Supper on the Stove
It’s raining and I just made coffee. 3 little boys are are all napping upstairs and the wood stove is making a dreary afternoon feel like a cozy cocoon. In order to write, I’ve put off making a (non-essential, but fun) batch of marmalade, folding 3 overflowing baskets of clean laundry, bottling kombucha, and the rabbit stew I need to get started for dinner. I’m always working on what feels like an endless list of little tasks that continually recreate themselves, thus are never completed. The great challenge of creative work remains; laundry and dishes and making the next meal! And yet, I find so much satisfaction in making the next meal, and keeping my house tidy. It is creative work, and important work so I try to look for ways to do it well. Of course it’s tiring, just doing the basics is a full time job! I go to bed with my energy for the day completely used up. But cooking for a husband and little boys who like my biscuits is a very happy and fulfilling job. I’ve been reading a book by Rachel Jankovic called “Loving the Little Years, Motherhood in the Trenches” and it’s been so helpful. One of the things she talks about is finding our identity in our children and in our husband. I’ve never heard a Christian say that; we’re always told our identity must be in Christ, and Christ alone. She writes, “... The Christian view of self is very different, and you need to make sure that it is the one you have. We are like characters in a story. Our essential self is not back in the intro, waiting to be rediscovered. Who you are is where you are. When you are married your essential self is married. As the story grows, so does your character. Your children change you into a different person. If you suddenly panic because it all happened so fast and now you don’t recognize yourself, what you need is not time alone. What you need is your people. Look at the people who made you what you are—your husband and your children... Study them. They are you. If you want to know yourself, concentrate on them.” And she goes on; I could read this book aloud, it has helped me so much to surrender to the discipline of this season. It’s the sweetest, hardest work I’ve ever done. It has cost me everything- most assuredly death (to self, ongoing) and has given me life. My babies are waking up, it’s time to be on the that rabbit stew, or maybe homemade pasta with rabbit? Who knows! I’ve only eaten rabbit once and never cooked with them but Patrick just brought home 5 from a hunt on Tuesday so we’re working on them together. Gill Meller of the River Cottage declares they are delightful; far more interesting then chicken and just as versatile. Quite excited.