My family and I love to watch movies….more specifically we LOVE Christmas movies. We are known to have random Christmas theme nights throughout the year. The great thing about these movies, or any movies for that matter, is that everything is perfect. The snow is always falling, the lights are always twinkling, and Santa’s cheek always has that perfect sparkle. This last Christmas after my kids had watched some Christmas movie they came to me convinced that we needed to make some sugar cookies. They were completely excited about this and I had no choice but to agree.
Being the “mild” control freak that I tend to be I wanted to organize the whole event. I pulled out the recipe, got all the ingredients pre-measured, let the kids each pick their favorite cookie cutter, and even let the kids put on little aprons. If we were going to do this cookie thing, we were going to do it “Holllywood” style. If they could do it in the movies, dang it, we could do it at home.
Now I must tell you that I have 5 kids ages 7,5,4,2, and 5 months. My older two wanted the baby to be involved in this cookie making experience so we simply placed her in the bouncy seat right next to the table.
First thing first, my oldest son claimed the eggs. He confidently cracked the eggs into the bowl where in return I had to go fishing for egg shells. In the meantime with my attention on the eggs my 4 year old daughter dumps the entire bowl of flour all over the table. Despite these two minor setbacks we managed to get the cookie batter all mixed up and rolled out onto the cutting board. My 5 year old son goes a little cookie cutter happy and starts jamming them into the dough messing up any chance of our cookies actually looking like they were supposed to. I remember thinking about this time, “what is so fun about this???” “Why did I agree to let my kids make these cookies….” About this time, admist all the chaos my baby decides it is time to eat and is just screaming and crying. So now you have a one handed mom holding the baby, a crazy cookie cutter man, two other kids fighting over who gets to be the next person to roll out the dough, and a two year old at this point who decides to climb on top of the table to get in on the action. To my amazement we manage to get two cookie sheets into the oven and were down to the last pile of dough. Now what I haven’t mentioned is that I was in the process of potty training my two year old daughter. You know, the one who is now on top of the table…..I am sure you can guess what happened next…that’s right…..she pees all over the table and all over the remaining cookie dough. I must admit as frustrating as the whole pee thing was I wasn’t too disappointed about not having to deal with that last batch of dough.
Now I know that most of you are just thinking about how I need to learn to control my FIVE kids, but I will tell you that God really spoke to my heart about this little adventure.
As I was retelling the story to my husband when he got home from work, it occured to me. Hollywood isn’t real life. I know that we know that but at times I think we still buy into the ideas that they portray. We believe the lie that life is perfect and that the snow and lights are always perfectly placed. We convince our selves that our lives don’t measure up because it has no resemblance to the big screen.
I think that as followers of Jesus we sometimes get disillusioned as well. We think that because we love God and earnestly seek him that every thing should just fall into place. We find ourselves at a crisis of faith when things don’t turn out the way we think they should. We catch ourselves questioning God and wondering how such a loving God could allow such horrible things to happen.
I know that in Jn. 10:10 Jesus says that he came to give us an abundant life, and I genuinely believe that, but I also know that just down the road in John 16:33 he tells us that we WILL have trouble. Our lives won’t be perfect because we have Jesus, but the end of that verse gives us a promise that He has over come the world. He has over come any of the struggles that we will encounter.