“Where does God want to take your plenty and pour it out?” – Jennie Allen
One word kept appearing in the book I read with quickening hope. Anything. “The very idea of doing anything demands everything,” the author, Jennie Allen, wrote.¹ Complete surrender to God’s will. At the end of the book’s last paragraph, my prayer was, “Anything.”
In a few days, an e-mail from an author I had met during the summer presented an offer. Would I like to co-author a book? The question resonated deep in my soul. As a teacher who wanted to be a librarian, research defined my projects. Digging out the details for a nonfiction book based on the foods of World War II intrigued me. Knowing nothing on the subject, curiosity spurred me to nod “yes” to the proposal. Gail Kittleson would have a partner for this work.
The pursuit of sources of food on the home-front, in the military and overseas took over my life. Usually an eight-hour-a-night sleeper, it became common for me to slip to the computer at three a.m. to dig into a topic with more detail. Bags of books from Amazon Prime appeared at our door, only to be underlined and dog eared within days. Even my dream life involved structuring a chapter about sea cucumbers. The work shaped my days, nights, and thoughts. In a time of retirement and health problems, life surged with purpose and meaning.
Delving into the world events of my parents’ and grandparents’ era, an inevitable soul searching process resulted. Products of the deprivation and insecurity of the Great Depression, an entire generation of men and women stepped into the struggles of a global war.
Reading about their ability to deny themselves so much in order to procure freedom, my entitled soul searched for deeper meaning in my own life. Realizing the labors of the Women’s Land Army volunteers, Red Cross workers, Rosie the Riveters and Victory Garden tillers as they worked for a common goal, my own sense of gratitude for their sacrifices increased. The perseverance of the men on the front challenged my dedication to making this a better world in their honor.
Researching the book, The Food That Kept a World Together ², has been a gift from God to me. When I released my will to Him, He answered with a task that proved soul satisfying. By doing what God has equipped my mind and heart to accomplish, I am learning to trust Him. With anything.
- Anything: The Prayer that Unlocked My God and My Soul, by Jennie Allen. W Publishing Group, an imprint of Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN, 2011.
- The Food That Kept a World Together will be released in the summer of 2020.