Sunday, September 16, 2012
What is it that makes you remember?
Much of my life is spent as a pre-school teacher where each moment is an exercise in remembering: where do we put our backpacks, how do we start the day, what are the letters in our name, what are the months in the year, what are the days of the week, how do I use scissors, how do I hold a pencil, what should I do in the hallway?
To help our little ones remember, we get our whole bodies involved. We sing, we dance, we move, we cheer. Every part of our brains and bodies is activated in this remembering process. Someday these processes will produces writers, readers, artists, singers, movers, shakers. It is always a joy to see the child whose very being is illuminated by the process, to see her light up when a simple step melts into the wonder of accomplishment and the joy of being alive. Oh sweet one, you've found it! That thing that makes you feel alive!
It's so much easier I think to feel alive when your four. There are no hindrances to singing the song that helps you remember. And life is so much more fun when it is set to music. Why is it when we grow up we forget to sing? Or to play? Or to dream? Or to imagine?
We must ask ourselves that question: where do I feel most alive? Where do I melt into the wonder of accomplishment and the joy of living? Why is that feeling so elusive?
Last week I was with a small gathering of ladies and a couple of them shared about when they get that feeling. For one it was riding horses. For another it was being in her garden. My first thought was about writing, that this is where it comes together for me. And this is certainly true. I love to play with words, or when the Word invites me to play, and something amazing comes forth that touches the truest part of me. I love that. And I would not be the same person if I didn't write.
But then something else stirs.
Okay, let's be real. I was doing the stirring. Literally. Ten years ago if you told me I would find Sabbath in my kitchen, I would have laughed in your face. However, it's true. Last year when my life changed so radically, and dreams I thought I would have forever died overnight, I found solace in the simple process of chopping vegetables. Today my favorite kind of Sabbath is stirring up something new in the kitchen. Today I made an apple pie. First time ever! Yay! Tim said it was really good. Then he said I couldn't start making desserts all the time. Our waistlines wouldn't be the same.
There is something so healing to me in making a black and white recipe come to life. First I clean up my working space, washing down counters, putting clutter away. Then I gather the ingredients, putting them out where I can see them easily, where they are readily accessible. And then I begin to combine each one until it's ready for the oven. I even enjoy cleaning up the mess. Somehow it fills the time of anticipation, as I wait for the yumminess to emerge complete. Following the steps from start to finish slows me down. It builds expectation. It helps me connect with a sense of accomplishment. And the crowning moment is when one of my boys takes a bite and likes it.
I don't mind that it takes time. I believe it is time well-spent. It is time that helps me to remember who I am and what matters most in my life. It helps me think. It's like the order of it orders me too. I need it so much. And the sweetest part is that it becomes a language of love as I feed my family. I love it when the cranky boy sees me in kitchen and puts in a special request. I don't really consider myself a cook. But it lights up my whole world when that little man says something like, "Mom, you make the best __________!" My heart does flip-flops.
I think of that scripture, "O taste and see that the Lord is good" (Psalm 34:8). And I think of God's presence in my life. Just like I'm tasting this creation, Lord, I taste the goodness of this life You've given me. Oh sweet Father, You are so faithful! You are goodness. In the middle of my difficult moments You have given me a sweet passion that fills me up, even as I pour my own love out. Only You can do that!
And so I find myself re-membered. I come back to myself. To remember who I am and Whose I am. To remember that I don't really belong to myself, but that I must have some moments that belong only to me so that I can give myself away again. In the middle of a loud, rambunctious house, I pull out the ingredients and get to stirring. I can't help but think this is how God did it when He created the recipe for me. For you. For everyone of us.
How do you re-member?