A Winning Recipe: Choose Your Ingredients Carefully

MaKayla Rose cooking up her own recipe

INGREDIENTS for DEFEAT:

  • First it was the computer crashing – then the internet went down on my campground – and then my class became the biggest challenge I have ever faced in all my years teaching.  I began to focus internally on the negative aspects of my very existence. 
  • Living full-time in a camper grew problematic  (not enough room). 
  • Living in Florida was no longer fun (family all up north). 
  • Beautiful beaches just two hours away (gas too expensive). 
  • Stressing over my inability to teach the material in the  manner I am accustomed to ( too many age levels) . 
  • No particular church connection (unable to “fit” anywhere after being full-time in pastoral minsitry for 40 years). 
  • No energy at the end of long days to do anything but get home and go to bed…These are the ingredients I’ve been mixing into my recipe for the past several months.  Ever have those sort of dry spells – or desert experiences? 

THE CHOICES:
I am learning once again to fully lean on Jesus for the very essence of life.  This is a passage.  It is a temporary place in time.  It is in God’s plan for my life to teach me more about His goodness and grace – and I will embrace this quiet period as a gift from Him.  It doesn’t feel very good, but I’m finding His grace sufficient, abundant, and uplifting. Each day when I have felt defeated, lonely, alone, or without purpose, I have discovered God’s Words; hidden in my heart many years ago; to be just what I needed in that moment. 

INGREDIENTS for TRIUMPH:

  • One of the children in my classroom will say something precious, and I’ll laugh deep down in my soul. 
  • The sunrise, or sunset will be so beyond description that I will gaze in awe. 
  • The stars, flung out across a blue velvet sky will cause me to stand and look upward with amazement, and be filled with praise, just as David the Psalmist must have felt when he was alone looking into those same heavens. 
  • A bird I’ve never heard before will sing in the tree beside my camper.
  • A child in my class will ask Jesus to live in her heart, and tell me “I really mean it!”

Yes, it is a passage – it is not forever.  This is a quiet time – but it is a time of spiritual renewal – or of repurposing my life for whatever God has in store for the “next part”. 

Choose your ingredients carefully, for “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”  “…whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.”  “…bringing into captivity every thought unto the obedience of Christ.”  I better get to work on my recipe – I really want it to be a winner!

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