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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Cake, Anyone? (Part 1)

Slice of Birthday Cake
Things didn’t go as planned with Nick’s birthday cake.  Let’s just say it’s a cake I’ll never forget.

To start, I had completely forgotten to plan a cake for his 9th birthday party.  So when a friend insisted on making it the day before, I gladly agreed.

Problem #1?  The cake was leaning to one side when she brought it over my house.  It wasn’t in a box, and I still had to transport it to the restaurant.  I could see the disappointment in Nick’s face, but I had to play it cool.  My, this cake looks absolutely wonderful.  And I’m sure it will taste even better.

Inside, I was thinking, This cake is a disaster. How am I ever going to move it – let alone take it on a bumpy car ride?

Of course, we were running late to the party.  I put the cake in the hatchback and told Nick to watch it carefully.  (Looking back, I don’t know why I told him to watch it.  It’s not like he could do anything to stop the inevitable.)  So, as I drove, Nick gave me the painful play by play.  The cake was leaning.  The cake was drooping.  The cake was falling apart.  “Pull over Mom!  You’ve got to do something.  We’re going to have to get a new cake!”  I tried to ignore him and kept driving.

When we got to the restaurant, I opened the hatch.  It was worse than I thought.  The top layer of the cake had slid off completely, and the middle had cracked.  I wanted to cry.  But I couldn’t.  I put on my happy face.  The cake is wonderful.  Things are fine.

Fortunately, Doug met me in the parking lot.  When he saw the cake, he was speechless (and, he was smart enough not to make any jokes).  He handed me a box of Kleenexes from inside his car – like that was supposed to solve things – and I told him to please go inside.  “We’re already late.  Go inside now.  Greet the other parents.  Make sure Nick is happy.  I’ll deal with the cake.”

Did the cake get the best of me, or did I get the best of the cake?  You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. 

Besides, before I finish the cake story, I have to stop and ask.  Do you ever feel like, no matter how hard you try to hold it together, things are falling apart?  And isn’t it painful when you have to act like everything is fine – when you have to stay strong and put on a happy face?

The Lord doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. – 1 Samuel 16:7 (NLT)

3 comments:

Alison said...

That often sounds like my life. It's hard to admit we're trying like crazy to keep it together, yet our efforts are useless. Surrender is always the way to go. When I can give it over and re-group and stop trying so hard, things usually get better.

Why is it so hard for Christians to admit struggle? I find it interesting how people put on their happy face for church and pretend like all is great. Shouldn't our church and faith be where we take our hardship? That's what the Lord calls us to do!

My favorite verse along these lines is Philippians 4:6-7, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

Graceful said...

Oh my gosh, you brave woman! I would have been freaking out! I'm looking forward to hearing part 2 of this story.

Keli Gwyn said...

Haven't we all had those times when our lives seem to be falling apart? That's when we learn what we're really made of.

Great ending hook!! I can't wait to read the rest of the story to find out how you dealt with this situation.