“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7
“Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let righteous fall.” Psalm 55:22
Pink, blue, green, yellow, orange, red and white. Seven bags of squishy icing. Four dozen sugar cookies. Hours of designs. And I mean amazing designs, if I may say so myself. I’d used my new cookie cutters from the US to cut out an array of shapes. Ice cream cones, hearts, kittens, cars, flowers and a number of other shapes. I used Royal Icing to carefully decorate each one. I was going a little crazy. I do that when my husband travels for longer than a week. On this night he was flying out for two weeks. I was drowning my sorrows in beautiful cookies. While he packed, I decorated. By the time we fell into bed that night, I had a plastic container filled with dozens of prize-winning cookies. I decided I’d probably give some away as gifts. They were just too good to keep to myself.
My husband left in the wee morning hours to catch his flight. I stayed in bed. In fact, I was so surprised on that Saturday morning to realize that all three of my little guys were playing happily on their own and therefore I was able to sleep in. I enjoyed leisurely wake-up (a golden moment for a mother of young ones) and then I sleepily padded out to the living room to see what my little angels were up to.
They were indeed playing happily. But one thing was wrong. The plastic container of cookies was sitting on the coffee table with the top sitting askew, as if it had been opened. My heart skipped a beat. I went to the coffee table and lifted the cover. Inside were all the cookies. None were missing. However, one bite was taken out of every single cookie. Every beautiful, hand decorated, prize-winning cookie now had one little boy-sized bite taken out of it. All my work! All my cookies! My reaction must have been a sight to behold. I burst into tears! My youngest two were clueless as to what the problem was. They smiled sweetly at me, immune to my tears. My oldest was mortified. Even though he was not the culprit, he knew something was very wrong with Mom. The cookies were obviously a lost cause, so he immediately thought of something that might make me happy. He grabbed his books from school and set at the table to do his homework. So here is the scene: a container of cookies (one bite out of all 48) in the hands of a crying mother, one seven-year old frantically doing homework, a four-year-old playing with toys (oblivious to the unjust tragedy) and a two-year-old smiling and saying “Mommy! You crying!”
Pretty pitiful, isn’t it? It’s funny how others around me think I am a totally in-control sort of person. I have a reputation of not getting rattled by the things that happen around us. Whoever started that rumor has never seen me on the mornings of my husband’s two week trips! And whoever made up the phrase, “NO use crying over spilt milk,” did NOT say, “No use crying over half-eaten cookies.” Apparently it was very much worth crying over. I could hardly speak to my youngest son for the rest of the morning, I was so mad. But by lunch I’d realized there was nothing to be done but enjoy all the cookies ourselves. They certainly weren’t prize-winning any longer, but they were tasty. All 48 of them.
This is an excerpt from Jana’s first devotional book, Villa in the Hilla, written during her time spent in North Africa. Jana shares story after story from her experience with raising a young family cross-culturally, while encouraging the reader to focus on the faithfulness of God in all things. You’ll definitely want to get your own copy of her book (available for Kindle) for just $2.99!