Monday, April 22, 2013

Everything I Need to Know (for today), I Learned in The Kitchen

I cook now.  Who knew this "pop-tart", "microwave-momma" would actually ever enjoy planning and preparing things that took longer than sixty seconds in the microwave to prepare?  But, alas!  It's been about a year since we made the big change, and I couldn't imagine ever going back to the way things were before.  One of the things we now make on a regular basis is home-made taco meat.  We use ground turkey and we make our own taco seasoning from our most beloved recipe book.  

The first time I made the taco meat, I was hesitant because the recipe included some things that I (in my inexperience) didn't think would make for a good flavor.  I was truly convinced that these ingredients would, in fact, make the recipe disgusting.  

So there I was with the decision to add the garlic and oregano, or make it the way I think it should have been made.

I have a tendency towards being a prideful, occasionally rebellious person, but you will be surprised to learn that I made the taco meat (originally) as written.  (Yes, my friend- people can change.)

And it was good.  So, so good...  

And the other day, I was thinking about my husband's (now year-long) search for a firefighting position. I didn't understand why we had to go through this, or why God would leave my husband feeling so desperate, so frustrated, and at times, forgotten. 

During this season, I have felt angry.  I have felt bitter towards God, and towards others who seemed to receive answer, after answer, after answer to their prayer needs.  And I wondered if maybe we were being punished for something that we didn't realize, or if this was actually the path we were supposed to be pursuing.

And as I contemplated this, God reminded me of the night I made the taco seasoning.  He reminded me of my hesitance towards adding everything, as written, to make the mixture.  And He showed me that this season, this year-and-counting is like one of those ingredients.  We may not understand or appreciate it at the time, but it's an absolutely essential part of the recipe.  

Did I mention that I attempted to make the recipe again one time and accidentally left out one of these key ingredients?  And it was gross, bland, un-exciting...

God knows what we need.  He wrote the recipe and is masterfully working His beautiful plan for His glory, and ultimately, for our good.  Even though we don't see it or always understand it, we can choose to allow this season... and choose to be thankful, or we can choose to take a different path.  

My encouragement comes from knowing that the recipe He is working right now in our lives is tremendously more amazing than anything we could have ever hoped or imagined.  This season(ing) that we are in the midst of might not make sense to outsiders, but we are learning to be thankful and to trust God and His perfect timing.  A friend reminded me that God is never late- He never over-cooks his recipe (although it might feel that way sometimes).  

I have no way of knowing when this season will end- when my husband will find that job he so desperately longs for, but I guess my response to that is this:  God has radically changed our entire family over this past year.  He has strengthened us, He has made us closer as a family and closer to Him.  In our desperation, we have seen God move in ways we wouldn't have ever seen otherwise... and it's been amazing.  

In my inexperience and immaturity, this microwave momma might have chosen an alternative path a year ago.  I tried to speed up the process to get the results that I thought I wanted, but just like junk-food, that process produced un-health and left me feeling worse than I did before.  Just as I'm learning to love and appreciate the timing and the fine details that are a part of preparing and cooking nutritious meals that nourish and satisfy my family, I am also growing in my appreciation and understanding of God's handiwork in the kitchen of my life.  So I say- although it's not easy, or always fun, this part of our recipe is essential, and I choose to trust that God is our master-chef, preparing a delightful meal that will fill us and leave us far more satisfied than anything we could have ever manufactured on our own.  

No Longer in a Hurry,

No Longer I,

The Real Life Mom