Stand Upon Grace

Homesteading with heart~Cultivating the art of intentional living

An Instrument of Peace


Last night’s soft blanket of snow envelops the earth in loving warmth as dawn comes slowly this morning, shaking the cobwebs loose as I endure the wait for the kettle to whistle it’s shrill signal that coffee will soon be here. Chilled hands wrapped around a hot mug provide the comfort that my soul needs this winter morn. I watch out the homestead window, as light slowly but unwaveringly begins to permeate the day, wrapped snug in blankets, cocooned in warmth.  My heart searches this winter holiday season for purpose, and I realize the prayer that my heart has been feeling deeply into.

Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace.

Yes, this.

An Instrument of Peace.

Let me let go of hurting, and pain, and perfection; instead receive peace.

Let me forgive who needs forgiving, and ask for my own forgiveness from others when I fall.

Let me soften my face, my eyes, my body, my heart so that I can open to receive.

Let me fill my cup with love so deep and divine that it runneth over to my family, my community, and the world.

Let my heart and hands open to serve in love.

Let me go where I am needed. Let me serve who needs serving. Let me do what needs doing.

Make peace my prayer.  Make prayer my language. So that the peace and prayer become one, and I too become at cell level, peace.

Yes, make me an instrument of peace.

Breathe peace.

Let peace become me, and me become peace.

Let peace permeate all that I do.

Let all that I do be done in love with a peaceful heart.

Let me let go of expectations, of busyness, and instead become an instrument of peace. A vessel for divine work to flow through, a channel for love.

Let me still my soul so that I can hear.

Let my heart and home become permanent residences of peace. Let all who enter my hallowed walls feel peace, and leave restored.

This is my prayer, make me an instrument of peace.



Ugly Muffins

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The brutally honest truth is this:  Ugly Muffins happen.

There are good muffin days when everything comes out from the oven Pinterest- worthy, and then there are the days when the promise of a new recipe idea falls a bit flat in the middle, hence the ugly muffin.  Hmmm.

Most of the time, the ugly muffin gets very little credit for it’s role in the creation process, they are smuggled into lunch pails, eaten hastily in the kitchen, or disguised under a lovely layer of ganache.  God forbid you get company for coffee on an ugly muffin day.  Yikes.

But consider this, if it weren’t for the ugly muffin, the trial and error, the learning of the process there would be no glorious mountain peak muffins.  It is but for the trying, the learning in creating, that we figure out how to tweak, reconfigure, and begin again.

So today, in the early morning light of my homestead kitchen, I am thankful for the ugly muffins, and a chance to begin again.

Perpetual Jar of Iced Tea


The rooster crows indignant of the stifling heat and humidity that is already billowing in through open windows of the old farm house. He seems to be daring the day into being, his mighty crow a lusty, bring it on dare. I, on the other hand, am not feeling so bold this morning, longing for a reprieve to the stifling, bone roasting heat, coupled with the thick weight of the air makes it hard to breathe deep. Ah, summer.

Those fabulous days by the lake, sunshine and happiness radiant everywhere.  Slowing the pace to really soak it all up, take it all in, before winter overtakes us all once again.  Creating intentional moments, fire-crackling nights, the faintly musty smell of canvas and sleeping bags hauled up from the basement wrapping us all in familiar tradition.  As the garden grows and bursts into bloom, we also get to grow and bloom.  The intensity of heat, the fire of our soul, cracks us open creating ash and fertile ground to feed our growth.  To help nourish us into the next season.

So I, like that brazen little rooster out there, say a wholeheartedly, bring it on!  I am here for the journey, I can take the heat, at least well enough to know that this is what it takes to move forward.  This burning in my soul, my heart, embers on fire breaking me open to be more, give more.  I stand in the flames, no longer willing to be afraid of the heat.  My soul gently smoldering in love.  I got this. We got this.  This is how you do this parenting thing, you give your heart fully, the weight of the love cracks you open, makes you more, dares you to give more, and the soul gives way to the heat of it all, breaking open charred cracks making room for more love.

With the heat of the day on the horizon, I quiet my blazing heart.  I search inward for Jesus, for an example of how to give more, how to be more, how to love more.  And the answer is right there, you let the cracks bust wide open, you stand in the fire, you surrender to grace.  You lay it all down, the fears, the anxiety, the old patterns, the what ifs, and let it all go up in flames, smoke puffing hard, burning you back to faith, back to big love.

Because that’s what its all about.

