Grandma's Peach Cobbler

So I have some news for you, friends.

I had my last ever day of school with my first grade friends. This year has been a tough one to say the least with all of our

hospital stays, therapy, and surgeries for Micah

. I loved teaching and I know I'll miss it so much, but Micah needs me to be home.

We're still trying to find a good schedule. I hate bumming around the house all day. I like to stay busy. I really love to cook and I've made this cobbler several times already this summer, because everyone needs cobbler when they are adjusting to change. Right?

Also, this cobbler is so good that I feel selfish for not sharing it with you. Food is a special way I think the Lord loves on us. It's another way to enjoy Him. This cobbler is super special because I remember running to my grandma's house a few streets over in the summers for this tasty goodness. I'd run through this little short cut through the woods. After I hopped the creek, walked through her neighbors backyard, and turned the corner, I was only a few minutes away from walking into my grandma's house. And it was okay to eat as much as I wanted because I ran there and ran home.

The sweet smell would hit me right when I walked in the door, and you could find her beautiful white head and pretty smile saying "Come on in, hun," peering around the column in her kitchen. She would hug me, even though I was sweaty. She would already have the table set. She'd scoop me out some cobbler and put a big 'ol hunk of ice cream to go on top. And we would chat.

I would sit there and soak up her wisdom. Trying to remember every wrinkle of her beautiful face and the sweet way she talked about Jesus. She lives a state away now, so thankfully she's just a phone call away. But those mornings of me running to her house are ones I'll always cherish.

My cobblers will never quite turn out like her's, but I think they're pretty close.

Here's what you need:

You'll combine a cup of flour, a cup of sugar, a stick of butter (I've found that if you take it out from the fridge and microwave it for 20 seconds it's the perfect softness), a pinch of salt, and a teaspoon of baking powder. Use a fork to work the butter throughout. Oh hey grey dress, I see you too!

It should look like this when combined.

Then you want to add a heaping tablespoon of vanilla extract. Then stir in a cup of milk and set to the side.

We go to the farmer's market every Saturday in the summer in our city, Greenville. Seriously, it's the cutest. Everyone walks around sipping iced coffee with their families. It's just so fun. These were juicy peaches from our local farmers. I used about 9, but honestly could have only used 6 because they were so big. I had a little helper and we just got carried away.

She's the cutest.

So after you peel and cut your peaches, you'll want to spray your 9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Then just put your peaches in your dish. As I was cutting them, I was thinking if I make them in slices they would be much prettier, but we like little chunks instead. So if you want yours to be pretty, by all means, cut them in slices, sister.

Next, pour the flour and sugar mixture over the peaches. Normally I add a little sprinkle of apple pie seasoning in with the flour and sugar mixture, but I had a baby climbing up my leg, a two year old trying to eat the peaches, and burgers on the grill so I forgot. Opps. So I sprinkled it on top.

Then you'll bake it in your oven preheated to 350 for 40-45 minutes. I normally know it's done when you give it a little shake and it doesn't jiggle. Wish that could be true of my legs!

You'll start smelling yummy goodness all throughout your house. A storm popped up while this was cooking in the oven so after it was finished, I scooped us all out a piece and we cuddled up on the couch and enjoyed it together.

Just like me and grandma. I hope you do too, friend!

It's Only A Stage

The summer sun is out to stay, until a little shower pops up to water our gardens. Kids are out of school and running between our houses barefoot in my neighborhood. I hear laughter and basketballs bouncing right up until the time the sun meets the horizon and passes her duty off to the moon. The neighbors across the street keep their floats on the porch for easy access because you can find them at the pool everyday. Summer is finally here.

Last year this time, we had just brought home our second child through adoption. I can still see his squishy newborn face and wrinkled old man skin. His big sister was only 16 months old and conveniently decided after months of therapy she was ready to walk when we brought him home. My husband had just taken a new job and was working nights in the NICU. So it was me all day and all night with two under two. And some days it was just too much.

I knew immediately that something was wrong with my little man. By the time he was two weeks old I was already syringe feeding him and counting wet diapers. He screamed ALL THE TIME. Not like colic, but like something was really wrong. The kind of thing only a mama’s heart knows.

I was in the trenches of spit up, screaming, bottles, diapers, toddler messes, and tantrums. The baby would only sleep for 30 minutes at a time so to say I was tired was an understatement. The toddler was like a tiny tornado whirling around my house at all times. My body was exhausted. My heart was weary. I barely had time to shower, much less spend time with Jesus. My time with Him was more of a desperate cry here and a feeble prayer there. I felt like there would be no end.

When I shared my desperation, it was always met with “It won’t always be this way. Savor every second.” So not only was I feeling utterly desperate, completely defeated, but then I was feeling guilty because I wasn’t enjoying this season of our lives. How could I? I was praying for him to grow bigger and wishing for the next month to pass.

