Return to Routine

Over Spring Break and Easter I decided that a break from blogging was in store.  We had a few slower days and my parents came for awhile, so it was nice to take a break.  We have now returned to our school routine (only 6 1/2 weeks left!) and I’m back documenting life at the Knapp house.  

St. Patrick’s Day 2018

St. Patrick’s Day was rather low-key this year.  We talked about attending the parade, but life has been busy and we needed to be home.  Instead, we had an Irish meal at home: Oven Irish Stew, Irish Soda bread, and mint chocolate brownies for dessert.  The stew couldn’t have been more simple and was very good!  Will definitely make this again.  Mary Jo brought us the soda bread – we LOVE this bread.  One year I’ll get around to trying to make it myself.  We also spent some time talking about St. Patrick, his life, and his contribution to the Christian faith.  Each time we do things like this the kids are a little bit older, more and more questions are asked, and conversation develops a bit more.  I’m grateful for these memory making/teaching opportunities.  

Oven Irish Stew

1 1/2 lbs. eye of round beef, cubed 
1 28-oz. can diced tomatoes
2 celery ribs, chopped
1 lb. bag baby carrots, chopped
3 chopped onions
3 lbs. red potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 10 oz. bag frozen peas
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. dry minute tapioca
1/2 T. sugar
1-2 c. water

Mix all ingredients in a large roaster pan.  Cover and bake at 275 degrees for 5 hours.  Or, to make in slow cooker, place ingredients in crock, cover, and cook 4-6 hours on high or 8-10 hours on low.  Serves 6-8.  

When God Changes Your Plans

Today (written last week) Anna is home sick with a stomach bug.  We were up most of the night with her; poor thing.  Of course, there’s been a change of plans today – a piano lesson rescheduled, a grocery trip put on hold – and instead, washing bedding, and keeping liquids at the ready.  When my family is sick I am happy to be home with them and serve them.  Yes, it’s sometimes hard, especially with little sleep.  But a certain “mama bear” instinct kicks in and you just do it.  

Although Anna wasn’t feeling well, I love this picture that shows “peace’ bear right up close on her neck. She doesn’t always sleep with a stuffed animal, but when she’s sick, she wants one close by.

As Anna napped today I had some alone time to sit, read, and feed my soul with the only words that can.  

Psalm 46:10 – Be still and know that I am God.

Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.  Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.  

I realized something: God prepared me yesterday for what was to come today. 

Yesterday I had plans of getting quite a bit accomplished – my to-do list was way too long.  Instead, in the morning I felt God nudging me to prep dinner early.  Have it all ready to pop in the oven later in the day.  So, that’s what I did.  As the day went on I felt more and more tired and wiped out, and it felt so wonderful having dinner taken care of.  Thank you, Lord.  By the afternoon, after having a little rest, I still felt God saying, “Rest more.  In me.  Lay aside your plans.”  So, that’s what I did.  I made myself a cup of tea and sat down to study.  By the time I had picked the kids up from school and we were into the routine of homework, I was again grateful for my slower day, and having the energy for the kids.

Fast forward to last night when I was up in the night with Anna.  Around 4am I’m laying in bed thinking about how I will adjust my day today to be home with her, and it comes to me:  Had I rushed around yesterday doing what I originally intended to do, I would have been past exhaustion being up with her in the night.  I’m not sure I would have been able to do it.  My slower day reserved some of my energy for right now.  And I am amazed.  I am amazed once again at how my Father makes provisions for me, cares for me, and loves me in this way.  

Sometimes I plow through accomplishing even when I feel the nudging to slow.  And I’m usually sorry I did.  My body either protests with fatigue or I have zero energy left for my family in the evening.  Many times I am frustrated when my plans change and my to-do list gets put aside.  But slowly I am learning that it is always for my good.  Thank you, Father.