When Your Cake is Ugly

Alan said the bear looked like Cousin It and Faith said it was a slug. As the night progressed, the icing ran all over the cake.

Alan said the bear looked like Cousin It, and Faith said it was a slug. As the night progressed, the icing ran all over the cake.

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walkinin the truth. 3 John 1:4 NIV

I love planning birthday parties for my kids. I get into creating themed parties with decor and food to match. And I pride myself in making my children’s birthday cakes.

Over the years, I’ve made a 3 ft light saber, a 3-tiered Dora cake, a princess doll cake, a teapot cake with matching cupcake teacups, a half-pipe skateboard cake, a giant sheriff’s star, individual cakes with Twinkie girls in sleeping bags, a pirate ship… You get the idea. While I love to make fun cakes, they don’t always turn out as planned.

This year, Faith had a bear themed party, and I made a 3-D teddy bear to sit on top of a sheet cake. I was going for simple. Only I was in a rush to ice it before the guests arrived, and the icing ran – all down the back of the cake. It looked AWFUL! Faith said it looked like a slug.

Every time we looked at the cake, we burst into laughter. A week later, Faith suggested I write a devotion about it. I was impressed she was able to take a situation like that and turn it into a devotion. She loves to write, so I suggested she write the devotion. I promised I would publish it on my site.

So, she wrote it. But I submitted it, instead, to a devotional website for kids. And they accepted it!!

I never posted pictures of my cake for my friends on Facebook, because it looked so terrible. What good can come out of an ugly cake? Who would have thought that cake disaster would be the catalyst to my daughter getting published? God truly can use anything.

What messy situation are you looking at today? Give your slug cake to God and see what He can do with it. I promise you’ll be blessed!

I would love you to read Faith’s devotion and leave her a comment. Click HERE to read her devotion.

Carol

Are You a Glow-in-the-Dark Christian?

internet-cafe-devotions

“Why is it not lighting up?”

My daughter Grace called through the dark to me.

“Honey, it IS lighting up,” I explained. “But glow in the dark things just glow. They don’t really project light,” I told her and waited for her to ask what project meant.

It’s hard to explain to a three-year-old the difference between a light-up unicorn pillow that puts stars on the ceiling and the glow-in-the-dark dinosaur from her kid’s meal.

I kept trying to explain it in different ways, but honestly, none of them made sense to her.

And as I explained, I realized something huge…

Join me today at the Internet Cafe. Click HERE to find out if you are a glow-in-the-dark Christian.

Carol

Why Didn’t God Answer?

nTxKUzW

She woke me in the dead of night and spoke the words a mother dreads.

“Mama, I don’t feel good.”

“What’s wrong?” I croaked, throwing back the covers to slide my feet to the floor. I walked my nine-year-old back to her room and listened as she told me how her head throbbed, and she was hot and then cold and then hot again.

Eleven years of mothering told me she had a fever even before I touched her. I got a cool cloth for her head and gave her some Tylenol. Feeling tired and weary, I knelt down by her bed, smoothed her covers and rubbed her back.

She rolled back to search for my eyes in the dark. “Mama?” My daughter asked. “Last night I prayed and asked God to help me have a good night and a good day tomorrow. Why do you think He would let me get sick when I prayed that?”

I took a deep breath, throwing up quick prayers asking God to give me the wisdom to answer this one. I looked at her in the dark, the seconds ticked on the clock echoing in the room.

“Faith, just because we ask God for something doesn’t mean He automatically grants it…” I began to explain something to my daughter that sometimes I don’t even understand myself.

My nine-year-old hit on a question probably uttered by hundreds of thousands of people daily – WHY?

Why, Lord, would you let a crazy man with guns in a school full of innocent children? Why didn’t you let a cop pull him over for speeding before he got there?

Why didn’t you distract the Boston bombers as they were creating explosive devices so the bombs wouldn’t detonate? Lives would still be intact. Families unbroken.

Why would you allow a girl at the beginning of her journey, just three years into marriage, have incurable cancer? Why, Lord?

Why would you allow a child to be taken and kept for ten years? Why didn’t you draw the neighbor’s attention to the house sooner?

