A Tale of Cake and Love

Gather round dear friends and let me tell you a tale.
It is a tale of love.
Love of parents to their children, and of spouses to each other.

It all began innocently enough when Mom decided this year she wanted to make their children birthday cakes from scratch. With the help of the son and a little input from the daughter, she determined to make from scratch a “Prize Chocolate Cake” and a “Golden Lemon Chiffon Cake“.

The Prize Chocolate Cake started easily enough, until she realized it was a 3 layer cake and she only had 2 pans. And then of course, in addition to that, she quickly realized not having a Kitchen Aide meant she was short a few hands, so Dad came to the rescue.

Now Dad and Mom have worked all day. Additionally Dad had worked hard remodeling the basement all week while Mom was busy rearranging the upstairs. As Dad assisted Mom with the chocolate cake baking, he was simultaneously working on the “honey-please-do” list Mom had given him. And she was simultaneously trying to clean the house to prepare for the Birthday gathering the next day.

They laughed and talked and joked. They complimented one another’s work on the house. How much more would they had savored the moment had they knew what was to come?

After the first 2 layers baked, Mom quickly washed and dried the pan in order to get the third layer baking. Alas. This was when things began to take a turn.

Mom, tired and slightly frazzled, started washing the pan while still wearing oven mitts. Dad laughed it off as did she. Next she cried out in a panic when she realized the oven timer was not set. Of course, it took her a moment to realize there was no cake in the oven yet as it was what Dad was currently working on. He laughed, and she decided to sit down and start reviewing the instructions for the second cake.

While round two of the son’s cake was cooking, Mom started prepping for the daughter’s cake. The instructions had phrases in it which she had never heard of before. She OK GOOGLE’D what it meant to make a “well” in flour. She sifted the flour. She made the “well”. She added in the exact order the wet ingredients just like it said to do. Meanwhile Dad was busy separating egg yolks and egg whites for step 2 of the lemon cake.

Finally it came time to “beat the mixture satin smooth“. Dad started beating, and almost instantly the mixture, a glob of thick glutenous glue, started climbing up the beater.

“How are you supposed to beat this “satin smooth”?!” Dad declared, “This is not going to happen.”

“Maybe you are supposed to use a whisk or a fork or something?” Mom wonders, not phased and simply prepared to just work around the small detail. She tries without a lot of success to get all of the glutenous glue off the beaters. Dad continues to mix it with a spoon, shaking his head.

Next came the forming of “very stiff peaks” with the egg whites.
What was to follow was the “pouring the batter in a stream over entire surface of egg whites“.

Now, Dad knew this step was coming, and his anxiety was growing with every stir of the glutenous glue. “Honey, this is NOT going to work. We need to throw this out. Something is wrong.”

“It will be fine,” Mom said, refusing to admit defeat. “Maybe it won’t be light and fluffy but I’m sure it will still taste fine.”

Dad attempted to combine the two bowls, and this was when he really started to have a very great concern over the condition of the batter.

“I’m telling you, this is NOT going to work. Seriously, we can’t serve this tomorrow. This is no good.”

“It will be fine. Maybe we need to beat it from the middle of the ‘well’? Maybe that’s why you make a well? I only have enough ingredients to make two and one is to share and one is to send home with her. We will just cute it up into bite size pieces or something and send her home with the other one.”

*** tense marital silence ***

“Honey, this is NOT going to work. This is just wrong. We did something wrong. How much oil did you put in?”

“I put in exactly what it said.”

“What about water? How much water?”

“The book is right there. Take a look yourself.”

Dad walks away from the glutenous glue which he is attempting to force to “blend” into the egg whites. He is muttering to himself, looking over the list, looking back at the bowl.

“Something isn’t right. This just isn’t right. We are not making another one. I’m making the executive decision right now. We are not making another Chiffon Cake.”

Mom puts the bowl she was preparing to start adding ingredients to for the second chiffon cake and walks away, clearly agitated. She sits on the couch. There must be two cakes. TWO CAKES.

*** tense marital silence ***

Dad calls out from the kitchen, “Can you look this up on a YouTube video or something?”

Without answering, Mom turns on the TV, pulls up YouTube and searches “How to make a lemon chiffon cake“. She plays the first video that comes up.

Dad comes out of the kitchen, watching the video. For the last 10 minutes he has given up “blending” and is beating the glutenous glue mercilessly with the broken hand mixer.

(That’s right, my apology reader, in addition to all of the above, the one and only hand mixer the couple owns is broken, so one beater won’t latch into place. This means it constantly tries to fall out of the hand mixer WHILE in mid operation.”

Watching the TV Dad says, “Did you put lemon juice in it?”

“The receipe doesn’t call for lemon juice.” Mom says, a tinge of exasperation beginning to break into her voice.

“Well, something is missing. Something has got to be missing.” Dad goes back into the kitchen. He stands over the recipe book, reading glasses on his nose. He goes back over to the glutenous-gluey-egg-white mixture.

