All the Apple Pies

Even a brand new S.O.S. pad can have trouble scrubbing off certain greebage (a wonderful word coined by my beloved) from oven racks. The baked-on crud doesn’t want to give up. I am woman though. Hear me roar.

In classic early morning style, as I bent over the kitchen sink at 4:45 a.m. doing chores that saner people do later in the day, I pondered what I was scrubbing off my oven racks in preparation to put our house on the market. Even though I do occasionally accomplish this yucky task just because I’m supposed to, this time was to be the last time and I knew I had to put an extra gleam on the final product because, as we all understand, major home purchase decisions are reached based on oven rack cleanliness . . . or so goes the 4:45 a.m. thought process.

Ovens take a beating from heavy use and spillage, though nothing spells trouble like an apple pie. Despite the fact that I understand a cookie sheet under the pie plate and not mounding the apples a mile high can save a lot of time and trouble, there’s also something comforting about the traditional aroma of burning sugar and apple filling hitting the bottom of the oven, the rush to open doors and windows, the turning on of fans and just general pandemonium that signals family fun around here, so oftentimes we give pies a go without a safety net. Hence, we clean oven racks. The scent of a Mitchell apple pie can linger in the air for a week after it’s been eaten and cleaned up. I ask you, what’s more fun than that?

Wherever we’ve lived we have baked a variety of pies, but mostly apple. We use a simple recipe that came from my mother-in-law, and even though after assembling hundreds, one would think we wouldn’t need to consult said recipe, but I believe we just do it out of habit and tradition. The old blue three-ring notebook needs to lie open on the counter to legitimize the pie construction.

Homes are like that. Yours included. Our habits and comfortable ruts are different than yours, our embedded traditions no greater or more wonderful/crazier than yours, but they most definitely are what make our house a home and anchor our memories. No one could’ve told me in the early years that the smell of smoldering apple pie filling and a race to beat the smoke alarms would make my heart swell, but there you have it.

And when you’ve been around a few decades and have moved a time or two, even ovens themselves carry mental weight. As we were preparing to move from one rental house to a parsonage across the country when our kids were all young and under foot (a good excuse in my way of thinking) I failed to clean the oven properly and we didn’t get our rental deposit back. Aside from being a little mad (typical), I was mortified and embarrassed (sadly even more typical) and vowed that I’d never depart a house without the oven sparkling. (You have your hangups. I have mine.) And so it goes. Now my oven is clean. The realtor comes tomorrow.

The next few weeks will seem long in a way as we embark on that endurance marathon that is MOVING, but in time they will also be a memory. My hope, plan, and prayer is that all will go well in the ways I have control over and that we here in our household of two humans and a hairy, sheddy dog will address those situations over which we have no control with grace, patience, and a This-Is-Not-The-End-Of-The-World attitude when details go spinning. The dog is no good at that last state of mind, so I pledge to take up her slack. Sometimes, admittedly, I am no good at it either and Bob will take up my slack. We don’t know who takes up Bob’s slack but so far we haven’t encountered such a situation.

If you’re a regular reader of these pages or if you know us personally, you’ll understand that we’ve been a full-time ministry family for 25 years. That is changing. At least on the outside. Vocation-wise.

All along the way during his years in ministry in the Church of the Nazarene, husband Bob, has kept his Registered Nurse license active. No small feat I might add, but that’s for another day. Ha! And so here we are grateful that he has gone to that trouble. It’s a mystery why certain pathways come to us or in another way of thinking, are “allowed” by the Lord to fall upon us. No less mysterious but also beautifully orchestrated by Him who knows us best and strengthens us for it all, is the ability to morph and adapt and walk forward. We give God all honor for seeing us through these adaptations and giving us light and good cheer for the years ahead.

So, it is not with a heavy heart, but a light spirit and an attitude of anticipation that we say goodbye to our home and our clean oven. We will miss ones dear to us. We will miss familiar places, roadways, buildings, sounds, smells, stores, foods, laughter, and memories upon memories. But friends, we will mostly remember the journey, the Call, that brought us here so many years ago and the privilege of being among you. Suddenly there is an impermanence about it all and in light of eternity we will anticipate not only a glad reunion with you one beautiful day, but a Glory far beyond what our feeble imaginations can dream.

My random Spotify playlist today popped on a classic Keith Green song. Now, if you are my age and have been around popular Christian music for a lonnnnng time, you know Keith Green. If not, let me introduce you to a rare talent and a powerful force for Jesus who went home to heaven too soon in my way of thinking. A young man named Bob who was at the piano many hours a day during the years K.G. was popular learned a bit of his keyboard style, methinks. If you listen here and you know Bob’s piano playing from years of listening to him lead worship, this style might sound familiar. I’ve written the lyrics below. They describe our testimony and our desire for the years ahead. We plan to go where He wants us to go and be planted deeply again for His purposes. I hope the next time I move, it’s home to heaven.

