I love to bake and have spent lots of time in my kitchen baking cookies, breads, muffins, and cakes. I often share baked goods with friends to their delight and to mine too.

I’m often told that there’s something different about my baked goods. They taste a little richer, rise a little higher, and reach a deeper depth of flavor. I’m asked how I do it, if I have some sort of secret.

To their frustration, I tell them I just follow the recipes. “That can’t be it,” they say. They’ll tell me they follow recipes, but their cookies and cakes don’t turn out the way mine do.

But I’ve been turning this over in my mind lately and think I understand what they’re getting at: I take my time. I take time to measure ingredients carefully. I take time to let refrigerated ingredients reach room temperature. I take time to read and thoroughly understand the recipe. I give the finished products ample time to cool.

Does it make the difference I think it does? I can’t know for sure, but I think I’m on to something.

The Secret Ingredient

If time is what adds depth of flavor and tenderness to baked goods, does it stand to reason it could add those things to life?

I think it does.

Unscheduled, unhurried time is a wonderful antidote to the busyness and hustle of modern life.  More and more, taking time feels more like a luxury than a necessity. I’ve even caught myself feeling a little guilty about not being busy enough, not filling every hour with tasks and activity. And I noticed I was paying a price for it—insomnia, irritability, and trouble concentrating.

Now I give myself the same care and attention I give my baking. I take my time. I practice patience. I invest in the best ingredients to help myself thrive—sleep, mindfulness, and relaxation.

Perhaps the most important ingredient is really taking time for spiritual practice. I’ve found that practices such as prayer and meditation make more of a lasting difference when I really take the time for them. You may have discovered the difference too. If you enter your prayer time rushed and distracted, thinking you have only a minute or two before you have to move on to the next thing, how much can you really get out of it? Something is better than nothing, of course, but how much deeper and richer is the experience of communing with the Divine, of touching that perfect peace of God when the past and future fall away and the present moment stretches out before you?

Rising and Shining

So much can chip away at the time we need to take for ourselves. And little by little, we may not even notice how much we are sacrificing to the drive to achieve more and more and to the impulse to prioritize others’ needs even if it means ignoring our own.

But we can redefine our relationship to time and reclaim the time we need to thrive. The time we so willingly give to those who matter most to us, the time we give to the things we’re trying to accomplish, that’s the time we need to give ourselves.

And when we do, we’ll find what we may not have expected. We will have more time, more attention, and more of ourselves to share. We will rise, and we will shine.

About the Author

Rev. Teresa Burton is editor of Daily Word® magazine. An inspiring writer and dynamic speaker, Burton brings clarity and fresh insights to spiritual Truth. Before answering the call to ministry, she worked for more than 25 years as an editor in various capacities in print and digital publishing.


No Results