Saturday, November 27, 2021

Cake Stories part 3... The Wedding Cake

 


I am thankful for many positive things God has brought into my life.  I have to admit though, that I am not always thankful for the not-so-positive things.  I don’t always see the big picture that God sees.  That is where faith and trust come.  Sometimes the more difficult events in our lives are put in place to also give God the glory.  This story is one of those such events.

In the last two blogs I mentioned stories of cakes I have created over the years and the stories behind them.  This story is a bit different, but still has a cake as the ‘center piece’ so to speak.  During my first marriage I was asked by my mother-in-law to make her wedding cake for her up coming wedding.  I was a bit nervous because I wanted to bless her day but didn’t want it to turn into a difficult situation that could strain the family relationships.  However once again, I loved a good challenge, so I accepted the request.

The day of the wedding several cakes were baked and cooled on racks as the icing and other pieces were assembled.



The request was a blue and white flowered cake with tiers.  I purchased a fountain for the cake and tall pillars to be the centerpiece below with two tiers separated by more pillars, a cherub, and then two more tiers followed by the topper.  Two toned blue flowers, ribbons, and white icing brought the cake completely together.  The finished product was spectacular, and I was excited to share it with the new bride and groom.  Once again, I needed to complete the assembly onsite due to the size of the cake.

We took the separate cakes and placed them carefully into our old station wagon back area.  The extra back seats were pulled down and my then husband was going to sit with his mother’s cakes to ensure they stayed safe for the ride.  The kids were dressed for the wedding and buckled into the back seat ready to go.  I had all the pieces ready and was dressed for the occasion as well.  This was a bit different because normally I delivered the cake and went back home on my way.  This time I would be a part of the event as well as the cake deliverer.  We were on our way.

This sounds strangely familiar, doesn’t it?  As we headed down the road slowly, we entered the Interstate 490 and I felt fairly confident we were going to have no issues this time.  That is when it happened.

A car driving in front of us suddenly shifted and I saw their front drivers side tire sheer off its axle and as the car momentarily went forward, the tire took a reverse trajectory and headed straight for our windshield.  With all the traffic around all I could do is brace for the impact and yell, “Oh my God” over and over.

Then as if a blowing wind took over, the tire suddenly shifted its direction towards the right and blew past my windshield and landed on the side of the road away from anyone else behind me.   I watched the car in front of me drop from the lack of tire in the front and pull over away from the traffic as well. 

There was no logical reason that tire did not go through our windshield.  God’s hand was on our car and the entire scene that day.  The cake would have been the least of our worries.  The tire would have crashed through the windshield and taken out at least me and possibly the rest of the family as well.

After breathing many prayers of thanks, I loosened my grip on the steering wheel and we continued to our destination, family and cake unharmed.

I can still see the tread of the tire burning towards me in the air.  By the grace and mercy of God, it wasn’t our time.   I saw the hand of God that day.  All I could think about the rest of the day is how many times have I been saved by His Hand and I didn’t know it.  This was just one time He let me see His miracle. 

I will never stop telling of His miracles…

 


Psalm 9:1

I will give thanks to you, Lord, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Cake Stories part 2 – the baby shower

 



There have been many memorable stories over the years as I baked and decorated cakes.  I wanted to share a few of them this week as a reminder to be thankful in all situations…

As I mentioned in yesterday’s blog, I took on many new challenges when making and decorating cakes.  I tried to see how far I could push my creative talents.  I judged if it was done before, why couldn’t I try and do it myself?

Once a customer requested a baby shower cake for her upcoming shower.  She issued me the creative license to make what ever I wanted.  I decided to make a baby buggy cake.  How awesome would that be in a shower?  A 3D baby buggy cake with all the frills!  I wanted to bless this new mom to be and started on the project. 

This is an example of what I created.  

Note this is NOT what I created, but an example 😊



I had an idea in my head, but wasn’t sure how I was going to execute it.  I did a great deal of research in the books I had on hand.  Remember there was no Google at that time.  As the project idea grew, my nervous feelings also grew.  I didn’t take into consideration all the moving parts needed.  My project management skills took over and I made a game plan.  I pushed through the fears knowing I would have to assemble it onsite when I arrived. 



The morning of the shower the cakes were baked and left to cool in the kitchen.  The icing was made and ready to decorate.  Each part of the buggy was starting to come together.  I became more excited as I saw the form take place.  Cookies were purchase for the wheels and rods and a stand were ready for the assembly.  Each piece had multiple flowers and basket weaving.  The handle would be a simple plastic wire with a ribbon for looks.  The final pieces looked like a do-it-yourself assembly at Ikea, but it was ready to go down the road.

