Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Mugs & Muffins :: Guest Post, by Mitzi (a friend of mine!) Recipe and Giveaway! {now CLOSED!}

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Welcome back to Mugs & Muffins!
Welcome back, both old and new!
To any new friends - who have begun following here recently - this a just a time and place to gather together with fellow readers.  Enjoy that proverbial muffin and cup of coffee... (recipe is always included!)
Its a moment to just sit back, relax and encourage one another.  You can read HERE - why and how this Mugs & Muffins idea got started.
 As you leave, today, be sure to enter your name for the drawing - the Giveaway will be happening and announced later this week!  See details at the end of this post!  And the Giveaway will remain open all week long!

While I have your attention.  Grab yourself a muffin*; pass the plate around, and don't forget to fill up your favorite mug with something delicious.  Coffee or Tea... makes no difference.  I'm just so glad you're here and that you want to stay!

** The muffins are in honor of my guest writer and friend!  Here's why..
When my friend Mitzi, and her husband, moved from PA back their home state...after being here in PA for several years... she says she had no idea how much she would miss Shoo-fly Pie. :)
If you don't know what Shoo-fly Pie is... well, it is a staple in these parts of the Commonwealth.  So..
Every time I get a chance to travel; to visit my friend and her family - you've guessed it.  We are sure to take along a pie or two...
And now... these muffins are or surely will be part of her recipe collection.


This month I'm so happy to have my wonderful friend - a in-real-life friend - share her heart with us today!

Mitzi and I have been friends since eons ago!  She is a marvelous cook, a sweet-tea drinker, a wonderful mother and a HUGE Disney fan!

Mitzi has the biggest heart of any I know...and well... quite frankly... I miss her tons!  I miss her smile, her hugs and her infectious laugh!  She lives too far away!  Period.  One thing I love... is that my kids and husband made themselves Great friends with Mitzi's husband and children, as well... and there is STILL conversation and the begging to go and visit them again.  Sometime soon!! 

Please make welcome - Mitzi Matata. 
If you've seen any comment, on my blog, under this name, this is her!
Photo taken several years ago on one of our visits.  Mitzi's
husband, Chris took this photo! 

So, sit back and enjoy... this is a long post!  But, you'll be blessed as you read along!  I promise!

Hello!  My name is Mitzi Matata (not my real name*) and I...I am a long time friend of Bevy's!!

I am wife to Chris, Mother to my now 13 –year- old triplets Benjamin, Savannah and Isabelle and friend to a cherished handful.
Bev asked me to share my story so I've been thinking and praying for many months about what the Lord would have me to say.  One day, I asked myself out loud what part of my journey I should focus on and my daughter, Savannah, said “Well, Mommy, you have to talk about your breast cancer.”   So, my journey with God through my breast cancer will be my focus - here in this message today.

I’ll be sharing scriptures with you that I clung to and song lyrics that I feel God gave me encouragement and strength from.  I want to tell you about ways God became more real to me through a very difficult time and how he used a scary illness to bring me into closer fellowship with Him.  Most of all, I want to testify how very good our God is – all the time.   All the time – God is good. 

That phrase “God is good all the time- all the time God is good” is one I wrote at the end of nearly every journal entry on my Caringbridge site. 

Caringbridge is a free website designed to help families keep their friends and loved ones informed during difficult times such as life-threatening illnesses.

I want to share a passage from the opening page of my Caringbridge journal.

“around noon on Oct.10th, 2008, (less than a month after my 40th birthday) the doctor called and said to  me:  "Now, Mitzi.... I want you to stay calm... your biopsy results are back and you have tested positive for breast cancer."  My world, my life and everything I'd known and been to that point would never be the same.
My family and I cling to the Lord Almighty... He is Yahweh Rapha…. our God who heals. His will is perfect and He has, is and will forever direct our path.
We have been abundantly blessed with love and support from our friends, our church body, our family and even those we've never met. People all over the world are praying for us... and we feel it.
My prayer is that I will glorify the Lord through this... whatever is ahead of us on this journey. Jesus is with us (me, my family and you) every step of the way, as He always has been and will be forevermore.”

