Confessions of a jam addict

I have confession today, down the road with an authorised priest for the purpose of obtaining forgiveness.  It’s where I confess my actual sin.  There are two types of actual sin, venial and mortal. 

 Venial – a less serious offence against the law of God.  Some venial sins are deliberate.  They displease God.  Some are not deliberate.  They are committed through fear or without thinking. If we do our best to improve, Our Lord is pleased.  A sin can be venial in two ways.  Firstly, when the evil done is not seriously wrong.  Secondly, when the evil done is seriously wrong; the sinner sincerely believes it is only slightly wrong, or does not give full consent.  

 Mortal – a grevious offence against The law of God.  Three things are necessary  to make sins mortal.  Firstly, the thought, desire, action, word or omission, must be seriously wrong or considered seriously wrong.  Secondly, the sinner must know it is seriously wrong. Thirdly, the sinner must consent to it.  

To Make a good confession, I must admit to my sins, tell the truth and leave nothing out.  These are the chief qualities of a good confession.   It’s freeing to know ones sins.  It does not get me down.  I am human, I am bound to commit them, yet I will not let them bind my life.  I don’t like the way they make me feel.  The same with sugar. I don’t feel good after eating it. I feel sick.

Why do I go to confession frequently? Because I know it’s good for me.  Do I think I’m holier than anyone? No, not at all. In fact, it helps me when I’m feeling depressed.  It cleanses my soul.  It helps with my struggles. It helps me know myself.  I may never get rid of some of my addictions, but I won’t give up fighting against them. Confession is a sacrament.  What’s a sacrament?  A sacrament is an outward sign of inward grace.  

One eats good food for our bodies right? Well the sacarament of communion where a catholic receives the body and blood soul and divinity of our lord Jesus Christ is food for ones soul.  We drink kombucha for vitamins and probiotics.  Well consider the sacrament of confession medicine for ones soul.  I was addicted to sugar.  Addictions keep us from Really living.  I used to be addicted to sugar. I love jam! However, there is so much sugar in jam! I wanted to make a decision which changed my life.  I wanted to cut out the bad things. So, I cut out sugar. When I cut out the sugar, I seriously had more control over other failings.  

Make sense?

Make sugar-free jam?

Recipe for organic berry and chia jam (organic berries don’t have pesticides. If you are trying to change to organic, start with berries.  Non organic have a tonne of spray, I was told by a farmer, you can’t ever get rid of it.  Not even by washing them through a dishwasher! Yikes. 

1 cup of organic berries, fresh or frozen.

1-2 tablespoons of rice malt.

2 tablespoons of chia seeds.

Place all ingredients into a saucepan with 2 tablespoons of water, and blend with a stick blender, or leave as is. Heat pan over a medium heat until he mixture begins to bubble. Reduce the heat and stir until thickened.   Store in an airtight container for a week or freeze for up to a few months. 

I confess, this jam doesn’t last long in our house.


Go easy on yourself if you desire to give up sugar. It takes time, if you fall off the wagon,  forgive yourself and get back.  Don’t be disheartened.  It’s a journey.  You might feel a little nervous about admitting any addictions.  Can you talk to someone you trust about it? This post is not about judgement, no human can judge another.  But our struggles or habits with food, can have a domino affect with our struggle in our souls.  For me, I know the two were linked.  Do I still struggle? Absolutely, but I’m aware of my struggles and that’s the difference.   

You may wonder, if I  ever get nervous about confession? Yes, I do Sometimes.  Only because Old hairy legs doesn’t want me to go.  Who’s that? Me in the winter yes, but old hairy legs is another name I call satan. He knows there’s grace involved.  He doesn’t want me to receive it.  He wants me to forget that it’s totally private, it’s Jesus himself not just a man.  When I leave the confessional, I leave all my sins behind. I feel so relieved after it.  I say my penance and make reparation.  I say sorry to who ever I need to.  Is it humbling? Absolutely. Freedom is in forgiveness.  Asking for forgiveness is humbling.  Without humility, we can not be like little children who need their loving Heavenly Father.  A child needs to be able to trust they can tell their parent anything. I confess I’m sometimes afraid in life, but trust He is with me in everything.  As an adult, I don’t fear God, I fear living without Him and because of that I desire to please him and do my utmost best not to sin again and eat sugar-free jam forever with Him in heaven.

Love Leah🌿

Feathered girls and a soup for days

Picked up the girls yesterday, the feathery kind. So far we have had Iggy tell us his is ‘chicken bok bok’,  Cece has called hers ‘Miss Rose Mary’ & Olivepip has called hers ‘Miss Anne Shelley’ πŸ“.  We went with Isa Browns because they tend to be more like pets, and they are, they are so lovely.  We’ve carefully clipped a few wings, done properly, your chickens should not even notice.  The feathers will be sent to our penpals


It’s finally Spring here in Australia, so I’ve cleared the gutters, topped off the compost bins, mulched the existing plants and spotted the worms.  PIanted poppies to make poppy maidens, Rosemary, nasturtiums and rocket to make tea, to eat and for the chickens. The raspberry & strawberry plants are in the fairy gardens where we will picnic around ready for the warmer days ahead.  If you live in western Australia, we have found great fairy garden pieces from the shop ‘Rave Discounts’. They make sweet gifts too. 