He tastes it.

“Does this have any sugar any it? Any at all?”

Mom blinks. She gives him a blank stare. Meanwhile her brain is going off into a fire ball of “Wait, sugar, mix the dry ingredients. It said sift dry ingredients together. Wait a minute….” She leaps up from the couch and exclaims “That’s it!”

Dashing into the kitchen, shaking her head, she says, “I didn’t put any sugar in it. Or anything other than flour. It needs sugar! Add the sugar and other stuff!”

Dad at this time is now skeptical. The sugar, baking powder, and salt all get added. He continues to blend and finally, oh finally, the glutenous glue begins to dissolve.

“We will just serve this as lemon squares and the other will be the cake!” Mom calls out!

“I really think you should make a different cake.” Dad says. “I still don’t see how it’s going to get satin smooth.”

“I”m telling you it’s the sugar. That was the problem. It will smooth right out with the sugar.”

Now, in Dad’s defense, this is coming from the same woman who kept saying it would be fine when the batter was clearly NOT fine. We cannot blame him for not believing that the sugar would prevent another glutenous gluey mess.

“I don’t know.” He says, his face really saying it all.

“It will be fine.” Mom says, determined now to prove it will work. She gets the second bowl prepped with ALL the dry ingredients this time. She starts adding the wet ingredients to the center of the “well”.

“Are you adding those in the correct order?” Dad asks, looking over her shoulder.

“Probably not,” she says, “But it will be fine.”

“Well, let me go clean this spatula, because you are going to need it when that batter starts climbing into the mixer again.”

“It won’t, I’m telling you, trust me, it’s the SUGAR!!!”

Dad stands next to Mom, spatula ready. Mom begins the beaters, and behold, no glutenous glue forms.

“See,” she says cheerily, “The sugar! Can you get the egg white mixture ready?”

“Sure,” he says, still watching to make sure the glutenous glue doesn’t return.

“Here,” mom says, stepping out of the way. “Make the very stiff white peaks, and then you can add the satin smooth batter so that your soul can be at peace again because it’s doing exactly what the book says.”

She then bursts out into laughter. Dad turns and smiles at her. “Thank you for laughing,” he says, genuinely meaning it.

And then she REALLY starts laughing. She’s laughing so hard she nearly falls over.

“What? What?” Dad asks.

“I love us. We are so stupid. I forget half the ingredients. You can’t handle a receipe not doing exactly what the recipe says. We have spent an hour on this ONE cake batter. I just love us. We are perfect for each other!” She exclaims, and she genuinely means it.

Dad smiles and pours the second cake into it’s pan. He looks back at the first pan.

“That’s not going to cook right.”

“Oh just cook it! It’ll be fine!”

True Love.
The love of Parents to their children – to make home made, from scratch, birthday cakes when they don’t have enough pans, counter top space, or a properly working hand mixer.
The love of Spouses to one another – when they can make two complicated, from scratch birthday cakes for their kids, when they don’t have enough pans, counter top space, or a properly working hand mixer, at the end of a long busy work day, and still love one another with laughter and smiles. Even when the cakes come out of the oven and one looks fantastic while the other looks a little special.

The End.

Stop and Remember, He Gave Us Each Other

Today I attended my son’s “Winter Concert” at school.
He’s in the 6th grade.

His once tiny hands are now bigger than mine.
I am in awe at how his thumb completely hides my own.
He stands on the verge of having to look downward,
to be able to look into my eyes.

I look at the wall to my left,
Where pictures hang of a smiling toddler,
and tears sting my eyes.

On the way home from the concert,
troubling thoughts plagued my mind.

Of all the concerts I missed.
For the years I was a single mother,
choosing $7.00 an hour at work over concerts
full of children off pitch and forgetting their parts.

Remembering times I was so exhausted and didn’t want to “play” trains with him,
Of all the times I was struggling with my own demons,
trying to be a parent.

And maybe all mom’s feel that way.
They look back over their shoulder,
and they think,
“I could have done so much better.
If I only knew then what I know now.”

More plaguing thoughts,
The painful ones.
The ones of mistakes. Choices.
Things that I did that directly impacted his life.
Marriage. Divorce. Moving to different part of the country.
Running. Always Running from that Pain,
that Pain so deep inside, I missed how it had become a part of me.

My heart aches.
My stomach aches.
There is a Gripping inside me so tight I can barely breath.
Tears run down my face..

Anger. Regret. Sorrow. Pain.
I’m not even sure.

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother…(from Genesis 2:24)

Before my son was born, his destiny was to grow up.
Part of God’s plan for his life,
to go from baby to toddler,
from toddler to child,
from child to man-boy,
From man-boy to man.

God, (I think) out of His Love and Mercy,
simply allowed me to be a part of that plan.

To love this child, hold this child, and do my best to raise this child.

Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it. ~Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

I haven’t always done the best job.
Truthfully, there have been moments where I have done
an absolutely horrific job of it.

