Monday, April 27, 2015

Homemade Granola Bars


I'm a sucker for a good granola bar, but I'm also a lazy cook. This recipe is pretty much the answer.

Of course I made a few changes. I added white chocolate chips and craisins (YUM!). Make sure you follow the directions on cooking the butter, honey, and brown sugar mixture, as these do fall apart if you don't. That didn't stop us from eating the first batch anyway! 

I just stirred in my chips and craisins and eliminated the whole "pressing" step {lazy}.


1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
2 cups oats
1 cup crispy rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons white chocolate chips

2 tablespoons craisins


In a large bowl, stir oats, rice cereal, white chocolate chips, and craisins together. Set aside. In a small pot, melt butter, honey and brown sugar together over medium high heat until it comes to a bubble. Reduce the heat and cook 2 minutes. Pour in vanilla and stir. Pour over dry ingredients and mix well to moisten all ingredients. Pour into lightly greased small jelly roll pan {about 12x8x1} and press out to be about 3/4 inch in thickness. {If your pan isn't small enough, pack the mixture into one side. You really want to press them down so they stick together. I use a piece of wax paper sprayed with a bit of cooking spray}. Cool on a countertop to room temperature for two hours or until set before cutting into bars. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap and store at room temperature.

Recipe Notes: If your granola bars don't seem to be staying together when you cut them, you may have not boiled the mixture long enough...you want it to make it just past the softball stage. OR you made them too thin or you didn't pack them in tight enough. Stick them in the fridge for 20 minutes and that should help keep them together. {Be sure not to keep them in there too long or else they'll become super hard!} The next time you make them, try boiling for an extra 15 seconds or so.


Happy eating!

linking up with Made by You Monday


Friday, April 24, 2015

Hide

I know how to do that. I did it for years. Hide from others. Hide from myself. Hide from God.

It's hard work, this hiding. Keeping all my real, true feelings inside. Trying to figure out what everyone else wanted me to be, think, feel.

What I didn't realize during all those years is I wasn't hiding anything from God. I was just hurting myself by cutting off the greatest support system in the world.

He already knew it all. He knew more about me than I did. He knew I'd been abused. He knew I was scared and why I was scared. He was just waiting for me to turn to Him because His arms were wide open all that time.

I try not to hide now. I try to tell the truth. I trust in Him to guide to the people to share with and keep me from the people that will harm me. I don't always succeed, and it can be really scary not hiding. But hiding is like holding your breath. You can only do it for so long. 

I am breathing easier now.

linking up with Five Minute Friday


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . April 21, 2015

Outside my window . . . we have clear blue skies! It's in the 50s and looking lovely out there.

I am thinking . . . about anxiety. Today will be another tough day in therapy, but I know it won't be as hard as last week, and I have experienced relief.

I am thankful . . . for some new realizations and strength to hold my own ground and beliefs about myself.

In the kitchen . . . what can I say? These crazy schedules make meal planning and execution really tricky! Not sure about tonight yet since no one will be home until after 7:00.

I am creating . . . lots of ideas. I'm feeling more hopeful and that always leads to more creativity.  Optimism is critical to our spiritual health  -- Julia Cameron.

I am going . . . to make time for myself again today. I used to take therapy day off completely for rest and processing. I need to get back to honoring my needs on these days.

I am wondering . . . about other people's need to question my choices. Recently I was having a conversation about vacationing and I felt that the person I was talking with was rather overly opinionated (negatively) about my destination choice. I don't like feeling as if I have to justify my choices.

I am reading . . . several books as I mentioned last week, but I am particularly enjoying Morning Sun on a White Piano by Robin R. Meyers and A Prayer Journal by Flannery
O'Connor. 

I am looking forward to . . . more crafting and more bike riding.

I am hearing . . . just the quiet with everyone gone for the day. Squeaker is napping on the rug as I type.

Around the house . . . baby steps. I'm pulling things back together without shaming and shoulding myself. I'm doing things as I see them and feel like doing them not because "I'm a bad person if I don't".

I am praying . . . for a friend whose mother died yesterday. An adoptive family struggling. Another friend whose husband is recovering from a significant stroke.

One of my favorite things . . . is Netflix. I LOVE being able to treat myself to an episode of a favorite TV show as an afternoon treat. (We won't talk about the potential downside of binge watching!)

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . therapy, grocery, and a massage today! Walking with dh at the the lake tomorrow. Spiritual direction on Thursday, and Friday I'm having a hitch put on the Fiat so I can put a bike rack on it and take my bike wherever I want to go! Thanks, dh!

