I pry up the lid of a jar nearly every day.

I never in a million years would have predicted that my life would involve ANY kind of food preservation. I mean I ate out with my family probably 5 or more times a week growing up. Cooking was near torture and Applebees our favorite place. Couple a fierce sense of defeat with any attempt in culinary pursuits that fails and you’ve got one seriously insecure cookie on your hands.

I’ve been waring with domesticity from day one. And I’m not going to even try to sell you a load of compost (wink) and tell you that I’ve grown to treasure my time in the kitchen. I’m not there yet. I still cook out of sheer necessity. And the fact that there are really only five or six restaurant possibilities in the county may play into it. As does the fact that I know every person behind the counter at McDonalds and that I’m sure they keep a mental tally of my visits.

See, I’m beginning to realize that eating out is a whole lot more about escape, entertainment, and freedom from responsibility for me than it is about enjoying the food. Some days I just need freedom from the four walls and a few other adults within eyesight. They don’t even need to talk to me, I just want to see another person taller than 4′. And I don’t think that’s always wrong.

But I’m being tutored now in the area of being “busy at home” a la Titus 2 and some of my favorite lessons have been canning food for my family.

I can’t believe I’ve even written these words.
Those who know me best are giggling alongside.

Do you know what goes into this? Canning involves a whole lot of time. First, you prep your kitchen and make sure you have a somewhat clean environment. Get all your utensils ready, start the canner boiling, wash and prep the fruit. Prepare, cut, pour, wipe, lid and ring. Then you sink those dazzling jars of love right down into that bubbly water and wait the prescribed amount of time. Lift the jars our and wait for the magical sound. If all goes right- Ping! SEALS pinging in a symphony of success. If you’ve ever canned, you’ve listened too. The next day those beautiful jars are ready to be carried down to the canning cupboard to wait for the time when snow swirls and the wind bears down around our home.

This act of domesticity involved much thought about those I love. It has been a labor of my hands and my heart for the nourishment of their hearts and bodies. It is learned and it is as unnatural to me as parting my hair to the right instead of the left.

Imagine my feeling of disappointment when Brendan called for me to look at a jar sitting on the countertop. “Mom, something is wrong with this one.”

Oh’ no. Probably didn’t seal. I bet I forgot to wipe that one, or I filled it too full. Or I didn’t process it long enough. I admit feelings of defeat before even looking.

“Well, this one doesn’t say “Ball” on it like the others do, Mom. But that’s alright. I wrote it on there for you.”

“Oh’, well, thanks, bud. That’s great.”

I think sometimes we are our own biggest critics as moms, wives and children of God. Is there an area in your life that you suffer from “immediate defeat syndrome?” Do share.

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