Rushing wind blow through this temple,

Blowing out the dust within,

Come and breathe your breath upon me,

I’ve been born again.

Holy spirit, I surrender,

Take me where you want to go,

Plant me by your living water,

Plant me deep so I can grow.

Jesus, you’re the one, who sets my spirit free,

Use me Lord, glorify, your holy name through me.

Separate me from this world Lord.

Sanctify my life for you.

Daily change me to your image,

Help me bear good fruit.

Every day you’re drawing closer.

Trials come to test my faith.

But when all is said and done Lord,

You know, it was worth the wait.

Jesus, you’re the one, who set my spirit free,

Use me Lord, glorify, your holy name through me.

Rushing wind blow through this temple,

Blowing out the dust within,

Come and breathe your breath upon me,

For I’ve been born again

So soon we will be gone. The driving and unpacking and who knows what will most likely delay much writing. But who knows . . . sometimes I write while Rome burns so you may hear from me sooner than later. =) Those of you whom we’ve not had the privilege of meeting in person, I trust this helps you feel like you know us a bit better. Jesus is truly the Rushing Wind in our lives and that is no different than when 25 years ago Bob answered the Call and I hung on for dear life.

Our best to you all. If you’re ever in Idaho and you smell a smoking apple pie, follow your nose. We’ll be there!

Much love,

MM

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Acts 20:24 ESV

18 thoughts on “All the Apple Pies

  1. Molly,

    You are a gifted writer. You will be greatly missed(and have been). We will be praying for your relocation. Blessings to you both and Bob’s new position. Smart man for keeping up that license.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Molly: I don’t know after all these years how I missed trying your Apple pie. I modestly think of myself as an apple pie expert, and I have to say, if the photo accompanying this blog is representing your Apple pie efforts, then the Grand Prize for aesthetics goes to you. We are already missing you, Mitchell’s, but we know there is a great plan in place for you. I will always have indelible choir memories of Bob, and of course of you, Molly, remembering me with your amazing cookies when I didn’t deserve them. Blessings on you both.
    Joe Kerns

    Liked by 1 person

    • A. That pie photo is most definitely not one of ours.
      B. Bob usually makes the pies around here, esp. the apple ones.
      C. Yes, you most certainly DID deserve them.

      We will miss you guys. Love to you both.❤️

      Like

  3. But can you bake mananabread!? The Deans love you both and miss you both already. Til we meet again….Godspeed
    PS so fortunate to see Keith Green live and in concert at NNC, he was and possibly still is my favorite Christian artist ( and Bob)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Yes it has already been said but I say it again: I already miss you! Look forward to keeping you in my life through your blog so never give up writing! Oh my the oven cleaning: praise God it is done & I pray you move into a house with a clean oven! And oh, the Snead’s do the smoke dance too! Someone is assigned opening windows, someone is assigned fixing what’s going on in the oven, while the last & lucky person gets to stand by the smoke alarm waving the broom leading the dance!🤣😂🤣 Oh how I miss you already. Oops I just said that! Hod bless & keep you❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Nicely said, as usual Molly. Thanks for being open and vulnerable with us as well as entertaining! So glad you’re looking to the future with anticipation – that’s gotta be a gift from the Lord. Keeping you both in our prayers. (Liked Tom’s comment about mannabread – Another lifetime ago!)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Never have I been so blessed to be in the company of such folk … my heart will long be saddened by your leaving, yet so incredibly enriched by your influence, and so excited of what our savior will bring to you in this next season of your life. Molly, the script of Peters woes that you wrote for me will always exist in my file, and Bob, your never ending kindness to me will lift me for years to come .

    Best to you both, and may you always be found in our Fathers favor.

    TC

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh Molly, how many times your blogs have moved me to tears! Beautiful thoughts, beautiful lyrics, beautiful friends. We, too miss you, but we hope to travel to ID one of these days to visit family and maybe even consider a move ourselves. Let’s stay in touch. Our love and prayers go with you. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Molly I enjoy your writings so much as they paint lovely pictures for my brain. I often wonder about the lives you and Bob will be touching in your next location. I do know that your lives will be an open window of God’s great love to those around you. I truly believe God has moved you to save souls in your neighborhood and especially as Bob pours himself out with those who are ill. May God’s love spill all over the people you will come to know and love. New friends who are waiting for you to arrive. God bless you and your entire family.

    Liked by 1 person

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