On Manna and Muffins

Posted by on September 25, 2013 in Motherhood | 12 comments


It’s been a day laden with tears and upsets. Hurt feeling and clumsy injuries abound, and for a moment in the chaos, I want to run. But I don’t. Of course I don’t do that.

Instead I find myself giving out more hugs than a usual Tuesday morning, more strokes and scratches on small backs.

I am holding this one, while drying the eyes of that one, and all the while, the kitchen timer beeps incessantly in the background. Because when things get crazy, I bake.

When life rocks our boat hard, and we turn green from the wild up-and-down-side-to-side swishing, I don my apron, because food is more than survival here. Food restores community in the house, food brings us together to bow heads and fold hands–to hold hands.

Being in the kitchen eases the insanity. A velvet warmth, rich with the scent of good things envelops the house as I bake,  and calms children and invites conversation.

“What are you making?” they will ask me.

Can I help?” they inquire.

“Yes!, come help me!” I invite.

And they scramble up onto chairs and share licks from bowls. Before I know it, the arguing has been replaced with hums of sweetness from sugared lips. They share and take turns, and show love in a way that takes my tired heart and squeezes tears up into my eyes.

They join in group hugs and help each other clean when asked.

All of this change of heart born from delight in a surprise snack, from moments shared in joy.

And All this time while I’m mixing and observing this, I am thinking about how Christ’s goodness comes and fills–how when life hits the skids and we want to bail out and run the other way, his promises come, perfect, and mysterious, filling and complete–manna.

He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. Deuteronomy 8:3


Muffin Recipe

*this post has been edited from the archives

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  • http://www.lisanotes.com/ Lisa notes…

    Not sure exactly why this post is making me cry, but it is. Maybe those sweet faces. Maybe the permission that it’s okay for food to be “more than survival here.”

    So I just sent a text to my baby daughter coming home for the weekend, asking if she has any special food requests for her time at home. :) God made food as a special thing and it does do as you say: “food brings us together to bow heads and fold hands–to hold hands.”

    Great post, Kris.

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      What a generous comment, Lisa. So thankful that this touched you. I pray you enjoy a special time with your daughter when she comes home! ;) Food is special, and more than for just survival.

  • http://redemptionsbeauty.com/ Shelly Miller

    I could look at the photo of your littlest one all morning. She is so adorable. It is so true how the very act of creating food does this with children, calms, turns their heart like the psalmist from whoa is me to “but God.” And for us too. Hope today is better. Hugs to you my lovely friend.

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      Thanks, Shelly. She’s a real monkey! ;) These photos made me nostalgic, this morning, as they are 2 years old and my girls look so different now–particularly that younger one. This is an old dusty post from the archives, and yesterday was difficult in its own way–I wish we had made muffins–maybe today ;)

  • Elizabeth Stewart

    This is about the sweetest coping mechanism for household squabbles I ever heard of! Why didn’t I ever think of this!

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      Try it some time, Elizabeth :) it always works here.

  • Margo

    Those are the faces of some well loved kids!!! Full of manna > the grace of our God!

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      We are all stuffed full here with Grace. Fresh each day!

  • http://www.gettingdownwithjesus.com/ dukeslee

    What a beautiful post. The preparing of food is sacred, and if we don’t get worked up about the “mess” in the kitchen, having our children help is one of a mama’s precious gifts. We’ve made so many memories around the center island of our home.

    Have you ever read The Spirit of Food, a compilation of food-related stories put together by Leslie Leyland Fields? It’s a wonderful collection of stories that I think you’d really enjoy.

    • http://kriscamealy.com/ Kris Camealy

      I am always so happy in the kitchen. And yes, I have own and have read The Spirit Of Food. I truly LOVE that book. So many amazing essays in there. My copy is all marked up. I love the way food brigs people together. It is such a blessing!

  • Kirsten Oliphant

    What a great thing, to bake when the day is hard! I tend to bake when the day is easy, for I love it, but it doesn’t bring comfort necessarily. It brings a little more insanity with all the mess and everything, despite the fact that I love it. It is more therapy to me when the kids aren’t home. Tuesday they had school and I baked for like 5 hours: bread, green sauce, chicken enchilada casserole, pumpkin chocolate chip muffins… I made a huge mess and it was great.

  • Emily Wierenga

    oh, i love this Kris… i love how well you take care of your family… this just warms my heart. and those pictures??? priceless…