Little hands have been helping me make bread as we've been home more these months.
It is messier with them helping and takes longer. Letting kids help in the kitchen is one way God has tried to build more patience into me over the years it feels like, and I'm a total work in progress!
But it's been fun to learn and play with the bread. My little man calls it "sweet bread" though it is really sour dough thanks to a friend for a starter and another friend for some tips.
We have looked up questions along the way like
Why does dough need kneaded?
And what does yeast do?
We found out that it is needed to strengthen the dough and help it rise which makes sense as we don't want flat little loaves.
One day recently as we were kneading it felt like the messes of life were closing in.
I had crazy-mom yelled at my fighting kids already by very early morn.
News and social media seemed to show only death, destruction, disease, financial ruin, hatred, judging, worry and unrest .
So I felt myself call out inside...
Knead me, God, just like this lump here. Knead me in your good ways cause so much just feels bad right now, and I want to rise above it all, to be stronger and do better.
So now through all the smaller seeming challenges and for some of the bigger ones facing our country, I feel myself saying...
Knead us all...push, prod and stretch us God so we work harder to know your way and word more than sharing our opinions and words, so we are looking to you and feeling and sharing only your love
Knead us when evil, hatred, and violence seem to be everywhere so that we respond as you would God instead of how the world would - 1 Peter 3:9
Knead us when we want to judge others and impose our own assumptions on them if they're seemingly silent or very vocal - Matthew 1:1-5
Knead us so that we show love to all as you loved - John 15:12
Knead us so we are quick to listen, slow to anger and slow to speak - James 1:19
Knead us when everyone else is needing us and it feels like we will pull apart so we can find your stillness - Psalm 46:10
Knead us when we feel unsettled and uncertain so we can laugh at the days to come - Proverbs 31:25
Knead us when it feels like those closest to us are farthest away so we feel the power of God's love in us - Ephesians 3:17-18
Knead us when the messes of life want to crowd out the memory making so that we remember to be more like a child with humility, innocence and excitement - Matthew 18:3
Knead us when we're really good at using that mean mom voice but really want to use more of a still small voice like you - 1 Kings 19:12
Knead us when we turn to food or other bad habits for comfort - 2 Corinthians 1:3
Knead us when we yearn for the easy path in life and should instead desire to run the race you have for us with our eyes fixed on Jesus - Hebrews 12:1-2
Knead us as we face many trials so that we focus on your perspective and remember we are stronger with you and growing stronger with more perseverance through you - James 1:2-3
Knead us so we ask God for wisdom to help handle these times and help us believe he will follow through - James 1:5-6
Knead us so we have the affection or Christ for all people, our families and others - Philippians 1:8
Knead us so we work for the wisdom that comes from heaven, wisdom that is pure, peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere - James 3:17
Just knead us God, as only you can do, to make us stronger in you because I know your work in me and all of us---those pulls, prods and stretching to know and live out your word to glorify you in this fallen world-- is what will really make us rise above all that seems wrong right now