Sandra Lee's Homemade Faith
The TV host opens up about her troubled childhood and her transcendent faith.
The star of the Food Network's "Semi-Homemade Cooking" and author of the memoir "Made from Scratch," [Meredith, 2007] tells Beliefnet about her childhood with a mentally ill mother and an abusive father and how she managed to overcome the odds to become a successful entrepreneur and TV personality. When her alcoholic mother's long absences left an adolescent Sandra in charge of her younger siblings, she figured out cooking techniques and shortcuts that would one day become the basis for "Semi-Homemade," which helps busy moms prepare quick and easy meals for their families.You've had such a remarkable journey, from being on food stamps to being a successful TV host. Do you think that God had a plan for your life?
Oh, absolutely. I think He absolutely has one. I think He has a plan for me in heaven, too. I had two dreams about my Grandma after she died. I was really mad at her for not coming to me sooner in my dreams--I had expected her to stay in contact that way. She said, "Oh, honey, it's so busy up here. You can't even imagine. There's so much going on. It's so fun." So, yeah, I think He has a plan for me here, and I think He has a plan for me up there.
You mentioned in your book that you think your grandmother is your guardian angel. She spent several years raising you while your mother coped with alcohol addiction, and you later discovered she gave your mother money in exchange for getting to have a relationship with you. What role do you think angels play in lives, and how do we know where our guardian angel is?
I think that there are people that we see and beings that we can't. I think that mentors, and people who do good deeds, and people who take care of their families and their communities, are guardian angels that happen to be alive. And I think that guardian angels are also spiritual, and they help us to put thoughts in our mind in a moment when we have decisions to make which are either going to be good for us or bad for us.
You, your sister Cindy, and your grandmother were able to take a trip to the Holy Land together when you and Cindy were teenagers. How did seeing those places affect your spirituality?