Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Grace and oatmeal

Mornings are my least operational period of the day, I am pretty much grumpy and worthless until at least 9. My children don't seem to get this and rise, with bright and shiny faces, closer to the 7 am side of things. This is generally not a problem, as my husband faces the day with a bright and shiny face too and get the girls up and gives them breakfast.

Breakfast. My kids eat a ton at breakfast, a good lunch, a decent snack in the afternoon and almost nothing for dinner. If cereal is served, as requested, my children are hungry again within the hour. This means, right as mama is rolling out of bed bleary eyes and grumpy, the children are clamoring for more food as the coffee is being made. Most mornings cereal is nixed in favor of something that will last longer in the belly.

The other evening, as I prepared for bed, I was hit with a wild hair. Not the fuzzy hopping kind, but the brilliance idea via pinterest kind. I decided I would make overnight oatmeal with my crock pot and steal cut oats. It sounded delish and the kids are big oatmeal fans so into the pot went the oats and apple juice and cinnamon to cook all night providing a healthy and filling breakfast for my offspring.

Epic fail. Matt and I loved the oatmeal, the kids were totally unimpressed leaving me with a crock pot full of apple cinnamon oats. As a strong proponate of "waste not want not" I decided to make the oatmeal into pancakes to serve for dinner, which I have a recipe for but of course did not follow. Epic fail #2. Not only did the pancakes stick like oatmeal superglue to the pan, they were also uneatable mushy in the middle. So I decided to make the oatmeal-turned-pancake-batter into muffins. 15 minutes at 350 later, epic fail #3. The concave muffins were a nice brown on the outside and filled with a nasty layer of oatmeal slime in the middle. I gave one to the dog, she walked around with it in her mouth crying until I threw it in the trash and gave her a chew stick as an apology.

Breakfast that was supposed to be remade into dinner was a bomb. I had 3 hungry children and nary a muffin or pancake to feed them. They ate bananas. When Matt came home he ate left overs, but not before the comment of "the only thing you haven't done is deep fry it". While I am sure he meant this as an off the cuff comment, I felt inspired with the chance to save the oatmeal. I dropped a dollop of oatmeal/pancake/muffin batter into the fryer. It sizzled and fell apart, leaving vomitus looking glopps of friend oatmeal goo floating in my oil. Epic fail #4.

Now I was determined. I had added enough additional ingredients that I am not sure if the resulting batter could even be called "oatmeal" any more. I stirred and doctored it, not to be beaten. I thickened the batter and dropped it into the hot oil, the result was not bad. Sort of an apple fritter meats doughnut. I tossed them in powdered sugar and fed them to my children this morning for breakfast. Long story short I turned a perfectly healthy batch of oatmeal into a nicely friend and sugared batch of snacks for my kids.

Why couldn't I just let it go? Toss the oatmeal in the trash, call it a lesson learned and move on? In one word, pride. I felt the need to be successful above all common sense. I take pride in my ability to provide for my children a healthy meal and to save our family money, both in and of themselves good things. But I forgot the grace. The allowing myself to fail knowing it doesn't change my identity. While not a perfectionist, I do find myself struggling to view myself as someone who is still neck deep in the journey. I want to have it figured out, have the right solutions and be the fixer, all based on who I have in my head that I need to be to be lovable.

I am so glad God doesn't see me as I see me. He sees me as broken when I so desperately want to be whole, He knows my failings that I try to hide from public view, He understands my confusion when I try to face the world with answers. Most of all, He treats me with grace the kind of someone who is still on the path, a journeyer.He loves me where I am. Nasty oatmeal/pancakes/muffins included.


Amanda O. said...

I love this story, it's so you!

Sarah said...

Maybe just jump straight to the fried, powdered sugar covered version first next time ;-) YuM!