jefferson and faithfulness {thomas jefferson}

as we toured monticello, the idyllic home of thomas jefferson, one detail consumed my thoughts.  this was a man was faithful to his calling, and he knew how to honor that.  we gazed in awe (and moved to tears) at a fraction of his vast collection of books.  we wandered through rooms that still stand as testimony to his intelligence, his curiosity, and his standing among men.  he was broken and flawed, and he got some things backwards, even while impacting his world in powerful ways.


thomas jefferson home monticello angela sackett

but what awed me, as a woman who seeks to put first things first, is that thomas jefferson, in this home, lived not just as a political icon and international ambassador, but as a father and grandfather.  as the guide described the pattering of feet in the halls of history, i was challenged: there is no calling or “job” on earth worth pursuing, if it does not build the hearts and minds of my first calling: my own children.  it is in raising the next generation that i have the most opportunity to impact the world to come.  oh, that i may be faithful.


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grain-free molasses {paleo} pumpkin pie bars

we all know it’s fall, and since i’m crunching leaves like a happy little girl for my first up-north autumn in tooooooo long, i’m of course pumpkin crazy.  i don’t care if it is a trend, i’ve been pumpkin addicted long before the trend (i wanted to name my little girl autumn, and i think i still wish i had another daughter so i could).  these paleo pumpkin pie bars make my tummy, and my mouth, very autumn-happy.


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as i listen more and more to my body, it’s clear i need to stick strong to this no-gluten rule, and i’m leaning deeper into no grains, and soon i may have to bite the bullet and drop dairy.  (gasp!  i’m going to try to do raw first…)


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i’m thinking since this is a little bit sweet, but rich with good fats and protein from the nuts, and fiber from the pumpkin, it would be perfect with morning tea for breakfast, too.


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here’s the recipe for you to print!


Grain Free Molasses (Paleo) Pumpkin Pie Bars


  • For Crust:
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup salted butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon blackstrap molasses
  • 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • For Filling:
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup almond or coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • For crumble topping:
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1 tablespoon maple sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2-3 tablespoons salted butter


  1. Using a fork or pastry cutter, blend together dry crust ingredients.
  2. Stir in wet crust ingredients.
  3. Using a sheet of wax paper, press crust into an 11x13 glass baking dish.
  4. Bake in 350 degree oven for 8 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients.
  6. Using a fork, stir together 1/2 cup almond flour, maple sugar, and cinnamon for crumble topping, then cut in 2 tablespoons butter.
  7. Crumble mixture should be crumbly and slightly moist; add additional tablespoon butter if needed.
  8. Pour filling over crust and sprinkle evenly with crumble mixture.
  9. Bake bars for 15-20 minutes (center should be cooked through).


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what’s  favorite grain-free pumpkin recipe?


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the fruit of bitterness

i couldn’t help but capture the golden kernels, ripened to sugary sweetness by the sun, then turned hard and finally putrid.  it went uneaten.  no one will enjoy the pop of each morsel, and the fruit of the stalk will go to waste.  this is the fruit of bitterness.


bitterness corn dancing with my father


so it seems it will be with my heart, if i allow bitterness to grow up inside.  it will result in a waste of the beautiful fruit that could bloom if love reigned.  and it will grow to hurt those around me and prevent their gifts from being shared, as well.

“make every effort to live in peace with everyone and be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.  see to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.”  -hebrews 12:14-15, NIV


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