Sunday, July 17, 2011

Amelia Bedelia Comes for a Visit

How many of you remember Amelia Bedelia books?  I used to love reading about all of Amelia's funny accidents and bloopers!  She was able to turn very simple activities or jobs into disastrous mishaps that usually destroyed or wasted other people's property.  I always wondered why she was ever hired again by anyone as a housekeeper or babysitter after the word got out about what had happened at her last job!  But in the end, everything miraculously ended up being fixed up and everyone was happy.

Amerel loves to bake.  She was given a children's cookbook by my younger sister the last time we were in the U.S.  She loves to look at all of the recipes and decide which one she's going to try next.  In the beginning, I would usually be around to help guide her as to how to interpret the ingredient measurements, recipe directions, etc., but now she has gained the confidence to start using the cookbook on her own.  Normally, she does a great job making pancakes, muffins and cakes out of her cookbook.  But the last two times she made recipes on her own, without parental guidance, somehow things just flopped!  Even though these were recipes she has made before, she somehow misread the ingredient measurements and ended up putting way too much of some ingredients and too little of others.  In the end, the recipe was nothing like it was supposed to be.  She ended up being very discouraged in her ability to bake.

This last time, she was trying to make pancakes out of her cookbook, which she has successfully made multiple times with and without my help.  They ended up with way too much sugar and too little of some other ingredients.  I tried to doctor it up so that we could still have pancakes, but it didn't work.  They just kept burning!  I prayed about how to salvage the "pancake batter" and decided to try to make it into two cakes.  I had to add some other key ingredients to try to make it work. 

This particular morning, I had lots of personal agendas that I wanted to get done and now I had no time to do them because I had to spend most of my morning fixing up Amerel's recipe.  I was not very happy that I had to put all of my planned activities aside and had a bit of an attitude.  After spending some time moping, I realized that I needed to stop moping and figure out how to encourage my daughter.  I began to pray and ask the Lord if there was anything that could be learned from these two seemingly disastrous recipe mishaps.  I realized that this could be something the enemy could use to try to steal away the joy that my daughter has had over baking and cause her to feel as if she couldn't bake anymore.  I felt that he might probably try to turn these last two mishaps into something that could end up discouraging her and making her feel down on herself in lots of other areas of her life, also.  So, after the first pancake turned vanilla cake came out of the oven perfectly beautiful and delicious, I called Amerel over and began to share with her what I felt the enemy might try to do if she continued to dwell on the mistakes of the last two recipes.  Afterwards, she felt very encouraged and prayed that she wouldn't allow the enemy to discourage her and take away her joy of baking.  She also prayed that she would be confident to continue baking in the future.  Isaiah then prayed words of encouragement over her.
Now we have two beautiful cakes to eat and share, even though we started out expecting a wonderful pancake breakfast.  Just like in the Amelia Bedelia books, we ended up with something good and everyone was happy!  When we choose to stop moping and allowing discouragement to set in over our failures, we can allow God to turn our failures into successes and into something beautiful that can be useful in our own lives and also in the lives of others!


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