Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Grandma's Cake

Sorry I've been gone so long, I  have been truly uninspired lately.  And man, life is busy! I really thought when all of our children left home things would settle down. Didn't happen!

I've been trying to lose weight. Mostly for health reasons. Partly for vanity. Partly because my husband and I are going to Alaska this year and I can't fit into my jeans! Today I made Grandma's cake. Today, not only did I not lose weight, I probably gained a few pounds.

Grandma's cake is a plain vanilla cake with icing made solely from milk, sugar, and vanilla and poured over the cake while it is warm. But before you pour the icing on, you poke holes in the cake so that the warm, sweet icing runs all through the cake. This is one ugly cake! But let me tell you, that icing permeates that cake, and even though that cake is full of holes and appears to be falling apart, when you get to the inside with all that gooey icing; you think you've tasted heaven!

This cake is a lot like some of us. Not so pretty on the outside; not so appealing. A few lumps and holes. If you take some of us on face value alone, we would not be so desirable. We are sweet and loving on the inside. Strong and caring individuals. But you have to taste the cake. You have to get to the inside. If you take the time to really SEE us, to get to know us, you might think you've tasted heaven!

Sometimes, sadly, we see OURSELVES as ugly or not so lovable.  We must remember that, to love others, we have to love ourselves. We have to remember to forgive ourselves for whatever holes we have in our lives. God loves all of us, holes and all!

Maybe tomorrow dieting will be easier.  The cake is gone. I'm sure there will be another temptation to take it's place. I will pray for the ability to resist. But remember, look at a person's heart, not their lumps and bumps!  And be a little easier on yourself!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sue's Thoughts: A New Year, A New Time

Sue's Thoughts: A New Year, A New Time

A New Year, A New Time

Well, it's been a long time since I've blogged. My internet provider changed to google and everything has been so complicated in the transition. I couldn't figure out how to access my blog account. I did not have time during the holidays to figure it out.  Now I'm not sure I have the brains!
 Merge this account with this one and be careful in the transition so you don't have trouble signing in, and all my old e-mails are evidently lost forever. That includes e-receipts that I had saved.  Also, as my FB friends know, flight numbers for Nathan's plane on Christmas Eve and his itinerary disappeared. That is a scary thing when your son's plane has not landed two hours after it should have, and it's snowing in Lubbock, Texas. It's been crazy!
That said, twenty eleven was a good year for us. New friends and old helped us usher in the New Year. It was a special time.
 I have been concerned with the direction our country has taken in this last four years.  But my trust is in the Lord, and I know that all things happen in His time.  As I read my Bible, I can see that it is time for these things to be happening in our world.  It is scary, and yet it is exciting!  Although I don't understand why, I am always amazed when biblical things happen the way God said they would.  I suppose my finite mind cannot comprehend how, so many many years ago, God already knew.  Even though intellectually I know this, it is hard to comprehend.
My most pressing concern is the state our country will be in when my grandchildren are young adults, if, in fact, we are still a country of our own.  But, these are things I have no control over except through prayer, so I am trying hard not to stress over them.  I do know that, if we don't stand up for christian principles, they will soon be lost.  It is happening fast!
Our nation has accepted so many different cultures into our midst and, for some reason, instead of expecting them to become "Americanized," we have tried to become like everyone else.  A house divided cannot stand.(Mark 3:25)  Whether we are talking about religion or politics, "if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand."  I have always believed that America would not fall to another nation; it would fall from within.
We must PRAY, PRAY, and PRAY some more!  AND WE MUST STAND UP for our beliefs!  It amazes me what we, as American people and as Christians, have allowed our government to do.  It is as if we think we cannot change it, or we are indifferent to it.  I am as guilty, maybe even more so, than most. I, and millions like me, have become complacent.  I say, "Let's stand up, let's be counted!"
I prayed, (not diligently enough, evidently) for God to send us a viable candidate for President.  Now, we are so divided (Matthew 12:25) in the republican party that I am praying God will intervene and put the right man in the race in spite of us.  Election years are scary things.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Mirror of Our Soul

I once did my "cake talk" at a retreat.  Today, God has asked me to share it on my blog.  I pray that it doesn't lose something in translation since I cannot bake cakes for all of you to have a visual and taste enhancing experience.

Picture three cakes: an Angel Food, a Chocolate Cake, and a Plain Vanilla Cake with carmel like vanilla icing.  The later is a cake my grandmother, Minnie (Toad) Robeson always baked.  I will refer to it as Grandma's cake.  Think about this: "If you were a cake, which cake would you be?"

First let's talk about the Angel Food Cake--the one with the whipped cream icing and cherries on top.  It's such a pretty cake.  White poofy icing, bright red cherries to contrast.  But when you cut into the middle of the cake, you find lots of holes and a pretty rough texture.  It's a lot like some of us:  beautiful on the outside.  We seem to have it all together as far as the world can see, but our lives are full of holes.  Maybe the holes need to be filled by God.  Maybe we don't really even know Him, or maybe our relationship with His has taken a back burner.  Maybe we need love from our family, friends, or chruch that we are not getting.  Maybe we need to fix a broken relationship, or maybe we just need to feel good about ourselves.  Whatever hole this kind of person has, God knows and can fill it.

Then there's the Chocolate Cake. What can we say?  Beautiful outside, wonderful inside!  The Chocolate Cake person needs to be careful that we don't become so self sufficient that we don't see a need for God.  The danger here is allowing  our own strength to become our idol.   We become so sure of our abilities that we shut God out.  We may not do it consciously, but we can handle so much on our own that we forget to ask God what He wants.  Then we're really in trouble.

