we go through our daily lives, let’s continue to apply these natural abilities the Lord has given us as women. Let them call it “Women’s Intuition” if they want to; I will call it “watching over the affairs of my household.”
“I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw.” Proverbs 24:32
Another way to get your children to open up is working together or doing fun activities. Below is a simple shortbread recipe that you can get your children to help you prepare. It only requires 5 basic ingredients, and you end up with delicious cookies! It is a buttery cookie that is not too sweet.
Be sure to get the kids talking as you work – this is actually the best part of the process.
Quick and Easy Shortbread Cookies
Taken from A Woman of Noble Character
- Mix the first 4 ingredients in a large bowl and roll into small 1 inch balls. I mix the dough by hand. If you choose to use a hand mixer, use it on low speed. Be careful not to over mix the ingredients, or the cookies will end up with a crumbly texture.
- Place the dough balls on a cookie sheet and flatten the center of the dough.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes. The cookies should still be a light color to get the tender texture. Baking time will vary according to your oven.
- As soon as you remove the cookies from the oven, sprinkle them with powdered sugar, then let them cool on a wire rack.
Tips and Ideas
- Put parchment paper on the cookie sheet to keep the cookies from sticking.
- Make the shortbread dough in advance. Put it in plastic wrap and refrigerate.
- These homemade shortbread cookies are great for Christmas time, a cookie exchange, or any time of year.
- After the cookies cool, store them in an airtight container.
- To use cookie cutters to form shapes, use a rolling pin to flatten the dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut the desired shapes, and bake until they are golden brown.
- You could also use a cookie press to form different shapes and sizes.
- Drizzle melted chocolate over the cookies instead of dusting them with powdered sugar.
- If your personal preference is a crispier cookie, bake the cookies a little longer.
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I hope you and your family enjoy this simple cookie, but I hope you enjoy the process even more. Always look for different ways to keep the lines of communication open within your family. If it takes making a sweet treat together, so be it.
I hope you enjoy the recipe. With the holiday season approaching, this will be great activity you can all do together. I guess Proverbs 31 and a quick and easy shortbread cookie recipe really can go together.
Please share your secrets of getting your family to talk. We need all the tricks!
Until next week…
Have a Grace & Joy-Filled Day!
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“When I am filled with cares, Your comfort brings me joy.” Psalms 94:19