Burnt Offerings

You know, I was baking these cookies the other day and the thought came to me, “I like to think most people who have been to my house would say I am a great hostess and amazing cook.” 10864242_10154897423100487_1329287083_o

But, that would just be the people who come over for special occasions. You see, I love to entertain; and when I say entertain, I mean ENTERTAIN!! I mean, it is not uncommon for me to have really large groups come into our home.

Each year we try to have a Christmas Open House where we invite the whole community! And, I know one Memorial Day weekend we had over 150 people come through our home, with three different parties, consecutively.
I was figuring up this year and I am pretty confident that I have entertained at almost 300 people in our house in the last 17 months; not all at one time, but typically large crowds.

This entertainment thing has been passed down to my kids. When my son was single and in college, it was not uncommon for him to organize parties and events with his friends. He and his wife continue on today, entertaining friends and family in their home all the time. My daughter also has the bug and, since she was a young child, has always organized and planned events and parties with her friends.

Besides entertaining, I like to think I am a pretty good cook! I mean, how can you entertain if you don’t have good food? Maybe you have seen the sign that says “Many have eaten here, few have died.” I have promised my family on more then one occasion, that one day I am going to get one of those signs!

From this picture of my cookies, however, you might not think that saying was true! In fact, if you asked my family, they would probably give me a 5-out-of-10 rating on my cooking abilities. Why??? Because they have seen all my mistakes – like in the picture! They know that, at my house, the smoke detectors are often used more like a timer than for their actual purpose! You see, I do a lot of practicing on my family to get it right. Unlike the guests who are over to our house for special events and see the perfected, finished product, my family sees the real me! They KNOW me.
Isn’t that just like God? The rest of the world sees the facade we put on the outside of us, but God – He knows the depths of our hearts, He knows the pain we feel. He knows the intent of our heart to do good, when others only see it as bad. He sees the tears when we have cried ourselves to sleep.

When all the rest of the world looks at us from the outside and thinks our lives our perfect, He knows who we really are.
And like my cooking, this life of following Christ takes some practice. We will make some mistakes along the way and we might set off the smoke detectors once in a while. But, like my family, God still loves us, in our downs as well as ups; even through our burnt meals and grease fires!
I could have stopped anywhere along the way of life and said “No! I am not cooking anymore; I am no good, and I can’t do it!” But I kept on, I never gave up. And, that is the same way God expects us to live life with Him: to keep on, to never give up! And if we burn the cookies, we simply throw that batch away and make a new one. We DON’T QUIT!

If I had quit, I never would have had the confidence to do the things I have been privileged to do. With no formal education for it, I have been an event planner for an Assisted Living Facility where we had community-wide events with over 500 in attendance. In one city we lived in, the mayor asked me to chair an annual city-wide festival where the average attendance was 5,000 people.

See, if I had given up after the first breakfast I made Jeffrey, where he claims you could repair the driveway with the grits I made, I would never have had the opportunities I have had.

That is the same way with our walk with God! My son Chad, who is profoundly dyslexic, told me the other day, when he was going through a battle, “Mom, it isn’t how many times you fall down, it is how many times you get back up again.”

Wow! What wisdom!! And, it is truth. We can choose to stay down, or we can (as the song says) choose to get back up again!

What will you choose today? Because, like the love of entertaining that I have passed on to my children, we can pass on a love for God and the determination to continue on in the faith no matter what may come at us!!

So I ask the question again, “What will you do?”
As for me and my house, WE will serve the Lord!! Through burnt offerings and all!!

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