A Recipe for a Quiet Heart, Overwintering Joy & Madeleines


“There is a place of full release,
near to the heart of God,
a place where all is joy and peace,
near to the heart of God…”



The late October sun was barely shining on this weekday afternoon. Our days are quietly threatening snow and the sun is quickly becoming a long lost friend as the colder months settle in. In order to keep some colour in the home, I work at preserving some flowers for the windowsills … hoping they will bring a bit of joy and happiness for days filled with sparkling snow.

The dirt clung to my fingers as I gently transferred the sturdy red and pink flowered plants from the outdoor pot to an indoor clay pots. Soil fell around my feet and littered the ground while I pondered what has been going through my heart and mind lately … keeping a quiet heart … finding joy when there may be troubles … finding peace with the Lord when you do not know what tomorrow holds.

But isn’t that what being a follower of Jesus is all about? Trusting the Savior …

“There is a place of quiet rest,
near to the heart of God,
a place where sin cannot molest,
near to the heart of God…”

[Do you find that it helps to have beautiful old hymns memorized in your heart to recite to yourself for encouragement?]

“There is a place of comfort sweet,
near to the heart of God,
a place where we our Savior meet,
near to the heart of God.”

I picked off the dying, brown leaves that were intermingled with the healthy green leaves, giving the plant a good pruning. The soil was pressed firmly down around the geranium and into the house it was sent …


As I pressed the soil down and dusted the extra dirt off the edges of the pot, I could smell the scent of the geranium. While not a regular flower scent – no, it is not sweet, it is not gentle and delicate – but it does bring me back to my childhood and fills me with warm memories … memories of planting rows of red geraniums and white tiny flowers of the alyssum alternating in between …


But back to having quiet heart … in an un-peaceful world, it is a blessing to have a calm heart …but it is not always easy as a frail human. It is easier, sometimes, to worry, stress or fret, even if we do not want to admit it – however, I desire to have a quiet heart in all aspects of life – parenting, marriage, my every day lessons of life and even in the big moments that are, in the world’s eyes, stressful … sickness, death, relationship troubles, financial or health troubles …

“If we are pre-occupied with ourselves, trying to fulfill ourselves …
do you know what we are asking for there?
We are asking for the kind of peace that the WORLD can give.
But when we let go of ourselves, and put ourselves totally at the disposal of God,
He gives us His kind of peace – supernatural peace – the kind that the world can never give.

The quietness of my heart is the fruit of an absolute confidence in good.
That is a source of a quiet heart…

Every assignment is measured and controlled for my eternal good.
As I accept the given portion other options are cancelled.
Decisions become much easier, directions clearer,
and hence my heart becomes inexpressibly quieter.”

– Elisabeth Elliot, Keep a Quiet Heart

With my outdoor task complete, I washed my hands and put on a pot of tea. The water was already boiled and ready, thanks to my cozy woodstove. With the teapot filled and the teacup ready, I sat down at the kitchen table to admire my new indoor geraniums. As I sipped my tea and listened to the faithful ticking of our cuckoo clock, my thoughts continued to be filled with the lesson God has given me this week …

It is not our circumstances that give us peace and a quiet heart – it is the trust in God that gives us the quietness and rest. We can be facing even the smallest trial but if we do not have confidence in God, it will still bring worry. Why do we carry around all this weight and worry? It is not pleasant. I crave, I desire, I am praying for that quiet, rested, peace-filled heart.


Now, about those geraniums … if you still have some from your gorgeous summer outside, consider overwintering them for pure joy or just to keep them for next year.

It is also resourceful and frugal to keep your geraniums as they are an easy plant to overwinter. Yes, they do get leggy and long – I do not have answer for this, but I am sure it is out there. Perhaps I will prune my big, overwinter geraniums before I put them out again next spring. And yes, they do take up space, but there are options to over winter your geraniums in a box in your basement. (Just check the internet for other ideas and resources.) I have told my husband to be encouraged – my days of buying plants for the garden are mostly over. I absolutely love to over-winter the geraniums for the potted windowsill boxes and for the urns and planters around the porch.




While I prefer pink geraniums, red is a close favorite.. The hearty red flower paired with the timeless clay pot reminds me so much of homes of old … as I have frequently noticed in artwork, books, old fashioned movies that there are often a red geraniums or two (or three) displayed through the 1800s home. Whether in the kitchen on the windowsill or in the tidy, clean parlour, the lovely potted geranium is sure to bring bright cheer in the dead of a cold winter.

So there you go … this week’s test for you shall be to overwinter your geraniums and test your heart on your quietness … would you like to add a new recipe to your weekend fun?


Here is a fun way to have a treat with your tea … use this during poetry tea time with your homeschooled children .. or for your quiet tea break in the afternoon during those busy days … take a few minutes to be quiet, pour some tea and calm your heart …


 ~Simple Madeleine Recipe ~

3 eggs
2/3 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 cup of butter, melted and cooled

Beat the eggs and sugar together until thick and fluffy. Mix in the vanilla (and lemon zest, if you prefer). Sift together the flour and baking powder, folding it into the wet mixture. The goal is to have a light, flully batter, so be careful not to overmix.  Gently mix in the melted butter. Cover and refrigerate for up to an hour (or overnight, if you wish).

