I had no idea when we started this blog that an entirely new community of homesteaders, simple-living families, and down-to-earth moms would come out of nowhere to support our endeavors. Thank you for the outpouring of love and encouragement!
Although you can never really be sure how people perceive you (and shouldn’t spend much time worrying about it, in my opinion), I do think that my husband and I are viewed as outgoing, ambitious, and sometimes slightly crazy artists. For the last ten years, we have owned and operated a performing arts academy, and it has required an unbelievable amount of time, energy, and dedication. Putting ourselves in the community spotlight, we have tried hard to encourage our students to use their talent and gifts to give back and “pay it forward” each day.
Though a teacher by trade, a performer at times, and a former beauty queen (yes, I’ll admit it)… I find that all these years of leading and being the Voice of Encouragement to those around us have left me just plain exhausted. I sit in my kitchen, drinking coffee quietly in the morning now, staring out the window toward our little homestead, and I wonder at God’s design. Nothing would please me more than to find a simple, peaceful sliver of solitude and to focus on my sweet family. My boys are both in elementary school – a golden age of discovery and wonder. We are being deliberate about teaching them the meaning of hard work and rewards, priorities and friendships. I think about the beauty of the moment I taught my elder son to say “Joyeux Noël” this week and how his face lit up to think about Christmas in Europe. I relish the memory of my little one rolling over to say, “Mommy, I know how hard it is to raise us crazy boys. I’m going to help Daddy all I can tomorrow.”
Those little glimpses of simplicity and love remind me that my daily energy belongs not only with my God, but with the dear ones He has entrusted to me here in this lifetime. We have made major life changes and have redesigned our evening schedules so there is always a parent with our children, despite the nature of our business. Babysitters are a rarity now, and we can truly invest in our relationships with our kiddos.
I grumbled yesterday about needing to make bread, feeling sorry for myself and the amount of work I needed to do for the business and to get our home in order. As I quickly searched for a new bread recipe online, I stumbled across my inspiration for this week. Wendy at Stand Upon Grace blew my mind with this simple post about Bakin’ Up Some Love.
The recipe was helpful and fun to read, but the spiritual perspective she offered at the end was what I really needed to hear to whip my brain and my heart back into shape. Here is what cut to the core of who I am:
“Everything we do with our hands comes from and/or through our hearts. When we create, it is a manifestation of our intentions. Be awake, be aware, and be present in your kitchen, but most of all fill your thoughts, fill your body, and fill your soul with love. Have loving thoughts in your mind, pray over your process, bless your bread, and those you are nourishing. Make cooking a moving meditation that allows love to manifest into a physical creation to nourish not only the creators’ body and soul, but also to all those who encounter the creation.” – Stand Upon Grace
“Give us this day our daily bread…” That simple phrase, those seven little words have been prayed in my home since I was a very small girl. Even upon our marriage, we received a vintage Wilton pewter bread tray with those meaningful words etched into it. The idea has followed me for decades, but it wasn’t until I read Wendy’s words yesterday that I truly understood HOW to embrace it, practice it, and live it each day. So this morning, I woke up, threw my ingredients together (admittedly using my old recipe), and I poured myself into that loaf of bread as a new ingredient, full of energy and love and creativity. I thanked the Lord for providing for us through years of uncertainty, through deserts full of wandering and fear, and for blessing us with so very much more than we need. I prayed for my husband and all of his faithful work, and I prayed for my ever-growing sons and their health.
In a time where I sought to be still, over a loaf of simple bread, I found energy to encourage and create again. I would love to hear from you – whether you are struggling or energized, feeling introverted or invigorated. We’d love to hear where your journey has taken you.
How has God provided for you and your family this year? This week? Today?
- Recipe Box: English Muffin Bread (homefront.prudentliving.com)
- Easy Home-Made Bread, A Recipe (thedomesticfringe.com)
- Bakin’ Up Some Love (standupongrace.wordpress.com)