I've been baking a lot lately, but that's an understatement... I think I basically wear cinnamon as a new fragrance! In order to raise money for our mission trip, I've been taking orders and keeping really busy with the three items on my menu: pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting, peanut butter chocolate chip cookies, and cinnamon oatmeal cookies. I had to go with a large glass of orange juice tonight over the usual cup of tea to wind down - there's just too much sweet and hot going on around here!
I am praising the Lord with every batch I make because I know it is HIS provision for these kids to walk under the banner of His name and serve this community. This weekend, I have students assisting me in the kitchen, though (as always) I am most grateful for their company.
Tonight, I snuck away to work out between bakings and this wonderful song popped up on shuffle in my ipod.
I pushed through my treadmill moves with vigor I usually reserve for much more upbeat music. As I pounded out that unforgiving conveyer belt beneath my feet, I sang along with Emily DeLoach. It made me think about a conversation I was having the other day with a wise friend of mine. (Don't worry, if I'm ever inspired while on the treadmill, I usually just try to store it away and think about it later. If I tried the cardio/philosophy combo I'm sure something bad would happen!)
We were talking about loneliness... and how the closer we get to the heart of God the more lonely it seems. These days have been like that for me. I won't pretend I spend hours a day in deep sorrow or that death surrounds me, but this deep loneliness seems to be a lot about a heavy, oppressive grief.
Sometimes I'm surprised at how close I feel to the Father while in the same moment feeling flung out of orbit from whatever was anchoring me. I think in those moments (sadly there are just moments) I may be opening my heart completely to the Lord's love and experiencing it pour out just as quickly. Even as I am being filled, I am feeling it rush out of me and into all the parched places, desperate for a drink.
Maybe that's where the loneliness comes from - well, the feeling of loneliness. I've come to Jesus asking for more love and He's given it, but not for me to keep. As I feel His love rushing through me, I recognize at once my need for more of Him and my eyes are opened to the needs of others.
I could post the whole song, but these are the last two verses. Be encouraged tonight, my friends, as you journey in joy to be more like the Lord!
Thou the hated and forsaken, Thou the bearer of the cross Crowned of thorns and mocked and smitten, Counting earthly gain but loss When scorned are we, We joy to be the more like Thee When scorned are we, We joy to be the more like Thee
Thou the Father's best beloved, Thou the throned and sceptered King Who but Thee should we adoring, All our prayers and praises bring? So blessed are we, Savior Lord in loving Thee So blessed are we, Savior Lord in loving Thee
let LOVE fly like cRaZy!