And last but not least, Grandma's cake.  Plain vanilla, falls in the middle, caramel icing that just lays there.  It's not the most beautiful cake in the world.  But that icing penetrates that cake and, on the inside that cake is so wonderfully sweet.  It is a good, solid, everday cake that you can count on to fill your craving for sweets.  The Vanilla Cake Person, though they may have a few lumps and bumps and sink holes on the outside, or may appear plain vanilla, is a wonderful person on the inside.  You can depend on her to fill the needs of family and friends, and oftentimes to be the workers at the church.

We need to be careful not to think ourselves less because we don't feel beautiful when we look in the mirror.  We need to not compare "cakes."  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and God sees all.  Whatever kind of "cake person" we are, God knows us inside and out.  He can fill our holes.  He can use our strengths and our weaknesses. He looks into the mirror of our souls, not the mirror on the wall.  We need to figure out which kind of "cake" we are, and ask God to work with and through the gifts He has given us.  We need to ask him to bring us to the point that, when we look into the mirror on the wall, all we see is the image of Him.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


We have been doing some remodeling.  We had carpet removed in our downstairs bedrooms and went down to wood floors.  The house looks good and feels so clean.  We were able to get into all the far corners; all the dark recesses. 

That is what we need to do in our lives and in our spirits.  Reach back into the far corners; into all the dark recesses where no one can tread but us and God.  What is in there that makes us who we are?  What is it that causes us to "snap" at times over things not worth worrying about; little things.  Little things often times seem so monumental to us because of things that happened in our past.  They lurk there in the dark recesses until something or someone triggers them, and then they come bursting forth with a force that takes us (not to mention the person to whom our outburst is aimed) completely by surprise.   Most of the time we don't even realize what's bothering us. We attribute the problem to the person who triggered our undoing.

My favorite prayer is Psalm 139:23-24:  Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my ways; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.  We need to search our hearts, our souls, and our minds along with God. We need to see what's in those dark corners of our minds where we don't like to tread.  Do a little house cleaning.  Pray a prayer of sanctification over our past discrepencies.  More than likely, we have already asked God to forgive them.  He probably has forgiven them, but we have a tendency to not forgive ourselves.

We need to pay attention when God brings those things to mind.  So many times, we simply dismiss them.  God gently nudges and we shove them back in the corner to be brought out again at an inopportune time. 

I would like to get down to the bare floors; to get all the corners cleaned out; to start with raw material; to come clean.  Maybe someday...

Friday, September 30, 2011

"Humming" Along

I love humming birds!  I do. We keep a feeder outside our window where we have coffee every morning.  This year we had not refilled it until we read that the little hummers needed extra nourishment to be able to migrate.  We were glad to get to watch them a little longer, so we filled the feeder. 

We have begun to watch one bird in particular.  He lives in our pyracantha bush.  He goes from the bush to the feeder and from the feeder to the front porch where there are colorful flowers and then back to the bush.  Other birds have come and gone, but this particular little hummer has never migrated.  He probably thinks, "Why go south when I am comfortable here.  I have shelter; life is easy and there is plenty of food."  We will probably have to pull the feeder.

How many of us react like that when we know God is telling us that we need to move on?  Change is so hard. We get comfortable in our "rut."  What we know oftentimes seems so much more appealing than what we cannot see.  We would have to "put ourselves out there" if we; for example, changed jobs, changed locations, or changed our habits, whether physical or spiritual. 

What we have to remember though, is that winter is coming.  Whatever our "winter" is, it is coming.  And just like the little humming bird, if we don't heed the signs that God gives us and we ignore the warnings, we will not flourish. It could even mean death, whether figuratively or physically. 

So I will remove the feeder.  The hummingbird will fly south.  And maybe, I will have learned something about moving on.  Maybe I will heed God's warnings when He says winter is coming. And maybe, I too will move on.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Intimacy With God

I'm reading a book by John Eldredge called "Walking With God."  Tisha loaned it to me, and it is a wonderful book.  He quoted Psalm 139: 1-18: O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. ...You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid you hand upon me....Where can I go from Your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?...All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. ...When I awake, I am still with you. 

I pondered this scripture for a moment, and then God put a thought into my mind.  My daughter, Tisha, is so sweet to make me feel a part of her life and her kid's lives.  She sends me text such as, "Hayden is tired of going to school already (after 2 days in school). He says he's ready to go back to the beach!"  I love those! I know what's going on with them. I feel as if I'm part of their lives even when I'm not present.  If I don't get texts for a few days, I feel sad.  She was really busy for a while and the text slowed. I mourned!  I felt as if I was on the outside looking in, but the blinds were pulled.  God nudged me and said, "That is how I feel when you do not listen to me. That is how I feel when you do not share all the intimate details of your life with me."

Can you imagine being responsible for creating beings for the purpose of an intimate relationship with them, only to have them pull the blinds and only raise them when they cannot handle the "big" problems in their lives?  For them to think that you only want to be a part of certain aspects of their lives? 

Those little quick texts mean so much to me!  I want to be intimate with my family, and I want to be intimate with God.  I want to share every moment with Him; every little detail.  And I want to hear from him every day; all through the day!  I want to walk with Him and talk to Him at every opportunity, and they are endless!

Eldredge said, " know him...not just "know about" like you know about the ozone layer or Ulysses S Grant." (pg. 12)
That is how I want to know my God!