Tuesday, December 23, 2014

When the Cookies Burn

Ahhhh Christmas. 
It is my FAVORITE.
Celebrating and family and fun and...

And then? 

Then there are days when the cookies burn.
The ones you’ve been waiting to make and decorate…saving those best moments for some of the last.
The days where traditions tank and you wonder why you are even attempting it all.
Days when discussions over gift giving turn into irrational, heated arguments.
Days when you aren’t the one invited.
Days when you are in a room with people yet feel dreadfully alone.
Those days when all your cookies seem to be going down in a blaze of glory and you are groping your way through the smoke just trying to figure out how to breathe.
On the outside the house is all a glow for the season, but inside? It’s a season of mess.

Can you relate?

I hesitate to share the truth about my cookies burning.
Because who wants the burnt stuff? 
We all know I am not gonna serve anyone my burnt mess. No…I will present a platter of beautifully decorated cookies that are made with love from the bottom of my heart...but the truth is...I still have days when the cookies burn. 
So I am not sharing for sympathy.
I am sharing because I realize there are so many just like me who roll out another batch of dough, put another pan in the oven, when really you just want to sit down, give up and have a good cry over all the burnt cookies. 
When the smoke of loss, fear, failure, change, transition, hurt, bitterness, hardship, fractured relationships, lost friendships looms thick in your kitchen…please know that you are not alone.

God is with us.
WITH us.

This Christmas, remember that there is grace for all that is charred and burned. Jesus came so that you could take up, “...beauty for ashes, a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair.”(Isaiah 61:3)
HE makes all things new.

And so I set those cookies aside.
I open up doors and windows to let the funk out.
And I decide that I will bake another batch.
I am not done.
He is not done with me.
There is more sweetness in store.
I just have to wait and watch.
And even if the next batch burns, I am learning a lot in the making. 
And I am never alone…even when the cookies burn.