thanks to burnt bread

I was emptying the dishwasher yesterday while the kids waited in the house by the kitchen door for the bus and I don’t know what Seth did to trigger the memory but as I put dishes away I remembered the time, years ago, when he took a baseball bat to the Christmas tree and forcefully hit a glass ball ornament.

I thought about this and then remembered my reaction when it happened.

I ran to get the camera.

That’s me. That’s who I am. I ran to get the camera for a photo of tiny Seth by the tree holding a whiffle bat with a silly smile on his face. It’s on Facebook somewhere, it may even be on the blog somewhere, too.

I didn’t sigh or cry or complain or get upset.

I took a picture of what I saw as precious, valuable beyond measure, dear dear messy BEAUTIFUL life. The real life I love.

Yesterday morning, before the children left for school I asked Seth and Sarah, “Should I make homemade bread today, a cake, or cookies?”

“Bread,” Sarah said firmly, “Homemade bread. I like the kind that’s braided.”

I haven’t been emotionally well and I haven’t been online in three weeks. Last night, with shaking hands, I went back on my laptop. I went on my blog and read comments. I saw that my friends here were asking how I was. I saw that my brother stepped in and reassured. I went on Facebook very briefly. I don’t feel safe there. I feel safe(r) here. So I’m trying to sneak back to my favorite writing-outlet, this blog that I’ve loved sharing in for so many years. Thank you friends, for caring. Thank you for taking the effort to continue to read. Thank you for asking for new posts when I was feeling so low I didn’t want to bother ever again.

I felt (and still feel) very fragile, vulnerable, childlike, humble. I have said to my husband (my hero) more than once, “I don’t think I’ll ever be the same again.” I believe this is true, but maybe parts of me will be…..better? And surely there are still parts of the old me still inside, which I noticed yesterday, thanks to the burnt bread.

I’ve been at home, TRYING, in the quiet of the days. I’ve been reading, studying, watching tv, playing the piano, walking, writing, petting my cats. Thinking, learning, praying, singing, slowly, very slowly, healing.

Yesterday when I over-proofed Sarah’s bread so that the braids were practically unrecognizable, and then burned it, I found myself……….remarkably…….


I was amused (!) by the outcome of hours of work and very careful following of a recipe written in such detailed fashion that there was really no reason for it to fail.

I went for the camera. I took a photo. I laughed a little.

I felt like myself again. That same woman who ran for the camera when her son made a mess did it again! Ran for the camera!

I went outside to find Sarah, who in all this time had gone to school and come back again and decided to jump on the trampoline as she waited for the bread to bake. I was very curious to know what she would say when she saw my unfortunate creation.

We came in the house holding hands and eager. She was eager for bread, I was eager to hear what she would say.

“Oh! It’s burned!” is what she said, in the same tone of voice that she would use if she woke up expecting to go to school and then remembered, “Oh! It’s Saturday!”

Not that big of a deal, apparently. We’ve been cutting the burned part off and enjoying our 2 inch high “is it a braid or what” bread. If you put it in the toaster you can’t get it out unless you dig with a knife.

It’s the worst looking bread I’ve ever made, but tastes pretty darn good.

I’m glad I burned it. If it had been perfect I wouldn’t have gotten out the camera, but because it was burnt, I took a picture of it. And felt encouraged because I saw my heart again, the heart that can find amusement in the messes of living.

I burned my finger on Grace’s curling iron this morning which wasn’t as amusing.

I made the first fire so that I could burn a notebook of my writings that I knew I would never want to read again. Like my friend Lea Ann said, it had to go.

I collected hickory nuts from the side of the road.

I am at peace.

The same God who made the colorful sunset…..loves you and me!

A few weekends ago all of the children were home. It was wonderful.

The same weekend…..there are six dear ones in this photo. Enjoying the fall day, and each other.

Our Davy is seventeen now.


I’ve been seeing a lot of bird activity. This afternoon I saw four turkeys in the woods and stopped to watch them for a while.

I’m reading The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle (newbery book) and it’s AMAZING!!!!!!

Seth the football player, playing outside on the driveway here at home. We’ve been busy each weekend watching his games. He’s so good and quite adorable, I might add.

Sarah Joy, right before heading to the house for bread.

Home Sweet Home

Thanks to the burnt bread… I am, blogging again!

24 thoughts on “thanks to burnt bread

  1. Shanda – it is so SO good to hear from you after all this time. Praying that Jesus would come along side you and continue to bring you through. Thank you for the update – we’ve all missed hearing about you and you beautiful family. I’m keeping you in my thoughts and prayers! ~ Steph

    • Steph, THANK YOU so so much. You’re wonderful. I didn’t realize how much I needed to be here, to give words and receive them. I love this little blogging communtiy we share. Thank you for praying. I need it very very much. It’s been terrible, but not too terrible thanks to the light of Jesus Christ and the love of my heavenly Father and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. hugs.

