Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Baking & Birthdays

Well, I survived a crazy week - the youth group did our re-scheduled baking fundraiser over three days with limited help, and it was hard, but God is good, and we got it all done!  Praise the LORD! 
75 dozen cinnamon rolls: that's 150 pans of 6, or 27 batches.
123 dozen Buttermilk Sugar Cookies (19 batches)
70 dozen Christmas cut-out cookies, decorated.  
That equals out to about 38 hours of work in 2 1/2 days time.  Yes, my feet and legs were KILLING me!
Projected sales: $1500.00

Muchas Gracias to:
my trusty sidekick Jane, and Ang: the cookie dough mixing queens
Linz, who took off work early every day and did whatever she was told.  Or mostly. haha
Tarah & Esther who came right after school
Lesli who didn't have to come help but did anyways.  :-)
Vern & Beth - encouragers, invaluable helpers, and picker-uppers at the store of things forgotten.
Galen & Sharon and Matt & Marcus, our top sellers/deliverers
Steven, the highly skilled frosting-maker
Jared, who is QUITE marriageable, and a decent cookie froster (don't tell his mom).  He also eats trash can cookies, but don't tell anybody about that either.  :-)
Caleb who stopped in between house-showings and did odd jobs, including cookie dough taste-testing
Hannah, Melissa, Christina & Kayla - who put WAY too many sprinkles on the cookies, but hey. :-) 
Wilma & Ashlyn
who came on Wednesday
Alyssa, Rochelle, Rosanna, and EVERYBODY else who stopped in whenever they could.  I know it was odd hours and you had lots of other stuff going on, but you all helped out tremendously!

The rest of the week was a little nuts... cleaned the church about five times, took care of some business, helped out at the church's Christmas Dinner Theater, and tried to get some sleep in between. This week promises to be a little less insane, but still crazy.   Oh December, I wish you'd slow down! 

Quote of the week: My niece Kayla who is "free" was following me around during the baking, asking for jobs to do.  I let her "help" as much as possible, which thrilled her to no end. She especially loves washing dishes and wearing my apron.  She looked up at me with those big eyes and said "I am your Helper, and you are my Best Friend."  Awwwwwwwwwww!  I love my little nieces!  :-)

In other news, I am now 27 years old.  I kind of like the sound of that.  Although being closer to 30 than 20 is a little intimidating, I don't wish myself back, that's for sure!  Not in a million years.  Ain't no way I wanna go through all that again!  ;-)
I was talking to my 7 year old niece the other day, and she said her favorite ages are 8 and being a baby.  She liked being a baby because she got lots of attention, and she can't wait to be 8 because it sounds like the best age ever.    I told her that my favorite ages were 3, 5, 9, 10, 11, 17 and 23.  So here's hoping 27 is right up there! lol

I wonder what the coming year will bring.  I find myself excited, yet afraid.  Change is certain: good and bad, and I wonder what will change, and how I'll deal with it. 

I've been thinking a lot about the cycle of life, and how God has created us to live such short lives - people are born, people get old and die.  Our lives overlap for a short time, but everyone and everything is constantly growing, changing, deteriorating.
My view of life is so self-focused: I'm all about me and my problems, and my own little life-span.  Hanging out with my 81 year old Grandma helps change my perspective.  She says often "I never thought I'd get this old.  I always figured I'd die before now..."  Most of us don't think we'll get old.  We joke about it, but we doubt it'll actually happen, you know?  I've never seriously considered life past 30.  Just never figured I'd make it that far!  
These thoughts have motivated me to be purposeful in my living.  I don't want to be just living.  I never want to reach the point where I live without a purpose, not doing myself or anyone else any good; just being "normal," contented with what the world has to offer.

So what is my purpose?  What does Jesus want me to be doing in this 27th year of my life? 
You know, Jesus' life was almost over when He was my age.  Did you ever think about that? Jesus was MY age, once upon a time!  He hadn't yet begun his "real" ministry, but I know without a doubt that He was still in ministry of a different sort.  Jesus wasn't just wasting his time, waiting for his "real" purpose and ministry to start.  He was always doing the will of the Father, even from a young age.  When Jesus was 27, he was very likely still living at home, working for his dad, much like me.  I wonder what He did in His free time?  I wonder how He spent His workdays...what He thought about as He did His job. How did He fulfill the will of the Father while doing all that ordinary, every-day stuff?

Sometimes I struggle to find joy in the purposes I know God has for me right now.  I want to be doing other, bigger, better things, but I find myself exactly where I've been for the past two years.  ...Not because I don't have bigger dreams or desires, but because God has not yet released me to those things. 

I know there are people who look down on me because of where I am at this point in my life.  I'm definitely not successful in the eyes of the world - living at home, no college education, no high-paying job.... shoot, I don't even have a boyfriend! lol   But since when do I care what the world thinks of me?  ;-)

I'm learning that timing is everything.  A good thing at the wrong time quickly becomes a BAD thing.  Waiting on the Lord is a discipline not easily learned.  Quieting my desires until God chooses to bring those things about is difficult for sure!  ...but even Jesus had to wait on God's timing for every event in His earthly life.  He still waits on God's timing for His return to earth.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I am in complete awe of what God is doing in my life.  I don't understand it, I don't know how He's doing it, but He is growing and changing me in ways I never thought possible.  I'm not who I once was, and that's a good thing.  :-)  God is taking my heart places I never thought it would go, and while it scares the living daylights out of me, I have peace in the knowledge that I have opened myself up to the will of God, whatever it is, and that decision is never a mistake!

Okay, that's it for my long, sermon-like post.  It's okay if you didn't actually read it all. LOL