I’ve been off the entire week.
My strong-willed toddler was being extra defiant and stubborn, my one year old extra whiny. First trimester symptoms leaving me exhausted, emotional and surrounded by a constant cloud of yuck. Not to mention it’s Lent season and I could count the number of times I’ve opened my Bible on one hand. You see, I tend to set impossibly high standards for myself and my family. I envision Lent season as a beautiful time to wake up early and read my Bible, to focus on what an amazing sacrifice was made for me. This year, I didn’t even know it was Lent until I saw someone post about it on Instagram. When I became a mother, I had all these plans of teaching my children to behave, making them at least try everything on their plate, never letting them see me lose my temper. Needless to say this whole parenting gig hasn’t gone as I had expected and unfortunately there isn’t a formula to follow to get the results you want.
So I woke up that Friday morning after a week of being in a funk and decided I was going to put my foot down. My daughter was going to eat a bite of that banana and we were going to sit there all day if we had to because thats what I needed to prove my success as a mother. Or so I thought… Quiet protesting quickly turned into a hellacious tantrum. Normally this wouldn’t be an issue, but we live in a duplex directly above someone else. And as my child’s volume slowly increased they decided it was necessary to send a message by blasting their radio station and making the floor boards vibrate. Ironically, it was KLOVE, but I didn’t find that hilarious at the moment.
I panicked. What in the heck was I supposed to do?! My toddler’s hyperventilating over a stinking banana, I can’t back down, and my neighbor is (horribly) belting along to a song on the radio all the while shaking the foundation of our home. So I stood over the sink and cried. The ultimate picture of defeat. “I can’t do this, Lord. Help me.” I didn’t receive any immediate nuggets of wisdom at that moment, but He met there over a sink filled with dirty dishes and uneaten bananas. After I gained composure (and asked for forgiveness for the choice words I had for my neighbor) we all went back to our own beds for a much-needed break.
God revealed to me then that I had created an idol of behavior for my children. If they behaved and did what I said, then I was a good mother and felt fulfilled. What a dangerous theory! To let my entire worth and joy sit in the hands of a toddler and one year old! I was chasing this idea that if my child was a good little girl who cleaned her plate (and measured up to every other expectation I had of her) then I could be satisfied with myself. But God says “no, you weren’t created to be satisfied with obedient children. You were created to be satisfied with me and only me.” When I rely on my children for joy, not only does it set an impossible (and unfair) standard for them, but it creates inconsistent emotions. I react to each situation based on how I’m being fulfilled rather than relying on an unwavering, steady, and consistent God.
I wish this was the part of the blog where I confidently shared how to be a parent and how to have grace with your children and how to get them to eat everything you give them, but I’m still learning. This is what I know… I’m not doing it alone and praise God for that. I’m a sinner who loses her cool and finds her worth in silly things that will never fulfill me and it is only by the grace of God that I make it through the day and love my children well. He tells me to ask for help (James 1;5-6) and I will continue to do so for the rest of my life because I will never stop needing it.
So after nap time when the house and our hearts were settled, the three of us girls gathered into the kitchen again for a re-do. I put on some worship music and gathered ingredients onto the counter and we baked. I sang praises and the girls laughed and the flour covered the counter and I felt so thankful; thankful for re-do’s and the fact that there is beauty in the broken and the messy and thankful that God sanctifies me through even the smallest war over a slice of banana.
I wanted to share our recipe for “Grace Cookies” because it’s hard to find yummy and easy gluten free treats to make! Music is very important in our family and it is essential that you listen to this playlist I created on Spotify while you bake. Sweets + worship music is a beautiful marriage if you ask me! Find it here: Grace Cookies.
This all-purpose flour from SAM’s Club has been a life saver for a sweet-tooth like myself. When I found out I was gluten intolerant, I literally wept because I thought I had to give up everything yummy. In most cases, I have been able to substitute this flour in any regular recipe and get a successful outcome!
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 1/4 cups gluten free all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a large bowl (or kitchen aid fitted with the paddle attachment), stir together butter, shortening, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until creamy.
- Add the egg.
- In a separate bowl, combine the all purpose flour, baking soda, and salt together and slowly add to the wet mixture until well blended.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Drop by rounded tablespoon onto cookie sheet.
- Bake 10-14 minutes or until golden brown.