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On Baking Bread and Remembrance

 This week we Heart Matters gals are highlighting Amber Krueger's beautiful blog. She uses her gifts of creativity and artistry to bless and encourage others to do the same.


Check out her blog: https://byambershands.com/. It's a wonderful collection of yummy recipes, creative crafts and ideas to inspire you to tap into your own God-given gifts and abilities.




The last few days have been incredibly difficult ones for me.


On days like today, when my heart is heavily burdened, when my thoughts are clouded and my spirit is grieved, I find myself drawn to performing simple tasks with my hands.


Today I turned off the television, turned away from social media, did my best to shut out all the distractions and baked bread.




There is something about the process of baking bread– the taking of simple ingredients like flour, water, and yeast; the working of dough in one’s hands and making something wonderful out of it– that helps to order one’s thoughts and soothe a troubled soul.



Our lives require more silence than we’re typically given. When I was younger I avoided silence at all costs. Now I find myself seeking out the few moments I can get.


The resting of the dough reminds me to take time for silence, for reflection, for prayer.




The last few days I’ve found myself thinking a lot about my Lola and Lolo— my grandparents. Little things remind me of them, like the brooch worn by a dear friend on Saturday. She loved my Lola and Lolo, too.


What I wouldn’t give to be able to talk things over with them.




To have them speak into this situation with their many years of wisdom. I do my best, but sometimes we all need the guidance of those with far more experience than we have.



I’ve been thinking back over conversations I had with them, trying my best to hear what they would say to me now.



I suppose that at times we’re forced into wisdom through trial-by-fire. Through having to make difficult decisions, sometimes without the counsel we would like, only to discover our fate later down the line.



I remember my Lolo extolling the virtues of bread and peanut butter smeared with the thinnest layer of mustard. I thought he was totally bonkers for trying to get me to try that combination. (After all, Lolo was nothing if not quirky.) But my adventurous taste buds won out and I tried it, and indeed he was right.


I would have preferred today to use a spicy brown mustard, but all I had in the house was basic yellow, so it had to suffice.



I wish that today I could have invited them to my house, to break bread alongside them at my table. Served with peanut butter and mustard. Maybe with a strong bleu cheese and Dove dark chocolate. Those were Lolo’s favorites. I’d sip tea with my Lola from the tea cup she gave me, and we’d talk and laugh and cry, and they would tell me the right thing to do in this situation. They, of all people, would know the words to say.


Instead I sat and remembered them over my bread and tea, and broke bread instead with my son. Who knew 3 year olds would beg for mustard on their peanut butter? I hope one day to have the wisdom to counsel him when he faces situations which seem to have no good answers. I know first hand how much it means.


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The recipe for the bread I used is from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. If you’re interested in making artisan bread but feel intimidated by the process, I highly recommend this book. While I only made half a recipe and baked it all at once today, the dough is designed to be stored in the refrigerator for up to 14 days, allowing you to take some dough out at any point and quickly baking a loaf of bread as needed.


I'm Amber. You'll find things here that I create with my hands. Recipes, paper and fabric crafts, and kids activities. I hope you find inspiration here.


Currently a stay-at-home mom of two adorable and wonderful kids, Little Man and Miss Bean. I love to cook, eat, and create things with my hands.


In between freaking out about how fast my kids are growing up, I love creating things with paper and fabric, creating and exploring new recipes (and eating them!) and crafting with my kids. I also love planning birthday parties and you’ll find posts all about those here as well. I’m passionate about God and my family and I hope you find inspiration here!



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Julie has been inspiring children, youth, and women as a speaker, teacher, silent retreat leader, author and mentor for over 30 years. She was the Director of Women's Bible Studies at Eagle Brook Church, is a certified Spiritual Director and the owner of Heart Matters Publishing Company. She is an alumnus of Bethel University and Christos Center for Spiritual Formation. As an author she has written Bible Study Curriculum and Devotionals, including her latest collaboration, Whispers of God's Grace. Julie draws on her wide range of life experiences, humor and love of God's Word and His creation for her writing. When she is not writing, you will find her absorbed in a good book, puttering in her garden or dreaming of France. Julie and her husband, Rey, live in White Bear Lake, MN and are the parents of two grown sons, Erik and Kyle.




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