“This is my one and only life … And it’s a great and terrible and short and endless thing.” – from the movie, P.S. I Love You
Have I ever mentioned that I have old order Mennonite in my background? I know! Shocking to believe that this modern girl, who loves a very particular, persnickety latte that takes a seasoned auctioneer to recount, central heating, cute hair and who is drawn to all things glittery, just like the intoxicating effect of Catnip on our feline friends, would ever have come from that heritage! Two years ago, at the ripe young age of 42, I had my first pedicure, first professional nails done and first Mimosa. It was a year of lessons in all things girly, I guess. Let me tell you something, this Mama of four 100% burly boys, 3 of them in their teenage years, needs to enjoy those estrogen laced activities as much I can. Today alone, by way of example, I was sent to my early grave by the boys rigging a door with poppers left over from the 4th of July, that went off like it was a D Day re-enactment and made me quickly learn the Spanish Flamenco!
My Dad was raised in a more modern Mennonite church. But, sometime, not that long ago, our family wore black, drove buggies and baked homemade shoofly pie, whatever that is! 🙂 Two things that stick out, like nails waiting to be counter sunk, are that Mennonites and Amish know how to love people and they have a view of the sovereignty of God that models and inspires trust. You know, it’s been quite a week. One friend lost her young mother to cancer. Another longtime friend has a son with seizures the experts cannot control and her husband had a heart attack. A leader in town lost his wife to cancer on Saturday, leaving him with four young kids and an empty chair at their table. And, of course, we all have grieved the insensible destruction of the Lufthansa flight in the French Alps, as well as the baby of that sweet, expectant Mom in Longmont, Colorado.
Why? I don’t have answers.
The picture above was shared at one memorial this week. That is my friend, Rachel, with her mother, holding her like she would have when she was a little girl. In the photo, she was hurting and laboring through the birth of her baby, while her mother held her to her breast and comforted her. Isn’t it poignant and stunningly beautiful? That’s the kind of person I want to be. Love doesn’t stop when kids grow up and, when it’s done right, love isn’t limited to just family but pours from who we are. There is a beauty and rawness to loving that’s just like jumping in an icy lake in winter or pricking a finger on a sharp needle while quilting. Isn’t life like that- both a great and terrible thing? I’m glad there is a good and mighty God in charge, so that my hope can be rekindled again and again.
“You… put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book? Then… in the day when I call, This I know, that God is for me.” PS 56: 8 & 9
Homemade Spelt Bread And, life in all it’s bitter sweetness goes on and, until our last moments, is a gift. My boys begged me this week to make homemade bread. Below is a recipe made with Spelt (which is not genetically modified because it is a more ancient, less mass produced grain, so it is better for you). Remember – closer to the way God intended is best!
Christy’s Spelt & Quinoa Bread
Christy is my lovely sister who is 1.5 years younger than me. We fought and loved each other like Italians when younger and, now, treasure any time we get together. She is organized and big hearted. The one change I made was the coconut oil; you could use any oil.
- 4 C Warm Water
- 1 TB Dough Enhancer (from health food store)
- 1/2 C Coconut Oil
- 1 C Cooked Quinoa
- 1/2 C Honey
- 1/4 C Gluten (Walmart carries this)
- 3 C Whole Spelt Flour, freshly ground (You can grind flour from Spelt berries yourself, roughly 1 C of berries yields 1.5 C of flour, or buy 12 already ground from a health food store, as you will need 12 C total)
- 3 TB Yeast
* * * * * * * * * *
- 1 TB salt
- 4 Eggs
- 6-9 Additional C Spelt flour
- A little Coconut Oil for greasing pans
Preheat oven to 350° F In a high power large mixer that can handle 4 loaves, with a dough hook, blend the first list of ingredients, up to the asterisks. I use a Bosch Blender. It has to be powerful enough to develop the gluten as it beats. Beat for 1 minute and 15 seconds. Let that first mixture sit for 15 minutes, until bubbly. Now, add the salt, eggs and 6 additional Cups of Spelt flour. Add the remaining flour in small doses until the bread ingredients pull completely away from the edge (should be a total of 12 Cups). Beat for 5 minutes. When done, divide the dough into 4 equal parts. Shape into rounds and put into 4 greased bread pans. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled. Bake for 30 minutes. This is a healthy bread option for your family and for Vibrant Life folks, this is a treat.
Tip: Before you make the quinoa, rinse it multiple times in water, aggressively crunching the grain in your fingers, then re-rinsing. This helps get rid of the bitterness quinoa can have.