Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Things Decorating Christmas Cookies with Kids Teach us about Life and Trust

I can’t believe it took until January 12th and after all the decorations were neatly (overstatement!) packed away to finally look and feel like Christmas! UGH!

At any rate, as I browsed one last time over some of the pictures I took this last Christmas season, snow gently piling up outside, I came across a picture of Dylan decorating cookies. The memories of that day came back rushing into my head and a thought began to emerge:

Life is truly like decorating Christmas cookies with kids…

It is messy…totally messy. No matter how much you plan ahead and carefully cover the entire work-area to protect your kitchen or dining room table where the kids are going to be decorating, icing just finds its way everywhere. From the kids’ faces, arms and clothes, to the remote corners of your kitchen floor…there is always a grand mess to clean up after all the damage…I mean…decorating is done.

Not so unlike it with life…often we start out in our youth laying out a dream-plan of how our life is going to be like. Some young women even plan their entire weddings years before they have a potential groom in the picture. Some know how many children they are going to have and they even have names for them! I never did any of these things, but I did dream of having a place of my own…a super cool apartment in a high-rise, preferably with a stunning ocean front view…sigh…Everything is perfectly and neatly designed in our heads. All the “I”s are dotted and everything fits right in its place…until life actually begins to unfold and the proverbial icing goes everywhere. You get the idea, don’t you?


It’s frustrating. We give the kids clear instructions on how to work the icing ON the cookie. We demonstrate it. We give them samples. We hold their hands to try to guide them. But they push and squirm until they are free from our grip: “I want to do it myself!” They resolve. And of course, we RELUCTANTLY let go, only to see them do completely the opposite of what we have instructed. SIGH…Did they listened to ONE thing we said? We wonder… “Why are you using brown icing on a snow man!?” “it looks like it rolled over on dog poo!!!” UGH! Just forget it!

I don’t know about you, but the dreams and plans of my youth did not come true. The dreams and plans of this morning when I woke up did not come true. And seeing life take seemingly wrong turns can be sorely frustrating.


It’s completely unexpected. Frustration gives way to the realization that your kid has a mind of his/her own. No matter how much I try to control my kids’ actions, in the end, they are going to do whatever they want to do because they are their own person. The beautiful, GREEN, Christmas tree cookie, shimmering with glittering sprinkles that you had in mind turned out to be a blue blob, too heavy on the chocolate chips…sigh…

And so it goes in life…it takes us through pathways that we were not expecting. We thought we would go to college, get a degree in Marketing and work for a multinational corporation so we could afford the ocean-front penthouse of our dreams. But, we end up returning to school to get a teaching degree because we hate marketing and can’t stand sitting at a desk in an office 10 hours a day, EVERYDAY! The thing we thought would bring us joy chokes us dead. The groom or the children never come. The perfect wedding never happens. Nothing turns out the way we planned it…

However, one thing is for sure: it is extra sweet!

In the end, if we hang on long enough, keep our expectations and frustrations in check and go with the flow, we find out how the cookie always turns out gloriously sweet! Even the “poo-covered” snow man, with M&M eyes too large for its face tastes like a piece of paradise when we close our eyes.

That’s what trust is all about: not being afraid of God’s plan for our lives, even if His plan turns out to be nothing like we imagined it. Even if it is messy, frustrating, completely unexpected…if we keep holding on to His Hand, in the end we will see and taste how sweet it actually is.


  1. I love this analogy, Gisela. Life really is so messy, but it's absolutely extra sweet as well. Those cookies look fantastic and I adore the intensity your son has decorating them. You are doing much better than me as every bit of my Christmas decor is still up. I'm dreading packing it all up. I know I'm pretty late this year :).

    1. Ha, ha! He is pretty intense when he decides to focus...the problem is getting him to focus :( Thank you for stopping by Candace and I tell you, the Christmas decorations get packed away right after New Years here as a way not to prolong the sadness...we have found out that the longer they linger, the longer it takes us to move on...we get hit pretty hard with after-holidays-blues up here...sigh...


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