We Wear the Mask

I haven’t been able to get this poem out of my head since I heard an excerpt yesterday. I had to share it.

We Wear the Mask

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,—
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be over-wise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
       We wear the mask.
We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
       We wear the mask!

Yes

It’s funny how sometimes when you’re in the midst of thinking you just can’t continue with the task you’ve been given, God sends people to you to remind you of his power and grace.  That has been most of this week for me and I am so thankful.

“Yes” by Skekinah Glory playing in my head all week has been another way God has kept my mind on his will.  It has been a blessing this week.  I hope it blesses someone else.

 

 

 

Kid’s “Fave” Oat Pancakes

Like me, my kids LOVE to eat!  They also like to know what’s coming.  To streamline our mornings and save me the trouble of thinking about what’s for breakfast everyday, I decided to have a set breakfast menu Monday through Friday.  They know what to expect,   it cuts down on questions, and everyone knows they will get to have one of their favorites at least once a week.  With three kids this has been super helpful.  We don’t have complaints about breakfast anymore because they know their day is coming.

On Mondays we eat oatmeal.  Tuesdays we have Grits and sausage.  Wednesdays are for pancakes.  Thursdays we eat toast and eggs.  Fridays we have muffins, and Saturdays and Sundays are Mommy and Daddy’s choice.  The menu is easy enough to follow and we add variety in different ways.  On Mondays we may change our oatmeal toppings, or have an oatmeal bar where everyone gets to choose their own toppings.  We rotate through different muffin recipes on Fridays, and there are different recipes and toppings for Pancake Wednesdays.   For my kiddos, this is their favorite wheat free pancake recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. quick cooking oats
  • 1 1/2 c. oat flour
  • 2 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. baking powder
  • 2 eggs
  • 6 Tbsp. oil (coconut, canola, or melted butter all work well)
  • 1/2 c. plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 c. milk

Combine the oats, oat flour, sugar, and baking powder in a large bowl.  In a small bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, and milk.  Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients in the larger bowl and stir.  Add in the oil and mix until well-combined.  Heat and grease your  griddle while you let your batter rest for a minute. Cook your pancakes as you normally would.

I use a ladle to pour my batter on the griddle in about 1/2 cup amounts.  I set the temperature to slightly above medium.  If your heat is too high you will burn them on the outside, and they will not cook completely in the middle.   When the edges start to bubble, flip the pancakes and cook on the other side until done.  It should take about a minute.

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I LOVE these piled high with bananas or berries or a light drizzle of cane syrup.  My middle asked me to mention that he likes them made as blueberry pancakes.  Simply add 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries to the dry ingredients before you mix in the wet ingredients.

LOVE and enjoy!

Psalm 40:8

I take joy in doing your will, my God,
    for your instructions are written on my heart.

Psalm 40:8

 

Lord, this is what I want.  Give me the joy that comes from doing your will.  Amen.

Just Out for a Walk

Yesterday was our neighborhood-wide garage sale.  We chose not to participate this year because I simply could not get it together, but the older kids asked if we could walk around and see what others were selling.  I told them we could get out before the weather turned unbearably hot.  Against my better judgment I let the younger two ride their bicycle and tricycle.  With their money in hand I set out with my little shoppers.

As we travelled down the sidewalk I quickly realized the error in my plan.  If 2 of my 3 kiddos were riding bikes, how would they carry their loot?  Not long after that, I realized that wasn’t my only issue.  We were walking a path we’ve walked many times before.  I was accustomed to helping my youngest over the bumps and cracks in the sidewalk.  Usually a little push is all she needs every now and then, but there was so much to look at with the garage sales she found it hard to keep her eyes on the sidewalk.  She kept veering off the sidewalk and getting stuck in the space between the path and the lawns we were passing. I had to repeatedly pull her trike back onto the sidewalk. Talking to her and repeatedly saying, “Keep you eyes on the sidewalk” did not help.  Eventually I found myself getting frustrated because it was happening so often.  As I was opening my mouth to say, “Please just follow the path!”, I felt the need to close my mouth.

All of a sudden I could hear the voice in my head say, “Like you?” I couldn’t say a word because all these words started flooding my mind. “How many times have you been so distracted by everything around you that you ended up off track? There is a path laid for you and yet everything else grabs your attention and you struggle to simply continue ahead on the ‘sidewalk’ I’ve given you.  I’ve helped you over bumps in the road only to see you distracted by something you thought was greener pasture.  I’ve tugged and tugged at you to help set your ‘handle bars’ straight again and again.”  Wow! I was NOT expecting that.  We were just out for a walk.

The truth is for me it’s been really hard to follow the path.  I’ve asked for God to simply give me the next step and there have been many days I parked myself on the side and refused to move.  Other times the life I think I want or should have looks as interesting to me as the box of stuffed animals that caused my little one to roll into the grass.  Apparently it’s hard for me to follow the path too.

Lord, thank you for all the ways you continue to speak and guide.  Thank you for reminding me what kind of child I am.  Thank you for all the times you wouldn’t allow me to stay stuck where I was.  Thank you for your loving patience and kindness.  If I for a minute thought I could be frustrated after a few minutes, I cannot  imagine how you have felt after years. I pray you will give me the strength and courage to follow your will and stay the course. Amen.

Seek his will in all you do,
    and he will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:6

 

Habakkuk 2:1-5

I will stand at my watchpost,

and station myself on the rampart;

I will keep watch to see what he

will say to me,

and what he will answer concerning my complaint.

Then the Lord answered me and said;

Write the vision;

make it plain on tablets,

so that a runner may read it.

