Friday, June 29, 2007

The way to the girl's heart

P.S. A post script at the very top of my post. Now how weird is that. But I'm getting it out of the way right away. For whatever reason, blogger has decided it won't let me into "Edit Html" and it's doing weird things like adding a ton of blockquote thingys at the end of my post. So my pretty post is now not so pretty and I can't fix it. Does anyone know how to break into the html? So please bear with me the crazy looks of my posts until they or I figure it out. Now onto my real post!

The clock is ticking and it is 4 days counting down. On Monday we will be driving Kay, my 17 year old daughter, to a bus depot and putting her by herself, on a 6 1/2 hour bus ride that will take her away from us for 3 weeks. Emotionally, I feel like I'm on one of those big swinging boat rides at the fair, the one's that swing back and forth, back and forth. And with each swing there is that pause, that hover, at the top of the back swing, where I hang with that specific emotion before I go plunging , with hair whipping speed back the other way and my emotions are hovering on the opposite end. Back and forth, great happiness and anticipation of what God will do in her life to dread of what I will ever do without her here to thoughts and prayers for her safety to letting go. Back and forth, back and forth. I'm getting whiplash of the emotions from all this.

This last week I've been busy making some of her favorite meals, at her request. So we've had taco salad one night, soft tacos another. We're yet to have perogies, and then nachos the next night. Hmmmm, I see a definite pattern of cheese and sour cream here. A girl after my own heart.

I've said before how I love to cook, but dislike baking. Well, Monday saw me whipping up a batch of her favorite brownies. A lucscious two layer blend of chocolate on the bottom, and butterscotch on top and this time I iced it for her, which I usually skip, with penuchie icing. That was one of my "I need to show her her how much I love her before she goes" moments. It was worth the effort. I got a hug. A hug. From a 17 year old.

As I was putting the ingrediants in the bowl for the brownies, I was struck with how amazing baking actually is. Here was a bunch of different ingrediants being dumped together into a bowl. Unrelated ingrediants, some of which that on their own, are totally unpalatable, bitter and unenjoyable. Some are sweet or pleasant tasting and linger on the tastebuds. They are all being blended together. And put together they still aren't a great thing. Wet and fairly unpleasant tasting. But when they are put in the oven, when heat is applied for a designated amount of time, ahhhh. Out comes a totally delectable, mouth watering creation.

Life is like that, our Christian walk is like that. Our circumstances, be they sweet, bitter, salty, spicey or basically unnoticeable, they are blended together in our lives. The ingrediants of our experiences. It's a bit of a mish mash. They might seem totally unrelated. But then the Lord puts a little heat to them. Let's us go through a few things. Let's us be uncomfortable for a bit. And if we trust Him, trust that He knows what He is making, and trust that He knows the exact amount of heat, and the exact length of time to let us experience that heat, then our lives to can come out of that heat as something wonderful. Something appealing and to be desired.

"For I know the plans I have for you,
declares the Lord,
Plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Blonde and Brunette Brownies

Brunette Layer:

2 eggs, 1 cup sugar, 3/4 cup flour, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, 1 pinch of salt, 1/4 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup butter or margarine

Melt the butter and cocoa together over low heat either in the microwave or in saucepan on the stove. Beat eggs until foamy. Add all other ingrediants and blend well. In a greased 9x13 pan, spread the batter. Set aside

Blonde Layer:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, 1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar 2 eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

In a clean bowl cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Stir in flour, salt and nuts. Batter will be thick. Drop by large spoonfuls on top of the chocolate layer in baking pan. Spread as best as you can without pushing two hard as you don't want the two flavors to mix. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Brownies will start to pull away from the sides of the pan. Cool in pan.

Ice if desired.

Now I need to go help my baby, I mean, young lady pack.


Deena said...

Not that problem with me, but yesterday I couldn't leave anyone a blogger is definitely on the fritz...

Susanne said...

Yay, I got rid of the blockquote thingys, but not by getting into html. So we have a semi-pretty post! :v]

Org Junkie said...

Oh Susanne, that was beautiful and thanks for the recipe too!

I'll be praying for both you and your daughter as you make this transition.


momrn2 said...

Blogger's been being tricky with me lately too!! Sorry I can't help!

What a wonderful word picture and object lesson this was! Thanks for sharing your heart!

aggiejenn said...

A beautiful post, Susanne. And the brownies sound yummy!

Kili @ Live Each Moment said...

oh, sour cream and cheese. i love, i love, i love...

Barb said...

You know I don't even like chocolate but boy, those brownies look wonderful.

Believe me, I understand your whiplashed emotions. I thought I'd be just fine when my first left for college. I was a wreck. If you looked at me wrong, I cried. And my boss was a mean old dairy farmer (whole 'nother story) who LAUGHED at me. Of course, HIS kids hated him.

But. I do understand how hard it is to let her go for three weeks. And I also understand how special that kiss was. :-)

PS - With these weird problems you're having with blogger, I'm afraid to even go to my dashboard. And I have a ton of posts to do!

Jen said...

my prayers and thoughts are with you

I pray that God goes with her

those Brownies look very yummy

Cyndi said...

Oh, wow Susanne. From one mother's heart to another- I'll be praying. I went through the same back-n-forth emotional ride last summer when my daughter went far away without her family. This will be a time of growth for both of you, and I can't wait to hear what God teaches you! You are a good mom. :)

Kelli said...

First off, we will be praying for all of you.

I remember going on various ministry trips from the time I was 16, including the whole summer in Europe. I never gave a thought to not being home- or what my parents would do without me.

Now, Kati wants to go to Peru or Africa. My heels are in the dirt :)

Ah, parenting.

Beck said...

