It’s all in the mix…

Apparently, the shortage of eggs that has accompanied covid-19, is because of a surge in home baking.
Even one of my offspring who doesn’t normally bake, has sent me a picture of a carrot cake, captioned ‘finally got round to using your recipe!’

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Recipes are guidelines. A list of ingredients followed by a set of instructions.

First step is to make sure we’ve got what it takes, or to tweak as necessary. It’s amazing what can result when we are flexible in our thinking.
Next step is start combining ingredients together. It’s at this stage that things don’t always go as expected. For example, adding eggs to a cake mix can cause it to curdle or ‘split’. But contrary to appearances, all is not lost, we just need to keep going.
Other times things don’t go according to plan, simply because we don’t follow the plan.
Maybe we skip a stage that seems unnecessary. Take sieving flour, it may feel pointless, but it loosens any clumps and allows us to gently fold it into the mix.
Then comes the baking for just the right amount of time.

This process reminds me of how life can feel. We have a plan. We prepare. We get off to a good start.
But when something happens that causes us to ‘split’, we can wonder if the situation is resolvable.

Paul, the writer of many New Testament letters, urges followers of Jesus not to fret or worry, but instead, pray.
To pray is to be honest with God. To be open about our hopes, and our disappointments; our deliberate wrong doings, and our mistakes; our doubts, and our delicate faith.

Truth is, I can sometimes be reluctant to hand over the mix to God, but when we do, everything starts to come together for good and we are changed in the process. Our priorities will be sifted, and our hardened attitudes and actions loosened.

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Then, with a gentle folding together of the unique ingredients that make us who we are, something good will emerge from the oven of life.

Truth is… A sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. (Philippians 4:7) 

 

Drop it!

I’ve said before that I’m not a winter person, but I’m having second thoughts…
To say that I dislike a quarter of the year is rather negative. Not only that, dreading winter makes me ambivalent about autumn, so I probably miss out on the full nature of another quarter!

So this year I’m choosing a different response. Instead of wishing that trees would stay green and summer continue, I’m noticing autumnal colours in a positive light. Rather than taking a ‘traffic light’ approach and willing the trees to stay green rather than turn to amber and red, I am actually welcoming the changing colours and enjoying the many shades of orange and crimson. Just like traffic lights cause me to stop, so autumn hues are giving me pause for thought.

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It’s good to be reminded that nature is all about cycles. Each season is necessary for the next.
It reminds me too, that there are cycles and seasons in our lives because, truth is, I’ve sometimes resisted ‘letting go’.

Trees don’t hold on to leaves that have served their purpose. They drop in response to changing conditions and are sometimes stripped by strong winds. But this isn’t the end of the story. In time new buds emerge and new leaves unfurl.
So what do I need to shed? What will inhibit growth if I don’t drop it?

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For me, it’s not possessions but outlooks that sometimes weigh me down. For various reasons I often need to think ahead and forward plan, but it can be my downfall if I’m later inflexible. It’s not a question of being right or wrong, it’s about being collaborative and companionable along the way. As the saying goes:

“If you want to go fast, go alone
If you want to go far, go together”

So I’m making a deliberate effort to be mindful of my attitudes, and drop anything that has a whiff of decay about it, like ‘I told you so’, impatience, or wishing it was a different ‘season’ in my life. For having a ‘grass is greener on the other side’ outlook can make me blind to what’s right under my nose!

Truth is… There’s a right time for everything… a right time to hold on and another to let go’ Ecclesiastes 3:1, 6