Monthly Archives: October 2011

What IS That Smell???

“I’ll be back in a little while.” I told my son as I headed out the door to get a few last-minute errands done before my husband would be home from work and dinner was to be ready. I had left a pot of beans on the stove that I had been cooking for a couple of hours on a low heat so that the juices would thicken up nicely as all the seasonings and flavors came together. Along with some potatoes and corn bread and side salad, it would make for a simple but satisfying dinner. Now I know not everyone grooves on this sort of meal, but for us, we quite enjoy it from time to time 🙂 Anyway, I told my son to keep an eye on the beans and just add some water if it looked like they needed it and to call me if he had any questions. He agreed and off I went…

As I returned home and opened the door, I was met with a VERY disturbing smell….the smell of something burning! My 14-year-old son sat on the couch with his eyes glued to one of his favorite after school shows. Running to the kitchen I hollered, “Can’t you smell that???” to which he replied, “Smell what?” I guess the smell came on so gradually, he didn’t even notice that the beans had been forgotten, and as a result, all the liquid cooked right out of them, leaving them to burn up in the pot. Though I was pretty aggravated, I knew he hadn’t done it deliberately. And even though I was now wondering what to do for dinner, I was more perplexed about how he couldn’t have smelled it! I mean, that smell permeated our cabinets for a couple of weeks…every time you would open a cabinet to get a anything, here came the strong odor of…you guessed it…burned beans! LOL!

As I think back to that story, it reminds me of how we do the same thing in our own lives. We can become so engrossed in our daily lives, that it all becomes a big distraction from the more important things in life. Sometimes, we are even distracted from our relationship with Jesus. It comes on so gradually that we don’t even realize the stink of it until it’s too late! Now we may not be getting caught up in full on “sin”! But maybe it’s been a long time since you’ve spent time in His word and prayer. Maybe you’ve gotten so busy with life in general that you don’t have that time with Him on a regular basis like you used to. Maybe you’ve gotten so “self-sufficient” that you don’t think to ask Him for help anymore. The point is, have you gotten so caught up in “life as usual” that you have forgotten your first love? Revelation 2:4 Are you going through the motions, but without the passion and zeal you once had?

We can slip into the thinking that things will take care of themselves, and then, all of a sudden, we realize that there is something really “stinking” in our lives! Is it your attitude that stinks? Do find yourself feeling a little down? Are you feeling the stress of life getting to you? Are you wondering where that sense of peace is?… It can come on so gradually, that we don’t even realize how much we need Him until we have a crisis on our hands. (just like the smell of those beans) But it shouldn’t be that way. Because you see, we have no idea just how much we need Him EVERYDAY!

I’m very thankful that our relationship with God isn’t EXACTLY like that pot of beans…you see, even though there was nothing I could do to salvage those beans, the God we serve is a God of restoration; He is always waiting on us with open arms when we repent and turn back to Him. God knew that there would be things in this world that would serve as potential distractions in our lives. He knows that we have a natural life to tend to; i.e. the laundry, the kids, the job, the dishes, carpool, the car repairs, the traffic, little league, music lessons…etc. The list could go on and on. But here is a promise that Jesus makes to us.

But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.  Matthew 6:33                                                                       

In this passage we know that if we seek after Him first, the other things in our lives will work out better for us. We can have peace in knowing that we can rely on Him. So today, if you find yourself relating to all that’s been written, take some time to stop for a minute. Begin taking that time to tend to your relationship with Jesus, either again, or for the first time. He is always ready and waiting for you with open arms.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith… and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2                   


Until the Work is Finished

Being confident of this very thing, that he who began a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6

I think it’s safe to say that in my life, I have always had difficulty finishing what I start. Even now as I sit here, there is a load of clothes in desperate need of folding, not to mention the bathroom cabinet that I tore apart…not literally. But, in an attempt to purge all that isn’t needed, I’m now left with the aftermath of deciding how to organize the surviving items of said purge! I think the problem may be in the details…or should I say the discipline of the details…

Right now, I’m working on a book… and you guessed it! I’m having some difficulty carrying out some required work for this project. You see, there has been a bit of a decline of my initial surge of emotions that caused my leap of faith into this feat to begin with. Anyone who has written a book with the intent of pitching it to a publisher knows about the…book proposal. Having always had a knack for writing, I was always successful t turning out a great paper WITHOUT having to do the dreaded outline. But not THIS time; this proposal is like a giant outline to me. (this is a little more involved than just writing a paper!) It’s the monster under the bed that wants to eat me if I dare get too close! So, the only thing that makes sense.. is to RUN!!! Run for your life!!….now back to reality; and the reality is this.

It’s too late to turn back now. I have too much invested, so, I will keep plodding along until it’s done. (with some much need prodding from my writing coach I might add) But in all of this, here is what I’m reminded of.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.   Philippians 1:6

God knows that lasting change isn’t something we can carry out in our own strength. And guess what? He doesn’t find the “discipline of the details” to be such the daunting task that I do 🙂 So here are a couple of things to remember:

  1. It is His work, as I surrender fully to Him, to make me more and more like Jesus…and all the detail work that requires!
  2. He has too much invested in me to run away! Romans 5:8 says that “God shows and clearly proves His love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” He died for us! I call that a major investment! He is in this thing with us until the very end. His word says that He will never leave us or forsake us.

So even during the times when I feel like I’ve failed and I’ve missed the mark and I want to give up, I can take comfort in knowing that He is finishing what He started in me and HE never gives up!

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