Instead I find myself giving out more hugs than a usual Tuesday morning, more strokes and scratches on small backs.
I am holding this one, while drying the eyes of that one, and all the while, the kitchen timer beeps incessantly in the background. Because when things get crazy, I bake.
When life rocks our boat hard, and we turn green from the wild up-and-down-side-to-side swishing, I don my apron, because food is more than survival here. Food restores community in the house, food brings us together to bow heads and fold hands–to hold hands.
Being in the kitchen eases the insanity. A velvet warmth, rich with the scent of good things envelops the house as I bake, and calms children and invites conversation.
“What are you making?” they will ask me.
“Can I help?” they inquire.
“Yes!, come help me!” I invite.
And they scramble up onto chairs and share licks from bowls. Before I know it, the arguing has been replaced with hums of sweetness from sugared lips. They share and take turns, and show love in a way that takes my tired heart and squeezes tears up into my eyes.
They join in group hugs and help each other clean when asked.
All of this change of heart born from delight in a surprise snack, from moments shared in joy.
And All this time while I’m mixing and observing this, I am thinking about how Christ’s goodness comes and fills–how when life hits the skids and we want to bail out and run the other way, his promises come, perfect, and mysterious, filling and complete–manna.
He put you through hard times. He made you go hungry. Then he fed you with manna, something neither you nor your parents knew anything about, so you would learn that men and women don’t live by bread only; we live by every word that comes from God’s mouth. Deuteronomy 8:3
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