When You Crave Quiet, And Whispers Of Hope.

I have been craving quiet lately. I’ve been taking an extra few minutes before I emerge from underneath my duvet in the morning, just listening to nothing more than the sound of my breath. (It gives the impression it’s wonderful and insightful, until I fall back to sleep and wake up late!)

Dishes and laundry are usually accompanied by a playlist, but the past few weeks I have let silence be my companion. Even last week, when I was sick with a cold, I welcomed the silence a sore throat and scratchy voice afforded. I’ve listened less to social media, more to the musings of my own heart and the updates in my spirit. I think it’s because of the season.

In the quiet, we listen for the new things, the things we’ve forgotten, and the things that change us.

Everything is waking (even if we thought it would never come) and we’ll miss it if we don’t take time to stop and listen. Spring is a call to quiet, to listen to the earth as it keeps its promise, responds to the creators call and breaks open with new life.

I drove in the almost-quiet this morning to an appointment. Rain was falling in a steady, insistent beat on the roof  and the wipers were busy keeping time. While I was waiting at a stop light, a church sign caught my attention. They’re having a pancake breakfast this week, for Palm Sunday. I spent the rest of the drive remembering.

I have purchased fresh palms for waving as part of many, many services. More years than I can remember we traced little hands on bright green paper and fashioned palm fronds for Sunday school. My memories are a sharp contrast to my craving for quiet. Palm Sunday is loud, and boisterous, accompanied by shouts of  Hosanna!

{“Hosanna!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” “Blessed is the king of Israel!” John 12:13}

  But on those days in Jerusalem, what began with shouts of praise and accolade, turned to cries of “crucify him” and then silence. I wonder if Mary sat and listened to nothing more than the sound of her breath and her tears? And all the things the disciples knew, but were afraid to believe. All the words He had spoken about returning and the kingdom, had they taken root? Had they gone deep enough in their hearts to offer up hope even in the midst of silence and grief?  

Because whether it’s a snowstorm  in April or a huge stone placed in front of a tomb,

the deep roots never doubt.

And maybe Spring is a call to listen to the promise in us, to the roots of hope that lay deep in our spirit. It’s the call of the creator urging new life. His body broken for us means new life can break open in us. In the silence there are whispers of hope. Those roots, they’re covered with love. Infinite, extravagant, unconditional Love. Love that lived and died and moved a stone for us. 

Sunday will be the beginning of holy week, and whatever that means for you, can we settle in to this… 

Can we walk through this week, making time for quiet? When we get to Friday can we take time to listen with only the sound of our breath and our tears? Can we let the deep roots remind us, there are always whispers of hope? Can we walk through these days hearing His heartbeat like never before: We. Are. Loved.

Let’s allow this Easter break us open to new freedom, life and light in our good God.  

     Walking with you in everyday Grace, 

 

There was…

Happy Easter Monday!
What a weekend, an amazing celebration of life and love!
Around the corners of our lives this weekend there was a lot of this,
~I think I would make this,if for no other reason than the amazing colors, and smells. Not much rivals the fresh scent of lemon zest and fresh lemon juice, mixing with cream~
There was laughter, food, and Spring sun streaming through windows.
Things were colored, decorated, hidden and found.
There was loud, and boisterous, interrupted by nap time, which apparently none of us are too old for!
We made a mess, more than once, and cleaned it up. Only to make another one. It happens when we are all home together.
 We counted blessings, pondered an incredible sacrifice, and turned our hearts to thankfulness. 
There was love,(no laundry, I will pay for that this week) and living. There were traditions old and new. 
Around the corners of our lives this Easter weekend, we saw Grace and Peace.
How about your weekend?
Blessings on your day,

I’m  joining the wonderful women of:

Easter Fun…

If you want some quick and easy Spring/Easter fun… these Easter nests are it!  
It really is as simple as melting, mixing and decorating! Well, it is that easy if you buy the right noodles. If, you happen to be in hurry and grab a bag of Chow Mien noodles that are of the cooking variety, then you have a problem. And, because they look the same, if you just open it and toss most of them in the bowl of melted goodness…well, you end up with an inedible mess (at 9pm last night)  Moral of the story,check your noodles before you buy! ‘Nuff said. 
Today’s noodles were the crunchy, yummy kind and everything went as planned:
Easy Easter Nests:
Ingredients:
Two cups butterscotch chips
One cup peanut butter
One 14oz bag chow mien noodles (it called for two cups but that wasn’t nearly enough. I used almost the whole bag)
Assorted egg shaped Easter candy… (in this case Hershey’s Eggies)
In a large bowl melt the butterscotch chips in the microwave, 1 min. on high, stir, and repeat until the chips are smooth and completely melted. Stir in the peanut butter, microwaving for 30 seconds more if needed to make sure it is fully melted and mixed. Add the chow mien noodles and mix with a spatula till they are evenly coated. Using a 1/4 cup measure scoop nests onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.Indent the center and press mini eggs in place. And then refrigerate to set .
Each time I make these… I ooh and ahhh over how cute they are!   
Blessings!

Coffee, Spring and Why Easter?

Good Morning! I will  be busy planting Pansies in the window box today… no matter how cold it is! It has been a busy week, but the kind that you look back on with a smile and a nod because for once, there seems to be some things accomplished! The sun is an awesome motivator!
One week til Easter, oh my! Last weekend I made these Easter Pretzels and I am hoping to make Sweet Easter Nests this week sometime. Ahhh, I love Spring and Easter! The Allume writing class continues over at allume.com  and it is challenging! Yesterday’s assignment was to write about a favorite holiday within a 300 word limit. Ha! You all know how wordy I can be, but I did it…

Why Easter?

