Friday, December 14, 2007

Bring God Your Broken Cookie Pieces

Yesterday I spent a great amount of time in the kitchen baking in preparation for a holiday cookie exchange at my monthly MOPS meeting. Isaac was my sous chef in the dough making process (I am a bit hung up on the whole "sous chef" thing, as you might have guessed). Baking with kids is a great way to teach various math skills and enjoy quality time together and I attempt to have Isaac help me in the kitchen whenever he can. In the morning we poured, mixed, stirred, and chilled large amounts of dough.
As soon as nap time began, I set about baking and decorating my cookies. This, too, would have been an enjoyable activity for my two year old, but I wanted my cookies to look cute. Two year olds don't know how to do cute.....just messy and destructively messy. I baked and decorated 3 dozen reindeer cookies, painstakingly placing mini chocolate chips as eyes and red M&M's to serve as the nose. Pretzels were cut with a serrated knife to serve as little antlers atop the peanut butter cookie head.

Two hours later I surveyed my masterpieces, deciding which were the cream of the crop to be placed on my cookie exchange platter and which were the rejects to serve my family. I wrapped my platter in decorative cellophane, tying it with a coordinating ribbon, snowflake ornament, and tag.

This morning I gathered both children, two diaper bags and a purse, and my beautiful cookies and off we went to MOPS. Isaac and Evelyn were both deposited into their respective classes, then I rushed back out to the car to get my festive platter, brimming with cute Reindeer cookies.

I bet you can imagine what happened next....

I dropped them.

Upside down.

On the gym floor.

Antlers were broken off in sad little pieces, noses were without a face, and that beautiful ribbon/tag/ornament combination was askew.

A perfectly good nap time wasted.

Because I am feeling introspective this afternoon (must be the weather), here is the little lesson I learned from my experience (aside from not hurrying while wearing boots and a skirt in wet weather): I missed out on a perfect opportunity to spend quiet time with one of my children because I was seeking perfect cookies simply to impress others. I missed out on some family time last night because I was still packing away my cookies and cleaning up the major mess I had made in the kitchen during the creative process. I missed out on a nap because I devoted my free time to making sure eyes were even and antlers were straight.

Sometimes I put too much focus and energy into making my plate of cookies look beautiful and flawless which causes me to neglect the important areas in my life. God does not ask that our life cookies resemble a Martha Stewart creation. Rather He asks us to bring him the broken pieces, because He is the only one to make us whole and perfect.

As the holiday season is beginning to hit crunch time, take a minute to check your priorities. Make sure that your focus is set on God, your family, and creating a sense of peace in your home and not on attempting to make everything cookie-cutter perfect.

And to the Mommy who received my broken cookies at the exchange this morning....just pull out a spoon and dig into those crumbs. I am sure Rudolph is just as tasty in little pieces.


margk said...

Great analogy, Lynley! So very true.

Since our pediatrician's entire front office staff quit with the move, I don't feel like they have been as efficient as they used to be.

Kelli said...

This is great. I made Christmas cookies with my boys the other day. I missed out on half the time with them because I pulled out some to decorate myself to perfection. But I bet you can bet the ones that taste the best are the randomly iced cookies with as many sprinkles caked on as possible. When the boys were done, they begged for more and I felt sad about the perfect little snowmen and candy cane cookies I made alone and wished I could trade time with them.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the reminder. It's so easy this time of year to forget all of that!

Like I tell Hudson when he gets upset that something breaks before he eats will get broken in your mouth anyway so who cares what it looks like beforehand!

Amy C said...

What a lovely reminder of how brokeness can be so sweet!

Sydni said...

On to the subject of your Christmas cards. I absolutely cannot be alone in thinking they are fantabulous!!! We're copying you next year for sure.

summer said...

That's chicken soup for the Mommy's soul right there. And enough with the Christmas card suspense...what did they look like?

Kari & Kijsa said...

Okay...first we loved all the pictures...then we love, love, love this story!

Merry Christmas blessings,

kari and kijsa

Anonymous said...

your story about broken cookies spoke to my heart, I too strive for perfection in the wrong areas of my life sometimes. Thanks for the great reminder! God bless you and your cookie pieces.