Living in an age where Americans trample each other just hours after being “thankful” around the dinner table with loved ones, truly makes me worried for the world our children will grow up in.
This Thanksgiving, our family woke at 10am, which is equivalent to sleeping all day as a parent. We started the day with tidying our home, and Ryan played Legos with the girls while I worked on our Homemade Apple Pie.
Now, please understand that baking is NOT my forte. In fact I probably burn, or forget ingredients 9 out of 10 times. Working in the kitchen is something I seriously struggle with. I often find myself losing patience with the process, or how “slow” this food is supposed to cook… so I turn the heat up.
My heart yearns to be productive, not patient. I want to do it all, but just not that well.
A year ago, I never would have offered to make a Thanksgiving Pie, and if I had to bring one, I would have just bought one. Costco makes amazing pies, but I’m starting to learn its not the actual pie that matters…
it’s the process.
The messy, patience testing, heart molding process.
So as I sat there in the kitchen, with my favorite acoustic music + my children playing Legos with their Daddy… I committed to making the Thanksgiving pie of my dreams. You know the ones on Pinterest with all the intricate detail, or the ones on Instagram that your favorite intentional mama blogger makes?! That one.
However, most of all I promised to give myself grace and patience along the way, reminding myself it wasn’t a race to make this pie (thanksgiving dinner wasn’t for another four hours), and I didn’t have any other plans until then.
Leaving open space in our day allowed for much needed down time. For not feeling guilty for not being “productive” simply because there wasn’t anything on the to-do list, besides this pie.
I began slowly, with each cut of the shortening into the flour my mood slowly began to change. Unsure of what was welling up inside my heart, my mind began to race. Was that a slice of peace on the horizon? Accomplishment? A sense of belonging, and heightened awareness of the “right now”? What is this calming wave flowing over me, and how can I keep it always?!
These questions may seem silly, but over the past year I’ve REALLY struggled with stress. Battled insecure thoughts, nights of insomnia, feelings of inadequacy, and mommy guilt. If I didn’t do SOMETHING during the day, that I deemed important, I failed. Then waves of depression would beat me into the ground, and when Ryan got home… I was a wreck looking to just be coddled like a babe.
I knew I needed to find a way out of this rat race I’d created in my mind, the death-grip anxiety had on my life… and it had to be way more complicated than just making a pie.
As the dough began to form, and I sprinkled flour onto the mat – a weight began to lift. Soon I accepted that I liked sprinkling flour onto the mat, spreading it around and getting my hands dirty. I liked wearing an apron, and pretending just for a moment that I was transported back into The Little House on the Prairie. I had nothing else to do, but be here in this moment.
Rolling the dough is the hardest part of pie making for me. It ALWAYS crumbles. Most of the time it instantly pisses me off, but not today Debra.
Today I had decided this was my ONE chore, and I would do it right. My patience was indeed tested as a ran out of dough to make the design I truly wanted. Back to the shortening I went, and made another small batch of dough… not because I didn’t have enough, but because I wanted to go the extra mile.
Something I hadn’t done in a VERY long time.
I brought up my favorite pie photo on Pinterest, and did my best to replicate the look. It took me 45 minutes to braid the crust, and another 15 to cut, and design the leaves. An obscene amount of time in my past mentality, but not today.
Today spending nearly two hours on a pie brought me peace I haven’t had in years.
Gently I showed Ry and the girls what I had made all by myself, beaming at the design and beauty of a little patience. I got hugs, and then had to take some photos before it went into the oven.
In that moment of sliding the plate into the oven, I was truly present. Overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude, and accomplishment. I just stood there, looking at it through the closed door… wondering what in the world just happened.
Afraid and ashamed to miss the rest of my children’s childhood, I’ve now vowed to be present. To look them in the eyes each time those sweet little mouths talk to me. On bad days, I promise to let go… to give in, and tear up the to-do list for the day. To leave room to just sit and be, nurturing myself – and my sanity.
I vow to rest, and leave space not only in my home, but my schedule. To serve others, bake, and do all the things a Mommy desires to do… just not all in one day. To learn a new skill, allowing myself patience and grace along the way. To love Ryan and my children earnestly, not because I have to, but because they are my world… and lately they haven’t been treated so.
I promise to open my eyes to the unknown, and choose to see the beauty in the mundane. To be responsible: as a mother, wife, friend, consumer, business owner, and woman. But most of all…
I vow to live simply + slow
…allowing God to fill my days with what He deems important, so that I may be at peace everyday – not just while making a Thanksgiving Pie.