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Monday, April 15, 2013

The Apron Memoirs ~ Week Three

The Apron Memoirs

Cherishing the Simple Beauty of Womanhood & God’s Design for Us

White swirls of lace adorn the rounded neckline. Two long sashes join together in the back, tied in a crooked bow, strings hanging loosely. Flour handprints and chocolate smudge designs blend into the vintage floral pattern. A pocket hiding loose buttons, coins, sprinkles & crayon bits are the grand finale to this work of art. It has been a witness to a life well lived, a culture of joy and a home woven and spun with beauty and simplicity. It has worn the tears of a little heart broken by an uncaring world, it has been enveloped by laughter in the joy of young souls creating masterpieces, it has been covered by the drool of a rosy cheeked babe nestled close to her mother’s heart, it has been worn in preparation of a blessed visit from a kindred spirit garnished with tea and sweet delicacies, it has been wrapped in the arms of a beloved husband under a moonlit sky as a long day draws to an end. It is not fancy. It is likely faded and worn. But is loved and cherished. It is whimsy and homemade cookies and humming at the sink and fingerpaints and a glass of lemonade all wrapped up in a simple smock. It is my mother. It is me. It is you.

The Marriage Apron

We had been married for about 3 months, and I was determined to make a great dinner for my husband. He was working a full time job, working as a youth pastor and going to school. I had recently lost my job, and life had been pretty stressful for us, so I wanted to do something really special for him. I wasn’t much of a cook, I was eager to learn, but most of our meals consisted of a bland chicken breast and some lettuce splashed with dressing. Bless my husband’s heart, he never complained, and even helped cook. We lived in an old house that had been converted into four apartments. It was a nice apartment, but the dining room and kitchen were adorned with awful gray indoor-outdoor carpet. It took a lot of work to make the kitchen feel cozy and homey. I had decked it out in my “French Bistro” style, and all the new gadgets and small appliances we had received as gifts.

I grabbed my purse and keys and headed to the small grocery store down the road. I had decided on lasagna, although I had never made one before. I weaved in and out of the aisles, list tightly grasped in my hand. I could have called up my mom, and gotten her incredible lasagna recipe, but my twenty year old self wanted to do it on my own – prove that I was a good wife. It seemed simple enough, however – noodles, meat, sauce, cheese. How could you go wrong? Attempting the lasagna was a big enough task for me, so after getting the needed ingredients, I picked up some frozen garlic toast, a chocolate cake from the bakery and a bottle of sparkling cider – this was going to be romantic! 

I wrapped the red French Bistro apron around my waist and quickly got to work prepping and cooking. It was my first time wearing it, and I felt like the apron was an important aspect of my plan - I wanted to look the part of the perfect wife. Just tying those apron strings behind my back gave me a sense of purpose and homemaking. If only looking like a chef, could actually make you one - fast forward two hours, and I would be found sitting on the floor, tears pouring down my cheeks and streaming down the apron. Situated on the stove above me, in what "used to be" a pot, was what "used to be" lasagna noodles. They were now stuck to the bottom of the pot, never to be eaten. The pot never to be cooked in again. How could I have failed so miserably? 

Thankfully, when my compassionate husband came home, and assessed the situation, he knew what had to be done. He hugged me - pulling the red apron close to himself, kissed me and assured me that he still loved me...then he chucked that pot into the trash and ordered pizza.  We lit the candles at the table that night, poured the sparkling cider into shimmering wine glasses, and ate delivery pizza in our newlywed apartment. 

I learned a lesson that night (aside from the importance of cooking lasagna noodles in water!)...Wearing the apron did not make me a good cook. Wearing the apron did not make me a good wife. Wearing the apron did not make me an expert. I needed help. I needed guidance and wisdom from women who had gone before me on the road of marriage and homemaking. No matter how much I had tried to look the part - I didn't know what I was doing and I failed miserably. 

Sometimes we do that in our walk with God. We think we are an expert. We think we can do it on our own. We want to prove how smart, powerful, talented we are. But we need help. We need guidance and wisdom from the One who has gone before us - who knows the plans He has for us. Plans to prosper us, not to harm us. Plans to give us a hope and a future. We can "look the part" - carry the bible and sing the songs, but when we try to do this life on our own, we fail miserably. 

"As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him."
~ Psalm 18:30

Thankfully when we make a mess - when we burn the lasagna noodles of our life, we have a God who wants to wrap us up in his arms, tell us that He loves us, and chuck those noodles into the trash.

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"
~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thanks for stopping by on Memoir Monday! Please leave a comment & share :)

Did you have any kitchen disasters in your early years of marriage?
 Have you experienced a time when you tried to do life on your own and failed?

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