I carefully put the pieces in the front seat of our car.  I put the accessories in the trunk for complete assembly later.  I buckled the kids in the backseat.  We were ready to go.  Carefully I pulled out of the driveway and headed down the road.  The baby shower was only 15 minutes away from our home.  We were on time and ready to bless this new mom to be.

As I headed down the road, I carefully took every turn slowly to make sure the precious cake cargo was safe in the process. 

This is where things took a turn.  Driving down the road a car in front of me decided to suddenly hit his breaks and make a quick left hand turn down a road.  There was no way I could have stopped in time slowly even though I had enough room behind him.  Protective mom came out and I hit the breaks hard to make sure we were safely behind the car instead of plowing into his trunk.  The car made his quick turn and went on. 

We were safe.  However, in the process of slamming on my breaks to avoid any collision, the cake was not.  The entire cake, all pieces were now secured in the floor space of the passenger seat.  I pulled over and assessed the damage.  There was no recovering from this.  The kids sat silently in the back seat. 

I regrouped for a minute and then turned the car around and headed to the nearest grocery store.  I then went in a purchased a couple of basic cakes for my customer.  I delivered the cakes a little late, along with a deep apology.  She was so sympathetic and more worried about paying me for my services or the new cakes.  I declined. 

I then took the kids to the nearest fast-food place, and we ate lunch there while the damaged cakes remained in the car for the moment.  After we came home, I spent the next few hours cleaning the inside of the car.  It smelled like frosting for many months afterwards.

Why am I telling you this story?  Well for one, not everything goes as we plan.  And secondly, we need to give thanks to God for everything, good and bad that happens to us.  God knew that was going to happen.  My feelings of frustration were there.  There was no controlling my feelings.  However, my actions with my frustrated feelings were in my control.  To this day, my kids remember this incident and how I reacted.  That was one of the times I came through with a good example to my kids.  It wasn’t always like that.  But that time I passed. 

 

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

16 Rejoice always, 17 pray continually, 18 give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Cake Stories Part 1...

 


When I was younger my mother took a few classes on cake decorating and became the local ‘go to’ person for all kinds of cakes for any holiday.  She loved making cakes and the bonus was getting a little extra money for the family which was needed.  Over the years she taught me the many skills she learned.   Mom had arthritis and her hands would give in to the pain after a bit working with the decorating bags.  So, I would pick up where she left off and finish some of the cakes.  We made a good team.




When I moved out on my own, I became the proud owner of about 7-9 oversized plastic bins of cake decorating pans, supplies, and such.  When my kids were young, I also turned to the trade and started making all kinds of cakes and selling them for extra money.  Mom would help sometimes when she could.   The difference between me and my mother was that I would take on any new challenge where mom stuck to the basics in decorating.  One time I made a wedding cake for a couple that was so large we needed to purchase a piece of plywood to set it on.  The cakes were assembled on site and had multiple round tiers on each end that held a set of stairs and a running fountain in the middle.   I even colored the water in the fountain to match the cake colors. 




Again, overachiever…


Thinking back to the many cakes I created over the years, I realized my mother not only taught me a trade growing up, she taught me to do my best no matter what.  We never let a cake out of the door if it wasn’t up to our standards.  There were many times the icing was redone so it was acceptable to us. 

We both took pride in all the work we achieved.  I was taught at an early age; work ethics were very important.  Even when no one else was around.


I will share some of the more memorable stories in the next few blogs…

Stay tuned…


Colossians 3:23 (NIV)

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters,


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Too Busy....?

 

 

Happy Wednesday!

How is your day going?

Are you racing around on this hump day?

This morning when I awoke, my mind started the race of what needed to be done for the day and the week.  We have another United Marriage Encounter Weekend starting on Friday so my to do list was a bit overwhelming.  



As I started down the mental list for the morning, I received a text from a beautiful sister in Christ.  It was a quick reminder to Be Still for the Lord.  Psalm 46:10 is one of my favorite verses and so it stopped me in my tracks. 



I needed to get back on track.  I needed to Be Still.  I needed to remember who was in charge and reset my thinking. 


Maybe you needed to hear this today too, so here are a few quick thoughts: 


Be Still…

Be Grateful for His Salvation and His unending Grace & Mercy…

Remember He has the world in His hands, and nothing is a surprise to Him…

Then continue on with your day, He’s got this!

Until tomorrow…

 


Psalms 46:10

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”

Luke 15:7

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Revelation 1:8 (NIV)

“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Changing love languages...

 



If you read the book The Five Languages by Gary Chapman, you can discover your mates love language and help deepen your communication level.  I have learned through this process that often love languages are not the same between spouses.



 

For my husband, his is acts of service. He feels blessed when I cook him dinner each night or pick up something that was on his ‘to do’ list. 

