Tuesday, June 7, 2016
Pressure cooker legacy
My Nanny (great aunt) made the best green beans.
Even if you don't like vegetables,
I am convinced you would have loved these.
They were fresh from the garden.
She would go out in the morning
pick green beans from her garden
bring them in the house
and we would clean them and prep them for our meal.
She would add bacon grease left over from breakfast
and what ever else she had hanging around
pieces of ham
stuff like that.
Then she would put it all in this strange pot
called a pressure cooker
light the gas stove
and place that big strange pot on the burner
so that it would begin to cook.
She would tell me not to touch it because of how hot it would get.
It would start making noises,
spouting out steam.
Looking back I am not sure how she knew it was done,
but I do remember there was a whistling gauge on the lid,
so maybe that gave her a clue.
At any rate, when all was said a done,
out would come these
that would melt in your mouth.
I have never been able to replicate them!
And I think that is probably a good thing.
It helps to keep that as part of the wonderful memories I have
of those days in my Nannies kitchen when I was a kid.
For some reason I have been thinking about her today
and that pressure cooker.
She was one of the most gentle souls that I know.
She had more heart ache in her life
than she ever let on
and she never allowed
all the ugly awful things that had happen to her
to color how she looked at life.
She loved deeply
and was a very wise woman.
I always felt happy and hopeful
when I was around her.
I miss her.
As I am getting older,
I find myself looking for models of how to do it well.
She rises to the top of my list.
Of course my mom is right there with her.
But that story is for another time.
I spent many lazy summer days with my Nanny.
Running barefoot along dirt roads,
climbing the water tank.
I am sorry that my kids never had days like that.
My Nanny was a good listener.
And she always invited me to learn about what she was doing.
She taught me to iron and many other home making things.
There was always cookies in the cookie jar
and candy in the candy dish.
This gentle soul
rarely let the pressures
and heartache of her life
keep her from living.
I don't believe she was avoiding the pain,
she was living through it.
The result was beauty
and compassion for the hurting,
Why am I writing about this?
Her life imprinted on mine.
She left something valuable for me to look back on.
Legacy is the footprints of faith for those that come after us.
There are people in my life that have left their marks on me.
Good and bad.
Like a pressure cooker.....
when good fresh healthy stuff is inside of me,
like God's Word, edifying relationships, forgiveness, faith...
when the heat is turned on and things get
and too hot to touch....
the result is not disaster,
it is yummy goodness.
This should be my optimum reaction....
but it isn't always.
I confess that sometimes when the pressures of life hit me,
what comes out is not good.
It is not memorable, digestible, or attractive.
The last thing I want my loved ones to remember about me
is how I reacted badly to the hard times.
I want to leave a pressure cooker legacy.
To be known for my right responses to
hot mess situations.
That my appearance showed
kindness under pressure.
I am so grateful for my Nanny's example.
I am eternally grateful for a God
that knew that I would need an example like this in my childhood.
For God in His infinite wisdom,
knew how my life would unfold.
Through out history
I have seen evidence of God
caring and preparing those He loved,
knowing the challenges that were to come.
The Bible is full of examples
of those that had the heart
and leave a story to encourage the next generation.
It also is full of examples of failure.
How I respond to the things in my days
leave a story for my family to remember.
The question is...
what will that be
James 1:3-13 (NCV)
because you know that these troubles test your faith,
and this will give you patience.
Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do.
Then you will be perfect and complete and will have everything you need.
But if any of you needs wisdom,
you should ask God for it.
He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom
without criticizing you.
But when you ask God, you must believe and not doubt.
Anyone who doubts is like a wave in the sea,
blown up and down by the wind.
Such doubters are thinking two different things at the same time,
and they cannot decide about anything they do.
They should not think they will receive anything from the Lord.
Believers who are poor should take pride
that God has made them spiritually rich.
Those who are rich should take pride
that God has shown them that they are spiritually poor.
The rich will die like a wild flower in the grass.
The sun rises with burning heat and dries up the plants.
The flower falls off, and its beauty is gone.
In the same way the rich will die
while they are still taking care of business.
When people are tempted and still continue strong,
they should be happy.
After they have proved their faith,
God will reward them with life forever.
God promised this to all those who love him.
When people are tempted, they should not say, “God is tempting me.”
Evil cannot tempt God, and God himself does not tempt anyone.