A Time for Rejoicing
Yesterday, I was baking cookies for an evening Christmas Sing-Along at our church while trying to create the mood for a heavenly time of rejoicing. Even if I didn’t have the energy. Morning worship had whetted my appetite as we sang some traditional Christmas carols. But when I started baking, the tension to perform began choking my meager enthusiasm.
You would think that after making some of these Christmas delights year after year, I could whip them out in my sleep. And they would turn out delicious every time. Well, here’s my Achilles Tendon. I have never been able to cook without reading the recipe. EVER! Just ask my friends, who lovingly tease me about how I have to measure ever single thing right down to the spices–and salt.
If you’re asking yourself, what this has to do with rejoicing, hang in there, I’m getting to it. I began the baking in the afternoon for the 6 p.m. concert. I measured out the flour, sugar, and peanut butter. The milk, vanilla, egg, softened butter, baking soda, and salt were waiting their turn on the kitchen island. Our oldest son had favored me with 48 unwrapped Mint Truffle Hershey Kisses.
I was ready to whisk and beat those ingredients into the tastiest peanut butter blossoms I’d ever made. I rolled the dough into 1″ balls–yes I got out the ruler and measured one of them as a gauge. Then I fluffed them in sugar and carefully set them on the cookie sheet.Hershey Kiss Mint Truffles
After baking in the oven for about 10 minutes, I pulled out the best looking golden gems ever. Following the directions, I quickly popped in the “kiss” candy. That’s when the rejoicing within me melted into a liquid blob that resembled the candy atop my cookies.
Now what was I supposed to do? The next batch was in the oven, I tried to think of some adjustment to make to keep the candy upright. The clock was ticking closer to that 6 p.m. Concert.
Being the failed perfectionist that I am, I whipped up a whole new batch, adjusting ingredients and popping into the refrigerator the newly unwrapped kisses which my son handed me.
That didn’t work either. Hubby was tapping his foot. I was contemplating what else I could do with these cookies. The ones I had promised the committee I’d make. Sending them to the neighbors was sounding mighty tempting. Finally, Hubby and I arranged them on a tray and I waved good-bye to my better half.
I didn’t make it to the Sing Along. I regarded my failure at perfection once again. Then I started cleaning the war zone that was our kitchen. Sugar was everywhere.A Week of Joy
This is the third week in Advent. We light the pink candle for joy. We’re more than halfway to that time when we will commemorate Jesus’ birth. What had happened to my rejoicing? It got mixed up in my batter and melted in the candy.
Could I only be joyful when life, circumstances, and cookies were perfect? What about rejoicing when life crumbles and I fall flat on my face? What about rejoicing even when I’m in the trenches, fighting the enemy of my soul, and my trials overwhelm me? Can I rejoice then because God is always good; because He’s working out my circumstances for good even though I can’t see that; and because I’m more than halfway to His second coming in my life?
This week I want to rejoice because of who God is as well as what He has done for me in so many ways. Beginning with the price He paid for my salvation.
Are you with me?
“Joy to the world! The Lord has come
Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart prepare Him room.
“And heaven and nature sing
And heaven and nature sing
And heaven, and heaven and nature sing.”
Written in 1719 by Isaac Watts; music by George Frederick Handel
“Hark! the herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
“Peace on earth, and mercy mild,
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations, rise,
Join the triumph of the skies;”
Written by Charles Wesley in 1789; adapted by the English musician, William H. Cummings
Linking with The Beauty in His Grip, Monday Musings, Tell Me a Story, Tell Me His Story, Woman 2 Woman, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Weekend Whispers, The Weekend Brew
Thanks for sharing, Janis. Your topic is one very close to home for me, also! I tend to forget to have the constant “joy” I should cherish because of the knowledge of who I am in Christ. Instead, I often base my happiness on circumstances and invariably, it falls short. Chris
Oh Janis, this is so good!! A great reminder, especially for this time of year!! (And always) Thank you for sharing your humbling experience so we know we aren’t the only ones who forget to rejoice always!! You truly are a messenger from heaven!! Love you!! -Ceal-
Rejoice in the Lord always! It can be so hard when things go wrong. Thanks for sharing so openly. Visiting from #TellHisStory
I understand – – and after all these years I also still read the recipe. I am sure the cookies did not last long as they looked delicious. Thank you for sharing with us here at Tell me a Story.
Hi Janis, This is my first time here and I really enjoyed your story and your honesty. I love those Hershey’s Mint Truffles. I would love for you to join us at Sitting Among Friends and tell your stories with us on Wednesdays. You can find us here at… http://youresewtrendy.blogspot.com
Janis, as a recovering perfectionist myself, I truly get where you’re coming from here. How we would love our lives to always be sweet, sugar-coated and ever-joyful! Yet authentic, godly joy isn’t dependent on favourable circumstances but on the disposition of the heart. As I read through Isaac Watts’ lyrics, this sang out to me: “Let every heart prepare Him room” as a key thing to pay attention to. The more room we make to receive our Saviour and His grace on a daily basis, the more joy we will encounter in the midst of our mess and muddles, our pain and problems. Thanks for making me stop and think about these things. Bless you! 🙂 x
I’m with you, Janis. Both in the failed perfectionist part, and definitely in the rejoicing part!! Sometimes I need that readjustment in focus. And perhaps, more than ever, I need it during the holiday season when everything is so hectic, and often stressful.
It’s good to remember to be still. And at this time of year, I try to picture that moment right after Jesus was born – the stillness in the heavens, the hush of awe – I let the majesty of that moment permeate my thoughts and emotions. Yes, the Savior is born…
Merriest Christmas, my dear friend. May you and your family have a wonderful time of closeness and celebration.