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 
bacon flavored 
green beans 
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, 
catching tadpoles, 
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 
to endure, 
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.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you sweet baby girl, So beautiful and so true. I really needed what you had to share.