To use the batter, drop a dollup of the mix into the greased pan molds. I have been told to not worry about spreading the batter out – it will do that itself as it bakes. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Dust with icing sugar and serve with tea or coffee.




P.S. Please let me know if you try this new recipe out. I would love to hear your thoughts. If you do not have a madeleine pan, you may find some on Amazon.
I would also love to hear from those who over-winter their plants. I’m fairly new to this (this will be my third winter doing it), so I am sure I have much to learn.

November 7, 2018 - 5:32 pm

Shirley So beautiful and uplifting…such a balm to visit your blog Gigi.

My Grandma always kept her red geraniums on her service porch over Winter. I think of her when I smell them.

I have had good success keeping a poinsettia plant indoors for three years. It never bloomed again after the first year, but it became so lush and big that I enjoyed it even without any flowers, I gave it away this year as it was outgrowing my small space.

Thank you for the lovely hymn…it is now humming in my heart…and for the reminders from Elisabeth Elliot.

You are a treasure❤


November 7, 2018 - 11:29 am

Laura Smith Hi Gigi another lovely post. As I read and comment I can see my red geranium hanging plant on my back patio. In Texas our flowers get a second life as they get relief from the sweltering heat. My husband purchased the flower basket this spring and we actually had a sweet finch couple build a nest in it and lay some eggs. My husband carefully watered the plant during this time and a few weeks later we had chirping baby chicks. We were even blessed to see the babies start to leave the nest as they hopped around on our patio and eventually the family flew away. All that to say we don’t typically need to over winter our flowers but if we do get a freeze we do move any potted plants into the garage and cover with a blanket. This is usually for a short time and they are back outside enjoying the sun an 60f temps.

October 31, 2018 - 8:58 pm

Gigi Yes, indeed, Bethany. Always so good to hear from you. 🙂

October 30, 2018 - 11:26 am

Bethany Such a great reminder in these times! <3 Our hope is in the Lord which means we can have peace in our hearts even when events around us are extremely upsetting.

October 29, 2018 - 10:45 am

Debby in Kansas, USA I could smell the geraniums just looking at the picture. We had a garden full of those year-around in Southern Cal and I loved them. Red ones. My grandma always had them in her garden when I was growing up. And calla lilies. I haven’t tried either since moving to Kansas, but maybe I will next year.

I have a couple of plants I bring in for winter. A rather large Ficus tree that is taking over my dining room right now, Christmas cactus, and some kind of flowering succulent that was given to me several years ago.

The madelines look delicious!!

October 28, 2018 - 6:29 am

Gigi Sue, yes, overwhelming is the word – this is when we need slippery shoulders and to pass the weight onto God! A quiet heart is preferred. 🙂 I will be praying for you.

October 28, 2018 - 6:28 am

Gigi Teresa, it would be so lovely to have pansies in the home. I should look at getting some, too. I don’t think I know of any place that would still have them, but that is a great idea.

October 27, 2018 - 11:20 pm

Teresa I have overwintered potted plants in the past. This year I didn’t get to. My mom has kept the same Poinsettia potted plant alive indoors for three years. It should be blooming soon. I love keeping potted flowers alive during winter it does brighten up the home and helps winter not to seem to dreary. I thought about purchasing some pansy to see if they will bloom all winter indoors. I believe they are still available to buy in the garden centers.
A very lovely post have a very cozy evening and weekend.

October 27, 2018 - 9:01 pm

Sue Thank you Gigi for this wonderful, encouraging and admonishing post which i so appreciate at this time in my life. Sometimes during a time of trials, it can feel rather lonely and overwhelming but now i see that as an opportunity to nurture a quiet heart before the Lord. I also like this quote from Ann Voskamp which says “You have to let hope always carry you, or fears will carry you away. God Bless You and Yours.

October 27, 2018 - 5:09 pm

Gigi I did not know you could overwinter mums … what a grand idea!

October 27, 2018 - 9:33 am

Monica Lovely photographs! Yes, I do overwinter my potted plants and usually have success. Last year I lost a couple of plants due to it just being too cold on our screened in porch (when it got down to 13F one morning)…mums are great to overwinter, I didn’t have to purchase any this year. Geraniums are so pretty, I don’t know why I don’t have any. The recipe looks so good, light and fluffy, like a doughnut without the glaze. Yum! Yes, I work on a quiet heart constantly. Just in my speech, thoughts, responses, general attitude. It’s constant work! I love the quotes from Elisabeth Elliott…reminds me of the quote I’ve seen that says “The Sovereignty is God is the pillow upon which I lay my head”….knowing that God is in control of everything is so quieting to our hearts if we would just rest in this. ❤️