Life is like a grilled cheese sandwich

Sometimes food can make you think!  In our family, especially if the whole group is together, lots of times while we eat, we also talk about food. Food that we’ve had in the past, foods that we like the best, foods we would like to prepare. All of us enjoy cooking, experimenting with ingredients and feeding others.  A foodie family we are!

And in the face of that description, I’ve found that sometimes the simplest foods can have the most impact, and can really make you think!  Consider the humble grilled cheese sandwich.

One evening, as I ate my delicious grilled cheese sandwich, it came to me that our commitment to Christ is either like the wheat; or the milk the cheese and butter are made out of.  The wheat plant gives its life to become the flour that makes my whole wheat bread.  Its sacrifice is total. There is no going back, no refill of its life. Once it is harvested its life is over, and it begins a new life, as bread.

The milk that the cheese and butter are made from comes from a totally different kind of giving.  The cow is able to make more milk, over and over, day after day.  So while the cow is giving, she is not sacrificing.  She is giving from her abundance, in fact, not to give the milk hurts the cow.  She is getting rid of something she cannot use. We can use the milk, her calf can use it, but not the cow herself.

So, what is your commitment like? Are you wheat, giving your life to follow the Lord? Or are you a cow, just giving when you have to, out of something you don’t really need?  It matters.  Jesus taught his disciples (and if you follow Him, you are a disciple, it’s not just the name of a group of folks 2000 years ago) that their commitment to Him needed to be complete. Total. The entire you. Examine your relationship with Jesus. Become wheat.

Mark 8:35(NKJV)35 For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel’s will save it.


More about my Grandma

My Grandma was my friend.  She lived with us from the time I was about 10 and I was with her as much as possible. She taught me to cook, to sew, to embroider. She tried her best to teach me the multiplication tables, but that was pretty hopeless.

Irbie Elizabeth Garner Callis – Grandma extraordinaire! She came to live with us after “Pa” died and life was always better with her there.  She was a teacher in an earlier life, vastly well-read, truly interested in politics and the government.  She was an artist, cook, clothing and hat designer, and gardener. 

Here is a photo of Grandma with her new husband on their honeymoon in the 20’s.

  Of her earlier life, I have bits and pieces.  Of the time I spent with her there is a wealth of stories and memorabilia. That’s what I can write about, because it is what makes me, me.

When she came to live with us, my grandfather, “Pa” had recently passed away.  Grandma Irbie had reached the conclusion that she couldn’t live in their big house alone.  My parents had built a large home in what was then the “country”. (Now a busy section with a shopping mall where the dairy farm used to be. Sigh!)  We added on a bedroom upstairs for her, and while it was being built she stayed in my bedroom and I moved to a smaller room that had been for storage.  It took the summer to build the upstairs addition, and when it was finished it was the biggest, nicest room anyone could want.  I got my old room back, but to tell the truth, I spent more time in hers than I ever did in mine!

Once she was settled in, Grandma Irbie started to make herself part of the family.  My dad’s mom, Grandma Bessie, live with us as well, part of the time.  They worked in the yard together, each with their gardens of heirloom flowers.  Bessie had roses and daffodils, Irbie, iris and peonies and more roses.  Grandma Irbie had brought her yard with her when she moved. Daddy had spent lots of weekends digging up her flowers and bulbs and moving them to our house.  She also had an old concrete trough that had been a watering trough for cows. He moved that to our backyard and made a goldfish pond of it. 

Grandma also became our chief cook! Mom worked and so it was nice to have Grandma to fix dinner.  She could cook anything!  She taught me how to cook, and my specialty was Christmas cookies!  (I tell people that when I got married, I could make cookies and watermelon pickle. Anything else my husband wanted I had to make a quick phone call home to ask how.)  We went fruit picking in the summer, peaches and strawberries, and she canned and preserved and pickled everything that was fresh.  Her fried chicken was unbeatable, and oh!, spoon bread and shortcakes and rolls, so light and fluffy. I’ve learned to make them since, but mine are never the same. Here’s a collage that I made of her cooking pickles. I call it “Comfort Food” because those are 2 of the main things I associate with my Grandma.  She taught me to be a foodie and comfort is what I take from knowing her.

collage by carroll sawyer