The best part of today was definitely the waffles we made for breakfast.

Chocolate Einkorn Waffles at Food Loves Writing

When Tim came out to the living room around 7 AM, he found me curled up on the leather sofa we inherited from his former bachelor pad, reading a book I bought on Amazon, which arrived yesterday afternoon. I’d been up since 5:30 and figured I may as well distract myself a while. Sometimes the only way to stop thinking about something is to start thinking about something else. He joined me on the sofa, propped up his legs and settled in to talk, and we passed an hour like nothing, the way we tend to do when we talk about heavy concepts like the book I am reading brings up. Most mornings, our routine is to walk and to read and to get ready for our workdays; today we talked and then we prayed and I said, Let’s make waffles, and we walked together to the fridge.

Making einkorn waffles

We found out this week about some pretty big complications with our house-buying plans, something I alluded to in the last post, something I go back and forth about telling you about right now. Part of me wants to wait until it’s settled, to be less vulnerable on the great, big Internet forum where friends and family will say I’m being too open and many people will misunderstand. Another part of me thinks there could be one person out there, like me, who is in a sort of limbo period, waiting for a husband to come back from overseas or a job offer to be made or a debt to be paid or a pregnancy to occur, and I think I have to write this down for you. I have to write it down for me. Life is more than the hallmark moments of weddings and honeymoons and house closings, we all know this. It’s the broken hearts and late-night fights and roller coaster weeks, too.

As any mortgage lender or bank will tell you, regulations these days are complicated. Before an institution loans you money, it wants to see your income records, credit history, bank records, investment records, employment records, driver’s license, rental history—all normal things, I guess, and even though you feel like you’re jumping through hoop after hoop in the process, you tell yourself it will be worth it in the end. In our case, however, the process revealed a mistake in our 2011 tax returns that essentially names all of my income under Tim’s name, and while this is a mistake small enough to mean we still paid everything we owe, it’s also one big enough to suspend, and potentially deny, lending approval. It’s just one of those things, a providential surprise. Our accountant hadn’t caught it, we hadn’t caught it, the IRS hadn’t caught it—but the mortgage underwriter did.

Kallari Dark Chocolate
Kallari Dark Chocolate in Waffle Batter

This week has been a lot of phone calls and emails and trips to Wal-Mart for copy paper in which I become the crazy lady with tears in her eyes for no solid reason at all. It’s been conversations with our broker and, today, a last-minute visit to the Nashville office of the IRS. If you’ve never spent an afternoon waiting in line at the IRS, it’s almost exactly like going to the DMV. Sterile walls, fluorescent lights, elevator music. You wait in line and get a number. Then, you wait in a chair and jump every time a number is called. You’re not supposed to talk on your cell phone, and you wish you’d brought a book, and the giant clock behind the receptionist’s desk keeps ticking slowly, slowly forward.

We’ve officially filed an amended return, but apparently it can take up to 12 weeks to process. Maybe it will be sooner, but probably not within our 45-day house-closing window. Maybe a lender will make an exception for the case, but no one can confirm that yet.

Chocolate and waffles

So in the meantime, we wait—the way we’ve waited for other things, the way we’ll wait for other things to come.

Stack of chocolate chip einkorn waffles

We wait and we eat crazy indulgent breakfasts of chocolate chip einkorn Belgian waffles, topped by raspberries cooked on the stove, thinned with water, sweetened with coconut sugar, giving thanks for the lifestyle that lets us do it. We wait and we imagine new futures, the kind where we continue renting or we sell everything we own or we look for houses again in 12 weeks.

einkorn waffles plated for one

We wait and we hear about a friend who lost her baby, just two weeks before it was due. The heartbreak of a hope deferred, on such a grander scale! I close my eyes when I hear it, and my hand goes over my heart and I swallow hard. We sit back down on the sofa and Tim takes my hand and we pray, again.

Chocolate Chip Einkorn Belgian Waffles

We don’t know the future, and we know we don’t know. We feel disappointed, the way other people feel disappointed, the way you might feel disappointed about something today, too. We think, It’s just a house! We have each other! And we feel glad. We are still hopeful about what could happen, even while we are unsure of what will. Together, we rehearse the dreams we had for the house we have a contract on, the one where we were going to rip up the carpet and remodel the kitchen and plant a garden out in back, and we release our grip, again, on something that was always a temporary gift, even when it looked like it was in our hands. I walk down the street in our neighborhood and I look at the trees and feel the warm air and think on the simple gifts of each day. We look at each other and we look to our Shepherd and we think of the gifts that will never be taken from us and the way these temporary gifts remind us of the ones that aren’t. We think about how being reminded of that is good. And so while we wait, we give thanks for the chance to see.





