Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: The Baker
By Libby East
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Her name was Eleanor. She was a fifty year old woman and her children were grown and had moved on with their lives, that is except for the baby Bella. She was eighteen and was about to start college.
Eleanor lay in bed trying to sleep but was unable to relax. She had spent the day shopping with her daughter buying the items she would need in her dorm room. The two of them had had a good time shopping and then went to The Tea Cup for lunch. She thought about her life.
She had been baking for as long as she could remember. Everyone raved about how good everything tasted. A few people had even suggested that she sell her baked items but she was content to stay at home with her children. She had made them her life and had paid the bills with the trust fund that was set up for her by her parents when she was born. Until her husband left when Bella was born she hadn’t dipped into it once. That left enough money for her to pay the mortgage and care for her children. They had all received full scholarships for college including room and board and books. There was never any reason to do anything else to make money.
Now, however, her youngest child would be leaving in two short weeks. Her oldest two children had not visited often after they left for college and she doubted that Bella would be any different. Eleanor questioned what she would do with all her spare time. There would be no one to look after, no one to cook for. What would she do now? A tiny tear slid down her cheek as she thought about how her life would be different now. She had never felt this helpless. She had always felt that she had a purpose – to care for her kids. With no kids to care for what was her purpose? She tried to push the thoughts out of her head. This should be a happy time for her daughter. The last thing Bella needed was for her mother to cry at the thought of her leaving. But, the thoughts didn’t go away.
Eleanor remembered her Bible. God had always been a part of her life. She had always prayed but she had stopped trying to read her Bible when her husband left her. She had spent her time being both mother and father to the kids and there was little time to stop and read the Bible. As the kids got older and there was more time, she just didn’t think about it. But now, in this time of questioning she felt the book call to her.
She wasn’t able to sleep anyway so she got up and went to the living room where her Bible sat on a shelf covered in dust. She opened and prayed, “God show me what to do now.” The first book she turned to was Luke. She began reading and when she got to Luke three she pondered verse nine. “The as is already at the root of the tree and every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.” This is your purpose. The reason you were created. Eleanor looked around and wondered if she was imagining things. The words were almost audible. Was that God? Of course it was. “How do I do this?”she spoke into the quiet room. Within in a few moments she was jotting down a plan to combine her love and talent for baking with her purpose of bearing fruit.
Two years later, Eleanor sat in a hospital room with a woman named Louise. Louise was a woman Eleanor’s age who was dying of cancer. Eleanor had delivered some muffins to her home a few months ago and when the ailing woman asked why, Eleanor told her that God had sent her. That was the beginning of a beautiful friendship and with in a few weeks Louise asked Jesus into her heart. Now Eleanor held her friend’s hand while she died. As she cried over her loss she remembered the words the woman had said just before she died. “Because of you, I’ll be in heaven.” Eleanor knew that she was fulfilling God’s purpose for her life.
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