Thursday, April 28, 2011

Manna providing Manna

About three years ago, we invested in some fairly expensive bread making equipment.  We bought a mill to grind our own wheat and a very high-powered mixer that can mix and knead up to five loaves of bread at a time.  We wanted to eat healthier and it seemed this was an easy way to make a change.  When I say easy, I am not kidding--making bread with this equipment is a complete cinch.  It takes every bit of the hard labor out of the equation.  Of course, this is why the equipment is not cheap.  It was quite an investment.  But it has been worth every penny.  There is nothing that compares to a loaf of fresh, homemade bread.  Nothing.  Our family has enjoyed every last morsel of this expenditure.

At the end of November, Eric lost his job.  It has been amazing to see God provide what we need, when we need it--never a moment too late or too soon.  He is the God of perfect timing!  Our faith has grown immensely during this season, to say the least.

A little over a month ago, we were brainstorming some ways we could earn extra money with the assets we currently have on hand.  We decided making and selling homemade bread was the most logical choice since it is something we currently already do.  We would just do it more.

I was really excited.  I pictured our whole familiy working together.  A partnership between God, Eric and I, selling our daily manna to provide His daily manna.  It was going to be a match made in heaven :) .

Oh, I dreamed big.  I pictured going nationwide, touring about and telling our story of God's provision...

So, we begin.  And our partnership--well, it quickly feels like a sole propriety.  Soon I am up to my eyeballs in breadmaking.  Day in, day out.  I bake bread.  It seems it is the sole reason for my vain existence.  My partner, my silent, absent partner--WHAT HAPPENED TO HIM???

Oh, yeah.  Life.  That's what's happened.  The moment we started our partnership, my partner also picked up a side job, detailing cars.  Oh, and baseball season started.  Helping coach three different baseball teams is no small task.

Even so, my partner was starting to feel sorry for me.  Either that, or he got tired of hearing all the rhetoric.  This past weekend, he showed up to offer a little relief to my vain existence.  Emphatically, I taught him the tricks of the trade.  My partner became a breadmaker and I experienced freedom from the confines of my kitchen.

Woo hoo!  I left to go party on the town (well, really I just left to run my nephew home, but dramatization tells a good story). 

...My party didn't last long...

When I walked in a wee bit later, my partner informed me that we had a slight problem.  He turned the mixer on and then walked out of the house to attend to other things (okay, that is problem number one.  Only pros such as myself leave the mixer unattended, not amateurs on their second batch of baking--what in the world was he thinking?!!).  Suddenly, he heard a ginormous crash. He ran in to find our $450 mixer had vibrated forward during its knead cycle and spun off the counter, crashing onto the floor.  Our perfectly round stainless steel bowl was now an oval.  I'm quite surprised it didn't put a dent in our floor.

Amazingly, I kept my couth.  I washed it and placed our oval stainless in the pantry and put it out of my mind.  I think this present stage of our life is teaching me to not get too bent out of shape over such mishaps--that God will provide what we need and if he doesn't provide, then we probably didn't need it.  I wondered if God was telling us to stop baking manna to provide our manna?  Was this His message?  Whatever the reason, I kind of forgot about it and moved on to the next crisis, deciding it was a worry for another day.  Thankfully, my next bread order wasn't until later in the week.

A few days later, my neighbor dropped by to bring us our egg order.  She was on her way to pick up her kids and only had a minute.  Why I told her about our mixer mishap, I'll never know.  There are a thousand different things we could have talked about.  I guess God brought it up. 

As I finished my story, she had one question: 'Is your mixer the electrolux?'

'Why yes, yes it is.' (I didn't really say it like this, but I like how it sounds)

'I just happen to have an extra electolux stainless steel bowl at my house.'

Okay, all you bread people out there.  You know the odds of someone having one of these bowls laying around their house is about one in a million.  The odds of your neighbor having one is probably twice that.  Long story short, the company sent her an extra one years ago when she thought there was a problem with hers.  She ended up never needing it.  And it has sat in her attic ever since for such a time as this!  What are the odds?  I'll tell you--God's odds.  Jehovah Jireh doing His finest!

So now I have a brand new stainless steel electrolux bowl.  Open for business once again.  Manna providing manna until the Bread of Life shows us a different provision. 

Until then, my partner has been demoted to janatorial duties.

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