Fresh, Clean Sheets

Welcome  I am all about simple pleasures in life!  One of my favorite simple pleasures is fresh, clean sheets.  I love the feel, the smell, the look…it’s almost a total sensory experience.  As much as I like the sensation of these fresh, clean sheets, I like the thoughts they bring to mind.  I’ll tell you a little more about this and share a fresh recipe for Orange Poppy Seed Muffins.  Thank you for joining me.  Note–I may receive a small compensation from advertisers or affiliate links seen on this blog.  For further information, please see my terms and disclosure page.

Food For Thought  Fresh mountain air.  Fresh water.  Fresh fruits and vegetables.  Fresh scent.  Fresh clean sheets.  Have you noticed how many things we like to describe with the word “fresh.”  Just by using the word, we summon all sorts of images, and I bet most of them are of a positive nature.  Definitions for the word fresh include “recently made or obtained” as in fresh bread, “not previously used” as in my plants have fresh dirt in their pots, and “full of energy or vigor” as in a nap makes me feel fresh for my evening chores.  Fresh can also mean “not salty” or “new and recent.”  So when I place the fresh, clean sheets on the bed, they have recently been made new, or clean, by the modern magic of electric washing machines and dryers.  Hallelujah!

Oh, how we Christians love those words…”been made new, or clean.”  We know the story well.  Our sins make us dirty, stained, or tainted.  But Maytag and General Electric could never get our souls fresh and clean again!  No, it would take something more, not magic this time, but a miracle from God.  A miracle in human form.  A miracle named Jesus Christ.  God’s sacrifice of His Son was the first step in getting our souls clean and fresh again.  That was the dirty work, so to speak (Romans 4:25).  But we have an active role in this cleansing as well.  The cleansing is for all who wish to receive it, no matter of gender, race, nationality, political affiliation, or previous offenses.  You can’t buy this washing with money, of any amount.  But instead, it takes confession, repentance, and baptism (Acts 2:38).

What a marvelous feeling, even better than clean sheets, when we have been “washed in the blood of the Lamb” (1 Peter 1:19).  But like those sheets, I don’t stay clean either.  I can try, but there’s a little dirt here or there, or maybe I just get lazy in my “housekeeping,” and the next thing you know I’ve lost that fresh clean feeling again.  Luckily, I get to bring my confessions to God and receive His forgiveness, over and over again, receiving freshness and renewal from my Heavenly Father.  For this, I am in awe and infinitely thankful.  I am also thankful for clean sheets that remind me just how good it feels to be made new again.  Just breathe in that fresh, clean scent…ahhhh.

Today’s Scriptures  There are several instances in the Bible where our sins are described as stains or blemishes.  The idea is that those stains and blemishes can and will be removed through the power of the blood of Jesus Christ.  Here are just a few of the verses I found.

Isaiah 1:18  “Come now, let us reason together,’ says the Lord.  ‘Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.”

1 John 1:7  “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.”

Psalm 51:7  “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”

Today’s Recipe  Sometimes I just crave the taste of something light and fresh.  Then I know it’s a good time to make these Orange Poppy Seed Muffins.  They make a delicious snack or breakfast, addition to a brunch table, or an accompaniment to a meal salad or light soup.  I really can’t think of a time when these muffins aren’t good!  I used Splenda brand Sucralose sweetener because my husband is diabetic. I also use a nonfat Greek yogurt and lowfat buttermilk to lighten up the muffins.  My muffins are intentionally not very sweet, so if you want to increase the sweetener by a couple tablespoons you can.  Also, if you prefer to use real sugar, substitute 1-to-1 for the Splenda.

Orange Poppy Seed Muffins (makes 12 large muffins)

  • 2 oranges (for zest and juice)
  • 1/2 cup Splenda or other Sucralose sweetener
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup poppy seeds (this is a full 1 oz bottle of poppy seeds)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 5 or 6-oz carton of Vanilla Greek yogurt (you can also use plain or a tropical flavored yogurt)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

1. Heat oven to 375 degrees and spray a standard 12-cup muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.  In large bowl, zest 2 oranges.

2. Add remaining dry ingredients (through poppy seeds) and stir with whisk.

3. Juice the 2 oranges and place in separate bowl.  Add all wet ingredients and stir until combined.  Slowly add the liquid to flour mixture. 

4. Fold wet and dry ingredients together until just combined.  Place 1/4 cup of batter (approximately) in each of 12 muffin cups.

5. Bake at 375 degrees for 15-16 minutes.  Remove to wire rack to cool.  Muffins can be served warm or at room temperature.

The most useful products for this recipe include a juicer (I use a manual juicer), a Microplane Zester, and silicone muffin pans.  To purchase, click the links below (verified 11/3/17 at 2:05 p.m. CDT):