When Fear Squeezes

Tonight it was the chocolate sheet cake, the one with the thick fudgy frosting Andrew’s mom taught me step by step. It’s THE “birthday cake” around here because no one can imagine desiring anything but a large rectangle of this warm, chocolaty goodness.

So tonight as I mixed up the frosting for Andrew’s birthday cake, ran my finger around the icing in the bowl and brought it up to my lips (because really, none of it should ever be wasted), again I thought, at least we will have this when we move to our house/apartment/townhouse next month. Because although the forms get more clear, we still don’t know exactly where we will be landing. After hyperventilating a bit, I do know this: I know what recipes I’ll be pulling out onto those stainless steel/laminate/granite countertops. I’ll get out the control journal I made a few Christmases back filled with recipes covered in plastic sheets and smeared with a hundred memories here in South Haven.


There’s comfort in that.


I don’t know where we will sleep, but I know what we will have for dinner.


I know I’ll still dump Hunts tomato sauce cans in a crockpot along with ground beef, garlic, onions, a bay leaf, and a light blanket of Italian Seasonings and it will smell like home for hours. Then, on warm nights when we grill, I will still slice the Vidalia onions thin, mound them up in a frying pan and caramelize them for an hour. Andrew will then fork them up on his burger and moan with the joy of all that golden buttery love.


I know that on Saturday nights I will still add a large spoonful of ricotta cheese and zest an orange into pancake batter and plop frozen blueberries into their centers hearing them sizzle on the griddle. We will then stop with that first forkful, and chew slow, blueberries warm and bursting in the mouth. Then we will all pile on the couch to watch some Mary Poppins-like film and sing along on movie night. No, that’s not quite right. I will sing along and they will beg me to stop but I can’t because I have a dead on perfect Julie Andrews impression.



I know we will still buy Brownberry whole wheat bread for our sandwiches and make hot buttery cinnamon toast before bed.


And there is comfort in this.


What’s harder for me to remember is where my living Bread will come from. I wake up anxious, fearing a Bread shortage on the other side of following the Uhaul truck through Michigan and across 80 in Ohio and into Pennsylvania. I fear moving will clamp shut all the channels through which God has come to feed me Life.



And then I remember whose responsibility Bread-giving is and take a deep breath and pray this litany I learned from my 16 week healing care curriculum written by Terry Wardle. This prayer is how I slowly turn my face toward the One, towards the Bread-giver. These words are me holding out my hands empty. They are the way hope creeps up slow because as I pray these words, His Presence comes and slowly untangles the choking fear.

Yes, there is bread here, but Summer, manna will still fall there. Remember, Summer: Bread here, Bread there.

Litany of Core Longings

Lord, I need a safe and secure environment

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need constant reinforcement of my personal worth

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need repeated messages that I am valued, unique and special

And I can only get them from You.


Lord, I need unconditional love and acceptance

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need basic care and nurture

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need encouragement to grow and develop my personal gifts and talents

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need a pathway to fellowship with You

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need a sense of belonging

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need to feel useful and needed

And I can only get it from You.


Lord, I need a hope and a future

And I can only get it from You.


God loves me unconditionally and wants to give me all this.


And you friend, which of the phrases of the core longings litany connects with you?

(oh and by the way, I found the bread image from wikipedia and the pancake photo here.)

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  1. 3 years ago I/we rushed into marriage.
    Yesterday the divorce papers came from IL, I signed and returned them. . .
    “Lord, I need constant reinforcement of my personal worth

    And I can only get it from You.”

    1. Yes, Bob. I’m so sorry. Praying you sense the weight of the truth today. Have you read Brendan Manning’s Abba’s Child? So good at a moment like this.

  2. Such a beautiful litany. I’ll be coming back to these words.
    So looking forward to the first time we can sit down together, warm cups in hand, and talk face to face about your journey. Maybe I’ll share what it was like to be 7 months pregnant, to not know what city we were moving to, only to find ourselves in a new home in a new state 3 weeks later. It was incredibly hard and so beautiful.
    “For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land … When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”
    I hope that very soon we will praise the Lord together and marvel at all he has accomplished in so short a time.

    1. Thanks for that scripture, friend! I have tears rolling down my cheeks. I look forward to shooing our children outdoors, curling my legs under me on your couch, clutching that warm cup and the sharing.

    1. Donna…thanks so much for coming and for commenting! You are always welcome to come back and enjoy the prayer!

  3. Great reminder of where we are to go to have our needs met. I like how you turned the core longings into a prayer! Brilliant! May God meet you every step of the way on this journey & transition, Summer!

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