Recently our church celebrated its 164th Homecoming. This is always a great day where we thank God for His blessings and enjoy fellowship with former church family and spent time getting to know new families.
For many of these Church Homecoming years, I've admired those ladies who arrived at the back door, dressed beautifully, carrying their dishes of delicious food, walking leisurely into church, greeting others all with a smile that radiated true joy and contentment.
On the other hand, I usually arrived after a morning spent cooking up something that I hoped was presentable and taste worthy of church homecoming, dressing children, losing track of time, and arriving breathless (blowing through the kitchen door to drop the food off) to find a seat and usually late!
This year's Homecoming Sunday found me with a food dish baking in the oven while at the ironing board with plenty of time to spare and a heart full of thankfulness. The thought hit me..I am becoming that woman I've been admiring! What happened? Through those years, instead of being overwhelmed, seasons of life changed and maturity began to grow.
After watching those admired ladies for several years, I learned little tricks like preparing food ahead, taking time to make the family presentable, knowing what foods I can cook well and will be enjoyed, and to give myself time and grace! Also, as we grow and mature we understand it is not all about us! Some seasons of life consume us, especially the years with young children who constantly need our care. But once we can breathe some, we notice others around us and can offer encouragement, kindness and friendship. We pay attention at church to needs shared and can seek to be a part of meeting needs. We learn to invest in the lives of others. Most importantly, even as we love the progress we see, it is understood there is always room to grow in the Lord, in faith, in prayer and in love.
Christian maturity is so beautiful because it draws attention to God working in and through us, it places the emphasis on what He can provide, not us. It fills the heart with a true, genuine love, much greater than human love. It loves unconditionally and seeks God's best for one another. It brings a thankfulness to God as we realize the work He is doing is much greater than anything we can produce on our own.
So, please join me in that saying..."I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be.” And rejoice in the path God is using to refine and make something beautiful through us.