What was once a 2020 goal and hobby has now turned into something that has taught me more about God than I knew you could through baking – crazy, I know.
John 6:35 became real (“I am the bread of life”) and Leviticus 23:17 (an offering of gratitude made with specific bread) became tangible.
Let me geek out and if you hold tight you might with me:
If you don’t already know, it takes leaven (or “starter”) to make bread. It’s the component that make spread what it is, fluffy and airy, it rises on its own, etc. but, what a lot of people don’t know is that you have to keep your leaven alive. You do this by feeding it water and flour daily. Yeah, it’s a discipline and when I go to sleep forgetting, I come back to a starter that smells more sour than bread-y.
It’s important to know this part because there’s a difference between leaven bread and unleavened bread.
Leavened bread, made with with starter mentioned above, takes time, persistence and discipline
Unleavened bread is this box bread you can buy at the store and make banana bread or muffins out of. It’s easy, hard to mess up, a quick fix and takes little patience. Or, if you make bread at home with the same ingredients but leave out the starter, they turn out more like crackers rather than loaves.
In the Old Testament, there are many references to sacrifices of leavened bread and where are used to skip over it, now I look a bit closer and I have some golden nuggets that are meant for you, too.
We are called to a “leavened“ life, a “life to the full” (John 10:10).
It takes time, discipline, persistence. We have to put in the hard work and continue to show up. But it yields a house filled with the warm bread smell, the crispy crust, the satisfaction of the project coming to completion, the taste of pure and delicious bread.
Where it’s easy to take the shortcut, to go the “unleavened” route, to use someone else’s hard work, to be okay not showing up daily, doesn’t give us the same result and satisfaction.
There’s a difference between surviving and thriving, I think we can all agree on that! The other part about the starter that might be important to remember: if you continue to feed it, nurse it take care of it, it will literally last forever. It never runs out. (Psalm 136)
So in Jesus declared that he was the bread of life, he knew exactly what he was saying. And the more I learn about Brad today, I can see it more clearly and more lively than I ever knew before. So while this breadmaking journey might just look fun and domestic and pioneer woman-ish, I really felt like my revelations weren’t just for me.
What type of life do you identify more with? The “leavened“ and full life or the “unleavened“ and easy life.
What type of work are you putting in to see your starter grow to create loaves of bread to be able to enjoy and share with others?
So thankful for conversations with Jill Pettus on Behind the Bliss Podcast (Episode 66), Hannah’s Sourdough Starter and Lysa Terkeurst’s “Finding I Am” to help this full-circle moment for me.