Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Lessons from Sourdough

With COVID, came the 2020 fads. One of those I never jumped on was bread making. Until today. My brother is the most most amazing chef. If you've tried one of his soft pretzels, you know what I'm talking about. He has been trying to convince me for a while that making sourdough bread "isn't that hard." For Jeremy, not much in the baking/cooking/BBQing category IS hard. For me, it's all hard. 

For my birthday he got me a sourdough starter. He was convince I could make it happen. I was not so convinced. My birthday was in May. It is now almost August. That should tell you something. Needless, I started with my little starter in a little bowl and I was SO excited to see things start to grow and bubble. I would be lying if I told you I just followed directions and left my brother alone. He probably got at least one call or text a day... does this look right? Did I add enough? Is it supposed to smell like that?! Each time he patiently encouraged, corrected and helped me. He went over the baking process with me no less than twice. Is my brother the best or what?! 

Currently my bread is in the oven and I am praying it does it what it is supposed to do. Bake into the most scrumptious loaf that I will later slather in butter and jam because its "healthier" since I made it from scratch HA! 

As I sit here waiting to see how it turns out, I started thinking about the Word and the loving directions God gives us through it. As I think about how my brother could have just said, "The directions are all online. Look it up and follow the directions and it'll turn out ok." Instead he walked with me through the process. He allowed me to ask questions, to ask for the THIRD explanation of the same thing (because I was now on that step and needed to hear it again) and to baby step through this. God's Word, though it is a bunch of words come with a beautiful relationship - not just a set or rules, "Just do what it says and it'll turn out." 

God's Word is amazing because you can read the same thing and depending on where you are in the "process" you might understand Him in a different way. He lovingly and patiently walks with us through life, encourages us and corrects us. We can keep coming back to him, asking him for clarification and know He has no problem taking the time to explain yet again. 

Eventually I hope that I will be able to make this bread and not have to call 100 times but until then, my brother is a rockstar and is always there to help. 

As I grow in my walk with the Lord, I know I will never "master" the Christian life, but I can be transformed by his Word. I pray that I will continue to grow up into eating that "solid food" instead of having to only drink milk.

Those are the things that Jesus, sourdough and my brother have taught me today... now to go and see how my bread is doing! 

*update: it was a complete flop (multiple times!) 😂 Guess I'll be spending more time on the phone with my brother!

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

The Rapids of Life

As we watch the water rush over the rocks creating white crests, Andrew asks, “Could you go down that river?” I tried my best to explain the fun and thrill of white-water rafting. I think back on my times down the Colorado River; but even better, the time my sister and I bested a tributary river in the Amazon. 

While relaying these stories to Andrew, he comments, “Is it safe?” It causes me to pause because, no, it’s not really safe, but it sure is fun! So we talk about the difference between going down rapids in a raft, with a guide and a life jacket and then what it would be like falling into a river without all of these measures being taken. In a raft, with a guide and life jacket, you feel the thrill of the ride, the wind on your face and the adventure right in front of you! It is still dangerous and a bit scary, but also fun and amazing! If you were to fall into a swift moving river without all the things, that exciting thrill would quickly turn to panic and a desperate need to survive. 

What is the difference? Same river. Same person. Different situation.

I tried to paint the picture for Andrew. Life has many scary turns, rushing water, and roaring rapids that can feel like it’s too much to handle, because it is. However, as believers, we have safety in the raft. Our heavenly Father is the one who carries us and Jesus is our guide; the one who shows us where to go, how fast to paddle and steers us around giant boulders that we can’t see. Lastly, we have our life vest, the Holy Spirit, who has sealed us because of the saving work of Jesus on the cross. We need not be worried that we will drown or be lost because “When you believed you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit.”  As one of the high school girls in my Bible study pointed out, if the water is calm, those outside of the raft, “ who are chillin’” will look at you and say, “What a boring life you live! Throw off that life vest and come float with us!” But, the moment those inevitable rapids begin, things shift quickly. 

Today you might wonder if life is safe. I guarantee you; it is not. Uncertainties abound… sickness, pandemics, shootings, accidents and more - today you may be feeling the rapids, or you may believe the waters are calm in your life. Jesus doesn’t offer you a way out of this life but he will navigate you through it all. John 20:31 says, “But these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” He offers life eternal and life today. I urge you to believe in Him today and allow Him to lead you down this crazy river of life, whether life feels tumultuous or calm.