Pumpkin Doughnut Recipe

Leaning In & Pumpkin Doughnuts

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (nlt)

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.


Have you heard of the phrase “lean in”? It’s become increasing more popular over the last few years. I originally heard of the phrase “lean in” on a TED talk, given by COO of Facebook, Sheryl Sandberg. She’s also written a book called Lean In, which is so great. I would love to say that I embraced this idea and concept as soon as I heard about it, but that’s more than far from the truth. I actually think I rolled my eyes and thought “nothing sounds worse than throwing a pity party for myself in front of a bunch of women who are judging me.” I’m sad that I thought those things, but even more sad that I felt them.

Throughout this journey of self-discovery, learning to love myself, and learning to lean in, I’m learning that we’re all the same. Not the same like we’re not unique, but the same like we all feel certain things that determine our worthiness, or lack there of. We’ve all felt judged, and at times, we still do. There has to be a magical place of transition, where we can stop judging others because we’re learning to love ourselves, and love ourselves enough to stop letting that judgement that will always be there, control our actions. There has to be a place to break the cycle. But where is that place, and how in the world do we get there?

I think this question is just another example of something that’s been asked for…ever. The chicken or the egg? How do you get to a place of self-love while still being shamed and judged, and stop judging and shaming others to make yourself feel more worthy before you have found that magical self-love place? Leaning in.

The good news is that this isn’t a battle you have to fight alone. There are women who have gone before us, who have learned to love – themselves and others, and who, I believe, have been placed in our paths by God as a safety net to protect us from hurt. Those nets have hearts that beat for helping others, smiles to share, hugs to give, kind words when you want them, and empathetic eyes when you don’t. Here’s the cool/frustrating part – God won’t force you to use those safety nets. Just like a lot of abundance we’ll never have, peace we’ll never feel, and wisdom we’ll never hear – God has provided it, but we must lean in to find it.

I’ve been pretty closed off to the world for most of my adult life. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you might be confused – but what I’m learning is that being present isn’t the same as being IN the present. I show up, I pretend to be seen, but I always have enough distance between myself and anyone else that I can run for cover. In one way, it makes what I do as a blogger pretty great; I can stay in the comfort of my space, doing everything possible to make an impact in the lives of others without ever getting close enough to get hurt. However, it also continues the cycle of not being forced to build real-life relationships that I need to lean in to and to grow.

I’ve been feeling this pull lately to just lean in to the people in my life, and let it work, or not work, however it does/doesn’t. So.. I went for it. I’ve been open with making new friends, trying to have honest conversations, creating more posts like this one on my social media channels, telling my husband what I really need from him, and attending events that set me up for continued growth. In doing so, I’ve been criticized, for sure. I’ve been hurt, unfollowed, and unfriended. My motives, morals, and judgement have been questioned. But I’ve also felt more real emotion than ever before. I’ve been shown love; the deep, honest kind that expects absolutely nothing in return. I’ve been prayed for and prayed with. I’ve been shown that stereotypes are just that. I’ve learned that no one has all the answers, but the community of figuring them out together is powerful. I’ve received messages that are priceless. I’ve been shown first hand that strength isn’t measured by power, control, or building a wall too high to let others even see in, but by falling down and owning in, by leaning in when you’re still on the ground instead of waiting until you’ve gotten up, fixed your hair, and wiped your mascara. The idea that the world is bad or people are mean has been proven wrong, time and time again.

I will never be able to say that I’ve got it all figured out, but I can say with all certainty that leaning in to people, faith, and circumstances is the right path. I think that all humans, or at least the ones who self-reflect, find themselves asking “what’s my purpose?” Most of us relate this question to a job, a marriage, a family, or a life-event, but… what if our purpose is simply to lean in? What if God’s purpose FOR us is to lean in. It not only gives us a chance to learn and to grow, but in doing so, we allow other people to have a purpose too; to be our safety net, and maybe that’s exactly what they need. So often, we feel shame when asked to share our problems, or we feel guilty for putting them on others, but what if we start to see it as everyone helping everyone to live out their purpose? God didn’t promise money, big homes, or even passion-filled careers. While I believe that often, an abundant life includes those things too, they shouldn’t be our why. Loving people will change the world. Empathy will fix the world. Cars, big houses, titles, and promotions won’t.

I challenge you to open your heart, just a little bit, just enough to let a sliver of light shine on the people around you who can be your safety net. You don’t have to jump all at once, but put one foot out and ask yourself if you feel safe. If so, keep moving, and eventually, you’ll realize, the net CAN hold your weight and help you back up. Lean in, friends.


Do you struggle to open up to others and share your struggles with people? Do you lean on others in times of uncertainty or try to go at it alone? How do you think “leaning in” would make an impact on your life?


Ask God to open your heart to allow space for new relationships and connections.

Pumpkin Doughnuts

5 minPrep Time

10 minCook Time

15 minTotal Time

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  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sweetener
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 banana
  • Glaze
  • 1/2 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract


  1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth
  3. Pour batter into donut tin, filling 3/4 full
  4. Bake for 10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean
  5. While donuts are baking, prepare glaze by mixing all ingredients together
  6. Allow donuts to cool and then dip in glaze
  7. Wait 5 minutes for glaze to harden

Tips and Tricks

As you can probably see in the photos, there’s two different versions of this icing! But the good news is that it’s the same ingredients – just more, or less – depending on what you want. If you’re looking for a thicker glaze, you’ll want to use less almond milk. Add a few drops at a time to the powdered sugar while mixing. Add just enough to create a smooth mix. If you want a thinner icing that just coats the doughnuts, you’ll want to add more almond milk so that it’s a liquid consistency. Nutrition information listed is based on using Swerve confectioners sugar.

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