My love language is words of encouragement. When Carl shares with me how he feels about something I did or uplifts me during the day with a quick text – I feel blessed like a bright sunshiny day.

Now if Carl tries to use ‘his’ love language to lift me up – the results are not as favorable.  It’s not that I don’t appreciate when he helps around the house or does something for me – but I feel more inspired when he pours words of encouragement into my spirit.

However – this past weekend – things changed.




I ate a tainted meal and my stomach decided to remove what I placed in it throughout the night.

My husband and I needed to do two presentations first thing the following morning.  After being up all night, my energy level was at a 1.2.  We managed to pull it together and pressed on to complete our presentations.  I stayed away from any food or drinks because I didn’t want to have to leave the front room in a rush and scare everyone else in the proce4ss.

After lunch – my me but my husband – we had a small break to regroup.  We took the elevator to the lobby and sought out some medication in the hotel store.  Sadly, they didn’t have anything I needed. However, the woman at the shop mentioned there was a pharmacy two lights down the road. 

I was going to take the walk with my husband – but my stomach disagreed and overruled the decision.  My husband said he could take the trip by foot and be back in time for the next presentation.  So off he went, and I went back to our room and laid down to get some rest.

I woke up about ½ hour later realizing he wasn’t back yet. I went to pick up the phone and call him but realized he also left his phone in the room.  Panic set in as I went on my phone to look up the closest pharmacy and suddenly realized it wasn’t a couple lights away, but a mile away.  We didn’t have a car and my husband was on foot, with no phone or watch in an unfamiliar area.  Oh, and by the way, it was a fairly warm day in that town, and he was wearing a long sleeve shirt thinking he was only going to be a few minutes.

After almost 45 minutes later I headed towards the elevator to go downstairs and let everyone know we were going to be late.  I was suddenly greeted by a very tired and hot husband when the elevator doors opened.  He had traveled the mile to the store and back.  He had realized how far away it was but still pressed on until he conquered the medication I needed.  I was so glad to see him.

Words of encouragement were not going to help me that day.  No amount of praise would help my stomach feel better.  I desperately needed my husband’s acts of service.  I was so grateful for his loving gesture that helped me through the rest of the day.

I wasn’t able to eat again till the following day, but my stomach started the healing process with the new meds. 

Never forget, a love language can change in an instant depending on your situation. 


I am also so grateful for my husband…

 


 

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

https://www.5lovelanguages.com/


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 10, 2021

Celebrate today!


 

I read a bible devotional today and it caused me to pause.  The plan talked about celebrating not only when a victory is made, but also the process. 

How many times I have waited to celebrate until the job was completed or until the day of the event.  How about you?  We celebrate the hurdles of life.  We make it to a new job, a new career, a new home, a new marriage.  What about the small progresses towards the goals? 

I spent many months completing my book that is finally going to be released November 30th.  How many days did I celebrate completing each story in the book?  I can’t say that I did. I was so focused on the final project date that sadly I missed celebrating the journey God took me through.  How many lessons of joy did I miss pressing in like Martha in the bible instead of Mary? 

I grieve today thinking about that.  However, as the devotional stated, I need to celebrate the revelation God just gave me today.  I can celebrate knowing this new revelation instead of mourning how much I lost.  I need to look how far I have come and not look at what is left. 


We all need to do that.



As I open the door to writing another book, I pray I can keep focused on the journey, not just the destination.   Will you join me today and celebrate God’s revelations in your life and the journey?  We are all on a journey which has the most incredible ending.  We get to see Him face to face.  Take time today to enjoy the journey as He reveals Himself more to you today.



Nehemiah 8:9-12

9 Then Nehemiah the governor, Ezra the priest and teacher of the Law, and the Levites who were instructing the people said to them all, “This day is holy to the Lord your God. Do not mourn or weep.” For all the people had been weeping as they listened to the words of the Law.

10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.”

11 The Levites calmed all the people, saying, “Be still, for this is a holy day. Do not grieve.”

12 Then all the people went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy, because they now understood the words that had been made known to them.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.


Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Praising Him in all things...

 


How easy it is for me to praise God when prayers are answered.  The sun seems to shine a bit brighter.  The world around me seems a bit nicer.  I hear a song on the radio and say, Yes Lord, I see your plan.  Today I woke up to a prayer answered and I felt so blessed.  God said yes, and a plan was set in motion.


But what about when He says No, or Wait? The sun is still there, and the world is still spinning.  God still heard my prayers.  Nothing changed.  Why do I feel like it did because He said yes, this time?




It is sometimes hard to praise Him in all things.  In the storms of our lives.  Recently my husband and I have been praying fervently for something in our business.  We were so sure He knew what we needed.  The way God answered that prayer was not what we expected.  It was not only no, but He gave us a completely different answer altogether. 

