Baking for me is fun and relaxing, and it’s always a joy to behold smiles from those who are the recipients of my culinary efforts. In fact, I have felt a little proud lately about the delectable delights coming from our kitchen. Well, our dear Lord has a way of humbling me, sometimes at the most inconvenient times. That is what happened today. As I prepared the dough yesterday afternoon of one of my favorite cookie recipes, I decided to divide the recipe in half since I didn’t relish the thought of hand rolling 120 cookies and then swishing each one around in a bowl of sugar. I knew half of the recipe would be plenty since the cookie exchange party I would be attending today only required 48 cookies from each guest. Had I had the common sense and taken the time to use correct math, the cookies would have been wonderful. Unfortunately, when I came to the part that called for flour my mind must have been elsewhere, and I’m very certain the incorrect amount was used. Early this morning when I was rolling the cookie dough that had been refrigerated overnight, that reality hit me between the eyes. The dough seemed exceptionally sticky and difficult to work with, but I baked them anyway. Then going over the ingredients again, I realized I definitely hadn’t used enough flour. Oh well, less gluten for those with that intolerance, right? Barely out of the oven, we did a taste test and they were oh so blah blah blah! With just a couple of hours before the party was to begin, I knew I could whip up a batch of another kind of cookie that wouldn’t be so labor intensive but still tasty. That was not meant to be. It seems unexpected visitors were on the way to our house. We live in a gated community so anyone attempting to visit had to stop at the guard gate. Just as I was about to hop in the shower the phone rang, and it was the gate calling to see if it was OK to send through some visitors from Minnesota. What in tarnation?!!!!! We weren’t expecting anyone, but they had decided to surprise us on their way to Sedona to go hiking. It truly was a lovely surprise because we hadn’t seen the Mom in about 5 years, and her daughter, now a mother of three, last seen by us when she was a teenager. They are very special people so of course permission was readily granted for them to come through. We had a lovely visit catching up on old times and news from my hometown. It was far more important to visit with them than stress out about making a new batch of cookies. I did, however, think about skipping the party altogether because I was embarrassed about the sad looking cookies. Instead, as soon as our guests departed, I ran to the freezer to check my inventory, grabbed several bags of cookies we had stashed for our Wednesday night neighborhood group, and counted out exactly 49 cookies, just the amount needed for the cookie exchange with one to spare! Isn’t God good, especially after I had slipped a couple of cookies from that bag yesterday afternoon hoping that the bathroom scale wouldn’t chastise me this morning. The scale didn’t say anything (guess it was too choked up for words), but the cat watched the numbers and said, “Whoa, Mama, you really need to lay off the cookies.” OK, so he really didn’t say that, but I bet he was thinking it.
Also at the cookie exchange party there was a Christmas ornament exchange, and I ended up with this beautiful angel “Believe with all your heart”. So perfect for some of the difficult times we have faced lately. In a nutshell, my oncologist of 6 years is leaving the practice. This I learn after she informs me that my platelets elevated a lot and it’s necessary to increase chemo capsules. Every time my numbers go up and the meds are increased I go through a funk for a few days. Then the Lord gives me assurance that all things really do work together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His purpose (from Romans 8:28).
And I also know that He has given His angels charge over me so keep me in all ways (from Psalm 91:11). So, dear readers, as we begin to join in parties and celebrations throughout the wonderful season of Christmas, my prayer for each of you is just what it says on this ornament. “Believe with all your heart!” When I saw this ornament, I stood before the group of 32 women and read what it says; and I proclaimed that I am a believer AND believe with all my heart! Sometimes it’s difficult to share my faith, not knowing how it will be received or if I will be rejected or called a religious fanatic. Those concerns are no longer serious concerns. Now I just want everyone to believe in Jesus with all of their heart!
With a thankful and humble heart from the crazy baker who wrote this in a hurry, so please don’t judge me too harshly. After all, I’m a college drop out. Stay tuned in for the recipe that caused so much angst, Christmas Date Cookies, coming to you in a few days. Seriously!