I breath in the comforting smell of dirt, rain, and new grass. I close my eyes, listening to the wind blowing  wild in the pine trees. I squeeze the soft, strong hand of the best husband, and I whisper; Easter’s coming.  Of all the holiday’s, this one, is my favourite.

It’s not predictable.

We have hunted for eggs in the heat of a sun that rivalled a mid-July day. Winter coats have  protected us when snowflakes swirled, as the sun broke the horizon on Easter Sunday.

It’s often underplayed, and overlooked. 

The white flowers have bloomed on the plant, whose name I can’t remember. Everything is pregnant with life, hope. We struggle  from Winter’s enveloping sleep, and if we are not intentional, we’ll miss it. We use the longer days to quicken our step and crowd the obvious with the urgent. Spring reminds us to lift our heads and  journey to Easter.

From death to life. 

 A constant communion, nature calling us to remember! The daffodils nod their heads in affirmation.  On Good Friday we will walk with others who want to remember, to sit in sorrow so that we can rejoice in new life!

It calls us to reflect
Mixing up spices for bread, I will contemplate the women before me who gathered spices for a tomb. We will keep company with friends and those we love. Eating, laughing, loving. And like the company before us, we will recite for our children, our hearts, why it is that we do this.

It calls us into Love

I kick the stones on the driveway, and I breath love. Love that lived and died and moved a stone, for me. Love that wraps around me tight no matter what. Always. Love that lives in me. Amazing, Infinite, Love.

Because of Easter.

Have a Fabulous Friday!

Today I’m joining: 
 
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Thanks to Rachel Anne and  Michelle for hosting!

Easter Pretzel Candy!

When Spring rains fall soft on a Saturday afternoon, there is only one thing to do…
Make Easter candy!
I loved the  Christmas Pretzel Candy that we made back in December, so I wanted to try an Easter version…
 I’m so glad I did! The rain is making everything a wonderful green. It’s the time of year when soft, fresh colours beg to be displayed! The kids thought this was a great way to do it!

Easter Pretzel Candy

We started with mini pretzel twists, lined up on a baking sheet.(For easier clean up you can line the sheets with parchment paper, but I didn’t have any on hand.
Top each pretzel with a white chocolate melting disc. These can be purchased in several Spring colours. I chose white, yellow, purple and pink. Put the tray in a preheated 250 degree oven just until the chocolate disc is soft. I seem to always leave them in a little longer than I am happy with!
Next you need what we in Canada call Smarties. For those of you in Great Britain, finding Smarties will be no problem, if you are in the US you can use plain M&M’s! Press one Easter coloured Smartie into the center of each pretzel, and wait for them to firm up completely.
Mmm, love that sweet salty combo! (I had lots of volunteers to be taste testers… I will be waiting till after Lent to try them) We packaged them in small cello bags and tied them with ~ Hey it’s Spring~ coloured ribbon!
Let the rain fall! It will nourish the earth and give us magnificent colour.Inside we’ll celebrate Spring with colours of our own. What a relaxing way to spend a rainy Spring afternoon!
Hope your enjoying your Saturday!

A Recipe,Spices and Inhaling…

The house smells like spices, raisins and Hot Cross Buns…
2 eggs 

3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup butter
6 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons lemon rind, grated
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour (2c. Unbleached, 1c. Wholewheat)
1 generous tablespoon instant yeast
1/2 cup raisins or 1/2 cup candied fruit (I used 1/4c. raisins, 1/4c. craisins and some grated orange rind)

Put all ingredients except fruit into bread machine. Set for dough. Add fruit at signal. (about 15min)
Grease a  9×13 pan. When dough is ready, remove and punch down. Cut into 18 pieces.
form each piece into a ball. Place balls 1/2″ apart in pan. Cover and rise in warm place until doubled (about 1 hour). Cut cross into top with sharp knife.
Bake 12-15 minutes @ 375. Make glaze adding sugar or milk to make consistency to drizzle but not run.
Let rolls cool and drizzle icing in cuts.
Glaze
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

I made two batches of these yesterday and they are very good. They are more dense than the store bought type, which we liked (and yes, they’re great toasted!)  I liked them just as well without icing on them, but the kids would beg to differ!

(google)
The spices give them a wonderful flavor! As I was measuring  the  cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon, I thought about the women who took spices to the tomb. I stopped and closed my eyes. I inhaled the pungent aroma.(I love the combination of these spices!) I know what Friday brings, and I also know what Sunday holds, but they didn’t. I was adding spices to create a beautiful bread to celebrate Easter. New life, hope and the victory of the resurrection. Those women were laden down with spices and grief. They were going to create a beautiful, final resting place for the one they loved. When they left for the tomb there was no hope, no celebration, no life. Not yet.
I don’t want to jump to the end.
Before there was life, there was death.
To fully inhale the aroma of the life we now live… maybe we need to sit where the smell of death and grief hangs in the air. So that the enormity of the Love that is ours can overwhelm us.  If we let our footsteps lead us to the cross, and we stop to really listen… then Sunday will be different. Fresh. New. Maybe it will find us standing in a place we’ve never been before…
Blessings on your day!
I’m linking up with: Tatertots and Jello Weekend wrap up!
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