Am I just baking or ….?

12 Aug

The summer after I graduated high school, a boy that I really liked drowned. I was only seventeen, and somehow in my young heart I thought he was “the one.” For quite some time I did not know how I would continue to live. Truly, it was devastating.

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Prep for A Raspberry Peach Cobbler

I needed to find comfort from someone in authority, so I went to the Baptist church up the street (where my little sister was in Bible school) and asked to speak with the minister. When I told him what had happened, the first question he asked me was “Did he accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior?”  I just looked at him and stammered, “Well, he was Catholic” and then he said, “Unless he had accepted Jesus, he is in Hell.”  This was not helping… and so I left quickly and decided to call the minister from my own church.  When I reached him, I told him I needed to talk to someone and he told me to come right away.

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Gluten Free Strawberry Rhubarb Cobbler

When I arrived, he invited me into the house where I’d babysat for his kids many times. After I told him what had happened, he shared some thoughts on the Presbyterian view of the afterlife (Hell was not emphasized) and after a while I felt better and got up to leave. If only he had not added these parting words: “Karen, you had me worried.  I thought you were going to say you were pregnant.” This was not what I needed to hear from the man who’d been my pastor for ten years.

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A Cobbler to Celebrate a Legal Marriage!

Two different men of faith, and with both I was left feeling completely lost and alone. No one suggested counseling – or even prayer – at that time, which is too bad because  I know I could have used it.  What did help me way back then was something that still sustains me to this day. Baking.  I began to bake every day. I brought cakes and cookies and all kinds of goodies to all of our friends, relatives, and neighbors.  Death was something out of my control, but baking—I could handle that.

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A Chocolate Cream Pie in honor of my friend’s Dad’s passing

Perhaps this is why in the last few months, I have baked many, many pies. Baking grounds me, makes me feel better, and when I am baking, I am putting all of my heart into the process.  It doesn’t hurt that it brings smiles to the folks that receive the fruits of my labor.  I think  perhaps I have found a delicious way for God to work through me… and that feels like the best comfort of all.

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A Four Berry Pie

“Where love is, there God is also.”  Mahatma Gandi

 

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11 Responses to “Am I just baking or ….?”

  1. Donna Wright August 12, 2016 at 9:12 AM #

    Thank you Karen for sharing such an important part of your life. I admire you so much.

  2. Ellen Grush August 12, 2016 at 10:07 AM #

    I agree…. God works through your pies! Thank you so much for all you do.

    • pieadaygiveaway August 12, 2016 at 10:27 AM #

      Thanks Ellen… What a neat feeling to think that this might be true! I just read the Tolstoy story “Where love is, God is” and it was beautiful and reinforced my belief.

  3. Juli August 13, 2016 at 8:35 AM #

    Karen, God is working through you! You are such a blessing. I’m sorry that two ministers failed to comfort you when you needed it. Just know that God is our loving Father and He is always there for us. Thanks for letting God’s love shine through you as you bless people with your pies!

    • pieadaygiveaway August 13, 2016 at 9:34 AM #

      Thank you Juli. I feel it’s a privilege to be doing this.

  4. shirley97520 August 13, 2016 at 7:47 PM #

    Karen, you bring love and light into my world with your actions. It’s so hard when we fail people, can’t find the right words, or get stuck in belief systems that become barriers rather than open doors. Your kindness is healing and your handiwork is delicious, such a blessing. Thank you!

  5. Valarie Columbia August 14, 2016 at 4:32 AM #

    You are an amazing person with a very good heart. I think that being the best person that we can possibly be is what brings us closer to God. Have a great day and thanks for sharing this.

    • pieadaygiveaway August 14, 2016 at 6:46 AM #

      Thank you Valerie. I think you’re right… and hope you have a great day as well.

  6. Kathryn Campbell August 14, 2016 at 3:43 PM #

    Thank you Karen for sharing such a tender and poignant story…your heart and your baking truly spread joy in the world. I believe many of us strive to be vessels for God’s love…and you have definitely achieved that goal in the way you live your life. Thank you for your open heart! Love, Kathy

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