I’ve been horrrrrrible about blogging consistently the past couple of weeks (er, months?). I have a lot of excuses that I might consider valid (traveling, conferences, office space trials & transitions, etc), but the truth is actually very simple— although I’m a very driven person, I’m not a very disciplined person.
This is by no means a newly-discovered characteristic. I’ve known this for quite some time, and have worked to relax some of my driven-ness and increase my self-discipline, but I still struggle. It wasn’t until WPPI in Las Vegas the week before last that I realized just how much I need to grow in this area.
It “just so happened” that my Church Community Group is talking about stewardship right now— the wise use of time, money, and resources. “The natural course of our minds, our bodies, our world, and our days leads us toward evil, not toward Christlikeness… That’s why in Colossians 3:2 we’re commanded, ‘Set your minds on things above.’ Without this conscious, active, disciplined setting of the direction of our thoughts, they will be unproductive at best, evil at worst.” That little excerpt stopped me in my tracks, because it described the course that my life naturally takes: “unproductive at best, evil at worst.” I want my life to be characterized by faithfulness and diligence, not undisciplined, unproductive laziness or open sin.
This weighed on me all last week. And troubled me, because the harder I tried to discipline myself, the more I became aware of my inefficiencies. I wanted perfection from myself— perfectly balanced life and work, perfectly disciplined productivity, perfectly loving interactions, etc. And I am far from perfect. I mentioned the struggle to my friend Jeannie on Friday, and she gently rebuked my attempts at perfection. “Sarah, stop trying to be perfect,” she said. “You’re a sinful human being. You can’t be perfectly faithful all the time. Perfect is impossible for you. But that’s okay, because Jesus Christ was perfect for you. Give yourself grace— strive to be faithful, but be okay with being sloppily faithful.”
So that’s my goal this week: sloppy faithfulness. Not that sloppy is my goal, but rather, being okay with being sloppy as I strive to be faithful in self-discipline— that’s my goal.
And now, to remind myself that faithfulness in self-discipline should be well-soaked in sweet grace… actually, there’s no connection between what I just wrote and what you’ll read below. I just tried three different cheesy transitions into my grandma’s recipe for Fresh Apple Cake, but they were all, well… cheesy. So here you go— a recipe because I feel like giving it to you.
because every baking endeavor should start with a french press and a pottery mug
Grandma’s Fresh Apple Cake
(Yield: 1 loaf)
2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
½ tsp salt
2 tsp baking soda
4 cups diced apples
1 cup walnuts
Cream sugar, oil, eggs, & vanilla. Set aside. In another bowl, sift flour, soda, & salt. Add to creamed mixture, blending well. Fold in apples & walnuts. Turn into greased & floured pan. Bake at 325° for 50 minutes. Cool for 25 minutes before removing from pan.