My husband’s Grandma Ziegler lived to be 99 years old and was healthy up until her final weeks on earth. She was well-known for her bakery treats and breads. Through her baking, she gave us a taste of what “on earth as it is in heaven” meant.

As Grandma Z aged, she relied on others to give her car rides. She paid drivers in loaves of Amish Friendship Bread, which requires ten days of preparation before the bread reaches the oven. Those ten days are delayed gratification for anyone who has gotten to savor her delicious recipe. If Friendship Bread was the manna rained down from heaven, I don’t know why the Israelites complained during their 40-year desert journey!

Grandma taught us, via her bread’s recipe, to respect the development of life. Each of the ten-day steps requires action. Some days, the recipe simply states to do nothing. Other days, it instructs the baker to mash the plastic bag of ingredients. Other days there are ingredients to add. In our modern-day methods of quick breads and bread machines, some people steer from the Amish Friendship Bread due to its extended process.

I see my life journey in that bread’s mixing bowl. Some days I’m called to be still. Some days I experience an inner mashing. Sometimes I need to add ingredients (like patience and gentleness). My prayers want the quick bread version and I recognize that sometimes I disrespect the measurement guidelines. In Grandma Z’s glimpse-of-the century mark, I’m sure she experienced many transitional steps. She learned to patiently trust the processes. Grandma anticipated results and accepted that each day was a building block to complete her recipe card of life.

Instead of being satisfied with quick, often dry crumbly bread, I challenge myself to make friends with the pace of my Creator’s process. I believe I’ll bake more peace into the bread of life if I remove my stop watch and concentrate on God’s grandfather clock.

Stirring up friendship bread recipes for life, Christina

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