An Autumnal Sabbath

Since Sunday is kind of a “work day” for us, Saturday is often our Sabbath day.  Mark Buchanan in his book, The Rest of God, writes:

“Cease from what is necessary. Embrace that which gives life.  Those two things, taken together, make up Sabbath’s golden rule….Sabbath imparts the rest of God – actual physical, mental, spiritual rest, but also the rest of God – the things of God’s nature and presence we miss in our busyness.”

For you, Sabbath may include a run (a big “WOOHOO!” for those running the TC marathon today!), a bike ride, a game of Monopoly, or a meal with a friend, but yesterday was a particularly delightful Sabbath day for us (note John’s caveat at the end of this post), so I thought I’d share some of it with you…

If there’s one season our girls seem to miss home the most, it’s Fall.  We’re a family of traditions and the Midwest was made for apple-picking, pumpkin-carving, and football watching.  It’s like a movie set with the Maple trees all vying for “Miss Spectacular”, reflecting off one of our 10,000 lakes.  Outside the wind is brisk wood smoky, and inside our house smells like cinnamon candles, and goodies baking.  A fire is perpetually going in the kitchen fireplace (It’s gas, but we pretend).

Saturday, after a run through the Fall Foliage to Starbucks and a phone chat with daughter #1 who says she’s trying to WILL Fall to arrive in D.C. I wanted to celebrate ALL the gifts of God in this season o’ wonder!  I was feeling particularly autumnal and crafty and bake-y.

Now, you need to know that

a.  I am NO Martha Stewart

b. I am neither patient NOR a perfectionist

c. I tend to make mistakes when I’m cooking, so

d.  The stuff I do is pretty simple, cheap, Laura-proof, and quick

Here’s what I did.  I’ve seen some fancy shmancy ideas like this, but for the past two years I’ve just grabbed several pumpkins of different colors at Trader Joe’s, making sure I could make them stack (try both upside down and right side up to get them to fit).  I already had the pumpkins so no need to run to the store 🙂  The fancy ones drill holes and put a rod through the middle, but give me a glue gun and I’m good to go.


I had some crummy looking old grapevine swag that I cut the ruined berries off of. I glued a bit of it between pumpkins and looped the rest around the base, plopping the pumpkins in my urn out front. Bam! Done!

(Oh, and I sprayed them with hair spray to hopefully deter the squirrels).DSC00915 photo 4-2Katy was talking about making our family recipe for pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, and since I had all the ingredients on hand I decided to do that too.

Here’s the recipe (easy one for kids to help dump stuff in!)

1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1 2/3 cups flour

1 cup sugar

1 TB pumpkin pie spice

1 ts. baking soda

1/4 ts. baking powder

1/4 ts. salt

2 eggs

1 cup plain pumpkin (last year I made a mistake and put the whole can in and really liked it, so now that’s what I do every time :))

1 cup chocolate chips

1 stick melted butterphoto 1-7photo 2-5DSC00916

Mix the dry ingredients in one bowl, the wet ingredients in another bowl.  Pour wet over dry and mix. Fold in chocolate chips and nuts.  Use serving tablespoon to spoon into mini muffin tins.  Bake about 15 minutes at 350.  Store in tupperware.

Later a little football watching, a little reading, a tiny nap, and then a bike ride to dinner in Linden Hills.  Perfect.

P.S. John says you can skip all of the above and just watch Notre Dame football for a perfect Sabbath. And we’re in a season without kids, so I know Sabbath will look very different for many of you, but you can do it!

How do you Sabbath? What are you doing to celebrate Fall?



  1. Robyn Starr Huntley

    October 5, 2014 at 4:30 PM

    Church, chicken & wild rice soup from French Meadow, apple crisp baking while Eason watches football, Jodi Picoult’s The Storyteller, and dinner later at Skip and Susan’s with said apple crisp for dessert : )

  2. Great post and another great recipe! I’ve made the corn/bean salad one often too!

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