When a box of granola changes your life. Like, literally.

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant.

Do you ever find yourself comparing how you do something, to how you “should be” doing something…and as a result, whether you realize it or not, you end up doing nothing at all?

Say that 10x fast. Let me see if I can explain better.

I hate to bake. Like, super hate it. (Which, I'm sure, is no surprise to anyone who's been following me for longer than 2.3 seconds.)

I'm terrible at it, I don't enjoy it, I don't like cleaning up after it, and I don't get why people like it so much (other than to eat the goodness, I guess). However, I should bake. I need to bake. I want my kids to enjoy homemade goodies, smell the smells, eat the eats, and learn the skills for themselves so they can hopefully conquer the baking world waaaaaaay better than I have. Because everyone should bake and love to bake, right? My mom loves to cook and just so happens to bake pretty darn well. I grew up learning to avoid using boxes or mixes, and to bake make things from scratch instead.

Flash forward to my life now.

I've got little kids everywhere, no desire or interest in baking, and certainly not much time to do so. Yet…it's on my “I really need to get my act together and do this someday soon” list. Which, there is no problem with overcoming obstacles and improving practical skills! A goal of mine over the next few years is to redo the kitchen in the house we are buying, and to make more time to bake. But I can't. Not yet. I don't have the picturesque kitchen in the next house. And I don't have time to bake from scratch. And I don't really want to bake from scratch. Too many dishes and too many things going on. So I'll push it off just a little longer, and will do it in a few years when I have more time. And a better kitchen, of course. So until then, I choose to not bake. At all.

The other day I had Bubba stop in the store on his way home to meet me and the kids for lunch, and grab me a can of biscuit dough I needed for a recipe. He came home, biscuit dough in hand, and proceeded to pre-heat the oven.

Me: “Oh not yet, we're using those in a recipe for dinner so no need to bake them.”

Bubba: “No I'm not baking the biscuits, I'm making cinnamon rolls.”

Me: “You're making what?”

Bubba: “Cinnamon rolls.”

Me: “Right now? For lunch?”

Bubba: “To go with lunch, yeah. Why not? They looked good. And they were like, a buck.”

As I stare at him like he had suddenly sprouted a set of baby arms, he opens the grocery bag and pulls out a can of pre-made cinnamon roll dough (complete with frosting) pops it open on the edge of the counter, lays them out on a tray, and 8 minutes later we had hot, delicious cinnamon rolls to enjoy with our lunch.

My initial thoughts included: “But, cinnamon rolls? In the middle of the day? That's breaking the rules of some kind. But, wait, they are from a can! We don't bake from a can! We bake from scratch. Someday. When our kids are older and our kitchen is redone and I make time for baking and such. This isn't how you're supposed to do it!”

At the end of the day, Bubba was the one pulling hot cinnamon rolls out of the oven, and I haven't made my famous cinnamon rolls in years…even though he was the one “not doing it right”.

No joke, this was a serious slap-in-the-face, AHA moment for me. It's embarrassing how affected I was by it.

So let me ask this again…

Do you ever find yourself comparing how you do something, to how you “should be” doing something…and as a result, whether you realize it or not, you end up doing nothing at all?

Today I tossing out an empty granola box. I've opened the box a hundred times before, but today something caught my eye. On the inside flap of the box was a printed quote that struck me, and perfectly goes along with my eye-opening realization for the week:
How a box of granola literally changed my life. From FunCheapOrFree.com
Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant. – Robert Louis Stevenson

Oh how right you are, little box of granola!

Without realizing it, I was choosing to do absolutely nothing, simply because I wasn't doing it “right“.

I'm unable (and most days uninterested) to bake the way I pictured I needed to be baking…the way my mom did it, the way I see cute moms doing it on Instagram with their happy family gathered around their bright white kitchen…the way it's supposed to be in the cookbooks and on trendy websites.

The ironic thing is that I take pride in the fact that I truly don't really care what other people think! I make a defined effort to focus mainly on the opinions of my God, my family, and my close friends, and not let the world distract me from that. Yet somehow this “nothing is better than something” (false) mindset had seeped in over the years.

Well, folks, I'm over it.

I'm not going to fuss about how I should be doing things any more – subconsciously or otherwise. I'm going to just do what I can, because I can, because I want to, and because at the end of the day…it's better than nothing…and something is ok with me right now.

I challenge us all to work on not fussing over the harvest so much that we fail to plant the seeds in the first place.

