Playdates with God: How the Kitchen Can Open the Eyes

We have been the bud—holding beauty tight in closed petals; letting love permeate each delicate tendril down through the stem that holds us and plunge deep into roots. There are seasons to focus inward and draw deep from the well of God’s love. He holds us softly and healing becomes more than a closing of the wounds—it is a place to wonder at how deeply we are loved.

This is not a place we can stay and God gently tugs us back to balance, pulling our eyes outward by the sacred rhythms of creation.

There is work to do.

While I have nursed our sick boys, the tomato plants have grown heavy with fruit. There are mounds of peppers and some cucumbers too. So Sunday after church, Jeff and I spend the afternoon in the kitchen. We seed and core tomatoes for the puree, dice, chop, and roast until our valley home is filled with the aroma of love.
The spaghetti sauce simmers and I get out our favorite book of salsa recipes. Something must be done with all these jalapeno peppers. The basil is looking peaky too, so I dig around in the cupboard to see what I have to make pesto with. There are no pine nuts, but pecans will make a rich blend, so I press the garlic into the processor and think heaven must smell like an Italian deli. The pesto goes into an ice cube tray for freezing individual portions.
Jeff and I stand side by side and scoop fresh salsa onto tortilla chips—I like it spicy but he prefers the mild. We can some of it to keep for the winter, along with the spaghetti sauce, and my eyes are full for the blessings of the vine. The pickles will have to wait for a bulkier yield, but I dice up a cucumber for a salad at dinner time and taste clean joy.

It’s a delicious way to open the eyes to the world around, I think. A delicious way to unfold. But we are not ready to open to full bloom just yet. This place of tender love is sweet medicine.

Besides…there are still more tomatoes.

How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
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  1. says

    We don’t really want to do a whole big garden but I found a fun and decorative way to do a bit of veggies on our porch for next year. I CAN’T WAIT!!!! This post made my mouth water. Joy to your day Laura!

  2. says

    Ahhh!!! I can almost smell your valley kitchen, and it does smell like love.

    Having been writing about walking around in God’s presence, I’m thinking quite a bit about how good God is, having created us body, mind, and soul; the way he ministers to us through our sight and our senses. Sounds like you tasted a lot of his goodness this weekend.

    The sacred rhythms of creation–love this.

  3. says

    Enjoying your garden produce and culinary aromas and flavors through your words, this morning!

    There is just something about cooking and storing produce from a garden you’ve planted and cared for, yourself, isn’t there?

    Something about the labor adds a special seasoning…

  4. says

    Love the spiritual lessons from gardening. I can’t keep green things alive- but oh, my, I’d LOVE to taste those tomatoes 🙂 Praying for your boys still.

  5. says

    “our valley home is filled with the aroma of love”

    I can almost smell it; I certainly can sense it. Beautiful photos, beautiful words, Laura. Hearing you grow helps us all grow.

  6. says

    this delicate post reminds me of a quote i love:

    “and the day came when the risk to remain a tight bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” (anais nin)

    your simple trust amidst the diversity of your life is true beauty, laura.

  7. says

    Laura, you are a true wordsmith!! I love reading your posts. Today I wasn’t just encouraged spiritually. I got some practical kitchen advice! From one who’s an “inside the box” thinker – who knew you could use pecans instead of pine nuts for pesto and freeze it as well?! So glad you shared your beautiful words and wonderful wisdom!! How are those boys? I’m praying. Love,

  8. says

    Yum. There is so much joy that comes from a garden and watching things grow. I appreciate what you said about God taking us through seasons, too. That is the truth.

  9. says

    This reminds me of the day before my son had surgery (because unlike poor you, I had warning), I baked like a fiend. It was so healing then, and in the days to come.

    Yours has to be better, though, because it was from your own garden!

    And I’m gonna try freezing pesto in ice cube trays. Brilliant!

  10. says

    So, so glad that your boys are healing! So, so glad you are able to see the hand of God, the beauty of Himself, in EVERYTHING! He has blessed you by giving you eyes that are open to him, a heart that is filled with him. He has blessed you by pouring his words out through your beauty-prose and appreciation of both choice-words and Himself.

    Beautiful Laura!
    Lova ya!

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing your abundant joy over the simple things in life. Makes me want to go out and dine at an Italian restaurant! Yum! Thanks so much for hosting, Laura!

  12. says

    “… healing becomes more than a closing of the wounds—it is a place to wonder at how deeply we are loved.” What a beautiful thought. I pray you are living in that deep love and not only giving it out.

    You know how to make the most of your garden’s produce, it seems. Hard but delicious work, I expect.

    Grace to you, friend.

  13. Sylvia Robertson says

    Oh my! This made me soo hungry, when I read it and looked at the photos earlier. So much that can open up our eyes! Now this should inspire me to tackle those tomatoes tomorrow that are waiting in the basket today.

  14. says

    I love the idea of being the bud and the love of Christ seeping in..that is where I am now..recovering from an abusive church and learning that His love is even dearer than my husband’s..I look forward to the day when I can reach out more and more to those in need with this amazing love!!!

  15. says

    oh, the sweet smell of love…so happy you and Jeff can share it together, and that you were not at the hospital…giving thanks with you, Laura 🙂

    P.S. I like my salsa medium-spicy 🙂

  16. says

    Delicious post! I’ve missed my garden. I didn’t do one last year or this. There’s nothing like fresh tomatoes. I love the pesto-making hints.

    I love that the two of you worked side by side.

    So much love here–and so much from me to you.

  17. says

    Oh, you made me hungry it all looked sooo good. I love that idea of freezing pesto like that. An idea new to me. And I think I’ve missed something while I was away . . your sick boy? I’ll have to investigate prior posts. Love you Laura, its good to be back here.

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