3 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Love

3 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Love

February is the month for l’amour, as the French would say.

We send cards both serious and sappy, we eat chocolates and strawberries, and decorate hearts to give to those we love. For many, Valentine’s Day is just another day for Hallmark to make its millions, for others it is an opportunity to show love and affection to those who matter most to us.

Our family loves Valentine’s Day.Our motto is, “The gaudier the better,” and I certainly don’t mind another excuse to go on a date with my man. But Valentine’s Day also promotes the concept of love, and gives us a wonderful opportunity to teach our kids (and remind ourselves) a few things about true love.

Most importantly when we talk about love we must begin with God because true love comes from God.

Three Things I Want My Kids to Know About Love

3 Things I Want Our Kids to Know About Love

1. True Love Comes From God

As much as I love romantic movies where everything is tied up in a pretty little bow at the end, it does not portray what true love really is. And while my kids enjoy fairy tales they need to know that those stories are simply that, stories.  

If we want a picture of true love we need our children to look to God.

In Him they will see love perfectly displayed. God is so very patient with us despite our sins, he is kind and encouraging in the midst of our failures and doubts, and he comforts us when we are hurting or fearful. Ultimately, it is his love that moved him to save us (Eph. 2:4-5).  

Christ died not in order to make God love us, but because He did love His people. Calvary is the supreme demonstration of Divine love. Whenever you are tempted to doubt the love of God, Christian reader, go back to Calvary.
-A.W. Pink

The reason we look to God for a true picture of love is because God does not simply show love, He is love. (1Jn. 4:16). It is a part of His nature and he cannot go against His nature.

2. True Love is self-sacrificing

Love is not just some fuzzy emotion that makes you feel all warm and gooey, as many Jr. High and High School TV shows seem to indicate.

True love is action and this action is done, not in order to get, but in order to give. True love exists on the opposite pole of selfishness. It is putting someone before yourself. It is giving up something so someone else can have it instead. It is sharing because you know the joy it will bring the other person.  It is sacrificing time in order to spend it with someone who is hurting.  

All of this is done without expecting something in return. True love does not need a “Thank You” card.

We see the craziest and best kind of self sacrifice in Christ laying down his life for us so we could be saved. It doesn’t get any more selfless than that. (Romans 5:8)

You can always give without loving, but you can never love without giving.
– Amy Carmichael

3. True Love is hard

Loving others is not for the faint of heart. Siblings can be annoying and self-centered, and  friends can be thoughtless and mean at times. To be loving in the midst of unkindness, inconsideration, or selfishness is hard. It’s hard because we are all these things as well. We are not the picture of perfection and so our sin gets in the way of loving others.

But showing love to others is also hard because it requires much of us. It requires that we do not retaliate, that we exercise self control, that we forgive and that we repay evil with good (1 Peter 3:9).

When we consider this kind of love, it is overwhelming.

In fact, this kind of love is impossible apart from Christ. We can only begin to understand love and love others when we first trust in God’s love for sinners. Only then can we love God, and only then can we love others who are just like us.

This is what I want my children to understand about true love.

Blessings,
Jen

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Proverbs 31:25,26

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Ten Lovely Things I Tell My Girls About Beauty

Ten Lovely Things I Tell My Girls About Beauty

I’m surprised that I couldn’t find anything on beauty.

That was her comment to me when we drove into town the other day.

My daughter, Vienna, kept her eyes on the road while she was driving, as I sat in the passenger seat looking out at the fresh snowfall that covered the countryside.

I wasn’t sure exactly where it was that she couldn’t find “beauty”, so I asked her to explain.

Well, I couldn’t find an article addressing beauty on your blog and it just surprised me, that’s all. You’ve talked with us about it ever since we were little girls . . . .

And she was right.

I am rather passionate about the topic of beauty. And I’ve often discussed it with the girls.

What beauty is. And what it is not.

Now just to clarify, the beauty Vienna was referring to was primarily physical beauty and the role it plays in a young woman’s life.

And we talked about it because I wanted our daughters to be aware of beauty . . . to feel beautiful . . . but not to get lost in the chase. Searching for some elusive, deceptive image out there. Seeking a kind of “pretty” that doesn’t exist outside of photoshop or plastic surgery.

Such an empty waste of time, energy, and gifts.

A potential trap, really, for all of us girls.

So I wanted – still want – our daughters to be free from such things. I hope that they will be happy with the way God made them and be content with their appearance.