Chocolate Chip Einkorn Belgian Waffles
Adapted from the spelt Belgian waffles we posted 10 days before our wedding, in October 2011
Makes 4 waffles

Part of the inspiration for these waffles came from the Kallari chocolate we were sent recently, which we’ve now used in two kinds of cookies in addition to waffles. Made of the simplest set of organic ingredients (cacao beans, cane sugar, cocoa butter, vanilla bean), it’s one of the best options we know for high-quality, unrefined chocolate. Special thanks to Kallari for sending some our way!

Ingredients:
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup kefir
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 cup einkorn flour
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tablespoon coconut sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 heaping dash of ground cinnamon
1 3-ounce bar of dark chocolate (we used Kallari)

Directions:
Preheat your waffle iron.

In a medium bowl, blend together the egg yolks, vanilla, kefir, milk and melted butter until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, salt and cinnamon; add this dry mixture into the buttermilk mixture.

Add the chopped chocolate and stir everything together well.

Spoon about a half a cup of batter at a time onto the hot waffle iron, close, and cook until golden brown.

Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Jill A.

    Thank you for sharing that, Shanna! Tom and I are in a different set of circumstances of “why” (long story…) but we are also waiting on some regulations before we can purchase a home….hopefully early next year. Things are very often put into perspective for us with Noelle, but even more so this week as a very sweet 4 year old from our church, suddenly became ill and died this past week. His funeral was today, and all the glory was directed to God; but it doesn’t change the circumstances which we all now face and the human grief that accompanies them. So thanks for sharing your heart. I’ll be praying for you and hope to hear soon that you are moving into your new home!

  2. Ruthy @ Omeletta

    Beautiful, Shanna- I feel like life is always handing me things to remind me that I’m not in control. But things will shake out in the end, they always do! Best of luck with the house, I know it’s not easy.
    However, I’m happy you used Kallari chocolate, since I have some on the way and I’m looking for recipes to use it in!

  3. Madison

    Your words are beautiful, friend. And just what I needed to hear today. We found out last week that I miscarried our 7 week old baby. It was a very hard week and a time of wondering what God has planned in all of this. But it’s such a good reminder that these gifts are just temporary on loan from our Lord.

  4. Bethany

    ‘We look at each other and we look to our Shepherd and we think of the gifts that will never be taken from us and the way these temporary gifts remind us of the ones that aren’t. We think about how being reminded of that is good. And so while we wait, we give thanks for the chance to see.’
    That is so beautiful and precious right now. It’s the hard things that remind us of the joys we experience daily without much thought. And it’s those days, that a waffle breakfast is needed. Looks so yummy!

  5. Amy Law

    I am a new reader to your blog. . .I found it through my friend Sarah of Cranny + Me. Thank you so much for sharing this. . .God has been teaching me some of those same things. I am learning to let go of my material possessions. . .learning to wait on Him for the right job for my husband. . .while trying to pack for a cross country move and take care of our two little boys. All that to say, your reminder tonight of how these things in life are so temporary and that our God is totally in control of it all, was very much needed. Thank you.

  6. Helene @ French Foodie Baby

    Shanna, all I can say is how much I relate to this. I find myself very much in limbo as well right now, with my living and family situation, and indeed, I am challenged to remain in that grateful no expectation state. No easy feat. Trying to feel feelings and accept them. And own our lives as they are (I read this quote on FB recently: “If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s”). That said, your life contains such a rare rare gem : that incredible bond between the two of you. It’s always wonderful to read (and to know it exists.)

  7. Natalyn

    I almost cried when I read this.

    Honestly, you two are one of the most beautiful couples I have ever known – and sadly, I don’t really know you in person. But I just know.. I just know that you two are RICHLY blessed by God to be a strong couple amidst the everyday toils (and joys! and chocolate!) of life – it’s people like you that give me hope. I praise God for you, and am praying that all will be well for you.

    I can definitely relate to those DMV lines… Takes forever to finally do what you went there for. Those people that work there need a vacation, poor things.

    Those chocolate waffles look OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing. The more I read your posts, the more I gravitate toward the idea of switching out my organic whole wheat flour with Einkorn – I’m quite interested in this forgotten grain.

    Thanks so much for doing what you do, and being who you are.

