Sunday, February 26, 2012

Over My Mixing Bowl

“…we spend our years as a tale that is told.”  Psalm 90:9  (KJV)

Today, I stood measuring and stirring the ingredients of the pumpkin cake (recipe is at the end) I was making for Mom’s 84th birthday.  I thought of how it didn’t seem so long ago that her cake candles were reversed…the day she turned 48.  I was nine and don’t really remember that day at all.  But, what struck me is the amount of years that have passed in between.  She tells me she doesn’t know how she could possibly be 84.  That she can’t even remember a lot of the years of her life. 

I started writing a song several years ago based on today’s passage of Scripture. The first verse goes like this:

“We live our lives as a tale that is told,
Each moment we’re given’s more precious than gold;
One day we’re young, the next day we’re old,
Each step is leading us home.”

So, if I am spending my years as a tale that is told, what is the tale telling about me? 

How will it be retold and repeated to the generations who follow?

How will I be remembered?  What will Zachary say when he is telling his children and grand-children about his Mama?

I already know, based on my life so far and my parents and others’ experience that life is fleeting.  It goes by so fast, you hardly have time to enjoy and cherish the individual moments. 

I scooped out more sugar into the measuring cup, and I thought about the individual grains.  Each little, tiny grain adds its own contribution to the whole two cups that went into the cake.  One little grain of sugar couldn’t do much on its own, couldn’t make much of a difference.  But, when all of them are combined, they make up the whole.  Just like the moments we live make up our lifetime.

Those little, “inconsequential” choices we make….don’t seem like much on their own, do they?  My tone of voice in those nerve-wracking moments when everything is falling apart; whether or not I roll my eyes when I am asked the same question for the umpteenth time by a forgetful relative; whether or not I’ll be unselfish when everything within me feels like doing what is best for me, not considering others involved; whether I will spend my “me” time drawing close to God or indulging in something less profitable….every, little grain adds up to the whole two cups and weaves itself into the tale of my life. 

Am I making each moment count?  For something good?  Do I really see the importance of my time spent here on earth?  Sometimes, I think we become so focused on just making it through one more day…on the tiny grain in front of us, that we lose sight of the bigger picture.  The one that is being painted by the brush we now hold in our hands.

All three of our living parents are now in their 80’s.  Their tales are nearing their final chapters.  We have a young child.  His tale has only begun to be written and told.  We’re in the middle somewhere, with many chapters behind us, and we hope and pray, many more to follow. 

We can’t change the past.  I saw a sign the other day that said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Isn’t that great?  If we identify that our life’s story is not the way we would like it to read, we can start today writing it differently.

Every now and then, it never hurts to take a cold, hard look at ourselves.  I seem to do that a lot lately.  It is necessary, I think.  To make sure I am on the right track and where God wants me to be at this exact point in my life.  It’s good to feel a sense of peace and know I am in His will.  And it’s good to face the truth when I need to make adjustments.  He has all of the help and grace we need to conform into His image…in every, little detail of our lives.

One thing about it…none of us will ever go wrong following Christ.  Patterning our life after His, doing what He would do in every, little thing, no matter how inconsequential it may seem.  Because every little grain matters…every little word engraved on the tale being told about us makes an impact and a difference. 

May your life’s story be one of peace…one that you would be proud to see your child(ren) replicate and repeat…step by step, following right in your footprints.  They are doing that, you know….while you aren’t looking.  They are watching, and they are learning, and they are becoming who they will be.  And chances are, they want to be just like you.

Pumpkin Cake

2 cups flour                                                  4 eggs
2 tsp. baking soda                                        2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt                                                  1 cup oil
2 tsp. cinnamon                                            1 can Libby's pumpkin

In small bowl, mix flour, baking soda, salt, & cinnamon.  
In large bowl, beat eggs with sugar.  
Add flour mixture, oil, and pumpkin.
Mix for two minutes.
Bake in greased bundt or tube pan at 300 degrees for one hour, or until done.  ( I usually have to bake it about 10-15 minutes longer than one hour.)
Frost with cream cheese frosting...very yummy!


  1. Dearest Aunt Cheryl, I have been a train wreck of emotions with that has been going on as of late but when I stopped this morning and read this ....I realized that life is short and its important to take the time to appreciate each day as a gift from God ...I kinda knew that already but my thoughts have been fleeting and sort of in a whirlwind as of late. I wanted so badly to be getting married in Hawaii this year and purchasing our home and watching Kelvin grow up but the pains of divorce have altered that path and instead I find myself trying to shift myself and Kelvin into a whole new set of circumstances which will include instead of living in a home all the time it will be either an apartment or condo...instead of working on fixing up our home(*house) I will be torn between two homes and one of which is only make shift in order to accomodate the aftermath of a marriage gone you see I struggle to see balance and order right now. However, I know that God has brought me through so much and I have in trusted him to bring me through this as well...because without him I am nothing. Amen**

    1. My dear, precious niece,
      I am so sorry you are going through so much, and my heart goes out to you in your heartache and pain! May the God of all comfort be very near to you and guide you in the right path. I am praying for you and believing God for your situation. He is able to set all things right. Keep praying and believing!
      Love you dearly,