And to know what it is to be truly beautiful—just the way you are.

(Below: our 4 daughters and my beautiful mother-in-law)

Savoury 2015

Vienna Jacobson in 2015

Our Girls with Avonlea

Pat Jacobson

10 Lovely Things I Tell My Daughters About Beauty

1.  Beauty can be seen in a genuine smile.

If there’s one real “beauty secret”, it’s a bright smile. Lights up your entire face and makes everyone near you feel special.  Maybe they can’t quite put their finger on it, but they’ll remember you as beautiful.

2.  Beauty is far more about loveliness than it is sexiness.

I suppose sexy has always been “in” – but now more than ever. It’s flaunted literally everywhere: posted all over the internet, splattered across magazines, and exposed in movies. But I suggest you save “sexy” for your husband and enjoy being simply lovely for everyone else.

3.  Beauty is cultivated with only a bit of care.

Look after yourself. Dress in clothes and colors that compliment you. Eat well. Get fit. Invest a little in your appearance – just don’t let it overly dominate your thoughts or budget.

4.  Beauty doesn’t draw attention to herself.

Your goal shouldn’t be to catch the eye of everyone else when you walk into a room. A sweet spirit and a warm heart have a longer-lasting impact – much more than high-fashion or pouty lips – on the people around you.

5.  Beauty is bringing out the best of you.

Maximize your favorite features—those qualities that are distinctive to you. The color of your eyes. The wave in your hair. These are your true “beauty spots”, so make the most of them!

6.  Beauty is not a standard set by celebrities or movie-stars.

The fame and good-looks of celebrities come and go, but God-given beauty is unchanging. Don’t look to Hollywood for your defintion of beautiful. Beauty existed long before the invention of cameras or film.

7.  Beauty is less body-conscious and more soul-aware.

The culture’s emphasis on the “perfect” body is incredibly deceptive. A beautiful woman is so much more than her outward curves. So much more. 

8.  Beauty based on youth fades, but true beauty stays until the end of your days.

Youth is fleeting, so don’t bank on being “forever young”. Take a long-term view of how you want to live and how you want to be remembered—aim for a beautiful life.

9.  Beauty embraces her imperfections.

Slim. Curvy. Crooked smile. Freckles. Big nose. Small nose. Short. Tall. We are all so keenly aware of what we consider to be our “imperfections.” But self-confidence is ten times more attractive than self-consciousness, so let go of those silly little things. They mean way less than you might think they do.

10. Beauty is about making the most of the very unique you.

And so that’s why there’s no need to compare yourself to others or try to look like everyone else. You are lovely because you are a gift from God.

So smile, my dear, because you are truly beautiful!

You are altogether beautiful, my love; there is no flaw in you. ~ Song of Solomon 4:7

In His grace,

Signature small

{See also: I Peter 3:3-4; Proverbs 31:30; I Samuel 16:7}

What every Daughter Desires To Hear From Her MomWhat Every Daughter Desires to Hear From Her Mom

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*Photo credits: Photos of Savoury and Vienna by Allison Harp Photography and the last two by Brenda Jacobson.

Lisa Jacobson on IG

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Does Your Husband Understand You? {Two Small Things That Would Make A World of Difference}

Does Your Husband Understand You - Two Small Thinge That Would Make a World of Difference
My husband and I talk a lot about how hard it is for men to understand women. We wives are so hard to figure out.

John once asked an older man if he understood his wife,

After all these years, do you understand your wife?

“Understand her—no way,” this sage man responded- “enjoy her, yes!”

His comment made my husband roar in laughter, but it also encouraged him.

In thinking about this I have found an image, which I hope, might help your husband or other men as they seek to understand our needs.

Lights

Picture for a moment a flashlight. One that takes 2 “Double A” batteries.

Over time it’s easy for these batteries to grow dim. They just get worn down. Sometimes one will go out before the other. Soon the flashlight will begin to flicker and the light will fade. It’s time to recharge, to put new batteries into your flashlight.

We women need two batteries to keep us bright.  Our “Double A’s” are appreciation and affection. These qualities can be rare in our worlds.

Appreciation. A 4 year old is not likely to say to his exhausted Mom, “Wow, Mom, you are doing a good job raising me.” There’s not a lot of appreciation for laundry done, dinner fixed, clothes washed.   It’s a rare husband who says, “Thanks honey for carpooling the kids all over the place today. I appreciate you.” A comment like that would do wonders to increase our battery life!