As I faced an uncertain future, my biggest fears and concerns lay with my children.  They had just turned 8 years old.  They were just babies… and they needed their Momma.  And I needed to make sure they had me … and that they had a beautiful childhood.  My childhood was not lovely.    My childhood was not peaceful.  My greatest desire in the world was that the childhood of my children would be the opposite of my own.  During the moment of that heart-stopping diagnosis, I was terrified of 2 things:  1 –that I would leave my children Motherless at such a tender, young age.. and 2 that they would suffer if I suffered and that their childhood would be taken from them and replaced with sorrow, perhaps even worse than my own.

I wanted to live for my children and I wanted to protect them from all the ugliness this disease would throw our way.  Chris and I felt that we needed to be honest with them about the illness but I still wanted to protect them from it.  Through the innocence of 8 year olds, one of their biggest concerns was that I would lose my hair with chemotherapy.  So, that became my prayer.  For the sake of my little ones, dear Lord.. let me keep my hair.  If I can keep my hair, then it will be less scary for them and maybe they won’t be as affected by all of this.

Chris and I had a heart-wrenching time of tears and prayer with our best friends a day or 2 after my diagnosis.  I shared of my deep desire to keep my children protected from all of the hardship and pain that lay before us in the coming months.  The Lord spoke through our friend Paul as he told us to surrender our children to the Lord and let Him grow them stronger through this time.  Instead of protecting them from all that these days may have, pray that they would become closer to their heavenly Father because of it, relying on Him with a deeper faith than they’d ever had.  I had to give them completely over to the Lord to take care of and let the Almighty Abba Father be their comforter just as He is mine.  That was a turning point for me in the journey.  I had not looked at it that way before and would not look at it differently from that day forth.

However,  my biggest fear still was that I would leave my children without their Mommy.  I spent hours, days, weeks silently begging God to allow me to live long enough to raise my children.  During this time, I went through numerous tests and procedures for the breast cancer.  It was determined that I would have a partial mastectomy with sentinel lymph node removal.  Basically, that meant that only the tumor and a large portion of the surrounding tissue would be removed along with the “Master” lymph node.  The thoughts behind this decision were that if any cancer passed through the lymph node system, it would have had to go through the sentinel node first.  My surgery was 1 month after my diagnosis.

Part of my growth through this time was finally believing that God loves my children even more than I do.  HE is their Abba Father, not just mine.  He is Their Lord, their redeemer, their Saviour .  I must hand my children over to God and trust that he would never leave nor forsake Benjamin, Isabelle or Savannah – even if I died from this cancer while they were still so young.

People didn’t want to talk about the “what if I die” scenario with me.  I would hear words of encouragement that I was going to fight this disease and win.  That I would be around for a very long time.  But I had to talk about what if.   Even if I beat the cancer, I still needed to come to a place of complete trust in the Lord.  I had to face death eye to eye.  The breast cancer simply made me have to think about death.  The realization that I could walk out my door and be hit by a falling tree or a struck by lightning actually brought me comfort.  Why?  Because, it made me believe in my heart what I already knew in my head:  None of it was in my control.  None of it was up to me.  It was in God’s hands.  I needed to be at a place where I was OK with God doing whatever He wanted to do in His perfect will with me and my life and I had to trust that He really was a good and loving God and would be no matter what my circumstances or the circumstances of my children.
I gradually did come to a beautiful, peaceful place in my soul that was able to say “Not my will, but yours, Lord, be done.”  And I meant it.
During all this time, the devil wanted to hurl lies at me throughout this process.  He bombarded me with fear and trepidation.  He shouted lies and he whispered lies.
I cried out in my journals for people to please constantly remind me of truth.  I needed scripture quoted to me.  A sweet young lady from our church sent a huge packet of about 15 different scriptures verses on pretty 8 X 11 paper.   I’m going to share some of my favorites:
Romans 8:35-39
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[a]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Psalm 62:5-8
“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. ”
Joshua 1:9
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
We taped the scriptures up all over our house- in our kitchen, bedrooms, bathrooms, hallway and even the laundry room.
Those scriptures are still on our walls, 5 years later.
Their truth is a constant reminder of the love God has for our family and of the love our friends have for us, too.
Groceries, meals and childcare were generously and sacrificially given throughout the many months of treatments by people who showed unconditional love for us.  These people were the hands and feet of Jesus. Their kindness towards our family will never be forgotten.

