Friday, April 4, 2014

Who doesn't love joy and pain, mixed together and sprinkled over yogurt?

"the house was filled with the fragrance"
John 12:3

I wish you could smell the fragrance emanating from my kitchen today.  It's homemade granola.

I've never been a fan of granola.  I think that's because I've never found one I like.  I really dislike overly crunchy foods, and a lot of granolas qualify as such.  Also, there are variations on sweetness and flavor, and I think after trying a few kinds, I just gave up.  The Apple of my Eye eats granola frequently, so he found some he likes at Trader Joe's, and that's that.

Until a couple of months ago, when I read a granola recipe online, and thought, "I'm gonna try making that."  And I did.  And it was amazing.  My hubby came home that first day, and said, "What smells so heavenly??"  He still refers to it as "that heavenly granola".

It's a source of amusement for my daughter and me, too.  We've long had a running joke in our family about "stereotypical" homeschooling families ~ what people think homeschooling families are like.  You know, the mother wears no makeup, and the kids (all eight of them) wear homemade clothes, and they get their eggs and their milk from their chickens and cows.

We're not making fun of them, mind you.  Some homeschoolers really do live like that.  But not all.  And particularly not in our community.  We're just a little too suburban for chickens and cows.   Most of the homeschooling families I know would be hard to tell apart from traditionally-schooling families.  Except a lot of the homeschooled kids know Latin or Greek...

Anyhow, my girl loves the granola, too, and the last time we made it together, she laughingly said that making our own granola makes us seem like one of "those" homeschooling families.

But here's my favorite thing about making my own granola ~ other than the fact that I enjoy eating it:  I can tweak it.  I can add a little more of this, a little less of that... And best of all, I can make good use of things in my pantry.  For instance, a few months ago I bought some roasted carob, thinking it would be a good, slightly healthier chocolate substitute in something like hot chocolate, but no one liked it.  Just not quite sweet enough.  But I can add a 1/4 cup to the granola, and it gives a wonderful roasted taste.  We also have some cereal that one of us wanted to try, and then didn't like.  But added to the granola, it sort of disappeared.  More palatable when it's "hidden" amongst stuff that's better tasting.  And yet, we're still benefiting from its nutrition.

I started thinking about how life is like that sometimes.  That I think God knows we need to learn some lessons, but instead of just giving them to us straight out, He sort of "hides" them in something good.  Like giving us something hard to walk through, but strong people to walk through it with.

He's knows what we need to grow, and He knows what we're strong enough to handle.  And best of all, He knows just how to balance the good and bad in our lives.

~ "though they have been going through
  much trouble and hard times, 
they have mixed their wonderful joy
    with their deep poverty..." ~
2 Corinthians 8:2

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