I use affiliate links in some blog posts. If you click through and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to yourself. Thank you for your support.
This is our breadmaker, and it is 13 years old today.
Through four different homes, it has consistently produced beautiful, fresh loaves, as well as pizza dough, ciabatta, focaccia and numerous other variants. To me, it has always been a total miracle of a machine: the fact you can tip in seven simple ingredients one evening, whack on the timer, and wake up to the most heavenly bready smell the following morning never ceases to amaze me.
And it has lasted 13 years – a pretty decent lifespan for any electronic item. The non-stick has gone, and loaves now require a plastic fish-slice to cajole them out of the tin – but the quality of bread has not suffered. If ever we become complacent about what this marvellous machine does for us, we need only listen to visiting family and friends who are often vocal about the quality of the bread.
Why do I mark the birthday of our breadmaker?
Only because it was a wedding gift. One-by-one, the beautiful array of presents received on 13 July 2002 have ended their life. Plates have smashed, bed linen has ripped, the microwave has broken and been replaced (twice). This last year saw the final demise of our wedding saucepan set.
The breadmaker, however, seems to be matching us year for year, in a silent but unswerving contest to see which one of us can survive the most usage.
Three years ago, I wrote that I felt like a fraud, celebrating ten years of marriage. Our marriage hadn’t had any serious knocks or tumbles – no challenges to make us or break us. Simply two individuals bumbling through life together while the years rack up.
The last three years, whilst they could never be described as ‘hard’ compared with what many families have to contend with, have brought their own set of challenges. But do you know what? The challenges haven’t felt challenging. They’ve brought us closer together, alligned our minds, strengthened our relationship, and enriched our family.
We’ve learned about guidance, and listening to God, and how He brings all things together so perfectly when we leave Him to it.
We’ve learned that human wisdom is fallible.
We’ve learned more about children at risk, fostering, adoption, and God’s heart for ‘orphans’.
We’re more compassionate than we were three years ago – not just with children, but with the vulnerable adults that we’re now meeting and befriending regularly.
We’re learning to entrust our children to God – and realising that, when we do, they get His best, which is far better than ours.
We’ve learned – I write hesitantly, still not quite sure I want to be here – that the safest place to be is a place of risk, a place where all you can do is throw yourself onto God and wait for His perfect will to be done in His perfect way.
Was it a challenge turning down a perfectly good job? Was it a challenge to send our son to a school which was ‘failing’ by Ofsted standards? Is it a challenge to now be preparing for adoption?
Well yes, I suppose so – but actually no. If God is the foundation of our marriage, then these things are the bricks and mortar. They strengthen us, draw us together, produce perseverance, and make us more aware of our Cornerstone, Jesus.
The breadmaker may be scratched and worn, splashed and burnt – and we, too, are a little more worn than we were 13 years ago, a little greyer, a little flabbier, with darker circles under our eyes and more questions in our hearts. But God has been faithful in putting those vital ingredients into our lives, and it’s to His glory, and by His grace, that we stand here today, still Mr&Mrs.
Living Life to the Full - Izzy's Blog says
Aw happy anniversary! X
Katie Lonsdale says
lovely article, you sound so similar to us, we have a bread maker that old and have been married for 12 years this year. We are seeking to adopt but are waiting Gods timing on a bigger house. Lovely to read something so close to my heart
Virginia Patterson says
You have a great way of putting deep truths simply,Lucy! I really enjoy your blogs and am right behind you on the challenges which God allows so that we can learn to trust Him more. Praying for you and your future “adoptee”, with our love to you all.