Through this journey, I can testify that God was with me and is with me still… all the time.   He has never left my side.  He never left my husband or my children as we faced fearful times.
I have learned and fully believe that His will is perfect. His plans are perfect.

Jeremiah 29:11
“11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Romans 8:28 28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose.”

I know that doesn't mean He promises to heal me.  It does mean that I can rest in the fact that all things are under the authority of a GOOD, loving God.
My favorite song through this whole journey has been one written by Scott Krippayne ((I encourage you to take a minute and listen to it for yourself) and here are the lyrics:

“Sometimes He Calms the Storm

All who sail the sea of faith
Find out before too long
How quickly blue skies can grow dark
And gentle winds grow strong
Suddenly fear is like white water
Pounding on the soul
Still we sail on knowing
That our Lord is in control

Sometimes He calms the storm
With a whispered 'peace be still'
He can settle any sea
But it doesn't mean He will
Sometimes He holds us close
And lets the wind and waves go wild
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child

He has a reason for each trial
That we pass through in life
And though we're shaken
We cannot be pulled apart from Christ
No matter how the driving rain beats down
On those who hold to faith
A heart of trust will always
Be a quiet, peaceful place
Sometimes He calms the storm
And other times He calms His child.”

I wrote the following in my journal on Jan. 29, 2009

“I have this image of a little child dancing with Jesus on a beautiful beach at sunset. I am that child.
We're happy... splashing... holding hands... dancing in a circle... laughing and smiling.
I consider this particular image a gift from the Lord. When I worship, it's this image that comes to my mind.
Recently... the image has changed a bit. Now, Jesus is carrying the child (me) on his shoulders... still on the beach, along the edge of the water. We're thoughtful and quiet as he walks along, carrying me.
This image in my mind's eye is also such a precious gift from the Lord.
And... it's so descriptive of what I feel is happening with my life on earth. When I'm not praying for someone else, I'm often quiet with my Lord these days. His presence is very real and never in question. He's just carrying me, holding on to me.. and I to Him. Not a lot of words need to be said. I am just trusting in His power to keep me moving along.”

I am currently on a cancer-fighting drug that I take every day.  I was to be on it for 5 years but have recently been told it will be increased to 10 years.  It’s not a fun pill to take as it does have several unpleasant side-effects but I thank God that I have it to fight the disease and I remember Hebrews 12:1

“Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” 

My prognosis is very good.  One of my doctors said to me: “Mitzi, you will die someday –--
but it won’t be from this cancer.”


And… for those of you who are wondering…
The Lord was gracious and loving and allowed me to keep my hair throughout the cancer treatments.  It was a beautiful gift for both me…. and my children.

And, one final thing- a word of advice from Mitzi!!  “GET YOUR MAMMOGRAMS!  The Lord used mine to save my life!”

To which I (Bevy) second that...I remember Mitzi, a long time ago, a very long time ago, as being one of the first, if not the only one, who encouraged me to treat myself to this; "as a birthday gift", for myself; saying, "don't be afraid to go to the Gyno and while you're at it go and get a Mammogram done." I'm very glad I listened to her.  If nothing else I, at least, have peace of mind - at this point in my life.
I'm very grateful to God for my friend, Mitzi!

Today's giveaway is a simple item.  Handmade by a good friend of mine named: Becky L.

