Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Changing What I Can

Last Wednesday I had the joy of taking the day off of work & I was just a stay at home wife for the day.  It was wonderful.  And weird.  And a little awkward because we had men at the house installing central air conditioning.  I always feel a little funny when there are strange, albeit nice, men wandering around our house all day.  Am I the only one?

I did really enjoy my day & I did not get nearly as much done as I thought I would, but that is the story of my life & probably always will be.  One major thing I did get done was make a couple of batches of granola bars.  I've been making some peanut butter chocolate chip bars for Mike for a long time so I made some of those.  Then I remembered that I had a bag of dried cranberries in the pantry that were *ahem* six days or so past date & I thought maybe it was time to use them!  So I made just half of a batch with the cranberries, some chopped almonds, white chocolate chips, & every last scraping of honey I could get from the three, four, five mostly empty honey bottles that I had hoarded in the pantry.  Once again, am I the only one??

Anyway, they turned out great!  I'm sure you can tell by the photo below.  

My food photography skills are super impressive, aren't they? 

 And just so they wouldn't feel left out, here's a pic of the 
peanut butter chocolate chip bars.  
Another outstanding photo, eh?

I intended to apologize for the lackluster photos & the fact that I can't really share the granola bar recipe.  But you already know I'm not a photog.  And you know I'm not a true foodie.  This isn't my recipe & I couldn't tell you the source where I got it.  So I'll just keep being me without the photog or foodie label & tell you something else that's a little more important anyway.

When I make these granola bars they never turn out the same way twice.  Good thing Mike isn't picky, huh?  It's mostly because I'm not a good measurer of sticky things like peanut butter & honey.  It's also because I like to fiddle around with recipes to make them a little more of what I have in mind.  But I have been burnt by this drive to tinker.  Sometimes I really screw things up.  I have learned that with cooking there are some things you can change and some things you can't.  With these granola bars I don't usually mess with the honey/butter/oats/rice crispies amounts.  These ingredients are kind of like the foundation & you just can't mess with them too much.  But you can go crazy deciding how you want to flavor things up - peanut butter & chocolate, cranberries & white chocolate & almonds, cinnamon raisin, & whatever else you can dream up.  Some changes are really good & some just aren't.

This whole granola thing got me to thinking about other things I can't change.  Things I can't change & that I regret have been a real roadblock for me lately.  I have so much guilt that I carry around about things I wish I could go back & change with Mom.  Nothing dramatic - she wasn't upset with me & I wasn't upset with her.  I just wish that I had made more time.  That we had taken more opportunities to be together & go places & do things that I know she had wanted to do.  We used to talk about going to Alaska with Mackinaw Island as a Plan B if Alaska didn't work out.  We used to sit & watch silly movies together on Sunday afternoons.  I wish I could go back & help her more, hug her more, talk with her more...  

I know I'm not supposed to dwell on these thoughts.  They are a waste of energy & I just get really sad & yeah, I cry.  I know what Mom would say.  First she would say to quit crying; crying only gets your eyes all red & your nose stuffed up.  And then she would say that if I feel like there was something truly wrong with my behavior I need to confess it, move on & with the Lord's help, try to do better.  Because sometimes just moving on with the Lord's strength to help you is all the change that you can manage to make.


Stew 1 said...

We never know with whom we are going to have less time than we might expect. I think you give all those you love so much time. It is just that no matter how long we have, it is never enough. I don't think you have anything to confess, and I think you should cry whenever you feel like it. Better than exploding...:)

Mrs.T said...

So very true. Crying is much better than exploding!

Good analogy about the changes with recipes -- some work great and others don't work well at all. I'm a major recipe tinkerer, and I usually guess with ingredients like honey or peanut butter too. Like you, I hate measuring them.

It's so true with life that we can only change what we can. I hope you will take the advice you know your mom would offer and stop beating yourself up over things you can't go back and change. From all I have read on your blog, you and your mom had a wonderful friendship and you did do a lot together. Please don't allow Satan to hinder your healing by piling the guilt on you for things you didn't do. Be oh so thankful for what you and your mom had together, and then take the wise advice you know she would have for you. What a wonderful, godly lady she must have been to raise a daughter like you!!!

God bless,

the johnson crew said...

the granola bars sound yummy. i haven't been successful at making any myself.

I am sorry you are struggling with thoughts of regrets of things you wish you had done with your mom. I am sure that is a normal part of the grief in loosing someone you love so much. Just imaging that loss brings tears to my mind.

I am praying for you Mary Ann. I am so sorry you lost your mom. I will pray that God fills your mind and heart with truths of our future with Christ. How your wonderful Mom is with her Savior and she is loving it.

We know that to be absent from this body is to be present with the Lord.

My heart grieves for you and your loss. Hang onto Jesus. He loves you so much!

Megan said...

Ooh, now I want some homemade granola bars! And I'm so terribly sorry for your loss - and I think everyone has those kind of regrets, but I hope you can move forward, knowing you were a great daughter and your mom would want you to be happy!