Other than the run of the mill, deciding which half marathon to run next, dealing with a certain preschooler crashing face-first off her bike into the curb, making dessert for MOPS, and getting a little substitute teaching time in last week, I haven't been up to too much. So, in the meantime I'll share with you what is on my heart.
I have been attending MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) since Grace was a baby. I have met some amazing women and have watched faith in action through this program. Some of the speakers we have had have been so motivating and inspiring, I have been left feeling in complete awe and in appreciation of their work, dedication to their passion, and above all commitment to being a good mom and caring for their family. One such speaker, who also happened to be another MOPS mom in my group, was Amie Cross, who spoke last year about her family and their upcoming missions trip to South Sudan. At the time of her presentation I remember thinking, "Wow, this woman is amazing. Her husband is going to be building water purification systems and teaching water purification techniques to the Sudanese people in their area while she cooks, cleans, home schools and cares for her four young children, all the while 'dealing with' the elements and realities of living in an extremely different environment." Wow, right? I remember thinking I don't think I would have the courage to do what she is doing. I mean, what if something happened?
Well, something has happened, and I would like to ask you to pray for this dear family. For days, Amie and the children have, one by one, been affected by a severe intestinal illness. After several days of sickness, the family was fortunately able to get from their small village to Nairobi and has begun receiving medical help (no easy task, nor an inexpensive one...think about riding in the bed of a pickup on dirt roads, waiting for the airport to open in order to get to a plane which was out of fuel and needed to get to another airport to refuel....yes, these things really did happen, all the while with puke and fevers and all around miserable achey bodies). As I type, they are awaiting test results so that a correct course of treatment can be determined.
The Cross Family has been blessed by both a physical and prayerful support system. Please join me in making that support system stronger. Here is a link to their facebook page, where the family is able to periodically post updates, as well as to their blog, http://gospelwater.net, which will no doubt leave you feeling inspired and uplifted by the work that they are doing (and will give you a good laugh at some of their experiences!).
I am so reminded of the fear and stress I felt just a couple of short months ago when Emma had spent days vomiting and become so severely dehydrated that she had to be hospitalized for three days. It was a scary time, and we were only minutes from the help that we needed. I simply cannot imagine the emotional roller coaster this family has been on for the past few days. Thank you for keeping them in your thoughts.
Now, about that dessert I mentioned for MOPS. I'm on week 2 of no refined sugar, so was slightly disappointed when I realized I was to provide a dessert for this morning's meeting. But, I came up with something that must have been good, because there was just enough for Grace and Emma to finish off a couple bites each when we got home.
Gluten-Free Berry Crisp
3 cups berries (I used my Costco mix of blueberries, rasberries, and blackberries)
1/4 cup honey
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup basic gluten-free flour
1/8 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup Sucanat or brown sugar
1/2 cup gluten free oats
1/4 cup Spectrum shortening
1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Toss the berries with the honey. Sprinkle with the cornstarch and gently incorporate.
3. Grease an 8 by 8 baking dish. Transfer the berries to the dish.
4. Whisk together the dry ingredients. Melt the shortening and add it to the dry mix. Mix until you have a large crumb. Sprinkle over the berries.
5. Bake for 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling up.
I did steps 1-4 last night then put it in the oven this morning. Again, it was delicious!