Those look SO delicious!
You're going to miss your girl so much, aren't you! I'm sure she'll have fun and that the time will go by quickly.

FlipFlop Mom said...

OH HUNNY.. those brownies look heavenly!!!!!!!! YUM!!!!!!!

I just wanted to say.. each year we get Fresh Air kiddos from the inner city of NY... they have a long bus ride.. but WE.. always waiting for them ARE EXCITED to see them and welcome them with open arms.. so the receiving end can be AWESOME too.. and this past year we opened our home to a girl from SPAIN!! It was AWESOME!! and such a BLESSING...

So my wish for you.. is peace in knowing that your daughter will fall into loving arms where ever her travels take her... Ü

And tell her to take LOTS of pictures.. tee hee!!

Kimmie said...

May God watch over your daughter and may her eyes continually be on Him. I pray peace in your heart and that you to would experience a time of refreshing from his hand.
Be blessed!

mama to 6
one homemade (16) and 5 adopted
come meet us-we love new friends!

Linda said...

I've read this a couple of times because my heart goes out to you so much. I completely understand the fixing of the favorite meals. I did this for my daughter, and do you know what she requested? Hamburger Helper. We laugh at that now because 1)I honestly didn't fix it much; it wasn't like it was a fam. favorite 2) She hates it now. Anyway, you know I'll be praying. I'll catch up with you later.

ellen b said...

What a wonderful picture you painted for us about how the Lord puts us all together and adds just enough heat. You are an artist for me this morning! blessings.
oh, and about those brownies, yikes they look good.

dcrmom said...

Okay, first of all, YUM. And second, what a lovely metaphor!! And third, a hug from a 17-y/o. Don't get no better than that. :-) And fourth, Blogger's a pain. I don't miss it. Glad you got your post cleaned up!

Jenileigh said...

Blogger wouldn't even show my posts yesterday but today they are there. Whew!

You are such a good mom to work so hard to please your daughter before she leave. You also have such a wonderful way with words and I love reading your blog.

Thank-you for your kind words on my page and I appreciate your prayers and will keep you and your daughter in my prayers too.

Linda said...

That's a beautiful analogy Susanne. It really speaks to my heart.
I wonder if it ever gets any easier to let them go. Our 28 year old daughter just bought a plane ticket to go to Europe this fall. ALL BY HERSELF. I've already started praying. I don't know why it's so hard. I really do trust the Lord. I'll be doing lots of praying. I'll pray for your sweet girl too.

Cyndee said...

Susanne-I will pray that this time away will be a blessing to both you and your daughter. I have given you an award - so come on by!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

How hard it must to have her leave - {{{hugs}}}. But how wonderful that you are showering her with love - and yummy food! :)

Happy Canada Day :)

freddie said...

I love brownies! It's been more than 6 years since I had my last unforgettable chocolate brownies... I can't find them in Italy, so sad... yet we have some other super tasteful stuff; like my favourite, called "Salame di cioccolata" which means sort of "Chocolate Sausage", don't worry there's no mix of chocolate and meat; the name is just for the shape it has.
Ciao from Rome

Lana G! said...

He knows the exact amount of heat, and the exact length of time to let us experience that heat

Love it!

Delicious reminder, thank you.

Islandsparrow said...

I'm with you Suzanne - I seem to be doing a lot of this lately - baking the "I love you" foods" then saying goodbye - baking the "I love you foods" again and saying hello - I can promise you, it does get a little easier...honest!! Watching them grown is so exciting even though my heart strings are always stretched. I'm lifting you and her up in prayer.

And I'm trying that brownie recipe - it looks yummy.

Hope you can still have a happy Canada Day!!

gail@more than a song said...

Such a sweet post Susanne....I've had some of those same feelings before and it's hard to let them go.
The brownies look seriously good and definitely worth a hug!

Barbara H. said...

Those brownies look and sound scrumptious!

I love your analogy. So often we see only the "parts" or ingredients, and we love the sweet times but get depressed or frustrated over the bitter or tasteless times, instead of taking it all together. And the heat -- we really dislike that! But all together the Master Baker is using it all to create something.

Hope everything goes well for you and your daughter. I remember the first time I sent away a teenage son across the country for the summer!! It was especially hard at meal time to see his empty place. But the Lord did some great things in his life that summer and even laid on his heart what He wanted him to do with his life, when he had really felt no inclination before. The time really will go faster that it seems like it will at this point.

Barbara H. said...

Oh -- and Happy Canada Day!

annie said...

The brownies look great!
I understand too, Amanda was in Canada for couple of weeks, and she had a wonderful time! She actually didn't want to come home :o)...
It's good to have everyone home again.
Have a great week!

Tammy said...

This was such a sweet post...I loved the analogy.
Thank you for the recipe- sounds so yummy!
Blessings to you and your daughter this week!

Robin said...

I love stories about a mother's heart! I have let three of my girls go - I only have one left at home and it is her last year before college. Life is definitly changing. I feel your pain!

Jennifer, Snapshot said...

Oh yum!

This was really a sweet post detailing the lavish love and the send-off.

On a blogging note, I've found that to click on the HTML part I have to point my curser lower. Other times it's not really recognizing the switch, so you could try that.

PastorMac's Ann said...

Beautiful Susanne! Hope you're getting along OK without your girl. I'm sure she's having a great time. Thanks for the yummy recipe.

Carol said...

I love this analogy, Susanne! I'll share it with my upcoming young chef next time he decides he's going to bake up one of his specialties.

Kim said...

What a sweet post...I'm not too far behind you! My oldest will be leaving for a mission trip soon...even 10 days aways is enough to make me cry!

Thanks for the delicious recipe!


Anonymous said...

Oh, jeepers! I'm cryin' here!