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Cozy Baked Oatmeal & Over in the Meadow

October 4, 2021

Ana Woods is a former photographer turned stay-at-home mother and freelance writer. She lives in the country with her growing family and writes reflections on faith, homemaking, and motherhood (often by moonlight, after the babies are tucked in bed).

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Breakfast in the morning light is my love language, anyone else?

French toast, pancakes, fresh fruit, runny eggs with crusty bread, a pot of hot coffee, lit candles, soft music…my mouth waters & shoulders relax at the mere thought.

Alas! These days, breakfast isn’t the peaceful calm-before-the-storm that it was before children. I’m usually frying eggs while combatting sleep deprivation, a fussy baby strapped to my chest, and an impatient toddler clambering at my feet. I have to laugh because oftentimes the one year old receives a balanced breakfast complete with vitamins while I stuff a banana in my mouth and call it good.

And yet I still try to make it special.

We make pancakes every Wednesday.

Most days I read books while Shepherd eats.

Everyday we play music softly in the background.

And someday I’ll light candles.

In Sally Clarkson’s ‘A Lifegiving Home’ she shares her daughter’s words: “When someone once asked me just what it was that my parents did that made me believe in God, without even thinking I said, “I think it was French toast on Saturday mornings and coffee and Celtic music and discussions and candlelight in the evenings . . .” Because in those moments I tasted and saw the goodness of God in a way I couldn’t ignore.”

I read that quote long before I was a mother and it struck a chord so deeply within me because I can’t control much about my children’s lives. I can’t take away their pain or force them onto the straight and narrow or ensure every decision they make will be good.

But I can place beauty in front of them.

I can play the lilting music and pull warm treats out of the oven and listen with rapt attention to their little voices and tuck rosary beads into their hands.

The days are chaotic. The diapers are endless. Will I ever sit down to eat my own breakfast again? Don’t spill that milk on the floor!

…and yet there is baked oatmeal on the table while ‘Over in the Meadow’ plays on the speaker.

There are flowers in a vase while I read picture books and listen to my son babble on about the trucks and tractors of his imagination.

I know they won’t remember the details at 22 and 2 months old, but maybe the love will leave a mark on their souls…and that is enough for me.

P.S. This Amish Baked Oatmeal Recipe is from Once Upon a Chef and is a hit in the Woods house. We’ve made it twice already this fall-once just as the recipe calls for and the second time with an extra cup or so of blueberries that we needed to use up!

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