Stand in the wild

I don’t love to obsess about the tenths of grams in recipes or worry over liquid measuring versus dry measure. I’d rather cook quickly than precisely. Raising kids on a single income also meant improvising with what I had available on hand. So I substitute and wing it rather than fret. I am a believer that stress ruins more meals than procedure or ingredients.

I use recipes, but now that I cook less often for fewer people, I realize my recipes were subconscious through repetition, more than intuition, like I previously believed.

I say this because things I used to make without a thought will flop half the time now, unless I pull out notes and double check. Fortunately, I recorded my recipe for stuffing years ago since my husband wants it for Thanksgiving.

I don’t love meals and holidays to be cloned, but that might be because I don’t enjoy paying attention to details, and it’s just my excuse. Also, there are too many variables with humidity, elevation, vegetable varieties and ethereal elements to replicate things exactly.

I think everyone wants a recipe for life. Even people like me who consider baking more emotional art than science would still like a way that ensures results and can replicate procedures in relationships.

If there’s a specific trick for bringing up boys or an approach to raise kids God’s way, we want it in a manual.

One of the best pieces of advice I received was to trust my instincts. But that was easier to do before knowledge, and pseudo-knowledge, was constantly available by amateur bloggers and health enthusiasts. (Self deprecation intended and all in good fun.) I suppose it’s possible to lose weight on every diet ever conceived—if you believed in it enough and follow through. That doesn’t mean you won’t have ramifications, but the point is there are many ways to care for a cat. Both low-fat and high-fat diets work.

I am thinking about this as we prepare to gather with family and friends who come to life from different angles and viewpoints. And which all may be true. Even though there is only one truth—don’t think because you have the one truth, Jesus, you have all the truths.

In the book The Power of Praying for your Adult Children, Stormie Omartian gives an example of two sets of parents. Each had a rebellious son who wreaked havoc, lived far from God, was arrested and sent to jail. Both parents made the same crucial decision to let their son spend the night instead of immediately bailing him out.

It pierced the heart of one boy. He came to God right away and miraculously turned his life around. The other boy died from a stab wound his first night in jail.

This isn’t hopeless as nothing is guaranteed to work. But it exposes the problem of mindless repetition. Let it emphasize that my advice… your advice… her advice—isn’t automatically the way to proceed.

Beware, there is a wildness in this uncharted territory and it may be scary for people who love smooth stone paths.

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I know I was arrogant sometimes in my very young family when something worked. Because I thought it was “the way.” But God gave me a funny image that Mary was probably an extremely arrogant mama when she raised Jesus. Until the day he stayed back in the temple, he was probably a stellar son, no matter what she did. Could you imagine the advice she gave to her peers? And then I pictured her saying to her second child, “Why can’t you be more like Jesus?”

After that image, I clung to Colossians 2:16. “So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths.” I added in my Bible margin “or homeschool.” It was a two-way mirror, though. For me to not impose my recipe on others or to allow my motivation to be judgement from others. We should always look at that verse from both directions and not condemn anyone for how they eat or drink, how they celebrate or worship.

Even when you can look across the table and see that it is obviously not working… look across with the mind that they belong to God.

And who are you to judge someone who belongs to him? And even unbelievers belong to the Lord because the whole earth is his.

If he has called you to something, you may walk in the wilderness alone.

If he has called them to something, it may look like the wrong path simply because it isn’t yours.

Because following the Holy Spirit is a little more wild than a step-by-step, replicateable recipe for perfect potatoes.

4 thoughts on “Stand in the wild

  1. Angela says:

    I believe I’ve read both of those books about raising kids. I so wanted the how to manual to do it right. I love your reminder to look at those around me through the lens of God’s creation. He has made them, His job to call them and His job to judge. He calls me to love. And that recipe is pretty easy to remember.

Please share your heart. We learn from each other.