Wednesday, August 19, 2009

What I Learned from Break-Apart Cookie Dough

For the past two days, I've baked some fresh cookies for after-school snacks and I freely admit that I've used the break-apart cookie dough. After all, it is by far the easiest way to make cookies, and as a busy mom of 4 - I need easy and fast. I have noticed, however, that the cookie dough pieces are not always uniform and, because I'm a little anal, that always bugs me. At least two of the "rows" are always bigger and some of the "chunks" have more chips in them than others, sometimes a corner breaks off the cookie-dough piece and sometimes the edges are real jagged. Yesterday, though, I tried not to get hung up on how each cookie would be a little different from it's neighbor and I thought to myself "These little pieces of cookie-dough are a lot like life."

Each morning I wake up and create a plan for how that day will go. I have a morning routine that occurs each and every day. After I check email and my calendar (okay - I'll admit - facebook and twitter, too), I balance the checkbook to see how much money we have that day and I create a mental checklist or a "to-do" list for that day. Often times this lists includes phone calls, household chores (laundry is always on there), errands to run, emails to write, people to see, etc. I have just made my cookie dough and separated it into chunks.

Then I start to break it apart and tackle each piece. I get the kids up and remind them, several times, to get through their routine. "Get dressed." "Brush your teeth." "Get your shoes on." "Eat your breakfast." (I think I should just put this on a recording of some sort and play it over and over each morning - I would save myself some major energy!) I start a load of laundry, do my hair and makeup and then my daughter's hair, make breakfast, and get the kids to the bus on time. I clean up from breakfast, fold laundry, sweep the kitchen, make a phone call, write some emails or update my status lines, and the day has started.

As the day goes on, inevitably, some part of life's cookie dough breaks off in a funky way - that phone call doesn't get made or this errand doesn't get ran or there isn't enough money to go do that thing today. The kids need a little more cuddle time or it occurs to me that I haven't sorted through that closet in months. My predetermined little chunks lose their shape! The kids start fighting or a friend calls and needs to talk about a struggle she's having - there's more chunks in that segment of my life's cookie dough. We can schedule our days and make plans every day, vigilantly, but sometimes things change.

Then it occurred to me that God said this would happen. He wasn't talking about cookie dough but he did forewarn me that things would happen beyond my control and that there's no benefit to me by worrying about what I don't get done each day.

Matthew 6:27 (NIV) says "Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? " Isn't this God's way of telling me not to freak out if my cookie-dough chunks aren't all the same size or if there are an uneven amounts of chips in each little square? Really, what difference does it make? There are still only 24 hours in a day (oh, and only 24 chunks in my break-apart cookie dough!) and that's all I have to work with. Is it enough? YES! God knew all that we would try to accomplish. He knew that we would worry about our schedules, our "to-do" lists, our children, our spouse, our friends, our checkbooks, our errands, and our chores. He knew we'd worry and He reminds us that this worry is useless!

He gave us all that we need to accomplish what we need to. He provided the perfect amount of time each day - 24 little chunks. He provides us energy and strength each morning. He provides us with friends who care and family who loves us. He provides us with the houses we clean, the laundry we wash, the car we drive to run errands, and He can provide all the money we need to make it work. All He asks is that we give Him 1 little chunk of our day. (By the way, He doesn't even say it needs to be a full hour...just a little time with Him.)

If something happens as you move through your day and the cookie-dough pieces start to break out of their predetermined sections, see this as God's way of telling you He's got it under control and let it go! The cookies are still going to be warm, gooey, and full of goodness at the end of it all. If they get a little burned, consider them "crispy". Don't worry about it...let each day be a new batch of break-apart cookie dough provided to you from your Heavenly Father!

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