Valentine’s Day. Ah, hearts, roses, candy, love….I felt inspired. With my heart riding high on the atmosphere of love, I decided I would do something a little special for my family. Pinterest added fuel to my thoughts and then, there it was… a recipe for Red Velvet Cookies. Yes, that was it. I’d make a batch of the mouth-watering beauties for all my sweethearts for Valentine’s Day.
The recipe on Pinterest seemed, well, too easy. If a store bought cake mix would result in a good batch of cookies, I was sure that making them from scratch would be the extra special touch I was looking for. Paula Deen provided just the right recipe, a 5-star delight.
A quick glance over the ingredient list revealed my need to go to the grocery store. I adjusted my schedule for the morning in order to fit in a run to Target.
As I drove into the shopping center where Target is, I remembered another stop I needed to make. So I thought, “I’ll just run in and out of this store. 5 minutes. That’s all, and then on to my task.”
I grabbed my purchase and headed to the check out. Well, let’s just say the cashier was not having a good day. She slowly tallied up my purchases and gave me the total. Then I went against my intuition. I asked her if she’d included my coupon in her total. Somehow I just knew I shouldn’t have asked. I should have just forfeited the $5.00 coupon, but after all, $5.00 was a significant amount for a coupon. The result was what felt like 30 minutes of cancelling my previous transaction, looking up information on my reward card, calling a manager, on and on it went.
I tried to be spiritual. I asked God what He might want to do in the situation. I tried to connect with God’s Spirit to see if there was some way I could pray for this lady. I smiled. I tried hard to be patient, but inside, I felt frustrated. After all, I just wanted to get home and make those fabulous cookies!
On the phone with my husband later, he reminded me that there was technically no reason to be in a hurry and asked me if I had looked for any God encounters with this woman. Ugh! Really?
Well, on to Target. My inner peace had gotten up and gone.
Needless to say, Target did not have the one ingredient I had to have – red food coloring. I mean, how do you make a substitution for red food coloring in Red Velvet Cookies?
So on to Wal-Mart. Did I mention it was the day before Valentine’s Day and that the weather forecast for North Alabama included the possibility of snow and ice? As any North Alabamian knows, a forecast of snow and ice means that you absolutely must go to the grocery. A forecast of a chance of snow means that there will be no milk or bread on a shelf at any grocery store which also means that everyone you know will be either going into the store, in the store at the time, or leaving the store. Can you just envision the parking lot?
I prayed, “God, help me to live from a place of peace….AND give me a good parking place.” It seems that God was more concerned with my heart’s process than my parking and I parked at the end of the parking lot.
After fighting two baskets that hopped and pulled to the sides, I finally found one that was only semi-warped. I made it through the store and found the express check-out. Did I mention the forecast of snow and the Valentine Day shopping?
About 20 minutes later, I emerged from the express check-out at Wal-Mart with my red food coloring in hand and my fight for peace still not won.
Making it home, I renewed my effort to show love although I had begun to question the validity of my endeavor.
With all the ingredients now assembled, I began my Superwoman, made-from-scratch, cookies. About two minutes into mixing the batter, a mixer blade mysteriously flew out of my mixer and slung red-velvet batter on the window, the counters, the floor, the rug, my clothes, yep, everywhere. Not to be outdone, I put the blade back in. My hands were now red and sticky. The mixer appeared to be working. Then after about another minute, the blade flew out again.
After a brief detour to clean up the red velvet mess and thankful that my kitchen walls were already red-orange, I decided that the mixing process was finished. I began to drop the cookies on cookie sheets. I had a sneaky suspicion that my cookies were not going to look like the picture. The sticky batter would barely come off my spoon. Yet sometime later I had red cookies …. Much larger than the picture. No, they would not be stackable for layered cookies with icing in between. To do so, would make a huge creation. Abandoning that plan too, I iced the cookies. Vanilla for some of the kiddos (lol, they range from ages 29-16) and cream cheese for others.
I noted that my red hands might be a curious sight for my clients later that day but I had prevailed.
Why I’d like to tell you that my cookies deeply impacted my family – and they were pleased – what really happened was a journey into my heart for Valentine’s Day.
I am thankful that God sees me already justified (Romans 8:30), I am also aware that I am still on a journey until Christ is formed in me (Galatians 4:19). How wonderful that God is committed to me to bring me to a complete image of Christ one day! (Philippians 1:6).
And in the meantime, I think I’ll have a cookie with my coffee.
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