Friday, April 05, 2013

E is for Everything Bagel

By way of reminder, I am blogging A to Z this month. My theme is food and drinks attached to a memory that taught me something about God, life, others, or myself . I am writing each post with a maximum of 26 sentences.


About 12 years ago, a  quartet of us women (who, at the time, all attended the same church), decided we wanted to grow spiritually  by means of accountability to each other.

On paper we didn't have much in common:  we ranged in age from late-30s to early 50s.  Half of us were raised in the country, half in the city. One had cleaned offices professionally, another was never taught how to clean a bathroom because she grew up with maids. Three loved animals, one couldn't stand anything that barked or purred. One was raised Jewish, one Baptist, one Catholic, and one Pentecostal.  What we did have in common was a love for God and a desire to be better representatives of Him.

Our accountability times would not be a Bible study or a book study.  It would be about confessing sin, asking for prayer, talking about God's activity in our lives, seeking each other's wisdom and counsel in the nitty-gritty of everyday life.

We'd meet at 7:00 a.m. for  coffee and bagels at Sandy's. Our houses weren't conveniently close together, but rather spanned two counties and 32 miles.  No one complained about the drive, though; getting together was our goal and joy--and being at her place allowed her to keep a comforting routine for her oldest son who's severely autistic.

Up until that group formed, I was a cream-cheese-on-a- cinnamon-raisin bagel kind of girl. Or, for protein, a bacon-egg-and-cheese-on-a-whole-wheat-bagel. However, Sandy  introduced me to the Everything bagel with its minced  onion, garlic, caraway seeds, poppy seeds, kosher salt,
and sesame seeds.

I tried it for the first time reluctantly; I didn't think I'd like that much diversity or strength of flavors first thing in the morning.

I was wrong.  Nothing could have been better for the expansion of my breakfast palette than an Everything bagel.

We  resolved to show up as faithfully as letter carriers --rain, snow, sleet or hail--and to keep our talks in strict confidence so that all of us would feel safe and nurtured.

Our conversations ran the length of the alphabet--sometimes in two hours!
Autism, budgets, cooking, dating, encouragement, friendship, gardening, hospitality, infertility, Jesus, kinfolk,legalism, motherhood,  Nehemiah, ovens, paralysis, quandaries, redemption, submission, theology, universities, valor, womanhood, x-rays, and zucchini.

We talked about everything. Everything that tickled one of us, tickled us all, so we laughed. Everything that troubled one, troubled us all, so we prayed. Everything that was confided by one was held in confidence by all.

What I had once feared like an everything bagel--the diversity and strong "flavors" of confession and repentance in the morning--became sweet and something I looked forward to.


Lea Culp said...

Well, not sure I'd care for the everything bagel, but the sweet fellowship of women just can't be beat! Happy weekend!

Changes in the wind said...

I love this post and the openess and diversity of friend and food found here:)

Joyce said...

Everything bagel is my fave : ) Another wonderful food and people memory!

Beth Zimmerman said...

I wish I had that in my life. Except for the bagel. I'm partial to cinnamon crunch!

Nel said...

That bagel and group sounds wonderful! What fun, nothing like a great group of ladies!
until next time...nel

Anonymous said...

that sounds great!
Accountability is good for us... and bagels aren't bad either :D