Monday, March 12, 2012

Black Bean Brownies with a Side of Patience | By: Ian Britton
Patience is a virtue, right? I'm pretty sure it's one I wasn't born with; I know this about myself and I realize it's something I have to work at. It's not that I go into a fit of "Veruca Salt 'I want it now' Rage" or anything, but I find myself constantly hurrying things along.  I like to move along quickly and get things done. I'm not a fan of waiting in lines. When I'm hungry, I'm starving; and, when there's a traffic jam, well, I'm thankful to have a smart phone.

Though I'm learning patience more and more every day, I can remember the first time my lack thereof became relevant as a brand new mom. You see, when you have a little teenie tiny newborn baby, you get to eat, sleep, shower, and pretty much blow your nose when it's convenient for the baby. I don't know what I thought having a newborn was like, but I can remember being surprised by all these demands that a 7lb person who had been on this side of life for all of a hot second knew how to make. Whew. From that day, Christ has worked my heart a million-and-one times over with fun little patience activities - waiting on the kids, waiting to close on a house, waiting to find the right car, waiting to get a call back about just about anything, a new job, good news, bad news, etc. If you consider all of the things that go on in a day, we're probably challenged to display patience more than we realize. Life is one big ordeal of hurry up and wait. And, today was no different.

All I wanted to do was make some brownies. That's all. This recipe, that I thought about all day, but waited until after dinner to make, probably should have gone together in about 10 minutes. My best guess says it took 35 in our crazy kitchen this evening. You see, during the course of making this recipe that I'd never made before, one child was pulling laundry out of the dryer (being obedient, but leaving a path while taking the laundry to it's folding place); one was fast asleep on the floor; and one was making a path of destruction from every direction. I also had about 100 requests, from the children, to open the vitamins, get juice, get this, get that, help fold the "big" laundry, get a piece of cheese, change the channel, and then, I finally had to pause. Our youngest came trotting across the kitchen saying something to the effect of, "mess. mess. mess.," and holding her hands out in front of her. Yeah, that's always a good sign. She somehow smuggled an egg right out from under my nose and cracked it on the carpet. Awesome! Did I mention that we're out of paper towels AND our oldest used every cloth kitchen towel in the house to help clean up a water cup spill the day before? So, those were still in the washer. Um, help? Thankfully, we have about 80 baby bibs that no one currently uses. I put them to good use to clean the egg up out of the carpet. There were no raised voices, no crying, no fussing. We just cleaned up the mess, washed everyones hands, and moved on with life.

I finally finished preparing the brownies, took a deep breath, and cleaned up the mess I'd made of the kitchen, with the emergency paper towels that I later found we had stashed in another closet, while thinking of this as a lesson in patience. Hooray. I learned a quick lesson of "everything doesn't always go as planned." And, hopefully, the kids learned that the world doesn't stop for their every request.

Now, that I think about it, maybe this post should be called patience with a side of brownies. The lesson in patience somewhat out-shined the brownies. If you want the run-down on black bean brownies, here it is. They are pretty good (if you're actually a good baker - unlike yours truly - and figure out how to make them not stick to the pan). They really don't taste like beans (no one is paying me to say this, btw). Here's the recipe, if you're interested. However, if you want some double-chocolate crazy rich brownies like you're used to, make some of those. The black bean brownies are good healthy baked goods; but, in my opinion, there's a time and a place. If you want to be bad and have a brownie, have a bad-for-you brownie.

Lesson learned, everything is the Lord's timing - from the time we are born to the time our brownies go in the oven and everything before, after, and in between. It's all for a purpose and we can rest in that. Psalm 86:15 But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (NIV).

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