My mom was known to everyone in our church and community for her hospitality and skills in the kitchen. It would surprise many who knew her that she did not learn to cook until after she married my dad. The women in my dad’s family were all of American pioneer stock. They baked their own bread, canned fresh fruit and vegetables from their farms, made jam, and always had baked goods ready either fresh or in the freezer if caught totally unprepared. Evening meals were shared at a table filled with homemade food.
Without the skills to prepare meals my dad enjoyed; my mom made herself a student of his family. She learned to cook by spending time with my grandma, great-grandma, and aunts – all who lived on the same street in our small town. One day my mom decided to try to make fresh bread, so she went to my great-grandma’s house who made THE best bread. She learned, watched, listened, took notes and then went home to try her hand at it. What she ended up with at the end of a long day was a ‘loaf’ of bread that didn’t rise and was barely good for croutons. She ended up back in my great-grandma’s kitchen crying tears of frustration holding her sad bread.
My grandma smiled at her, wiped her tears, and said, “Lena, it is ok! You just need more yeast in the air.”
Off my mom went. She baked bread every day for almost a week. My dad came home from work one day and looked at all the loaves of bread in surprise. He asked mom if there was a special event coming up that she needed all that bread. Full of confidence she told him what great-grandma had said, and that it worked because the bread was coming out so much better, almost perfect! Dad chuckled to himself and went to clean up for dinner…which for sure was going to include fresh bread.
What dad didn’t tell mom at that moment, was that there is no such thing as ‘yeast in the air’. What great-grandma was able to do is get my mom to practice, and practice, and practice without ever telling her that her first loaf was a failure.
Recently, I have found myself relearning to cook and bake. Due to health issues with our son, Judah, we are having to drastically change our diet which includes cutting out many foods that I am used to making. For the first time in my life, I am unsure in the kitchen. I don’t know what I am doing and I do not have confidence that the finished product will be edible. I am using ingredients I have never used before, and the process is totally foreign.
The other day I was frustrated while rolling some dough that was not cooperating. As I stood at the counter, my great-grandma’s words rang through my ears. “Anna, you just need more yeast in the air!” Standing at my counter I took a deep breath. I can do this! I just need more practice! It actually turned out good enough to be edible.
How many times do we find ourselves at a point of frustration in our life and our instinct is to give up or have someone else do it? Or we expect positive results without putting in the time to perfect the process or deepen the relationship? You need more yeast in the air!
Want to have a strong prayer life – you need more yeast in the air!
Want to have a deeper relationship with God – you need more yeast in the air!
Want to be more skilled at a hobby – you need more yeast in the air!
Want to have a better marriage – you need more yeast in the air!
The Bible has many verses on persistence, perseverance, and the prize at the end if we endure. Wherever you are, whatever it is you are trying to accomplish, my encouragement to you is the same as my great-grandma, “Sweetheart, you just need more yeast in the air.”