When I was in Paris a few years ago, I bought a tiny card at a paper store with an illustration of a girl carrying a big cake. I liked it because I’d always harbored a little idea of one day running a coffee and cake shop. It made sense to me ...


Grace with Silk: That Takes the Cake

When I was in Paris a few years ago, I bought a tiny card at a paper store with an illustration of a girl carrying a big cake. I liked it because I’d always harbored a little idea of one day running a coffee and cake shop.

It made sense to me since I like to bake. And I like to drink coffee. So why shouldn't I dream big and then follow my dreams?

I’ve mastered my grandmother’s cream cheese frosting recipe — in several different flavors — that I use to frost my cakes. 

And I’ve put in years of practice by making my niece and nephew’s birthday cakes and throwing holiday parties where everyone says they love my desserts.

I've bought pans and colors for icing, pastry bags and piping tips. I have a wire cake leveler for making flat layers, a cake turntable and different sized icing spreaders.

I love looking through cake decorating books for ideas, and a few friends have even asked me to make cakes for their family celebrations. {And they paid me too!}

I even imagined my name up in lights. 

My niece’s tenth birthday was last week and her cake came from a bakery this year. I didn't make it.

She wanted a chocolate chip cookie cake {something I’ve never tried} but she wanted me to pipe a dolphin in blue frosting on the cookie cake.

As we mixed up the icing together, she talked about the past 10 years of cake-making for her birthday. 

There was the puppy cake, the pony cake, the ice skating cake, and the year she went to see Luke Bryan in concert and wanted a cake that looked like a microphone. 

From the time she could hold a piping bag, she's helped me make almost all of them. She thinks it’s great fun. 

And she makes me think too.

What if our big ideas are just as good when they stay small? 

What if instead of listening to all the voices that tell us to go out and conquer the world out there, we listen to the voice that whispers to look around us right here and do some good within our own little world?

I can't get enough of these words from the Message version of the Bible.
Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. 
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out.
Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. 
- Rom. 12:1-2 {MSG}

I know that God plants dreams in all of our hearts, a unique menu of talents and skills he’s given us that we can choose to use, develop and hone. 

But maybe we just assume because they’re dreams they should be big dreams, wide and extraordinary and remarkable. 

I've read the inspiring words written on canvases, etched into charms: Follow your passions. Never let go of your dreams. Live a great big life.

I admire and applaud those who do that, but maybe there’s also something noteworthy about living small and ordinary. 

That might only hold meaning to those around us, in our circle of friends, at our workplaces, neighborhood and churches.

Overlooked gestures like baking muffins and sharing them with my neighbor. 

Having coffee with an acquaintance who's feeling a little lonely. 

Getting out my baking pans because my niece sends me a text that she's really hungry for my vanilla cake and could we make one together?

These intentions are worth aiming for and following too, aren't they? Making them a reality is sometimes no small feat, juggling schedules, making time and expending energy. 

And they might even be worth more than we could possibly think.

So I no longer want to open a little cakery. 

The truth is, I need far more training {both culinary and business} than I have for an endeavor like that.

I think I'd much rather make fun cake-baking memories in the kitchen with my niece. Where it seems something always goes wrong, just adding to the little adventure.

The dolphin we piped on the cookie cake was messy. We had the wrong sized piping tip. 

We scraped it off and tried again. 

Even with the second effort, I thought it looked more like a blue blob than a dolphin, but my niece thought it was great.

As we all gathered around the cookie-cake to sing happy birthday to her, she asked for the dolphin to be carved out of the middle of the cookie. 

That was the piece she wanted to eat. 

Maybe your little corner of the world is like mine, where small things can loom large, what's unnoticed is noted, and what seems temporary can have a lasting effect.

Like the memory of a slice of cookie-cake that's so very sweet.

{And no, I did not make this swan but I'd like to learn! It's a culinary creation from the Swan Coach House in Atlanta.}

I'm having coffee with my friends at Holley Gerth's place at Coffee for your Heart

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