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Tag Archives: cooking

Crushing Garlic, Crushing Me

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I stood there, crushing cloves of garlic, my hand heavy on the cloves in order to crush through their outer layer.

The outer layers crunched and cracked under the weight of my hand.

In those places where the dried layers cracked, I was able to take my fingers and begin to peel away the layers hiding the choice part of the garlic which I desired.

The smell of garlic is undeniable.

It permeated the air as the layers cracked away and reminded me of another, different, smell from earlier in the day.

It was the smell of frustration.

It was cracked open by the hands of a two year-old, who meticulously pulled off, yet again, the keys from our laptop computer.

It was picked and pulled apart all the more when those same hands dumped an entire container of fish food in our fish tank.

It was smelt strong when the baby threw up on the carpet moments after the tank was cleaned.

It was pressed upon hard at the kitchen table during our arithmetic lesson as five papers, from five separate lessons, were being waved in my view while the baby grunted for another bite of food.

Slowly, but surely, frustration,
MY frustration,
Permeated the air today.

And my hope for order,
And for being the calm mother that goes with the flow,
Any hope based on me,
Was crushed.

And only hope in God remained.

That was my day.

And now it was night.

The children were fast asleep,

And late in the evening I stood,

Crushing garlic,

Wondering,

Could it be, that when we feel we are being crushed, we are not actually being crushed at all? Could it be that God is simply seeking, and allowing life to reveal, the part of us that matters most?”

2 Corinthians 4:7-10
New Living Translation (NLT)

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

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Yes, Step into the Middle of the Mess

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She walks out of her room,
Dirty diaper in hand.
For reasons that I,
Cannot comprehend.
Onto the floor falls her waste.

And there she is,
This daughter of mine,
Covered in poop,
One more time,

Another miss.
Another mess.

Another chance,
For me to step,

Closer to your heart.

I feel you whisper,

Step,

Step closer to a love,
That changes.

Step closer to a love,
That endures the stench.

Step closer to a love,
That washes clean.

Step closer to a love,
That covers.

Step closer to a love,
That says, ‘Try again.’

Yes, step.
Step into the middle of the mess.”

So I step.

And I feel your heart.

He is sitting at the table,
Pencil in hand,
Needing help on a problem,
He cannot understand,
Calling for me to come.

And there are dishes in the sink.
There are crumbs on the floor.
There are so many messes,
My attentions have implored.
But I feel you urging,

“Stop and step.

Step into the middle of the mess.

Because in the messes,
I still speak.

In the messes,
I still teach.

In the messes,
Is where I long to be.

So step.
Step into the middle of the mess.”

So I step.
And I feel your heart.

Later in the evening,
I fill a request,
To accompany my husband,
And try my best.

So I find myself,
Back behind a line,
Messes around me,
Yet one more time,
Cleaning and cooking,
Lending a hand,
Speaking a language as best as I can,
Seeing broken people as they stop by.

And I feel you whisper,

Yes, you have stepped.
You have stepped into the mess.

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps pouring.

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps cleaning,

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps serving,

You have stepped,
Closer to a love that keeps standing.

You have stepped where I step,
Into the middle of mess.”

Now, I don’t know what mess,
May surround you today.
But I want to challenge you,
In this very same way,
To step.

Step into the middle of the mess.

Step where your Savior,
Has stepped for you.
Step where he daily,
Continues to.

Step where you will find His rest.

Yes, Step into the middle of the mess.

John 3:16
For God so loves the world…

He stepped.

 

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Why I Write

I have been thinking about my writing…

I cannot make others read or enjoy what I write, just as I cannot make my own children enjoy the food I put on our table. (Blame it on their taste buds. No way could it be my cooking.)

When my children refuse what I prepare, or when my husband does not make it home in time to join our meal, I do not feel like I have failed as a mom or a wife. In fact, quite the opposite, I feel I have been faithful in doing my part. I prepared and shared the best meal I could with those who I love. If they did not like it, or never showed up to eat it, it does not change the fact that I prepared it and shared it out of love.

I could easily serve only me and sneak off and consume my meals in secret. (Not that I am not known to do that as well… After all, when you have five little ones, one Reese’s peanut butter cup can only go so far.) Point is this: When I share, I share out of love.

And so it is with what I write. You may not have a taste for everything I write. You may not even be around when I am serving it. But know the reason it is out here “on the table” is because I love you enough to share what I know to be good. I hope you enjoy what I share and know I share it with you out of love.

And though I post a lot, believe me, I am not sharing everything with you. Especially not my Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. I don’t want to over-feed you after all…

 

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