The doctors finally realized it wasn’t colic. After six hospital stays and among many, a diagnosis of failure to thrive, everyone listened to me. A few months, more hospital stays, and several surgeries later my son got a GJ tube and is growing beautifully now with our newest diagnosis of cerebral palsy. We still have frequent hospital stays, lots of therapy, and a road of challenges to overcome, but we are better. I am no longer living in that desperation every moment of every day. It was only for a season.

Yesterday my husband carried our two year old out of Target kicking and screaming like a sack of potatoes under his arm. She had already sat in time-out twice (in Target). I’m sure like you, time-out can be found in any place we go these days. I chuckled to myself as I watched all of Target’s loyal customers quickly turn their heads to get a look at this unruly toddler. I pushed our buggy (that’s what we call carts in the south), with my son in the front like we had no idea who they were.

He took her to the car so she could be contained in a small area. Then it hit me as I put a box of diapers in our buggy, that in a few months we will probably be carrying him out of stores kicking and screaming because he couldn’t run around the store like a wild horse. And it terrified me.

My husband and I both agreed it wasn’t our best parenting day. So we got a babysitter, went to a wedding, and promised to try again tomorrow. And that’s what we did.

A friend at church reminded me this morning that it is just a stage. It won’t be like this forever. And she didn’t say it in a way that made me feel guilty. She knew.

Continue reading here.

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Photos by

Rachel Ackerman Photography

Nothing is Wasted

I was newly married. Still blissful in our new life together.

Our little white house was perfectly decorated, like I had imagined. All of the presents from our wedding, were thoughtfully arranged in their new home. Ready for us to use them as we began our life as man and wife.

Just like my new house, my new marriage, to everyone else looked tidy and sweet. And it was sweet, very sweet. But marriage opened up more of my heart than I was ready to give.

Something special happened the day I married my husband, as it does on every wedding day. We agreed to a covenant relationship so precious, that like God walked down the isle of the split animals with Abram in Genesis 15, we walked down the center isle to one another before the Lord, too. In this beautiful covenant, we joined together as one. His beautiful life and mine were now joined together. And with the beautiful, came his messy too.

I clearly understood walking down the center isle meant I was agreeing to take his mess as mine, and I was okay with that. I love that man more than anything. He was the one I prayed for and dreamed about. But what I didn't realize, was that I was agreeing for him to take

my mess

as well.

This was something I wasn't ready for.

I married him, with A LOT of mess.  Many years filled with broken, hard, dark, ugly, and painful mess. I didn't realize just how messy my mess was, until we became one, and he saw it too.

Because my story shares other's stories as well, just know that the mess was bad. I hope one day, I'll be brave enough to share it, but now isn't quite the time. It was a lot to work through. And being newly married, I needed someone outside of my life to look in and help me see the gospel in it.

I found myself sobbing in my parked car after coming home from a session with a tender counselor. She spoke healing and redemption over my very hurt heart.

It wasn't something new. I had carried this pain for years. I learned to live with it. Operate around it. This pain, had become familiar to me. So familiar that I really forgot it was there.

Until then. When we became one.

It seemed to make it's way out, timidly, in the safety of my new marriage. When this gentle, kind man, that I now called my beloved, saw what I had walked through, the pain of those years couldn't stay hidden down in the depths of my heart any longer.

Not quite ready to walk in. I sat in my car. And cried.

All the years of hard, I had kept locked inside, found their way out of my heart, and landed as big drops of hot tears on my lap.

I remember crying out to the Lord, sitting in my car on that summer day, "Is all of this wasted? Are all of those years meant for nothing? Please tell me You will use this part of my story for some greater good other than mine. Because, yes, I love you more for those years. But please tell me they aren't just meant to be for me. Please don't let them be wasted."

Almost seven years have pasted since that day. I have watched a very faithful God take those years of ashes and turn them into something beautiful in the garden of my heart. Although they are not forgotten, He has taken those memories and replaced them with those of healing. He has used my precious husband to "restore to me all of those years that the locust had stolen" (Joel 2:25). And I'm learning that nothing is ever wasted.

The three years of infertility treatments. The up and down of taking hormones. The emotional rollercoaster I traveled every single month. Crying and begging Him for a baby. Finding myself heartbroken over, yet another, baby shower invitation or pregnancy announcement. The countless hours I spent on my face before Him. All of those days have not been wasted.

A friend's failed adoption, a widow's cries in the night, the single woman waiting for her beloved, bad test results, the unexpected bill, that hard child, and the rocky marriage. They are not wasted.

In all these things, He works. He loves us hard. It might feel as though it's only a big mess. Too big, too painful, and too ugly to be made beautiful one day. But He revives the hardest, darkest, and most painful moments of our lives. He uses them in our lives, to work for our good and His glory.

Somehow in His faithfulness and goodness, He reaches down and rewrites a story of grace.

Nothing is wasted.

Not one single thing.

"And we know that for those who love God

all things

work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28 ESV

*Thank you to

Rachel Ackerman Photography

for the photos*