Baking Fiascoes

My, my, my what a time I had in the kitchen on Saturday afternoon.

First I made a batch of cupcakes that flopped! How is it possible to flop cupcakes????? I don’t know what happened but when I took the pan out of the oven, every single cupcake had spread across the top of the tray and you could barely distinguish each one. UGLY, UGLY, UGLY . . . finally got ’em out of the pan but the edges were all crumbly and broken. Hideous looking. I tried to cover up the ugliness with frosting but even Betty Crocker couldn’t hide the ugliness.

My pastor’s wife loves coconut so in honor of her birthday I decided to make a coconut cake to take to church on Sunday. Having not made a coconut cake in years, I went online searching for the perfect recipe, (perfect meaning easy and having all the ingredients on hand). Finally, I found what I needed and the cake turned out fine. But then I made a batch of icing and it wasn’t enough to finish the cake. Why in the world wasn’t one recipe of icing doing what I needed? So I made another batch but found half-way through that I was out of one of the key ingredients. UGHHHH! But I was able to finish it and the cake turned out fine. But still I had a nagging fear that it too would be a flop and I’d be embarrassed.

Then later that night I attempted to make a Peanut Butter pie. Please note I said “attempted” – because when I pulled off the plastic lid of the graham cracker pie crust I found that my pie crust was broken into oodles of pieces. Just great!!! What else could go wrong in my kitchen today?!?!? But never fear, I’ll just toss it into a cake pan, crunch up some cookies, toss in a little more butter/sugar and make my own crust and instead of having a pie I’ll make it into a bar dessert. What an ingenious plan. And it would have worked fine if I hadn’t gotten sidetracked when I put it in the oven and forgot about it until my house suddenly smelled like I had left a pan of chocolate chip cookies in the oven for an hour. UGHHH I just couldn’t win!!!

What a baking disastrous day, one fiasco after another. To laugh or to cry?

And now this morning I’m realizing how close my spiritual life parallels my Saturday baking fiascoes.

Like the cupcakes that flopped, I often find myself wondering what went wrong, why did things turn out like this, and feeling ugly, ugly, ugly. I thought I was doing everything the “right” way. And then too, there are times when I attempt to cover up the problems. Knowing full well that there’s ugliness underneath I still attempt to make the outside look nice. Somehow thinking that as long as the outside is fine the inside doesn’t matter.

Too often I find myself searching for something new and different, not really wanting to do the “same old, same old.” And while it turns out ok, in the end I’m left wondering why I just didn’t do what I know works, why did I make it harder than it needed to be? And ohhhh how many times have I come up short and then in an attempt to do what “I” think best I find that I’ve left out something important.

How many times have I taken the crumbled pieces and attempted to fix them? How many times have I had a clear goal and yet allowed something to distract me? How many times has that distraction led to disaster?

And just like with my baking, in the end I’m left not knowing if I should be laughing at myself or crying.

But ohhhh how thankful I am that in the midst of all my flops, in the midst of all those times I missed an important piece, in the midst of all my calamities . . . HE still loves me!!!!

He loves me despite all my failings. He loves me in spite of my shortcomings. He loves me!

And in truth, it doesn’t matter if my cupcakes are a flop – my son didn’t care what they looked like, he was just happy I made something especially for him. My pastor’s wife loved the cake I made her and the icing turned out fine. And the peanut butter pie? Well, I just dumped it into a pan and it became a peanut butter pie sans crust.

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