Affection is the second of our batteries that can become depleted. It’s hard for us women to get excited about sex if we haven’t experienced affection. It can make us feel cheap or used. Simply greeting us with a hug at the end of the day and saying, “I missed you today,” can help to recharge our battery. Give us a hug in front of the kids while exclaiming, “I love this woman, ” and you hit the jackpot! A phone call or text message just to say, Hope you are having a good day, can make a huge difference.

It’s a wise man who asks himself if his wife’s batteries need to be recharged. They probably do! As you men take steps to recharge them don’t be discouraged if we women don’t respond right away. Sometimes it takes repeated efforts. Just persist and we will lighten up in due time!

I hope you ladies will pass this along to your husband. It just might help him to realize that you are normal!

Blessings,

Susan Alexander Yates

15 Romantic Gift Ideas for the Man You Love*Ready for Valentine’s?  Here are 15 surprisingly romantic (and affordable) gift ideas for the man you love! 

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

100 Ways to Love Your Husband for Kindle
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15 Surprisingly Romantic Gift Ideas for The Man You Love

15 Romantic Gift Ideas for the Man

We are hopeless romantics. He and I. 

And, yes, we realize that this doesn’t really fit with the times we live in. Everything comes at you so fast and so much is quick and disposable.

No time for slow. Thoughtful. Hopeful. ‘Til death do you part.

But for some reason we still hang onto our old-fashioned romance.

We still hold hands.

We still kiss on the lips.

We still give little love-gifts and whisper words of kindness.

And while we recognize that this is only small stuff, we consider such things as a kind of glue that connects our two hearts.

So we keep it going. Even after all these years. Even though it goes against the flow of the world we live in.

It’s also why – after having 8 children and over two decades of marriage – we still celebrate Valentine’s Day like a couple of young lovers. 

Matthew and Lisa Jacobson in WinterAnd we still enjoy giving cards and small gifts to one another.

As far as I’m concerned, I think he has it somewhat easy. Chocolate. Flowers. Books. Jewelry. And that’s just off the top of my head!

But finding something “hopelessly romantic” for him? That’s another matter.

He used to tell me, “Oh, don’t bother. I don’t want anything anyway.” But that’s no fun! How can you “exchange” gifts if only one of you is giving? Exactly.

So over the years, I’ve found some neat gift ideas that he actually liked – far more than he probably thought he would. Things that he wouldn’t necessarily buy for himself, but enjoyed all the same.

Surprisingly romantic gifts.

Valentine's Present

And I’m sharing with you some of those ideas today….

*All products below are under $40 and intended as practical, helpful, or inspiring—-and surprisingly romantic. (This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)

Red Knife1

1. Deejo Linerlock Red 27Gram Knife

So you don’t think a knife should be considered as romantic? But didn’t you notice that it is red? And don’t forget that many men are drawn to these things. I know because I asked a group of guys in our church and received an enthusiastic “yes!” in reply.  This is that surprisingly part of romantic gifts for men. Available here.

Just the Ticket

2. Just the Ticket: Ticket Stub Organizer

Have you ever seen one of these? I thought this was such a great idea! It’s a ring-bound book where you can keep and record any special concerts, shows, trips, and sporting events. I don’t know about you, but I’m always finding various ticket stubs and receipts scattered across my husband’s desk. So here’s a creative way to gather all those memories in one place! Available here.

Bend Soap Company

3. Luxury Sweetheart Gift from Bend Soap Company

Ah yes, surprising isn’t it? Now hang in there with me on this one. It’s true: my husband is not likely to sink down into the tub on his own. BUT if I invite him to join me….and offer to scrub his back….Well, that’s another matter entirely. And soaking in a soothing tub together….?  ROMANTIC.

More details on soaps, scrubs, lotions, and gift sets available here. (And because they’re good friends of ours, they’re offering $5 off for the gift set. Just use the coupon code LOVE31. )

Mrignt Mens Casual Loose Fit Multi-Pockets Zipper Denim Vest Jacket

4. Mrignt Mens Multi-Pockets Zipper Denim Vest Jacket

You know how we women get a little swoony when we get a beautiful new sweater as a gift? Well, for some reason, a manly, multi-pocketed vest seems to have the same affect on a man. I’m not sure I can even explain it. It’s just their thing. And far more romantic than it might first appear. Available here.

