One of my go-to methods to not become stressed is baking. There is nothing better than kneading some dough, cutting apples (and eating half) and pouring love and cinnamon into an apple pie. It reminds me of Sunday mornings after church. It reminds me of my grandmother and of my own mum. It reminds me of my own desire for a family someday in the future.
So in a way, baking apple pies is like therapy for me. It reminds me that life is more than long days at the office. It’s a sweet way to remind myself that in the end, the only thing that matters is to love with patience and joy. When I taste apple pie, I can almost taste a little bit of heaven on earth. They should have the biggest and best apple pies in heaven, right?
But in all seriousness, baking apple pies are a really good way for me to get out of my own worry and thinking. To get my restless heart to calm down and to settle in sweet joy in the Lord. Saint Augustine already confessed it:
“You have made us for yourself, O Lord,
and our heart is restless until it rests in You.”
So what causes restlessness? I am not easily stressed out, but a bit of restlessness is not an uncommon feeling. I think a bit of pressure can’t hurt. I’d like to challenge myself in work. I am not an easy quitter. But that also means it might get a bit tough sometimes. You always have to negotiate your own balance between stressing out just enough and going over the edge.
A lot of it has to do with desire. Wanting to do better. Be better. Grow and learn.
I think restlessness is caused by desires that are directed towards yourself and your own selfish wishes. And I am just as guilty of focusing on just me than the next person.
And that’s why baking is such good therapy for me. Because it requires an investment in time and love and patience. And I never just keep it to myself. If I would have eaten everything I baked myself, I would be three times as heavy as I am now. So I like to share anything that I bake. Give it away.
While kneading the dough of my apple pie, I feel my restlessness drift away. I feel a delightfulness take over my heart. A desire to share and give away a bit of my love to this sweet apple pie. Words of one of my favourite Psalms take over my thoughts:
“Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”