Easter Reflections and Yolo Balls

In our kitchen we have a photo of Josh, Leif and I from our first Easter as a family of three.  He was just 4 weeks old.  My body was very much still recovering from delivering a baby and we were oh so exhausted (that part hasn’t changed).  Two years later, Leif is joyfully collecting colorful plastic eggs filled with Equal Exchange dark chocolates and lightly sweetened coconut treats.  He’s gleefully opening each type of yummy vegan energy bar (they are our candy bars–quite a treat around here) and taking a few bites of each one.  It is so much fun to celebrate with a two year old.

Easter, like Christmas, is full of both spiritual, religious, and consumer qualities.  Look on Facebook or other social media and you’ll see an onslaught of Easter Bunny photos as well as a healthy amount of inspirational sunrise photos with bible versus or cute sayings.  Or in some cases, graphic photos of Jesus on the Cross.

People close to me have wondered where I stand on all of this.  For a while, I was an avid church attender–very involved in the youth and then college group as well as a Sunday school teacher.  I’m obviously none of those things anymore and have written before about the transformation of my spiritual life after Payton’s passing and our night lost in the African wilderness.  Not that I care too much, but I would have to guess that my feelings and beliefs about Easter, Christmas and God and Jesus probably do not satisfy either camp.  On the one hand, I wonder if my church going Christian friends think I’ve gone off the deep end into some new-agey feel good spiritual path. But then, I wonder if my belief in God, miracles, and even the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, piss off my friends who think its all a load of crap.

I’m fine with where I’m at.  I’m more fine than I’ve ever been actually.  On Saturday morning, I ran 18 glorious miles watching the sun rise as I ran along Tacoma’s Ruston Way, talking openly with friends as I made my way through old growth forests in Point Defiance…watching a doe and her twins scamper through the woods.  On Sunday morning, I made a healthy and delicious breakfast for my family, giddily hid eggs for Leif and then hunted for them with him, and watered my garden one watering can at a time from our rain barrels.  My friend (also my doctor) came over with flowers and checked Leif’s ears for signs of infection.  We sat together and made an herbal attack plan to help Leif get over this gunk.

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This, to me, is what Life is made of.  Glory to the Creator for these wonderful gifts.  Thank you for the Sunrise, Full Moons, Puget Sound, Geese, Forest, Deer, Gardens, Nourishment, Friends, and Family.  Thank you for miracles and speaking to me through horribly painful and terrifying experiences.  Thank you for holding me over the edge and telling me it’s going to all be okay.  Thank you for meeting me in the forest, my garden, the breakfast table…

I made these Saturday Evening and forgot to take them to my folks house–oops.  They are so yummy.

Yolo Balls– Inspired by Oh She Glows

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Ingredients:

1 cup dates

2 Tablespoons Cashew Butter or other nut butter

2 Tablespoons Coconut oil

1/4 cup Raw Cocoa powder

1/4 cup maple syrup

Directions:

Carmel Center:

Process dates in food processor until dough forms

add in nut butter

Coating:

In a small sauce pan, melt coconut oil

Remove from heat and stir in cocoa and maple syrup

To assemble:  form small balls with the date/nut butter mix and roll them in chocolate sauce with a fork.

Place on parchment lined container and freeze for about 20 minutes before serving.  Store the leftovers in freezer! YUM!

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