Journaling is something that my friend Mitzi mentioned she did.  Albeit, the fact, that it was kept all online through Caringbridge.

I have given away one of these handmade Journal Covers (w/ notebook), before... but, I feel it is just so appropriate to offer one up again.  You can see more of what Becky does - and has for sale in her Etsy Shop!  Please feel free to stop by and check it out!

**The Giveaway will run through the rest of this week and the winner announced sometime on Friday, the 12th!

For entries earned, please comment below!  Feel free to interact, as readers and commenters, with one another.  Interact by sharing stories, Scripture and encouragement.  Maybe you have your own prayer request...something you would like prayer and encouragement for.

 Each comment made is considered an entry! Spread the word, tell a friend!

Let's be a blessing to one another!!

:: RECIPE ::

Shoofly Muffins
2 1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp. baking powder
1 1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 cup boiling water
1 tsp. baking soda

Mix together first four ingredients; by cutting in the butter.  Should be lumpy.   Take out 1 cup for topping.  Mix together filling ingredients and add to crumb mixture mixing well.  Pour batter into cupcake papers 2/3 full.  Put 1 tsp. of reserved crumb mixture on top of each muffin.  

Bake @ 375* for 22-25 minutes or you can just put it all into a 9"x13" baking pan at 350* for 50-60 minutes..

Thank you so much, for coming by here today!!  And for your participation.  I always look forward to meeting new faces and interacting here with you on days and "events" like today!

May you have a Blessed Week!!

Remember the winner of the giveaway will be announced on Friday!

See you then...


  1. An amazing and heartfelt testimony Mitzi!! The lyrics on that song are so true!! Thank you for sharing with us! (Hug)

    1. Oh and I've never had Shoo Fly pie - so looks like I will have to make these muffins...seeing as I won't be having any of the authentic stuff soon! :P ;) (I told you Bevy, I wouldn't let this go so easily!! hehe!)

    2. It certainly is an amazing song! The lyrics get me teary every time I hear it...
      Thanks for reading my story :)

    3. Now Kaitlin - I'll have you know... I am stockpiling ideas and "foods" for this dear occasion for whenever it shall be. :)

  2. Oh my Bevy and Mitzi.... I so needed this today.. And Mitzi, your testimony is simply wonderful... so glad you are doing ok... and that you got to keep your hair...
    Loved the Song... spoke to my heart for sure... and what a beautiful journal... and a chance to win one... Special for sure... Happy Monday... hugs to you both...

    1. Thank you for reading my story, Connie!
      I, too, am thankful for God's gracious gift in letting me keep my hair.

      Blessings to you....

    2. Connie - isn't' that song simply beautiful...? I had to think of my Friday's Post - with the prompt Whisper... and what I wrote about there. Sometimes God will calm the storm and sometimes he only wants to calm me!

      Continuing to pray for you - HE KNOWS your details!! Every. single. one. of them!!

    3. FACEBOOK COMMENT: so worth reading... a blessing today for sure...

      Connie S.

  3. What a beautiful testimony Mitzi. You are an encouragement for my day. You've had quite a journey, and I pray that the blessings of the Lord will continue in your life. Thanks for sharing. This is a nice
    post Bevy. The muffins look delicious; definitely some that I would enjoy and will have to try. Just to let you know, I have been out of commission with a virus last week and am still fighting it..so I am a bit behind and I haven't sent the tea cozy out yet, but will get it sent in the next couple of days… didn't want you to be looking for it. Have a great week.

    1. Pam... no worries! You be getting yourself better!! We'll be praying for you and trusting that the LORD will restore you and make you well.

      Thank you for coming by here today!!

  4. Mitzi, thank you for so powerfully sharing your story with us and reminding us of God's goodness, love and sovereignty. My mom is a breast cancer survivor as well. So your story hits close to home for me! Bevy, thanks for sharing Mitzi with us! I am so glad you chose this journal... it is beautiful! Now I am going to go eat the last piece of shoo-fly pie!

