Baked – To the Glory of God

24 10 2013

No one in their right mind would go to a restaurant and ask for a bowl of flour, sugar, salt, vinegar, shortening, cocoa, eggs, milk, bicarbonate of soda, and vanilla…with a side of powdered sugar, more cocoa, butter and milk!

Who on earth raided the kitchen pantry and decided to mix this stuff in the first place? “Ooh! What a gooey mess I have; whatever will I do with this mess? I know, I’ll bake it!”

I’m not sure I want to explore their thought processes!

On the other hand, I’m glad they did. by itself, none of these ingredients is very appealing, but combined and baked, we have a sumptuous frosted chocolate cake!

Life is like that. There are many components to our lives that are unappetizing when viewed separate from the rest…and before the timer goes off on our lives.

The finished product?

A sweet savor unto the Lord, and the aroma of Christ to others!

Current circumstances for me are like the vinegar and sugar bit of the concoction that make up my life.

The vinegar part is the grief of death. It stinks. It’s bitter.

This assignment from the Lord opened wounds not yet healed from my mom’s passing…the vacant look in her eyes most of the time; the difficulty in moving her from place to place, feeding and caring for her personal needs because she was no longer able to do that for herself.

…and now, her absence.

At the same time, there was also some sugar. Sweet moments that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

My friend was (and still is, by the way!) a sweet, patient, gracious, and peaceful woman of God. In many ways, the last couple of months have been like caring for my own mom – who has been in heaven these last eight years. They were much the same in appearance and demeanor, and close to the same age.

She and I talked about heaven, about everyone she would see again, and what it might be like.

I probably spoiled the surprise, but I wondered if her husband – part of a quartet at their church and now in heaven – would call together two of the other members with him there to sing her a “Welcome Home” song. Of course, Jesus would fill in for the tenor who’s still here on earth! I wouldn’t be surprised!

It was a joy to care for my friend, and do the things that I’d been unable to do for my own mom. What a gift the Lord gave me in this opportunity.

Bitter. Sweet.

Now that these ingredients have been added to my life, the finished confection will have a flavor that differs from what it would have been just a couple of months ago.

One blessing I received from this assignment is a new perspective on how I view my life.

It is one I want to share with you.

No longer do I want to look at the individual “ingredients” that are part of my makeup – separate events in my life – but rather to keep my eyes on the Baker, and trust that He knows what He is doing.

Much like a cake, our individual components will all be “worked together for good to those that love God”! Leave anything out, and the finished result would be very different.

The “flour” bit – when I felt like I was being ground into powder…very necessary!

The “sugar” bits offer the hope of a “sweet” outcome.

Vinegar? Who puts vinegar into a cake – or a life, for that matter? Yet this, along with the soda, cause me to rise above my enemies.

There have been some greasy, shortening bits as well, and added texture to my otherwise flat existence.

You get the idea. As I said earlier, there’s nothing appealing in the individual ingredients…

…but when I am presented before the Lord, I will be a glorious masterpiece of His creation!

So will you!

May the Lord bless you, keep you, make His face to shine upon you, and give you peace. 🙂

Love in Christ –

Tami

\o/

Praising Jesus for His good plan for us!

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27 responses

25 10 2013
Anonymous

I just want to say that I think that, as a writer, you are exceptional. This post just proves that.

25 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

{smiles big} Thanks!

\o/

25 10 2013
vonhonnauldt

Dear sister, I am truly sorry for your loss, but not for her gain. Aging, disease, sickness ,infirmity, sin, shortcomings, failure – would you really want your friend back here in all that? No, it is for ourselves we should grieve, because we’re still here. Those who know the Lord and who’ve gone ahead – how can we even begin to imagine, let alone understand, what they’re experiencing! To have died and to be with Christ – without sin, and able to worship Him as He deserves – that is far better!

It’s good to have you back. I’ve missed you.

