On Purpose-Driven Pancakes

by Luke

On Saturday mornings, we have an established routine. Mom sleeps in (as best she can in a townhouse with paper thin walls and, well, two wild animals running around 10 feet below her) and the boys and I make breakfast.

Specifically, we make pancakes.

Real pancakes. Not those weak-sauce “just add water” pancakes. I’m talking about the real deal here. We make ‘em from scratch, double sift the dry ingredients, refrigerate the batter – we know all the good tricks. Ethan and I take our pancake-making (well, him more so the pancake-eating) very seriously, so much so that I’m constantly experimenting with my pancake recipe, searching for the perfect pancake. Lately I’ve been experimenting with how I combine the ingredients. I even have seasonal variants. Last week, I made my fall pancakes, and I’ve been brainstorming a Christmas recipe lately as well. (Stop judging me.)

But I digress.

It’s not really about the pancakes (though Ethan might argue that it is, indeed, all about the pancakes, especially when there are sprinkles or chocolate chips involved), it’s more about just being intentional with our Saturday mornings. We started with a little common ground (I mean, if you can’t find common ground in pancakes, I’m not sure where else you might find it), and have built something really fun and meaningful out of it. We work together, we talk about the week, we (he) spill(s) stuff and make(s) a mess, and we (I) clean it up while we (he) laugh(s at me). It’s turned into one of the times I look forward to most in the week, and I like to think the boys have a pretty good time, too. (I know for a fact that it’s mom’s favorite time of the week, because she gets to sleep in.)

What’s even more fun for us, though, is when we get to share pancake Saturdays with others. On weekends where we have guests (which we’ve had quite a few of lately), Ethan is more focused on his pancake-making than ever. He can’t wait to get up and get started making pancakes for our guests. He seems to really find genuine joy in sharing this tradition of ours, and in that, I can’t help but feel like maybe the focus his mom and I both put on intentionality and hospitality in our home is paying dividends in our boys, and those concepts are, just maybe, finally sinking in a little bit.

[crosses fingers]

One can only hope.

Recently, my wife had to eat a bit of crow when we had some twitter friends over to stay at our house and it was awesome (and she thought that it was going to be weird). She said something that stuck with me (maybe because I’m usually the one feasting on crow like it’s going out of style in our relationship, so this was especially memorable): it really doesn’t matter what it is we are doing, when we do it intentionally, God can use it.

Even Saturday morning pancakes.

13 Responses to “On Purpose-Driven Pancakes”

  1. Jessica November 14, 2012 at 9:42 am #

    I used to do pancakes every Saturday. But at some point I just got tired of it, I think.

    • Luke November 16, 2012 at 6:40 am #

      How could you get tired of pancakes?!? Seriously though, I wonder if my resolve to continue making pancakes each week would remain as high as it did if the boys ever started sleeping past 6:30 in the morning and I had to be up anyway…I suppose we’ll see when they’re teenagers. :)

  2. Diana Trautwein November 14, 2012 at 12:07 pm #

    No kiddin’ – right on – anything we do with care and intention can be used to the glory of God and the edification of ourselves and others (to go all sorta Westminster catechism on you here.) Loved this post, Luke – and what a lovely way to show us at least two facets of your life and your writing style in one week. Very nicely done. (I used to do from-scratch buttermilk pancakes or waffles every Saturday when my kids were growing up. Now they do it for their families. Except they’re way nicer than I – they do it other days, too.)

    • Luke November 16, 2012 at 6:46 am #

      Yeah, I felt a pointed need to lighten things up a bit after Monday. :)

      I think my wife is getting a little jealous of our tradition now, too. Last night we were sitting around talking, and she was reminiscing about this waffle-maker my mom has (The thing is ancient, and has stains and pits all over the outside, so you know it has been used a lot and for quite some time) and asked for a waffle-maker for Christmas. “Maybe we could do waffles on Sundays, or maybe just on holidays” she says… :D

  3. HopefulLeigh November 14, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    This is the stuff of memories! What a great tradition for you and your boys.

    • Luke November 16, 2012 at 7:03 am #

      I’ve found it to be a great teaching tool as well-both me teaching them and them teaching me. :)

  4. Sis November 14, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

    I like this story, my husband makes awesome pancakes too.

  5. Katherine Willis Pershey November 15, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I love this. I laughed about your parenthetically revealing how this really goes down, with the boys making the messes and such. And even though I laugh its that part that is what prevents me from doing stuff like this more often. I wish I didn’t have such a fierce streak of “it’s so much easier if I just do it myself” – because yeah, it is, but it is so much less memorable. So much less joyful. Thanks for this reminder.

    • Luke November 16, 2012 at 8:08 am #

      Oh, don’t get me wrong, the “just let me do it” impulse is a *strong* one, that I still find myself fighting every. single. Saturday.

      But you nailed it: it’s about joy, and for us, there’s more joy in flour-on-noses and fingers-in-batter, even if it means a little extra mess. So I force myself, in those moments, to take a deep breath and remember that this whole exercise has way less to do with finding the most efficient means to filling our bellies with fluffy deliciousness, and way more to do with just enjoying the ride.

      Also, coffee helps. :)

  6. Jennifer Hoffman November 16, 2012 at 10:43 am #

    I love this, Luke. My husband makes pancakes every weekend, too. Oh my heart just rejoices about the way God uses Saturday morning pancakes! Ritual, it is a powerful tool of the Almighty, right?!

    (I did forward this to my husband, and he was instantly curious about your favorite pancake recipes! :) We enjoy a wide variety of everything from traditional to oatmeal to pumpkin pancakes in our house!)

    • Luke November 16, 2012 at 11:03 am #

      Thanks for reading!

      I actually tend to keep the pancakes pretty simple, and like to experiment with mix-in’s and toppings. Some fruit/candies baked in, various fruit compotes and homemade whipped cream on top, that sort of thing.

      The Christmas recipe I’m brainstorming right now involves chocolate pancakes w/ peppermint bark (either baked in or on top, I’ll have to experiment), a white chocolate drizzle, maybe a (green) creme de menthe drizzle and some homemade whipped cream. It’s still in the planning phases right now though… :)

  7. Kamille@Redeeming the Table November 19, 2012 at 10:47 pm #

    I’m pretty certain I would love for my family to share a meal with your family. I love everything about this.

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