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Pomegranates and Peace

December 7, 2009

Pomegranates are one of my favorite fruits, simply because they are so beautiful. Their bright little seeds are like tiny jewels; I told my friend Frank once that I felt like a hummingbird when I ate them. He laughed and Tweeted about it. Anyway, the point is I adore pomegranates and I truly believe that they never cease to fancy up any moment of the day.

Indeed, I often stop while cooking and take photos of my food.

As a prelude to another night of knitting, I concocted a little dessert for myself that was not only healthy but incredibly delicious. So, of course, I want to share it with you all:

Apple Compote with Yogurt and Pomegranate Seeds

1 apple (I used McIntosh, because it’s what I had)
1/2 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. raw honey
1/2 c. organic vanilla yogurt (plain would also be fine, I just happened to have vanilla)
1 small handful pomegranate seeds

Core and chop the apple into small chunks. Heat a skillet on medium-low heat and melt the butter. Add the apples, cinnamon and honey, stirring together. Cook until the apples are soft and falling apart, but not mushy. Divide the apple mixture onto two small plates (or bowls) and top with 1/4 c. yogurt each and sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Eat immediately and make lots of “Mmmmm!”-ing noises. (It’s that good.)

The finished product.

…….

In a segue only assisted by alliteration, peace is also on my mind tonight. As Advent flows into its second week, the Bethlehem candle of peace is lit, reminding us that the coming Christ bears many names, among them the Prince of Peace.

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

-Isaiah 9:6, NIV

I have been dealing with more than the usual amount of anxiety in this season of my life. Amongst all the joy that fills my days, I also have moments where I have had trouble breathing and moments where I need to be curled up into a tight ball on my bed, collapsed in prayer. I wouldn’t say it’s depression or sadness, only an anxiety that seems to cast an equally weighty cloud. In this time of peace, I find myself being much more grateful this year than I ever have been before that the Prince of Peace is coming.

The Advent service at Mars Hill last night placed this particular piece of truth in my hands and I have been thinking of it deeply ever since: “You won’t know what healing looks like until it happens.” I so badly want to know what will happen next. I want to plan and control my healing so that it’s neat and fits nicely into my checklist. I want to swoop my pen across the box next to “healed” so that my life may move forward. What I forget so often is that life moves forward regardless of me giving it permission. Even in my anxiety, it is and has been moving all this time.

I am continually learning that healing is a process and a journey, not a product or an end result. I do not achieve healing but rather it grows within me, spreading and filling in the gaps and broken places until one day, I look down and realize that I’m whole again. In this space of grace and peace, God is asking me to rest and wait, two things I am learning to do over and over. In His infinite patience, He has revealed to me that even this “anxious anticipation” in itself is a gift. This season that I find myself in, when I can so easily crash into despair, He is pulling me closer. I need these moments with Him because He understands the me that I don’t even realize I am. While I am still getting to know myself, He knows me intimately and beautifully, the way only an artist could know a painting or a mother her child. This season is teaching me I am not creator but creation.

Peace to you this week, friends. (And try the recipe.)

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