Good intention set upon a backdrop of general disarray is what characterizes most of my days in motherhood. I thought I was great at doing “all-the-things” (arts and crafts and ABC’s, etc.) with kids when I had one. Then the second was born, and the gig was up. Like, immediately. There wasn’t even a three month period when I tried to keep certain ideals going. It was just over! But every once in a blue moon we manage to all do something together and I take about 273 photos of it just because documenting our one success per six months makes me like maybe we’re okay, after all, hahaha.
So…here is that one-in-six month bit of family baking that actually went well, where fighting, whining, complaining, unauthorized flour dumping, and attempts at clandestine dough-eating was at a record low.
This isn’t so much of a recipe post as it is a photo-journal of busy little hands, just working to their hearts’ content as the morning light filters in through the kitchen window. There’s something timeless about simple photography like this. It makes me slow down and soak in the moment as though it hadn’t already passed, but void of the noise and chaos that accompanies the actual moment. This isn’t just dough and hands and old cookware. It’s light and life and tumultuously joyous bustle, marrying in this once-in-eternity string of instants. I snap a button and catch a few of those instants as they fleet by, but it honestly has little to do with my photography and much to do with the artistry of God.
I don’t really know how to describe it without a bit of poetry. I can almost feel His goodness here, as if it whispers through the window in the form of the soft sunlight that slants across the table. This is why I cherish photography, but more so why I cherish Christ. I hold fast to ISAIAH 33:17a; Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty… He’s the author of all of this, and one day we’ll see more than just hints of Him through His creation. We’ll see Him, in all His fullness and glory.
Often it’s only after something happens that I’m able to relive it and feel a certain presence in it, after the distraction of the thing itself has passed. Similarly, it is hard to behold the Lord and practice His presence in the real moments of life. I recently read this in Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest;
The greatest characteristic a Christian can exhibit is this completely unveiled openness before God, which allows that person’s life to become a mirror for others. When the Spirit fills us, we are transformed, and by beholding God we become mirrors… Beware of anything that would spot or tarnish that mirror in you. It is almost always something good that will stain it–something good, but not what is best.
The most important rule for us is to concentrate on keeping our lives open to God. Let everything else including work, clothes, and food be set aside. The busyness of things obscures our concentration on God. We must maintain a position of beholding Him, keeping our lives completely spiritual through and through. Let other things come and go as they will; let other people criticize as they will; but never allow anything to obscure the life that “is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:3). Never let a hurried lifestyle disturb the relationship of abiding in Him. This is an easy thing to follow, but we must guard against it. The most difficult lesson of the Christian life is learning how to continue “beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord…” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
Oswald has a knack of presenting truths in a way that is both motivating and daunting at the same time. I’m not really sure how to set aside “work, clothes, and food” in the all-consuming stage of life we’re in, but I am going to try, as well as stay focused on what I talked about HERE.
THE PERFECT FROSTED SUGAR COOKIES
And I’ll say a few things about these cookies. We use this recipe every year for our Christmas cutouts and it comes from Wholefully. They are called the PERFECT FROSTED SUGAR COOKIES and I must say that the recipe makes good on it’s promise to produce great cutouts. They keep their shape well during baking and it makes about four times the amount you need so we portion the dough into four balls, wrap what we’re not using in wax paper, put it in a ziplock bag and freeze it until we do need it. If you try this at home, just keep this in mind; when you take a ball out of the freezer to thaw, you might want to keep it up high because apparently it looks like a used diaper and this was highly enticing to Silas, who kept trying to steal it and throw it at his brothers.
And I’ll leave it at that!