Kitchen Counter Conversations

How are you remembering Advent—Christ’s coming into the world—this Christmas season? Every day during the month of December, join us here to learn a little about the songs of Christmas. Follow along with us as we experience The First Songs of Christmas by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, and open the door to wonder.

Words matter. They can encourage or tear down. They can heal or hurt. They can be led by self or led by the Holy Spirit.

When Mary visits Elizabeth in the first chapter of Luke, Elizabeth’s words of blessing come not from being filled with happiness but from being filled with the Holy Spirit.

When Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb!” (vv. 41–42).

Elizabeth yields to the Holy Spirit, and her words are guided by that same Spirit. In The First Songs of Christmas, Nancy reminds us that the Holy Spirit is where Elizabeth’s blessing came from.

She actually had no way of knowing Mary’s news, except that the Spirit had given her revelation. He provided her both the insight and incentive to bless Mary in a way that celebrated what her young relative was experiencing.

I want to be aware of how the Holy Spirit leads me, especially in my conversations with others. Don’t you? Too often we are led by busyness and stress, which in turn lead our conversations.

A Recipe for Good Conversation

One of my favorite ways to spend the holiday season is by baking. It’s even more enjoyable to do it with a friend. There’s something about mixing and measuring that leads to good conversation. So invite a friend over and make this bread. And while you stir, have a God-honoring conversation.

Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 cup and 2 Tbsp. oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 Tbsp. poppy seeds
1 tsp. almond flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine the above ingredients in a large bowl using a hand mixer. Mix for 1–2 minutes. Grease two large or four small loaf pans. Bake for one hour (for large loaf pans) or until a toothpick comes out clean.


1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. butter flavoring
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. almond flavoring
1/4 cup orange juice

Combine all glaze ingredients. Poke small holes in hot loaves with a fork, then pour glaze over the top. Cool completely before removing from pans. Serve and enjoy!

Ready to learn more about letting the Holy Spirit lead our conversations? Check out this four-week devotional study by Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth called ThePower of Words. How do you allow the Holy Spirit to lead your conversations with others?

About the Author

Jessica Drews

Jessica Drews

Jessica Drews is a pastor's wife and preschool aide. She also serves as the women's ministry director and an elementary Sunday school teacher at the Midwest church her husband pastors. She loves reading a good book on a rainy day with a cup of coffee and her husband and cat by her side.

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