August 22, 2011

Free-Form

Ahhh, Stress: how I love thee.
Oh, and let's not forget your lovely wife, Anxiety, without whom you would hardly impress us at all (Oh, don't take that the wrong way, dear: you are a nuisance on your own! Fret not!). 
There are so many thoughts, so many feelings, so much trepidation, swirling about in my little head today; it's enough to drive me batty.
After my initial devotional time this morning, followed by a comfortable breakfast and a bit of knitting, the day quickly picked up a pace and tuned it's melody to a theme that promised to be both hectic and frazzling. 
I joined my mother in an early-morning grocery run, completing an hour or more's worth of food shopping at the market into less than a half and hour (she had to work early this morning). 
This was then followed by a short space of time in which I was able to reflect.
Normally a wonderful, relaxing thing, my reflections today were drawn to the scheduled phone call I am to have with one of the New York doctors tomorrow morning, and I was quickly taken from merely reflecting to putzing around the house in a nervous state of anxious worrying.
What if I don't get accepted?
What if nothing comes of it?
What if I am accepted, and then have to wait, and end up falling extremely ill or dying before then?
What if? What if? What if?
Like a quiet whisper I could feel the Saviour's urging stealing across my soul:
"Patience, dear heart."
I quickly saw the direction my day was truly headed in: Vanity rearing her ugly head and opinions and taking control of every moment, turning what I usually love (Mondays) into what I hate (a waking nightmare).
"Well, Grace," I thought to myself, "What are we going to do about this?"
The answer was simple and clear, as well as completely logical:
Walk to the library,
Then make a tart.
So I did.
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I have always, always, always wanted to make what the French refer to as a "Galette", or free-form tart. 
They are so rustic, so beautiful, so simple, and yet so elegant; one can't help but be enchanted. It is the very epitome of French country cooking.
So I decided, as I passed the farmer's produce stand on my morning walk, tantalized by the heavy aroma of fresh peaches and apricots, that a free-form tart was exactly the therapy (and distraction) that I needed today.
Picking out three pounds of the ripest apricots, nabbing some juicy strawberries, and stocking up on brown sugar and organic wildflower honey, I hurried home as fast as my little feet could take me.
Commence baking.
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I love to bake.
I love to bake with natural, organic ingredients.
I love to bake on wooden surfaces- tables and counter tops- next to large windows and with the lights off- natural lighting all the way!- and with fantastic music playing in the background. 
There's something so therapeutic about the process of baking. 
The preheating of the oven, the sifting, the mixing, the pouring, the baking, the waiting, the smell: I love it all.
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While I was baking today, the thought struck me: I never ever wonder how it's going to taste. 
I never ask myself: "Will this be good?"
No.
I leave that up to the family to decide...because "I can't eat it."
Wait, what?
Why not?
I paused my dough-rolling to demand this of Vanity, whose silky-smooth voice had been whispering deceptively in my ear.
There was silence on her end.
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Why should I not be allowed to eat- to enjoy- this wonderful (hopefully!) dessert that I have created?
What's wrong with it?
Why not?
Give me one good reason.
She responded in accusation, in argument, in pleading.
I fought with her for quite some time, even yelling at her out loud. 
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She said a lot of things, but the one thing she never produced was a valid reason.
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And so it goes.
(I'm a messy cook)
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I do have a phone call tomorrow, and it is with a doctor at the facility in New York. 
I have been nervous,
I have been anxious, 
But at the same time I have been comforted.
Repeatedly today, God has called my attention to Him, taken my hands in His and turned my chin upward.
"Daughter," He says, "Don't worry. My timing is perfect. My planning immaculate. This will all go according to how I direct it, so let go!"
Oh, how hard this is for me to do! Letting go! Trusting! Things I always fail miserably at. 
I keep grappling wildly for control, for confirmation of myself and my plans, for authority.
But I need to let go of it all- and, consequently, my anxiety and fear- and let Him who makes no mistakes take control. I need to trust Him.
I need to make my plans and my ideas and my times like this tart...
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..."Free-form."
A little crazy. A little chaotic. A little different.
But, in the hands of the perfect cook, absolutely wonderful.
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(Oh, and because you are all wondering, I did do some knitting. What do you think that entire section of time in which the confection is baking away in the oven is even meant for? Behold, my newest soft-boiled egg cozy. Breakfast tomorrow will be yummy and well-attired!)
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Thank you again and again, by the way, for the many prayers you have been sending my way: I have definitely felt their affects as they've lifted me up and kept me going in the past weeks. You all are phenomenal, and I thank God for each and every one of you.
Until tomorrow (when I shall update you all as to my latest phone call); Cheerio!
(I love me some natural lighting.)
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1 comment:

Kaley Grace said...

That tart looks absolutely lusicious. Good job! :)