I like to cook. I think it might be the immediate gratification. You put salmon on a cedar plank on the grill. You put an ear of corn next to it. You cut up some cherry tomatoes, avocado, and cilantro and dump it in a bowl with some salt, pepper, red wine vinegar, and cilantro. Then cut the corn off the cob into the bowl. Scoop some on a plate and then lay the salmon on top of it. Dinner is served.

Sorry, this wasn’t meant to be a Pioneer Woman blog. It’s just a quick description of how I spent my evening. Started at 6, ate at 7. Had a plan, followed the instructions, had a good dinner. I think that’s why I liked school, too. For each class, I had a syllabus. I knew what I needed to do: read the books, do the work, get the grade. And I did.

The thing is: life doesn’t have a syllabus. Neither marriage nor parenting has a list of assignments. And you don’t get specific grades as you go along. You just feel like you failed sometimes. And you know what else? The things that matter rarely have an end date. That’s one great thing about a school semester. There is a day when the stress ends. After that, you cannot fret about it any longer. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want my marriage, or my family, or my ministry, or any of the other things in my life to end. But some days I sure could use a spring break from the stress.

I rarely feel like I have a handle on what God is doing in my life. I guess if God gave me all those details then I could just go on and try to get it done without Him. And I know God will do a better job. So I can be patient. I can be willing to struggle and even fail. I can trust Him from moment to moment. It was easier to trust Him with my life. It’s been harder to trust Him with my wife and my kids.

It’s like every moment with my family is a little bit of seasoning going into a meal that’s going to braise for 30 years. It’s hard to wait. And honestly, it’s hard to stay disciplined to brown the minced garlic for just the right amount of time when the meal is decades away. But I guess I’m taking the metaphor too far, because there is joy in the taste of our family today. And God is faithful for the future. So I’ll just lean on that.