25 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yeah, I’m not sorry for her at all. In fact, her absence makes me long for my Home.

Have you every been hugged with a look? My sweet friend rarely spoke in the three months I cared for her, but she “hugged” me often. In her eyes I saw all the love Jesus has for me. Whenever she was awake and I was in the room, she would lock her eyes on mine. I can’t explain what that felt like. Even in her last hour of consciousness, she gazed intently into my eyes, rather than her daughter. I wish I knew what she was trying to convey!

I’ve missed being here. The memorial service is a week from tomorrow. Until then, I’m helping her daughter sort through things and prepare for the dispersal of her worldly possessions. After that, I’ll get back to work here.

Thanks.

\o/

25 10 2013
vonhonnauldt

“hugged with a look” Never thought of it like that.

Am praying for you as you help close out your friend’s earthly life. That’s always kind of depressing – years of living reduced to a few boxes and miscellaneous articles.

25 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks. I truly appreciate your prayers.

\o/

24 10 2013
worthless_romantic

I know you didn’t intend a shocking title on this one but it made me think what the other definition of being baked means. As my old pastor would say,”You can’t get stoned to the glory of God.”

25 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

Thanks for your prayers. Betty’s absence is hitting me much harder than I ever thought it would.

Yeah, I’ve seen folks try to witness to others when they were stumbling drunk…not very effective!

\o/

25 10 2013
vonhonnauldt

I’ve heard of “half-baked.” Never “baked” used as a synonym for being drunk. Learn something new, even if not very useful, every day. 🙂

24 10 2013
Mary

Bravo, Tami. You did it again – spoke to the depth of my soul. We have similar stories…glad God saw fit that we crossed paths. Much hugs!

25 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

You’re welcome. God has much to say to us these days, doesn’t He? 🙂

\o/

25 10 2013
Mary

Indeed, He does! 🙂

24 10 2013
melwild

Awesome insights. Sounds like the Baker is cooking up some good things in you through this loss. Btw, this is why God considers death as our enemy, and why Jesus conquered it once and for all. And because of this wonderful fact, we will all have endless days of fellowship and joy in His Kingdom! So, in the mean time, extra portions of blessings and much love be mixed in you during this time. 🙂

24 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for your kind words. Watching her departure sure made me Homesick. 🙂

\o/

24 10 2013
Mikey

Sorry to hear of the loss of your friend. Thank you for sharing your life lessons with your blog readers. 2 Corinthians 1:3 tells us, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort”. However, verse 4 tells us that God “comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

24 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Umm hmm. Because of my mom’s departure, I was able to walk with her daughter through the Valley of the Shadow – and point out some of the pitfalls for her to avoid.

As for my dear friend, her “mortality has been swallowed up by life!” What a promise THAT is, eh?? 😉

\o/

24 10 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

So sorry for your loss, Tami. How kind of God. He gave you opportunities to bless this woman while also blessing you.

24 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

He gave me a chance to minister to this woman like I would have cared for my mom had there been the time. 🙂

He undid my sense of being “robbed.”

\o/

25 10 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

I remember you saying to me in Oregon that you felt robbed. How wonderful God deleted that sense from your life!

25 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yes He did. 🙂

\o/

24 10 2013
shadeakinbiyi

Amen. Thanks. Much love and blessings. 🙂

24 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

24 10 2013
Pure Glory

In the process of grieving and missing your friend and your mom, take a bite of the sweet cake and savor the bite. There is always sweetness with the bitter. Thank you for sharing your journey.

24 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for the excellent advice! 🙂

\o/

24 10 2013
Pure Glory

😀

24 10 2013
blmaluso

Sending hugs and love through your grief and joy. So sorry for the loss of your friend.

Thank you for sharing your insight. It has really got me thinking about the “big picture” of God’s divine plan in all of our lives.

24 10 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks so much.

Yeah, me too. When I look at the big picture, all the little segments begin to make sense!

\o/

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