In frustration I cried out to the Lord.  “This is not what we prayed for Lord!”


We struggled, and the sadness in my husbands’ eyes was unbearable to me.  I wanted to fix it.  There was no fixing this one.  God had stepped in and allowed the ‘chips to fall’ where they were.  How could we praise Him in this?  We didn’t see the big picture.



There was a reason. We might not see it right away.  We might not see it ever.  But God knows better because He knows the beginning from the end.  He knows what we need.  He knows what our business needs. 


So, we praise Him in the storm.  Even when we don’t see the answer.  Even when He says no.  We don’t praise Him because of an answer.  We praise Him because He is God, and He knows what is best for us.  We need to conform to His will.  Not the other way around.


So, I praise Him in the storm. 



Stand with me and Praise Him in all things…



Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

Being Thankful...

 

The month of November moves my thoughts to being thankful.  I try to spend most days thanking God for the many blessings in my life.  However, it is easy sometimes to get caught up in the noise around me and forget all the blessings I have received over the years. 

I have so much to be thankful for.  My family, our business, and the ministry my husband and I belong to.  Each on its own is a cup filled with blessings.  Together they are a reminder of God’s grace. The other day reminded me of that fact. 




I got up and did my normal routine as the puppies wandered around my feet looking for some cuddles.  As the staff came in for the day, I ran around getting everything ready for the big event.  We planned on blessing some of the largest companies that give our business referrals throughout the year.  I have wanted to do this event for many years but didn’t have the bandwidth to do so.  My excitement was like wrapping Christmas gifts the night before in anticipation of the recipient’s response.  My incredible ‘partner in crime’ assistant had worked diligently to create a personalized thank you note for each vendor.  We had a bag of goodies to hand out.  We only needed to pick up the dozen donuts for each vendor at the local donut place.  We planned on taping the thank you card to each box and then driving around town to share the joy.  We wanted each business to be blessed as they had blessed us with so many referrals over the years.  If this event went as expected, we could set it in motion for the following years.

We jumped into the car and headed down the street to the donut shop.  The woman behind the counter was exceptionally friendly even though we basically wiped out their selections.  I was grateful for her joyful countenance.  I tried to feed my partner in crime some donuts, but to no avail.  Side note here, I am a feeder and when there is an opportunity, I jump on it to help others from starvation.

We left with the many boxes of sweet goodness and headed to our first stop.  As we pulled in, a bit of anxiety came upon me.  Once again, I had decided to go where no man or woman has gone before.  That’s what I do.  I pulled it together and asked God to give me the courage to just ‘do it’.  He did.  We walked into the shop and was greeted by the friendliest people.  I am sure carrying donuts helped a little. 

The look on their faces was priceless.  They were blessed by our small gesture and the owner took some time to speak to us about the business and the past year.  He mentioned that he would continue to give our cards out and we thanked him again for all of his efforts.

After that first visit, the remaining visits became easier.  Each recipient was excited to not only receive the box of donuts, but to also share this past year’s business with us.  We shared the ups and downs from 2020.  Each person had a story to tell and was grateful to have someone who understood the back end of the business. 

When we completed our last mission, we proceeded to head towards home.  I felt blessed by everyone’s warm welcome and thanks.  I believed I got more out of this event than I expected.  I felt so fortunate to be able to do this event. 




Then when I thought the blessing was over, God stepped in and filled my cup even more.  We were driving towards home, and I realized we were close to a Christian bookstore that is normally a trip for me to visit.  I overrode my GPS and headed straight for the store. 

When I walked into the store I was surrounded by His peace.  Each time I walk in I feel His presence and encouragement by the many items that point me to my Heavenly Father.  I had stopped in to speak to the staff for a minute and then pick up some Christmas cards. 

As I shared with the staff my newest project, which was a book I had just wrote, they were more receptive than I expected.  I was humbled by their assistance.  Then as we continued to talk, I realized there was more of a connection between us than we originally thought.  One of the staff had purchased my in-laws home many years ago and knew my husband’s family very well.  We shared the blessing of this knowledge and I shared how my husband was now saved and we were in a marriage ministry together.  The woman who shared her story was blessed by our encounter.  I was blessed by the entire day.  My husband was blessed to hear the entire story later.




How many things do you have to be thankful for today?  Think about the little daily events.  How many has our Heavenly Father graced you with? 


Psalms 100:4 (NIV)

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.

Ephesians 5:20 (NIV)

always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.


Copyright © 2022 Peggy A. Priest. All Rights Reserved.

 


Stones of Remembrance...

We got good news yesterday.  Actually, three things happened that made me stop and thank God each time.  One was a reprieve from the storms ...