Kitchen on Wheels

One especially crazy weekend I made fruit salad in the car.  I had overextended our family with too many commitments.  At this point in the weekend we were on our way to a family function.  My contribution was fruit salad.  With barely enough time to go to the store for the ingredients, I was going to be hard pressed to assemble the side dish before arriving at the party.  We were running late…as usual.  I knew everyone would be eating by the time we arrived.  It was bad enough that we would be late; I didn’t also want to be unprepared.

 

Fortunately, we had a 45 minute drive and I just happened to have a paring knife in the car.

 

(I’ll let that sink in for a moment.)

 

So, I proceeded to chop strawberries, kiwi and grapes while my husband drove.  (You may be saying,  “You didn’t make the fruit salad AND drive?”)  I am a multi-tasking, overachiever.  But I left the driving to my husband.

 

As he drove and I cut I had time to think.  I knew there must be some life lesson that needed to be realized. (I did tell you I’m an over-achiever, right?  I can’t just leave it alone without looking for the moral to the story.)  And, I’ve been a follower of Jesus long enough to know that He will use the silly, little stuff of life to make us more like Him.  I also knew that others who passed us on the highway must have either pitied me (fellow-mothers), thought I was losing it (women yet to be mothers), or didn’t even notice (men).  My husband was part of the last group. He barely made a comment about my traveling kitchen.  (This was one time when ‘everything but the kitchen sink’ was an unfortunate thing. It really would have come in handy.)  Maybe my wise husband was choosing to be discerning and not row into unpredictable waters.  I’m not always kind and patient when questioned while under pressure.

 

So, anyway…a lesson.  Somewhere.  I guess on the surface it’s obvious, right?  Don’t try to do too much.  Use some wisdom in scheduling.  We really don’t have to do everything.  Why do we make that our goal?  Our ridiculous, totally impractical goal.  Some days I just can’t get it through my brain that I am not a super-mom.  And, uh, you’re probably not either. (Hugs.) With all the love I can muster…you don’t have it all together.  Can we be honest with each other?  Live real?  It’s so hard.  I know.  We want to appear put-together,our lives in order.

 

We are not, have never been and will not ever be super-moms.  It’s a lie and only creates anxiety.  You may be able to keep all your plates spinning for a time, but not forever.  I’ve tried.  So let’s choose wisely.   Set priorities.  When given a choice let’s decide if it’s in line with our priorities.  Learn to say no.   We’re on the same page, right?  We agree that we don’t have it all together?  I do know someone who does.  God.

 

It’s very simple.  Well, simply said, but harder to do.  Choose real, vulnerable weakness, so God’s strength will be obvious.  And this is when the lesson gets below the surface.  And, as with any other area of our lives, this isn’t something we’ll do once and it will stick.  It will take work.  Day by day.  Moment by moment.  But what freedom and joy there can be if we just grab onto this idea!  To shed the idea that we need to have it all together.  A little closer to that abundant life.  Not only will we make our lives more bearable, but those around us will breath a little easier.  Let’s chose what has eternal value, not over-commit and allow ourselves some vulnerability.

 

Oh, and, remember…it’s not safe to use a knife in a moving vehicle.

 

 

Freedom

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It struck me again yesterday.  How we are free.  We enjoy freedom in this country.  But that freedom was by no means free.  It came with a great cost…which continues to demand payment.  Our original freedom was secured hundreds of years ago by forefathers and fighters.  They gave their very lives.  And, today there are those who are still fighting.  The fight may not look the same, but a fight it is.  There are countless men and women who sacrifice comfort, time with family, and yes, their lives.

I want to take the time to stop and remember what a great cost has been paid for me to be free.  I pray that I never take it for granted.  That I never think I am just owed freedom.  So many people in this world do not have claim to the kind of freedom we experience day in and day out.

Still, there is an even greater freedom that I don’t want to leave out.  One that is available to everyone.  That freedom?  It is free to us.  No person can do anything to earn this freedom. The freedom I’m talking about is found only in Jesus.  Sin separates us from God, but in him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. (Ephesians 3:12)  “It’s important to keep in mind that salvation encompasses what God has done for us, not what we can do for Him. God has taken the initiative in His plan of redemption, reaching out to us through Christ.” (Focus on the Family)

Jesus.  He gave his life in exchange for our freedom.  That if we confess, repent and place our trust and faith in Him, we will be saved.  Free.  Free from being controlled by sin.  Free of eternal condemnation.  Free to live life eternally with God.

John 8:36  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

2 Corinthians 3:17  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.

But, we can’t take for granted this freedom either:  Galatians 5:13-14 says,  You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.  But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.

As an American who is a follower of Jesus I have so much for which to be thankful!  Freedom abounds.  Paid with a price, for me.  One way we can show our gratitude is to be generous with our lives.  We may never fight a war or serve our country, but we can serve each other in our own realm of influence.  And, as Christians we are part of the Church (big C) and given a commission to “Go!”.  Tell the good news.  Help.  Serve. Love.  Live out your freedom well.