Not everyone knows this about me.
But I love making bread.
I'm not sure what it is, but for some reason I find the process incredibly relaxing and rewarding - maybe even downright therapeutic. There's something about grinding the wheat, mixing and kneading the dough, and baking the loaves. It reaches deep down inside me. So right and good for my soul.
Yet there's this one problem.
My kids love making bread too. With me.
And I hate to say it, but this changes the experience for me - significantly. Because when I have my little helpers? I'm no longer unwinding or getting lost in the wonder of it all. Instead, I find myself distracted by their wiggly fingers and chattery words. The mess, the mistakes, and the mayhem. My nerves are inevitably on edge by the time the loaves are tucked safely in the oven.
No, it's definitely not the same experience at all.
So what to do?
I've a difficult decision to make. Should I minister to my own soul...or pour into theirs? A real dilemma.
Because I’m aware that if we do this together, our children will probably remember it forever. They'll remember sinking their hands into the warm, sticky dough. Kneading and forming each loaf. Trying to follow my hands and copy everything I do.
They'll never realize that it cost me much. They can't understand how it changes everything. They'll not know that I gave up some of my own soul-feeding moments to nourish their own.
To be honest, I'm always surprised by their enthusiasm for baking bread. I've tried suggesting they go build with their Legos. Or go outside and play on the swing. Maybe they'd like to watch a favorite movie?
But, no, nothing seems as pleasant as making bread with mama.
It's really quite strange when you think about it. Why wouldn't they rather run along and play? Why do their small hands seek to be so close to my own? And why won't they stay in their own little world, so that I can enjoy mine?
I think as moms we can be so caught up with giving things that delight our children - toys, crafts, treats and games - that we forget what they really want from us. They want to be part of our lives. They want to know what it is that we love, and learn to love it too. They simply want to be with us.
So welcome your children into your world. And into your heart. If you have a passion for gardening...or reading...or writing...or design....then share it with them too. Invite them to come alongside and place their young hands next to your own. Their heart next to yours.
After all, it really is good for the soul.
Both yours and theirs.
In His grace,