One week prior to an German Competition, my oldest daughter states, "Mom, I have to make cookies for the German Competition. I got Kate's book. Look at the cookies are they 'prettyful'? "
"Yes, they are, but they look awfully hard to make. Wouldn't you prefer to make some real tasty cookies that are easy to make, but crowd favorites?"
"Oh, Momma, I can do it."
"I'm sure you can. How can I help and when are they due?" I said, not ready to commit to doing it for her.
"One week. I already have the ones I want to make picked out. See?" she held out the Williams Sonoma Pastry book.
"Are you sure you want to do these?" My panic level was rising to warning level. "Danger, Danger, Will Robinson!"
I could see the headlights of the oncoming train. The one that typically runs right before any class project...the 8:45pm Express to Insanity Junction with a local stop at Argumentville at 12:05am. I didn't have time to make artful cookies. I didn't want to fight with her.
A short inner pep talk with myself ensued. "Shhh!!! Calm down, Robin. It's okay. She can do it. She can read. I mean, really, it's just a recipe. Gramma Vada says you just need to know how to read to cook. She's got that in spades."
Another wiser non-panicky voice whispered "Set the ground rules and hold her to them."
"Brilliant, " I managed to regain my composure to strike the deal. "Ok. I will help, BUT here's the deal....Go through that book and make two lists, one for ingredients and one for equipment. Put it on the counter by Monday. I'll buy the stuff Tuesday so you will have enough time to make test batches. If I don't have the list in my paw by Monday, we won't do it."
"You got it, Momma," she chanted happily then skipped off in her ususal Casey way.
Saturday and Sunday came and went with no list on the counter. My ears started ringing. I decided to take my case to my husband. "Babe, Shhh...it's okay. If she doesn't do it, just go back to the agreement you laid out with her. The list on counter by Monday equals cookies. No list equals no cookies." Ever the calm in the middle of my storm. What a man!
My blood pressure inched back down into the normal range. I repeated what Chris said, "Yes, she will do it by Monday, or we just default to the agreement. You are brilliant."
Monday came and went--no list was on the counter. Tuesday-- no list was on the counter. Wednesday, she came to find me. "Mom, I need to do those cookies."
"Casey, do you remember the deal we made?"
"Yes, but Momma..."
I interrupted her, "when were you supposed to do your part?
"Monday. But Momma, I promised HB. I have to do them now or our school won't have an entry for the cooking portion of the competition. Besides, I have the list now."
Inwardly, I was a raging sea of, "Holy Mother of Catwoman, I'm going to strangle her. I have to meet my friend for dinner. I don't have time to do this. I'm NOT doing this. I already set the rules down."
I snatched her list from her hand. A small voice said, "Shh!! It's no problem. She can do it at the family catering kitchen."
I thought, "Stellar idea. I’ll drop her off at our office. It has all the ingredients and the equipment she needs. I can still go to dinner with my friend. She has her phone. She can call me if she gets stuck."
I calmly explained to Casey that she missed her deadline so she was on her own to make the cookies. She understood and was still positive about the project. I drove her to the office, showed her where things were, and headed to the local Mexican restaurant.
Over the two hour dinner, the phone rang four times. Casey was chipper, "Mom, what is parchment paper? Where is it?" At 7:30pm, she was less chipper, "It says to use margarine, but all we have is butter. Is that okay?" At 8pm, you could hear concern in her voice, "How do you melt chocolate?" At 8:30pm, "When are you coming back? I need that parchment paper."
I bid my pal adieu with an amused smile and headed back to the office. Through the office door I could see a smoky haze looming. I giggled to myself and went in. The smell of burned bakery products inundated my olfactory glands. "Casey? Are you alright?" I walked back to the kitchen.
The sight was unforgettable. The kitchen looked like a roadside bomb had been detonated. On every surface, there were bowls with goo. The sink was stacked high with all sorts of dishes. There was smoking mess of something in the microwave. In the middle of it all was my baby with flour all over her face and in her pretty black hair.
"Oh, Momma. It's a disaster!" she started to cry."Shh...It's okay." I took her in my arms, "How many batches of cookies do you have done?"
"None. Well, I have one in the oven. Otherwise nothing has turned out. Momma, what am I going to do?"
Compassion flooded my heart. I walked over to the sink and started some dishwater. I listened to her quietly while I picked up and washed all of the dishes.
She cried and cried about what a big mess she had made. After a bit, she stopped and sniffled, "what am I going to do? I still have to take something tomorrow."
"Well, do you want to try those easy cookies?" She nodded.
"Here's the recipe book. Pick three kinds and let's finish up."
"Thank you, Momma. I love you."
While she baked the easy cookies, God whispered into my heart, "Isn't this how you learned? Didn't I allow you to make mistakes? Even though you chose your own way, you eventually found your way, right?"
I smiled and thought, "Yes, indeed. She's just like me. Thank you, Lord for the training."
- Have you ever given wise counsel to a teenager just to have it dashed aside?
- Have you ever been a teenager who ignored wise counsel? How'd that work out for you?
- Have you ever had to watch your kids make a wrong turn?
- What did God teach you about that situation?
"Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure out everything on your own.Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he's the one who will keep you on track.Don't assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil!Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life!Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best.Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over. But don't, dear friend, resent God's discipline; don't sulk under his loving correction.
It's the child he loves that God corrects; a father's delight is behind all this". Proverbs 3: 5-12 (MSG)
"Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.
Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet,"[b] so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed." Hebrews 12: 7 - 13 (NIV)