My Mary Moment

This post is the second I’ve written on this passage; see here for my first post.

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Luke 10:38-42

The group sat around in a small circle, wooden chairs pulled up between the couches. Through the small slit in the door I had cracked open, I could hear almost all that was said. I crouched at the top of the basement stairs, straining to hear a bit more.

It wasn’t always like this when my parents had their bible study group at our house. Often, I’d just lay in the basement with the TV on until the sound of shuffling feet and goodbyes told me that people were leaving. I could have come up sooner; I wasn’t banished to the basement. But I was in middle school and, honestly, usually not that interested.

This night was different, though.

Paleo Pancakes

Sometimes, you just want a crisp, warm, cakey bite of deliciousness.

And this is exactly that.

This recipe is paleo, so it has no grains, gluten, or dairy. However, like all pancakes or bread substitues, it is NOT Whole30 approved. Almost everything in it is compliant on its own (except flax and vanilla extract), but making it into a pancake is not.

But I’m not doing a Whole30 right now. So, bring on the pancakes!

2017 Reading List

I used to love to read. My sister jokes that I spent my entire childhood lost in a book. Then adult life hit. I still love to read; I just haven’t been great about making time for it.

Well, I’m ready to get back into reading. One of the best ways I have found to reflect on life and faith is through reading the thoughts of others. I picked up The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard earlier this year and couldn’t put it down.

It was an interesting, convicting, and revealing read. I’ll have much more to say about it throughout many of my posts, no doubt, so I won’t go into detail here, but suffice it to say, reading these wise and insightful words whet my appetite for seeking out other illuminating words.

So, I’ve gathered up a hodge podge of books—some that family and friends have recommended, some that I’ve started in the past but never finished, and some just because. This is certainly not a list of new bestsellers and exciting reads. Instead, it’s a smattering of various words and thoughts that I’d love to have in my head as I navigate life.  Here’s the list I’ve settled on to start me off:

The Secret to the BEST Homemade Almond Butter

Delicious almond butter is such a treat, especially while trying to eat grain-free. With this recipe, you can make the best almond butter, right at home! Find out the secret here... (Paleo, whole30, dairy free, refined sugar free)
I haven’t posted many recipes lately and there’s a reason for that. Namely, I haven’t been cooking much right now. It’s been the holidays which means if it wasn’t a cookie or chocolate, I’m not bothering with it.

(Except for potato chips- I love potato chips. Eating gluten free with lots of traveling, holiday parties, and staying at other people’s homes, I end up eating lots of potato chips. But I don’t mind. Because I love them.)

But…now the holidays are over. I’m not big into resolutions, but I’m definitely into easing out of the craziness of holiday eating.

Birds and Branches

Well, Christmas is over. It’s almost Epiphany. It’s time for the decorations to come down. Sigh…

It’s time to get all this extra stuff out of my living space, but it’s also a bit depressing when my house is plain and boring. The outside is bleak and gray, we can’t spend much time outside because of the cold, and I just can’t stand the thought of my house being bleak, too!

Pinecones for a Winter Wonderland

I love decorating for Christmas. I hate removing decorations that I just put up a month earlier.

It’s a tension every year. Is it worth all the trouble to decorate if I’m just going to take it all down again?

(Understand—I despise wasted effort. As in, I feel like the shower should stay clean for six months after I clean it and resent the fact that it doesn’t. So, pointless, short-lived decorations, however adorable they may be, are not my favorite thing.)

That’s part of the reason I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE these pinecone ornaments! Judge me if you will, but I’m leaving these babies up all winter long. They’re “winter” decorations, not just for Christmas.

These can be made as ornaments to hang (or give as gifts!) or they can just be pretty baubles to fill a vase or a bowl. They’re easy to make, hard to mess up, and super inexpensive!*

French Toast Scramble

I love eggs.

Let’s just get that out of the way first. Some people complain about how boring it is to eat eggs for breakfast. I could seriously eat them every day (and I practically do!).

But even I will admit that switching between sunny side up, scrambled, hard-boiled, and even occasionally poached gets old after a while.

Autumn’s Embers

Each season brings its own unique beauty and delights, especially all the subtle changes in the in between. (I’ll be honest—the season of February through March in this region holds the fewest delights; if any of you have discovered those, let me in on the secret. Besides telling me to move to Texas. I already know that one.)

But this tail end of autumn has its own enchantments. I was back at my childhood home over Thanksgiving and got to tromp around the cold, muddy backyard, field, and woods around there with my girls. I love showing them all the little details of nature (and I’m glad that, at least so far, they enjoy it!).

“From Our Fears…Release Us”

My three-year-old daughter, Peanut, thinks that a Cold Draft is a scary monster. A few weeks ago, she asked me why I had closed my closet door. I explained that there was a cold draft coming from the closet and I needed to keep the door closed so the draft didn’t come in the room and make my bedroom cold. She stared hard at the closet.

“There’s a Cold Draft in there?”

A Hand-Me-Down and Homemade Christmas

My childhood memories of Christmas revolve around the decorations. Our family had many traditions and fun activities we did, but they all take place in my mind against the backdrop of the decorations and ornaments we would pull out every year after Thanksgiving. My mom made our house magical and beautiful at Christmas.

Corduroy is new (a grandparent gift to Pipsqueak), but that’s my old mouse that winds up and plays “Silent Night.”

I know it’s not necessary, but I love using decorations to mark this time of year as something special. I don’t want to make too much of it—after all, it’s the event that we celebrate, not the decorations, that make it special. But nonetheless, they have their place and I love how Peanut is already starting to remember particular ornaments, books, and toys, and take note of the changing seasons and holidays.