On Manna and Muffins

On Manna and Muffins

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

Sharing this post in community with Emily, Jennifer and Ann.


  1. 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.

  2. 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.

    1. 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 😉

  3. 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.

    1. 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!

  4. 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.


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