Rosemary Salmon by catzinthekitchen

5. Cook Up Something Special Just for Him

So you’ve heard that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Some truth there. So cook up his favorite comfort food like maybe this Beef Stroganoff, or try something new and fabulous such as these Rosemary Salmon steaks. Put on a movie for the kids or wait until they’ve gone to bed, and then enjoy a long, romantic dinner for two.

Scratch Map World - Unique Scratch Off Map Travel Gift with Flags of the World and US States - By Landmass Goods

6. Scratch Map World

Whether your husband has traveled – or could imagine where he’d like to travel someday – this map would be fun to have on his wall. Maybe even the two of you could dream together about the places you’ve been and the places you’d like to go! Available here. 

Deluxe Hot Sauce Making Kit

7. Deluxe Hot Sauce Making Kit

So at first I thought it was just my husband, but when I mentioned the idea to my friends? Many of them said their husbands would love this too. Kit includes everything you need for making 6 sauces and you can do it at home! I’m going to resist the obvious remarks about it being *hot*….although it’s very tempting! Available here. 

Complete Shaving Kit

8. Complete Shaving Kit

My husband has a beard and mustache, but if he didn’t? I’d definitely want to get this kit for him. This is waaaayy more romantic than disposable razors (and cheaper to replace than expensive cartridges)! He might not get it for himself, but if you gave it to him….? Might be just the thing! Available here.

Matthew L Jacobson in Office

The Man I Love

Beard Pack by Grave Before Shave

9. Beard Pack

As my own man has a beard and has for many years now, I’d be inclined to go this direction. The pack includes two beard oils (by Grave Before Shave – get it?), pine tar soap (manly!), and a switchblade. It doesn’t come in a gift box, but would look nice in one of those inexpensive wood boxes you can pick up at most craft stores. This has a certain cool factor, plus it smells sooo wonderful! Available here.
100 Ways to :ove Your Wife 400Gift

10. 100 Ways to Love Your Wife by Matthew L Jacobson

★★★★★A fantastic and practical read
This book was just great. It was a quick read but very practical. He gave you numerous examples on how to love your wife and examples of how not to. Some of the chapters were super short but since each chapter was one of the ways to love your wife it worked out. Great read! ~ Amazon review

I almost didn’t include this in our list here. But then we received so many enthusiastic “thank you’s”  recently from guys who found this book very helpful in their desire for a better marriage. It is full of short, practical and inspiring ways for a man to love his wife. And if you’re looking for “his and her” gifts, there’s the companion book for wives, 100 Ways to Love Your Husband by Lisa Jacobson (me!). Available here.

Leather Travel Journal

11. Classic Genuine Leather Travelers Notebook

I wondered if this journal might have lost favor in the age of digital technology, but when I asked a group of guys about it? They all gave this one a big thumbs-up! So apparently, this is a timeless gift that he’s not likely to purchase for himself, but would be secretly thrilled to own one. Available here. 

Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen, Black, Classic Design

 

12. Pilot Metropolitan Collection Fountain Pen, Black Barrel, Classic Design

Super cool pen to go with his leather journal. Or maybe just a really amazing pen all on it’s own. It writes and looks like a very expensive pen, except that it’s surprisingly affordable. And surprisingly romantic. Available here.

Givenchy Play Intense by Givenchy

13. Casual Fragrance for Men:  Play Intense by Givenchy

My husband is not a big “cologne guy” but even he admitted that he liked this one. It has a light, classy scent – not overpowering – for the guy who just wants to smell nice. Know what I mean? Masculine. Available here.

Ciera Rose Carter Cards

Ciera Rose Carter Cards 1

14. Handcrafted Cards from Ciera Rose

Our young friend and artist, Ciera Rose, creates and watercolors these adorable cards! (I know, “adorable” isn’t a very masculine word, but you know what I mean, right?). On some years, my husband and I have skipped the gifts and simply exchanged cards with one another. And I’ve kept every one of them in a keepsake box. True treasures. Ciera Rose card collection available here.

Timex Men's Expedition Uplander Watch with Camo Nylon Band

15. Timex Men’s Expedition Uplander Watch with Camo Nylon Band

I’ll take the pearl necklace anyday, but for him….? An expedition watch is more like it. And this one communicates “adventure” and “challenge” and “conquer” all in one and at a decent price. Available here. 

So there it is….15 surprisingly romantic gifts for the man you love.

Happy Valentine’s to the both of you!

