I was so incredibly excited when Oprah signed on with Weight Watchers. I mean, I’m thrilled that she’s getting healthy and all that. But honestly, the best part was when she said, – ON NATIONAL TELEVISION – “I love bread”!
ME TOO, Sister Oprah! Me too!
My favorite kind of bread is homemade and hot out of the oven, fresh as can be, and with special touches (like organic sundried tomatoes baked right in and homegrown rosemary sprigs on top, and maybe even a little finely shredded artisan cheddar thrown in for good measure) that everyday, store bought brands just cannot produce.
(Excuse me while I salivate…)
I’m coming out of the anti-gluten closet and admitting it. I’m a girl who loves artisan bread.
I ALSO love craft beer and single vineyard wines.
I like small batch iced teas and I love the health benefits and freshness of organic food.
I’m “all-in” on the farm-to-table movement.
I completely support the sustainable food agenda.
I’d much rather each a whole food than one that’s been processed. And don’t even get me started on stuff that’s been genetically modified or chemically enhanced.
(Let’s ignore my diet coke habit for the moment, shall we? *Ahem.*)
People who love and care this much about food know ONE THING for sure: the process is just as important as the end product.
For instance, a food artisan knows everything about the ingredients and process of what she’s making, and often uses traditional methods. Why? Because she’s learned that tried and true ways of doing things endure; traditions create consistently masterful products.
The craftsman makes his product by hand, using minimal processing and checking each step of that process to ensure it is done to his specifications for a quality product that he’s proud to call his own.
The small-batch creator believes in taking the time and effort to make each batch just so, just right, to please her consumers and make them feel special in receiving something that got such care in creation.
The food producers, shops, and restaurants who subscribe to the farm-to-table philosophy understand the value of cutting out the middle-man and ensuring the good stuff is coming directly from the maker.
And everyone who buys into the concept of sustainability is 100% on board in making sure that the resources we have will not be used up or destroyed so they can replenish as needed and continue for as long as possible.
The artisans who create these kinds of foods and drinks have two things in common:
- They are intentional in what they do (meaning they put thought, care, and time into each part of the process); and,
- They are specialized in their trade, not diversified (meaning they don’t have a million different things going on) which allows them to focus on the passion of their particular trade.
That’s pretty amazing stuff right there, don’t you think?!
So, what if we applied these concepts to something spiritual in addition to food? What if we used these ideas to radically affect our prayers and how we spoke them?
I think we’d be equally as nourished spiritually as we are when we eat cleanly!
I’m encouraging each of us to do one (or more!) of the following things this week as we set some time aside for intentional prayer:
- Apply the principle of organics: cut out the stuff that doesn’t need to be there! Don’t be so verbose, adding in all kinds of words that don’t add anything to the purity of your prayers. Keep it simple, sisters, and just say what you need to say as simply as possible. Then quietly sit back, waiting for Him to speak back to your spirit.
- Use the concept of small batch creations and artisan work: be intentional in how you speak your prayers, carefully thinking about them and making little notes for yourself before you dive in. Use traditional methods passed down to you from previous generations that honor the sacred process of prayer. Use time-honored prayers you’ve heard in your own faith tradition to enrich your prayer life instead of saying those prayers as rote and perfunctory obligations. Rewrite them in your own words in order to make them come alive to you again.
- Subscribe to the main idea behind the farm-to-table “theology” and cut out the middle man! You have a direct line to Jesus! Don’t “worry your prayers” with friends and hope God was listening while you did it; instead, sit down with God one-on-one and offer him your best instead of worn out and tired thoughts and prayers. (“Go to the throne, not the phone!” 😉 )
- Focus on sustainability in your prayer life. Try different methods until you can settle in on one or two that make it possible for you to be consistent and create quality, positive interaction between you and your Father. Tend to the “soil” of your prayer life – if you will – which basically means to get your heart in the right condition to not only offer up gratitude and praise, but also to receive nourishing sacraments like forgiveness and loving correction.
Good soil can take years to cultivate, right? And even a novice gardener like me knows that sometimes the fields you use to grow something great need to be rested every now and again to maintain and regain their efficiency. So be patient with yourself in this process and remain flexible in trying new things along the way, okay?
The important thing is that you DO commit to trying to create something artisan with your prayers. Why? Because it will make the difference between a processed, plastic bag of white bread and a hot-outta-the-oven, multi-grain loaf bejeweled with morsels of deliciousness!
Following along with our Wonder-FULL series? (You can click here for more info!) We are reading chapters .005 and .006 in the Wonderstruck main book and completing section 4 in the participant guide! And check out our song of the week: “In Your Hands” by Unspoken. This acoustic version makes me SO happy! Enjoy!
Peace, love and JOY!!!
Up Next Week: The Wonder of Friendship