Wednesday, April 30, 2014

I'm not very smart about life, but I'm really smart about muffins

You know what I never considered myself to be? A planner. Or someone who needs order and organization. I take pride in my ability to pack for a vacation the night before we depart (much to the chagrin of dear husband) and my laissez faire approach to life, in general. 

But somewhere along the lines I have gone and done a complete 180. Give me order or give me death. And things are so unorganized in our lives right now that I am grasping at straws to find peace. People.... I started writing things down in a planner. A PLANNER. I am a stay at home mom, for pete's sake. Monday looked like this.

- Feed Children. (BOOM. Check. I am so organized)

Mid Morning
- Take Noah to swim lessons (No check here. This was my one outing and I failed. Planner, why won't  you motivate me?! Note to self in margin; writing it down does not mean I will do it.)

- Go outside for hours on end. (Done-ski. Check.)

- Feed Children. (Half check. Reheating leftovers that they refuse to eat does not really count. The zillions of carrot sticks and apples that they ate as a compromise sort of do. Meh.)

When things get wonky, I become crazy obsessive about planning planning and preparing. I meant to write planning twice, because that word does not fully envelop what I do. Saying it twice comes close. But I digress...

You see, we are wonky over in the Ro house. Jeff has been applying and interviewing for a different position in the DoD that would move us back to the US. And there have been interviews! And we are hopeful! But... we are still waiting to hear about the position that he really wants; the location that would put us closer to family. There is an opportunity to move to Hawaii, and we are so grateful that it's even an option. 

But it makes me wonky and plan plan. 

I'm not very smart about life. 

I plan plan for the unknown, which is exhausting. I stop living in the now to plan the perfect tomorrow. I look for houses in any of the cities we could possibly live in online, research neighborhoods, poll my friends who have lived in Hawaii about the pros and the cons. Hours go by and I'm so flustered by my unplanned tomorrow that I forget to do what I planned today. Like take my kid to swim lessons. 

When I get to that point in my planning, the point where my insides feel shaky and uncertain, the point where I look around and realize that my today is a mess and, despite all my planning, my tomorrow is still unknown, I bake. I pray and I bake. 

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

There are two things I am certain will always calm me; the Word and the smell of fresh, sweet muffins cooling on my counter. 

(My very cluttered and unorganized-because-I'm-planning-my-future counter. Ahem.)

I have been day dreaming recipes to replace my go-to fall and winter pumpkin muffins that we love so much. This morning I woke early, determined to get my obsessive web searching over with before the kids rose. Instead, I gathered ingredients and measured and mixed and poured until the batter felt and smelled just right. I took deep yoga breaths with each turn of the spatula in my bowl (never a bad idea when there's sugar and lemon and strawberry involved) and I prayed for patience with the process. Our life process. With this season and all the others. 

I may not be smart about life, but I'm really smart about muffins.

Strawberry Lemon Muffins

1 1/2 cups flour (I used a mix of whole wheat and cashew meal, but any combo would work)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar, divided 
2 eggs
1/2 can coconut milk
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 cups fresh strawberries (or frozen, defrosted and drained)

Mix your flour, baking soda, salt and 1/4 a cup of the sugar. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, lightly beat your eggs, then add the coconut milk. Zest and juice your lemon into the coconut mixture. 

In a blender or food processor, puree your strawberries with the last 1/4 cup of sugar. Stir this into the coconut mixture. 

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet. Slowly stir until just combined. Take deep breaths and pray, (be sure to thank the dear, sweet Lord for the smell of sugar and lemon and strawberry. He's genius like that.)

Grease your preferred muffin tins with your preferred greasing agent. Pour batter so tins are 2/3rds full. 

Bake at 350. 15 minutes for mini and 20 for regular. 

I will say that I DO plan on eating these tomorrow. Because they are healthy and heavenly and Jesus would want it that way. But I do not plan on planning planning. Because it's not healthy and heavenly and Jesus would want it that way. 

Top of the muffin to your unplanned tomorrow!