Friends, I don’t claim to have the answers to all of life’s questions. I just don’t. I told my daughter the same.

mf0yMnm

I did explain how God gave us free will to choose our lives, and sometimes we choose to touch the germs that make us sick. Adam and Eve chose so long ago to bring sin into the world and because of that sin, we have sickness and cancer and bad people.

God didn’t want it. He doesn’t relish in allowing it to happen. It hurts Him. It brings Him great grief. But ultimately, He knows that in this fallen world, He can use those things – those horrible, sometimes unspoken things – to draw others to Him.

Because when they find Him, they can have eternal life in Heaven. Life without cancer, without bombers, without hunger, without sex trafficking, without heartbreak, without loneliness, without abandonment, without addiction and without death.

And although, I don’t understand why or how God chooses to intervene sometimes with miracles and sometimes not, I’m okay with that. As hard as it is to say, I accept it, because God knows more than me.

He knows the big picture. He knows when a death and “perfect healing” in Heaven brings more people to know Him than a miracle on earth.

So I choose to have faith. Faith doesn’t mean you understand everything because you’ve worked it all out in your head and it makes sense. Faith believes without completely seeing. It’s trusting.

And while I don’t always know the answers to the why, I do know God. And I trust Him. I know He is always with me.

I explained to Faith, “Even though I can’t automatically make you better, I am here to be with you. Does my presence make you feel a little better?”

She nodded her fevered head.

It’s the same way with God. While He may not grant your request the way you wish, He will be with you. He won’t leave your side.

Lord, I thank you for a daughter who prays to you and thinks about the hard questions. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to talk to her about a real situation in a way she can understand. God, I know there are people reading these words who are hurting with situations I cannot even begin to understand. But You do. I ask that You bring healing and peace to their lives. Lord, I pray You wrap your loving arms around them and bring comfort. Let them know You will never leave them or forsake them. Amen.

*Photo credit

Carol

Universal God

presidential-prayer-team-devotion

 

Many church groups and various denominations are guilty of thinking God only hears their specific prayers. If you think God only hears the prayers of the (insert your denomination here), then you might be acting like Apple computers.

Confused? Join me today at the Presidential Prayer Team. Click HERE to read my devotion.

*Reminder: This link is only direct for today, May 13. After today, you’ll have to select May 13 from the drop-down menu on the Presidential Prayer Team site. 

Carol

Swan Dive

mjQsI5Q

 

In honor of Mother’s Day, I bring you my favorite post about my mother. I could not have asked for a better role model and friend. Happy Mother’s day Mom!

I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Phillipians 4:13 NIV

My mother taught me how to swim. She taught my brother, all my cousins, and me. Where I grew up, my family all lived on the same road. Aunt Marilyn lived five houses down from us, and she had a pool. Many summer days were spent there. With swim suit clad bodies, we’d throw a towel around our shoulders and flip flop all the way to Marilyn’s.

When I was too young to swim, Mom put me in a galvanized tub of water beside the pool and let me watch. My cousins and brother would run and jump, slide and splash to my delightful squeals. As I grew, mom taught me to leap in the shallow end and slip down the slide. By the time I was four, I was flipping off the side.

I loved when my mom swam with me on her back. She told me to hold my breath and her neck. She would swim underwater to the deep end with my little body floating up behind her. Sometimes, I would pretend she was the Mama fish and I was the baby. And together we swam.

My mother was unsurpassed. She could do anything. Always athletic, she played basketball in high school. During softball season, she threw balls in the backyard. And basketball season found her coaching my team.

mihJS8c

 

But in summer, Mom was diving. Most of my friends and family attribute their knowledge of diving to my mother. When other moms would sit on the side of the pool not wanting to get their hair wet, my mom would launch herself in with a beautiful swan dive. A few steps and a hop, then her arms flew gracefully through the air as her body floated up, up and with a tilt, she slipped in the water. It was an attitude. That swan dive was the way my mom has always approached life – with style and grace.

Many years have passed since our pool days at Marilyn’s. The diving board is long gone, and the pool closed for good.

That swan dive attitude stills lives within me. When I think of the insurmountable, I think of my mother floating through the air. The pool may be gone, but my mother can still swan dive. If you’re sitting by a pool this summer and an older lady approaches the diving board, don’t be surprised if she leaps into a swan dive.

It just might be my mother.

*Photo credit

Carol