What’s Underneath?

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I made ricotta cheese this week, and it was a moment of bravery in my homesteading adventures.  I watched speaker/author Gianaclis Caldwell this past weekend create the same goodness while she gave a talk on cheese making.  Surely, I could do it, too?  It looked so simple!  Well, I’m not much for the exact sciences of the kitchen.  I bake ok, but really shine when I can throw things into a hot pan or crock pot and season my way to the right taste.  I followed the instructions in Giancalis’s book, Mastering Basic Cheesemaking, but realized I had stirred the cheese too long after I had added the acid (apple cider vinegar) to my hot milk.  This can keep your curds from forming properly and watching the sparse number of floating cheese pieces, I figured the gallon of milk was ruined.  Disappointment set in as I began ladling the ricotta out of the pot, but soon realized the visible cheese was a poor indication of what had happened below the surface.  There was cheese!  And lots of it!

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This beautiful stuff is amazing and better than anything store bought.  I almost missed what had actually been created because of what I could/could not see.  There are times we do the same thing about more important areas of our lives.  I don’t see the fruit of my labor, or immediate results (hello, workout), and automatically assume there is nothing of value being created.  Have you wondered about a project, relationship, or life altering milestone?  Where is the value in this season?  In these questioning moments fear creeps in, what if I did it wrong?  “It” can be lots of different things:  job, relationship, life altering purchase, the list goes on.  Have faith in what is under the surface.  Even if it can’t be seen, there are benefits coming from your effort.  Don’t allow defeat to set in – push forward!  What you cannot see will influence how you feel.  We get pushed around by our feelings a lot (my hand is raised in admission on this one).  Give yourself permission to have hope.  The book of Hebrews gives us this reminder:  Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1, NLT)  Have faith that your journey is meaningful, worthwhile, and keep moving forward in your life’s purpose with the understanding you were made for this moment.  (And when you have extra milk hanging around, make ricotta cheese!)

2 Corinthians 5:7 (NLT) “For we live by believing and not by seeing.”

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