Em and I suited up to make her auntie a gigantic cupcake for her birthday. The days of both of us fitting on one chair are quickly coming to a close…
The days of seeing my own toes are quickly coming to a close, as well…
In my memory, licking the beaters was my favorite part of the whole process.

Perhaps in her memory it will be actually eating the cake?

After coming off several months of planning and praying over last weekend’s “Normal” Retreat, a retreat given by my non-profit, Bevy Girls, this week I am not as exhausted as I had expected. Last night I tucked Em in and fell asleep close to 8:30, waking up chipper this morning at 7:00. It was just what I needed!

But over the last several months working through the process of planning and organizing this retreat has been fun and overwhelming all at the same time. Gina and I received so many offers for people to help us with things, and we did engage a lot of that help, however, we needed to know how to steer this whole operation in order to host other Bevy retreats around the nation. It was a lot of work, but the weekend itself was so rich that it was totally worth it! Totally!

I’m not complaining about the work we did. Actually, I enjoyed it very much and look forward to the Fall when we head to the Midwest with this life-changing weekend. I just can’t help but compare the process to that of making a cake.

Em and I had recently made a cake for her auntie’s birthday. We saw the pictures on the cake form box and were excited for the outcome, but as it baked, I’m not going to lie, I prayed it would turn out! How stinky to bake a cake for someone for their birthday and have it flop!

I mean, I’ve watched a lot of Food Network and Bobby Flay’s cakes never flop!

But, even though Em and I had a vision or dream of what the cake would look like, we had to walk through the process of gathering ingredients, measuring meticulously, and mixing for the required amount of time, no more, no less, in order to even pour the batter into the forms, which, of course, had to be prepped with oil and flour. And even then, when you throw in 6,202 feet elevation, there are no guarantees that it will rise…just hope that you’ve done your part and the batter and oven temp will do its part.

Was licking the beaters or dragging our fingers through the batter a necessary part of the process? I would say an emphatic YES! Would it have turned out just the same if we had not, indeed, tasted batter during the process? Probably…but it would not have been as enjoyable.

Was cleaning up our explosive mess of flour and sprinkles and cracked oozing eggs a necessary part of the process? Again with the emphatic YES! I’m a “cleaner as you goer” so by the end of a recipe the kitchen doesn’t look like it’s spent time on the front lines, however, no matter how you do it, cleaning up the mess is part of the gig.

When I was 5 we bought an old hunting lodge in Ohio and my dad gutted it and refurbished the whole place to be our home…however, prior to that, a hermit of a woman lived there for several years who did not have the word “clean” anywhere in her genetic make up…she never let her dogs go outside to do their business but instead had them unload in a room we later remodeled as the sun room…a place where we enjoyed the beauty of the trees outside and the fresh air through the open windows.

But, it took a clean up crew, gutting down to the framework and a lot of elbow grease to, one, envision the crap shoot as a sitting room one day, and two, to actually get it to a place that was suitable for human occupation.

Sure the finished cake is the prize. It’s the goal, at least. It tastes yummy and fills the house with smells of sweet bakeries. But even the last piece of cake gets tossed in the trash because at some point, everyone is sick of it. And, none of us is a magician. Sure, we could buy cakes at bakeries and it does spare our own kitchens the tornadoes that ensue, but their kitchen still needs the clean up.

The point is…we may think that a perfect cake is the end all, be all. But what if it tastes like crap because we put in a cup of salt instead of a cup of flour? What if we were rushing through the process to get to the prize and as a result, the cake was a flop?

We’d have to start all over from the top, anyway, or head out to the bakery and pray they had one available that wasn’t airbrushed and gaudy!

If my life is the cake, I’ve spilled flour on the floor, gotten eggshells in the batter and left out ingredients here and there. I’ve tried to rush the process and at other times, I’ve actually added some of the right ingredients, but with God in the kitchen, allowing me to lick the beaters sometimes, I trust the cake He’s got in mind is beautiful and I’m happy to just be His Sous Chef.



7 Responses

  1. I am 25 weeks. My friend took some this past weekend and will be sending them my way…will post some of those. I feel like every time I go to sleep I wake up bigger! Due August 31st.

  2. oops, i think i should clarify because i know you said it was amazing and life-changing.
    i guess i wanted to know specifically more along the lines of how did you meet all the women, were they personal friends, etc?
    (just curious because my friend is thinking about doing a retreat for heart moms in california 😉

  3. Haven’t checked your blog in a long time so I had tears in my eyes when I realized you were pregnant. I know you don’t know me from Adam, but I have prayed for you and have commented before on your blog. Just wanted to say congratulations and praise God for yet another miracle!


  4. Loved seeing the pictures of your growing tummy!!! I can’t wait to meet him/her! So happy the retreat went well and you are not totally exhausted after it. The picture of the cupcake made my tummy growl. That looks AWESOME!!! Do you deliver? :o)

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