Dreams and goals often get lost amidst our day to day lives. I for one, know this all too well.
Ever since I was little I dreamed about having children.
Having a farm.
Having a big garden and raising all of my own crops.
Wheat to grind into flour.
Tomatoes to make my own pasta sauce.
Milk to make my own butter and cheese.
College happened, work happened, living expenses happened.
Lack of land happened.
God’s timing happened.
If you were to look in head and see my goals and dreams but walk the path I have, you would wonder how the heck I was able to continue dreaming, hoping, planning for my future.
It would probably look like a plate of spaghetti…all of the roads I’ve been down, trying to reach my goals.
There are reasons for everything.
I had 2 dreams that conflicted and butted heads. I wanted to travel the world. Hike everywhere, backpack across the Canadian Rockies, spend a summer in the Galapagos Islands, eat food in Italy. I never wanted to settle down. I’d live out of a suitcase. Maybe somewhere along the lines, I would find the right man and we would travel together…travel with our children.
My second dream was to find a farm with a stream, trees, and barns. I wanted to have animals and flowers everywhere.
Each time I would step out of my front door, I would be surrounded by what I had created. What I had put my blood, sweat and tears into.
I had a chance to pursue my first dream. I took a job in Montana, at Glacier National Park. I was going to leave my husband (boyfriend of 4 years at the time), leave my family, and start over. Hike everyday, kayak, camp, “find myself”.
The funny thing about finding yourself is that sometimes you don’t need to go 1600 miles to do it.
If you can guess, I didn’t go to Montana. I married this man, who gave me a daughter, a home, and the ability to be a stay at home mother.
He still asks me, if I regret not going…
Do I regret this life? Having to buy in bulk, clip coupons, eat in every night, save every penny to pay the mortgage…
Even on my darkest day, and even when I’m furious at our situation, I never regret my decision.
God knew, the day I called and turned down the job. It took me 3 months to do so. We had divided our stuff even. But when I chose not to go, I did so because I was obeying God.
8 months after that, we went from dating to married, having a home, and being pregnant with our first baby.
Tell me that he doesn’t have a plan for your life, and I’ll tell you my story. Tell me that he doesn’t honor the desires of you heart, and I’ll show you pictures of my daughter. Tell me that being obedient sucks, and I’ll show you our finances.
Life happens. Lessons happen. Things are hard and messy and sometimes make no sense, but God is always in the midst of it all, orchestrating what you think are mistakes and hardships.
This is what I think about when I bake. My life, my choices, my dreams. Everyday is an opportunity to reach higher, climb one more wrung on the ladder that leads to “House in the Country”. I know God is working in it. That when the time is right, he will open doors.
For now, I’ll keep praying and hoping.
And I’ll know that every loaf of bread I bake has a little bit of my dreams in them…
2 1/4 cups Whole Milk
1/3 cup Local Honey
1/4 Cup Shortening
2 1/2 tsp Salt
4 1/2 tsp Yeast
1/2 cup Warm Water (105-115 degrees)
2 cups uncooked oats
3 cups Whole Wheat Flour
3 to 3 1/2 cups King Arthur Sir Galahad Flour
-Mix milk, honey, shortening and salt in a sauce pan. Heat on the stove until the honey and shortening have melted. Cool to 115 degrees.
-Dissolve the yeast in 1/2 cup of warm water. Let it sit for 5 minutes after combining.
-Combine your milk mixture, yeast mixture, oats, and 3 cups of whole wheat flour. Mix until incorporated together.
-Stir in 3 cups of Sir Galahad flour. You may need more or less depending on your dough’s consistency.
-Turn dough out onto a floured surface. Let rest for 10-15 minutes before kneading.
-Knead for 5-8 minutes, or until your dough is smooth and elastic.
-Place dough in a bowl and cover. Set in a warm place (85 degrees) to rise for 1 hour.
********If you have a drafty house like mine, you can turn your oven on to 200. Let it preheat for 3 minutes, then shut the oven off, and set your covered bowl of dough inside. Try to open and close the oven door quickly to keep warm.**********
-Punch dough down and divide into 2 loaves.
-Cover loaf pans, and set in a warm place to rise for another 35-45 minutes.
-Bake at 375 for 25-35 minutes.
-Let cool for 10 minutes in loaf pans before taking out. This ensures the bottom of your bread won’t stick. (Hopefully).
-Cool bread on wire racks. Do not place bread on a plate or counter. The bottom will get soggy and all of your hard work will go down the drain.