December 9 – What You Do Well…
Every single year, I come up with about four new cookie recipes I’d like to try for Christmas. I dream of perfecting the Peanut Butter Blossoms, attempting a biscotti recipe, and creating a from-scratch masterpiece that no one else has yet to bring to the table.
And every year, my Peanut Butter Blossoms are so-so, I never get around to the biscotti, and every new thing I try is pretty much a flop.
We celebrate Christmas early with my husband’s family, and so, we are heading there next weekend. In years past, I have tried to wow and pleasantly surprise our family with something yummy, but it never fails – I run around like a crazy lady, trying to whip up these “easy” new treats that I spotted in a trendy magazine, something goes miserably wrong, and we show up with a subpar tray that no one even touches.
My sister-in-law, on the other hand, has cornered the market on Peanut Butter Blossoms, and her cookie trays look like they belong in a Christmas shop. For real. Always a gorgeous array of festive colors… no bakes… truffles… cute ones that are cleanly decorated… And they all taste amazing to boot!
Bottom line… She is the baker. This lady (me) is not.
My Salted Caramel Oreo Truffles are pretty much the only “cookie” recipe that I have ever pulled off with ease and happy results. Everything else has sort of been a disappointment.
Breads and muffins… Now, those are my jam. Cookies, cupcakes, cheesecakes, etc… not so much.
Once I came to terms with this reality, I felt this tug in my spirit urging me to set the baking bar loooooow. Set it real low, Sister. What you do well… Do that.
What you do WELL… Do that.
I’m not saying that I won’t still try new things, but as far as stressing myself out in order to be somebody that I am not (at least not yet), it’s time to cut that stuff out.
You know what I’m good at? Cooking meals from scratch and using my instincts and senses to do so. I’m also crafty. I love decorating average sugar cookies with my creative and funny kids. I love making homemade rosemary focaccia. I can whip up some pretty stellar coconut oil brownies. I created this incredibly delicious stuff that my hubby and I call, “Peanut Butter Spoon Fudge.” I can make beautiful and sometimes unique floral arrangements for myself and others, saving us hundreds of dollars a year. I can make stories come alive for my kids when I read to them. I can design and sew dresses. I can serve others with joyful hospitality. I take very good care of my children.
I can’t bake a decent pie (unless it’s pumpkin), or make beautiful cookies, but I can do those other things, and I can do them well.
God created you to do certain things well, too. It’s not that we can’t grow, evolve, and learn new things, because we can. But I believe that there are also times in which we need to put the other 99 hats on the shelf and just wear one or two for a season.
That person that you are…be her/him well. Love well. What you put your hands to, do that well. What you love…love well.
Spare yourself the extra worry this Christmas. I’m sure you have plenty to do already. Do those things well, and let others do their things well, too. The night sky is beautiful when many stars shine together.
I am a parent who already sees certain strengths and talents emerging in each of my daughters. I would never want them to feel frazzled, less-than, or not good enough. I would never want them to waste their time striving and trying to be someone that they were not meant to be. It would break my heart to see them trying to squeeze into a mold that doesn’t belong to them, forsaking the beautiful one that bears their name alone.
That’s us. The Father’s children.
Next weekend, I am going to leave my made-with-love-not-talent cookies at home, and show up with the few things I can make well instead and appreciate the gifts and talents that I see in the others around me.
When we stop trying to be everything for everyone, we can actually be who we are meant to be. I’m guessing that if we’re honest, the one person we’re really trying to constantly “show up” is actually ourselves. I’m guessing if I have extremely high expectations of myself, you might have some for yourself, too. Time to give yourself a break. Take a moment to realize who you are, what you love, and how beautiful your personal giftings are. Take the same awe that you would give to others and give it to yourself. What you can do right now in this season is enough. You are enough. You’re just right. Know that today, and carry that truth into tomorrow.
Klover House Christmas:
You know those one “cookies” I said that I can do well? It’s true! They are so good! If you love caramel and chocolate and you own a food processor, then this is a treat for you! The trick is in freezing them long enough so that they are simple to roll in chocolate. This year, I want to use my new Pampered Chef drizzler thingy, that my sister-in-law gifted me with, to decorate them again with caramel. Then, I plan on sprinkling some raw sugar on top to give them that holiday sparkle. Simply click the link below to find your way to this decadent recipe. Enjoy! And if you can make biscotti…come and see me. 😉