Wednesday, February 17, 2016

My Secret Place


There is a secret place I go to when everything is in disarray. I find that time slows down when I'm there and my senses are awakened. That secret place is my kitchen and my activity of choice: baking. 
If I'm frustrated about my misplaced priorities, I find that baking helps me get my thoughts in order. Why baking? I really don't know but I will try to explain.  
I come from a heritage of women who do it all: they birth their own babies - notably my grandmother who told us one of our ancestors gave birth under a tree - they take great care of them and by golly they feed them well. If the recipes passed down from generations aren't enough, our kind will take cooking classes to improve on something that's already sublime. 
My problem is, I watched novelas so I missed most cooking classes. As a teenager I took English classes so I my attention went away from the homemaking to the career building. 
You probably heard that I didn't have (5) natural births like my mother did, but instead, I was blessed with 3 c-sections. I come from a heritage of women who somehow learned what their priorities were. It is now my time to vote: will I turn away from my primary calling or will I embrace it for what's worth? 
My internal battle doesn't stop, even when I press my real woman's belly into a sink full of dirty dishes. I heard that nurturing one's family is the greatest call a person can have so I work through that stinky pile of sour beans and dry oatmeal. I realize the kids are hungry again so I decide to grab my reliable online recipe to banana bread and add nuts and chocolate chips to it. 
The house smells divine after the bread is in the oven for 10 minutes. My mood quickly changes. The fact that I have 3 thankful children with bellies filled with warm banana nut and chocolate bread really helps. 
I find that baking puts a lot of things in perspective. The goal of my secret place is not to show the world that I am such a great baker. The goal of my secret place is to be reminded that home is the place God gave me to reign. I get to create an atmosphere of love, nurture and acceptance. No one else can do this for me. 
The smell of fresh baked banana nut chocolate bread is part of that atmosphere. The sound of the pressure cooker finishing up a fresh batch of black beans is part of it too. The sight of a smile on my face, regardless of my circumstances, is part of it as well. 
I do pray as I bake. Mostly that I don't walk away and forget I'm baking and therefore burn everything (it's happened before). I pray more often when I'm not baking. I pray that I can know God's purpose for this season and that I don't miss the beauty of dirty dishes, toys on the floor and the endless joys of raising Christian children. 
I'm thankful for this secret place I found. It turns out baking is good for my soul. 

• Do you have a secret place of your own where you can put your thoughts in order?

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