Love bigger than all of us.  That’s what we need to put out the fire of the moment, a splash of icy cold refreshment washing over the five-alarm bells clanging in my head, bringing peaceful restoration to a parched and heat-worn soul.  God of the Universe holds us all in His hands, and His love is big enough to put out every fire.

I lean in, lean on perpetual love.  Love that does not end, love that is always there, love that is bigger than me, or any heat tested moment.  The grace of heat filled days are never more than we can stand, but it might crack us open, just a little wider so His love can seep in through the cracks.


The Perpetual Jar of Iced Tea

I love this idea, to quench the heat, restoring body, mind, and soul.  Iced tea always goes fast in our house, and it’s hard to keep up.  This solution solves that problem, by always having a gallon on the go.

The simple solution is this:  Cold Brew Tea.

The idea is to always have a jar at the in the fridge. This is brilliant with a house full of thirsty teenage boys, and a parched and smoldering mama.


Fill a glass gallon jar with cold water.

Add 4-6 tea bags*, cover with a lid, and place in refrigerator overnight, and in the morning you will have tea.

Remove tea bags add lemon and desired sweetener, or leave unsweetened and allow each to sweeten their own glass to their liking.


*the rule of thumb is approx.. one tea bag per quart of water, but this may vary depending upon how strong you like your tea.  Also, the beauty of this simple notion is, you can make as much or as little as you like…so as those teenage boys take flight, you can adjust accordingly, some days, as people flow through the revolving door of this old farm house, a quart of iced tea is just right. 😉

I first saw this fabulous idea on Carmella Rayone, Assortment.






Breathe in the cool sweetness of early morning air, as I am quietly coaching myself back to center, back to the breath, and back to home.  Filling the handmade artisan mug for maybe the 20th time this morning, from a fresh pot of rich black coffee, I take to outside into the softness of first light.  Warm mug in hand, bare feet in cool grass, bedhead and bathrobe to the garden I go.  The dew greets me like a welcome friend, gently moistening and protecting seedlings and tender hearts from the heat and unknown of the day ahead.  I pause here.  I open my eyes and really see the dew lacing the edges of leaves, smell the freshly tilled earth, feel my feet in the wet grass, and my heart a softly opening rosebud revealing it’s pungent sweet perfume.

The surprise of tears well in my eyes, I am yet to get used to the leaving.  The coming and going of children growing and stretching their wings, leaning into dreams and living courageously helps me also to be faithful and courageous.  After all, this is what we have all been working for.  Independence, bravery, living big and full lives.

And it’s good.

It’s just new again.  A new chapter, a new rhythm, a new family dynamic, one which will continue to ebb and flow for the next several years, maybe the rest of this precious lifetime.  I am learning to soften in as I unfurl my hands and let go.  I am learning to lean in, to count the moments, etch them on my heart to cherish and keep close when we are apart.  I love this opportunity to be fully all in, to experience every single feeling, and live it big.  The simple everyday moments are truly what make this life.  Big hands reaching for small, only this time, mine are the small ones.  Smiles and silly faces, and laughter, oh the laughter that comes with raising four boys.

So for now, and probably always, home is where my heart is.

All roads lead back to home.



Golden light stretches its gentle fingers over the pastures this morning as dew dances delightfully diamond like over the tall grass.  The windows are still open with cool moisture streaking down, saturating wooden panes.  The week begins as usual, with a list of to-do’s a mile long.  Such is my life.  Regardless of lists and things that feel urgent, I remember that they aren’t.  Life is not an emergency.  It is not a frantic running from one task to the next, crossing off with strokes of ink, each moment.

I want to breathe it all in.  Savor.  Love.

I want to live fully through this body, the vibrance of gloriously red ripe strawberries, purchased from a roadside stand of berry stained beautiful little faces of farm children.  I want to feel their shape in my hands as I clean and prepare them for jam, smell their tantalizing sweetness as juice runs down my hands when I slice through.   I want to remember the light as it shines through quilted jelly jars, and the loving feeling of preserving the harvest, quietly working with my hands to nurture and nourish my family through the fruitless winter months.

I want to believe that my mama heart is enough.  That my life is not lived in vain.  That living a simple, quiet life truly is a calling.  That I don’t have to save the world, all Wonder Woman like.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Wonder Woman.  I believe that we all have that fierce warrior-ess heart, and we get to direct it where we will.  Some will save the world, all very dramatic and exciting, and others of us will save or change the world right here in our very homes, our very hearts, and the worlds of those around us.

What if how we change or save the world is by how we live our lives?