I’m not a great gardener by any means. But I like the idea of keeping costs down and doing things organically where I can. Plus the children have always used nature as their playground no matter how big our land is. We don’t live on acreage. I wanted to move to a farm but that was not God’s plan for us. We have a block next to the city. We are trying to live off our land as much as we can, the land where God wants us. I love living where we do. We have a friendly, kind community. Our dear neighbour was sweet enough to give the children a box full of gardening gloves for their little hands all the way from England. We don’t have many toys and so books and the garden are our thing.

 The book, ‘Sunflower houses’ by Sharon Lovejoy is an oldie but a goodie. It Helps kids make things out of what they grow. Though we don’t have fireflies sadly where I live, we are able to do most things suggested.  


Today the weather has turned from glorious to nasty.


Some of us are not feeling well.   Though gifts from friends, lift their spirits.  


This Chinese style corn soup in the tastiest, easiest soup to make for when you or your loved ones don’t feel well or even when you all feel excellent but need an easy meal. With a bit of supervision and practise, responsible kids can make this. 

Sweat on the stove – one can of creamed corn with one onion chopped up and a knob of butter or about a tablespoon of oil. Add as much chicken stock as you desire per the size of your family. Bring to boil and stir in a few egg whites, cooked when they turn white. Add shredded chicken for a more heartier soup. Serve with sour dough bread or whatever bread you have. ( for larger families double the other ingredients

There are discussions about oxygen, carbon dioxide and why we need trees.  Reading and thinking skills are being worked on, lactose free food planned by a twelve year old foodie who is designing a website for a free computer class which is provided by our local council.   There’s the demands for sharing of blankets in the patio lounge room whilst eating roasted zucchini sprinkled with Himilayan salt and left over kale salad, topped off with Nature’s Way Cacao Pepitas (a favourite snack which has 5 times more antioxidants than almonds).  Off the iPad, ‘The Green Ember’ and classical music stream from audible.  Nomenclature cards have been pinned to Pinterest for printing later on whilst leaves and rain can be heard playing tag on the roof as the girls look on.  My girls, the ones that fill my days with noise, joy and laughter. 
Love Leah 🌿

Cross my heart spreading peace with my avocado.

I was recently given ‘A book of saints for Catholic moms’ by Lisa M Hendey by a lovely friend.  I’ve been reading it each morning and I recommend it.  I love the saints, they are my great friends, I’ve learned so much from their lives and love the tradition of asking them to intercede for us.  Speaking of traditions, Have  you ever wondered why a Catholic blesses themselves by making the sign of the cross before and after prayers?

Well it’s simple and yet pretty significant.

By marking ourselves with the sign of the cross, we are making a profession of faith.  One of the deepest mysteries is that of the blessed trinity.  When we use the words, In the name of the Father, the son and the Holy Spirit, we are performing a statement of belief.  We are connecting our beings to the cross.  One mustn’t be tempted to rush this for it is a prayer in itself. 

I bless myself often.  Not just before prayers, at meal times before and after grace, in thanksgiving, when I’m nervous, feel panic striken or even when I want to make a phone call and need guidance.  Making the sign of the cross give me peace.   

I received a phone call recently from our son informing me that he and his sister were in a bad car crash.  Immediately my heart began to race. I blessed myself, over and over again.  My husband was away and so Jesus stepped in.  On the way down to the scene, I repeated the process over and over until I made it to my destination.  Though my teeth were chattering from the cold and the shock, I remained calm.  One of the attending mothers who cared for my children until I arrived, asked me how I was so calm.  I explained to her what I did the whole 40 minutes of driving.  I can honestly say, when I bless myself, It helps me to concentrate, to breath slower and deeply, to truly focus on what’s at hand.  According to my kids, at the accident scene I was not a happy camper,  πŸ™„πŸ˜© but imagine if I hadn’t blessed myself! 

You don’t have to be a catholic to learn how to bless yourself.  This is how we do it – 

Using your right hand, you should touch your forehead at the mention of the Father; the lower middle of your chest at the mention of the Son; and the left shoulder on the word “Holy” and the right shoulder on the word “spirit”.  

Try over breakfast tomorrow, spreading some peace by blessing yourself with the sign of the cross before you spread your avocado, you just may find its the perfect start to the day.  Not to mention, a favourite blend of tea currently is – passion fruit with a twist of hibiscus by Tetley.  It will be a hit the next time you invite your friends over for a cuppa.

 Love Leah 🌿