Yesterday, I was baking cookies for an evening Christmas Sing-Along at our church while trying to create the mood for a heavenly time of rejoicing. Even if I didn’t have the energy. Morning worship had whetted my appetite as we sang some traditional Christmas carols. But when I started baking, the tension to perform began choking my meager enthusiasm.
You would think that after making some of these Christmas delights year after year, I could whip them out in my sleep. And they would turn out delicious every time. Well, here’s my Achilles Tendon. I have never been able to cook without reading the recipe. EVER! Just ask my friends, who lovingly tease me about how I have to measure ever single thing right down to the spices–and salt.
If you’re asking yourself, what this has to do with rejoicing, hang in there, I’m getting to it. I began the baking in the afternoon for the 6 p.m. concert. I measured out the flour, sugar, and peanut butter. The milk, vanilla, egg, softened butter, baking soda, and salt were waiting their turn on the kitchen island. Our oldest son had favored me with 48 unwrapped Mint Truffle Hershey Kisses.
I was ready to whisk and beat those ingredients into the tastiest peanut butter blossoms I’d ever made. I rolled the dough into 1″ balls–yes I got out the ruler and measured one of them as a gauge. Then I fluffed them in sugar and carefully set them on the cookie sheet.
After baking in the oven for about 10 minutes, I pulled out the best looking golden gems ever. Following the directions, I quickly popped in the “kiss” candy. That’s when the rejoicing within me melted into a liquid blob that resembled the candy atop my cookies.
Now what was I supposed to do? The next batch was in the oven, I tried to think of some adjustment to make to keep the candy upright. The clock was ticking closer to that 6 p.m. Concert.
Being the failed perfectionist that I am, I whipped up a whole new batch, adjusting ingredients and popping into the refrigerator the newly unwrapped kisses which my son handed me.
That didn’t work either. Hubby was tapping his foot. I was contemplating what else I could do with these cookies. The ones I had promised the committee I’d make. Sending them to the neighbors was sounding mighty tempting. Finally, Hubby and I arranged them on a tray and I waved good-bye to my better half.
I didn’t make it to the Sing Along. I regarded my failure at perfection once again. Then I started cleaning the war zone that was our kitchen. Sugar was everywhere.
This is the third week in Advent. We light the pink candle for joy. We’re more than halfway to that time when we will commemorate Jesus’ birth. What had happened to my rejoicing? It got mixed up in my batter and melted in the candy.
Could I only be joyful when life, circumstances, and cookies were perfect? What about rejoicing when life crumbles and I fall flat on my face? What about rejoicing even when I’m in the trenches, fighting the enemy of my soul, and my trials overwhelm me? Can I rejoice then because God is always good; because He’s working out my circumstances for good even though I can’t see that; and because I’m more than halfway to His second coming in my life?
This week I want to rejoice because of who God is as well as what He has done for me in so many ways. Beginning with the price He paid for my salvation.
Are you with me?
“Joy to the world! The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.
“And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.”
Written in 1719 by Isaac Watts; music by George Frederick Handel
“Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
“Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;”
Written by Charles Wesley in 1789; adapted by the English musician, William H. Cummings