A little background story here …my husband has done some serious research and has decided that it really is better for your health and overall well-being to cut out sugar and eat less carbs — a feat that is very hard for this southern-bred woman to fully embrace. I would call myself more of a “low-carb wanna be”; however !!! … because I live with him and he does most of the cooking , I’ve found myself eating better by default . I also need to mention here that he does most of the grocery shopping so any sweets or high carb items need to be purchased under “cover of darkness” . 🙂
To his credit — and knowing his wife needs to have bread to sustain life and happiness — he found a great low-carb flax bread recipe on-line which has less than one carb per slice …and I actually LOVE it ! (http://lowcarbdiets.about.com/od/breads/r/flaxbasicfoc.htm )
In case you’re wondering, that’s about 13 less carbs than a slice of white bread and a whopping 35 less carbs than that awesome little bagel !
Of course, this post has nothing at all to with flax bread or carbs or the evils of gluten but making this bread this morning produced a “trail of thinking” …as in a “trail of bread crumb” thinking !
Remember the fairy tale, “Hansel and Gretel“? When famine strikes the land, their stepmother talks their dad into taking them deep into the forest to fend for themselves so she and her husband won’t starve to death. As the story goes, Hansel takes a slice of bread with them — leaving tiny breadcrumbs along the path so that they will know the way back home. Quite frankly, the story seems a little disturbing to tell children but you’ll have to read it for yourself to find out what happens in the end !
But for now, humor me and go along with me on my “trail” …
I’m a mother of 4 adult children and 3 precious grandchildren — a grace beyond my wildest imagination. I’m also an aunt to 28 nieces and nephews and a great-aunt to 21 great-nieces and nephews ! Whew ! I literally had to pull out my calculator to add all that up ! On top of that (as if I could top that!!), there are still others who would consider me an adopted “mom” or “aunt” .
With that sphere of influence alone, I feel I have a privilege and a responsibility to share my story — to share my journey of faith along the way …to leave a trail of bread crumbs that will lead them home … home to the presence of Jesus and to hope and faith for this daily walk we call — life.
I began to wonder, have I left a trail that’s clearly marked? Have I been dropping bread crumbs regularly so the path doesn’t get confusing or make them unsure if the path is still “this way or that way” ? Have I “blazed the trail” well enough with the Truth so that they can discern when another path is not a safe one to travel?
Then the thought came to mind that God speaks of bread in two different ways … the “bread of adversity” and “the bread of His presence”.
“… you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.” Isaiah 30:20
Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times. Exodus 25:30
And I began to wonder … isn’t it important to leave the bread crumbs from the bread of adversity as well as the crumbs from the bread of God’s presence? Otherwise, how will they know that this, too, is part of our path that God has marked out for us. If they only look for prosperity and happiness and all the good that “this” life says we are to have, they would miss the beauty and the depth and intimacy of hearing the Holy Spirit’s voice speak personally to them saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
When they were children, it was often hard to tell them, “Mommy messed up today and I’m sorry I yelled at you like that !” But equally hard is telling them the struggles I’ve faced in my walk with God –struggles like …doubting that I was even a Christian , anger, jealousy, unhealthy thoughts about another man , coveting what other’s have, pride (ughhh…one of my worst !). While the above list is often a mess of my own making, God has allowed these things to “rise” in my life for a reason beyond my own personal “loaf” . Keeping secrets about the struggles in my life will only limit the “bread crumb path” I leave, making the path seem more crooked, uneven, and uncertain for those who are following. They may think they’ve taken a path of failure or shame or disappointment and think surely this is not the path that leads to home. This kind of bread has to be shared too, however, so the stories of redemption and grace and forgiveness can be kneaded into the mix to be baked in the fire producing crumbs with real flavor …flavor that will last — not the kind that just fills them up and makes them fat and lazy and complacent — but the kind that gives them energy and passion to continue on the path that Jesus has marked out for them. (Hebrews 12:1)
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, O LORD God Almighty. Jeremiah 15:16
But oh the joy of His presence !!! I have to share those bread crumbs as well. After all, those are my favorite ones to share ! In college, God gave this verse to me as a “road map” to the “path” He had for me …
You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
The beautiful thing is that He has truly “blazed the trail” before us, leaving us an example we can follow …
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:21
…a way in —
We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf.
…even a light along the way.
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.
You see, Jesus has already gone before me on this path to lead me home to Him and as He has walked this trail and left the bread crumbs for me to follow (even though some were hard to swallow! ) — I can keep walking in faith , knowing that He’s gone before me to make the path straight and that He also circled back around on the trail to walk beside me all the way home !
May the crumbs I leave help others find their way home !