Friday, July 17, 2015

Grace By Cookie Dough

 About a month ago, the kids and I were heading home from somewhere.  I asked them who wanted to help me make chocolate muffins.  There was a loud chorus of "Not Me" that followed.  When we got home, they plopped on the couch and started watching TV, leaving me to make the muffins all by myself.

When I was about to put them in the oven, Hannah decided that she did want to help after all.  I told her that she was too late.  She had waited too long and missed her opportunity.

She asked me if they could still lick the beaters from the mixer.  I looked at her very carefully and asked, "Do you know the story of the Little Red Hen?"

At first she grinned and was excited.  "Yes!"   But then her face fell, and she became very distressed.  She knew exactly what I meant when I said that.  "But you always let us, Mama..."  She alternated among putting her head down on the table, making noises of frustration, and saying "But you always..."  I have to admit that I egged her on a bit by continuing the story of the Little Red Hen:

"Who will help me plant the seeds?"
"Not I," said the Duck.
"Not I," said the Cat.
"Not I," said the Pig.
"Then I will do it all by myself."  And she did.

"Who will help me cut the wheat?"
"Not I," said the Duck.
"Not I," said the Cat.
"Not I," said the Pig.
"Then I will do it all by myself."  And she did.

I just kept telling the story as she continued to get frustrated.  I was trying to make a point, and she knew it.  Before she was too far gone, I asked her why she should get to lick the beaters when she didn't help.  She gave the best answer she possible could have.  In her sweet little way, she looked up at me and said, "Because you love us, Mama."

Well, of course, I had to let her and her brother lick the beaters after that.  That's hard logic to argue with.

Flash forward to Friday:  I was needing to make some chocolate chip cookies for my family reunion this weekend.  It has been my sole duty to bring the chocolate chip cookies for the last 20 years.  (It's a rough job, but somebody has to do it!)  Anyway, I didn't even bother to ask for help today.  I needed the kids to clean their rooms, and I was more interested in getting this one done fast more than anything else.  And quite frankly, I was needing a little bit of space today.

So I sent them off and mixed together a batch of dough without any trouble.  God gave me a different idea as I worked this time.  I called the kids into the kitchen.  I handed each of them a mixing beater, and I announced, "This. Is. Grace."  

They wanted to know what I meant by that.  I asked them if they knew what grace meant.  Without even having to think about it, Seth said it means getting something you don't deserve.  (So proud of that boy!).  I explained that the beaters were an example of grace today because they did absolutely nothing to deserve them.  It was only because of my work that they got any.

As they licked every bit of cookie dough off the beaters, I explained that me giving them the beaters was just like Jesus dying on the cross.  He did every bit of the work for us, and we did absolutely nothing to earn it.  No amount of work we do can ever equal what He did for us.

After they finished, I was feeling oh-so-proud of myself for the profound object lesson today.  I explained an abstract concept in a very real way to my kids, and they seemed to get it.  

And that is when it hit me.  I so needed that very grace.  It had been a rough morning for me.  For reasons I can't totally explain, I was feeling depleted and overwhelmed that day.  Negative, irritable, emotionally spent.  On the verge of a meltdown.  And that is when I realized that I had been neglecting the One who renews me.  Although I have still been doing my reading every day, I hadn't been spending any real time in prayer or just seeing what God might have to tell me.  

The grace that came through a batch of cookie dough was not just a lesson for my children that day.  It was very much for me.  Wonderful, Counselor, my much sweeter and more extravagant than any amount of chocolate chip cookie dough.  Reminds me of one of my favorite verses:

"Taste and see that the LORD is good."  Psalm 34:18


  1. I love this analogy and everything about this post. And I love you! ☺️

    1. Joy filled up inside me when I read your comment. Thank you for the awesome feedback!