Wednesday, July 18, 2012


"Satisfactory in quantity, quality, or degree."
Yes, there has been plenty of quantity.
The quality has been superior to that of past encounters.
And the degree has been sweetly intense.
It's been good.
Good. The word I've used in failed attempts to encompass the character of God.
Good. The answer we give when passively asked how the day was.
A word so over-used,
Yet under-applied.
Good is flexible.
But right now, good is happy.
Good is experience and fruition and laughter.
Good is waking up and falling asleep pondering that joyful notion
That I've found something special.
He is good.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Cooking: spiritual?

I'm missing my kitchen at the's sort of where I learned to cook. Alex and Mindy, my dear roommates from that season of life came over the other night and asked me, "When exactly did you learn how to cook?" I had to think about it for a moment. My mom did teach me the basics of cooking...that mixing wet and dry ingredients separately really is important, that a nonstick pan must be treated with love, that a clean kitchen is a happy kitchen. I love my mom for frequently interrupting my culinary escapades with that non-verbal, yet very vocal sigh of concern. You may not think so, Mom. And I probably never appreciate it in the moment, when I'm trying to get something done the fast way rather than learn. But you are a teacher, in our home and by your soul.

And while I love the guidance lessons from Mom, when I think of how I really began to enjoy the art of cooking, I must must attribute this to the Lord. "I think the Holy Spirit taught me to cook", I told Alex and Mindy. As I've mentioned often here at myHandH, my experience of the Spirit of God is usually gradual, peaceful, and process-laden rather than extremely emotional or verbal or clear. So when I say that he taught me to cook, I can vividly remember coming home after long days of work or class and finding an inexplicable inner peace in experimenting with food. The non-spiritual would step in here and say that I taught myself to cook. However, I fully believe that God is present in our everyday. He often speaks to me most tenderly in the kitchen when I am alone, creating a new recipe, soaking in the quiet things of life. It is he who whispered, "My delight is in you!" as I discovered that a salad dressing needs 1 part acid to 2 parts fat...that natural sugar substitutes really can taste good...that meat can be tender without making you sick.

But here lies the problem: I want to be able to share this alluring art. I want to be so skilled and comfortable in the kitchen that I can easily and graciously and augustly guide my friends and guests through meal prep. And I believe that I will one day get to this place. I sure hope I will, at least. I've recently discovered new insecurities (huh all over the place, but let's just stay in the kitchen today) in sharing my passion with others. I know that one day, I will be a wife and mother and will have people running around, leaving me with but a trace of those precious memories of solitude at my college apartment. I will gain the skill of multitasking in time, I really will. If you've followed my tone up to this point, you're getting that cooking is more than just a necessity for me. It's a creative outlet and a spiritual exercise at which I hope to always be improving. But I must remember that wifehood and motherhood are not here yet.

Cooking may not be as much of a solitary activity for me anymore. And while I despise the learning curve in anything that I fancy myself "good at", there is grace and there is still (usually) a tasty meal at the end of the experience. I can still slip away and cook in silence, though I'm learning to love having others around me. I'm finding my place in this new season of life. My place as a daughter, an independent woman, a friend...and I am blessed to say that cooking is a part of each of my roles. May it be that I again hear the Lord so truthfully whispering over my heart: "I delight in your learning! I delight in your efforts!" Because he really, really does.