(written Tuesday, posted Saturday – what a GREAT WEEK it’s been after feasting on delicious Bread!)
Who knew that we would find such a surprisingly peaceful weekend after such a busy 100 days?
(Only fitting that we should be recognizing Martin Luther King, Jr. for bringing better peace too. Thankful for good people everywhere that make such great differences for good.)
I woke up and felt for the first time in a long time like making bread! (Could I really? It’s been so long since I dared take time for such.) I gathered my little Sarah and Addie and told them “We’re making bread!” They immediately asked “like de chicken?” I wasn’t sure what they were referring to, the ‘ittew mmmm… wed hen?” “Yep,” I giggled, “just like the little red hen. Now who will help me grind the wheat?” We got out the white wheat and the whisper mill (very convenient compared to the little red hen) and got to work. Adelynn and Sarah LOVED it!!
I thought as we ground up the wheat and added the water, yeast, flour, honey, salt, etc. to the mixing bowl… how people have done this type of thing since ancient times. A tradition of life. Bread, necessary to sustain life. And I thought of my son when he was tiny making bread with Grandma. It was one of his favorite activities. Any of you that are blessed to have memories of cooking with your Grandma (or mother or even your father or any grown up who showed you how, showed you love) know what I’m talking about. I thought of my Estie and Katey making bread with me frequently in our charming 1790 living quarters in NH when they were little. Putting oil on our hands and the counter and rolling out the bread – even the granite countertop seemed to love it! 🙂 I considered the fad diets today that discourage bread and felt convicted again as I pondered it that “wheat is for man”. In fact, I believe Bread is the staff of life physically and spiritually. (You can see the amazing bread recipe I used here – yummiest whole wheat bread recipe ever! Thank you Gary and Joy!)
This past Sunday in church my husband and I were deeply changed by a talk given by the Patriarch of our Stake.
We came home and started a ‘new way’ with an object lesson for the family. We had prepared an awesomely delicious dinner, a feast! Roast beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions for hours in the oven while we were at church, making it fall apart tender topped with toasted brown. Mmmmmm…. I had set out Rhodes rolls to rise, 2 each per muffin tin. They rose perfectly and now looked golden brown and amazing, inviting us to gobble them down. My visiting cousin added some final scrumptious touches (one cauliflower dish – boil with a whole garlic that’s wrapped in tinfoil, then drained well and mash with a little butter, like potatoes for those of you who don’t want starch – wow, soo good!). The kids, the whole family, was very hungry by the time Dad returned from meetings and the smells were beckoning us. We sat every one down and soon the kids couldn’t help but notice something was different at the table as all the food was smashed up in front of Dad and I and no one else. We said, “We would like to serve each of you this afternoon” and proceeded to give each child the tiniest tidbits of food to nibble, topped with one drop of gravy. “There you are, go ahead… enjoy!”
Of course at this point the children were feeling gypped but they played along perfectly. “Wow, this is really good Mom and Dad, delish! (one second later) OK, I’m done! Can I have some more????” Mike & I were tempted to keep it all to ourselves at this point ;).
And then the lesson. We have a FEAST of the Word of God available to us! We have more access to the written, spoken and living word than ever before in history, much of this is available on our smart phones!! Why nibble? We asked the children if they were satisfied with what they had eaten, ready for dinner to be done. Of course NO. We asked them how they would do living on that much food for a couple of days?? They were pretty sure they’d all be dead ;). As physical food is to the body, so is spiritual food, manna even, to the Spirit. Food has to be prepared, or picked up, and digested daily in order to sustain life. The fresher it is the more delicious and nutritious it is.
Last year my husband had taught us the importance of putting on our clothes before we step out the door… well, OK, they already knew that. Not many of us would head out the door undressed. But how dare we ever then head out the door without putting on our ‘mantel’, ‘the robes of righteousness’, the ‘armor of God’ as the scriptures say? (Isaiah 11:5, Ephesians 6:11-18 and D&C 27:15) Never go out without your “clothes” on, robe up in the armor of God.
“…Take upon you my whole armor, that ye may be able to withstand the evil day, having done all, that ye may be able to stand.
16 Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, having on the breastplate of righteousness, and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, which I have sent mine angels to commit unto you;
18 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of my Spirit, which I will pour out upon you, and my word which I reveal unto you, and be agreed as touching all things whatsoever ye ask of me, and be faithful until I come, and ye shall be caught up, that where I am ye shall be also. Amen.”
So we decided as a family we have been nibbling lately and it was time to eat up and get some really good nourishment! 🙂
We asked for ideas from the children of how we could better feast rather than just nibble. Here’s some of those ideas:
Mikela, age 17: ‘Ponderize’ , or in other words, memorize & ponder, a scripture together each week. We could choose which one at family council each week.
Gracie, age 9: Have everyone ask a question about the scriptures we are studying, pray about it together.
Dad, age ? & Mikela: Plan each week during family council when would be best to study together that week (as it fluctuates with such a busy fam). We hope MOST evenings it will be at/after dinner, but once in a while this must change to early morning or before bed.
Mom: an inexpensive copy of scriptures for the little ones that they can mark up while we read (we’ve done this before and it was super successful). Dad suggested a new, inexpensive copy for everyone in the family so we could all mark away as we study.
(We’ve tried the ideas out this week and they’ve worked great! Oh, I wish you could have seen how thrilled our littlest were with their new, very own scriptures. “Momma! I found Jesus is in hew!” Sarah exclaimed as she opened hers! She meant the picture in the beginning of the book but I thought it appropriate for all who open the book and sincerely seek after the Word of God. She and Addie started drawing their own pictures of Christ on the pages as we read about Him.
This morning I woke up and took time out for my own to feast, rather than just nibble. (pictured here: A little princess came and lay beside me and fell back asleep beside me as I studied.) I had my own delicious bread for my spirit and wow, it’s made my whole day (week now) sooo much better. Mmmmm…. so good.
Feasting on the Bread of Life this week I’ve been (our whole family has been) more at peace (in otherwords way less stressed!), more energetic and positive, more present, unafraid, I’ve made better choices with my time and been more JOYFUL and LOVING! And things just keep workin’ out, better than I even think they could.
So take a little wheat (the Word), grind it up (read and study it!), add a little yeast and water (prayer and the Spirit), and some sweetener (the love of God), and EAT UP!!! (Put it right into your heart.) FEAST!! (Feed your soul and LIVE!)
Lots o’ Love, The Hoffman Family
P.S. At every celebration there’s a feast! So just keep celebrating LIFE together!!
(And here’s a funny picture of the end of scripture study on a school night this week)