God Is Sovereign. 

It took me 28 years,
and a horrific storm of hurt,
to finally grasp just the outer edges of that sentence.
To finally grasp it,
and give up that pain.

Because that sentence holds so much.
So Very Much.

God is Sovereign.
In his sovereignty he gave me this child.
And He didn’t stop there.

He gave me a husband.
One who holds me when I cry,
who lets my mother’s heart ache rest on his shoulder,
and then reminds me,
of who I am,
guiding me to truth instead of allowing me
to sit in the guilt, shame driven shadow of who I was.

He gave me a step-daughter.
Whom is also a friend.
Who I love doing girly things with.
Who I love cooking with and hanging out with.

And you see,
in God’s Sovereignty,
He gave myself to my husband,
my husband to myself,
During a pivotal moment in our journey of “parenthood”.
A time when a daughter is a young woman,
and only months away from “adult”.
A time when a son is no longer a little boy,
and every day grows taller and less “child-like”,
God in His Sovereignty,
Gave us Each Other.

Sometimes when we don’t agree on how to “parent.”
Sometimes when we are hurting in this long process of
accepting “Mom and Dad” over “Mommy and Daddy”,
we argue, we lash out at each other,
we forget to just stop,
and seek out our Lord,
and ask for His comfort, His Guidance, His Wisdom,
and His reminder,
That he gave us Each Other.

As the tears dry,
and I train my thoughts to stop looking behind me,
to stop looking at “what ifs”,
and instead to look at
God’s Sovereignty.

His Unbelievable Blessings,
His plan and His will over my own unreliable emotions,
I can accept His peace.

I can look at all He has Given me.
And allow peace and appreciation to fill my heart.

I went to my son’s 6th grade concert today.
And I am so thankful I got to go.
So Thankful I got to watch and video it.
So thankful I got to come home and hug my husband.
So thankful for Jesus,
whom I can cry too,
and who can give me such peace and comfort,
and hope,
and joy.
So thankful for the responsibility and privilege  my husband and I have
of “training up this child”.

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In Love & Faith,
RaZella

Learning to Look Past the Stupid Stuff

I discovered today, for some unknown reason to me, my Spam filter decided that email’s from Lisa-Jo (to notify of her latest blog posts) were “Spam”. ACK!

Now that we have that cleared up, I hope to more consistently join in Five Minute Fridays again!


5-minute-friday-11. Write for 5 minutes flat – no editing, no over thinking, no backtracking
2. Link back here and invite others to join in.
3. Please visit the person who linked up before you & encourage them in their comments. That is like the one rule we all really care about. For reals.

 

 

Ok….This Week’s Word: Cherished

GO

Stupid Stuff

G2 Gel pens,
of different colors,
pink, purple, & forest green.

Empty notebooks,
hard covers,
college ruled pages waiting to be filled.

Yarn,
lots of yarn,
of different colors, textures, sizes.

Tis just a tiny bit,
of the stupid stuff
I Cherish.

Then the Lord peels back
my eyes,
and lifts my face from the trivial,
and what I see
is incredible.

A man who took a vow,
to love, to cherish,
ME.

A son who is learning to be a man,
yet still slows down enough to sometimes cherish,
ME.

A God, who humbled Himself to become a man,
who loved me enough,
while even knowing I would at times,
Cherish colored pens over quiet time with Him,
still CHERISHED ME enough,
to die.

Oh how the stupid stuff tries to distract me.
Tries to take a place in my heart that does not belong to it.
And don’t misunderstand my conviction,
there is a place for pens, notebooks, and yarn.
For creativity, and enjoyment of creating,
because that’s how our Father created us,
with a desire to create.

Cherish.
There is not a place to Cherish the stupid stuff.

Not when there is only so much time.

So precious little time that is here today,
and gone tomorrow.

Precious little time with our children.
To love. To teach. To encourage.
To discipline out of a desire to lead them to Christ.

Precious little time with our spouse,
to serve them, honor them,
submit to them as their helpmate,
a unity designed by our Father God.

Precious little time to spend with Jesus,
our Father, our Redeemer, His Holy Spirit.
To Love Him.

Cherish Him.

Oh how I need to be weary of what I cherish,
hold it against His standard.
It’s time to live a life that goes beyond the stupid stuff.

A life that instead Cherishes
People & Relationships.

A life that Cherishes the one
who cherished me on a cross.

STOP

Ouch. Unexpected.
Ouch Ouch Ouch.
And Joy.
Joy for the ouch.
May the “ouch” lead to growth. Growth to cherish People & Relationships and Father, Son, and Holy Spirit over all else.

Cherished. Cherish. Not remaining trapped in the sins of my past, moving into my present with a transformed heart.

What a word. And speaking of words, how does a Redeemed life cherish?

A thought to ponder today. A challenge to cherish my family today. A challenge to cherish my Savior today.

In Love & Faith,
RaZella