Everyday Mom's Meals: Grateful With A Heavy Heart

Friday, December 21, 2012

Grateful With A Heavy Heart

One week ago today evil found a small town in Connecticut. One week ago small children were taken from this earth much too soon; and adults gave their lives trying to protect them. One week ago parents in that small town got the news that no parent should ever have to hear~ their babies would not be coming home. Like many of you, I sat in horror watching the images on the television not able to comprehend or wrap my mind around how someone could take the lives of innocent children with no regard to basic human emotions. I literally sat in my living room staring out the window with tears rolling down my face.

What was I staring at? My son's school. We are blessed to live only 5 doors from his elementary school, and I can see his classroom window from my front porch. I will be honest and say part of me wanted to rush up to the school, take him out early and bring him home. Not because I thought this could happen here too, but because I just needed to see his face, hold him close and tell him I love him. That he is the most precious gift I've ever received and I would never let anything or anyone harm him. I'm sure many parents out there felt the same exact thing. However, I knew disrupting his day would only be selfish on my part, and frightening him wasn't the answer.

But let's face it, there are no answers. There are so many questions surrounding this massacre, and most will always go left unanswered. So how do we as a nation, which when something like this happens, gets very small, begin to heal? For my family it means prayer. We lift those affected up in prayer and ask God to place them in His loving arms of peace and love, showing them the light of tomorrow. We pray for the families who were left behind because we know there will always be an empty chair at the dinner table and an empty bed at night. We pray for too many families who on Christmas morning will be left with so many unwrapped presents under their tree. We pray for the children who were taken from their loved ones, knowing they are safe and loved in Heaven above, resting in the arms of their Father.

And we also look at our lives. We take a minute to realize how very blessed we are. I don't think I have ever been so happy to pick my son up from school, as I was last Friday. I looked into his eyes and said a silent prayer for all those Mommies who no longer could do so with their babies. I decided right there and then that the plans I had with Monkey for that evening would continue as planned. As I said on my Facebook page, "Baking cookies will never mean more. Something so trivial is so precious." I got up, put one foot in front of the other, attempted to get my head out of the fog of despair, and I spent the evening with my child loving him, laughing with him, enjoying him. Not because I could forget what was happening in that small New England town, but because I could not. None of us will ever forget; but if we stop living, evil wins. I knew I needed that special time with my son to help my broken heart, and to show God "I know just how blessed I am, how precious he is, and I will be thankful each second I am with him."

My heart still aches for those mommies and daddies in Newtown. With Christmas around the corner, I know the time of year only magnifies what they are feeling  and will continue to feel every Christmas in the future. May God somehow begin to heal their hearts, souls and minds. May they know His love and peace, remembering we all grieve with them. And may they know their little ones now fly with the angels, and watch over them every single day.

So, here is what Alex and I made last Friday~ made together, with love and gratitude .

Gingerbread Cookies
1/2 c. shortening
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
3 1/4 c. sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp salt                                                                                   
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
3/4 c. molasses
1/4 c. water
Cinnamon Candies if desired
Icing if desired

Cream shortening and sugar. Sift flour with salt, soda and spices. Blend flour mixture into creamed mixture alternately with molasses and water. Chill at least 1 hour.Preheat oven to 350. Roll dough to 1/4 inch thick. Cut with cookie cutters of your choice. Lift onto lightly greased cookie sheet (Or Silpat or Parchment paper) with spatula. Add candies if desired. Bake above oven center for about 12 minutes or until cookies spring back lightly in center. Do not overcook, they won't stay soft. Remove from sheets. Cool on wire racks. 

Rolling out the dough

Adding buttons

So proud of his baking skills!

The official taste test complete with Egg Nog!

Shared on The Country Cook Dec. 21, 2012

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