Languishing. That’s the only word I can think of to describe the feeling of these winter days. I want to do everything and do nothing all at the same time, but in reality I can’t do either. So the days turn into long mediocrities where I peddle between the two, making tiny steps forward and falling tiny steps back, over and over and over. This is just life with four very little kids, I guess. Somebody’s always fussy or hungry or needy or exercising a bit more of their own will than I’d like (ha!), and so there’s not really any such thing as just doing “x”. We try to sit together, we try to read together, we try to play together…but it’s sort of just impossible to do any one thing actually together, so most of what we do turns into a muddled, slow progression of absolutely nothing. Which is really just an obscure way of describing the usual events of the day as they string along in a super random pattern of wiping noses, making food, sweeping the floor, loading the dishwasher, changing diapers, filling up water cups, picking up, getting out, picking up some more, calming outbursts, emptying the trash, watching Lilah eat the two hour old bread that she threw on the floor off of the floor, quelling squabbles, emptying the dishwasher, ignoring outbursts because who has the energy to care anymore, pacing the floor, wondering when nap time is but not even in a rush to get to it because it’s going to require more work. Then getting to that golden hour- to nap time- only to get everyone in bed and immediately feel the fog of the lackluster morning move in and rob me of any ounce of inspiration for the day that I may have had left.
But we’re so blessed. We have normal, healthy, and dare I say extremely cute little people that we get to live with every day. I’m the one that’s too type-A and too goal oriented for my own good. The perfect day in my definition is one where I get to make the to-do list and then get up, drink coffee, and then start checking off that list with absolutely no disruptions. Basically, a day that’s totally catered to me, me, me. And anything less than that often just feels like a grey bog. I know it’s self-centered and so I try to set that part of me aside and “just relax”. But sitting around and watching the house move into disarray while I just respond to the long string of items listed above is even worse than futility attempting to do all the things I can’t really do. Like organize a closet or get a whole pile of laundry put away or edit photos or re-arrange furniture or take 37 photographs of something totally random- though I can never do any of it well or fully- just to satisfy the need to do something. Anything. Anything that feels like forward progress and that brings a lit bit of order or beauty with it.
But I’m pressing on and learning to find a little more time to read, because reading can be a miracle worker on days like today! Right now I’m working through Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest and Sally Clarkson’s The Life Giving Table. Both are absolutely fantastic. Full of truth, hope, and light; in other words, full of the Lord Jesus, and like balm to the soul of the weary. I have to share a bit from page 36 in Sally’s book because she constantly grounds me with her wise words;
If my tables could talk, I think they would remind me that I have an important work, a strategic task to engage my heart. They would remind me that I can persevere in His work by His tender encouragement and my own commitment to celebrate each and every day, each person, each interruption, each mundane (or not so mundane) moment as He has given it to me.
Yes- what she said! Haha. And you know what? A hundred layers of boredom- which is all I’m really describing- is a much better problem to have than so many other problems out there, so again, we are blessed and I’m so thankful. If this is the topic on my mind today, that means we’re doing pretty good. Praise God. Now I’ll move onto the bread.
It’s taken me a few years of consistent tinkering to form the recipe for this almost-vegan double rise flax bread. I say almost vegan because it’s the truth, but only by a narrow technicality. There’s no butter or eggs in it, just honey. Yes, honey comes from an animal, but just barely. (Right?) There’s also no oil, which happens to be vegan but apparently extremely unhealthy (another topic for another post). Anyway, this is the same recipe that I posted waaaaay back HERE, except with the healthier modifications.
This isn’t the kind of bread that you’d normally use for sandwiches, but when it comes to morning toast, this recipe makes for perfection. Just have a good bread knife on hand to cut fresh slices each day.
The spoon rose right up with the bread.
We devour an entire loaf as soon as they come out of the oven. I mean, how can you not? And don’t forget the butter.
Almost-Vegan Double Rise Flax Bread
5 Cups Warm Water
2 Tablespoons Yeast
2 Teaspoons Salt
1 Cup Honey
1 Cup Unsweetened Apple Sauce
1.5 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
.5 Cup Old Fashioned Oats (optional)
2 Tablespoons Ground Flax Seed
2 Tablespoons Chia seeds (optional)
15 Cups Unbleached White Flour
For extra flavor + garnish, add a few tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs or spices; rosemary, oregano, basil, and/or garlic are just a few options!
4-5 Loaf pans, with butter or non-stick cooking spray to grease them.
Add all of the ingredients to one large mixing bowl and mix/knead thoroughly. Let it rise in the same bowl for at least 45 minutes, then divide the dough evenly into each pan and let rise for another hour (whatever you do, don’t skip this part! the longer it rises, the better). Once your loafs are well-risen, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and bake them on the low rack for 35 minutes. Check to make sure the center is cooked through before you stop baking altogether, you might need to adjust the total cook time based on your oven. Then cool the loaves on a cooling rack and store them in air tight containers. These loafs freeze really well, also!
What is your favorite double rise recipe? This is literally the only one I ever make, I could stand an new idea or two.