Variations of a Theme

Efficiency nests in simplicity when we utilize variations of a theme.  Peace is the fruit.  This can be in temporal matters of our daily lives such as eating, dressing, working, sleeping, playing.  It can be in our giving, also, such as the Lenten muffin donations at Joyful Hermit’s parish coffee-and-donuts (and muffins) activity.

Having on hand purple items for Lent and Advent helps, such as purple ribbon and wrappings, purchased for a pittance while shopping for actual necessities (food bargains).  Joyful notices how the muffin presentation is enhanced to the glory of God in a detail: purple cellophane cut to fit the square, white clearance ($10) platter.  Using the basic, augmented muffin mix (previous post), the muffins may alter each week efficiently, effectively, and nearly mindlessly–making the process simple and thus freeing the mind to pray (one of a hermit’s favorite pastimes) while mixing and baking.

The Lenten Blueberry Muffins have an oats-brown sugar topping.  But the next week Joyful notices a box of Neufchatel cheese (less fat than cream cheese, same price).  Wouldn’t a cross on each muffin be a good Lenten reminder in each bite?  Joyful uses a $5 cake decorating tube kit to make a white cross on each with cheese frosting.  For the Banana-Cherry Muffins, snipping dried cherries into quarters provides just the bit of red for the crossbeams: a reminder of Jesus’ Love.  The next week the other half of the cheese package is used for the same icing, but this time spread nearly to edges with pecan bits forming a wood-hewn looking cross on each Banana Cranberry Pecan Muffin.

Consider the endless possibilities of ingredients, toppings, ribbon and cellophane or other wrappings, and colors for seasonal and celebration themes.  Same basic mix, same platter, utilizing the ingredients we have in pantry, refrigerator, closet, and cupboards–yet uniquely refreshing and new.  Practice variations of a theme with anything: food, clothing, decor, garden, family activities, communicating, entertaining, gifting.  All of nature shows us the cyclical variations of God’s effective efficiency, simplicity and resultant peace.

Joyful Hermit’s Cream Cheese Frosting:  1/2 pkg. Neufchatel or cream cheese, 1 Tbsp. sour cream, 1 c. (or more for desired consistency) powdered sugar.  Beat until smooth.


About The Joyful Hermit

I am a hermit, a life-long Christian, successful in living frugally yet with creativity and JOY! I provide can-do ideas for all aspects of daily life. I live the up side of being down in any situation. Learn to live each day simply and joyfully. Benefit from practical tips and creative ideas with The Joyful Hermit.
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