Each year I pray about something that I want to work on, sometimes it’s two things, but I know that it takes at least 6 weeks to break a habit To become proficient at something it takes a lot longer. So for the whole year I seek the Lord in the change I’m wanting to make, I seek God’s wisdom, his guidance. I usually pick one in the kitchen and then one thing I want to see changed in our family, something I want changed in myself. To steer a ship it requires a steering wheel and a rudder, to steer the direction of a family it takes changing myself first. Except unlike a vessel, the human heart cannot be forced. Forcing a human heart leads to rebellion and can harden the heart even further. The behavior may change but the heart hardens instead of becoming pliable.
In the kitchen I have taken a year to work on fermenting, making sauerkraut, yogurt, kombucha, and keifer. Another year I worked on perfecting broths and sauces, understanding which flavors I could pair and which ones should be left out. This was a great year because I learned so much about flavors in other dishes not just sauces and broths. This year I want to work on perfecting the art of fudge making, Mark loves fudge, I love fudge, and my grandma gave me her heavy duty fudge pot with high sides! I want to learn to make it the old fashioned way, but learn other ways of making it as well. It should be a very tasty year!
I have prayed about what character God wants to work on with me, essentially working on our family as well. The common theme I see in our family is working on thankfulness, working on giving up control with joy, and doing all things as if doing them for the Lord. It is not enough to do a task, a joyful attitude must follow, our actions and our words flow from the well spring of our heart. If we as a family can learn to do the things we don’t like to do with joy and thanksgiving, how much sweeter will the things we desire to do be. Mark and I have been noticing in our own lives areas that we find ourselves grumbling and complaining in. Especially areas of life we don’t enjoy or want to do, apparently our kid’s are picking up on this, because we are seeing it flow out of them as well. Having a willing heart that does not grumble and complain is beneficial in so many areas of life. It is beneficial in the work place, it is beneficial in helping out one another, it is beneficial in keeping my joy and peace intact. It also keeps me closely attached to the Vine, to the father. Because a good attitude on my own will never be accomplished, ever. A heart of thanksgiving especially in the things I don’t like to do, are uncomfortable, or facing trials will always require I seek the father. To do anything else will lead to defeat, depression, and feeling hopeless. It keeps me plugged in closely to the father, perhaps this is why he tells us to give thanks in all things. Because, he knows we are human, he knows we are not going to be thankful, and that it will take his divine intervention to accomplish it. It takes me being plugged into him to continue on in thanksgiving, continue on with peace and joy.
This is definitely going to take longer than a year, it’s going to take Christ in me to accomplish this one! If we as a family can learn this, if we can learn to go to Christ for our attitudes, for our joy, praise the Lord! Praying daily for Christ to renew our strength, renew our minds renew our joy and our peace.
I am so thankful that God is continuing to work on me and that he will continue to perfect me until the day of Christ Jesus! I need to walk around with a t-shirt that says Warning: under construction until death. Construction zones are messes places that to me look chaotic. But, to the contractor, the man in charge, it is a master piece in the making. He can see the vision, he can see the future structure for what it is meant to be and he continues on because he knows the mess is not the focus, the mess leads to something greater. God is like this too, he knows we’re a mess, he knows we’ll continue to be a mess, but he knows that heaven is coming, he knows the masterpiece we are becoming and he’s not afraid or concerned about a little mess down here on earth.
So, it’s a life style, it’s about developing a deeper relationship with the Lord, it’s about changing my heart and my attitude so my kid’s hearts and attitudes will change as well. So that we will choose joy instead of despair, so we will choose peace instead of chaos, so we will choose to work for the Lord and not be resentful of what we are doing here on earth. Seeking thankfulness in all things so that it flows into all areas of our lives to bring us peace and lasting joy.