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.

Feminine Appeal: GET THIS BOOK WOMEN

HerReadingHave you ever read a book and find yourself telling people, “I seriously recommend THIS book“? A book you go back to, re-read, and use as a tool to check your clarity and intention?

Be prepared.
Because this book review is about THAT kind of book.

The book is Feminine Appeal: Seven Virtues of a Godly Wife and Mother by Carolyn Mahaney.

 

The title alone had me intrigued.

The foreword is written by Nancy Leigh DeMoss, and while I’m not always a fan of name dropping, I’m dropping this one because I typically skip over the foreword and jump straight to the meat of a book. Seeing DeMoss take the time to write the foreword however slowed me down. It got me pumped. It got me thinking about what it means to be a woman. So don’t skip the foreword. It’s a great start to the journey you are about to take with this one. Continue reading “Feminine Appeal: GET THIS BOOK WOMEN”

Someday He Will Love You More

A few months ago I read a letter from a mother of a young son to her future daughter-in-law. As I read it, my heart broke. The mother was very clear that her future daughter-in-law would know her place, would never interfere between mother and son, and would always be second to her until the day she passed away.

That letter has randomly picked my thoughts since I read it. The more I thought about it, the more I felt like I wanted to write my own letter. So here it is.

Dear Future Daughter-In-Law,

Selfishly, I hope we someday meet. I say selfishly because I want to be a “Grammie” someday. I want to hear the sound of little feet running through the house again. I want to hear giggles and babbling and “Grammie, Grampie, look what I can do!”

That’s only my selfish little reason though. The truth is, I know if my son meets you, falls in love with you, that he will someday love you more. I pray he loves you more. I pray he marries you wanting to provide for you, protect you, and love you with the sacrificial love of Christ. I pray he lifts you up above all other women and provides you Godly wisdom and counsel. I pray he never makes you feel “unworthy”, or “less than” because you are a woman. That instead, he will make you feel like the wonderful creation by God in which you are. A woman. Beautiful. Wonderful. 

I pray in return you will love him more. More than your own parents. More than your friends. More than any children you may have. I pray you will love him with a tender compassionate love. Lifting him above all other men. That you will want to be his helpmate, his partner, his prayer warrior. 

I promise his father and I will continue to do our best to raise him in the way he should go. To teach him compassion and mercy. To teach him his strengths and how to honor God and you with them. To teach him self-control, kindness, patience, and most importantly love. 

I also promise his father and I will continue to learn how to love one another more. To show him God’s design for marriage. Union. Oneness. I pray your parents are doing the same. Teaching you the awe and wonder and beauty of marriage. I pray God’s grace will cover both you and our son for the shortcomings of parents. We will promise to teach him all we can while he is with us, however, we won’t always be perfect. I’m sure he will share stories with you about our imperfections. I pray they are few.

I pray you know the Lord. I pray you know Him and love Him more than my son. I pray my son loves the Lord more than you. I pray the love you both have for our Savior will bind you stronger to one another. Because storms will arise. Pain will come. There will be arguments and hurt feelings and words said you wish you could take back. It happens to us all. Remember, there is forgiveness. We promise to teach him about forgiveness, to teach him to not hold onto grudges, to teach him confession and repentance and reconciliation. We promise to be here for you both. To take no one’s side except for God’s side. To always speak truth to you, pray with you, and share whatever life experience we have with you. Please understand, when we feel you are in error we will honestly and gently and lovingly explain why. Know that we will continue to do the same with our son.

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We will strive to not interfere and respect your decisions if you become parents. If you don’t want your children drinking soda, we promise to not sneak it to them when you aren’t around. We will honor our relationship with you with integrity and trust and love. Our grandchildren will know there are no secrets from mommy or daddy. We will not go out of our way to undermine you or spoil them in ways you disagree with. Although, I selfishly ask you let us spoil them sometimes in ways you approve of, as reward for raising our son. 

Understanding you have parents too, praying that you have parents you are close with and love dearly, we will never expect you to spend every holiday with us. We will ask that we get every other if it’s possible. If distance separates us we promise to not always expect you to come to us. We will come to you as well.  If we all live close enough together we will gladly share holidays as one huge family. We promise to be kind and respectful of your parents. We would enjoy getting to know them and sharing life with them. 

If your parents have already passed on from this life, or if you have pain with them, we promise to be understanding of that. To pray with you about it, to love you, and to welcome you always with open arms. To love you as a daughter. We will never replace your parents and we would never want to, however, we would love to be an addition. We want you to be comfortable enough to call us whenever you have a need. To come and spend evenings of laughter and card games. To take family vacations together. To know you are loved and cherished as our daughter in law. 

We promise to remember your birthday. We promise to help you move when you need to move. To help give you a break by watching the children so you and our son can spend the precious needed time together as husband and wife. I pray the two of you never stop dating. We promise to live out this example for him. 

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I hope you and I can be close friends. Share coffee. Lunches. Trips. Prayers. Studies. Recipes. Dreams. Hopes. Praises. I hope we can enjoy our times together as mother- and daughter-in-law. I hope you never feel threatened by me. I hope you never feel undermined by me. I hope you never feel inferior to me. I promise to never do anything intentional to make you feel that way. I pray our communication with one another will always be open and honest so we can encourage and uplift one another as women. As you and my son create your own family traditions, I hope we can be apart of them as well. We hope you will always be a part of ours. 

I pray the Lord is watching over you right now. Protecting you. Loving you. You may be a young girl. A woman-child. If so, these next few years are hard ones. I remember. We are watching our son go through them. We promise to help him as best we can to navigate these rough waters so he comes out the other side not weighed down by past mistakes. I pray you have someone in your life right now who is doing the same for you. Someone you can come home to and cry on their shoulder when you’ve had a bad day. I pray you have a warm home, a safe place, and that you are learning Jesus is always a safe resting place. I pray you laugh often. I pray you look in the mirror and see the beauty the Lord gave you. That the pressures of the world’s beauty do not hurt you. I pray if these next few years are hard for you, that you will come to know His Grace. I pray if you make some mistakes, you will not lose hope. That no matter what, you are never alone, for you know He is always with you and I pray that He sends His people to always be with you too. 

I don’t know when we’ll meet you. I pray someday we meet you. I pray long healthy happy lives for both you and our son. I pray we come to know you. I pray we watch your father give you away on your wedding day. I pray we sit, probably bawling our eyes out from happiness, watching the look of awe, wonder, and love in our son’s eyes as he takes your hand to be his wife. 

So, until I meet you, whoever or where-ever you may be, I will pray for you. I will pray for you after I meet you. We promise, his father and I, to always pray for you both for as long as we are here. To love you both. To help you both in whatever ways we can. Because someday, he’ll love you more. That’s the way it’s supposed to be. That is what will bring the most joy to this mother’s heart, is for my son to love you more. 

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In Love & Faith,
RaZella

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