Occasionally I forget to remember that the world is not mine to balance.
I watch the collective ache all around me and I ache too, because my reach is short and the needs are long and oh, how I want to change it all.
Anxiousness paves a quick path to restlessness and it is more than tempting to become paralyzed by the enormity of it all.
And I cannot fix it all.
When I finally stop twisting inside long enough to do something outside of my thoughts, I start to come back to where I belong. When I start with something simple — like soup or bread, I remember that I am not in control.
That reminder is where I begin again.
In my sun-splashed kitchen, I chop onions and carrots and everything comes back into alignment. Knife to wooden cutting board— bare feet to bare floor, slowly I forget to strive. I scoop a double handful of vegetables and toss them into my dutch oven and I remember my place and it is worth more than one deep breath.
My place is here, in this blue house with these people and these countertops that warp in the heat. My place is using my hands to do what they can— and holding joy in my small circle of influence. My place is using that silver laptop and the words I have to offer hope in whatever cracks I can. My place is here. My place is not willful blindness to the hurt of the world; my place is to start where I stand and go forward from there.
And the soup helps because making soup is the opposite of striving. Any decent soup recipe is a handful of ingredients and time. Soup-making is contrary to hustle. Too much hustle often makes bad soup and a weary heart. I have little use for either.
But the slow simmer, that is where it gets good. Maybe the goodness has less to do with what’s on the stove and more to do with what we choose for our hearts. Simmering within and without and knowing that in the wait, comes the wonder. The wonder that we miss in the whirlwind. The wonder that comes from knowing that God is God and we are simply — not.
Even though every now and then we may write the words that change the hearts, or say the thing that impacts lives, or do the biggest, hardest, most public act of doing— still most days, we are the ones who make the soup. And that is more than okay.
We make the soup for hungry people and we feed our souls as we feed their stomachs.
We stand willing to go make huge differences out there, knowing that it may be that we will make decades of seemingly small differences in here. We do the things we are given and we do them well. We keep our eyes on our own motives and we do not worry about theirs.
We stay in our own lane, and we love the lane we are in.
We rest fully in our created-ness and we humble ourselves to stop.
We wait for the simmer.
(I hope you enjoyed this excerpt from Simmer: Six Seasonal Soups & the Stories that Inspired Them. I made this for you, please enjoy your free copy!)