I made a large stack of pancakes this morning.
This morning’s breakfast creation isn’t out of the ordinary in our house. I make pancakes about twice a week for my family. Micah likes his with a couple tablespoons of syrup. John enjoys his pancakes with blueberries and jam. Caleb requests that I put chocolate chips in his two and then he gobbles them up just like that. Jake, however, isn’t a pancake fan and passes on them completely.
Since moving to South Africa ten years ago, I have made my own pancake concoction and create these pancakes from scratch. I’ve come to the point where I can just eye ball my measurements of flour, baking powder, plain yogurt, oatmeal, lemon juice, milk, and oil. Two eggs are included too. I mix them up, cook them, and when every last pancake is cooked, it’s time to clean the mixing bowl.
I love this cobalt blue bowl.
I don’t think its ceramic creator ever dreamed it would be used to make pancakes. It actually was molded, shaped, fired, decorated and inscribed with this phrase on the side of it, “His angles shall watch over thee.” I imagine the bowl’s designer thought this bowl would be used as a serving dish. I have utilized it in this capacity over the years. Fruit salads, green salads, pasta salads, mashed potatoes, and even dinner rolls have been served in it. Yet, more often than not, this cobalt blue bowl is my mixing bowl – for pancake and waffle batter, brownies, scones, and more.
Is the bowl in perfect condition and free from defects after nearly 18 years of use?
A number of years ago, I nicked the bowl’s rim and a small chip broke loose. I couldn’t mend that wound. Later, the bowl suffered another blow. This time I could glue the broken pieces back onto the bowl. The repair certainly isn’t perfect, but it’s good enough. I can still use the bowl and I do – again and again and again and again.
This bowl won’t last forever. I know that. Yet, for the years that I have enjoyed it, and for the years I hope to delight in it still -to make pancakes, waffles, brownies, and more – I relish the opportunity.
Which made me wonder – how am I like this cobalt blue mixing bowl?
It says in Romans 12:2, “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind….”
Renew comes from the Greek transliterated word, anakainoó, which means to change, to amend and/or to make new again. For the follower of Jesus Christ, this means that we are being constantly made new in Him.
Just like my cobalt blue mixing bowl that is washed and dried after each culinary experience, I am being washed up, prepared, and made new for my next opportunity or stage in life. I cannot remain where I am – holding on to past joys or past sorrows, past victories or past failures or past thoughts and feelings. Just like that bowl cannot remain covered in dried-up pancake batter from this morning’s work, I too, need to be made ready for whatever is next in my life.
My cobalt blue bowl cannot clean itself. I apply the water, the soap, and the physical pressure to transform it. In the same way, I cannot transform myself. Any change that occurs within me is through the power and grace of Jesus Christ as I trust Him to do this purposeful and needed transformational work.
He is making me ready for what’s next!
And what is that anyway?
I cannot say for sure. However, from what I know of my current set of experiences is that I need my God to help me step up my Mom-Game. I want Him to transform my heart and mind to help me greater discern what my three sons need of me. As one example, Micah, Jake and Caleb need greater autonomy and opportunities to grow in independence. They need to take positive risks in their lives. What does that even look like – especially for two kids on the autism spectrum?
What does that look like as we homeschool in the Happy Blue School?
What does that look like as we seek out a place of worship that will embrace our family as we are? (We’ve had a difficult time finding a place that will accept our sons who are on the autism spectrum.)
What does that look like as we provide our boys with even more responsibility?
What does that look like as our boys grow and make more decisions on their own?
I may not know yet. However, I am grateful that just like that cobalt blue bowl with which I have every intention of using again and again and again in my future, my God is willing to use me to guide and nurture my children. Amazingly, my God considers me to be invaluable to His work and creation; even though I have my own nicks, chips, failures, and imperfections like my cobalt blue mixing bowl.
What about you?
What is happening in your life in which you need your God to transform you – inside and out? To soap you up, wash you up, and rinse you so that you are prepared for what is next?
As you consider this, here is a message of encouragement:
Keep your eyes looking up! Focus your attention solely on Me. You are being changed from the inside out as you do! As you continue to seek Me, you will readily recognize what I desire from you. I will bring out My best in you as my Spirit pours into your soul, washes over you with My infinite love and immeasurable peace, and transforms your mind with My grace. Trust me with your heart. I am with you and I am for you and I want you!
May it be so. Amen and Amen.