Today my friend, Leah, is sharing from her southern kitchen how God is impacting lives while working in the kitchen. If I wasn’t so far away from her, I would be on her door step regularly begging for a few crumbs of hope and grace. Leah is a treasure and I pray you will find comfort and rest through her words. Here’s Leah:
As women, the kitchen is where we spend no small amount of our time. Meal planning and preparation are crucial in the life of a family. A great deal of life happens in the kitchen. We celebrate good times and mourn sorrowful times over plates laden with food. Homework papers are returned to the classroom, randomly decorated by ketchup splatters. Friendships and romances blossom over coffee and dessert. The kitchen becomes the heartbeat of many gatherings, even when there is generous conversation space in other parts of the home.
I was blessed to grow up in the kitchens of my Grandma Eula and my Mom while they created tasty homemade dishes that nourished the tummy and soul. I saw my Grandma boil chicken and roll out dough for chicken and dumplings. I learned that good chicken and dumplings had just the right amount of salt and pepper, and oh yes, butter. Even today, 20-plus years after Grandma’s death, people mention her chicken and dumplings.
In the fast-paced, fast-food world in which we live, many women did not have the experience of growing up in the kitchen, watching and learning about food and the preparation of it from their mothers and grandmothers. About a year ago, I realized that I could be obedient to biblical mandate and help fill that gap in a few lives. Into that gap was born Tasting Grace.
Tasting Grace is a mentoring in the kitchen event. One Saturday each month I invite a few women into my kitchen for a bit of Jesus and two hours of cooking. We begin our morning with a short devotion. Then, we move into the kitchen where I teach the ladies how to make two or three homemade dishes. Women at Tasting Grace have learned to make homemade biscuits, Grandma’s chicken and dumplings, cream cheese pound cake, chicken noodle soup, cornbread, and strawberry jam.
We share our lives while deboning chicken and stirring up cornbread. We share joys and heartaches. We laugh, cry, and pray. Once the cooking is complete, we do what all good cooks do; we taste our creations. Over the table new friendships form, old friendships are renewed, and women experience what it means to share life in the kitchen. It is a sweet, easy rhythm of women mentoring women.
One woman shared that, as a single mom, she feels inadequate in many areas, especially baking. After learning to make homemade biscuits, she left my home and made a beeline to the grocery store to buy ingredients for biscuits. Self-rising flour, lard, and buttermilk. The next thing I knew she was posting pictures on Facebook of she and her 5 little ones making homemade biscuits!!
The husband of another Tasting Grace lady pulled me aside at church and asked when I was going to be doing another one of those ‘cooking classes’. He mumbled something about eating better than he had in many years and was adamant that his wife would attend again!
Tasting Grace-the event, is now Tasting Grace-the book, which offers Bible study and an event planning guide to help women host a Tasting Grace event in their home or church. There are four weeks of Bible study focusing on biblical mentoring. Recipes, devotions, and tips on hosting an event are also included in the book. I co-wrote the book with my friend, Jan Morton, who makes a chocolate cobbler that is worth dying over!! Some of the recipes that are included in the book are Grandma’s Chicken and Dumplings, Jan’s Cornbread Dressing (we are Southern women…we made dressing, not stuffing), fruit cobbler, chocolate cobbler, and, oh yes, homemade biscuits.
Our prayer is that Tasting Grace: A Mentoring in the Kitchen Bible study will encourage women to share life in the kitchen with other women. Because really, that is what we are mandated by Scripture to do. Remember what Paul told Titus to teach the older women in Titus 2?
Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2: 3-5 (NIV)
The writer of Proverbs also knew the value of shoulder-to-shoulder, and face-to-face living.
Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another. Proverbs 27:17 (ESV)
So, sweet friend, are you doing life, face-to-face and shoulder-to-shoulder with other women? Social media simply cannot give us what we need in this regard. We need other women speaking into our lives, face-to-face and heart-to-heart. I would love to hear about ways that you share your life with other women.
A woman crazy-in-love with Jesus, Leah Adams is known by a few titles such as author, communicator, mentor, wife, mom, friend, sister, and aunt.
Saved at the age of 15, Leah Adams walked away from God in her twenties. After much heartbreak, and a heaping helping of gentle, and not-so-gentle, correction from God, Leah returned to Him in her thirties with a heart set on following hard after Jesus. Her passion is speaking, writing, and living the truth of Scripture in a way that makes the Bible relevant to daily life.
Leah holds a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and is a graduate of CLASS speaker training. She has published three Bible studies ( Legacy, HeBrews: A Better Blend, Tasting Grace: A Mentoring in the Kitchen Bible Study), as well as a devotion book entitled When Words Won’t Come. Leah is called Mom by two young adults, and she lives in northern Georgia with her husband, who is also her dentist. She can be found at LeahAdams.org., on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest ,and Instagram.
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