About the Author

Dorina is an author, speaker, teacher, foodie, and trail runner. She helps people chase God's glory down unexpected trails and flourish in their callings. Her books include Breathing Through Grief, Kailani's Gift and Chasing God's Glory. Dorina and her hubby Shawn are raising three courageous daughters in Central California.

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
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(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. It is true! We remember through food. We used to have a tradition of making peanut brittle with our small children at Christmas time and then taking plates of goodies to the neighbors. But we haven’t since they left and married. My husband and I still bake at Christmas and do a few plates, but not on the scale we used to do. Nice memories. Thank you for pointing out all the food references that our Lord used. Lovely devotional.

  2. My mother always made crab stew on Christmas Eve. I lost both of my parents last year, so holidays are hard now. My husband says he will be making my mom’s stew for me this year.

    • Melody,

      Sweet sister so sorry for the loss of both parents. May God comfort you & give you a sense of peace. Use this time to remember your parents & the fun you all had. Asking God to bless you with His gentle touch.

      Blessings 🙂

  3. I love this so much. At Thanksgiving I made the Waldorf fruit salad my mom always made, in her honor. She passed last year. I wish I had family to do holiday baking with.

  4. My mother would make traditional shortbread, without fail every year for Christmas. One Christmas we all attempted to make the shortbread and all 4 of us failed. Two days before Christmas she had a stroke and died. When we gathered for her funeral, as per tradition my younger siblings when to open the chest freezer when they ‘came home’ and there was mom’s huge tin full of her shortbreads.

  5. I remember being drawn to spend time with my Grama as she baked a plethora of goodies. I can’t remember what all she created but the memories of her kitchen are vivid. My mom was known for her baking & gifting chocolate chip cookies. Years before she passed we were discussing what she’d like read & sung at her memorial service. I told her obviously I couldn’t promise not knowing what the circumstances would be when the time came but if I could, I would bake her cookie recipe & serve them after her service. God gave me “12 days notice” as she declined in Hospice House. Friends & I baked batches & everyone ate chocolate chip cookies & drank milk at the visitation after the worship service. One last cookie from The Viv brought joy to everyone present. Thank you for this beautiful devotional! Blessings,(((0)))

  6. I have a story I wrote for a collection of family Christmas stories,

    “Mom’s Old-Fashioned Fudge.”

    I can still remember my mom making homemade chocolate fudge each year at Christmas. Her fudge was a family favorite as far back into my childhood as memories go. It was the old-fashioned kind with cocoa, sugar, milk, butter, salt and vanilla.
    My most vivid memory is how much my dad loved it and couldn’t wait for it to harden enough to have the first piece. I don’t have that many good memories of my dad, but this is one of them and it has a special place in my heart.
    For some reason my dad, a man plagued with anger issues, seemed to enjoy Christmas and was on better behavior than usual. I don’t remember him ever ruining Christmas with one of his angry outbursts or fits of rage.
    After my mom died at the age of 71 in 2001, and I was still struggling to have a relationship with my dad, I would make mom’s fudge and send him some every Christmas. He loved it and eagerly looked forward to it. It wasn’t just a food gift at Christmas—it was a bridge to demonstrate love to a father who had never had a genuine loving relationship with me. He died in 2011 and I can honestly say I miss sending him his favorite chocolate fudge.
    It may seem like an insignificant gift or a small gesture, but in light of the history and relationship we had and his severe treatment of me especially through my teen years, this fudge that I made and sent to my dad in the mail for ten years was a gift of love for a father who was difficult to love.
    Up until the year my dad died, I was still trying to build a relationship with him. It was baby steps but each step counted. One of those baby steps was making him mom’s old-fashioned chocolate fudge every Christmas.

  7. My grandparents owned the cafe in a small Iowa town in the 50’s and 60’s. My grandma made homemade “gooey” rolls (pecan rolls) that people from that town and others would come for after church on Sundays. My mom said grandma would get up at 3am every Sunday morning to start hand made dough and prep the pans. She made dozens and would run out every Sunday. I now make them for my family for our traditional Christmas brunch, as well as for my parents and brother’s family for Christmas morning. The sweet smell of brown sugar and cinnamon as they are baking is such a precious memory of my grandma. The highest praise is when my mom told me they taste just like grandma’s!

  8. Dorina – thanks for sharing this today!

    I have wonderful memories of helping my grandmother make nut roll (potica in Slovenian). We would stretch the dough paper thin by pulling our knuckles underneath until you could see the pattern on the tablecloth below, then spread the thick, yummy nut mixture all over. I have the recipe in the hundreds of index cards my mom left and I kept the tablecloth because of the sweet memories. My husband and I want to honor the family memories and will be making nut roll sometime soon.

  9. My husband’s family and their delicious tamales! This year my mother-in-law is hosting Christmas Eve. I’m soooo excited as it’s been years since she has hosted. The memories will just flood my soul. Her beautiful dishes on the table with a holiday table cloth. The house will still smell of her banana bread loafs she makes for friends, family and her church family. The kitchen will have the steam of the tamales cooking and my mouth will water. I know she will be tired, but I also know she will be filled with love to once again open her heart, her kitchen and gather around her table and bless the Lord for her family and home \0/

  10. My mom always baked a special pastry for our family at Christmas and Easter, and since we don’t have her with us I have continued the tradition, sending it to friends and family across the country and even back to Europe, where my cousin carries on the baking tradition with my mom’s recipe for her family. It brings love and joy to those who appreciate it, and I love remembering my mom when I make it.

  11. The whole time I read this I thought of my grandmother, nanny. She made chocolate pie, for every gathering, and knew my sister and I ate so many servings we needed our own pie. One of the greatest compliments she gave me was near the end of her life, when I started making her pie, and she said I was the one in the family who made her pie “right.” My nieces, one of whom looks an awful lot like my nanny, has started making these pies with my sister and mom- this year they’ll be here from their home up north and I can’t wait to make pie with my nieces and share those moments with them.

  12. Dorina,

    I remember making sugar cookies & using cookie cutters to make them into shapes. Loved to ice them & put sprinkles on them. A real good memory I have is my foster grandma making her famous mince meat pie. You could smell the alcohol she put in it & boy did I devour it. We don’t bake much due to work & having no children. This year I made cranberry orange bread & peanut butter cookies for my husband’s boss. She has worked a ton lately, short staffed. I thought her family might enjoy the food.

    Blessings 🙂

  13. Melody,

    Sweet sister so sorry for the loss of both parents. May God comfort you & give you a sense of peace. Use this time to remember your parents & the fun you all had. Asking God to bless you with His gentle touch.

    Blessings 🙂