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YES, I hear you…YES, I will follow

Sometimes the voice of our Father comes as jus the hint of a thought.  Sometimes it comes as a fully formed idea that may be slightly outside our normal pervue.  Sometimes it comes in the form of an opportunity or a window…a tiny crack that shines some light into our world and makes say “ooooh what’s that?”.  Then sometimes it comes with slamming doors that form a path that we must follow.   That’s me.  Sometimes I feel like livestock being herded into a smaller and smaller path until I have no choice but to proceed in the direction He has planned for me.  This is never the direction I want to go.  It goes against my nature, or what I perceive to be my nature.

Once I was told that God never healed me because my faith wasn’t strong enough (speaking of my leg and the way in which I was born).  Doctors could not fix it.  I lived most of my life in such intense pain and most those closest to me didn’t realize.  Some of my closest friends could probably think of one moment in which they were able to see a glimpse of the physical pain I had that was sort of an “a-ha!”.  I’ve had several tell me “you know I didn’t know it hurt you until….(fill in the blank with the story or occasion)”.  My mother even had a story of the moment she realized how much physical pain I really was in.  I was an adult before she did.  My point is that, even though I had pain to the point that there were days I couldn’t walk, it didn’t even cross my mind that God should “heal” me.  Why would it when He made me this way?  For some reason, I grew up thinking there was a reason I was the way I was.  I still don’t know entirely and won’t know until I am in HIS presence (and then, really, will I care?), but I suspect it was the first slamming door…that first guiding hand pushing me down a path.

I won’t go through my whole life and each shaping push that led me to where I am now, but God is definitely pushing me right now.  He is telling me that my focus should be on family, home, my children’s education, and on spiritual growth.   My confession is that I desire professional recognition and a paycheck that helps to give me my very own sense of value.  Every time I try down that path, God starts whispering.  Of course I’m deaf, so He puts up signs.  I’m blind, too, so this is where the slamming doors and the herding begins.  Growth doesn’t have to be painful.  I am the one who makes it that way.

So I say now, “I hear you and I will follow”.  I will not be “working from home”.  I do not have even an hour a day to devote to any sort of home based business.  Any time I give to such a thing, takes away from those things that He has made it clear should be my focus.  Home based businesses are so tempting because I see people around me, left and right, succeeding.  I applaud them.  Instead of wanting what they have, I finally see that that is their path and not my own.  Sooooooooo, I’m not sure if I’ll keep my Etsy store up and running with my crafts or just continue to give and donate them.  I do know I’m closing out my Tupperware account.

I love and support my friends still working in their home based businesses.  I will purchase products that I use from you guys, but I can’t make purchases for products that I don’t.  I know that’s probably a given to you ladies, but me and my guilt.  🙂 I feel bad when I can’t buy from everyone because I’ve been there and so feel the need to apologize.

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S’more cereal bars

My daughters have been eating me out of house and home lately.  There’s really only one brand of ceral bar on the shelves that they can have due to their allergies.  For 6 bars it’s going to cost $2.50, easily.  With 3 daughters, that’s hardly worth it.  So I’ve been on the look out for both affordable and nut-free/corn-free.  I made a double batch (which is what the pictures will show) and got 33 bars.  I’ll give the recipe for a 9X13 pan since most people wouldn’t want to make a double batch, though.

3 cups crispy rice

3 cups chocolate crispy rice (pebbles)

1 cup sunflower seeds or soy nuts

1/2 cup sunbutter (my experience is sunbutter cooks better than soy butter)

1 bag 10-12 oz marshmallows

2 tbsp milk

In a large bowl combine the cereals and  sunflower seeds/soy nuts.

(keep in mind that what is shown is a DOUBLE batch…twice the amount the recipe states)

In a pan on the stove combine the milk, sunbutter, and marshmallows. 

Stir constantly over low to medium low heat until melted and smooth.

This took me a while because it was so sticky and stringy like taffy left in the Texas sun on a car dashboard.    Keep going until it pours (albeit slowly) off the spoon.  Definitely consider doing this in non-stick cookware or a very well seasoned cast iron pot.

Next, pour it into the cereal mixture and mix WELL.  This is hard and requires some muscle.  Toward the end I dumped it out on the counter and was kneading it quite harshly to get it to combine thoroughly.  It would be easier if there was more of the moist mixture, but that would prevent the bars from holding as well and they’d be stickier.

Then press into a bar pan, 9X13, or larger (like I did for my double batch.  I think I used what is called a “half sheet” pan but it might be a sheet.  I always get confused about that.  It’s twice the size of a 9X13 though) that is heavily greased.  I actually had to pound it with my fists to get it to smooth out and be even and firm.  It was quite satisfying. 😀

Let it set for an hour and then turn it out onto wax paper or the shiny side of freezer paper.

I used a large chef’s knife sprayed with oil to cut it since it was still pretty sticky.  My double batch got cut into 33 typical granola bar sized bars for a calorie count of 250 calories, 11g fat, 13g sugars, 4g fiber, 9g protein.  Given that I made these for my kids, the fat content isn’t really an issue.  My kids are skinny minnies with food allergies.  The cost count turned out to be about $12 for 33 bars, but they’re more nutritionally sound than a good portion of kid friendly bars out there and I know whats in them.  My next batch will have 2 cups less of the rice cereal and switch it up with wheat germ, flax, and maybe some bran cereal.

Oh and taste test?  These won the approval of the kiddos who are exceptionally picky.