19 December 2011

The Beautiful Mess

Baking is Messy.

When I start to bake, I always convince myself I don't need an apron.  I never wear one and afterwards I always have more flour on my shirt than in the batter!  It's kinda fun that way though.  Like when I'm making tortillas and the flour is all over the counter and floor.  It's kinda like snow I suppose.

I used to always think I enjoy cooking more than baking which is usually true, but lately cooking seems so exhausting!  Constant running around and trying to figure out what to throw in and what pairs well.  adjusting the heat and pans constantly so it's cooked jut right!  But there is a freedom in experimenting and being able to throw in whatever you want and seeing how it turns out.

Baking is a lot of prep, but once it's in the oven, you need only wait to see how it came out!  Is it good?  Do I need to adjust anything (or pretend i know how to fix it) before another batch goes in?

But I like that the baking I do comes with a recipe.  There is a set list to follow, what ingredients to use and exactly how much.  Even a cook time and temperature so I don't have to guess!

Lately, I feel like my life is like cooking adding numerous things here and there.  Leaving this out, discovering what pairs well with my passions and desires and being put under a variety of temperatures to come out just right.  But lately I'm wishing for my life to be a little more like baking.  I'd like to just be told what to do for how long and how much of certain ingredients I need.

But life is more messy than that.  It ends up scattered on the counter and while the majority makes it in the finished product, somethings can be tossed aside.  I'd like the direction in the midst of the stove top.  I guess life can be compared to a blend between the two.  We have a general idea thanks to God of where things are going, but until we get to the finished product, we keep adjusting, adding, and subtracting.

I can't wait until the timer goes off!

"Specific step-by-step instruction is not usually how God operates.  His way is to show His holiness, declare us Holy in Christ, then exhort us to grow in holiness in daily life."  Just Do Something p. 58

05 December 2011

On a Mission

I was blessed to be given the opportunity by our life group leaders to join them volunteering at Operation Christmas Child today.  For those of who who don't know what that is, it is a non-profit group that sends shoe boxes of goodies to millions of children around the world in order to display Christ's love in a tangible way.  They also partner with churches overseas who have discipleship programs.

So our job had a few different parts.  We took the shoe boxes and processed them in a warehouse.  This particular warehouse was responsible for 700,000 boxes.  This is not the only plant, but a large one!  So one person would collect donations for Samaritan's Purse or shipping, and then another person would then check the boxes for items that were not acceptable.  Glass breakables or items that could be harmful were removed and replaced with new toys companies donated or candy or books.  Then the box was passed off to someone who would tape it up before someone else carefully packed it in a box.  Then I taped up the boxes and got to shoot them down this sweet conveyor belt.  (picture below)

As soon as the guy further down the line started heckling me to work faster, I made a goal to launch each box down the line as close to that end marker as possible!  Approximately a 25 yard-stretch in a shuffleboard type manner!  Each box, prepped, cleansed, stuffed, and sealed was traveling with other boxes down the line to head off to bless others and show them Jesus.

It didn't hit me until halfway through our open-mic night at Navs that this is a picture of what I feel God has called me to do in this Missions Mobilizer role.  I didn't bring the boxes, or get to see where they are headed, but I am with them for a bit.  I get to help at times, as I started today, removing objects from within that are not acceptable and could harm others or the box itself.  I work with women helping them see themselves in the way Christ does and point them on towards being blessed to be a blessing.  Then I get to help put Jesus and the Word and other good things in.  Tools needed to know Christ and make it known.  Then after being sealed, the box is placed in a community of other boxes who have gone threw this same process to be shipped off to a destination of which I myself cannot go, but get to push the box and watch how far down the line it goes.  

In our case today, the boxes were headed to the Philippines.  I don't know where God will send these women and friends I am blessed to walked along.  But I get to help see them takeoff and praise God He chooses to use me in the process.

What a blessing to get to serve and see what the Lord is doing.

For we are God's fellow workers; you are God's field, God's building.
By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as an expert builder, and someone else is building on it.  But each one should be careful how he builds.  
1 Cor. 3:9-10