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Baking Thankfulness

Today I decided to make a nice loaf of banana bread. I pulled out my favorite mixing bowl and mashed the bananas, added the egg and water. Then came the magic moment...I pulled out my new hand mixer! My daughter bought it for me for Christmas so I could make Christmas cookies for everyone.

I had an old mixer, but it was so old that it finally let go. It had been a year that I was without one. So, I hand mixed all the food I prepared. It wasn’t easy! My hand would ache from holding the spoon with rheumatoid arthritis. My arm would even get sore from mixing! But I worked very hard to mix everything myself. I’ll never forget when my daughter bought my mixer!

I unpacked it carefully. It had all the mixer “extra’s,” dough mixers, regular mixers and a nice case to hold everything together! Then I went to task making cookies. What was once a terrible chore, was suddenly easy peasy! I made about 12 dozen cranberry-orange and chocolate-peanut butter chip cookies this past Christmas, with ease!

So today as I was mixing my banana bread, I was thanking God for my mixer...again! And for my daughter who blessed me so with it. Then I thought about God Himself. I remembered how hard my life was without Him.

All I could count on was myself. How hard I worked getting through life, working full time and raising two kids as a single parent without much help. I didn’t know which way to turn most of the time. I made a lot of mistakes. Then I met Jesus in the bread isle at Shaw’s supermarket.

I had been reading a Bible I had laying around here and there, mostly looking for nice things to write on some angels I was painting to encourage people. But that day at Shaws, as I stood pondering Wonder or the Shaws brand of bread, I suddenly became acutely aware of sin in my life. I was horrified! My face even turned a bit pale. My brother, who was with me, said, “What’s wrong?” I said, “I sinned.” He said, “So what?” I didn’t reply, but in my heart I knew it wasn’t “so what” but rather, so bad! I saw sin for the ugliness it was. It was like God pulled back the curtain that I had deceived myself with so long by saying “Everybody sins, mine aren’t so bad.” God’s word says, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Proverbs 6:16-20 Those are all things only God and myself could see, but I was certainly guilty of some of those, and many others that everyone could see…except me up until that moment.

Scott and I walked through the store. By the time I got to the checkout line, I heard a still small voice in my heart saying, ‘Give Me your sin and take the life I have for you.” “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10 I silently replied, Yes Lord, take it all! I repented that day ”Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” Acts 10:19 I turned from my sin and I received Christ as my Savior. That was over 20 years ago.

Since then, my life hasn’t been perfect. I have dealt with a lot of things; a family member with addiction issues, my own health issues, now those of my husband, the death of my dad and brother whom I love so much. I know I will face more heartache in the future too, but the difference is I know I don’t face anything alone anymore.

God’s word says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Life can be difficult. We all face a plethora of circumstances in it. But we can thank God, for God! We don’t have to struggle to be “good enough.” Jesus Christ did that for us. He has wiped our sins away and He guides us every day. “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:21 So if I can thank God for a simple kitchen tool every time I use it, how much more do I thank God for my Savior Jesus Christ and the life (present and eternal) He has brought to my life! I hope you’ll thank God for Him today too!

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