Heart Roses*My husband, Matthew, also put together this creative list of Valentine’s Gift Ideas for Your Wife! (And, no, we don’t “peek” at each other’s ideas, in case you were wondering! :)

In His grace,

Signature small

 

*A small reminder, or if you’re new here: If you purchase the items through the links here, I might get a small affiliate compensation – with no additional cost to you – from some of  them and so I thank you for that. But while I appreciate your purchase, you should also know that I share this as my genuine opinion and personal enthusiasm for these items. See my full disclosure here.


7 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine’s Day as a Family

7 Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day as a Family

Confession: I have not always been a fan of Valentine’s Day.

As a mom, I objected to the commercialism, the sugar-high, and the obvious cheese-factor. Seemed something of a waste of time and energy, as far as I was concerned (guess that disqualifies me from the “Fun Mom of the Year Award”?).

But now our family – including this formerly dubious mom – looks forward to our Valentine’s celebration each year.

So what changed? You wonder.

Mostly my attitude.

And I have my husband, Matthew, to thank for that. He began conspiring with the kids to come up with some sweet ideas on how they could bless each other…and me.

Hard to refuse, right?

Not only that, but they somehow managed to avoid the sappy commercialism that I detested so much and put together a celebration that truly communicated love to one another.

And that’s something this mom can get behind. To me, that’s worth – more than worth – a little extra time and  expense. I’m all about encouraging love around here!

So in case you too have had your doubts….or have wanted to do something, but are looking for some creative ideas?

Here are 7 options for a Fun Family Valentine’s Celebration!

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)Ever Thine Home Valentine's Cards

1. Exchange Valentine’s cards as a family.

You can make your own with construction paper, scissors, and crayons or coloring pencils.

Ever Thine Home Valentine's Card

OR, if you’re a non-crafty mom like me, you can find some really sweet family cards {like the ones above at Ever Thine Home}!

Or these chocolate-scented, scratch-n-sniff Valentines (yes, I’m serious! and they’re really yummy smelling!).

College Boy's Valentine

2. Express love and appreciation for one another.

This one can be closely related to the first one. My husband encouraged each one of our children to share around the table what they loved and appreciated about each other. Some of them simply read their cards aloud, while others prepared a few thoughtful words to say. But you might want to have tissue ready – in case your son in college thanks you for the washed clothes and good food, for instance……*sniff Love notes are welcome in our home any day of the year! 

Rice-Krispie-Heart-Pops

3. Bake something special together.

So maybe it’s just because I have a weakness for rice-crispie treats, but I think this is sooo adorable! And rather do-able! So if you’re going to splurge on a bit of sugar, you might want to try these Heart-Shaped Rice-Crispie Treat Pops from my friend Alison over at PintSizedTreasures. Basically, all you need is a heart-shaped cookie cutter and a rice-crispie treat recipe!

valentine-buttons-so-easy-

OR for another fun, yummy option? These Valentine Pretzel Buttons from Becky over at YourModernFamily. Super easy and a delicious salty-sweet! (I love recipes with only three ingredients! Square pretzels, red/pink M & M’s, and Hershey’s Kisses.)

color-your-heart-out-valentine-1024x683

4. Create a fun craft together.

I can’t believe this non-crafty mom just suggested that. But honestly, isn’t this a cute idea? And so simple that I think even I could do it. Mostly what you need is a heart-shaped muffin tin and crayon pieces. Directions (and free printables!) are available from my friend, Crystal, HERE.

Heart Shaped Waffles

5. Cook up a creative love-breakfast for your family.

My mom used to do this for us when we were kids and I still have fond memories! Besides, this year Valentine’s Day falls on a Sunday and all the more reason to make a special breakfast. So why not make some heart-shaped pancakes or waffles for your family? Such a happy way to start off the day!

Whole-Wheat Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce Recipe

Or, Almond Waffles Recipe from CatzintheKitchen

Fun Ways to Celebrate Valentine's Day As A Family

6. Make heart-shaped….everything.

Well, maybe not literally everything, but at least bunches of stuff. Playdough. Sandwiches (cut out the bread with cookie cutters). Construction paper. Napkins. Basically, plan on an all-out heart theme for the day. Yep. Just give your kids (if they’re old enough) a set of heart-shaped cookie-cutters and see what they come up with! You might be surprised…..

Ever Thine Home How-Do-I-Love-Thee

7. Focus on the true meaning of Love.

Don’t let the world falsely define love for your family, but direct them toward the True Author of Love. Go through I Corinthians 13 and other verses in the Bible which talk about the real meaning of love.