So I'm curious…

What will be your “SOMETHING” this week??

Let me know in the comments below!

Hope you all have a fabulous week filled with processed cinnamon roll dough! XO



  1. AvatarAllison McElhaney says

    I didn’t plan on not doing it but I have been stressing all weekend about it. I have the beginning part of a research paper due next Monday and I keep worrying about if it’s going to be good enough. I’m so tired of worrying about school work being good enough, I stress about it too much so…. I’m just going to do it, I’m going to do it the way I want to do it. Now I realize this may not get me a great grade but, I honestly can’t be the do it perfect person to the point of going to bed thinking about it and waking up thinking about it. It’s not worth it in my opinion. One osier shouldn’t take this much priority and it’s shameful that I have let it stress me this much.

  2. AvatarSherri says

    Me in just so many ways! I’m going to challenge myself to “just do it” lol…thank you so much for this post & for showing me that I’m not alone in feeling this exact way….

  3. AvatarKatie says

    I had purchased a game to have a couples game night – a YEAR AGO!!! Well, I still haven’t invited people over for that BUT I DID have some friends over Saturday night for dessert, a few games and laughs. I just buckled down and made the invitations and when some people couldn’t come – invited more and it was so FUN! I’m not going to let things freak me out and just TRY!!

  4. AvatarPatricia Smith says

    I’m guilty of this too, although I’m one of those people that love to cook & bake. But in other areas of my life I beat myself up because I’m not perfect & procrastinate because I’m afraid I’ll mess it up. Most people don’t care and do appreciate what you do.

  5. AvatarJessica says

    I’m this way with cleaning. I grew up in a home that was spotless and never messy. My mom taught me how to clean the “right” way. Now I have 2 kids under 2 and no time or energy to clean. I find myself putting it off until I have “time”. That’s never going to happen. Thank you for this post! I have to realize that some cleaning is better than no cleaning at all. And thank you for your laundry basket clean up tip….it has changed my life!

    • AvatarFunCheapOrFree says

      Me too! My mom is a clean freak and I find myself doing the same thing. You’re welcome for the laundry basket tip, if only I’d learn to empty them once in a while, haha!

  6. AvatarJamie says

    I know this is an old post but one of my friends shared it and I have to thank you. I can totally relate to the baking thing, but today I’m laying in bed crying as I read this. It has been a difficult (difficult doesn’t begin to describe it) year, make that three years. I’m 70lbs overweight and I used to be the pro at the gym. I’ve been putting off going back until I look better, so I say I’ll just run at home to lose at least 15 or 20 lbs before I let anyone see me, but I’m so tired because I don’t exercise and I’m not accountable to anyone, so I don’t do it, time ticks by, I miss out on activities with my kids because I’m out of shape, more self loathing, more Haagen Daaz. Today, I’m doing it. I’m headed to the gym! Thank you for your post!

  7. AvatarMelanie says

    It’s like we’re sharing a brain. I get absolutely paralyzed when I don’t have time (or care enough) to do something the “right” way, and end up doing nothing at all! I’m all about the grand beginning, but the only one who cares about that is me. My family would be a lot happier with a sloppy beginning of something awesome than a perfect beginning of something that never happens… and so would I! Thanks for the great reminder.

  8. AvatarChelsea Price says

    Oh girl. I’m glad I found this post. It’s from before I began following you so I had never read it before. (And look at you now with your new kitchen! ?) But I’m struggling with this so much right now. We are supposed to host our college friend group at our house for a weekend in March. I’m super excited. And also stressed. It’s going to be 27 people! And we’ve had that many people (and more!) here, but it’s usually family and just for one meal. Our main room (kitchen, dining, living in one space) is 25 feet by 15 feet. I can’t figure out how to have eating space for everyone AND sitting/hang out space. I think the reality is that we are just going to have to hang out around the tables. And that will be fine. We will make it work. (Right?! ?) But I so wish that we could move forward in our plans to push that kitchen wall out and expand that space. We host frequently (5 kids here too plus my elderly parents live with us, so I think we’re an intimidating crowd to invite over) and I get tired of feeling like our space isn’t realistic for our lifestyle. I especially hate when I realize we haven’t been LIVING like I want to (hosting our community group from church or the kids’ youth group) because of our space constraints. So thanks for the reminder to live now and make the best of what God has provided. We are saving towards the renovation and it will eventually happen, but in the meantime we’ve got a life to live and I want to live it well.

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