Here's a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
on my desk


linking up with The Simple Woman

Monday, April 20, 2015

Contemplating the Sacred Ordinary


"timeless contemplation of the ordinary"

I read that line this morning. A beautiful phrase that speaks so much. Originally a critique of Vermeer's work, I want to claim is as my approach to life.


I was a history major in college, but my interest sprang, not from a desire to understand the big picture, but rather a desire to know about the realities of life for day to day people at a given time from the past. I came to understand my interest as more "social" history. I wanted to understand how real people felt and lived through those great moments that perhaps they never really knew about. 

I read . . . a lot. I want so much to share the insights and gifts I find in my reading, but I am hampered by not knowing how best to share. The ability to put into words the feelings that develop eludes me at times.

This morning I read a story from Morning Sun on a White Piano, and I was nearly overcome with emotion. The writer's words speaking so eloquently of his young son's deep need for all to remain safe, secure, and predictable. "No wolf. No wolf," the young boy cried when his father attempted to introduce an element of danger and suspense into a story. The boy didn't want his "bunny story" infiltrated by evil, and who can blame him. None of us wants our world to include a ravenous wolf. And yet they all do in one form or another.

And so I choose again to see the ordinary as sacred. To find pleasure in small things. A cup of tea. Clean laundry to be folded. The sound of rain on the roof. Because as Flannery O'Connor wrote --

I am afraid of pain and I suppose that is what we have to have to get grace. Give me the courage to stand the pain to get the the grace, Oh Lord. Help me with this life that seems so treacherous, so disappointing.


Saturday, April 18, 2015

Read This Week . . .


"memory and hope are the deepest of currents" -- Morning Sun on a White Piano by Robin R. Meyers

“It's still National Library Week. You should be especially nice to a librarian today, or tomorrow. Sometime this week, anyway. Probably the librarians would like tea. Or chocolates. Or a reliable source of funding.” -- Neil Gaiman

"As a prerequisite to empathy, imagination makes kindness possible by allowing us to inhabit skins we weren't born in." -- Morning Sun on a White Piano by Robin R. Meyers

". . . but what I am afraid of, dear God, is that my self shadow will grow so large that it blocks the whole moon, and that I will judge myself by the shadow that is nothing." -- A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor

"Words have always attached themselves to me. They get inside the machinery of my head." -- Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley

"You own everything that happened to you. Tell your stories. If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better." --Anne Lamott

"I dread, Oh Lord, losing my faith. My mind is not strong. It is prey to all sort of intellectual quackery. I do not want it to be fear which keeps me in the church. I don't want to be a coward staying with You because I fear hell . . . It is a matter of the gift of grace." A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor

"Walking is hot I try to become more attached to these streets." -- Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley

"For every story you hear that's tragic, there's another that's equally tragic or more so. I think you come to look at it as part of life." -- Kelsey Grammar

"I am in the habit of looking not so much to the nature of the gift as to the spirit in which it is offered." -- Robert Louis Stevenson

". . . the only thing to do when your rights are being violated is to 'rise and say this shall cease'." -- Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley

"Give me the grace to adore you . . . Give me the grace, dear God, to see the bareness and the misery of the places where You are not adored but desecrated." -- A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor

"Anger and love. Twins maybe." -- Paris Was the Place by Susan Conley


Thursday, April 16, 2015

rest


i had a flashback nearly 3 weeks ago.

i was with my husband when it happened, but i didn't tell him. i didn't tell anyone.

i didn't journal about it.

i didn't think about it.

i didn't acknowledge it in any meaningful way.

i held it in for nearly a week, letting it eat at me and drain my energy away.

and then i wrote about it.

then easter came, and i got triggered again.

i kept treading water. telling myself i was okay, all the while knowing i wasn't.

on tuesday, my therapist and i delved into it.

i was a wreck before i got there. 

we dove straight into it, and i was so anxious i couldn't remember the process. a process i've done dozens of times.

i processed. i relived it. i talked about it in detail. i cried. i hurt. i talked without pausing to be worried about what i was saying.

i came home and laid on the sofa all afternoon and evening. i felt miserable and hurt and damaged and sorry for myself.

and then i went to bed.

Rest.

I slept through the night. 

I woke up feeling better. Lighter. More lucid.

I didn't hate myself. I hated what had been done to me. I hate that more time was stolen from me. I hate that he's not being punished for his crimes.

But I don't hate me.

I made choices I wanted to make. I did things I wanted to do. I made a list and got some of it done, and felt good about it.

I did things that just a day or two ago seemed impossible. I felt alive again.

Rest comes from lots of places. Sleep, yes, but sharing and taking care of myself are restful too. And necessary. 

Today I'm resting in who I am, and putting aside what was done to me.

linking up with Tuesday at Ten