    Much love and hugs!

    ~ Natalyn

  8. sarah kate branine

    I will never forget, as I sat waiting for the third ultrasound, the ultrasound that would confirm we had lost the baby, seeing a nurse walk a lady out of the ultrasound wing. She was close to being due. And the nurse mouthed the words to the receptionist, “she lost the baby”. I stood there and cried. Tears for that poor mother, who, I am so incredibly thankful, had what looked to be her mama and close friends with her that day. Tears for the grace God gave to my own heart in that moment. It was like he reached down and showed me– “Sarah, the pain you have at losing this baby at 14 weeks is nothing compared to the pain of losing the baby later”. So many griefs tied up into our losses, no matter how great or small. So many graces, too.

    Love to you. Will pray tonight.

  9. Kathryn

    I think buying a house is one of the most stressful experiences in life. I can’t even tell you the number of times I ended up sitting in the stairwell at work in tears because it looked like we were going to lose our new place. Sending lots of good thoughts to you both – I’m pretty sure that chocolate waffles are the only way to get through it all.

  10. Emma @ Poires au Chocolat

    I’m so sorry to hear there are complications with your house, Shanna – it must be really difficult, feeling so close but so far. I think it’ll be worth it though – there’s something so special about having a home that’s your own.

    On another note, these waffles look delicious. I’m going to stay with my mum for a bit on Monday and she has a waffle maker so I definitely see waffles in my future :)

  11. Marie @ Little Kitchie

    Shanna, thank you so much for sharing this. We went through a very stressful home buying experience a few months ago, and it all ended up that we didn’t get the house. In hindsight, it was a huge blessing, but at the time we had a hard time seeing it. Sending prayers and love to you and Tim. xo

  12. Erin

    Buying a house is so stressful, even without complications. And waiting on life to reveal itself is so difficult when we don’t know what is going to happen. Even when I’m waiting for happy things I feel uneasy, because you never know how exactly it will go.
    And yet sometimes it seems that all of life is about waiting for something.
    Hoping that you hear something good soon.

  13. Kat

    I so appreciate your vulnerability. And I pray that you feel so loved by the people rallying around you as you share your story. Jivan and I have had some why? days lately, so I totally understand. Thanks for being a great example and for pointing back to the Everlasting love, even in the middle of your disappointment.

    Praying redemption, guidance, and a peaceful home for you guys — wherever it ends up being. :)

  14. Meghan

    Hey Shanna:

    We literally just had the same thing happen to us with our 2011 taxes and a new home purchase. I don’t know anything about you or your husband’s income but our lender was able to approve my husband alone for the same loan amount. I will only be on the title of the home.

    My husband is a free-lancer in the film business so we had to submit almost twice as much paperwork proving his income and proving he will have future income, but it worked!

    You might want to discuss this option with your lender.

  15. felicia | Dish by Dish

    my dear friend,

    My heart’s with you, and i know what it’s like to have your hopes so high, to announce something to the world before it’s even arrived, and then have these dreams dashed, just because (as in this case) of what seems like a tiny overlooked mistake.

    you know, from how I’ve seen God work, He never makes a mistake. He may delay things, he may change things up, but somehow it’s always for a reason that we cannot understand, at least not right now, but sometime in the future, you and Tim will look back and be thankful, because a change of plans doesn’t mean things won’t go the way you want them to, it just means it might be a swap for something better.

    you two take care alright?

    xoxo,
    F.

  16. Joanna

    Shanna, I read this and I remember standing in your kitchen two summers ago when you told me you weren’t a very thankful person. I read this and I see how God has worked in you (and through you and over you) to make your heart one that goes from disappointment to thanks in minutes. Even if you’re just saying the words in faith or saying them to instruct your heart, that is the victory of Christ in you.

    Also: Waiting. Having to wait isn’t abandonment. When we wait, Immanuel, God With Us, waits with us. But you know this.

    I’m praying for the paperwork to turn around so fast those government workers won’t know how they did it. :)

  17. mattie

    Thank you for this. Real writing, worth reading. Yay! Praying for His peace to enfold you and ground you in gratitude as you wait for His perfect will to unfold. It is hard but good to be reminded that this world is not our home.

  18. Shanna Mallon

    Thanks, all of you, for the overflowing kindness you’re giving us here in these comments. We found out that we lost the house today and it’s been a true gift to have words like yours in the midst of it. I want to respond to each one of you individually, but I’m finding myself with not much else to say. Thank you.

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