The "I Don't Know" Predicament

>> Tuesday, June 3, 2014



I'm in a huge season of "I Don't Know". It's a real struggle for me. I like things very black and white.  I like something or I don't, and mostly I'm either good at something or I'm not - meaning I will then pursue it or I won't. When there happens to be an in-between, it's really not my strong suit. I kinda lose patience with myself, with everyone around me, and kind of like to throw mini pity parties. 

This "I don't know predicament" is flooding itself into just about every area of my life. There's the new job, raising an ever growing feisty little toddler, the somewhat unexplained knee pain and body aches holding me back from completely getting my running routine back, and feeling like I have lost my creativity in the kitchen. 




Let's talk about the kid! There are days that I really feel like I have absolutely NO idea what to do about the screaming toddler at my feet. There's something about a baby banging his head in public over your refusal of him eating bird poop that kind of gives you that "end of my rope feeling". Or flailing arms and legs every which way and screaming lungs while the church parking lot watches the music pastor's wife wrangle the kid to the car because he kept running on the stage. Makes me feel like I just won the mom of the year award! But really, the heart of the matter is - how do I raise a child that is passionate and strong but loving and kindhearted at the same time? I... Don't... Know! 

Wanna talk about post-baby body? Well, here you go. I've picked up running again multiple times a week (even if all things have NOT settled back into place - mom's you know what I'm talking about!) only to find that the knee pain that made me stop running while I was pregnant has not disappeared. Or running, and running hard does not a skinny body make! It used to work so well, why not now? I just don't know. 

I've recently decided to trade in a lot of the comfort foods I cling to for bare bones instead. Giving up sugar for a while in an effort to cleanse my innate addiction to the sheer love of food. Putting limits on the amount of food I'm letting in my body and being more conscious. Not as a way of deprivation, but just being intentional. (Except for that half a cookie I ate and hid at the bottom of the bag so my husband wouldn't notice I ate it!) But I've had to settle that these decisions have been good for my overall health, but have not made a bit of difference in the way I look. It's frustrating making the right decisions and not seeing any progress.... feeling the meaning of "I don't know what's going on here" to it's depths. And let's not talk about the cooking. Ha. Because I have shifted what I'm making a lot, it makes for new challenges, and I've found that I feel like I have no idea what I'm doing all over again... I've had several meal flops in the last few months! 



I have to tell you, sharing some of this, being honest about a few areas of struggle going on with me lately makes me feel a bit exposed. Opened up and raw. But something I think I've learned in the past 6 months.. I think it's okay to say "I don't know". I'm not sure why I don't know the answer's to things. I'm not sure why I haven't gotten clarity on what I'm supposed to do in situations. I think when I try and try and try in my own flesh, it makes things muddier. There has to be a time when I just stop my wandering and relinquish my own desire to know it all, have all the answers and figure it all out, and use it as a time to become vulnerable with those around me. Share my struggles with the people that really care about me, and maybe lean in and let God guide me from here on out - even if the answer to my "I don't know" is not always one I want. 

Not knowing the answers doesn't always lead to a restful night's sleep, but I've noticed that when I begin to open up the fist of things I'm holding on to, trying to figure out on my own, and share it with others - it makes you courageous and gives you a place to stand up on two feet for a bit while someone else helps carry the weight! I'm opening myself up to this more and more, and if you know me well, you'll know it's something that is really hard for me. But I'm deciding that I want something beautiful and meaningful in my relationships with others and with God, even if at the end of the day I'm still saying, "I just don't know". 

The "I don't know" doesn't seem so powerful when we allow others to help shoulder the weight of the unknown. 

Can you relate? Are you in a season of an "I don't know predicament"? Are you leaning on those around you because you can't figure it out on your own? 

Life was handing me lemons, so instead of lemonade, I made lemon cake! By the way... I know the cake in these pictures are completely against all the "cutting out sugar" nonsense I was discussing. But to be fair, this was actually made quite a while ago, before my no-sugar pact was made. It's best made with fresh Meyer lemons (which I happen to have a tree in my yard!!), but any lemons will do. I know you'll enjoy! 



Meyer Lemon Pound Cake 
Adapted from My Baking Addiction


Ingredients:
1 1/4 cups superfine baking sugar, divided use
zest from 6-8 Meyer lemons
1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice, divided use
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. plain yogurt
3/4 teaspoons pure Mexican vanilla extract

For the Cream Cheese Icing
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 tablespoons milk
1 -2 tablespoon freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon pure Mexican vanilla extract
Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a loaf pans and dust with powdered sugar to keep loaf from sticking. 
2. In a medium bowl, combine 2 cups of sugar and all of the lemon zest until the sugar is moist and you can smell the lemon in the sugar.
3. Cream the butter with the lemon sugar mixture with a mixer until light and fluffy, and pale in color. With the mixer on medium speed, add the eggs, one at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition.
4. In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In another bowl, combine 1/4 cup lemon juice, the yogurt, and vanilla. Add the flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to the butter/sugar batter, starting and ending with the flour. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
5. Combine 1/2 cup granulated sugar with 1/2 cup lemon juice in a small saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. When the cake is done, allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Then remove the cake from the pans and set on a rack set over a baking sheet. Spoon the lemon syrup over the cake, allowing the syrup to seep into the cake. Cool completely.
6. For the cream cheese icing: Beat together cream cheese and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Add milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and keep beating until smooth. If the mixture is too thick, you can add a little more milk 1 teaspoon at a time until you reach a smooth, spreadable consistency. Spread the icing over the top of the cake.

1 comments:

mc August 25, 2014 at 11:07 PM  

Well theres one thing I do know.. That cake looks scrumptious!

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