I found the most incredible things in my pantry last night.
Everything with gluten or dairy was bagged up and delivered to neighbors.
So long beautiful white flour. So long obligatory whole wheat flour. Goodbye chocolate stash. I love you. I miss you. Every day at 3pm I will think of you and long for you.
Bye random cans of food that shouldn’t have gluten but do. Bye pasta. Bye dog food. What? Dog food? Our dog went to live with Grandpa & Grandma a year and a half ago.
Why do we still have a big Ikea tub with dog food? Oh. It’s because we didn’t want to purge you from our lives, sweet dog. You were our family for ten years.
Why do we have Pavlova Eggs that are long expired? Oh. It’s because they were homeland gifts from my sister and they are precious to me.
Why do we have so many weird food items? Oh. It’s because I still am holding on to food just in case. (Hmmmm… I haven’t blogged about that yet, have I? Maybe tomorrow will be a good day for that.)
What do I have in the recesses of my life that I don’t need anymore? What am I holding on to? I’m sentimental about relationships, about my homeland, about my family, about my past, about so many things.
I have to face facts: the pantry was not functional for my needs of today. I had to clear it out to give myself a chance to succeed in being fully gluten- and dairy-free.
What in my heart do I need to clear out? I’m praying about that today. Praying to see what is clogging up my life. Praying to be shaped and prepared for what I need to be for today.
“I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead” (Philippians 3:13)
I’m also mindful that my journey always affects the people in my life. I can see through my life that in growing and in times of “recess cleaning”, the people I love are affected deeply. I also see that my journey requires their help. And vice versa.
Last night my dear friend came to help me. She is logical, practical, and sensible. She is wise, caring, and pastoral. She is supportive, understanding, and faithful. She also has issues with gluten so had the vision and patience to look at each item one at a time. She was the perfect person to help me.
Problem is, she was exposed to gluten as we cleaned out the shelves. My baking flour had left a layer of gluten-rich dust over pretty much everything in the pantry.
In the journey of life, we need people. We need people who know us and love us. We need people to help us carry out difficult quests. And in the process they will be exposed to our toxic purgings.
It is foolish to try to protect people from those things. It is unwise to keep things private and hidden. We are created to be in community. We are created to be intertwined and interconnected.
Even though she was exposed to gluten last night, I know she had counted the cost and chose to be there to support me. She knows, I would never have cleaned that pantry in one night without her practical and emotional support. And I know that I have given that kind of support to her many times too. I love this interdependency. This life-giving relationship.
Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one; they get a better return for their labor. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But people who are alone when they fall are in real trouble. And on a cold night, two under the same blanket can gain warmth from each other. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken. (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
Thank God for this family I have. My church community, my dear friends near and far, my amazing biological family. They are all sisters and brothers who bring their gifts and perspectives, and totally change my life for the better. (I love you guys so much.)
How about you? Do you have somethings in the recesses of your life that need to be cleaned out? Do you have godly, wise community to support you? Are you a godly, wise support to them as well? Do you have relationships of healthy equality?