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Thursday, March 15, 2007


I was a foolish young bride who listened to the un-wise counsel of those who advised, “Hide your dishes in the oven, away from your guests.”

I had just finished spreading the dough for our pizza when the doorbell rang. Michael got up to answer while I tidied up the kitchen. Grabbing all of the dishes I could find, I threw them into the oven (ditsy Little Darlene!). It seemed like a good idea at the time since my cupboards were sparking clean in less than 40 seconds flat.

“Hello,” I smiled as our guests walked into the room, “dinner will be ready in about 20 minutes.”

Enjoying the company in my kitchen, I finished layering the pizza, while my darling groom poured some drinks for the guests. “Done,” I announced, setting the oven to heat at 425, “let’s go sit down in the other room.”

About 10 minutes later, our guests were standing outside on the back steps gasping for air while my husband did damage control in the kitchen. Every few seconds a melted bowl or two flew by my red face landing in the grass of our postage stamp yard.

Thus marked the early years of marriage. My mom on the other hand--married for over forty years--usually has the smell of a pie in the oven or a roast that greets us the moment we walk in the door.

Our lives are much the same as these ovens, as we live out our sacrifice each day—one with a stench in the stove, and the other a sweet aroma to her Lord. We can pretend that we’re this, or we’re that, but the aroma of our life is unmistakable to God.

Abel wanting to be washed clean brought a sin offering to God from his flock, while his brother Cain on the other hand brought a tithe offering of the fruit from his gardens (Genesis 4:1-5). In essence, Cain was hiding his “dirty dishes” in the oven rather than taking them to the Lord to be washed as a symbol of his faith in the coming atonement. The Bible says that God had no respect for Cain or his offering.

When we live a life that is pleasing to Him as Abel did, we show faith in the atonement of Christ, becoming that sweet aroma that He talks about in 1 Corinthians 2:15: "For we are unto God a sweet savor of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish."

Mmmm… Something smells good…

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Blogger Elise said...

What a wonderful way to describe the Cain and Abel story! So many (including me) struggle with why exactly Cain was wrong, and it became so clear when I read this piece.
Something, indeed, smells good. *Darlene*

March 15, 2007 at 10:04 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

I loved this Darlene! The oven story made me laugh at my own attempts as a young bride to hide my dirty dishes in hopes of impressing others or hiding the real me. These are powerful words, "We can pretend that we’re this, or we’re that, but the aroma of our life is unmistakable to God."

March 15, 2007 at 11:21 PM  
Blogger Denise said...

The oven story was such a great illustration darlene, loved this.

March 16, 2007 at 1:44 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

This made me giggle, I think every new bride does something like this. I love your tie in, to Cain.


March 16, 2007 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Tracey, in MI said...

Oh the mess of baked on dirt--- been there- done that. On all levels.

thnx great post Darlene;) Funny I posted about doing laundry in the toilet....

March 16, 2007 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

I loved this,Darlene! I have made plenty of mistakes along my journey of being a wife and mother. Some laughable...some not.

Thankfully Christ's death caused us to be looked upon favorably by God...not from anything we have done or haven't...just God's grace on our lives.


March 16, 2007 at 9:45 AM  
Anonymous eph2810 said...

I tell you, I rather be a pleasing smell like a pie :)...

Thank you for the reminder that I need to put the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, rather than the oven :)

Blessings to your day and always.

March 16, 2007 at 11:22 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Elise, thanks for the encouragement. I love the symbolism of sacrifice in the old testament. I feel like an archologist digging up truth when I read it.


Chris, our mothers must have laughed to see us young brides "trying" to walk in their shoes. Hilarious. I also put a tupperware bowl on an element once to raise the dough. The element was off, but the heat from the oven below vented through and melted it. I'm not good with Tupperware!


Denise thanks so much.


Laurel, I'd love to giggle over tea IRL :)


Tracey I have to go read that! I have a toilet story too, coming to a blog near you very soon.


Kim, I love your comments, I only wish I could read them before I post because they add so much depth to the writing.


Iris, you're a cinnamon apple pie baking in the blogosphere :)

March 16, 2007 at 2:20 PM  
Blogger janiswrites said...

Being a sweet aroma to God is essential to leading others to Him. It is just hard to be that sweet smell. Much easier to be the bad one. Thanks for your thoughts! Blessings!

March 16, 2007 at 2:58 PM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

"We can pretend that we’re this, or we’re that, but the aroma of our life is unmistakable to God." I loved that you made this point, Darlene.

In my counseling with women, it is amazing to find what secret lives we lead. Lesbianism, drug addiction, hidden debt, etc. The list goes on and this from women INSIDE the church. Oh that we would let the Father get to every deep place in us....It's time to get rid of the stench!

March 16, 2007 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

You are such a wonderful writer- you evoke such vivid images. This made me laugh! It reminded me of my flaky first-time motherhood when I boiled the plastic parts of the breast pump but forgot they were on the stove till they were completely melted. The apartment smelled like burnt plastic for a week! What an aroma! Thanks for tying it in biblically and practically.

March 16, 2007 at 7:28 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

What a great post Darlene! I loved this as I tried being a whole lot more than I was capable of this past week. Thank you for reminding us that God knows exactly who we are.


March 17, 2007 at 6:51 AM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Janis, yes sometimes it seems easier to follow our soul rather than the spirit.


Lisa, you have said it so well. And being in the church gives women all the more reason to want to hide then to deal with the problem.


Christine, thank you. That's an awesome compliment. The breast pump? lol You were probably a tired mom, so you had an excuse. But doesn't that stink? yuck.


Jennifer, you are such a sweet aroma as you are trying to be more for God. Knowing who we are in Christ is our offering to Him.

March 17, 2007 at 11:29 AM  
Blogger Laurie said...

"I was a foolish young bride who listened to the un-wise counsel of those who advised, “Hide your dishes in the oven, away from your guests.”

This statement pierced my heart...I caught myself asking the Lord, what are the councils I will be known for as an older woman of God teaching the younger. I so want to always have my speech be scrutinized by the Holy Spirit first before it gets to the ears of the young woman the Lord puts in my life. What a great post not only for observing ourselves in light of the things we would like to hide from God, but also for the things that we speak openly to the Saints.

Blessings to you and I love the new addition to CWO!

March 19, 2007 at 5:41 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

Laurie, thanks for flipping the coin. I enjoyed looking at the other side.

I'm so glad that you like this addition. So do I!

March 19, 2007 at 7:02 PM  
Anonymous Loni said...

I am doing some catch-up reading here as I nurse my little one. :)

I am so thankful I never got into the habit of putting things in the oven! I could easily do the same thing! I have a friend who did this before an open house and put Tupperware into her oven . . . later to have it melted all over inside!

Aren't you thankful though for the foolish things that are such teaching tools! Thank you for sharing!

March 20, 2007 at 5:20 PM  

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