Thursday, October 24, 2013


Do you ever find that the answer to "Why all of this, God?" is, "I am Good." It is not "I am God" - though in another way it is that, too. But His answer is "I am Good." 

And He is.

He is good, whether or not the situation changes. He is good, when the heart of a man is slow to change, and all we feel is the tension. He is good when cancer is not cured, or the car crash happens. He is good when He holds us in the midst of searing pain, though He may not remove us, or it. 

God's goodness is not trite. And often pain, sorrow, suffering, and loss are felt more intensely in the midst of knowing just how good God is. Yet it is His goodness that brings Him to walk with us now through the valley of the shadow, through anger, through disappointment, through realising we do not have what it takes to be this or that. We do not have a God Who suffered with us, but a God Who suffers with us, present tense. That is Good. That is God. And that is why.

~ Johanna

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Abigail Rose

My new little niece arrived on Thursday! She is absolutely adorable, and I cannot wait to go home and see her next week. :) Her name is Abigail Rose, and she came very quickly - hooray! Mom and baby are quite well and return home today.

Here she is with my dear JJ boy (a pretty proud big brother):

Thank You, Lord, for bringing my niece safely!

~ Johanna

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pumpkin Pancakes

For Columbus Day, here is a yummy [sort-of-healthy] Autumn recipe for orange-pumpkin pancakes.

  • 1/4 C brown sugar
  • 1 C pumpkin 
  • 1 orange (both zest and juice)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ C yoghurt
  • 1 C whole milk
  • ----- 
  • 3/4 C whole wheat flour
  • 2 Tbs wheat germ
  • 1/2 C oats (I used old fashioned, but I think steel cut may work, too)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp nutmeg (to taste)
  • dash of cloves
Mix wet ingredients well and let sit. Sift dry in ingredients (except wheat germ and oats, just add those in by themselves), fold into wet. Stir until just moist, you may need to add more milk for the correct consistency. Do not overmix. For a fun zing, add 1/2 C coarsely chopped cranberries.

Put a little butter or oil in your skillet and cook over low/medium heat. I make them by 1/4 cup-fulls  (each one is about 100 calories) and then toast a pancake or two (or three) as desired all week. They are quite tasty with yoghurt and a sprinkle of brown sugar, or syrup and butter, of course. 

In spite of the length of the ingredient list, these were very easy to make. It took less than 30 minutes for slow-poke me to put them together. It does take about an hour to cook the whole batch, but you can just make as many as you need and refrigerate the rest for the next day. If you do not have wheat germ on hand, just add more oats and call it good.

Final step: Go hiking in the Autumn sun to burn off some of the good carbs and hearty pumpkin you consumed. Perfect combination.  :) 

*Sorry for the photo qualities - since my camera took a kamikaze dive on the floor, I have to exclusively use my webcam for photos around the house.

~ Johanna

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Welcome, October!

OCTOBER was a beautiful month at Green Gables, when the birches in the hollow turned as golden as sunshine and the maples behind the orchard were royal crimson and the wild cherry trees along the lane put on the loveliest shades of dark red and bronzy green, while the fields sunned themselves in aftermaths.

Anne revelled in the world of colour about her. "Oh, Marilla," she exclaimed one Saturday morning, coming dancing in with her arms full of gorgeous boughs, "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn't it? Look at these maple branches. Don't they give you a thrill...?"

~ Anne Shirley, in Anne of Green Gables (Chapter 16)

 October gives me a thrill, dressed in bright yellows,fresh greens, burnt orange, and flashes of scarlet and purple. I have driven across Colorado a good bit since October began on Tuesday -- up to Vail, and over to Maroon Bells with my parents, and I finished up the week with a hike up Raspberry Mountain, near Cripple Creek. 

The colours, the crisp air, the scent of leaves all washed me in the glory of Autumn. Truly, I think every season is bursting with God's glory, and that glory is reflected in us when we take the time to just be, to drink in the Beauty all 'round us. Perhaps it is easier for me to see the Beauty of each season because I live in the mountains and it is always beautiful here... Perhaps. But I think that one simply has to have the right eyes to see Beauty. Then one can see the glory behind every fiery bush and flaming stand of aspens, or in the dripping fog and the bent cornstalks of the Midwest. There is 'scope for the imagination' anywhere you are, and there is always Beauty to be found if you will look.

So, welcome, October. I can never have this September back, but I can have this October in its wake... And that is glory!

Trail leading up Raspberry Mountain

~ Johanna