Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Hanging in the Balance

You know, when Little Mister started his daily afternoon preschool program I thought, now I'll have plenty of time to get things done.

You know who that joke was on, don't you?

Most days still feel a lot like I did as a young waitress many, many moons ago when I struggled to get meals to table five just as table six ran out of drinks, while tables seven and eight sent up smoke signals for their check.

 I do not want to be one of the people who glorify "busy-ness".  No one wants to stand in a monsoon when they can sit beside the still waters. Sometimes I think my life will be spent finding the balance, a way to keep everything gliding like a smooth carousel while I ride the horse of my choice. 

There is a selfishness inherent in busyness. When the preoccupation with our to-do lists and the constant focus on our own interests take over, can we spare time to look outside of our families, our house, our own little worlds and extend love to others? I struggle with finding a balance when dueling priorities come knocking at the door.

Recently, someone complimented me on something I do for Little Mister. It's nice when that happens, and rare. Mothers don't get nearly enough of that sort of thing. It was so unexpected that I shrugged it off with a yes, well, I do that because it's fun. It's something I can do, so I do it. I can't do everything, but I can do that. It taught me the truth of an old saying:

You do what you can. 

Part of finding balance, I think, is noticing what you can do and finding some satisfaction in knowing that there is something you often do well. It makes up for the chronically un-swept porch or leftovers that went to waste. There's no perfection this side of eternity, but there are certain things that you do well. It's the heavy weight on your scale.

Isn't it funny how some tasks can be done effortlessly, while others can so thoroughly deplete you? I could probably spend substantial time baking in the kitchen and never notice the clock. I could travel many miles and loose track of the days. A Sunday afternoon can disappear faster than a drop of water evaporating in a glass on a warm day.

I spent one such afternoon gathering up a few apples that had been hanging around too long and turning them into a deliciously moist Apple Crumb Bread. I adapted it from a recipe out of The Busy Mother's Cookbook. I love a cookbook that doesn't shy away from simple ideas. If this strikes your fancy, just know that I modified the original by adding a lot more apple and decreasing the sugar.


Wouldn't it be fun to dab some apple butter on it?
1/2 c. butter
3/4 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. baking soda
2 Tbsp. milk
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. chopped apples

Topping:
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
2 Tbsp. brown sugar

Cream butter, sugar, and eggs in the mixer.
Dissolve baking soda in milk and add. Add flour, salt, and vanilla. Add apples last. Mix thoroughly and put into one large greased loaf pan. Mix topping and sprinkle on top. Bake at 325 for an hour. 







LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am. Psalms 39:4

5 comments:

  1. I'm dying to know what it IS that you do for Little Mister that you got complimented for! I think that most of us who know how much of all of your days is put into caring for that little man would agree that we are full of admiration for all you give - TO him, and FOR him. He is one of the luckiest of boys, for sure!

    This recipe looks delicious! I hope to work it into my December baking plans, too! I'm assuming that this recipe, as you've included it, is your adapted version, right - with the extra apples? My mouth is watering for it! It reminded me of a pear coffee cake recipe I made twice last Christmastime. I want to make that again this year, too! These kinds of things taste so great when the fruit is in season, like it is now!

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    Replies
    1. PS: Can you give us the dimensions of the baking pan you used for this, please? Thanks!

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    2. Pan: 9x5" and 3" deep. It's my "big" bread pan. I think these would work out in two smaller pans or even as muffins. Yes, this is my version of the recipe, and now I'm thinking about how good a pear coffee cake would taste! :)

      Also, I didn't want to go there, but a family friend told me how lovely I dress the Little Mister and how he is always turned out so well. I take little credit because there is such a volume of very nice and inexpensive children's clothing these days. Thank you for your kind words!

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  2. "There is a selfishness inherit in busyness." Interesting thought. I'll be mulling that one over for a while.
    Thank you,
    Gina

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    Replies
    1. Hi Gina, It's a thought that came to me while I was drowning in my own busy, and also at other times while observing people who could do the same but were using their time to minister to "the least of these". Ever since, I've been mulling on it too.

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