The outside of our home was covered in bright sunshine with a soaring heat index making the air so thick it felt like trying to breathe in a tiny bathroom after a hot shower. It was hot! I’m not a fan of hot. So with a lazy Sunday afternoon and outside adventures not being an option, my heart turns to the kitchen. I absolutely love to cook and bake. It is like therapy for me to take so many different ingredients or pieces and put them together to make something delicious and wonderful.
Pandora provided the background music of Christmas carols as David Phelps sang about “Joy to the World”, and I set about peeling and chopping apples.
Crisp, juicy flesh is quickly exposed from its bright red wrappings as I work to fill the pot with sweet goodness. My fingers are sticky from the natural sugar God created for this fruit as I peel and chop, peel and chop, over and over.
Just a bit more sugar is added along with the magical smell of cinnamon before the pot starts to heat and the smell of fall deliciousness fills the air. The once creamy white flesh becomes a honey brown as the apples become tender and thick.
Just a bit of mashing at the very end to transform the butter from lumpy to smooth, and the apple butter is all done. I can almost hear the biscuits calling out from the freezer to be covered in this sweet goodness. Two jars for my father-in-law, one for a church friend and one for my curly topped girl who will eat it with a spoon like soup, and you have my productivity of the day.
The apples, while delicious in and of themselves, were not what I needed as I dreamed of spreading sweet apple butter on hot biscuits. I had a better plan in mind for them, but one that required them to be transformed in my hands. The peel, core and seeds were not part of my plan, so they were cut away and discarded. Merely the chopped apple pieces were still not what was required so sugar and spice were added. Finally, all the pieces must come together in the heat to be transformed for their intended purpose.
“Now the God of peace… equip you in every good thing to do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight.” Hebrews 13:20-21
We are most assuredly in a crockpot chapter in our lives as we have come to the realization God has more in store for us than we are at this moment in this place. There are times when we feel like we’ve been chopped, cored and diced, but we have our eyes set on seeing His will complete. We know His reward will be sweet, and we will be better equipped to serve His purpose.
“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” I Peter 1:7
Oh how I wish I could see the flight-plan for this life trip we have now boarded. Not even knowing where we are going to land is quite the leap, but we have taken it in faith. Our Pilot is wrapped in light and darkness tries to hide in His presence, as Chris Tomlin so magnificently put it, so I know we have no need to fear.
There are times I hear Him speaking to my heart as we are on this journey, and it feels like He is planting so many seeds all at once. New city, new job, this blog and one-day Bible study of Godstellations… all have seats on this journey we are on. In two weeks time, I will be returning form my first trip to see Beth Moore live. Coincidence that I have this opportunity at this time in my life? Absolutely not! I’m already praying and asking God to use this time to speak to my heart regarding His calling on me. What words will He have me pen? How can I be an empty vessel for Him to fill today and every day?
Today, I am so thankful He is using this time and blog for me to meet wonderful women of faith who are already encouraging me daily. I’m praying strength and wisdom for all of us facing these crockpot chapters in our lives. No doubt we are being formed into a sweet substance for His glory!