Life At 350 Degrees

I go through phases of cooking.  Sometimes I cook, and sometimes I don’t.

This past weekend my oldest made an Easter cake.  Before you get excited about a Pinterest worthy picture attached to this blog, let me declare the following:  I am ON Pinterest, but I do not DO Pinterest.  The cake my daughter made was from a box that we decorate by putting Peeps bunnies all over it.  It was something fun that she loved to do.  As I set the oven at 350 degrees, I poignant thought struck me.  I do most of my baking on 350 degrees.  Cakes, brownies, french fries, roasted vegetables, frozen items.  It just makes it easier.  Kinda like baking autopilot.

As I watched my child mix the cake and pour the contents in the baking pans, a thought struck me.  I live my life on 350 degrees.  Pretty much the same temperature all the time.  Same school routines, same lunches I make for the kids, same towels I fold and same messes that I come home to on a regular basis.   My husband and children thrive better on a routine.  Especially the husband.  Things out of order or out of routine are very hard for him.  The longer we are married the more I have come to understand that he truly desires sameness.  This gives him peace.  Our children all have an ADHD diagnosis:  a true medical diagnosis given by a psychologist, not just by me.  (This is an important distinction for me that I will discuss in a future blog.)   Go figure.  It makes sense given that their parents exhibit most of the symptoms.  One of the best things that I can do for my children is give them a routine.  They too thrive on it.

I’m a little different.  I crave variety.  I crave stimulation.  I crave spontaneity.   However, I crave the the variety, stimulation and spontaneity of my choice.   It is a long standing joke among a few of my close friends that I love change – but only the type of change that I mastermind.  Changes that are not my idea bring me great anxiety.   It is a control issue for me.  I feel less anxiety when I am in control of my environment.   So I spend a great deal of time being hyper vigilant about things and people in my environment that might change.

Now some of you might be saying “Sounds like box-like thinking to me.”  Yep, it is.  (Oh, it my case it is “trapezoid-like” thinking.)   You see – we can make anything a box.   To me, a box represents a rigid boundary that chafes or imprisons, and many things can represent a box or boundary to us: a schedule,  a relationship, a job, or a routine.  From time to time, it is to my advantage to change my paradigm, or my worldview, about a boundary.   Psalms 16:6 says it beautifully:  “The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.”  I loved this verse so much.  I first heard when I was pregnant with my second daughter.  This words were so freeing to me that we chose this scripture for her baby dedication.  It truly fits her too because she and I are so much alike.

So once again God reminded me of the freedom within His boundaries as I was doing a simple chore around the house.  I wonder if my first instinct to a boundary will ever be pleasant – perhaps not.   I do however continue to believe that God will gently remind me of His word and His love for me.





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