THE AMISH COOK: Bittersweet milestones at the Yoders

Courtesy photo

Time is moving on, and many times the clock’s hands go faster than mine. Whether it makes me glad or causes me to wipe tears, life just merely brings with it changes. More changes than I could name or even count. Everyone says, “Enjoy your children while they’re still so young, they’ll be grown up before you know it.” Here I am, a busy mother of five little darlings and things happen faster than I can keep up with at times. Why Elijah, almost one, is already running all over, trying to keep up with his four active siblings, all older than himself. We love him to pieces, it’s just that he isn’t the little baby we had but yesterday.

Transitional stages for children come and go so gradually. In reality, I will probably never even exactly know when I am holding a child for the very last time or when the last time is that I scrub their hair or even have them snuggle into bed with us after having had a scary dream. With all the dirty faces I get to wash these days, I can’t imagine life without that dimension or not having little ones bring me a storybook to read a story and another and another. At any rate, I want to make the most of each moment, in spite of the challenges. After all, everyone has sacrifices to make, regardless of where we are, right?

While in the past, I have tended to pull back on the reins of time, my Daniel says he can’t wait to see the children grow up. His optimistic outlook keeps having me recalculating my perspectives on life. Indeed I have to come to enjoy and even savor those times when I see our children really maturing and spreading their wings. In some aspects they learn to depend less on us; on the other hand, as they grow older and need more instruction on a deeper level, it does have a way of creating tighter bonds and connections on a heart level.

Recently I told Julia, “No one ever told me it would be this fun having a seven-year-old daughter!” As she keeps blossoming, we see more of who God created her to be, and what talents He has given her. We were all completely impressed yesterday when she made a chocolate cake on her own! (I helped her take it out of the hot oven.) I almost couldn’t believe that I actually have a daughter old enough to go and bake a cake for the family. I copied the recipe down that we used when I was growing up, making it as simple as possible. Step by step she read the instructions and baked a delicious cake for all of us to enjoy!

As I look at friends older than myself who are looking into releasing their children to get married, I just shake my head and wonder how I could ever get ready for THAT stage! You can only imagine hubby thinks it’ll all be okay. And you know, if it’s in the Lord’s hands it will be good.

As I think back to the time Daniel and I got married, I just marvel at how well my parents did to completely release me to my new husband, reassuring me that I now belong to him, not to them anymore. This was perhaps the most significant gift they could possibly have given me. I was completely thrilled to be his wife and have him as my leader. As the years rolled on, there were changes and new responsibilities, and with those came challenges of their own, but at the end of the day, there is nothing like the profound, rich blessing of simply trusting God and entirely resting in my husband’s leadership in our home.

Now as time keeps ticking ever onward let’s keep our eyes on the only One who really knows and understands all the in and outs and ouch-es of life.

How about joining Julia in the kitchen as she whips up a chocolate cake?

JULIA’S MOIST CHOCOLATE DOUBLE MOCHA CAKE

2 cups flour

2 cups white sugar (We use only 1 cup)

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

3/4 cups cocoa

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/2 cup applesauce

1 cup milk

1 cup coffee

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

Mix dry ingredients. Add remaining ingredients and beat well. Pour into a greased 18- by 12-inch pan or make a half batch and use a 9-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. When cooled, spread frosting on top.

MOCHA FROSTING

1/4 cup butter, melted

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup milk

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1/3 cup cocoa

3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Combine melted butter, salt, milk, vanilla, and coffee, stir until coffee is dissolved. Add cocoa and powdered sugar. Beat well and spread over cake.

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