What if rather than striving for something bigger, better, we just start living each day, each moment to it’s maximum capacity of beauty, joy, and delight?

What if we embrace our children, look deeply into their eyes, walk hand in hand, and heart to heart, rather than be immersed in the computer, or building a business, or career, or distracted by whatever.  What if we just don’t miss our life, while trying to create it?

Letting go of big ideas, big children, big hopes, and big things is not always easy, but it is a part of this wild and wondrous life.  What if we try, and we don’t like who we need to become to make something work?  Do we stay the course, just because we tried?  Sometimes.  And Sometimes not.  What if we let go and they fall?  What if we fall?  We dust them and ourselves off, we love deeply, look into those eyes, and say that we are enough, this life is enough, and experiencing these moments allows us to understand what our deepest core truths and desires are.

We hold tightly to those who know, those who love, and those who understand that striving isn’t living, falling isn’t dying, and trying doesn’t mean we didn’t give it our best shot.  It’s in the trying, the falling, the depth of the journey that we learn the oceanic deep lessons.  We learn what we want and who we are.  We understand our own grit, tenacity, that we are stronger than we know, and we get to choose how we want to live, and experience the beauty of this life.  The beauty includes the bones.  The stripping away, the raw, naked experience of soul.

It is in this state of origin, that we can come back to simple. Back to basics. Back to what it is that feeds our soul, ignites our fire, and fuels our days.  Back to home.  Back to love.

For me, it is the beauty in the mundane, the sacred in the everyday.  God among us, angels we meet on streets, in stores, or along dirt roads and veggie stands. It is the ordinary routine, the nurturing those souls under my own humble roof, and the eyes we may be aligned with to gaze into daily.

This is what enough looks like to me.

Loving, living, working shoulder to shoulder, elbow to elbow, in the here and now, the everyday ordinary.  This is sacred work.  This is soul work.  To simplify, to grow your own food and children, to nurture and love those that you are blessed to be a part of their lives. To walk barefoot on dusty trails, to hold hands, and shape hearts, to talk of dreams, and desires, spending evenings over s’mores and firefly lit campfires.

This living is what counts.

The day to day.  The quiet moment.  Each breath.  Each heartbeat.  Each kiss goodnight, and good morning. Every meal gathered round the family table.  Every prayer and blessing poured out of hearts.  This is our calling, this is our journey home.

It is more than enough.


A New Season


The winds are changing a bit here on the homestead.  Shifting from the North, beginning to gently whisper warmth from the South.  Soon we will be planting.  I have been preparing for this beautiful abundant new season for months.  There is soil to tend to, and perhaps spring babes, if we are lucky. There are new seeds of life being planted, on many levels.  I have been welcoming and preparing for this new season.  I have been working diligently on exploring and expanding into what is it I would like to create with this one wild and wondrous life, and how can I share the gifts of it with others.  I have prayed about this for years, “God, what would you have me do?”

Slowly, softly, the answers have come.  As has the healing.

Miracles happen when we open to them and allow God to work in our lives.  When we release control, over and over again, for some of us….and allow the flow of love to lead the way.  It has taken work, devotion, and discipline to daily lay it down, and understand that some things are not mine to carry.

Thank you Jesus.

It has taken courage to listen to the answers to prayer, and not only listen, but take action.  Make it happen.  It is coming through me, but I still have the privilege of doing the work of being who I was created to be, and using this life for the highest good of all.  We all have a calling, a purpose.  Our purpose continues to evolve as we do throughout our life.  There is no one concrete, this is it till you are pushin up daisies, we get to heal, grow, expand, and evolve into each cycle and season of life.

I feel that I have been doing what God has asked of me, so it’s not as if I wasn’t listening before, BUT there is more, the Doing and the Being needed to catch up to each other.  My internal process, healing old wounds and letting go of patterns that are no longer serving me, needed to happen, so that I can authentically share myself and this beautifully sacred, abundant, gentle life with others.  Nurturing myself, tending the garden of my soul, has allowed the seed to germinate, sprout and blossom into tender new life as the growth has continued.

Empowering and supporting women and children has always been work that I feel strongly about.  It is time for me to expand into a wider reach to teach other women to elevate, empower, and rise into the divine sacredness of who they are.  As a society women have lost their sacred.  It is stripped away in the media, in attitudes, in how life is lived and approached.  The overarching idea/feeling is that in order to succeed in a man’s world, we must harden ourselves, we must act like men, and we must divorce our feminine essence.