  2. It was good to read a bit about your journey. I love your honesty and pray that you will enjoy God’s grace and peace. I can assure you that traveling with God will make you stronger and prepare you for the next battle. Life is filled with battles and Satan hates when we win – when we overcome – when we continue to praise God.

    • This comment is going into my journal so I can read it over and over. I appreciate everything you share, your wisdom is encouraging and so needed. Love you dear bloggy friend.

  3. Bless you. Thanks for coming back on here. And for taking care of yourself when you couldn’t be here. Feeling with you and praying for you. I am not in the place of running for a camera when anything shatters, or laughing at burnt bread, so I’d say you are doing pretty well currently!!

  4. I’m so very happy you burned that bread! I’ve been missing you. I can’t imagine a world without your blogging, writing, sharing, and inspiring. Praying that each new day brings you one step closer to a bit of your old self. Love you friend. -Chris

  5. It is so good to have you back with us you were missed Sometimes God lets us go through different things in our lives but he walks with us each step of the way Your burnt bread is reminder that no matter what we can see something in it that God wants us to see. Take care and Hugs and prayers to you.

  6. Welcome back! Still journaling? I have burned some journals in the past. Sorry not sorry I did. I refrain from brain dumps now. Ain’tnobodyneedtoreadthat.

  7. I love reading your beautiful blog. I have a 2.5 year old and am pregnant with twins and your motherhood journey is so inspiring to me- it helps me see there is a light at the end of the tunnel but also to treasure these very fleeting moments that are so precious. Even though I have never met you, I do think about you when I take walks- you have inspired me to look more deeply and savor God’s beauty so much more

  8. That is one gorgeous sunset! …and the pictures of Sarah and the boys are precious.

    Shanda…I don’t know what happened nor why you hadn’t posted for a while. Maybe I will find out if I keep going through old back posts. I’m sorry you were hurt. I think you did the right thing, getting away from the internet for a while. It really can drive a person nuts! There are so many wonderful things about being online and ‘connecting’…but it can also be very scary and can really mess with your mind and steal your peace.

    As you know, I deactivated from Facebook for over a year! It was so peaceful. I don’t know why I keep going back there. There are precious few on there who have any contact with me at all outside of Facebook. Facebook pushes all of my buttons, and I don’t feel safe there, either.

    I also closed down my own personal blog a while back for the same reason. I’ve always admired how brave you are in sharing yourself and your family on your blog. I can tell you that I feel so blessed to have come to know you through it.

    My heart hurt reading this, because I can relate to it so much. I’m glad you have found some peace, and I’m glad you are back, too. I’m also glad that you trust me enough to allow me into your blog.

    It’s feeding time at the zoo…the chickens, pullets, and dog are ready to eat and preparations made to put them up for the night. Don’t know if you read my post about having to supplement the puppies with feedings, but I no longer have to do that. I’m feeding ‘Mama’ ground beef and liver along with her dry food, and I guess based on fat puppy bellies, she has plenty of milk and nutrition flowing through her body!

    I’ll continue reading back posts to catch up a bit. It’s so good to be reading your posts again, and I’m so glad you are back!

    Love and hugs! ❤

  9. I’m wondering if you are an INFP? Do you know your Meyer-Briggs Personality type? When I found out what my personality type was, I felt understood for the first time in my life, and it sort of gave me permission to be who God made me to be…that some of my qualities that I was led to believe were ‘not good’ just because they were different were somehow bad. Not saying that I don’t need to work on some things (and I always am) but I’m ‘okay’ just like I am…and so are you.

    Even Jesus had to get away for days or weeks to meditate, re-focus, rejuvenate and pray for a time. It’s okay. My personality needs that from time to time…maybe yours does, too. Obviously, I’m not talking about your family or family chaos. I know those things are important and give you peace. I’m talking about other things and people, (social media) who in the big scheme of things, are not most important for you and your life…especially if they are leaching you emotionally or messing with your mind.I guess I’m just saying I don’t think you need to apologize for taking a ‘vacay’ from social media.

    I love knowing you. and I love YOU. You make the world a more beautiful place….and you’ve taught me a lot, and caused me to ‘think’ over the years. Don’t ever change or apologize for being you. We can learn from your positive and your negative experiences. ❤

    • That was beautiful. Thank you thank you thank you! I’ve done the personality test before but I can’t ever keep in my mind what letters I am. I am super sensitive and a feeler for sure. I can sense other people’s feelings, especially those I have a deep connection with. I do wrestle a lot with the same things you do, I think that’s why we are drawn to each other. We can relate so much. And I love the thought of Jesus going off for a time of rest, it’s so true, time away from the computer and phone has been so good for me. Thank you for your words.

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