Friday, May 25, 2012

Pumpkin Muffins...and Formula?

"How can your house possibly be clean at 9:00 in the morning?" Melissa laughed, dividing a muffin between her two little ones. "I so want to be you. What time did you start?"

As I poured mugs of coffee and child-size cups of milk to go with the pumpkin muffins, I smiled. "30 years ago," I confessed. "I started 30 years ago. Today, yes, I  got up at 5:00. I cleaned the downstairs, finished laundry and yard work. I enjoyed my walk and prayer. But it took me years to become who I am and to learn to do what I do."

"Progress not perfection," she chuckled. "That's what you always say!"

"I'm not sure we ever completely learn diligence. It's a process. I'm a long way from the woman I want to become, who I hoped I would be, but thank God, I'm not who I was! I'm making progress."

"But what does it look like?" she pressed, seeking details. "Even if you're not the woman you hoped to be, how do I at least get to where you are? Does that make sense?"

"You want the formula for getting to where I am now even though I'm still learning? You want to still be making progress when you become an older woman. Is that about it?"

"Oh, my goodness, IS THERE a formula?" she asked, wide-eyed, coffee cup stilled mid-air. "That would be  so completely GREAT!"

A formula? Uncharted waters, I thought. A formula? I plunged into Bible waters where I knew everything needed for life and godliness could be found.

"Well, each day we train ourselves to run the life race. We walk by faith not sight. One step at a time, one day at a time."

What was it she needed? Help me, Lord. "Bible words train us to run our race with excellence. Train your children in the way they should go. Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness. Love God and your neighbors. Pursue peace. Be kind to one another. Look after widows. Heal the brokenhearted."

She laughed. "You make it sound...not easy, but, well, not impossible either."

"With God all things are possible. He makes art from junk, you know.  He recycles trash. Every day you wake up and love your husband. You love your children. You create beauty and order where once there was chaos and confusion. While you build something beautiful out of your day, God builds something beautiful out of your life. He lights up your pathway. Every step gets you closer to where you want to be, right?"

"Change my world and God will change my life," she said, nodding her head with understanding. "It's like you always say to just do the next right thing, isn't it? And if that's clearing off my kitchen island or reading my Bible or taking a nap, then that's what God wants me to do and He will bless it. And when you practice over a lifetime you become a person who has become more like Jesus. You have the formula for Christian success."

I smiled. "Kinda sounds like a formula, doesn't it?"

"Kinda sounds like I need to keep memorizing my Bible verses!" she laughed. "I love this! Every day I will become more of a person who makes good choices. God is just, so thorough! It's amazing!"

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path."  ~Proverbs 3

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