Friday, May 27, 2011

Oatmeal Cookie Granola

I have a new recipe at my other blog. Go check it out! Soooooo yummy. Aand you don't have to make it gluten free if you don't need too.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

A Crisis of Faith

This past ten days have been the hardest days I have ever walked through in my Christian walk. I had a life changing encounter with the Lord at 18 and plunged forward to never look back. But for the first time in all those years I really began to struggle with doubt and found myself questioning God and His power.

Over the past ten years whenever we have faced the loss of a child, up until now, I was always able to have faith and trust that God's answer "No" to our prayers was His will and that I could trust that He knew best. But this time facing that "No" for the fifth time was almost more than I could take. I found myself standing in prayer, reading the Bible, seeking His Presence, and coming up with a hollow empty sound gonging back at me. And in the echo of silence I began to question my faith and my God. To the point that I was hurting so greatly from the loss of another sweet baby and another answer of "No" to our requests. I was angry and hurting- aching with pain and loss. But most of all I felt that God had failed me. That I had believed in faith. I had asked and believed that He could heal and would return to life our little child, and He didn't. I spent about three days just consumed by pain and hurt and wanting to shake my fist at the Lord and say WHY!!! IT'S NOT FAIR!! But thankfully three days of pain and a huge pity-party was all it took.

I found myself standing in the shower one morning and asking myself IF I felt He had let me down; then why didn't I just say I was done trusting and believing in Him. And then be ready to walk away and just live my life, considering that He wasn't worthy of my trust and service. But then I took that a step further and realized that would really be IMPOSSIBLE  for me to do that. Because I have felt His Presence, I have heard His Voice, I have been washed in His Love, and I have rested my head in His Lap. I can not deny that HE IS REAL and that in reality I could NEVER live my life apart from Jesus. So I admitted my hurt, I prayed and repented and told Jesus all that I felt, including that I was angry with Him and I felt that He had let me down and I felt that His answer was unfair. Then, I finally felt a peace I hadn't had in almost a week. And I sat down that night and read my Bible and these are some of the scriptures that I read.

Isaiah 43:1b-3a "Don't be afraid, for I have ransomed you; I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up- the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, Your Savior,  the Holy One of Israel."

And I began to realize, God did not leave me. He did not let me down. His answer was not the answer that I wanted, but He did not let me down. He kept His word to always be with me.

And then last night in answer to my declaration that He was not fair I read this-
Psalm 145:17-18 " The Lord is fair in everything He does and full of kindness. He is close to all who call on Him."

And He reminded me that all that He is doing in my life is according to His plan. And it is a preparation and not a punishment. So I can hold on to God's unfailing hand when the times of pressure come and know that He is preparing me for His purposes and they are for good. (Jeremiah 29:11).

I know that He will heal my heart in time, just as He has in the past. I know that He is worthy of my trust. And when I see Him face to face in heaven, I will understand all the reasons why. Until that day, I will walk in obedience and trust that the answer to why is- "because He loves me and has a good plan for my life."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Homemade Granola

We love granola in our house but buying gluten free granola is a challenge. So here is my basic recipe. The beauty of making granola is that there is no wrong way to do it. You can add whatever you like within certain ratios and, viola!, personalized to your taste.

3 cups gluten free rolled oats (I buy mine here in bulk.) or regular old fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pecan halves
1/8 cup golden flax seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 large pinch of salt

Mix dry ingredients together. Then add in wet ingredients-
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup oil of choice (I like coconut oil or safflower oil. Choose a neutral oil.)
1 tsp vanilla (I buy alcohol free here)

Mix wet with dry ingredients and spread out onto large cookie sheet. Bake at 300 degrees for 30 minutes. Stir after fifteen minute intervals.  Take out of oven and let cool on cooling rack. At this point add any dried fruit you desire. I add 1/2 cup of raisins. I don't like my raisins baked with the granola, I think they get a weird off-taste to them. Let mixture cool completely and store in an airtight container or zip-top bag. Makes 9 servings (1/2 cup size).

You can add whatever kind of raw unsalted nuts you like and whatever dried fruits you choose. You can also exchange the maple syrup for honey or another sweetener like rice syrup if you like. I plan to try out some other derivations in the future and I can post my results later.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Asking Why

Once again the Lord has called us to walk through the valley of loss. Just weeks ago I was looking forward to sharing our news when I passed the end of the first trimester. But it was not God's plan for it to be that way. Yesterday, we buried yet another baby, our little Faith Jordan. She joins her siblings Chloe Marie and Nathaniel James and one other little one we never saw. Mother's Day has been bittersweet today, as I look at the three blessings the Lord has allowed us to raise, I am thankful. But my heart aches for the four little ones that the Lord chose to take home to be with Him. Other times it has seemed easier to accept His will. This time it feels harder. I know that He is a God that loves me and chooses best, according to His plan. I know He sees the big picture and He knows the reasons why. But sometimes I just wish He would let me in on that. Yet each time I ask Him, the answer I get is "Be still and know that I am God". So I walk in faith, with my heart aching and my eyes filled with tears, trusting that the God who made the universe is worthy of my trust, that He knows exactly what He is doing, and that it is for good.