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Sun, Jul 13 2008 - 06:07 AM

Shake n' Bake

Shake n' Bake is a preseasoned coating for chicken.  All you have to do is shake the chicken in the seasoning mix to cover it well, put in the oven and wait for it to get done.  The instructions are simple and are printed right on the box. 

Me, being who I am, rarely do it just that way.  I, thinking that I can make it better, add a few seasonings of my own--a little of this, a little of that.   The box may say cook at 325 degrees, but I like to cook it at 375 thinking it will be extra crispy and get done faster.  My family is usually pacing the floors hungry and well, I am impatient and need the bake part to hurry along!

When I pull my chicken out of the oven, it doesn't look much like the picture on the box.  It isn't moist and juicy like they show because I didn't allow it to cook slowly like the instructions said.  It doesn't look quite the same either.  The box shows a nice golden brown but mine looks a little messy with some scorched parts here and there.  Again, I didn't follow the instructions and I added my own ingredients.

Here lately, my prayer life and faith walk has been a lot like my Shake n' Bake experiences.  God's little instruction book, the Holy Bible, says "Pray n' Wait" and as usual, I've been trying to step in and "help" Him make things happen a little faster and with all the "flavors" that I think are best.  Just like my Shake n' Bake experience, the things I've been praying about definitely don't look like I envisioned them.

I am a "fixer" --I've written that many times before.  I have a hard time just following the instructions, trusting and letting go. While I know this about myself, I have the hardest time changing it!  I did discover recently that David, truly a friend of God, struggled with that too!

Accept, O Lord, the willing praise of my mouth and teach me your laws.  Though I constantly take my life in my hands, I will not forget your law.  Psalm 119:108-109 

Later he says...."I have strayed like a lost sheep.  Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.  Psalm 119:176.  

I have been praying for (and admittedly) worrying about my family a lot recently.  My daughter, 16, has been struggling with sadness because she wants some new friends--Godly friends, friends that will support her in her homeschooling, her art, and her faith.  Because she went through a really bad time a little over a year ago, I am hyper-sensitive to her emotions.  I don't want Satan to get the best of her again.  So, I've been praying and praying for God to bring these friends into her life.  I even got as bold as to ask that it happen in the month of June.  (It didn't, of course, because I was trying to "bake" things at the wrong temperature so they'd get done quicker!) 

I've been praying for the relationship between my children and their father.  For some reason, it seems the teen years bring a tension to the father/child relationship--especially with a daughter.  I felt it with my own father.  I don't like it.  I don't think it has to be that way and I know God has the power to change it. 

Of course, I don't just "pray n' wait" as the instructions say to do.  I am constantly looking for opportunities to make it happen.   I am trying to intervene constantly.  Trying to help their Dad see their point of view or offering him suggestions or letting him know how they feel.  With my husband, that is about as effective as talking to the tree in the backyard.  He is set in his ways and all I do is make him angry and frustrated--sometimes making things worse.   I try to get the kids to talk to their Dad more-lighten up the mood.  I try to help them see how he feels and how Dad's sometimes push us to do things because they think it is best for us.   The list goes on and on! 

It has been almost funny the number of times that God has put the story of Abraham and Isaac before me.  In books I am reading, in a recent sermon, on the radio, in the blogs of other people and even just in me flipping open my bible.  It has been in my thoughts a lot. 

I realize that God asked Abraham to literally sacrafice his son and all he is asking me to do is lay my family on the altar and trust Him to take care of all of my prayer requests.  He is just asking me to every day... pray n' wait, pray n' wait, pray n' wait.  He is asking me to daily surrender my family and my concerns to Him and stop making up my own ingredient list, my own timelines and my own methods. 

Trust Him.  That is all He is asking of me.  He is their creator.  He knows them inside and out.  He chose us to be together as a family.  He knows how to make things the best that they can be--if I will stop altering the instructions.

I am still confident of this.  I will see the goodness of the Lord in the Land of the Living.  Wait for the Lord.  Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.  Psalm 27: 13-14. 

All of this I know and I believe, but I am having the hardest time sitting on my hands and keeping my mouth shut!  Isn't that crazy? !

I know, O Lord, that a man's life is not his own; it is not for man to direct his steps.  Jeremiah 10:23. 

I, like David, just have to keep reminding myself of God's word.  I have to keep seeking His face and all the other good things will be given to me as well.  I have to let go, follow His instructions and stay out of His way.  I know that if He needs me, He'll make sure that I do whatever it is that He needs me to do!

I think for many of us, the problem is that we think we can pray and then all of a sudden, everything will be okay.  Even if it is just praying for God's help in staying out of the way.  We want a one-time fix that takes care of everything.  But in reality, we have to surrender to God daily.  We have to look for Him all day, every day--in everythign that we do.  He is there.  You'll see Him if you look-- a crimson sunset, the smile from a stranger, the safe ride home from work, the unusally kind waitress, the perfect song on the radio, etc.  I believe that there are no coincidences for those of us that love the Lord.  There are only God-Instances.  

Who among the gods is like you, O' Lord?  Who is like you--majestic in holiness, awesome in glory, workiing wonders? In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed.  In your strength, you will guide them to your holy dwelling.  Exodus 15:12-13. 

He who forms the hearts of all....who considers everything they do.        Psalm 33:9. 

I am The Good Shepherd, I know my sheep and my sheep know Me.       John 10:14.

For everything, absolutely everything, above and below, visible and invisible everything got started in Him and finds purpose in Him.  Colossians 1:16 MSG. 

Suddenly, "Pray and Wait" takes on new meaning.  He really is RIGHT THERE.  All we have to do is "cover" our concerns with prayer, put it in God's Hands and then wait for Him to tell us when it is done! If He is a part of EVERYTHING, then He is right there in the midst of all the things I worry about.  He is still in control.  He is trying to make it right--His time, His way.   

Prayer:  Precious Jesus, help me to learn to pray and wait.  Teach me not to intervene unless You have commanded me to do so.  Along the way, bless me with signs that You are at work in me and my family.  Thank you for all the ways You are showing me Your presence and teaching me to release my family to you--not just once and I'm done but every single day.  Forgive me for my lack of trust and faith and my constant desire to rush You and help You.  I do know that Your timing is best and that we are most free to receive Your blessings when we surrender to You and give up on our own.  Help me to live out that belief in all of my thoughts and actions.  Amen.

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Name: worknmom

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About: I am a married, working mother with 2 children a daughter age 17 and a son age 14. I have a passion for writing and feel led to work with pre-teen girls. I blog mostly about my spiritual journey as I seek God's perfect will for my life.

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