Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Packed Down

I love to bake, I always have.  Growing up, we were always baking something.  After dinner was devoured and the mess cleaned up, we all usually ended up in the living room for a TV show or two.  Not long after taking our posts in the living room, often Daddy would bid me and April back to the kitchen.

"Why don't you go fix your daddy some cookies...." he would whine as he rubbed his belly.

It was in Momma's kitchen I learned all I know about cooking.  It was in Momma's kitchen that I learned to measure, mix, and pour.

I used to sneak up in the top cabinet where she stored the brown sugar, open the bag, pull out a chunk or two or twenty and let it melt in my mouth!  (I know, beginning signs of a future problem with sweets!)  Pure brown sugar....

Speaking of brown sugar, one of my favorite things to make requires brown sugar, that being the simple old stand by, chocolate chip cookies.   I just love them warm out of the oven, when the center is still soft and the chocolate stretches with each bite leaving it's evidence on your chin.


This recipe would not be quite the same without the right amount of brown sugar.   As you know, measuring brown sugar is a little different than measuring sugar or flour.  When you measure brown sugar, you have to pack it down tight into the measuring cup and keep adding and packing until you get the amount you need.  You know you've packed it and measured it well if it keeps it's solid shape when you dump it.  

I was wondering just how much difference that packing makes, so I tried it out.  I measured 1 cup of brown sugar into my measuring cup today.  After I packed it down though, it was only about 2/3 cup of brown sugar. 

If I were baking and my recipe called for a cup of brown sugar, and I just beebopped around in my kitchen, poured a cup of brown sugar into my measuring cup and dumped it into the bowl with the rest of my ingredients without packing it down, don't you think I would notice a difference in the finished product?

You'd better believe it.

It wouldn't be as sweet.

It would leave my taste buds longing for more..

Our life with God is kind of like brown sugar.  The more we let Him pack us down, whether it be through struggles, trials, pain, valleys, or deserts, the more sweetness He can fit in.   Although life can be hard, I would much rather come to the end satisfied in His sweetness than longing for something more.

We often hear this verse in regards to giving financially, giving to others, or giving of our time, but as I thought about packing down that brown sugar, it kept coming to mind:

"Give and it will be given to you; good measure pressed down, shaken together, running over, they will pour into your lap.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return." 
Luke 6:38

Just think of that verse in terms of giving Him your life.  Giving Him control of your life - complete control. Allowing Him to press you down, even if it hurts, so that He can make room to give you more until you're running over with what He puts in. 

That my sisters sounds like a recipe for sweetness to me.

"....I came that they might have life and might have it abundantly."  John 10:10

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