small steps backwards


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Gathering

We had a small gathering at our house tonight. Many were invited, few came, but it was really a huge encouragement. I was struck by the importance of community, how small gestures can mean a lot, how much I appreciate my godly heritage, and how blessed we are by generous friends.


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Off to find some friends

We’re running low in the friends department but we know that we really need community. We know we also need to be loving and giving community to others so tonight we’re making some small steps forwards (and backwards – we used to have great community!) as we hang out with some brothers and sisters we don’t know well.

We’ve also tried to set up a few dinner dates in the next weeks with others, to try to build (ourselves) back into the body of Christ. As we were singing in church this morning I was thinking about how much the body is interdependent. I stopped myself for a moment as I recalled all the pain we’ve experienced from other parts of the body, but it was clear to me immediately that we still need that community despite how very painful it can be at times.


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Blueberry Morning breakfast

I had long thought of myself as not a breakfast person, my stomach turning at the thought of eating much before 10am. Having a small child has forced me to reevaluate this as I know he needs a filling, nourishing meal in the morning. These days we usually eat soaked oatmeal, egg and veggie scrambles, or something else filling, warm, and homemade.

Today I’ll share a new favorite of ours, a muffin recipe that I’ve adapted to be soaked, paired with smoothies.  This can be a very quick breakfast if you’ve made up a batch of muffins already and can just put them in the toaster oven for a few moments while you make the smoothie. Unfortunately, the lovely pics I tried to take didn’t work out (I forgot to put the memory card in the camera!) but I can show you that my son thoroughly enjoyed his breakfast:

100_2438Soaked Blueberry Muffins
1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ cup water
1 tablespoon acid medium (whey, kefir, lemon juice)
½ cup maple syrup
1 egg, lightly beaten
¾ cup applesauce

1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup blueberries (frozen is best)
  1. Stir together flour, water, and acid medium. Cover and leave out to soak for several hours or overnight.
  2. After soaking, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. Using an electric mixer, mix maple syrup and egg into your soaked mixture until just combined. Gently mix in coconut oil, and applesauce. Mix in baking soda, baking powder and salt, also until just combined. Stir in blueberries.
  4. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups, about ¾ full. You should have at least 12 muffins.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes, until passes toothpick test.

The following is our favorite smoothie recipe: the mango adds so much flavor and sweetness and the fresh orange gives great texture and more flavor! Obviously, you can use any fruits you enjoy.

Blueberry Morning Smoothie
1 cup yogurt
Water or milk to desired consistency, may need to add more as you blend
6 frozen mango cubes or about ½ of a fresh mango
1 whole orange, peeled
1 cup frozen blueberries
  1. Put yogurt and liquid in blender with fruit, mix to desired consistency. (I like extra smooth while my husband likes a bit chunky)
  2. Enjoy! This makes enough for the three of us, adjust amounts as needed.

The most important thing I’ve learned recently is that recipes can be adjusted and ingredients substituted to meet your family’s needs, preferences and budget. I’ve enjoyed borrowing others’ recipes and preparing them to suit us; hopefully, we can provide similar assistance!


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Can I do it?

It is April 14th and I have just over $20 left in the monthly grocery budget*. In an effort to save money on organic, whole foods, I bought several items in bulk this month. This is great in that I won’t need to purchase coconut oil, olive oil, black beans, rolled oats, brown rice or whole wheat flour for several months. But not so great in that I spent about half of our budget on these items.

So can I do it? Can I stay in budget for the next two weeks? I think with a little extra effort in planning and preparing our meals I can.

*We budget $200 a month for groceries and toiletries. We eat organic, whole foods as much as possible. This is a tight budget (especially since our one year old is eating almost as much as mom and dad!) but manageable.


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Hope and heartsickness

Proverbs 13:12
Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.

We’ve become much more familiar than we’d prefer with deferred hope, especially in these last two years. It can be easy to perseverate on our ‘sick’ hearts, on the injustices that’ve caused our pain, on the stress that we’re experiencing. But we have so much to be thankful for, and while we don’t know if our hope will ever be fulfilled short of heaven, we have several ‘trees of life’ to praise about.

Our sweet son
Another small babe on the way
Extended families who care about us
All our physical needs being met, and in abundance
A loving, encouraging, fun marriage built on the solid Rock
Eternal life from the Bread of Life, Light of the World, Resurrection and the Life