    1. Right!! that shoo-fly pie... from the Ladies breakfast the other morning. GOOD STUFF!
      I didn't realize your mom was a breast cancer survivor, too!! Wow!!

      Thanks for coming by here today, my friend!

    2. Lindsay,
      Thank you for reading my story! I'm so glad to read the word "survivor" when people tell me of their loved ones having had breast cancer. Survivor. A beautiful word!
      Pass the pie, please.....

  5. So happy I read your story also. Great blog and I am happy I stumble on it.

  6. Thanks for your words, Mercedes! We're glad you stumbled upon it, too!

  7. First of all, thank you for the courage is tell us your story.
    Secondly, you write very well.

    Facing death is a HARD thing to do for anyone. But when you are a mother of young ones, well, I can't even begin to understand the emotions. But God does!
    I love how you still have scriptures all over your home. Your children will remember them, always.

    Mitzi, you are now on my Prayer List. Bevy is a true friend.

  8. Mitzi, what a beautiful testimony...thank you so much for sharing ! I have known many women over the years that have also been breast cancer survivors. Thank God for his goodness!!! Knowing these women and what they have been through, and every story is different, I definitely get my mammograms faithfully. I do consider it a gift I give myself. Unfortunatley, I lost an aunt 2 years ago due to breast cancer. Her story is quite sad...she knew she had a lump and something was wrong but she shared with no one what she was going through due to fear. She was fearful of doctors and would not see one and would not get a mammogram. She lived with fear and pain and kept it all to herself. She would make excuses for how she was feeling....would say she was dieting to explain the weight loss, she would say she pulled her back for the pain, etc. By the time she was diagnosed the cancer had already spread throughout her body and she died 7 weeks later. Every time I get a mammogram which basically only takes a few minutes I think how just those few minutes of her time would have made a difference. I am so happy for you and your family as to how God has blessed you and I will be praying also for God to continue to bless you.Thank you again for sharing. By the way, you must stay quite busy with triplets!!! Bevy, thank you for having Mitzi share her testimony. You must be blessed by her friendship and she with you as well. I will be making those muffins this weekend for sure. Melanie P.

  9. What a treat. I felt like I was sitting at the table with you gals, listening to the one and only Mitzi! Thank you for taking the time to share your journey. It was a blessing to me. Like you I would have wanted to shelter my kids, but what a great way for them to learn and grow in the love of God. I am so glad you are doing well. Keep talking those pills so you can keep on being there for your kiddos. :) God bless you and your family.

    1. Kelli S. --- so glad you came by. Thank you!! I've missed you..

      Don't you miss the good ole (Prov.) days?

  10. Thank you, Mitzi, for your story. I too am a breast cancer survivor. 7 years now. And I don't expect it to ever come back. Although I believe that mammograms help, and I always get mine every year, the mammogram I took showed nothing. I felt the lump and was told it was my imagination because the mammogram was clear. I insisted on being treated, was sent to a specialist, and the cancer was found. In all of this God was there not letting me give up and believe the first answer. I say this to remind everyone to ge proactive with your treatment.

    I could related to everything you said.I never believed I would die. I had been married for all of 8 months having gotten married for the first time at age 52. I prayed and asked God to allow me to have more time and He gave me such peace. I know you will understand when I say this.

    Again, thanks for sharing your story. I am so glad you kept your hair. God is so good!

  11. Thank you, Mitzi, for sharing your testimony of God's healing power and His faithfulness in answering your many prayers. I am so thankful He allowed us to meet! You truly are a blessing. Love the blog Janet Romans

  12. Thank you so much, Mitzi. Your blog was a powerful statement of faith and hope and family love. It was a real blessing to read. God truly is good all the time and He holds on to us so faithfully.

    With a grateful heart,

  13. TWO FACEBOOK COMMENTS: From Connie Coombs.

    So great, encouraging to read Mitzi's story. A blessing!
    So many sweet memories, too, of working with Mitzi & you, Bevy at the Prov !


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