Wednesday, June 18, 2008

A Cup of Broken

Do your biscuits cook unevenly? Do you struggle to get your cookies to be chewy throughout? Does your chicken burn on the bottom when baked in the oven? Well, my friends, that is not you or your oven…that is your pan. What you need is some Pampered Chef Stoneware. I think that is some of the best stuff going! I had a round stone and a bar pan until recently.

I am a poor planner and an over-extender. That means I pack too much into a day and over extend myself and my meager abilities, on a regular basis. Last week I had done it again. I was in my way too small kitchen, making two meals and was negative as far as the clock went. Of course the kids wanted to help, Mike wanted to talk, and I wanted OUT! In my haste (and confusion) I turned the wrong burner on and heated the bar pan that was sitting on the front burner (no counter space) and all of a sudden there was an explosion. I screamed and then I almost cried. My bar pan exploded into 4 parts. What could I do? I saved the pieces of course. It may be broken, but surely it would still be useful, right?

A few days later I was putting the clean dishes away, and uncovered the pieces of my stoneware. This thought came to mind, “Broken things are not useful. Ali, you should really toss that and buy a new one.” I hate the thought of buying a new one. For those of you who have stoneware you know the beauty that comes with time. The stone is seasoned and turns black…it cooks everything to near perfection. Starting over makes me sad. I’ve cooked on that thing almost every night for close to 6 years!

As I continued in my quiet (still extremely small kitchen) I began thinking of my own life. I am not ashamed to say that I am, without Christ, an absolute mess! I thought about where I was when I gave my life to Him. I had just gone off to college for the first time. Man was I ever alone!!! My boyfriend was 3 hours down the road, my girlfriends were scattered about and I was really lonely. I don’t think that I ever realized how empty my heart was until that first night all alone. No one in the dorm cared that I was voted Best Personality of my senior class, no one asked if I was on homecoming court, or who my friends were… no one cared. All of the things that I had used to determine my worth were gone. I was broken.

Then I met Him. On January 16th of 1997 I decided that if this “Jesus thing” worked, I’d be different, I would be new. I wouldn’t be broken anymore. My prayer went a little like this, “Lord, I don’t know if this is going to work, but if it does…you can have my life. I’m sure you can do more with it than me.” I was exhilarated after that! I had no idea what that decision would cost me, or where it would take me, but I knew that I had been made new!

My sweet, sweet, roomie wrote out and illustrated (as only Dee-Dee can do) the first verse I ever memorized, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, and the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17. That still amazes me. God doesn’t “flip” us. He doesn’t knock down a few walls, give us fresh paint, tile, updated appliances and get more for His money. He is more like Extreme Home Makeover. You know how that show tears the house down and starts NEW from the ground up. That is my kind of Savior!!!

There is NO way my bar pan will do me much good in a bunch of pieces. Just like my life was not going to do much good being in a bunch of pieces. I held on, though. I counted the cost for about a week. I knew that a lot of my relationships would change; my attitude toward circumstances would have to change. I would change. On that day, I think it was a Thursday, I decided that being made whole was worth anything God asked of me. I wanted desperately not to be put back together again…I wanted to be made brand new.

That is what He did. You know, sometimes we still hold on to broken things in our lives. Perhaps it is a relationship, or an idea perhaps a dream of some sort. Often times we don’t realize that it’s broken, we just hold it tight so that it doesn’t shatter into a million pieces. My husband threw my stoneware out without asking me. He could see how useless it was. I loved it too much to believe that it was useless. He was right. Sometimes we need people to come into our lives and show us where our broken is. Where we need the Savior to tear down and rebuild.

I love that we are only useful broken when we are in the hands of our Master. We cannot piece our life back together and hope for the best. No amount of superglue will make us whole. We must lay our lives down at His feet and allow Him to not only rebuild, but become everything to us. One of my favorite verses (I probably say that a lot) is Psalm 73:25-26, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

I hope that this finds you all very excited about the healing and wholeness that comes from God and God alone.

Until Next Time…

4 comments:

Linda said...

I did the same thing with my round stone...only I had people over, it was Thanksgiving, and the ensuing explosion was SOBERING (that was also the year I made glue instead of mashed potatoes...another story for another time, I am sure)

And I discovered back then that you can not put the pieces together...and I didn't save the receipt so I couldn't claim the warranty, though I doubt it would have applied; you could SEE the burner ring burned into the stone.

So, I did what God does. I got a NEW one...like God makes us new...like your Extreme Makeover! And you'll just have to use that bar pan over and over to get it seasoned again.

And girl, I don't want to HEAR about your too small kitchen...I've suffered with "I can touch both counters at once" since we moved to Germany! That's hard when I had that LOVERLY big kitchen in Augusta.

But hey...I might be having my own big kitchen in IRMO, SC next year!!!!

Kelli said...

I weep for that bar pan Ali (it was a gem) but I rejoice all the more that you always find God in it all!

Jaime said...

beautifully written:) you were obviously given a talent to be so eloquent

Hadassah said...

I just used a new pizza stone (with handles! a snazzy new update to the stone) for the first time tonight, and I thought of this post!

Is the bar pan like the 9x13 casserole dish?