Beef bourguignon and other life lessons

I loved the movie, Julie and Julia. Not just because I love cooking, and I love writing, and that’s sort of my name, but I absolutely loved the concept that no matter how difficult the recipe may be, if you just take it step-by-step and tackle each task head-on, you can accomplish something truly amazing.

I was inspired by Julie Powell’s two attempts to make boeuf bourguignon (Yes, I had to Google that because I do not parlez fran├žais.) That had to be incredibly intimidating not only to make this intense, intricate recipe, but she was preparing it for some high-level foodie muckety-mucks. Talk about pressure! The first (and only) time I have ever attempted to make it, I didn’t have anything like that sort of scrutiny.

So I had all my groceries lined up, I had the recipe pulled up on the laptop on the kitchen counter, and I assembled the various pots and utensils I knew I would need. I was ready to rock. I made a plan and then I just dove in, proceeding through each step of the process, chopping veggies, browning meat, and on through to the beautiful moment where I put the lid on the pot and let it do its thing for several hours. I felt fantastic! I had done it! The house smelled incredible, the pot was simmering away with indescribable beauty. And it was a triumph, it was incredibly delicious. I’ve never made anything so rich and heavenly before or since. I felt like I had killed a bear.

But how did I accomplish this? What made the difference between this night and regular old meatloaf night? I was prepared. I had a plan. I was ready. I thought through the entire process and got everything I could think of lined up and ready for my use before I needed it. I made sure I was fully prepared before I walked into the boardroom.

Just today, a new and soon to be dear friend in the Lord encouraged me with these words, “Be ready.” She told me to be prepared for what God has for me to do, because when He asks me to do it, there will not be time to prepare. Just like the parable of the ten virgins in the Book of Matthew, the five virgins that had their lamps full and ready were invited to come into the marriage supper of the Lamb when the call came. But the five foolish virgins were not prepared and could not come in and the door was shut. I’m sure they wanted to be there, I’m sure they had every intention of participating, but when the call came, they just weren’t ready.

I don’t want this to be me. I want God to look at me and say, she is ready when I’m ready for her. When I need her to act, she will do it. Nothing will make her late to dinner, she is my girl, she’s prepared! And I want to be prepared in every area, not just in the physical realm. I want my heart to be ready, I want my will to be ready.

So I choose to set everything in order that can be set in order. I choose to line up everything I can so that when God calls on me, I am reliable. I want Him to be pleased with me, and I’m willing to do what He asks. And not that I can fix every squirrely area in my life, but I can definitely work toward getting all my ducks in a row, so to speak.

Life is messy and I’m not naive enough to think I have it all together, or anybody has it all together, for that matter. But I will do my very best to be ready to answer His call when it comes.