Life abounds with the unexpected.
And sometimes those surprises are blessings that have the power to change our lives.
That happened to me last week.
We’ve had a lot on our calendar this summer, including a cooking class at our church that’s been on the books for several months now.
I was especially interested in the speaker at this class- Judie Byrd, co-founder of The Culinary School of Fort Worth.
Considering Judie’s prestigious bio (which includes studying in Europe and being personally mentored by Martha Stewart) I expected to glean some pretty amazing cooking hacks at this class.
What I didn’t expect was the heart lesson that came with it.
Those unexpected blessings God plans for us, and at just the right times.
After mingling with the room full of women, I took a seat on the second row of chairs lined across the front half of our fellowship hall.
My eyes focused on the tall, energetic woman who stepped to the front of the room and greeted the group of about forty women with an enthusiastic, warm smile.
I sensed that she thoroughly enjoyed teaching other women about her passion, but there seemed to be something more that powered her energy.
She seemed alive on the inside.
I reached for the blue folder at my feet, borrowed a pencil from my sister, and anticipated what she was about to share.
I took took notes on an interesting cooking gadget Judie recommended, and jotted down a few smart cooking hacks.
Somewhere in the midst of a cooking demonstration about chicken pot pie and how to decorate a “ribbon” cake, Judie’s words took on a very personal air.
“Make your home special,” Judie admonished with a wide smile.
Her eyes shone with a passion that seemed fueled from a deep, rich soul.
“Make your home the most fun, safe, and wonderful place on earth. Learn to be the kind of woman who is appealing to her husband and her children. Be an on purpose person.”
My pencil scratched across the notebook paper.
“So many things matter in life. But cooking or living with perfection isn’t one of them!” She laughed.
“Enjoy it! Enjoy your family! Live intentionally while you have your children at your table.”
My pencil paused.
I felt like a thirsty little plant who hadn’t quite realized how dry her soil had become.
And now these words of life swept through my heart, like a refreshing rain.
I expected to take home at least a page of great notes that day.
And I did.
I also expected to snag a great addition to my cook book collection.
And I did. (More about Judie’s cookbook in a minute!).
What I didn’t expect was to go home with a heart so full of encouragement, enriched from the generous soul of a wiser, older woman.
These mentors- they may surprise you.
These women who have much to offer the younger generation, and are willing to pour from their full souls.
But we must recognize these women when God brings them to us.
And we must open our hearts and our ears to receive and to learn.
Judie Byrd deposited a gem in my soul last weekend.
One that I’m pretty sure will become part of the bedrock of wisdom that God is building in my heart.
That’s what Godly women do… they “teach the younger women.”
And the younger women are wise to listen and learn.
My friends, don’t overlook the “teachers” God is placing in your life.
Very often, they may show up in unexpected places and ways.
They may stay in your life for a very long time, or they may come and go.
Hold on to the wisdom they speak into your life.
Sooner or later, God will bring a younger woman into your life…
And it will be your turn to pour out.
It is the sometimes unexpected blessing of finding- and eventually growing into– a godly mentor.
If you’re a mom who’d love a little extra inspiration in the kitchen, I hope you’ll check out Judie Byrd’s cookbooks.
I own a copy of Every Day Family Recipes and love it.
You can find Judie Byrd on Facebook at Judie Byrd’s Kitchen.
Check out her website (JudieByrd.com) for speaking events, recipes, and more.
Here’s to living and loving well!