Soft Surrender

by

A bending.

An acquiescence.

Leaning slow and strong into the reality of my day.

Being flexible.

Stopping.

Pausing.

Soft and gentle and letting go.

“I don’t know, resigned is not the right word,” I told him tonight as he sat in the leather arm chair in the cafe window.

“You’ve surrendered,” he said.

“Yes.”

I have.

I have surrendered and it is a constant source of amazement when I do what happens.

This softening and letting go, the lack of control no longer a threat, but a welcome respite where I lean into the God that holds me and I know I am held and loved, gentle and benign.

Full and held.

It’s a nice feeling.

When I stop struggling and let the reality of my life be exactly how it is.

Where there is nothing wrong and I am absolutely perfect.

Imperfectly perfect.

Because then I can take care of the things that need to be taken care of.

Like cookies.

OH my God.

The cookies.

I baked a lot of cookies today.

There are 60 residences that the family will be delivering cookies to in the neighborhood tomorrow.

Everybody goes, mom, dad, the boys, the dog, and they hand out a little bag of homemade cookies that are made from scratch–the recipe from the mom’s great grandmother, sprinkled with confectioners sugar and non-pareils, hearts and stars and love, lots of little boy love.

“I want all the cookies for dinner,” the three year old pleaded with me.

I mean.

Pleaded.

“Bug, you have to have some of your regular dinner before we can have more cookies,” both the boys had already had some, but I understand how terrifically hard it is to be three and five and not have instant access to the mounds of cookie goodness on the counters.

The house smelled like heaven all day long.

Butter and brown sugar.

The house also smelled of homemade beef stew.

I was a cooking machine today.

In fact, I never went outside the house once I entered.

Which is pretty unusual for my day, but that’s the way it was and I was ok with it.

I got down and dirty in the kitchen.

Rolled up my sleeves and jumped in.

I love baking.

I used to bake a lot more.

Pies and cookies and candy at Christmas.

When I think about all the cheesecakes I used to make–blueberry being the simplest, to the most complex one, I think I ever made, being a pumpkin cheese cake with crushed hazelnuts and graham cracker crust and maple glazing; either that or the chocolate espresso cheesecake on chocolate graham cracker crust with crushed black walnuts decorated with coffee whipped cream and chocolate covered espresso beans.

At Christmas time I loved to bake homemade sugar cookies.

Butter, flour, pinch of salt, baking soda, sugar.

Mix, chill, roll out.

I would roll out the cookies extra thick so that they were soft when they came out of the oven, almost a cake kind of cookie.

Then I would ice them with frosting I’d made from powdered sugar, cream, and melted butter.

I would mix bowls of frosting with various kinds of food coloring and paint the cookies.

I had cookie cutters of all kinds–penguins, candy canes, snowmen, Christmas trees, stars, gingerbread men, I would also use a wide mouth glass and make Christmas tree bulbs.

Then, of course, there were many kinds of sprinkles, every conceivable color, red hots, non-pareils in silver and gold, rainbow sprinkles, colored sugars–red, green, gold, blue, and white granulated sugar.

The sugar cookies were the big deal.

But I also would make fudge, plain and walnut.

And.

Homemade Brazil nut toffee with milk chocolate.

I think I once made peanut brittle too.

But the toffee was always such a stellar stand out I tended to go with that.

Who doesn’t want homemade toffee drenched in milk chocolate and then dredged through crushed Brazil nuts?

Hello, please.

A couple of times I made popcorn balls, but man, they were so messy to make, I didn’t do it but once, maybe twice.

Oh.

Holiday baking.

I do miss doing you.

So it was a sweet delight to bake cookies all afternoon and on into the early evening, listening to Christmas carols and singing with the boys.

It was a labor of love.

It really was.

Many things are, I find.

This life I live.

Definitely a labor of love.

I was writing about that this morning and all the things I am grateful for.

“I was grateful,” I said, to my person in the cafe.

“I really was, I wrote about it all this morning and I am just so grateful to be taking care of myself right now and letting things be and go and yes, surrender, it’s so much nicer than trying to control anything.”

It really is.

And I do have so much to be grateful for.

Even when things are a challenge.

Even when things are not a challenge.

The great thing about being at this place in my life is to see how much work has gone into this serene place in time for me.

I am not upset about a thing.

I have feelings.

I let myself have them.

They come.

They go.

I move on.

Always this movement.

“Girl, you have grown, really, this past year, witnessing your growth has been amazing” he said as I relayed running into my ex-boyfriend last night and having a kind, thoughtful, considerate conversation with him on the side walk outside the place where I go to do the deal on Monday nights.

It was still a little stilted, our interaction, but not horrible, and the discomfort will pass the more I see him out and about or around.

Funny, I was thinking just where I was this time last year and how it was all such heartbreak.

Not the relationship yet, that was looming, that ending, but my father, the trip to and from Anchorage, my birthday.

I remember working my birthday and feeling so remiss about my father and not caring, not caring at all that it was my birthday.

Then.

I got the phone call from the hospital that my dad was out of the coma and asking to talk with me.

The conversation was awkward and painful and he said some things I won’t repeat here, he was sick, he is sick, and despite that, I was able to tell him I loved him.

I haven’t talked to him since that time.

I surrendered him as well.

So many surrenders this year.

So many things that I let go of.

And as I turn over these ideas about who I am or where I am going and where I am going to land, I know that I don’t have to struggle, I don’t have to be beaten into submission.

I can just set them gently down and walk forward.

A beautiful.

Free.

Loved.

Graced.

Woman.

Supple.

Strong.

And.

Serene in my.

Constant.

Surrender.

 

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