This week God has called me to examine my heart a bit. So here it is...
Needless to say, I awoke this Tuesday morning in a funk. We went away for the weekend on a mini-retreat with some friends from church. It was great! However, upon returning, it left me starting the week, in my mind at least, feeling a bit behind schedule and unprepared. This overwhelming feeling of tasks- laundry, cleaning, cooking, shopping, lesson planning- piled up in my heart. That with extreme lack of sleep (Roo's sleep schedule has been off), paved the way for a rocky start to my week and an emotional outpour Tuesday morning. My husband is so great (and so patient with my mess of a being!) He urged me to take a break and meet with my Creator. He prayed for me and then encouraged me to make sure to carve out time in my day to meet with God in prayer and the reading of His word. I half halfheartedly listened. I smiled. We hugged. But my heart was still hard. He didn't know what it was like!!! A quiet moment to read...to pray. Really?
Then by God's grace and providence I fell upon an amazing blog later that evening. This woman could relate. She understood the cry of my heart. She pointed me to truth- God's truth. As she, Ann Vockamp, wrote:
I want things seen.
These can be idols.
Too often, mostly, sadly, I want product, others to see product, so yes, they can see: I have worth. Stinking idols. (excerpted)
So...I apologize to you, anyone who has ever read my blog. What started out as a way to document my days and encourage and spur on others for the glory of my Father in Heaven- a good thing- has quickly sunk to a place where I have falsely hoped to find my worth in the things I do, and the people that see them- a bad thing. My worth comes from God. He delights in me (and you!), not by what we have accomplished, but how we love. I need to run to my Daddy. Talk with Him. Walk with Him. Plan Tot School with Him- not because it gives me worth- but because I know my worth in Him, and Tot School is an outpouring of my heart to share my love and life with the children He has so graciously placed in it. I too am learning...
"….pray to your Father,
who is unseen."
"So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.
For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
~ 2 Cor. 4:18
*To read more of the article written by Ann Vonkamp, "Things Unseen," that God used this week to pierce my heart click here.
"I planted, [another] watered; but God made it grow." 1 Cor 3:6
“Your love is so great it reaches to the skies. Your truth reaches to the clouds.” Psalm 97:10
So I know I said last week we were ready for an acceleration of letter introductions, but Letter of the Week just didn't happen this week. Ha! That is how is goes doesn't it...and, so, once again I am humbled :-)
I’m a little sunflower I’m so small.
Soil, sun, and water make me tall.
When I get all grown up you will see
That I’m as big as I can be
For this activity you will need:
- paper plates
- assorted dried beans and/or seeds
- construction paper (yellow and green)
- Have your tot glue beans/seeds on the center of the paper plate (on the "bottom" side).
- Cut out yellow petals and a green stem and leaves from construction paper.
- Help your tot glue the flower parts in the appropriate places.
I open the refrigerator. mouth watering in expectancy of the outcome of our labors. (I had checked quickly this morning to make sure we had eggs. My family goes through at least 3 dozen eggs a week, so you never know.) I grab two eggs. Something seems off. Yes, it is true, we have eggs, but they are HARD BOILED! That just isn't going to work out...no hamburger bun making project for us...
The excitement quickly turns to disappointment. "Well, what are we going to do for a project now???" Ju-ju exclaims. Think, Emily, think...
"Play-doh?" I call out. The girls love play-doh, but, selfishly, it is one of my least favorite activities because of the amount of clean up it involves. Oh well. I had prayed this morning to help me to be more self-less, hadn't I? I guess here is my first opportunity of the day to live out my heart's request. God is funny.
I go to the cupboard. No play-doh. I go to the other cupboard. No play-doh. I look in drawers. I look in closets. No play-doh. Seriously?
Now the girls are getting restless. And...Roo, who was so peacefully sleeping a few moments earlier, starts to stir. I don't have much time...
"Let's make play-doh!" I impulsively call out. Oh boy. I have never done this before. I have heard it is possible, though. We throw some flour, salt and water in a bowl. We knead. We are smiling. This is fun. June Bug wants purple. Ju-ju wants blue. We meet in the middle. The dough transforms itself into a tie-dye of color. I divide it into three balls, pull out some cookie cutters, and plastic cups for rolling pins. Smiles. Giggles. Success.
I thank God for simple lessons and simple pleasures as I quietly slip out of the room to go comfort baby Roo who has just awoken from her nap.
Chewy Peach, Oat, Sunflower Seed Bars
1 1/2 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or any nut/seed)
2/3 cups agave fruit juice sweetener
1/2 cup fresh peaches, cut up
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 8x8
2. Stir the oats, sugar, and fruit together in a
bowl. Pour in the melted butter and stir
thoroughly until combined.
3. Press mixture into prepared pan. Bake for
20-25 minutes, until golden brown and a bit
4. Remove from oven and cut the bars into
granola bar-like strips. Leave in pan to cool
for 5 minutes. Remove and place on a wire
rack. Store in an airtight container in the
Whole Wheat Sunflower Seed Hamburger Buns
This recipe was taken from a great blog, Deliciously Organic.
For the dough:
3 tablespoons warm whole milk
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
2 tablespoons honey
2 large eggs (Be sure to save one for later!!!)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/3 cups plus 4 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour
1 3/4 teaspoons sea salt
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, grated with a box grater
Sesame seeds (I used Sunflower seeds for obvious reasons. It was a delicious addition!)
Stir together 1 cup warm water, milk, yeast and honey in a measuring cup. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Beat one egg in a small bowl.
Whisk flours and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add butter. Rub butter into flour using your fingers until small clumps form. Add yeast mixture and beaten egg and stir until dough comes together. Transfer dough to the bowl of a standing mixer with the dough hook attached. Knead dough on low-speed for 5 minutes. (If you do not have a standing mixer, then knead by hand for 8 minutes on a floured surface.) The dough will be a bit sticky. Cover the bowl and let dough rise for about 2 hours until doubled.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts. Gently roll each piece into a ball and place on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough, arranging dough 3-inches apart. Cover dough with a dish towel and let rise for 1-2 hours.
Set a large shallow pan of water in the bottom of the oven. Preheat oven to 400ºF and adjust second rack to middle position. Beat remaining egg with 1 tablespoon water. Brush egg wash on top of each bun using a pastry brush. Sprinkle with seeds. Bake for 14 minutes turning pan halfway through baking, until golden brown.