This Christmas, my husband gifted me a breadmaker and it’s been a fun adventure learning to use it and experimenting with different recipes. In addition to the breadmaker, he also gave me a very thorough recipe book with a wide variety of recipes including that for this beautiful whole-wheat potato bread. The last note of these instructions indicate that the bread is best eaten on the day it is baked. It’s a daily bread.
You know, I’ve been trying to picture the household that eats a whole 2-pound loaf in a single day, and really, a single evening (since it takes three hours to bake a loaf). Certainly not my family! On the contrary, we’ve been going through a loaf in about a week, eating it liberally. It’s hard for me to picture a daily bread.
But, yet, lately I’ve been thinking a lot about daily bread. Over the past few months, my family has changed a lot: adding a baby, transitioning out of the military, my husband becoming a full-time student. Our budget looks a lot different now. Cutting your family income in half at the same time that you start paying for daycare and healthcare is not an easy pill to swallow. We went from contributing to savings monthly to carefully budgeting each month, praying we won’t run a deficit too great for our savings to cover over the next few years. It was a big leap of faith for me, in particular. (My husband is much more optimistic than I’ve ever been.) So frequently, I found myself focusing on how to afford our daily bread.
But then God surprised me. Continue reading
We have finally reached my very favorite time of year: Autumn. The leaves turn colors, the air turns crisp and the sunlight turns pale. My childhood was spent in farm-country, among some of the kindest classes of people in the country, and I am grateful to have returned to farm-country again. Growing up, prayer requests at church always included prayers for more rain, less rain, for the frost to hold out one more week until the harvest could be brought in. Although no one in my family was ever a farmer (lumberjacks, sure– we are Scandinavian, after all), I learned to so greatly respect and be grateful for the work of farmers that labored from sunrise to sunset to put food on my table.
Because I got to hear their prayer requests, I got to be a part of a much humbler approach to life and faith: Depending on God for very real, material, life-giving needs. The prayers of farmers are very different than those of the rest of us– they pray for sun, but not too much that the crops burn, rain, but not enough for the seed to go to rot, insects to fertilize, but not to destroy, frost to put the ground to rest, but not so early that it kills the harvest. For those of us that work in offices, shops, restaurants, hospitals, we are unaffected by the elements around us and we can easily lose sight of God’s providence, as we can easily be distracted by what seems to be the providence and omnipotence of our bosses and customers. Our needs have a middle-man and we easily lose sight of their true provider. Continue reading
It’s been a busy few weeks for me, what between Easter, starting a new job and transitioning out of the old job, learning to drive a manual transmission, etc. As part of that transition, there has been a bit of a new budget to determine taking into account new factors such as a different income, a car payment and not having reimbursable meals through the week. All this together would reasonably precipitate a certain degree of anxiety. Thank the Lord, I do not struggle with anxiety, but that doesn’t mean that money and budgeting do not so very often enter my thought process (to be honest, usually multiple times a day), largely because I am still adjusting to marriage and a shared budget instead of my own little financial and budget world.
But thank the Lord for Easter.
Of course I mean that for all the wonderful, theological reasons (you know, that whole Jesus rises from the dead to give us an opportunity for reconciliation with God and an everlasting life part. That part’s pretty cool), and the fact it is my favorite holiday, but also because it left my fridge very, very full.
We were blessed to get to spend the holiday with three (and a half) good friends, enjoying a feast of wide variety and many leftovers. But leftovers and I have a mixed relationship.
Why I Like Leftovers:
- Pre-prepared lunches are way better than a cold cut sandwich
- Food my husband will eat instead of picking up fast food if he’s on his own
- There’s more! What’s not good about more of a good thing!
Why I Hate Leftovers:
- I don’t get to cook again for a while
- I run out of Tupperware
- Food might go bad before it gets eaten (it is easier for me to cook ingredients before they go bad than to make sure the last half-an-entree makes it into a lunchbox)
But last night I opened the fridge and was struck by something more than just how very full the fridge was and how I couldn’t find a place for my lunch bag: We have so much more than we need. Continue reading