Wednesday, March 27, 2013

the (not so) martha stewart side of me.

Yesterday I went to the homeschool baseball game and if you have never been to a homeschool baseball game I strongly urge you to do so. Very entertaining. It was Patrick Bryant's birthday yesterday, who happens to play on the homeschool baseball team. Being the great friend that I am, I decided I should make some cupcakes in celebration.

Celebration of the birthday. Not the baseball game. Homeschool baseball games aren't usually worth celebrating...

You should know that I never have much luck with cooking. Never as in....never. Something always goes wrong. And when I told myself that I would make cupcakes I also told myself that something was going to go wrong. I guess you could say I'm some sort of prophetess. Boy, did something go wrong.

I grab a box cake mix out of the pantry. I know what you're in the world can a girl mess up a box cake mix? I don't know either.

I turn the oven on and begin mixing up the ingredients as directed on the box. I get to the part that says "3 egg whites" and have to Google images of egg whites because I never know which one is the white and which one is the yoke. I'm not Martha Stewart, yall. I separate my eggs nicely into a small bowl. I put one pan of cupcakes into the oven and start washing the dishes and cleaning the kitchen. I am on top of the world.

Mishap #1: I don't ever pour the nicely separated egg whites into the cake mix. No egg whites. I realize this after I have washed the dishes and had one pan in the oven.

I interrupt mishap #1 to bring you...

Mishap #2: I don't know how much dark blue food coloring I put in those cupcakes (going for team spirit) but they will not turn dark blue. After putting in drop after drop after drop I finally settle for light blue cupcakes.

Back to mishap #1: I think to myself, "Well I sure can't have cupcakes without egg whites," so I take the cute soccer ball cupcake papers (yes, I was going to a baseball game) out of the cupcake pan that hasn't been cooked yet and scrape the batter back into the bowl. I put the egg whites into the bowl, mix it up, and put the mix back into the cupcake pan.

THESE ARE CUPCAKES MADE FROM A BOX. I can't even make cupcakes out of a box for crying out loud.

I take out the first pan, put in the second. All is going fairly well. I taste them and they are alright...only the most moist cupcakes I have ever put in my mouth. Not sure if that has anything to do with the lack of egg whites, or what. Some cupcakes are like twice as tall as others, but that is a minor problem. I figure once I put icing on them they will all look fine.

I load up my cupcakes and hop in the car. The plan was to grab a can of icing at the store on the way to the game and then sit at the game with my friends and ice the cupcakes. Great plan, right? Wrong.

I'm feeling great and having a nice drive down Lawndale Drive when I see Target. Perfect. Target will have icing. I get into the parking lot, turn off the car, open the door to get out, go to grab my main trio - phone, keys, wallet - when I remember that...

Mishap #3: as of this morning my wallet has been temporarily misplaced.

I ask myself if any soul in Target would buy this poor girl who cannot even make cupcakes out of a box a can of icing. I just need one can of icing.

I turn the car back on and started driving, imagining this scenario: Emily - "I thought you were going to make cupcakes?" Me - "I did make cupcakes." Emily - "Where are they?" Me - "In my car." Emily - "Well go get them!" Me - "No one wants to eat them." Emily - "Why?" Me - "They have no icing. It's pretty much just light blue bread."

As I am driving down the road I remember that I have 2 dollars. Perfect. 2 dollars will buy me icing. I keep driving until I find a Walgreens. In hindsight, the most logical thing to do would have been to turn around and go back to Target, but then again, why would I ever do the logical thing.

Mishap #4: Walgreens has icing. That's not the mishap. The mishap is that their icing is $2.99. I slowly walk out past the employee who had pointed me to the icing, and look at her, hoping that she will ask if I found it, and upon my telling her that I don't have enough money to pay for it, she will be a Good Samaritan and pick up the extra dollar. Nope. Way too good to be true.

Back in the car. Food Lion. Perfect. No mishap at Food Lion. Walk straight to the icing aisle and buy that thing for $1.27. Life is good.

I drive to the school where the baseball game will be played and after going into, I don't know, twelve different parking lots, I find it.

Somewhere during the 6th inning I decide to ice these awesome cupcakes.

Mishap #5: A good five or six of these cupcakes are falling apart. I thought since they didn't have icing on them I didn't have to be careful with them in the car. I thought wrong.

The boys finish their game, they eat the cupcakes, and I think they actually like them. I don't think they appreciate all the hard work and bedlam that had gone into them, though.

Mishap #6: I leave the can of icing sitting in the open. Emily uses this as a good opportunity to spread a very large spoonful all over my face.

Told you I have bad luck with cooking.

Monday, March 25, 2013

i love you. [even though i don't like you a bit.]

Currently in my devotions I'm reading the gospel of John and currently in my devotions I'm falling in love with the gospel of John.

I came to John chapter 13 and read verses 34 and 35 where Jesus is speaking to His disciples and says this:

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

I read that and was shocked. Literally flabbergasted. How many times have I heard those verses? I don't know, I come from the Shelley family, I've heard it a thousand times. But I couldn't believe my eyes. Did you catch that? People know we're Jesus' disciples when we love one another.

And we wonder why people can't see Jesus in us. Hah. Um hellooo. Maybe it's because we don't love one another? John lays it out pretty clear here. If we want to be good witnesses to the world and if we want to be the salt of the earth and if we want to be a city on a hill and if we want to be a lamp on a lampstand and if we want people to be able to tell who we are disciples of, maybe we should start loving one another.

The taste of gossip on our lips is all too familiar. We don't hesitate to speak badly of one another or put each other down. We are constantly judging one another (particularly the teenage girl population) - and not the good "judge each other for the sin in which they are living and confront them about it in love" type of judging, but the "oh my word his girlfriend isn't even pretty" type of judging.

This is so normal. People (myself included) don't think twice before saying negative things about others. About fellow Christians. While God doesn't ask us to like each other, He does ask us to love each other.

Actually no. He doesn't ask us to. He tells us to. He commands us to. We have no other option. If we want to obey God, glorify God, honor God - we absolutely must love one another. And there is no way around it. 

This is no casual love, either. " one another, as I have loved you..." Um. Jesus has loved us tremendously, and that is how we are supposed to love each other?! That is quite the task. Not only did He just love us in His heart and think wow I just really love these people ok that's cool I'm gonna go home now. No. He showed His love. "Greater love has no man than this than that he lay down his life for his friends." Boy did Jesus show His love. And boy we had better show our love too.

We make a sincere decision to love the body of Christ (no matter who it is, no matter what disagreements we may have, no matter if he doesn't love me, no matter if she wears the most ridiculous clothes, no matter what basketball team they like, no matter how many annoying tweets she posts, no matter how bad of a friend they are). We intentionally show that love to each member of the body of Christ. Therefore others recognize something different in our lives. Therefore others realize that we are followers of Jesus. Therefore we glorify Jesus and spread His fame.

Can you imagine if this were the lifestyle of every single believer? If every single Christian was devoted to loving other Christians it would be so obvious to the world and it would be so easy to recognize Christians. We would be set apart from the world. 

Sounds familiar. Sounds like...a description of what the church is supposed to look like?

Also. These pictures have absolutely nothing to do with this post and are not implying that I find these people hard to love (quite the contrary, actually), but I thought they were fun pictures of the crystal ball, and I am a firm believer that pictures make a blog post twice as good.