Cake Dreams

I had this idea in my head, a sweet little home movie if you will, when I first quit my job to stay home with our kids. In it, I saw myself standing at the stove with a cup of coffee in my hand, happily flipping pancakes for my children EACH MORNING before we left the house. And in my movie, I imagined them all grown up telling people about how great their mom was about getting up and making them breakfast in the morning. “Her children shall arise up and call her the blessed pancake maker” or something like that. Isn’t that how the Scripture goes?

Many years later, I laugh at what reality is like in our home. I’m still asleep when my children get up in the morning. Only the happy coos and goos of my one-year old wake me up. And my eldest son, he makes breakfast for himself and occasionally, he’ll make something for his brother. My children, well…my boys actually don’t love pancakes. (RIGHT?! Who are these people?!) My daughter happily eats everything in sight. But not my boys. One likes toast with peanut butter or cereal without milk. The other prefers oatmeal. Neither ever want me to make pancakes.

Sometimes I’ll offer to make pancakes, you know…in an effort to at least remotely resemble my little imaginary movie of my life as a SAHM. They usually say “no thanks”. Have I mentioned that I make GREAT pancakes? And not just boring buttermilk, we’re talking yeast, German, crepes, whole wheat with banana and chocolate chips, pumpkin even!

I tell you all this because today, I was making something that has become my specialty over the years. Hershey’s Perfectly Chocolate Chocolate Cake. It comes out for every birthday in our family. It comes out for special guests. It comes out for holidays. It’s one of those things that is always good, right down to the last little crumb. My boys know this cake well. So when they saw me make it today, they jumped and begged to lick that beater covered in decadent chocolate frosting.

As they greedily licked away (don’t worry, now I give them each their own spoons…and no double dipping!) I thought of my funny home movie about the pancakes. The stinkers still don’t like pancakes. But that’s ok…because I don’t like morning :D. We all however, agree that chocolate cake, THIS chocolate cake, this is special.

So maybe I just had the wrong details in my happy home movie in my head. It wasn’t pancakes I was making…it was chocolate cake!!!

Yeah…that’s it.

I like to use extra dark hershey’s cocoa and sprinkle it with Saigon cinnamon. And raspberries are a lovely addition when I have them on hand.

Tsunami of Stress

Oh man, I’m so here today! Ann Voskamp has an encouraging blog post about stress…tsunami’s of stress. Here’s a taste to entice you to click on the full length link:

“There are paint cans in the garage and a heap of laundry settling sandy in the mudroom and towers of books to plan through, for a new year of fresh learning, a new forging into unknown spaces, and there all these calendar squares crowding, like a stacking, like a piling, like everything running hard into each other.

They say that there are real people who get up early and pull on running shoes and do just that, run, run down to the corner and turn and keep going until the sweat beads like a fiery crowning and their lungs heave till they might actually explode and it’s possible to feel like this is really the exercise of your life.

I had told my mother that once:

Your whole life can feel like you are running for your very life, like you are trying to out run a tsunami of stress.

Trying to stay ahead of everything that’s nipping hard at your heels. Whole decades can be marked by exhaustion.

The pastor had preached it and I had sat there between the Farmer and the kids and tried to keep my mind focused on the words and not the whirl of to-do lists in my head. He had had us stand and recite Psalm 23. Had us say it right out loud: Surely goodness and mercy shall pursue all the days of my life.

He said that you can think goodness and mercy just follow you, but the Hebrew word for ‘follow’ is‘radaph’ and it means to “to pursue, to run after, to chase” or, quite literally, “to hunt you down”. The word radaph, that one that goodness and mercy is doing in Ps. 23:6, it is first found in Genesis 14, when Abram discovers that his nephew Lot has been kidnapped and Abram gathers an army of 318 men and “pursued them unto Dan” (Genesis 14:14). The word ‘pursued’ there? It’s is ‘radaph’.

I come home from Sunday sermon and write it in white on the blackboard. Radaph!


I was just about to give up today. I was just about ready to say “forget it, I quit this hopeful thinking.”

And yet, while I run from my hurts, Jesus is right there running, pursuing me. Radaph. May we recognize our pursuer today. You and me, together.