On Finding God in My Kitchen

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I sat down at my computer multiple times last week to write, but ended up staring at the blinking cursor on the screen. Tapping out a few words, backspace, backspace. Close. Don’t save. Shut screen.

No words coming to mind.

So this is writer’s block, I think to myself.

No words come to mind because all that I can think of is food.

The Bible says to not worry about what you will eat or drink. But what if your child has digestive issues? What if certain foods cause your little one great pain and tears? Can you worry then?

I have prayed for healing. I have prayed for wisdom. I have taken things out of his diet to see if he improves. And the tear-filled episodes of pain have left. But there are still these lingering symptoms. Things that perhaps no one else would pick up on. Things the pediatrician says he will just outgrow. Things that bother him as he accepts them as normal, because they have always been part of him. But things that this mama knows are not normal, things that I don’t accept for him.

So I stay up late, lost in the glow of the computer screen, exhausting Google and my eyes as I read and read and read about food allergies and healing the gut and I compare Paleo to GAPS and wonder how on earth I am going to remove more things from the diet of my child who already eats so little.

I scribble notes and I make lists. I talk to Phillip about changing the way we eat as a family to support our little Aidan, so that he doesn’t feel different.

And for three days straight I do nothing but cook.

I chop cabbage and regret selling my food processor on Craigslist a month ago.

I smell jars of homemade sauerkraut and wonder if eating it will heal us or kill us. I pray for the former.

I strain yogurt to make homemade cream cheese and whey, and pray that it will pass the test of my husband and boys. It does.

I chop butternut squash for hours until my fingertips are permanently stained orange and I now have a freezer full of squash fries.

I make huge messes, spill things on the floor, almost cut my finger off, and burn myself a few times. I am kind of a klutz in the kitchen. This whole cooking thing isn’t in my blood. It wasn’t something I was taught, but something I am determined to learn.

It’s intention meeting grace in the kitchen.

I ask Phillip to put the boys to bed so that I can relax for a few minutes and my sweet Jack says, “But mom, you haven’t spent any time with us. You’ve just been cooking all day!” My heart cries, “It’s because I love you boys and I want to feed you things that are good for your bodies!” But I know that he needs my being more than my doing, so I walk him back to his bedroom for some poetry and back scratching.

After three exhausting days, I can breathe a little easier. I proudly step back from a freezer full of healthy grain-free meals and a fridge full of homemade chicken stock and condiments and veggies. I am proud of what I have accomplished and I feel confident in my ability to feed my family well. I am also a little disconcerted, knowing that in two weeks all of this food will be eaten and I will need to do it again. And again. And again.

But Jack tells me how good the food tastes and my precious Aidan happily eats carrots for the first time in his life and those pesky little symptoms that were bothering this baby and this mama are slowly fading away, and I feel hopeful.

Overwhelming. Exhausting. Fulfilling. Rewarding. Hopeful.

Those words describe my past week and most oftentimes my life as a mother and a homemaker.

At times it can all seem so very small and insignificant. My little world of home.  Making ketchup and charting bowel movements. It isn’t glamorous. It isn’t exciting. It isn’t even really worth sharing.

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The boys and I sit down for our breakfast of banana pancakes and yogurt smoothies and I read to them out of our little morning devotional. We talk about how God is Spirit and although we can’t see Him, He is with us. We sing our scripture song for the week…

Where can I go, from your Spirit? Where can I flee, from your presence, oh Lord?

If I go up to the heavens you are there, if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.

Where is God? Everywhere. Where is God? Everywhere.

God is everywhere. (based on Psalm 139:7-8)

Later, I am standing at my sink washing dishes and I find myself singing our little song. And God whispers to me that He is with me. In my old kitchen with it’s vinyl floors and laminate counter tops and cabinets thick with ten coats of paint, He is with me. As I chop, boil, sauté, crack, mix, and wash, He is with me. As I cry tears of frustration over my little one’s pain, He is with me.

So many times we think of God only in terms of bigness. He is the God of the heavens and the earth. He is the God of nations and kingdoms and cities and congregations.

And He is all of those things.

But He is also the God of the small. He is the God of my home. He is the God of my family. He is the God of my kitchen.

He is with me always.

“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?” Psalm 139:7

Always,

Amanda

This week we begin our book study of Desperate: Hope for the Mom Who Need to Breathe. If you plan to join us, go ahead and start reading Chapters 1 & 2, so that we can discuss them this Friday, February 1st. And don’t skip over the intro by Ann Voskamp because it is full of beauty and wisdom. For complete details on the book study, click here.



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Comments

  1. Just beautiful!

  2. This left me with tears in my eyes. Thank you for sharing right out of the hard places… Praying for you, dear one.

    P.S. If you want one more thing to Google, check out the Feingold diet. It is often related more to behaviorial issues but has some interesting facets and I’ve seen great success with it (but never personally used it).

  3. Beautiful words from a a beautiful heart <3. Nice work in the kitchen by the way! Aren't we women kind of chained to our kitchens ;)?

  4. thank you

  5. JoAnn Markham says:

    I know a site for you that may be of help-it is spelled a little different,but I think you may find some recipes and help there.It is called Gimme-Gluten-Free
    She is a hilarious christian lady and I am sure it may be of help-glad to hear you are doing better! I have a child who has Asperger’s and got chewed out at this eatery one time, because she had gluten free food and thought it was sooooo easy, and why on earth wouldn’t you do something about the food…. He was 17, we found out late, and I cried!! Needless to say, I thought it very overwhelming myself!! He doesn’t have food allergies,I also talked to other people who only confused me further- I am praying for you and hope this site helps you!!
    JoAnn

  6. Amanda I Loved this post. I was diagnosed with severe food allergies a little over a year ago and am on a grain-free diet. I can’t relate so much to the motherhood aspect of it as my son seems to be free of a lot of the symptoms that I have, but I can relate to the grief, the struggles in the kitchen (especially when you hate cooking!), the experimentation with new and weird recipe…all of it so familiar. Even today I just about cried because I wanted to eat something I couldn’t have. And yet I have found grace in the kitchen and cried tears of ecstatic joy over paleo chocolate chip cookies and pancakes after having not eaten these things in almost a year!

    Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this. Thank God for pinterest recipes and paleo blogs! ((hugs))

  7. I enjoyed this post. We have changed the way we eat as a family and I have to balance my time in the kitchen with the time grabbing their sweet hearts!

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