Saturday, May 30, 2015

Feeding Beautifully

The last couple of months I've been trying to do more of the cooking. It's something I have always enjoyed, and always had a pretty good knack for, and always done a lot of - until the last couple years when I have been dating, engaged and married to someone who also loves and is good at it. We love to share this task (not at the same time usually, because some people don't share work spaces as well as others, and one of us definitely likes to work hard on something and present it to his wife when it is well-thought-out, completed, and beautiful).

But I've realized it's easy to let someone else being willing to do something for you, and enjoying it in general, and taking over when you're feeling really tired or morning-sick, to turn into it being his job. So here we are turning it back into a shared task, a shared delight. I might be back to doing most of it, even - except that he is pretty faithful to do breakfast every day while I'm showering and preparing for my early work day. I'm finding the fun in it again, and learning more creativity, and looking for excellence in how a simple things is done.

We are also (both) working at feeding our souls with the Word. Daily readings you can find easily linked to are a wonderful help for this, and ensure that you don't just skip to your favorite Psalms, or spend 10 minutes trying to find a good passage for the day.

The world has been charged with the glory of God, as the poet Hopkins so famously has written. It comes out everywhere. It's there in the growing and harvesting and shopping and preparing and serving and eating of beautiful and good foods; it is explicit in the pages of words passed down through the ages and the church; it is shimmering in the light on the trees you can't stop looking at early dewy mornings; it is leading and inspiring the kindness in faces that smile across the room and in arms that hold you and in hands met in the passing of the peace and in gracious words of forgiveness from someone you dealt false or rudely with again.

The glory is there. Sometimes it takes a little poking and pulling back of the leaves to see it growing quietly there. Sometimes it looks like contentedness that borders on the mundane. Sometimes it is waiting on the shelf to be picked up and opened. Sometimes it is in your cupboard and in your fridge and needs to be measured and tossed and marinated and grilled. And then shared. Glory is meant to be shared, given, helped with, talked about, received.

I made this bread today. Vermont Whole Wheat Oatmeal Honey BreadSo very delicious, soft, and rich. I sensibly put one loaf into the freezer for busy July days when Baby is making things harder, but we have already eaten about half of the other loaf... not even as a meal, just snacking. I'll have to bake more bread, maybe even tomorrow.

And I posted this to facebook the other day when I needed a bit of encouraging for the day's tedious and seemingly-endless hours. 
I always want to be a little less weak, a little more purposeful. 2 Corinthians 2:14-17 has been on my mind a lot since Fraser read it at breakfast yesterday.
"But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place. For we are a fragrance of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing; to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things? For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God."

Thursday, May 21, 2015

gaining sisters

This is a bit of loose prose I put together at the end of my singlehood. Nothing very poetic or grand, I am just feeling nostalgaic tonight about the wonderful women God has put into my life since moving away from home - and the wonderful ones I grew up with there. I am thankful.

six years away from home -
(college and then work)
sharing living costs and life
with other girls on their own for the first time.

and now
I feel like I have so many more sisters
young energetic beautiful
weary questioning longing lonely
laughing hilarious different-from-me

who have cooked at the same stove
and scolded each other for leaving dirty dishes
or the door unlocked
and woken each other up in the middle of the night
with pain or laughter or stories of What he said to me

who have split the chores of emptying the trash
and cleaning up after the communal dog
and mowing the grass

sisters who have cried and sighed and cried again
late at night
and woken each other by preparing breakfast too noisily
and tried to figure out how to fix the garbage disposal together
and been creeped out by the same dark basement
and huddled on the same couch
when the house was cold and the heat bill already high

in six years I have accumulated
ten new roomie sisters
[Jordan, Emma, Tali, Jonte, Gigi, Bailey, Mel, Sara, Susanna, Jenny]
plus the eight baby sisters at the houses I boarded
[Lottie, Flora, Iona, and Opal, Cat, Ellie, Hazel, and Laura]
and their mothers, who became something like older sisters to me
[Mick and Heather]

and these non-related sisters
deepened my love for my blood sisters
[Vicki, Maria, Becki, Laura, Emili, Elsi, Abbi, Lydia, and Naomi]
and helped teach me how to love my sisters-by-marriage
[Brianna, Theresa, Claire]

and all of whom have reminded me
daily or weekly in their own ways
what sisters are for:

help and honesty, silliness and support, grace and giving

Friday, May 8, 2015


Everything feels possible in the Spring. Hope and life start sprouting up everywhere, and even our hearts feel ready for something new. If any season were perfect for Easter's grace to come to humanity, it is now. 


Why after spring,
after being quickened and taught to sing,
knowing He has taken our death and made us green and growing,
why would we go back to winter
so willingly,
and drop so soon our little leaves and stems and fine new fruit
with so much promise,
as if the sun had never shone upon us,
living water never washed our skin?
Why do we hide again our heads and bury deep our souls
in the killing frost of sin?

Turning away from the source of life is about as senseless it would be to try going back to Winter after May is here. But however weary we are, however many times we have failed, however cold and hardened we have become against the light's grace, Christ will not leave us there. He is stronger even than the sun, more faithful than the seasons. Alleluia.

"If anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." 2 Cor 5: 17

"If we are not faithful, He remains faithful, because He cannot be false to Himself." 2 Timothy 2:13