Ordinary things sometimes bring me such comfort. Warm from the oven chocolate chip cookies. A clean house. Stacks of fresh folded laundry. Happy pups napping in their beds in the kitchen. All week I’ve been focused on things like this. I’ve battoned down the hatches so to speak and nestled in. Mike and I have found ourselves on a perilous journey. A road we wouldn’t have chosen. Mike’s job has taken a bad turn. He’s been moved to a lower position with the location far from our house. And we are unsure how much his pay will be effected. The ramifications could be huge.
At least he still has a job. So many others aren’t that fortunate. People all over the country are feeling the blow of recession. It’s everywhere and it’s right here at home. I feel a sadness tighten in my chest, I say a prayer and keep doing the next right thing. I need comfort. Mike needs comfort. So I slowly and methodically move through my days taking more time for prayer. More time to read God’s word. I keep the house quiet. Don’t talk on the phone. I don’t talk much period. During difficult times talking can lead me straight into a spiral that may take days to come out of…I find peace in routine, in simplicity. Things like seperating the laundry. Taking care to fold each piece right from the dryer. I sweep and mop the floors, fluff the sofa pillows, dust my bookshelves, wash the sheets, make the bed…
Today is Friday and I’ve worked hard all week to regain a semblance of sanity. Mike and I need sanity here at home when outside of these walls everything else in our life seems to be in turmoil. Now, the house feels clean. Looks orderly. It’s very still, the only sound, my sweet pup, Ollie’s, nails on the hardwood floors when he moves from his bed to the couch to finish out his nap. I came into the kitchen a while ago and without even thinking started pulling out ingredients for our favorite chocolate chip cookies. (Actually I call them: “Tons a Chips Cookies” because they not only have semi sweet and milk chocolate chips in them, I also put in white chocolate, and butterscotch chips! )
I felt my heart rate go down as I mixed the flour, instant vanilla pudding, and baking soda. I have no idea why baking relaxes me but it does. I melted sticks of butter and mixed them with the sugars and eggs without paying much attention. Just one simple task after the other. And calm begins to wash over me. Before I know it the first batch is baking in the oven and that aroma, you know the one, from your childhood, it wafts through the house. The pups wake up and lazily make their way over to the oven. Sitting at attention, they know I’m good for a fresh from the oven pinch (minus the chocolate). I bake my way through the next hour then when the last batch comes out I pour myself a glass of cold milk and sit down to enjoy a cookie or two…or three.
I hear a lawn mower in the distance and birds are chirping all around my feeders outside the window. The pups have settled back down in their beds and the house is still again. The milk is frosty and this bite of cookie is melting in my mouth. For a moment these little things have given me peace in the midst of the storm. For a moment the ordinary is to me, extraordinary.
2 1/4 Cups all purpose flour
1 small pkg. vanilla pudding mix
1 Cup (2 sticks) real butter melted
3/4 Cup white sugar
1 Cup packed brown sugar
1Cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 Cups milk chocolate chips
1/2 Cup butterscotch chips
1/2 Cup white chocolate chips
Combine flour, baking soda and pudding mix in small bowl. Beat butter, white sugar, brown sugar and vanilla in large mixing bowl.
Beat eggs one at a time, beating well after each-
Gradually beat in flour mixture 1/2 Cup at a time-
Stir in all chips
Use parchment paper on a cookie sheet and drop rounded Tablespoon fulls onto ungreased parchment. Bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for 9-11 minutes. Let stand for a couple of minutes then move to wire rack to cool completely!