My Ugly Mother’s Day Cake

Written Mother’s Day, 2009.

I received a precious gift today. My oldest daughter decided to make one of my favorite cakes while I was away at the grocery store – a devil’s food cake with chocolate mocha icing. YUMMY!

I knew I’d probably get a cake today. Yesterday my sweet children asked, “Mama, what would you like for Mother’s Day?” When that question is asked late on Mother’s Day Eve, it is best to think of something that can be accomplished without leaving home or spending money. So, I answered truthfully, “I’d like for all of you to get along with one another all day… and I’d also like a cake!”

That delighted my girls who love an excuse to bake. Here lately, they are all learning how to make drop flowers and roses. A Mother’s Day cake would be fun!

So, today I went to the grocery store alone, wondering what kind of cake I’d come home to enjoy. While I was out, Anna called and asked me to get some ice cream… cause later we’d have cake! When I walked in the door, she excitedly led me to two beautiful chocolate layers. “Look, Mom, I got them out of the pans without them cracking at all!” They really did look beautiful and I could tell immediately that this wasn’t a cake mix. I like mixes but this was the real thing. I contemplated skipping supper and just eating a REALLY BIG piece. Moms are allowed to indulge a little on Mother’s Day, right?!

I left the kitchen for a few minutes so I could be “surprised” by the showpiece cake. It still needed to be iced… the favorite part of the gift for the children.

It broke Anna's heart to present me with this ugly cake last year for Mother's Day.

Suddenly I heard a SPLAT noise followed by a very distressed cry followed by a “WHAT HAPPENED?!?!” I knew what had happened and went into the kitchen to try to console my daughter who was crying over the mess on the floor.

“Honey, it’s ok. It will taste great. I don’t care what it looks like,” I told her.

“I know, Mama, but I really wanted it to be perfect,” was her response through tears.

“It is!” I said and then this child, who has a sarcastic wit about her, burst into laughter. She gave me a hug and said, “I love you, Mom. Happy Mother’s Day. Here is your delicious, ugly cake.”

I immediately thought that this delicious and ugly cake truly was the perfect gift for my Mother’s Day. I want to be a perfect mom. Yet, I am not. I fail and without Christ, I am just a mess. It is my prayer that I can model Christ – likeness to my children. I want to be gentle and slow to anger. However, when I take my eyes off of Christ, even for a moment, I “drop the cake.” I often have a crumbled mess to offer the Lord. Yet He forgives me and encourages me. The really cool thing is He even puts all those pieces back together. I have brought so many messes to Him that He just cleans right up. I couldn’t do that to my Mother’s Day cake, but I did pile it on a plate and top it off with a perfect scoop of ice cream! The smiles given as it were served were sweet indeed.

There is nothing wrong with creating something beautiful. However, God is not concerned with outward appearances. Just as I was able to look at Anna and see her motive was to make a beautiful cake for me, God is able to look at my feeble efforts as a mother. When my efforts are truly meant to please God, he can take my mistakes and use them for His good purposes.

My ugly Mother’s Day cake was delicious and I am thankful for its reminder that I am a work in progress. As I teach my children, God is is teaching me. Today, as happens quite often, my children are the instruments He uses in doing so.

Anna and me on my 39th birthday with my chocolate peppermint ganache birthday cake.

Mother’s Day 2010: I marvel at the beautiful cakes Anna has made this year. She made me one of the loveliest and most delicious cakes ever on my 39th birthday. I am so thankful she wasn’t discouraged and that she persevered. Now my daughter, who presented to me a chocolate mess a year ago, can make butter cream roses perfectly! Anna’s growth in her cake decorating is a picture to me of how God often uses our sins, struggles and mess- ups and turn them into something beautiful! In thinking about the messy cake representing my sin, I think of the beautiful cakes she’s made as representative of the Holy Spirit working in our lives to make all things beautiful.  Anna now can teach others how to pipe perfect roses! What once was a struggle, is now a strength of hers. When we are willing, God uses our weaknesses and gives us all we need to overcome sin and bless other people. God is so good!

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4 Responses to “My Ugly Mother’s Day Cake”

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  3. Laurel Says:

    What a beautiful story … and analogy! It blessed my day!

    My 13 y.o. daughter attempted her first layer cake from scratch this year … for my 48th birthday. She, too, felt like it was “ugly” … a total flop. All I saw was the beauty in it … the beauty of a daughter who was not afraid to try something new … a hard working, dedicated young lady, always doing her best.

    Wish my Hosanna could take lessons from your Anna. Wow! (I’d take lessons, too.)

    Laurel 🙂

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