A few years ago I had a struggle. It’s probably a stupid struggle to some, but to me it was bad. It filled me with guilt all the time. It made me feel like a bad mom and terrible wife on a daily basis.
“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7)
I was not a cook. I DETESTED it. It was a chore. In fact, I often said that I’d rather vacuum or do dishes than cook (and how many people truly love to vacuum or do dishes?? Not me!!). I can’t express to you how much I loathed it.
I felt guilty about that. I had a 4-year old daughter and my husband. He was a fireman, supporting the family. It was supposed to be ‘my job” to feed the family….not because my husband cared at all about it, but because that’s how I was raised. He worked…so I took care of the household and was in charge of the meals….
But, I couldn’t make myself love (or even put up with) something that I hated. And it was breakfast….snacks…lunch….dinner…and all over again the next day. (See my dilemma?)
So, I approached God with all sincerity and desperation with what seemed like a “petty” or “selfish” prayer request, asking Him to please help me to “like” cooking, and at least not dread it.
It was a simple sentence. It took 1 second to vocalize? Did He hear it?
In the book of James (James was Jesus’ half-brother, by the way), he says, “…you don’t have what you want, because you don’t ask God for it.” (James 4:2)
God has 3 possible answers to any prayer….yes, no, or wait. Those are the ONLY answers He’ll give. Sometimes the answer has to be “no”. That doesn’t mean that He “doesn’t” answer our prayers, as many claim. It means His answer was “no” simply because He knows our futures, and knows what’s better for us, and might hold back on giving us our requests if He knows it’ll hurt us, or cause us problems. He’s given me MANY “no” answers over the years, and in looking back at what I wanted at that time in my life, and what He gave me instead….I couldn’t be happier, and am THANKFUL for “no”.
Just a few days after asking Him to help me LIKE cooking, I went to my mother-in-law’s house to swim with family. My sister-in-law was there. She and my niece were talking about Giada DeLaurentis and the show “Everyday Italian” on Food Network.
I had never heard of that tv station, or her. They told me that she makes Italian food with as few as 5 ingredients. I thought that sounded easy enough, and wanted to watch it.
The next day, I turned on the tv and found Food Network. I watched Giada make an eggplant dish. It looked easy enough, and really good…so, I wrote down the ingredients and headed down to my grocery store. I made it that night, and my daughter and husband LOVED it. So did I. Better yet, it was REALLY fun for me to know that I had just watched her make this exact same dish on tv hours before, and now I was actually EATING it!
It became a game…
Every day I watched another episode. If it looked good (which it always did), I went to the store to buy the supplies to make it.
I watched how she chopped, measured, and mixed. I tried to do the same thing she did. It was like Cooking School in my own kitchen.
Night after night, we ate brand new Italian food that we had never had before…and all from SCRATCH! Not canned. Not frozen. Not boxed.
I was hooked.
I started watching more cooking shows. Other chefs. I made all of their recipes the same day I watched them make it. It was SOO COOL to eat the food I had JUST watched on television. I could see it on the screen, and knew that I’d be tasting it too, within a few short hours. That was really exciting to me.
What I also loved was that my daughter could stand on a chair next to me, at the counter, and did it all with me. SUCH fantastic quality time, and it opened her imagination and willingness to eat new foods, because she helped make it. (This picture was taken a year after I learned. SHE made an entire meal…appetizers, entree, and dessert, all from scratch, without my hands touching any of it, for my mother’s birthday dinner. Here’s she’s making scratch Italian Wedding soup with homemade meatballs that she just rolled. She’s 5 in the pictures. I read the recipe to her, and she did it.)…
Before long, I told my sister about what I was doing. She’s a restaurant architect. She knows just about all of the famous chefs (Gordon Ramsay, Wolfgang Puck, etc), and personally designs their restaurants (www.EDGDesign.com).
She told me to watch “Top Chef” on Bravo network. It’s a highly competitive cooking competition reality show for the best chefs in the world. They compete week after week, and one goes home each episode. (And, she personally knew most of those chefs, which blew my mind.)
I LOVED how unique and creative they were with their food. I was introduced to ingredients I had never heard of or seen before, and listened to how they said to cook them. That show opened my eyes to “gourmet” cooking…and catapulted my new-found passion for cooking right over the edge.
I found myself cooking every day, out of absolute desire. I couldn’t wait to try the next recipe that I had seen on tv.
It slipped my mind in the midst of my new-found obsession and new focus that I had asked God to please help me “like” cooking for my family. It just hit my heart one day that He had said “yes” to that prayer, and the answer had come within a couple of days; I only had to “wait” until the family gathered for swimming. But, He not only helped me “like” it….He caused me to adore it.
You know what’s even funnier? For Valentine’s Day that following year, my hubby bought me a chef’s knife and skillet… and I cried. I LOVED them. Ironic, isn’t it? I might have chased him around the house with them as weapons had he given them to me the year before. (smile)
Whether I was good at cooking or not, it FILLED me with joy, excitement, absolute contentment, and a new form of blessing others.
I started inviting people over for dinner or brunch…or delivered whole meals, desserts, fresh baked breads, homemade candies, etc, to people’s homes all the time.It brought me SUCH joy…and apparently touched them, too.
Here was my mother’s 70th birthday. 4-course dinner. All from scratch. French. The theme was gold and diamonds…
To thank our church staff for all they do, I had the church Junior and Senior girls come over and help me cook all day in my kitchen, making all scratch, gourmet recipes from the top chefs in the world’s cookbooks. I guided them (as though I know what I’m doing), letting them do all of it. We pushed aside furniture and set up nice tables for them to sit and dine that night. It was a GREAT success. The staff felt very spoiled and appreciated, and the teenagers told me later that I opened their eyes to cooking in a whole new way, and a few wanted to go on to pursue a deeper love and learning for cooking because of it.
My children have both grown up in the kitchen, and can cook any scratch recipe you give them, from complicated French recipes to basic cookies or spaghetti sauce.
I look back on the days when I DETESTED every single thing about cooking, and can’t believe that cooking is my most favorite hobby, today. I owe it all to my best friend, the Lord.
It just took literally one second to ask Him to help me….and can you see how that one prayer changed my ENTIRE life???…and the life of others.
My recommendation? Bring Him every single prayer request you have. That one prayer….which could take one second, or 30 minutes….(just share your heart with Him)…will change everything, in His perfect timing.
Be patient. Some of His answers to me took 8 months or a few years to finally receive (many variables involving other people, etc had to occur first). Some were answered immediately, like this one. It all depends on the request.
I’ve learned that you can’t cook a single thing without ingredients, and the only ingredient you need for changes to occur in your life is to ASK Him.
“O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.” Psalm 86:5
“They asked for meat, and he sent them quail; he satisfied their hunger with manna—bread from heaven.” Psalm 105:40
“Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding.” Proverbs 2:3
This whole website is stories such as these. I’ve shared them in hopes to encourage you, and to show people who doubt He exists how He most definitely does…and speaks, and loves. Two of my favorites are “Go Outside” and “Locked In Darkness“. Quite profound. I pray you’ll head straight there to read them. “Steering in the Right Direction” is one of the most recent things He taught me about how He gets us to the “right path”, and has already helped many. Hopefully you’ll read the whole site. He’s pretty darn amazing (smile).