Wednesday, January 4, 2012

breathing again

As I type this half my children are upstairs resting and the other half are at school. It marks a new season for us...the reentry into the public school system after 2.5 years of homeschooling.

Since making the decision at the end of last month, I've run the gamut of emotions from doubt and fear to anticipation and excitement. I sincerely thought I'd be homeschooling for much longer and I know I will have many moments of questioning if this was indeed the Lord's will, especially on days when our children face refining challenges.

But for the first time in a long while I feel like I'm breathing again. Deeply. Filling my lungs with the freedom the Lord brings. Freedom from the expectations I put on myself. Freedom to explore the creative bent our Creator knit into my marrow. Freedom to be just "mom" and not "teacher-mom." This tug-of-war stretching my fibers thin is over and I await the Lord's molding of me. It is only in hindsight that I am seeing what God already knew.

So to my grateful/gifts list, I add:
  • breathing deeply
  • God knowing me better than I know myself
  • praying for our children in a new way
  • focused time with Luke and Ben
  • schools
  • other-than-parent teachers
  • chocolate/white chip & dried cranberry cookies, warm from oven, melting on tongue
  • trans-fat free white chocolate chips
And on those last two notes...what would be a first day of school without the proverbial chocolate chip cookies awaiting our young scholars when they return home? Here's the batch Luke and I whipped up while defending the cookie batter and chips from Ben's quicker-than-lightening fingers:

Chocolate/White Chocolate Chip & Dried Cranberry Cookies*
1 c. soy butter (or regular butter), softened
1 c. firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 1/4 c all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 -  1 1/2 c. dried cranberries
semi-sweet chocolate chips
white chocolate chips (recommend Trader Joe's brand)

Combine the butter, sugars and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Beat in eggs. Add in flour, baking soda and salt and mix until well combined. Stir in dried cranberries. If desired separate batter in half, stirring in semi-sweet chocolate chips to taste in one half and the white chocolate chips to taste in the other half. Or just put all the chips together in the batter. Spoon onto ungreased cookie sheets, place in a 375 degree over and bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly on pan before moving to a cooling rack.

*This recipe was adapted from the one on the back of a Trader Joe's brand semi-sweet chocolate chips (which lactose-intolerant me likes since they are milk free). And I about shouted "Hallelujah! Amen" to God when I discovered Trader Joe's now carries trans-fat free white chocolate chips. I think Dave felt the same way when I told him I baked with them today. ;)

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Tara said...

enjoy your deep breath, as much as I respect parents who homeschool, watching myself try to teach my oldest how to tie his shoes and zip his jacket shows me he and I are just to similar in these ways, no learning would be accomplished! you're doing great, mama!

Jen said...

I breath with you in your newfound freedom. Surrendering and trusting is hard and yet, to breathe in His Spirit and go where He refreshing.