Contemplating my Jerusalem – Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

Here in my little ramblings, I try not to take myself too seriously. How can I? Most days I feel lucky if I have a single moment of sanity.
But then there are times, when I see my existence with such clarity that it amazes me. Don’t get me wrong, overall it’s like I’m looking through a fuzzy haze (think year round June Gloom)  just trying to figure out the general form and shape of things. Just trying to keep all the balls in the air, all the plates spinning, and all the children believing that their mother is a somewhat credible source, and at some point, prior to their births, had fully functioning cerebral capacity. The great thing about this usual state of craziness called my life is that it makes these rare moments of clarity even more beautiful.
This past weekend, I heard a really gifted speaker talk about Jackie Robinson and the apostle Paul. You see the connection right away, don’t you? Yep, I wasn’t so quick to get it either. But essentially, it has everything to do with greatness and advocating for something bigger than yourself. Of course Jackie was a great baseball player. But more importantly he was a great human. And the main thing that made him great was that he was focused not on himself, but something greater than himself. Paul had once been about himself.  He had the pedigree, status, and citizenship to make him totally success-bound, at least in the way people in the world define success. But after his transformation on the road to Damascus, Paul  became all about Jesus. He was willing to risk everything for something greater than himself. When all indicators told Paul he should turn tail and run, he repeatedly headed straight into the place or situation he should have avoided. Jerusalem was that place for Paul on more than one occasion. With others pleading with him not to return to Jerusalem, he stayed true to his convictions, stayed obedient to the promptings of the Holy Spirit, and went. He knew that what he would encounter there would not be easy, pleasant, or fun. Be he knew it was necessary.
After hearing this all laid out, I started wondering if we all have our Jerusalem? Do we have a place we return to because it’s the right thing to do? Because the Spirit calls us there? A place that it might be easier to avoid, but that we go back to in obedience and in faith?
In my moment of clarity, I inventoried my Jerusalem(s) – yes, plural, because I decided I have a few. And I was thankful for them. I was actually thankful for those “places” that I say time and time again I don’t want to go back to. Those places that give me grief. Those places that get my hackles up. Those places that make me nutty. I was thankful for THOSE places. Because in my conviction to go back to them, I know that I’m living for something bigger than myself, that I am at least trying to stay true to my convictions, and that I’m capable (on a good day) of the humility needed to do something I don’t want to do.
So thank you, gifted speaker, for stirring this up in me. I know my JerusalemS and I wouldn’t trade them for any 5 star resort on the planet.
And now, how on earth does one segue from THAT into a recipe? I have no clue. I have used my allotted daily allowance of brilliance just getting that thought down. I have no words or energy left for a clever transition. So if you want to keep reading for a great breakfast recipe for Baked Breakfast Oatmeal Bars, please do. If you’re stuck on figuring out your Jerusalem, just take your time with that one. And if you think I’ve gone over the edge with this one, just know that it made sense in my mind. It really did. So now . . . about that oatmeal . . . .
I love this recipe because I can mix up one pan of it, bake it, and have breakfast ready and waiting for my clan for about three days. I start by mixing together old fashioned oats, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, chopped pecans, and white chocolate chips. I spray a glass baking dish and then spread the oat mixture in that dish.

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On top of the mixture I place sliced banana, more chocolate chips, and more pecans. I also add fruit sometimes. Sliced strawberries and raspberries both work well.

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In another bowl I mix together eggs, milk, melted butter, and vanilla. I pour that over the oat mixture.

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I bake the whole thing in a 375 degree oven for about 35 minutes, until it is golden brown. The next morning, I cut into slices and my crew has a yummy oatmeal breakfast.

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I personally like to reheat my slice, but my odd offspring prefer the bars cold (?). Weird, but acceptable. The sweetest thing? They can serve these to themselves and their siblings which can buy me another 20 minutes in bed!  And no, my bed does not count as one of my Jerusalems, even though I’m called and drawn to it again and again!

Here’s the complete recipe for Baked Oatmeal Breakfast Bars, adapted from The Urban Nester.

Here are some additional breakfast options to peruse:

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