I recently read a book that has made it to my top ten list for 2013. It is a memoir of food, life, and recipes. I find that I am often a magnet for good food writing. Which is funny because I cannot cook for the life of me. I am a baker, but do not expect me to whip up a dinner, unless you want to go with raw foods. So when I read “Bread & Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table with Recipes” by Shauna Niequist, not only was I inspired by her outlook on life, I found pages and pages of recipes that looked easy, unpretentious, and like the yummy comfort food that makes you want to snuggle on the couch with your significant other and nibble away.
Niequist intersperses God and her faith a bit throughout the book, but not in an over the top way. She made me think, ponder, and appreciate life and food so much more. She uses the word “groundedness” in this quote and I love it. Don’t we often look for what is next? For something more? Just last weekend I was looking at a painting of mine and said to Chris I want to give that painting another life. It is time to paint over it and move on. I do not do that often, as I love most of the artwork I have done, but there has always been something about this set of paintings that I have wanted to change. I am grateful for the time it served in our home, but time for something more.
“I want to cultivate a deep sense of gratitude, of groundedness, of enough, even while I’m longing for something more. The longing and the gratitude, both. I’m practicing believing that God knows more than I know, that he sees what I can’t, that he’s weaving a future I can’t even imagine from where I sit this morning.” page 59
Does Niequist mean this about that next job we want, or that person we want in our life? Who knows. Maybe it is our next meal that we are craving because we have such an insatiable desire for food — its tastes, flavors, and our craving for it. That could be, as she talked often about her addiction to food. Whatever it means I feel she has encapsulated such a wonderful idea. To cultivate gratitude and groundedness. To know that what we have is enough, even as we stay open for something more.
We cannot be overly grateful, and yet, in order to grow and not stay complacent we need to yearn for more. Gratitude and groundedness seem like just the right balance.