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lenten prayer: day 13 + thoughts about dreaming

March 4, 2010

Prayer of Possibility

Lord God, thank You for possibility
Thank You that I don’t know it all
May I trust in the bigness of Your vision
More than I worry about the smallness of mine
Turn my closed doors into open windows
In all the moments where I think I know better
May Your love remind me that You do not make mistakes
I praise You that ends are always followed by beginnings
And that disappointments are always renewed chances to dream
May I never stop looking at horizons, knowing You are its beginning, middle and end.


Do you remember that book, Alexander and the Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day? Yesterday was one of those days for me — a day so crappy that every adjective in the book could be squeezed in front of it and it still would have been an understatement. Something I have been anticipating and working towards for months unexpectedly and spectacularly failed. I was rejected for something I wanted more than anything else in the world and, for the first time in three years, I broke down into hysterical sobs. In my office. With the door closed. And snot running down my face. It was one of those days that, even in my implicit trust that God’s steps are exactly what I need and that perspective will come only through time, I still felt hollow, like someone had punched my chest in.

Some people might fall to their knees in prayer. I tried to do that but nothing came out. So I had a large batch of friends and family who were able to do that for me until I am ready. So instead, I left work early, walked around town for a couple hours, bought a pair of TOMS and some chocolate pudding and found myself, dazed and $50 poorer, back at my house, blinking in the early spring sunshine, wondering how I got there and why did I have chocolate on my face?

In the midst of all of this, in these moments where the tears unexpectedly hit me and clench in my throat, I have received something beautiful. “Peace of the Holy Spirit?” you ask. Well, yes, actually. I feel God here with me, in all my brokenness and crushing disappointment. (Even if I didn’t feel Him, He’d still be here.) But alongside that, there was this, arrived from Amazon and waiting on the front porch for me this evening:

This is my gift to myself with a small piece of my tax return, since I am being responsible and boring with the rest of it (i.e. savings account/student loan payment). I have longed after a proper dutch oven for years and finally, I gave in and this beauty and I are together, like we always should have been. Normally, it isn’t wearing that little napkin on its neck but I thought it looked dapper, so I left it on for the photo. (When I whip up boeuf bourgignon and other masterpieces in it, the napkin will be elsewhere. Like in the box.)

So tonight, with this hollow, punched-in feeling, I gaze at my shelf full of beautiful cookbooks, think of my friends and family that I get to feed with all those lovely recipes and I feel better. I think it’s the possibility of cooking that speaks to my soul so deeply — there is an unconstrained ability to dream when you cook. Sometimes we screw things up irreversibly, but there is always another way to try it. Food, like life, is flexible and forgiving; there is always another chance. And usually, when you try something new, divert from the planned path, take a risk and act from the heart, something wonderful will happen.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Grandma permalink
    March 5, 2010 12:10 pm

    Sweet Caroline….Bet you can anticipate which good word from the Good Word I’m going to throw at you this time. Romans 8:26. This one has tear stains on it in my Bible. I don’t have to explain that to you. But we could put a smiley face there too as it could be my Alka-Seltzer verse. I always felt a little better when I dwelt on it. Anyhow, you are going to be OK because you have the ‘tools’ to get through. Oh, and that Dutch Oven is a great addition to your (speaking of) tools. I’m looking forward to having something tasty from it sometime. Hugs a hundred times….Grandma

  2. Noelle permalink
    March 5, 2010 1:28 pm

    Caroline I send my deepest and sincerest regrets a couple thousand miles to you for not getting that job. Their loss is greater and there are so many opportunities for you in the world and in so many other places than Grand Rapids.
    Remember that.

    On another note ms. cooks-a-lot.


    No seriously.
    So much nerdage is about to happen.

    Ms. Chef pants over here is ready to share culinary secrets learned in the academy with YOU. Ms. other chef pants.
    We are going to make the perfect couple.
    And then we are going to open the cutest little inn.

    (I told Dustin the other day that he is going to be the Lorelai to my Sookie when we open a B&B)
    He gagged.

    Love you.

  3. Caroline permalink*
    March 10, 2010 8:08 pm

    @ Grandma!

    I will make you something delicious in my Dutch Oven, I promise. 🙂 Thank you for your constant love and support. I love you!

  4. Caroline permalink*
    March 10, 2010 9:21 pm

    @ Noelle!

    I cannot wait to nerd out on food with you. Let’s open that inn — I just got a cookbook from Big Sur Bakery. I think it’s a glimpse of our future. :p

    Love you so much, thank you for the kind words.


  1. Prayer of Endings « Surprised By Joy

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