Before I tossed gluten aside, I baked bread all the time. It was a thing for me: a comfort, a craft. Its aroma confirmed to my heart that God is good. Eating a daily portion of it was sacred.
Everyone is bored with breakfast these days. I’m not sure what it is–the monotony, the lack of urgency to get out the door, the repetition that renders it boring? The promise of a full belly holds no sway over the Goobies these days. Lucky Charms doesn’t even seem to tempt them to the table. Breakfast in isolation robs us of our appetite, it seems. Morning meals still happen, sluggish as they are now, but none of us are particularly fond of the mopey feet and grumbling tummies that bring us to the table.
Reality met us there every morning, and no one was particularly fond of the unwanted guest.
At our house Take Out literally means taking something out of the freezer. Bags of nuggets and tater tots and fries are almost always at the ready for Fun Food Fridays. We may be a food allergy family, but we like a little junk food now and then too. (And how else is this allergy mom going to get a break in the kitchen?)
You might want to ditch calling me Scratch and swap it for a name like Resourceful Rachel instead with all the re-purposing I am doing in the kitchen. We are using up leftovers like crazy, waste not, want not and all. I feel just like Aunt Daisy.
You’ve heard me tell the stories about Aunt Daisy, right?
I haven’t been to the grocery store in fourteen days–a record for me, don’t you think?
We are stocked and ready for another couple weeks: I bought our monthly groceries up front this time around because I watched things getting dicey out there. The idea of taking the Goobies shopping with me over spring break was enough to make me toss an extra few packs of lunch meat into the cart. At the time, it seemed like a good idea. Now that spring break stretched into weeks on end, I am certain the decision was a wise one.
Worry whispers half-truths everywhere: on the evening news; at the doctor’s office; in the scroll of idle hands—you’re not safe, it says, subtly feeding the feeling that worry is warranted.
Do you hear it? I’m sure you do–especially now with “the virus,” as the Goobies call it at our house. You head out the door to go fix broken bones even as the bones of our nation are bending under the weight of responsibility, beneath the cost of the consequences if we all don’t collectively get serious about staying safe. The perilous state of politics hovers in that place too, and so much uncertainty hangs heavy in the world.
We spent the first autumn season in our new home watching more than just leaves fall.
We watched Emery fall a lot, too.
Kids run and jump and trip and fall every single day. Bumps and bruises happen. So do skinned knees. Our boy was just as rambunctious and active as any other, until somehow he wasn’t.
When Emery started walking funny, we paid attention. Soon he couldn’t run, really. He shuffled and cried. He couldn’t jump or climb. Next he told us his fingers were tickly.
We never saw it coming.
“Those who feel free to eat anything must not look down on those who don’t. And those who don’t eat certain foods must not condemn those who do, for God has accepted them.”
Romans 14:3 (NLT)
“Mommy–when I get big and outgrow my allergies, I want to have Goldfish because they are yummy.”
The Goobies sat eating breakfast while I packed lunchboxes before school. Bags of Goldfish sat on the counter. Emery watched me tuck them into his sisters’ lunches, just like every day. His comment didn’t surprise me: I can’t blame him for wanting to eat them someday too. He thinks all the other kids eat them all the time, and he feels left out.
“You know, I hardly ever ate Goldfish crackers when I was a kid. I didn’t really like them much” I tell him casually, hoping to downplay the appeal of the common childhood snack.
None of the Goobies believed me even though every word was true.
“Let’s make our own dairy free version today!” I said, trying to redirect Emery’s attention.
“We can do that?” Emery asked, puzzled. Intrigued.
“Of course we can.”
10 Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. 11 Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. 12 For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against persons without bodies—the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world.
13 So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up.
Ephesians 6: 10-13 (TLB)
Snow fell unseasonably early last week. You kissed me and we watched it quietly fall while you held my hand in your own.
It’s all a little bit like Snow White tonight: the white snow. Crimson blood. A warm hearth on a cold night. Pies.
I giggled in spite of myself and the grumpiness inside of me eased a little bit. You had a point: several elements of that story were present in the tale that we watched unfold in our kitchen that night, but in our version I was far more like the Evil Queen than Snow White herself.
“But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead” – Philippians 3:13
After weeks on end of so much gray, color finally started to come back. The snow has melted; temperatures are cold but not freezing, and flashes of green wink at me from in between the brown blades of old grass, like Addie flashing me a smile and calling me to come out to play for awhile.
Today I joined her: we rode bikes and drew with sidewalk chalk and drank in the sun even as a cold breeze reminded us it isn’t quite springtime yet. For a moment I was a little girl again, wind tickling my cheeks while I plucked a handful of sour grass and pretended to be Anne Shirley making a flower crown for Princess Cordelia, her imaginary persona that embodied everything Anne wished she herself was: beautiful, important, and loved.
Anne Shirley didn’t have the luxury of parents to invest in her tender heart. Addie does, but I catch myself wondering if she doubts she is the remarkable girl we know her to be. She asks us all the time: am I beautiful? Important? Loved? She asks it in her own way, of course, and we do our best to answer her in a way she understands. Still, I wonder how much of it is sinking in.