A couple of years ago I wrote a blog and included a recipe for one of my favorite Christmas treats. I think it's worth a repeat this year. Enjoy!
When I was growing up, Mom always made Chocolate Chip Applesauce Loaf Cake—Chocolate Chip Bread, as my brother and I called it. Just the smell of it baking in the oven can transport me back to when I was a little girl--excited for the arrival of Christmas day!
Like this Christmastime goodie, there may be things you smell, hear, or taste, that remind you of certain situations, or even people: “Every time I smell roses, I think of Aunt Mary.” Although this is a harmless example, sometimes these “associations” aren’t so positive.
Maybe you’ve found yourself thinking something like this before: “Every time I work in my garden, I wake up sore.” Often, these connections aren’t personal; they’re general. “It’s December—flu season!”
We may feel we’re destined to experience the consequences of certain associations, but in fact, we’re not. In my own life, I’ve found it helpful to break free from their negative—but avoidable—effects by seeing them as Saint Paul did. In the Bible, he called evil, harmful thoughts, “the carnal mind,” and showed us how we can overcome these thoughts that obviously reject God, good. Why wouldn’t we want to be proactive in addressing this so-called mortal mind, which is daily making mental connections that lead to misconceptions and problems?
Another way to think of these associations is as “associative animal magnetism.” That’s a mouthful, but simply put, it stands for the thoughts that lead us to associate an action, time, person, or object, with a negative effect. This ultimately results in pulling us down—making us feel like we’re magnets for unhappiness, dissatisfaction, even sickness.
Spiritual thinker, and author, Mary Baker Eddy, discovered this link, and wrote about it, back in the 19th Century. She said, “Disease arises, like other mental conditions, from association” (Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, p. 154).
Following this statement with an example on the same page, Mrs. Eddy gave an account of a man who was told he was occupying the bed of a patient who had died of cholera—a disease considered to be highly contagious in the early 1800s. He immediately developed the symptoms of the disease and died.
OK, that’s a dramatic example. And while you won’t find yourself in a situation like that, you might find yourself in an office full of people talking about flu symptoms and begin to experience them yourself. So how do you protect yourself from these false mental connections?
A good place to start is with another name for God—Mind. Since there is only one God, there is only one Mind. Every legitimate and good thought comes from this one and only divine Mind. The carnal, or mortal mind, that makes connections leading to sickness, despair, or suffering can’t possibly tell you the truth about anything, because as Paul pointed out to the Romans back in Bible times, “The carnal mind is enmity against God” (Romans 8:7). Only the Mind that is also Truth, can give you the true picture of things.
When faced with associative animal magnetism and its ill effects, you can remember this instruction from Mrs. Eddy: “Hold thought steadfastly to the enduring, the good, and the true, and you will bring these into your experience proportionably to their occupancy of your thoughts” (Science and Health, p. 261:4).
Those good, health-giving thoughts from Mind are the perfect remedy. And they’re even sweeter than Mom’s Chocolate Chip Bread on Christmas morning!
If you'd like to make this sweet treat, here is the recipe:
Chocolate Chip Applesauce Loaf Cake
Grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan, and place waxed paper inside, just on the bottom.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
1/2 cup Crisco
1 cup sugar
2 eggs--add 1 at a time and beat well
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon mace
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
Add 1 cup applesauce alternately with the flour mixture, into the Crisco, sugar, egg mixture.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips
Pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips over the top. Bake at 325 degrees for about 75 minutes. Cool slightly and remove from pan.
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!