It started as one of those feel good ideas full of bonding and laughter, which so often derails into mess and annoyance. I had this grand plan -- the girls and I would make some zucchini bread and then share it with our neighbors. What seems quick and easy seldom is.
6 Large Zucchinis Turned into 30 Cups of Grated Zucchini
The Girls Worked on our Assembly Line, Making 15 Batches of Bread
Here's a Look Part Way Through Baking
We ended up with 10 loaves, 1 large bundt, 54 mini bundts, 10 large muffins, and 3 small rounds. Needless to say, we were using as many pans as would fit in the ovens at one time.
We added a label to each loaf that read: John 6:35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Now to deliver. We started easy with our closest neighbors who are like extra grandparents and would certainly make a fuss over the girls' bread. Unfortunately, they weren't home. So up the road we went, to more neighbors. We've lived in the same house for almost ten years but hadn't met some of our neighbors until Sunday night. One of our elderly neighbors was so excited to meet us. Even though we had never met her, our Christmas pictures covered her refrigerator.
Out the road further we stopped to see a little girl who rides the same school bus, then on to some more school friends a little further away. These were all pretty easy. We were stopping to see people we knew. After one stop though the girls challenged me. They pointed out another house that they wanted to stop at. I was reluctant because I was afraid to give them zucchini bread with a bible verse on top. We knew the owners and I knew that they didn't really want anything to do with the "church" lifestyle. It was like being an awkward teenager again. I was imagining what they would say after we left about how strange we were. I needed to be a good example for my daughters though, so up the driveway we went.
We were able to find the man we've seen wandering in town and give him some zucchini bread. Then Caroline did it again -- "When we know him better we should take him to church with us." I squirmed and mumbled "Ok." I wasn't quite ready to go that far. Another large loaf went to a family that we've known for several years. I wasn't exciting about the stop because frankly I've been quite frustrated with them lately but the girls had added them to the list so I drove. As we were headed there, Aubrey prayed for their family. For an 8 year old she's pretty wise. She knew that we needed to go show them some love.
As we made our various trips I realized that I need to be willing to put aside my own pride, fear, and bad attitude to genuinely give these gifts. It doesn't matter if people think I'm that crazy church lady if it gives me the opportunity to show just a glimpse of Jesus. Something as benign as bread might help to heal a wound because it was given without any strings attached by two little girls who just wanted to share.
Our bread and message made the rounds -- to neighbors, friends, family, the man who sits in town, to a man pushing a shopping cart of cans, to a family who is struggling, even the workers at the water plant. We need to keep our eyes open for opportunities to build on what we've done.
We'll see what happens next with, as Brandon calls it, "Our Zucchini Bread Ministry."