I have written a book. I said I never would, but clearly God disagreed. Every time I open up the file on my computer it’s a bit surreal to see it there. I hope that you’ll get to read it, but it isn’t time yet, and honestly I don’t know the plans for this precious gift given to me. I can imagine the plans that would be cool to see, but nothing I imagine could be better than what God has planned (and has already done).
It’s a children’s book called The Hungry Garden. The main manuscript is written and edited and has even gone through a beta-reading process. From an industry perspective, this book is ready for a publishing journey. Oh friends, it’s so tempting! However ( I must remind myself), I write for God and not the industry. This book comes with a 26-recipe snack book, and it’s those recipes that I am working on now. While the book can stand alone, God was made quite clear that The Hungry Garden is incomplete without its recipe book.
Composing the snack book has been a much longer and more arduous process for me because it requires patience, creativity, and being okay with imperfection in creating the recipes. I have loved almost every second. As I’ve recently mentioned, I am recovering from perfectionism and its side effect anorexia. So, I’m learning to have grace for my learning.
The kitchen is a new place for me. It used to be merely another work space. It was where I had to prepare food because my family needed to eat. I’d sought the quickest recipes so I could get in, feed my family and get out. I cooked without being present and had little patience when a recipe didn’t work out. Usually feelings of anger, disgust, and regret simmered along with whatever was on the stove.
Working on this book since January, the kitchen has become a sacred space. This is where I meet God and experience food from God’s perspective. When I cook with Him, there’s nothing to be afraid of. The process of creating recipes has reminded me that there no rules and regulations… not with God and not with food. Rules squelch creativity and reduce trust in my own intuition. The beauty of creating is letting intuition and imagination guide me to the joy of discovery. Kids are so good at this, which could explain why God gave me a children’s book to write. I had completely lost my imagination in the midst of fearing food and following the world’s health-rules.
I know when I let my intuition guide me, I am allowing the Spirit of God to come through me. So when I am chopping, mixing, tasting, sprinkling and joining flavors together, that is when I feel closest to God. The beauty of God comes through the sights, sounds, tastes, and smells of fresh veggies under my fingertips; raw nuts roasting in my oven; gooey biscuit dough stretching between my fingers; simmering chicken wafting into my nose; and sugary sweet caramels melting in my mouth. The joy of the Lord can be found in experiencing food with abandon. This is what He’s teaching me as a work through crafting the recipe book.
Food is not to be feared, friends. Food is beautiful, unique, and perfectly poised to be made into whatever you want it to be. That is the message of my book.
When you’re in the kitchen, use your imagination and trust your intuition… with zero regard to rules. That’s the message of the recipe book. (Hint: Stop reading health articles and tips, okay? Instead, get your hands on a cooking mag to get ideas percolating into your imagination.)
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I don’t know the future plans for this project, but but I know it was God’s plan for me to write this book, including the snack book that goes with it. Published or not, The Hungry Garden is a gift from God to me. And on the days I am stressing and the eating disorder voice is trying to break through, I hear God calling, “Meet Me in the kitchen.” So I go, and it’s in the kitchen I find hope that I’m going to be okay because He’s there.