I’ve been staring at it for years.
I see it while sitting at the little table in our kitchen where I have my quiet time with God, writing and praying, crying and thinking…you know, doing Life.
Even though hidden by a tan cloth cover, I can see it anyway. It was something I coveted and longed for, for years: A brand new black and chrome Artisan Kitchen Aid mixer. I bought it one birthday about 5 years ago. Initially, I stored it on top of our maple hutch while waiting to move somewhere that had more than the postage stamp sized counter space the 800 sq. ft. Craftsman we were living in provided.
4 years ago this month, we moved into just that sort of space. The Kitchen Aid, however, has remained hidden under tan fabric on the top of the hutch where it’s served as a book end for my collection of vintage cookbooks. A very expensive, guilt producing bookend.
That is, until yesterday.
Thinking back on it now, I am again filled with awe at how God works in my life. Waking at 1:11 a.m., I made my way to the coffee maker and the table. From years of experience I know when I’m not going to be able to get back to sleep, and I have no problem doing “whatever” comes to mind in those pre-dawn hours. My mother’s life has taught me many things. One is, don’t push against the insomnia. Don’t fight it and bitch about it. Embrace it. Make it work FOR you, not against you. There are reasons for getting up while other’s are sleeping, and many (if not most) of them are sacred.
They are Holy Hours.
You would think that after so many years of being the recipient of Just In Time answers to prayer, worry wouldn’t wake me in the middle of the night. But it does, and it did, and so I knew a a Mind Dump was needed…. the writing out of my concerns into my journal that always brings relief (and often, answers).
I write a bit, sip coffee, stare at the tan lump on top of the hutch, at the vintage dishes stored inside it, at my cook books and cooking accoutrements. I REALLY should bring The Lump down and uncover it. I REALLY should use it or sell it. (a familiar refrain for months).
For whatever reason, yesterday was the day and at 2:30 a.m., after rearranging items on the counter top to create space, I climb onto a chair and surprise myself at being able to lift the damn thing from so high up because it’s weighty. Brushing away cobwebs and snatching the cover off, my breath catches.
Oh my God, it’s SO beautiful! So shiny and perfect. How did I not do this before? Why did I wait so long?
Not only does it fit perfectly in it’s new home, the things on top of the hutch are arranged in a more pleasing way as well. A domino effect of order and attractiveness ensued, and with it, a sense of relief mixed with import in the moment.
The word “Artisan” catches my eye….black lettering on stainless steel….tugging at my soul strings, trying to get my attention.
It’s symbolic, isn’t it, this lovely, costly tool that’s been covered up, unused and forgotten? It’s something about me. My life.
I sit back down to pray and write some more. 3 pages in, I find myself writing about writing. Recalling a time when I was in an inspired and prolific flow, when words literally poured out of me, I relived the sense of satisfaction from being in my purpose felt as I heard from people who were touched after reading me. They didn’t feel so alone, somehow. They felt understood. WE felt understood, my audience and I together.
And then I remembered when that wellspring of creativity stopped, why it stopped, and who stopped it.
In the decade since, I’ve never again been in that sort of inspired flow. Did I decide I would be punished like before if I “went there”? That I would be hurt? Scribbling furiously, I continued along this line of self questioning…
Did I subconsciously BLOCK the flow in order to protect myself from feeling pain and frustration? Is there something in me that wants to be expressed?
IS THERE A BOOK INSIDE ME THAT WANTS TO BE WRITTEN? THAT PEOPLE WANT TO READ? (all caps now)
(ok, that wasn’t me….I keep writing….)
What’s it about?
.….Not giving up….
(huh. yeah, well, I guess I do know something about that)
Is it fiction or non fiction?
(whew. I’m not so great at making things up.)
Who is my audience?
….Women Who Want More….
…. Hope, inspiration, understanding, fulfillment, guidance….
And that’s when I am given the title.
I am stunned. I think God just showed up. For reals.
As I ponder all this, and the direction it was going – how this idea connects to that passion that connects with something else creative I started last year – I found myself grabbing a pencil and sketching in my journal. It’s the Kitchen Aid mixer. The sketching itself feels like a meditation as I sip coffee, adjust lines, and think about, well, what just happened.
It’s about 4:30 when I get it where I want it and write the title underneath it.
And just like that, I see it. Literally. Ideas start filling my head. Excitement and inspiration course through me. I run to the back office and pull out my project from last Winter. I am amazed at how the disjointed pieces of half finished work and a dream left for dead start fitting together – like a puzzle. It was all right here, the whole time, just waiting to be uncovered. The Plan. HIS plan.
I know what to do.
“I am the Lord Your God who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.” – Isaiah 48:17