While my brother and his family were here staying with us last week, several things were less than perfect.
Our Princess succumbed to the upper respiratory crud for two days.
Thirty minutes into our outdoor viewing of “The Apple Dumpling Gang,” it started drizzling, and we shut it down. (But it was really, really cool while it lasted!)
The cake fell.
Miss Sophie got overexcited and barked and was quite upset when folks ran through the house. Which, with a houseful of 10 and unders, was bound to happen. A lot.
The blueberry custard came out a little soupy.
And it rained some more.
None of which I had any control over.
In every single case, it was what it was.
we dealt with it. It was all about our attitudes.
And thankfully, when the tears (okay, my tears) threatened to fall over the cake AND pie messes, my brother had me laughing over the whole “pie-caken” idea–the dessert version of the turducken I suppose.
I don’t know what I’d do without that crazy, belly filling laughter.
It saves me.
Our Princess and I had a few minutes before she had to be at dance the other day, so we stopped by our favorite used bookstore. As I walked down the shelves, remembering how I used to do the same thing all those years I worked in the library, a title caught my eye.
“Broken for You.”
I have no idea what the book is about, nor will I likely look it up anytime soon. (Okay, just kidding, I just did.)
But those words. They have been zigzagging back and forth in my mind all evening.
This life is full of brokenness. Children are going to get sick, and we can’t control that. (If you’ve figured out how, PLEASE let me know. Three different viruses in less than three weeks’ time–I’m a little over it.) Cakes, despite our best efforts, are sometimes going to fall. All it takes is a child taking a misstep on the stairs or one happily hopping through the kitchen or just a lousy coincidence. Soupy pies? Well Mama’s not here to tell me why that happened, but you better know one day she and I are going to talk about the vagueness of that recipe!
I don’t really think that the Universe is out to get me (despite what I say sometimes) nor do I think things are broken on purpose–sometimes they just happen. But if I can look at the brokenness as an opportunity to share laughter (thanks Bubba) or to slow down or to be thankful for what did go right…..
perhaps the cracks are how the light of good thoughts gets through. If I can look at it as being broken for me to work on my response, then there is a redemptive quality to so many things we are facing (I get it, not all things)–including a fallen poundcake.
I mean, we get better at something by practicing, right? (I sure hope so–at least that’s what I’ve been telling my reticent mathematicians.)
So how can we get really good at being thankful,
at finding light in the darkness,
at laughing despite the hard times,
at choosing the right attitude…..
if we don’t get any practice, if everything always goes as planned?
Perhaps that’s what purpose fallen cakes and fevers and soupy blueberry custards can serve–
broken for me–
so I can work on not letting it all get to me.
In this life, we can let things break us, or–
we can see it as being broken for us to practice our “attitude adjusting” and show what we’re made of.
I can’t say that I won’t get a little *ahem* upset the next time my pound cake falls (oh me), but I will remember the pie caken and find something to smile about in the midst of the frustration.
It’s a start.
Wishing you all the ability to laugh when things fall apart. Or just fall.
Love to all.