I'm in a fog, I consume a pot of coffee every morning but my body still feels lethargic. I alternate between crying uncontrollably and feeling totally numb. I remember the days of the various diagnoses--allergies, apraxia, autism--I cried and then sprung into action researching what could be done. This is different. I don't have any idea what can be done when my child's innocence has been taken away. When I finally see some of the root cause of his anxiety and acting out. The helpless feeling of not having protected him. The guilt from sending him to school when he asked to stay home. The anger hearing the principal say somehow it was partially his fault for not speaking up at the first instance. I hadn't wanted to tell anyone, would they judge me for not protecting him? Would they try to give too much unwanted advice? Does anyone really want to know such upsetting things, anyway, except to make themselves feel better about their own lives?

I went to church, thinking that worship would be a good thing, it might help me snap out of my funk. But I could hardly keep from crying the instant I walked in the door. It's one thing to go out in public and see people, answer their, "how are you?" with a simple, "fine." They don't really want to know how you are, it's just a greeting. I can plaster a smile on my face while at the grocery store. But at church, when people ask how I am doing, they really do care, they give hugs and pray with me. It seems like something I would want. But I couldn't go through with it. I hid in the Sunday school room with Herbie and listened to church through the P.A. system, wondering why I had even come. My husband went into the church with the Owl, who never wants to miss it.

I tried to stay calm for the sake of my son. I listened to the sermon while he did word finds and puzzles. The text for the message was about the "foolishness" of the cross, how what we perceive as God's foolishness is wiser than our wisdom. The pastor asked everyone to picture the most expensive piano they could think of. The bulletin had a picture of John Lennon's piano, on which he wrote Imagine, which sold at auction for $2 million. Our life is like that piano, comprised of so many intricate parts, keys, strings, it's complicated. Then he asked us to picture a crane lifting that piano up to an apartment window, but something goes wrong and the piano falls to the ground and is smashed to bits. Like our life sometimes. Like Christ on the cross. And then God sits down at that piano and starts to play an amazing piece of music.

As the music director started to softly play Imagine, the tears poured out like a waterfall. But it finally felt like release rather than sorrow, a glimmer of hope instead of hopelessness. I cannot hear it yet, but God is going to bring a beautiful piece of music out of what I thought was a broken instrument. And I am clinging to that hope.

18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written:“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise;
    the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe. 22 Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom, 23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles, 24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.

26 Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

1 Corinthians 1:18-31

There is something therapeutic about cooking, at least for me. Perhaps because I love eating a little too much, and chocolate a lot too much. And also because it is so rewarding to make something that the Owl can eat, and does eat, and actually asks for more. So while I have a post sitting in my drafts folder about things I never thought I would be up against as a parent, I'm not sure about publishing it yet. I turn to chocolate and desserts instead.

For coffee hour at church several weeks ago, someone brought in a pan of those peanut butter rice crispy treats with chocolate frosting on top. I have noticed that kind of bar is really popular here in Minnesota, there are a lot of versions of them. The recipes vary, but they are full of gluten-containing cereal, of course peanut butter, and often butter, likely soy in the chocolate (since soy is in everything!), and clearly off-limits for my youngest son. He doesn't usually ask to eat anything at coffee hour, we always have safe snacks for him. But for whatever reason, he was really drawn to those bars and asked me to make a safe version for him. So we've been doing some experimenting at home--a dangerous thing because when we make a whole pan of bars that taste good but don't hold together, what is a person supposed do besides eat them? And then after finally making the perfect pan of bars, it is hard to resist eating even more. Now that I have the recipe mastered, we are planning to make more to share at church! If you haven't discovered No Nuts Golden Peabutter, I highly recommend it! If you are avoiding gluten, be careful not to buy the regular Rice Krispies, look for the gluten-free version that is often in the natural foods aisle. Or you could use Erewhon or another GF brand.

Peabutter & Chocolate Rice Krispy Treats

¾ cup sugar
1 cup agave nectar
1 ½ cups No Nuts Golden Peabutter
6 cups gluten-free Rice Krispies

10 oz. package Enjoy Life chocolate chips
¼ cup NoNuts Golden Peabutter

Heat sugar and agave in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a silicone spatula until sugar is fully dissolved. Add peabutter and stir until creamy. Remove from heat and mix in cereal. Press into a 9x13 pan greased with Spectrum palm shortening.

Add chocolate chips and additional peabutter to saucepan. Heat over low heat, stirring until mixture is a smooth liquid. Pour over the top of the bars in the pan and spread evenly.

Cool & eat!