As you guys may or may not know, I’m nose-deep in writing my very first cookbook (aaaaaaggghhh!) at the moment. It should be available sometime in 2014. Which sounds like a long way off but since the deadline to hand in my manuscript is this May, I’m chugging along like a little tank engine. Toot toot!
So many people ask me what my cookbook is about. Frankly, I’m never sure how to answer.
“Well, um, it’s just about the way I cook, which is a hodgepodge of cooking traditions,” is the best I can muster.
How would YOU describe the way I cook? That would actually be pretty helpful to me!!
Anyway, I am writing lots of stories in this book. I’m sort of telling my story through the food — how food rescued me when I felt like I was worthless, direction-less, hopeless… in the hopes that somehow that story would be a comfort to someone, encourage someone who might be feeling the same way.
In planning out some of the stories I want to tell, I wrote down some milestones in my life, starting with my ancestors and ending with where I am now. As I looked over the list, I marveled at how almost everything in my life has fed into my position now… every skill, every weakness, every strength, every upset, every heartbreak, every victory. It was almost poetic, a work of art.
There’s always been a little resistance in my spirit when people told me everything happens for a reason — sure, it’s true but it always seemed like a hollow platitude, a limp blanket to place around one’s shivering shoulders, especially when they’re shivering from feeling like they’re outside the warmth of God’s orbit.
And yet, as I look over those milestones, I cannot help but see His hand at work. It is startling, humbling and the perfect antidote to that cynical side of me that wanted to eschew that blanket.
What a comfort, what a joy! Even when my life seemed to be in shambles, when I felt like I was drifting aimlessly away from any sense of order or orbit… He didn’t let me out of His grasp. Even when I had no idea who He was, or perhaps more truthfully, when I knew who He was but wanted nothing to do with Him… He stayed close. What patience. What grace!
And now, when I cannot see the horizon for all the fog and clouds in my way, what comfort it is to look back, to remember how I got here… and realise that it doesn’t matter that I can’t see the road before me. It’s not FOR me to see! It’s just for me to reach out for His hand, look up into His marvelous face and step forward knowing that no matter what is ahead of me, I am still in His orbit. And there is no safer place in all creation than that. Thank You Lord.
If you haven’t written out a milestone list for your own life, I encourage you to do so. Even if your past is darkened by pain and sadness, you are not out of God’s grasp. Reach out your hand, dear heart. I promise you, He’s right next to you.