An answered prayer. I made two birthday cakes for two very special people! Thank you for your prayers. I cannot express how much your prayers have meant. I am on the mend; however, from what I understand, it's going to be a while before I'm completely back to normal.
I made an applesauce cake with cream cheese frosting for my son. And the picture above is the chocolate cake with chocolate frosting I made for my daughter. That's the one I'm going to write about today.
This recipe is not one I've made before. Sarah picked it out from her cookbook. We made it together. It was special. I used a square cake pan. I know. It doesn't look square. I'll get to that in a bit. When I was flipping it over on the rack, only some of the cake came out. I was bummed. My wonderful husband cut the remaining pieces out of the pan for me. I had a plan, though. I was convinced I didn't have to make another one. I had a vision of piling all the pieces on top. I was convinced that I could make it work.
I knew that I wanted to have a circle cake, so it would fit on the cake plate. I needed something to trace. I used the cover of the round storage container that holds our peanut butter. We don't keep our natural peanut butter in the jar. One of my brilliant friends recommended mixing it, so the oils aren't all at the top making a huge mess every time we make a sandwich. Brilliant. I cut my cake. That went relatively well.
I didn't really want to make a double batch of frosting. I knew that I needed something to make all my pieces "stick" together. Since I had the peanut butter out, I slathered a layer on top of the circle piece. It was a spur of the moment decision. I carefully placed the biggest cake pieces on top. Then I started filling it in with little pieces. They weren't stuck together by anything. I just piled pieces (crumbs really) on top. I told myself, at least it will taste good.
Next, it needed to be frosted. Now the color of the frosting was slightly lighter than the cake, so the crumbs that were inevitably coming off and mixing with the frosting were so obvious. Not to mention that the top of the cake was not even. It was pretty bumpy. Don't forget it was just a bunch of cake pieces on there. I kept telling myself, at least it will taste good.
Since it was bumpy on top and I could clearly see the crumbs in the frosting, I decided to look through the cabinets to find something to put on top. I just wanted to distract from the bumps. I had no desire to go out to the store. I found some brown sugar. I sprinkled some of that on top. I found a few other things to sprinkle on top. I wasn't convinced that it looked any better. At least it will taste good. And maybe it won't look so bad in the pictures that I take to remember this day forever.
My husband said that it looked pretty nice. To be honest I thought he was being nice. We had a nice slice of chocolate cake after dinner that night. It did taste good. Especially with the peanut butter.
But here's the strange part. We had some people over later on, and they remarked how nice the cake looked. And that was after it was cut. I'll admit that I was a little surprised, because I knew how not put together it was on the inside.
I felt like it was all smoke and mirrors. It might look good, but it's just a big mess.
It got me thinking. For those of us who are regular attenders to Sunday worship services, do we feel like our lives as we present them on Sunday morning are all smoke and mirrors? We might look like everything's a-ok, but it really isn't.
For those of us who are not regular attenders, do we feel like we'd have to be all smoke and mirrors to fit in at church? Does that become a roadblock?
I know that the answer may be yes to both. And I know that our God is so much bigger than that. He knows it all. There is no way that we can be all smoke and mirrors to Him who created us. Our church should be a reflection of that.
Let us be a group of people who doesn't feel like we have to be all smoke and mirrors, when we enter the church building (or in our case the town hall). Let us be a group of people who can be honest enough to our friends and family that we don't have pretend that we live perfect lives. We are just a group of people who recognize that we are so in need of a Savior, Jesus. And we desire to follow our Savior, Jesus. Together.
I have this friend. She's the most honest person I know. I mean that in a good way. She's warm and endearing and is willing to say what's on her mind. In a good way. She's a Christian, and she's just plain honest.
Completely changing the subject. Or maybe not. Can I be honest? I'm pretty good at the stiff upper lip. Most of the time. But I'm going to be honest. I need some prayer.
Four weeks ago I got a tickle in my throat. It turned into a cough. Then it just got worse from there. I just went to the doctor for the second time yesterday. The last time I went to the doctor for sickness was, like, a decade ago. I have pneumonia. And now I'm starting my second round of antibiotics as well as cough medecine. Can I be honest? I don't want to be sick anymore.
I'm trying to not wallow in self pity. I've tried to be optimistic. I know that I'm not the only one who is sick. From what I hear a lot of people are. But can I be honest? I want to be healthy. For my children. For my husband. For my church.
I am going to ask you all to pray for me. I just want to be healthy. My little Daniel is turning one on Saturday. I want to make him a cake. Can you pray that I'll be able to make him one? My little Sarah is turning three on Monday. Can you pray that I'll be able to make her a cake? I know I could buy them cakes, but I'd really like to be able to bake them myself.
I want to be honest. This hasn't been easy. But I have to say that I'm so thankful to be in a church family that has already been so good to my family. We've been eating a lot of yummy meals. The family has chipped in to help.
Can I be honest? This is one of the best parts about being in a church family. There's so much to be said for being a part of a community that is just "there" for you. So, if you needed a reason to come check First Baptist out, there is one. Out of many. To be honest we'd love to have you! You don't have to have life all together or figured out to check us out.
And if you're sick, please let me know. To be honest, I'd like to pray for you.
This is written by Kathleen Blackey, follower of Jesus and co-pastor at First Baptist Church.