This is not how creation was designed. We need both the masculine and the feminine to work together, to flow into sacred union.  It is out of balance.  We feel it on many levels, whether we are aware of it or not.  The planet, mother earth, is desperately in need of a softer, gentler approach, this ripples into our bodies as humans, our food sources, and the air we breathe.  This is important.  Society is exploding in violence and greed, and a new approach to abundance, success, and contentment is needed.  The old paradigm is no longer working.

A new season is upon us.  We all have choices and ways that we can be the change we want to see in the world, to quote Ghandi.  What is it that God would have you do today to be that change?  How can we release old patterns and rise up out of the ashes, phoenix like, to fly again?

It starts with you.

When we begin to heal our hearts and stories, we can rise up to lead others to do so.

I am starting now.

This is what I choose to do with my one wild & wondrous life.  The winds of change are blowing here on the homestead.

My mission is to teach every woman, child, and person on this planet, that THEY are Sacred.

Life is sacred.  AND we can start living sacred.

It starts with you.

I love you. You are sacred.

Everyday Sacred Living

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Yesterday was a big day for me.  One I had been planning and preparing for.  It was the culmination of my hearts desire and my soul’s work, both coming together quite beautifully.  Amazing what happens when you trust your inner guidance.  When you listen to the answers to prayers whispered.  There is an opportunity for miracles when we open to them.

A blessed gift gave me courage and comfort in this time of expanding myself and stepping fully into my rising soul while allowing others to accompany me on this journey.  Quiet driving into town, radio-less, left me space to think, and breathe.  In a moment when some doubt was creeping in around the edges, grace came through.

It came through a beautiful dove flying low right before my windshield, visible, but out of harms way, carrying with her a lengthy, supple supply of dry grass obviously to be used to build a warm, safe nest for her eggs.

In that moment I knew.

I felt that I, as the dove, am working to also build a warm, safe nest, expanding myself, flying through the discomfort, and diligently gliding toward a desire to create and build a beautiful, abundant, vibrant life for myself and my family, while also elevating and empowering others to do the same.

The dove was a reminder and affirmation that we are all sacred, and life is sacred.  We have an opportunity to seize it, and create it.  We only have to step outside of our comfort zone and learn to fly.

Walking the Sugar Trail



I believe in Miracles

Miracles happen when we open to them.  God wants us to be whole, holy.  He calls us to him, he uplifts, he heals.  He sends Angels to hold our hands to witness our becoming, to gently guide us into alignment.  All of creation sings our birth song.  Calling us to our divine truth of wholeness, of health, of sacredness.  I can feel the loving vibration elevating me into being, into pure form, into my own sacred essence, into wholeness–holiness,  that I was created to be.

Perhaps this is what ‘holiness’ actually means, a sacred calling to your highest wholeness.

A sacred expression of what is intended and created to move you and through you.

I am expanding and unfolding more deeply and tenderly with divine love than I ever dreamed possible.

I feel the movement of the holy rising within my own beautiful soul.

I believe in miracles…..I can feel it in my bones.

Simple Soaked Granola


The mud is deep here on the homestead.  The frost reluctant to release it’s hold on the depths of soil beneath dormant grasses, beneath feet.  The top layers of the earth have given into the sun’s relentless boldness and softened to accommodate the new found warmth, but below, deep within the frost still holds tightly to it’s grip on the earth.  This makes for a very soggy homestead experience, as the top of the ground has thawed and released, but the deeper levels still linger, frozen solid, so the moisture of the thaw and intermittent rains have had nowhere to go, nothing to sink into.  No settling, or seeping, only just remaining on the surface wreaking havoc with the topsoil.  Spring in Northern Minnesota.  One day you can sink a foot into the ground, get your mud boot stuck in the muck, and the next day, blizzard, again.

As our bodies yearn for spring alongside the awakening earth, I decided to spiff up my granola recipe to fit more seamlessly into our evolving diet.  This past year and some months has sparked a fire within me for a deeper commitment to our traditional diet.  This means that I am allowing myself the time and space to s-l-o-w the pace and really cherish my time not only in the kitchen, but in the planning of how best to nurture my family.

Rather than just not making granola anymore, I decided to go deeper and create a beautiful soaked granola that is nourishing to both body and soul.  Soaking grains, nuts and legumes is traditionally how they were all prepared.  This soaking time allows the anti-nutrients to be diminished, and unlocks the available nutrients to be fully utilized by our bodies. Our ancestor’s wisdom of allowing time for preparing soaked grains, nuts and legumes is a gift of intentional preparation that we can give ourselves and those we love.  It really doesn’t take extra time, only a little extra attention, which I like to call love.

