Shoes and Bread

It’s been said that if you really want to learn to appreciate others, you should try walking a few steps in their shoes. When David went to the states a month ago, Rachel and I walked in his shoes for a week. Believe me when I say, his shoes weren’t made for me.

Today, I had the chance to walk in the shoes of our baker. Wow! I had a so much fun learning how to make all the breads, but I left exhausted. Did I mention that our baker starts work at 6 am?
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We made sandwich bread, hamburger buns, bagels, baguettes, and more.

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About 9:00, several other Kitchen workers began showing up. We had been busy baking for 3 hours by then. And, seriously, we were busy. There was no time for a cup of coffee, which I desperately needed. I must have looked like I needed it because EunHee, our baker, kept asking if I was ok.

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Mix the dry ingredients, start a batch in the mixer, check the bread in the rising machine, divide bread into equal weights, roll out and shape the dough on the counter, rotate the bread in the top oven, back to rolling the dough on the table, take out the cooked bread and put on the cooling racks, check the bread in the riser, take the dough out of the mixer and put it in the riser, start a new batch in the mixer, and on and on and on it went. I was trying to write down the recipes, the prep method, and get hands-on experience all at the same time.

We would be working on bagels for 10 minutes and then it was on to the baguettes and then back to the bagels again. Our baker had it down. She’s only been our head baker for two months and only two months of training before that, but she managed it all like a pro. Poor thing…I know I slowed her down with all my questions, inept attempts at making pretty bread (Yes, I’m responsible for all the ugly bread), and picture taking. She was so patient with me.

One day, with a little more practice, my bread may become just as beautiful as EunHee’s bread. But, she doesn’t need to worry about me stealing her job. Her shoes don’t fit me any better than David’s did. She’s the baker and I’m the substitute and helper when needed.

The real lesson for me wasn’t learning to appreciate all that others do to help our restaurant run smoothly, although that was encouraging. I am learning to accept and appreciate the shoes that are mine to wear. Sometimes my own shoes feel uncomfortable and I often want to throw them off. I am on a journey, discovering amazing joy in being content with the roles I’ve been given, even when they seem far removed from my wants.

Life’s not about chasing my dreams, but about following the Dream-Giver; wearing the shoes that He specially designed for me and following in His footsteps.

~ Regina

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