I had a first today.
I made caramel from scratch!
It was fun, nerve-wracking, intellectually-stimulating, and scientific all at once. The process, being brand new, had me looking at a recipe intently (unusual step #1). It also took a l.o.n.g time. As in, 30 minutes+ long (unusual step #2 - baking typically comes quickly/easily to me). But that was ok. I was able to theorize about how this 1c. of sugar was moving towards a completely new and tasty substance. It reminded me of my own process. There are so many times when I feel "cooked down". Refined. Preparing for change. That has most definitely been the prior 6 months. Paul and I were married 27 November 2009. Since that time, there have been numerous refinements. Numerous! Here I find myself "cooking down" caramel and realizing a beautiful analogy to how God is moving and changing me in this new season of life.
I love to bake! I've been doing it since I was knee-high to my amazing mother. She developed a love of the kitchen in me and to this day, when I need to relax and learn to serve in a new way, the kitchen is very often the place that brings me relaxation as well as insight.
I also love to serve others. Hospitality is one of my spiritual gifts. Very recently, I've become more excited about serving in this way again. We found out just yesterday that we will be moving to a new space! What a gift of grace for us - it is nearly twice as big with a fenced backyard for my Tobie and a 4th bedroom so each of the children will have their own space. Of course, this also means I can entertain much more comfortably again. Ahhhh, the possibilities ...
My cup runneth over with gifts today!