Becoming intentional in the planning and preparation of your meals, and the beautiful food that you welcome into your home, elevates the experience for all.  In the prep of my grains it feels welcoming and nourishing to pray blessings over them, and give thanks for the deep nourishment we are receiving from this step.  Healing, gratitude, blessings, and joy become a circle of creation, a magical alchemy, in the kitchen.  Our feelings and intentions, the energy we bring to the food we eat greatly influences the experience that we have when we eat the food.  Food created with love brings that energy to the table and becomes a part of the experience of the meal.  Likewise, food that was rushed or created in a state of stress, frustration, or anger brings those feelings to the table.

I choose love.  I choose to create, nurture, and nourish in love.  I choose to cook with love, for myself and my family. When I find myself in a rush, a mood in the kitchen, I stop.  I breathe deep.  I accept and explore what I am feeling and what may be the cause.  Then I ask myself if I can shift into a space of love.  I breathe into my heart and allow myself to experience the expansion of love physically within my body.  Some days this takes a few deep breaths.  With practice I have become more aware of my feelings and intentions when I am creating in my kitchen.  I practice gratitude for the food we have.  I pray love and peace and deep nourishment over the kettle, bowl, or pan.  I forgive myself when I haven’t gotten it right, and take a break when I need to step away.

This way of nurturing, nourishing, slowing to create and cook brings a deeply connected experience to all who partake of the meal or offering.  It takes things below the surface of the daily muck, deeper into the safe and cozy cocoon of the soul, it settles gently in bones, satisfies and satiates every craving, every desire, and creates soulful contentment.  Mmmmmmm…..

Ever wonder why Grandma, or Mom’s, or Great Aunt Ruth’s meals were so fabulous?  They knew the secret ingredient.  They understood that a heart full of love and gratitude makes beautiful food, and deep soul nurturing goodness.

I invite you this week as you plan and prepare, cook and create, to do so with intention and love.  You won’t be disappointed, go deeper, go through the muck to get to the still quiet place of contentment you crave in your bones.


Simple Soaked Granola

makes approx. 12 cups

6c. thick rolled oats (gluten free if necessary)

2/3c. sunflower seeds

1/2c. sesame seeds

2c. roughly chopped almonds

1 quart (4cups) tepid water

freshly squeezed juice from one lemon

1/2c. melted, unrefined coconut oil

1/2c. pure maple syrup

1/2c. liquefied raw honey

1/2t. Redmond real salt

2c. coconut chips

optional:  Add 1-2 cups of dried fruit of your choice.  (We used freeze dried strawberries in this batch to help settle our spring fever)

In a large mixing bowl with a lid, combine grains, seeds, and nuts.  Pour over one quart of water, and the freshly squeezed juice of one lemon, stir.

Add melted coconut oil, maple syrup, liquefied raw honey, and salt.  Stir well to combine, pressing granola mixture down into the liquid. (It will not be fully immersed, but just pressing it down, packing it a bit into the liquid will suffice)

Place lid on the mixing bowl and set aside for twenty-four hours.

After the granola mixture has soaked for twenty-four hours, add coconut chips, stirring to combine.

Prepare two large baking sheets with parchment paper to avoid sticking, turn half the soaked granola mixture onto each sheet. Spread into an even layer.

Turn oven onto it’s lowest setting*.

Place both sheets of soaked granola into the oven.  After 30 minutes, stir gently.  Bake 4-6 hours on lowest setting checking in and stirring every 30 minutes.  Granola is done when it is baked through, dry and crisp in the center of the clumps when you break them apart.

Once granola has cooled completely, stir in the optional dried fruit of your choice, store in an air tight container or jar. Enjoy!


*Timing on this varies with each oven.  The ideal temp is 170 degrees, but my oven is warmer than this so the cook time was approx. 4 hours.  You may also use a dehydrator if you do not want to babysit the oven, following manufacturer’s instructions on the dehydrator.  I found this process to be really hands off, and was pretty relaxed about the stirring, I wanted to have chunky granola, so that is stirred less often, leaving clumps intact, just paying attention to turning it over to get a more even browning of the granola. If your oven has a pilot light and is always gently heating, this may also be a great way to slow cook your soaked granola.  As always, when first making a recipe, be attentive to the process as you become acquainted with your oven and how much time and attention a recipe needs. 



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