In the weariness of cooking, cleaning, and making things just so for beloved family and friends, sometimes the devil finds a foothold and turns...
You are Welcome here
...into heavy sighs that say, "This is costing me too much."
I began the summer with three back-to-back weeks of non-stop, desperately wanted, lovingly invited house guests. But between you and me... I was worn out by the end of week two! Not because they'd been anything but wonderful, just because that's a whole lot of going and serving and picking up and cooking and washing towels and getting ready for the next big meal. Even now as I look back, I can see myself bellied up to the sink, sleeves rolled high, head bowed in prayer...
Search me, God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. (Psalm 139:23-24)
Because, "You are Welcome here" requires more than a clean sink, it takes a clean heart.
Now that our guests are gone, all that's left is our party of five. But the "You are Welcome here" mentality must remain. Because the way we love our little ones each ordinary day, is supremely more important than the extrordinary ways we serve our special guests. Yes, I know, it's our little family that usually wearies us most, but the joy of serving them is much more important than our fresh enthusiasm over extended family and out of town guests. Theirs are the little hearts being hardwired as we Welcome them to each new day, as we Welcome them into our laps, as we Welcome them to the table. Let us dare not save our smiles in the linen cabinet with those white laundered napkins; serving flimsy paper towels with grumbles to our most treasured house guests. All this Continual Feasting! It feels terribly inconvenient amidst our summer plans. But these are the darlings our Welcome means the most to! And they turn little faces upward and say, "Thank you, Mama."
You are Welcome
They say thank you and we respond, "You are Welcome." And they are! But we need to make room as we make muffins. Making room for them, by cleaning out the grumbles hidden in our hearts. We must make room as we make their scrambled eggs and fry up bacon. Making room to run back into the fray of serving; back to the sink, back to the prayer, and back to those hungry kid bellies, with clean hearts. Because we love them!
I leave you with this most amazing, and incredibly simple recipe for Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins! These are a favorite here in our home, amongst guests and residents alike!
Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
4 cups Pamela's (Gluten Free - Wheat Free) Baking & Pancakes Mix 2 tsp salt 1 cup brown sugar 1 cup white sugar 1 TBS cinnamon 4 TBS cocoa powder 1/2 cup melted oil (I use coconut oil) 4 large eggs 4 cups finely grated zucchini (3-4 zucchini) 2 tsp vanilla 1 bag chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350. Prepare two greased muffin pans. Combine wet ingredients in one bowl, and wet ingredients in another. Mix them together until there are not lumps. Pour muffin mix into prepared pans and bake for about 20 minutes.
Serve them hot from the oven for breakfast, or as an afternoon snack with a schmear of goat cheese and a pot of tea. Or cover with chocolate ganache for a tasty chocolate cupcake dessert. (I haven't done the latter suggestion because I love chocolate ganache frosting more than life itself! I would not be able to stand the temptation of a big bowl of frosting, and so I mustn't actually try this at home! But you let me know how it goes!