preferences can be messy

preferences can be messy

If  you were to spy upon our family when a pan of

cornbread is served, you would learn something about preferences.

Row after row of neatly cutout squares fill the pan.

After each person has taken a golden piece, what remains is often a

U-shaped assembly of portions.

You see, some of us like the corners, others like the middle.

Occasionally, someone will prefer a piece that I would term burned but 

they would describe as perfect.

I used to trim all the crunchy edges off of brownies.

No longer.

We each have our preferences.

This practice used to drive me crazy.

I would look at the pan and shake my head.

What a mess.

Yet we do know how to behave.

If we are invited to dinner, we would happily eat whatever

we are given.

Well, unless we are given a choice.

Then all bets are off.

As I go about my daily life, I am confronted with my preferences.

You could call me Goldilocks because I like my weather not too

hot and not too cold but just right.

I prefer taking  turns while merging on the freeway.

I prefer the window seat.

I prefer tall people not to sit directly in front of me.

I prefer people not to kick my chair in movie theaters.

Even Adam and Eve preferred the fruit of one tree to the others.

That preference created a mess.

Most days I don’t get my way in regards to my preferences.

If I go about my days entertaining loud thoughts, in essence, demanding my own

way, I litter the landscape with a mess.

The kingdom according to Helen always wants the middle piece.

The kingdom of God thinks much differently.

So here’s what I want you to do,

God helping you:

Take your everyday, ordinary life—

your sleeping,



and walking-around life—

and place it before God as an offering.

Romans 12: 1 (The Message) 

It is easy to think God is only interested in us offering him

all the big stuff like money, relationships, work, and dreams.

We learn by offering him the most basic morsels,

this practice prepares us for laying down the biggies in our lives.

I don’t believe God is very concerned about the carbohydrate count of a piece of cornbread

or where it resided in a pan,

but he is consumed by the heart

and hand which takes and eats.

I am so thankful that this rendering of Romans 12: 1 includes

three words:

God helping you.

He knows how prone we are to saying,

“My way or the high way.”

He sees how often I want the biggest piece and forfeit

peace in my quest.

He  gently reminds me his ways are better and higher.


Oh preferences, 

we all have them.

God help us to prefer your ways over 

getting our way.








8 thoughts on “preferences can be messy

  1. I am amazed how often your message is right on. Thank you for helping me think about how always holding on to preferences can keep one from fully experiencing God’s love.


  2. I am seeking God to show me his definition of what he created my individual heart to be, not only as a woman, but first and foremost as his unique, and precious, and well-loved daughter.  

    What has God placed in my individual heart to serve as a roadmap of my life and ministry? What is the passionate desire igniting my heart to wake up each morning and live my life fully, wholly, abundantly today and continue throughout the coming days, weeks and soon years, since since my husband died?  Whom, but a good God, is setting my hearts preferences to love, seek heart-to-heart relationships within the body of Christ.  When refreshed, full and dependent, I may serve the Lord God in ministry with great pleasure!

    Dear Father God, may I seek to love as you love, to forgive as I have been forgiven, to serve you as Jesus served using your freeing Word, and passion you have placed in my heart.  May I write of your love, and delight in your grace and mercy forever!  Amen.


  3. Jill,
    You have such an amazingly tender and surrendered heart.
    I am blessed to know you and stand in awe of your willingness to
    walk through all the pain and grief fully so you can know God better.
    I know he is there to meet you at each juncture of this journey.
    You are loved.


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