“Here have some pie!”
My husband Eric’s response to the question, “what would you like your spouse to say to you more often?”, was “Here have some pie.”
The uniqueness of his response has made it very easy to recall this specific question from a devotional for couples that we were working through, even though that was 13 or 14 years ago.
We’ve done many devotions and studies and workbooks together as a couple, many marriage focused, but not many of the questions or even the answers have stuck with me as vividly as that one.
Perhaps it was because it made me laugh.
Perhaps it’s because how staunchly serious Eric was, and still is, about that answer.
I can’t remember exactly what my answer would have been, but I’m certain it was a list and not a short one. There are many things I would like Eric to say to me more often, but my primary love language is words of affirmation, so my list would probably never have a real ending point to it.
Eric’s self proclaimed love language is…food. If you are familiar with the Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman you will know that is not one of the five. My husband will tell you it should be an amended sixth love language.
Has this difference brought us some struggles, strife, and friction? Absolutely!
We are quickly nearing our 23rd Wedding Anniversary. We have been a couple since 1998. Our marriage has been an absolutely ordinary blend of joys, hurts, delights, frustrations, challenges, set backs, and victories. You know, all the stuff that is mentioned in the traditional marriage vows. We have been there and done that, and circled back around again and again.
I am such a words person that sometimes I go fishing for those words. Eric will say, “I love you.” And I will ask, “what do you love about me?” Never has Eric ever, not once, replied “let me count the ways” and then proceeded to list numerous little nuances about me that he cherishes. Nope. It’s not him. I can fish all I want to, using a whole variety of bait, and I’m going to get this response, “I love everything about you.” Those words measure up to about a minnow of a catch from my fishing effort.
Here’s the thing about words though, quality is more important than quantity.
The same is true for pie.
I can go into our local Walmart and pick up several prepackaged manufactured pies nearing their expiration dates at clearance price and say “Here have some pie.”
Or, I can harvest some rhubarb from our patch in the yard, pull out the heirloom pie crust recipe his family has been passing through generations, utilize the tips my generous mother-in-law taught me (you know the things NOT included in the recipe), and make a floury mess of my kitchen. Then the sweet warm scent escapes into our entry way and will alert Eric to the treat long before I even get to say “Here have some pie!” Often in this case I resort to my extensional words, “would you like some ice cream with it?”
The quality. The investment. The time. The expense. It produces two very different pie experiences.
The same is so true with words. When Eric says plainly and simply, “I love you!” I know the quality, the investment, the time, and the expense of those words. And when he chooses his extensional words, he will say “I choose you.”
Eric’s words aren’t cheap clearance shelf about to become garbage words. They are not fashionable or flashy. They are not unique in flavor. But he has been saying them to me consistently for over two decades now. We are working hard to pass them on to our children and teach them the importance of living out what you say and speaking words that give life.
When we were young and first dating, I really appreciated Eric’s limited use of words. I’d had my share of foolish flattery and had some pretty bad bruises from broken promises from a variety of people in my life. Eric’s character carried those limited words with strength and presence. As they have so many times over the years.
Eric’s words were so good for me, are so good for me, that sometimes I am tempted to ask for more or even to demand more. The result is usually about as good as consuming and demanding more pie. One slice is pretty good. A second slice not so bad. But the diminishing returns will start to kick in pretty swiftly after that.
If Eric woke up each morning demanding a brand new fresh pie for each meal of his day what would that do? Well, we can all just have a laugh about my silly example and the images & responses we can conjure up to go with it, but I have to ask myself is that is the kind of pressure that I put on him when I am fishing for more words?
Sometimes I look to Eric to provide that which he is not capable of providing. This was especially true early in our marriage, but I know I still have my ongoing moments of falling back to into the mindset.
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 (NIV)
“He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:32 (NIV)
God. Provider. Need filler. Word and pie giver.
That’s right. Both words and pie from the same good and gracious God! When Eric and I, both individually and jointly, are connecting to, hearing from, and serving the Lord it is a feast for both our souls.
The verse I just quoted above from 2 Corinthians 9:8 is right in the middle of a section titled Sowing Generously. It’s about being a cheerful giver, when an attitude of gratitude fuels our actions instead of the grumpiness of obligation.
When my mind is centered on the Lord, and my heart filled with His Word & holy scriptures, the work of my hands, and any resulting pies, tend to turn out so much better.
Much like the pie in my picture today. I made that pie on a seemingly random Monday. It’s not a real seasonal specialty like apple or pumpkin or sweet potato. It’s blueberry & blackberry. From frozen berries that I had in the freezer; a combination because there wasn’t enough of either to make a pie. To take it up a notch I carved our initials into the top crust.
Sew with what you have and ask the Lord to bless it.
God may give the opportunity to say, “Here have some pie.”
Thank You so much for being the ONE who meets our needs. Thank You for giving so much in extreme sacrifice out of Your love for us.
Lord, help us when we look to people or things to meet our needs and to fill our desires. Help us to see when we are off and to know to come to You. You are the giver of the absolute best for us.
We can get focused on that which is right before us or we figure that our plans will provide if we just work fervently enough. But in our narrow perspective and completed achievement we can still feel the ache of emptiness without You. You are the God of shocking freedom and deep contentment, that sometimes doesn’t even make sense to us because it goes against so many messages that we have held tightly to.
Lord, help us to connect with You today. Help us to be recharged and fueled by You. Help us to faithfully plant our seeds with an attitude of gratitude. May we get to see the fruit grow and be harvested. May we hear Your words with deep revelation and relevancy for our daily lives. May we taste and see that you are good. And may we get to share a bit of pie along the way.
In the need meeting, pie filling, abundantly life giving, name of Jesus, amen.