This year I’m hanging up these Valentines across the fireplace mantle in our living room as a daily reminder of what Love really is. Each card has a definition of an aspect of love, as well as a short story and simple questions. I’m thinking we might just keep it up all year long….? {Valentine’s garland available from Ever Thine Home}

Ever Thine Home Valentine's Garland

I Corinthians 13

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude.  It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never ends.

My hope is that our family grows in their love for one another – and for their God and Savior each day.

And I hope the same for you and yours.

Happy Valentine’s Day!!

*And how do you and your family enjoy celebrating Valentine’s? Please share! 

15 Romantic Gift Ideas for the Man You Love**More Ideas:  15 Surprisingly Romantic (and affordable) Gift Ideas for the Man You Love! 

 

In His grace,

Signature small

 

*A small reminder, or if you’re new here: If you purchase the items through the links here, I might get a small affiliate compensation – with no additional cost to you – from some of  them and so I thank you for that. But while I appreciate your purchase, you should also know that I share this as my genuine opinion and personal enthusiasm for these items. See my full disclosure here.


What Marriage Taught Me About Love, Courage, and A Little Homemade Bread

What Marriage Can Teach About Love, Courage, and Homemade Bread

You could tell it came as something of a surprise.

I mean, that I’d even consider attempting the thing at all.

Everyone knew how utterly inept I was in the kitchen. So this announcement was rather unlike me and his astonishment was understandable.

I had decided to bake bread.

Real bread. With wheat kernels, yeast, oil and salt. Starting from scratch and made with my own hands.

It’s hard to guess what got into me. Not that I didn’t love food and everything surrounding it. I was an avid subscriber to the magazines – Cook’s Illustrated, Food & Wine, Saveur – and devoured every issue. I collected cookbooks and watched Julia Child reruns after our babies were tucked in bed. I mentally rehearsed the delicious recipes, picturing each step and the scrumptious smells that would surely accompany it.

Yet it was all pretend. Make-believe. A kind of game I played.

Because the truth was – I was afraid of the kitchen.

Afraid of mistakes.

Oh, the chefs made it sound so easy. But I knew better. I was closely acquainted with the unpredictable nature of cooking and baking. Anything could go terribly wrong at anytime and you might well be mocked for it. Teased, put down, and reminded of your failed chocolate cake for years to come.

No, the kitchen was not a safe place – not if you didn’t want to get hurt.

My dear husband understood how it was for me and had tried to convince me otherwise, but I wouldn’t hear it.

Couldn’t do it.

So instead he supplied me with all sorts of beautiful cooking magazines and books, hoping to somehow satisfy the hunger he could see in the eyes of his new bride.

Never mentioning the irony of the Kraft Macaroni & Cheese box propped up against the Barefoot Contessa. Never complaining about the burnt casseroles or tasteless store-bought cakes. It was as though he loved me no matter what I did, or how things turned out. And, in the end, that’s probably what persuaded me.

Looking back, I’d say he loved me into the kitchen.

What Marriage Taught Me About Love, Courage and Homemade Bread

So there I stood, suddenly determined to bake bread. Of all things. Coming as big of a surprise to me as it was to him.

I buried my hands into the warm, freshly-ground flour and started scooping the stuff into a large, white bowl. Added the yeast, golden oil, raw honey, and sea salt.

Then began mixing and kneading.

Pushing and pulling. Raising and baking.

And voila! (got that from Julia Child)

Six gorgeous loaves of homemade bread. Complete with the toasty, tantalizing aroma I’d always imagined. Just like in the magazines.

The best was yet to come, however, the part that’s not possible to capture on those glossy pages. That moment when my husband and young children gathered to devour one slice after another of the heavenly loaves.

Not that they were perfect.

Far from it. They were a bit doughy in the middle. Could use a pinch more salt. And I should’ve let them cool longer before removing from the pans.

Mistakes, I suppose.

Although there wasn’t any mocking or scoffing here.

No. Quite the contrary.

My small family looked up at me with their adoring faces as if I’d somehow done something fabulous. Something courageous.  Certainly, something wonderful.

But all I’d done was a bit of baking.

Simply shared a little love from my kitchen.

And a slice of homemade bread.

In His grace,

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*Here’s the same recipe I’ve been using for 18 years…Bon appetit!

Whole Wheat Bread Recipe

And here’s my Whole Wheat Bread Ingredient Kit for those who are interested

(This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure.)100 Ways to Love Your Husband for Kindle

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