Posted: 10:37 am Thursday, March 9th, 2017
By Staff Writer
The rains have been coming down, a little snow, and a little sleet too, but mostly rain.
Soft, wispy, misty, rain that is like walking through a cloud.
Harsh, pounding, pouring rain, that drums against the windows and soaks you from car to front door.
Rainy days turning into rainy weeks…
Everything appears dark and muddy from my window and I find myself sighing heavily at times and wishing it away. But it is not yet time.
When I leave the comfort of the wood stove and window pane, put on my boots and jacket with hood, and head out to do some farm chores, a new perspective greets me.
The dark sodden earth that I leave deep, squishy impressions in, seems more fertile than foreboding. Tender shoots of green can be seen pushing up through the murk and muck, reminding me of the promise of spring. It will come.
I find myself sighing again, not with impatience at the weather, but at myself. Who am I to question the cycles of the earth? The rhythm of nature? This miracle I am but a small part of?
I am humbled and grateful, filled with wonder and hope.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.
Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings,
because we know that suffering produces perseverance;
perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
~ Romans 5:2-4
Good Read | The Little Things
by Andy Andrews
The little things, indeed. The promise of a tender shoot in the middle of a muddy field. The sound of a child’s laughter. The touch of a friends hand upon your shoulder. A familiar tune in an unexpected place…
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or even underwhelmed, so often it’s the little things that will steady you, help to put things into perspective, and give that boost, just the little one needed to set you to rights and get you on your way again.
This is the premise behind The Little Things, by Andy Andrews. Andy, a teacher and coach to some of the most successful corporations, teams, and individuals around the world, shows how people succeed by actually going against the modern adage, “don’t sweat the small stuff”.
An easy read full of Andy’s signature humor, The Little Things is full navigational tactics for life, like:
• Managing life in a society that’s constantly offended by something or someone
• Creating change that’s permanent and not short term
• Understanding our spiritual connection with God and how that affects planning and outcome
• and more…
We’ll never have all the answers, but here’s a little thing that will certainly help with some of them.
Simple Irish Soda Bread
Soda bread is a staple at my house because it is quick, easy, and delicious. The acidic buttermilk provides the leavening, so there’s no waiting for a rise, punching down, and more waiting. Just mix, roll and bake.
Delicious with soup, stew or a hearty salad! Some like it with caroway seed, and others with raisins. You decide. Make it, bake it, and eat it. It doesn’t keep long, but it’s so good, you won’t have to worry about leftovers!
• 4 cups all-purpose flour
• 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 tablespoon baking powder
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup soft butter + 1/4 cup melted butter
• 1 cup + 1/4 cup buttermilk
• 1 egg
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and 1/2 cup softened butter. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet.
4. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.
5. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 30 to 50 minutes. Check after 30 minutes and every 5 minutes thereafter.
It’s been a long dark winter, my friends. But spring IS coming and with it, new life, new beginnings, new hope.
If you’re feeling like life is too scary, too complicated, or too BIG to sort out, my book recommendation might help. It really is the LITTLE things that matter.
You know the saying “You can’t see the forest for the trees?” I’d like to turn that around and ask if you’ve been so focused on the forest that you’ve forgotten about the trees? The fluttering of the leaf, the roughness of the bark, the coolness of the shade…
Take time, take a breath, take hope. We’re all in this together.
Wishing you much health, happiness, and eternal hope,