It started the way it usually does, with Peter telling his sister that Honey Nut Cheerios are made of bee’s nuts, then me gasping and shaking my finger at the vinegar bottle on the counter.  It started with lost socks and underwear put on backward.  It started with a computer gaff while skyping my sister.  The one that saw me change my status from “online” to “skype me” which then invited no fewer than twelve men to send messages asking for sex within about three minutes.  It started with me gasping in horror and my sister frantically pointing at places on her screen, trying to walk me through undoing the damage from thousands of miles away while my fingers shook and I just kept saying oh my gosh oh my gosh under my breath.  It started with Lucy spreading hard boiled eggs over ninety percent of my counter and sea salt over the other ten.  And then finger painting them while I refused the cyber invites until the counter was unrecognizable and her hands were covered in egg napalm.  It started with running out of milk and eggs at the same time and breaking my electric toothbrush and shrinking my sweater.  This morning that started out with everything going awry, looked so much brighter at lunch time when I threw my doors open and welcomed in a dear friend and her Small for a salad with bacon and the best darn dressing I’ve had in months and two lovely hours spent sitting in chairs and finishing our sentences while the Smalls built a fort and played Legos.  Because most ugliness eventually morphs into beauty, I think.  Spring always follows winter.  And so the challenge becomes in stifling the urge to beg for spring and to throw open the windows to welcome winter because in winter we hunker down and learn.  In winter we are humbled and stilled and Father speaks and moves and, so while spring is so so sweet, I long for spring always, we honor Father when we spend winter on our knees in thanks.  Thanks comes easy in spring, those thank words that move off tongue and heavenward with ease, become stuck in my mouth in winter.  So, I’m challenging myself, and you too, really think hard about how I thank and how I view this season.  Because there will be a day when no one is sitting at my counter smearing eggs and talking about insect nuts and that will be so sad, so sad.  So these long days when things seem hard and there just aren’t enough hours, even the worst and winteriest of days will seem like spring when I remember it years from now when the kids are grown.  Will you join me in asking for changed perspective?  In asking Father for the grace to praise in the midst of chaos and to not wish this time away but to put a bib on and suck the marrow out of it?  For the grace to praise over egg as much as I praise over salad?  Will you join me?
This is me being real.  And listening to the thwack from the basement as the boys sight in their bows in the archery range they’ve made down there.  Sure one of them will come up soon with a smirk hiding behind his lips as he tries to convince me he’s shot his brother and he’s bleeding out on the cold concrete floor.  Thank you Father for healthy boys who can shoot stuff and build stuff, even if it’s messy and dangerous.  Thank you.

Oh, and a little something something for you:
Cashew Dressing
1/4 cup raw cashews
1 small sweet onion
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water, divided
2 t. Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

In a small food processor, blend cashews and onion until pulverized.  Add half of the water and blend until completely smooth (depending on your processor, this could happen quickly or take a few minutes).  Add the rest of the water and the remaining ingredients and mix well.  Taste and season as needed.  Stash in the fridge to thicken a bit before tossing with salad and serving.
Recipe courtesy of Dr. DenBoer
Don’t say I never give you anything.

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