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Middle of the Mess

Sooooo..... the picture says it all. Now before you get all stressed out looking at the baked on cake and wondering how many SOS pads you would use to clean that thing, let me tell you a story.

I am big on independence in many ways for my children. In my heart that’s how I feel. I believe that my kids should be allowed to discover for themselves. I believe that kids need to experience something for themselves for it to become part of who they are. I touched on the great side of it in the post “Release to Greater Things.” I believe that kids need to be given the opportunity, spiritually and otherwise, to test out their gifts and talents to see all that God has for them. Of course that is what I believe, but as I’ve mentioned before, I have a slight problem with control. (I also have an aversion to the potential mess that I really don’t want to clean up.) But nonetheless, I really try to get beyond my cringing and try to allow my kids to flex their independence muscles.

Enter in picture you see above.

My daughter is loving experimenting in the kitchen, even inventing chocolate crepes in the process. She’s shown an interest and a little expertise with something that I adore- baking and cooking, so I’ve been allowing her to be independent. So, the other day when she asked to make a cake, using her America’s Test Kitchen cookbook for kids, I had no issue with her using the recipe and learning the science behind what makes a cake bake in the process. I used the moment to connect and play with my middle son, merrily playing Monopoly (okay...maybe not merrily. Monopoly is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO long), and letting her do her thing. She asked me to put the cake in the oven, to which I happily obliged, and started dinner. We were grilling kebabs and it was going to be a great night... grilled meat and veggies, topped off with a chocolate was going to be glorious.

But then, I smelled burning. I literally heard plopping.

And I opened my oven door to what you see above.

After showing my daughter what transpired, she began to cry. “Mom, I didn’t want to tell you, but...”

Beware of sentences that start like that.

”I used a 1/4 cup of baking soda instead of a 1/4 teaspoon. But don’t worry! I added extra sugar so it disguises the baking soda taste!”

Sweet girl. All I could do was laugh... but my daughter was waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Are you mad?

Am I in trouble?

I didn’t think that would happen!

Can I fix it?

Isn’t this so like us with our Heavenly Father? Waiting for the other shoe to drop? Waiting for some huge consequence? It is guaranteed our lives will be riddled with mistakes that have the best of intentions... things we don’t mean to do. And our hearts feel the defeat of our error, no matter if it was on purpose or not, because usually, we are sitting in a mess as a result.

In the middle of the mess, how do we turn it into something beautiful? Or does GOD turn it into something beautiful?

We simply ask. That’s it. God will take our mistakes and make something beautiful out of them. He will restore, renew, and repurpose. But here’s the caveat- we have to let Him do His work. We have to trust the process, letting Him take the time He needs to make something better...stronger. Unlike me, He’s not going to slap some frosting on it and hope for the best. He doesn’t obliterate, scooping the remnants into the trash so He can begin again and throw away the pan that you’ve had for 14 years (really, seriously. Would you want to clean up that mess?). He takes what you give Him and miraculously makes it new.

What does this mean in our homes? God is the one who makes things right again... when we allow Him to do the work of restoration. The next time your child makes a mistake (approximately 56 seconds from now), we use the opportunity to train our children in these truths-

There may be consequences (natural and/or deserved)for our actions, but this is training to help us know the right way next time.

We cannot reach true or the best restoration of our own accord. Throwing out a half-hearted ”sorry” with a glare doesn’t resolve anything. That issue will keep popping up because we can’t fix it on our own.

We MUST let God do His work. We must be truly repentant. (oh boy...BOTH????) Handing it over to God continually brings about true heart transformation and sanctification. But it depends on our acknowledgment of what we did, our genuine want to change, and reliance on Him to help us.

This process DOES NOT...I repeat... DOES NOT happen in five seconds. This is what discipline is all about. It is training. It is growing. It is repurposing. This takes a long time. But it is worth it to be more like Jesus.

So, did my daughter get in trouble for the cake? Absolutely not. But she learned a valuable lesson (and will continually learn this), that there’s a time for following the rules and there’s a time for stepping out in faith and creativity. But that’s another post for another time.

Let’s continue the journey to faith legacy.

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From the moment our child is born, as parents, we see the next step. We gloriously watch and cheer on our babies as in a blink of an eye they grow and develop into more of who they are created to be.

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