Saturday, September 09, 2006

"Thank you, Lord, for teaching me humility."
Rudy Reyes, Jr.
"What eye has not seen, and ear has not heard, and what has not entered the human heart,
what God has prepared for those who love him..."
Isaiah 64:4
Each Sunday the Sisters in my community take turns doing the cooking. That is, except Sr. Durie because she cooks all week. Anyway, this Sunday was my day. At 12:15 we usually have a very large, nice meal with wine. However, I decided that instead of cooking the normal kind of lunch, I would make brunch instead. My menu?... pancakes (both plain and blueberry), scrambled eggs, bacon, turkey sausage, fruit salad, and kolaches (sometimes spelled kolaces - 1 1/2 doz. apple filled, 1 1/2 doz. cream cheese, and by request, 1 doz. prune).
Several years ago, Jason and Nathan Swoboda's grandmother (Mrs. Parma) gave me her recipes for kolaches (a Czechoslovakian pastry popular around some parts of Texas). But I never made them. One, the recipe is intimadating and two, I never had the desire to make them when I lived alone (the dough makes 4 dozen!).
Since I had never made them before, I asked one of our Sisters, Sr. Eileen, if she would kinda help me out. We agreed to meet in the kitchen on Saturday morning at 9:30. Everything went really well. The dough did well... I learned how to kneed and tell when it was ready... the fillings turned out well... we had fun... Finally, they were ready for the oven at 2:15pm. The recipe said that it should take 10-15 minutes to bake on 425. So, I put all four sheets in... checked them after about 7 minutes, they weren't quite done ... I opened the oven about 2 minutes later... and there seemed to be a little smoke coming from the oven. I took them out. The tops were beautiful... the bottoms... HARD AS ROCKS! Why? Well, supposedly you're only supposed to put one sheet in the oven at a time because of the air flow (or something like that). Since I had pretty much filled the oven to capacity, the air flow wasn't able to "do its thing" and the bottoms were burned.
Needless to say, I was not too happy.
My friend Rudy has a saying in times like that... when things aren't turning out the way he'd planned or if something goes wrong ... "Thank you, Lord, for teaching me humility." Saturday, standing in the kitchen with kolaches burned on the bottom... I said that several times...
Anyway, everything turned out fine in the end. I spent about 30 minutes this morning cutting the bottoms off the kolaches and the rest of the brunch turned out fine (except I skipped the blueberry pancakes and stuck with plain). I did learn something in the process of all of this... faster doesn't necessarily mean better.
That might seem trite, but it's true. Speed and quality are mutually exclusive. This isn't only true for cooking, either!You see, I'm able to apply that theory in many ways. This whole year is designed for a person to slow down... to take things in... to let God work in the quiet. If I'm always trying to hurry things along I will have missed the whole point of novitiate!
Other than my misadventures in the kitchen and the wisdom gained through that experience, what else can I say about this past week?
I visited with my spiritual director on Thursday for the first time in about a month. Wow, did she ever get an ear-full! That's why she's there, though. We had a great converstation about the many graces in my life... and the transitions into a new lifestyle... and the challenges thus far. She put things in perspective for me. Apparently, I kept repeating the phrase, "It's different than I had expected..." or "It's good, but different..." or other such statements. After a while, she had to point it out to me. I hadn't even realized that almost everything I said had that little attachment! And you know... it's true. Who could ever really imagine what God has in store for us? In one of his letters St. Paul says something to the effect that what we see, we see dimly as through a fog (exact words, I'm not sure).... Isn't that true? God leads us... and we might think we understand where the road is going or what might happen in the journey, but we really have no idea. And so, all I can do is respond to God's grace and promptings... and with a grateful heart just take it all in. I'm not saying it's easy!I like having an idea of how things will turn out or what's in store... I kinda like being "in the know." But... I'm trying...
Well, that's all for now... lest I start complaining about my Thursday night professor...
Until next week...
Many blessings!
Sr. Nicole