Saturday, February 22, 2014


Would you ever see these cupcakes on Pinterest? Probably not. The icing is not homemade, and the chocolate cake batter is from a box. The only thing I might consider was "scratch" about this recipe is that I cracked a few eggs and precisely measured the oil and water. Not to mention that the ingredients are not organic, gluten free, made with cane sugar, or even brand name. They are from Aldi. One of my mottos when shopping for groceries is "Why spend more when you can pay less?" The most crafty thing about the cupcakes could be the thoughtfully placed chocolate sprinkles, or possibly the cupcake liners that resemble a football. But what makes these cupcakes so significant to me? The fact that they made a very special boy who is turning 6 feel loved. You see, when I was walking through Aldi (late at night after the kids went to bed, because I did not want to make them miserable by  going on another errand that day), I had my boy in mind. What is his favorite cake? Chocolate! And even though he says he likes vanilla icing the most, he does not realize that his favorite chocolate cake is made with cream cheese icing. I excitedly picked up some juice boxes and cheesy curls. Choosing cupcake  liners was a tough choice. He likes football, baseball, and most recently basketball. But my mind kept going back to him telling me he could not wait to play football when he was bigger. I knew then what the best choice was. When baking the cupcakes, I did so with care. Remembering his first birthday cake and how his Mamaw fed it to him with her aging hands. His second birthday was bittersweet- his "first Daddy" had died just a few months prior. Three was a big year and hard on me- he turned in his baby cheeks and stuttering words to become a big boy. At four, he was eager to share his birthday with all his friends at the zoo. Unfortunately, he had strep throat for his fifth birthday- he will never let me forget that I did not save him a piece of his cake for when he was feeling better. Now he is six, a caring big brother, and loves as near unconditionally as I believe a person can. 

Previously, my boy had politely explained that a friend in his class had a birthday cake with a "bash" fish and colored icing. My poor boy was so excited about that cake. I told him not to worry, that his Momma would make him feel special at his class birthday party. All kinds of questions started flying out, "Are you going to bring chips? Superhero napkins? What will my cake have on top? Will you surprise me by riding in on a dirt bike?" He has quite the imagination and needy expectations at time. But when he saw me at his school Friday, all preconceived notions of what his Momma would bring (and arrive on) did not come to his mind. Instead, he felt loved and important. He was proud to share his special day with his friends. He excitedly served each one their cupcakes. Assuring that everyone was taken care of before he sat down to enjoy his. 

I could have given him exactly what he had asked for. I could have searched for the perfect napkins or had a baker to make him an outrageous cake. But, I truly did my best with planning. I would not be telling you the whole story if I didn't share what God had shown me through baking these 24 cupcakes. Many times we just know what needs to happen to give us peace. Am I the only one that tells God exactly what I want , how I want it, and when I want it to happen? I can't come away from a conversation with God feeling peace when all I have done is give him a glorified "honey do list" of my desires. Psalm 37:4 says "Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Our translation often jumps to the end of that scripture, and in our simplistic thinking believes that our hearts know best. But without the "delight" we seek first, our hearts will not be filled with the pure desires that God has for us. Much like the ingredients for my cupcakes were simple and thoughtful, God's plans for our lives can be unexpectedly easy with tremendous results. We can't get to the place we need to be, serve where best needed, or even show others God's love without first picking out His recipe for our lives. I have wonderful friends who make cakes to rival the best bakers. Others may have the finances to send the kids home from a birthday party with the newest toys as favors. But if I had set out to make the party about what others would see, how many Facebook "likes" I could get on an uploaded picture of the cupcakes, or how other moms would be so impressed and ask "How do you do it all!", then I might miss out on a blessing- or worse missed out on blessing another person. Instead, I was able to happily bake with my oldest daughter who secretly kept swiping the icing. No stress was involved in worrying about what others would think. I am so thankful for the simple plans that God has for us. I may be the queen of the mountain that should be a mole hill, but still God is there every time I'm ready to climb down. 

O what peace we often forfeit, 
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

1 comment:

  1. I love you, Danielle...I thought your cupcakes were yummy and enjoyed reading the story behind them, which made them even "sweeter" .... You are so precious to listen and learn from our Lord, even in these small things - like making box cupcakes! Your boy felt like "royalty" all day long. I thought of him throughout my Saturday and smiled that God saw fit to give him an unusually warm and beautiful birthday as a present. :) - Ms. Mulkey