For there is still a vision for the appointed time;

it speaks of the end, and does

not lie.

If it seems to tarry, wait for it;

it will surely come, it will not delay.

Look at the proud!

Their spirit is not right in them,

but the righteous live by

their faith.

 

Moving Forward

My oldest two have been attending VBS at a friend’s church this week.  Tonight when they came home I asked, “What was the lesson today?”  After some back and forth with my son, who originally couldn’t remember, he finally answered, “Oh yeah! We talked about how to listen to God’s will.” Yep, that sounds about right.  That’s what I’ve been hearing every day this week.  I love God and his confirmation.  It just keeps coming.  God, help me to keep moving.

What Does The Lord Require of You?

I feel like I don’t have much to say right now, but I can’t get this verse and song out of my head tonight, so here I am at the computer.  Over and over I keep hearing “What does the Lord require of you?”  There are so many things God has spoken to me; sometimes I find it hard to prioritize, but lately, I’ve simply been frozen by my fears.  I’ve been allowing the “what if’s” to crowd out His voice.

God is faithful at sending messages and nudges and beautiful people to continue to provide flickers of light.  I hear the words of one of my dearest now, “Your problem isn’t clarity; it’s obedience.”

Maybe you are like me.  Maybe you know what God is calling and requiring of you, but scared to move forward.  He’s shown you over and over again how faithful He is, but still you hesitate. Maybe you are scared of what it will cost you. We know how to make things more difficult than they have to be.  I don’t know what your call is or what’s holding you back, but I pray you too will start to move forward.  Please pray for me too.

But he’s already made it plain how to live, what to do,

what God is looking for in men and women. 

It’s quite simple:  Do what is fair and just to your neighbor,

be compassionate and loyal in your love,

And don’t take yourself too seriously-take God seriously.

Micah 6:8 MSG

 

Any Night Pork Tenderloin

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Many times when I think about pork tenderloin I think about barbecue, or a Sunday dinner after church, or a day when I have extra time to cook up a storm.  We don’t eat pork very often, so when we do my kids get excited.  I’m not really sure why I  don’t cook it more often, now that I’m typing that.  Pork tenderloin can be really affordable and tenderloins are usually nice and lean,  you can also trim off any excess fat if needed.  This recipe is  simple, quick, and affordable.  It’s great any night of the week.

I chose to bake the tenderloin in this recipe, but you can grill it as well.  Baking it means you can stick it in the oven, set the timer, and move onto something else.  This always works well when there are kiddos underfoot.

Ingredients:

  • 1.75 lb. pork tenderloin
  • 1/2 medium onion, halved
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 3 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar (Balsamic vinegar also works well in this recipe.)
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  You can mix the marinade by hand or like I did in a blender.  If you choose to do it by hand, mince the onion and garlic ,and wisk the ingredients (except the pork) in a bowl.  Otherwise, toss everything into your blender and blend to form a paste.  You can taste to see if you would like to adjust the salt and pepper.  Pour the marinade/paste over the pork.

If you have extra time, you can let the meat marinate for 30 minutes.  If not, place it in the oven at this point.  It still bakes up with a lot of flavor.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Let the pork rest for 3 minutes before slicing.  Enjoy!

 

 

What Am I Doing?

I was raised by a single mother. She was young when I was born. For the first few years of my life she managed to work full time and attend college full time. My hat still goes off to her because I was completely overwhelmed by motherhood, but in the end she left college her senior year.  There were many times she used her life and our struggles as a cautionary tale.  She wanted more for me and believed with all her heart that I was a smart and capable.

I loved theatre, but I was told that would be a great hobby, it was too unstable for a profession.  I should find an interest that would support me and should continue my education until I had reached the highest degree in the field.  Her goal for me was to always be self sufficient. She believed education was the way to make that happen. Graduate School and Professional School were goals I had before I even really understood what they were.

My pursuit of the right path for me wasn’t exactly a straight line, but I am sure that is true for many.  I did end up with Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees, and considered continuing on for a Doctorate. I still think about it sometimes.  For a while my mother would ask when was I going back to school, because a Master’s degree was not the highest level.

Something happened in me when I received my infertility diagnosis.  Something everyone else seemed to be able to do so easily, I could not. It really changed my perspective on a lot of things.  I wasn’t sure about me being a mom, but I believed my husband would make a great father. It was heartbreaking.  When we finally conceived my decisions about parenting and motherhood had changed to some extent and took on a whole new meaning I didn’t even understand. Fast forward many years and now I’m a stay-at-home HOMESCHOOLING mom.  How on earth did THAT happen?

My husband and I never planned on living on one income.  We had always been a two income pursuing your passions kind of couple.  I wonder how much stress am I causing him?  He’s finally in a job he loves after many stressful years in a job he hated, but it’s come with many sacrifices.

Our entire family of five is completely dependent on him and it seems like something is always going wrong.  This is so far from our original plan and what my mother taught me.  I know lots of my friends look at me differently.  I don’t hear, “So when are you going back to work?” anymore, but there are jokes at times that don’t really feel like jokes, or reactions or comments. They won’t come out and say they think I’m crazy, but sometimes I feel it. Or maybe that’s just my paranoia.

The sad part is there are so many days I’m also looking at myself wondering too; How much money and time did I waste?  What the world God? Am I making the right decisions?  How do I know I really heard you? Are you sure it was me you were talking to?  You know I could have misinterpreted what you said.  Maybe I am just crazy?  How do you know it’s time to give up the charade?  I often feel like a fish out of water everywhere I turn. Who else feels like this?  What AM I doing???