The Bread of Life

Updated: May 10, 2019

Chewning recipe...

What makes the Chewning 4's recipe's rise?


Life Shouldn't be as hard as day old bread.

Have you every stopped to think about how quickly bread goes stale? Our family life can do that as well if we do not continue to knead it.

I grew up in a home, not a house. We had meals together around a table not a TV, we took dance, played soccer and even tried gymnastics, mostly I quit before the recital or when my toes got cold. We celebrated all holidays not just the Hallmark ones and were raised to know the difference. Our neighbors were all our second, third, fourth and so on set of parents, you never got away with anything but you could always count on them. So much so that we all vacationed together. My mom worked at minimum two full time jobs while my dad was a traveling salesman, not vacuum cleaners or insurance (not sure why a dude in a 3 piece suit, cheap shoes and a fedora come to mind but that wasn't him). Generally out of town Monday- Thursday a minimum of three weeks a month, my sisters and I learned to do things like cut the grass, check our oil and change tires. I guess I just thought everyone's mom went to one job in the morning and another in the afternoon. A while my sister's and I ran around the neighborhood playing flashlight tag and listening for the whistles of the dads on the block calling us home, clueless when things were tight. To hear them tell stories now, it occurs to me that they never lead on to the budget being stretched thin, actually to the breaking point. They just pushed forward and because of their tenacity, they now live a very comfortable life, one they earned the old fashioned way. They taught us three girls the value of love, good friendships, strong morals and a faith that has remained unshaken. We carry that in our lives today and for that, we have them to thank.


A solid recipe is exactly what MacKay and I are working to create for our girls. The ingredients are made up of what we had when we were young. Just like a recipe passed down for generations we learn from our parents on how we want to or don't want to raise our children. How many times did you say to your parents, "oh I will NEVER treat my child like that?" Mostly under your breath I'm sure until you unloaded that one and the "oh I'm never having kids" when they prayed you'd have one just like you, present situation in my house with two teenage daughters. I sure know I said it and nine of ten times, I was in the wrong. There have been more than a few occasions where I questioned God's sending me not one but two redheaded daughters. I mean seriously, who did He think I was and still am? As the days go by I realize life really does pass us by in a flash and without constant attention in the "kitchen of life" our bread would get stale.


One would think we were nearly finished because they are in their late teens and with one in college and the other a senior in high school we are getting close. However, are we ever really finished teaching our children? In my life I feel fortunate to still learn from my parents on a regular basis. Every day I wonder what my girls with take with them on their life's journey and pray we have given them the proper ingredients.


Perfectly risen bread, oh no!

We scream sometimes, why wouldn't we, doesn't everyone?

Don't think it's all flower petals and fairy dust, it's far from that but in a home where you have a deaf kid, yeah we scream! How else are we going to get her down for dinner? It's an ongoing joke in our house that God planted us where we could grow our seeds because if he planted us in a home with out space for a garden, DFACS would have been called! Our children have been spanked, not a fact I'm proud of but at the time it seemed appropriate and hey, that's how I was raised. I have had to stop myself from being too bat shit crazy and I of course blamed them. However, in the end, wait, I just covered that we weren't ever in the end, I know that they will appreciate the lessons we have chosen to put on them, put in them and over them. We find ourselves constantly having to add to their story, just as you would flour if the bread is too wet reminding them of simple chores, that their bank accounts need to have emergency money in them at all times, that they do in fact have to check and change the oil and that to have a friend, you have to be a friend. I could go on for days, but I won't, now anyway.


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Knead your bread, feed your family with good values, morals and faith. Know the center of your universe, for us that is God. We know our faith and work hard nearly every day not to question it. Know just existing in a world filled with electronic messaging, dinners on the go, less than meaningful conversations with your family or your significant other; that in order for the bread to still rise not only will it need yeast, your love, it will still require kneading..

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© 2019, Carrie Chewning