Nesting and baking

The last few days especially we’ve been in go mode nesting/getting everything ready for baby girl’s arrival. Along with this, my desire to bake has been through the roof. I’ve got bananas lined up to make banana bread to take with us to the hospital to give to the nurses and guests. At least, that’s the plan anyway. I could just see me making all the bread, sticking it in the freezer and then completely forgetting to take it with us. If that happens, I will be happy to eat banana bread when we come home!

Enough about bananas, I want to talk about cherries. My husband loves cherry anything, so I try to surprise him once in awhile with cherry goodies and this morning I decided to make some Cherry Baked Oatmeal instead of our usual egg dish. (Sidebar: I use to eat oatmeal every morning, loved it, and then I got pregnant and couldn’t stand the texture, but I keep trying because oatmeal is good for me.) I just remembered a week ago that I like baked oatmeal and it has a different texture than my regular oatmeal, woohoo! Let me tell you, this Cherry Baked Oatmeal was so delicious I’m already looking forward to breakfast tomorrow. 20130830-222006.jpg You can make this healthier than I did this morning if you use fresh or dried cherries instead of pie filling or make your own pie filling with stevia or honey. I do that quite a bit, but today I went for convenience.

Cherry Baked Oatmeal: Makes 6-8 large servings

2 cups milk or water (you can use almond or soy milk also)

4 eggs

1/2 cup brown sugar or honey

2 tsp Vanilla

2/3 cup coconut oil, melted butter or any other oil you have on hand, you could also substitute applesauce for the oil to make it healthier.

4 cups rolled or quick oats

1 tsp salt

2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 can cherry pie filling

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium mixing bowl combine first five ingredients and mix well making sure to get the eggs beaten. Stir in oats, salt, baking powder and cinnamon. Lightly grease a 9X13 pan and pour batter into pan spreading out even. Spoon cherry pie filling over the top evenly. Bake for 30 minutes. If you have leftovers like I purposely plan for, you can just reheat a portion in the microwave or eat it cold.

I will be making this again and in many variations, it was that good! Enjoy!

Living Out Psalm 13

For most of my life, I’ve been pretty good at almost everything I have done. In my high school anatomy class, I got a 100. For the class. To prove it was not just a fluke, when I took the class again in college I got a 98 for the class. In UIL Music Memory, I got a perfect score 2 years in a row. I am by no means perfect, but I’ve always been really good at most things I do.

One thing I am definitely not good at is waiting. I have a tendency to show up to events ridiculously early. One reason for this is I hate being late and so I always arrive at least 5 minutes early. The other reason is once I am ready to go, I hate waiting so much I decide to go ahead and leave rather than wait to leave when I need to leave. I just am not good at waiting. Thanks to this negative trait of mine, the last several months have been some of the hardest of my life. In February I made the decision to step down from my job for the good of my family. I have never once regretted the decision because I know that my family and I are better off because of it. However, each week I look at my dwindling bank account and begin adding and subtracting bills and income, it sure makes me want to question what I was thinking back in February.

It is funny. We are always told to seek the Lord’s will. To follow the Lord, and everything else falls into place. No one ever speaks about how following the Lord’s will isn’t always so easy. How sometimes when we are operating directly in the center of His will, we feel abandoned. We feel forsaken. We feel like no one could possibly understand how alone we feel. We feel like God has completely left us alone to flail about in our own insignificance.

As Christians, we know we trust the Lord. I feel it in my heart and soul. I know I am supposed to trust Him, because he sustains me when nothing else can do so. We know all of those things, yet in the midst of our despair, He feels so distant. So hidden. Even though scripture tells us God is not far from us, for “in him we live and move and have our being” (Acts 17:27).

Yet we echo the Psalmist’s words from chapter 13.

How long, O Lord ? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I take counsel in my soul and have sorrow in my heart all the day? How long shall my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O Lord my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. (Psalm 13: 1-4)

Yes, I know I should trust the Lord and I know He is sufficient for me and my family’s needs. Yet when I get yet another rejection email or letter, and we day by day get closer to our baby girl’s arrival, I cannot help but get more and more anxious about where these provisions are going to come from. It is super hard not to be discouraged as things continue to pile up (I’m pretty sure the job rejections now total over 100).

Funny thing is, for all the pain and heartbreak this 6 months has caused, Crystal and I constantly tell each other we would not trade any of this time for anything. During the last 6 months, I have gotten to spend almost every single moment with my wife. I have gotten to be at every OB appointment, every sonogram, every baby shower. I have not had to miss a single moment of my wife’s pregnancy, and she and I are closer than couples who have been married for many more years than we have. We are experiencing what the scripture writers said about finding the joy in the trials. How the trials we face produce endurance, which leads to a hope which doesn’t disappoint.

At the end of the day, we truly do echo the words of the Psalmist, but not merely the words of abandonment and frustration, but more importantly those of hope and assuredness, which are echoed in Shane & Shane’s song “Psalm 13”

“For I will trust in Your unfailing love
My heart rejoices in Your salvation
I will sing to the Lord
For He has been good to me”

Coco