The Sampler – Let Him Eat Cake

by Guest Contributor

sampler-main-180-pix.jpg5 Minutes for Mom brings you exclusive samplings from the best mom blogs in our weekly column, The Sampler, hosted by 5 Minutes for Mom contributing editor Shera, from A Frog In My Soup.

Today I am introducing you to Staci Wilder who is, first and foremost, a wife and mom. But she’s also a writer, a student, a reader, a runner, a scrapbooker, and a fierce and loyal friend. “Oh, yeah – and I LOVE diet Coke!”

Staci blogs at www.StaciWilder.com/blog where you will find inspiration and creativity in her writing! Since submitting this post to me she has also become a regular contributor at Faith Lifts! I truly feel blessed to have her on our team. If you have a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee and a comfy chair and visit her blog, but be prepared to stay a while.

Let Him Eat Cake

Cake is usually symbolic of a celebratory time.

It is almost always the foundation of a birthday party, an anniversary celebration, and the decadent addition of a dinner for the record books.

But for me, and for my boys, cake is symbolic of something entirely different. A time of struggle. Of pain. Of loss.

Maybe that’s why I always request cherry pie when my mom asks each year what kind of cake I’d like for my birthday.

And maybe that is precisely why each of my boys request pie at theirs.

Just the thought of that makes my heart hurt.

Several years ago, when the boys were very young and times were very tough, there were days, and sometimes many days, when there was no food left in the pantry. I learned to scrimp and save and improvise but it seemed like each month – without fail – there would be a series of days when we had next to nothing.

Except…cake mixes.

My grandmother was the queen of coupon clipping. And if you’ve ever clipped coupons you know that cake coupons are a dime a dozen. So each time she and my grandfather would make the drive from East Texas to my place, she would always bring me a sack full of cake and cornbread mixes.

What is almost (but not quite) humorous today, was not at all funny back then. There were many mornings when I’d open the pantry door, looking for something of sustenence for my two young sons, and only an endless row of cake mixes and cornbread batter mixes lined the shelves.

I did what any mother in that situation would do. I scrounged up the eggs and made the batter. I wish I could say that we have sweet memories of those times of eating plain yellow cake for breakfast and for lunch. But the truth is that those memories are more of the bittersweet quality.

Bitter because I am painfully aware that my kids share these memories with me.

But still sweet, because I can look back now and see just how blessed our lives have become since those days.

So it is with such mixed emotion that I find myself now saying about my eldest, let him eat cake. I could never, ever voice this aloud because, quite frankly, I fear no one would understand. This all began to come to me a few days ago as I was out for my morning run.

Instead of the usual music in my ear, I used this time for prayer, feeling a special need to lay my heart bare before God. I ran, but in my heart I was crying. “Oh, God. Please let my boys find the same relationship with you that I’ve found. Be real to them. Very real.”

There was but a moment of silence, both around me and inside me, before His still, small voice spoke to me. Stopped me in my tracks. “Remember what it took to bring you to this place with me?” His voice ushered me back to those stark years, to that one moment when I had no place to turn but to my knees. “Are you sure you’re ready for them to experience that?”

I grew so still inside my soul. I didn’t know how to answer that question. I was fairly certain that I didn’t WANT to answer that question. Never, ever, ever do I want my children to have to endure the heartache and the pain that I did at their ages, and just beyond. I want to pave the way for them, make life as easy to navigate as possible.

But I also want them to become great men of God.

Men that instinctively know that true strength is found in weakness and that their weaknesses are merely open invitations for God to come in and perform the mighty in their lives.

But the truth is that you can’t teach that to your children.

You can model it.

You can explain it.

You can pray for it.

But, in the end, it is up to them to seek this path for themselves.

And now, as my eldest is severing the last few strands of my apron strings, I find my heart both bleeding and rejoicing. I hurt because I fear he may very well have to learn the hard way – much as I did – that God is indeed the sanctuary. But rejoicing because I trust his journey will be as rewarding and as fruitful as mine has been.

Let him eat cake.

~ Written by Staci Wilder of www.StaciWilder.com.

If you would like to be considered for The Sampler please review The Sampler Guidelines.

This column is Hosted by Shera. She can be found at A Frog In My Soup.



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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

1 RefreshMom June 20, 2008 at 3:15 am

Isn’t that the hardest thing about parenting?! We spend so much of their lives trying to protect them from the hard stuff and impart only the good stuff, only to realize that so much of the good stuff comes from the hard stuff! (Heck, I live my own life the same way!). Thank you for sharing.

Mary

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2 Kristin June 20, 2008 at 8:29 am

Such a touching article. Thanks for sharing. I think we all expect our Christian walk to be easy, but sometimes (often) it is more difficult than the way of the world.

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3 Trisha June 20, 2008 at 8:52 am

Thank you so much for sharing this article. This is just the gentle tap from God I needed (well, maybe it was more like a slap in the face). Thank you, thank you, thank you. You have no idea how this has touched me.

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4 Some Law Student June 20, 2008 at 11:22 am

What a great piece!! And I can totally relate. Not only did I grow up in a financially-strapped home and had to eat “weird meals” because it was all that was available, but I find myself and my children strapped for cash often in today’s economy. We all get by, but as parents it’s hard to not feel the pain when you know you’re not giving your children much better than you yourself had as a child.

Thanks for sharing!

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5 Tessa June 20, 2008 at 12:59 pm

We too have experienced financial ups and downs over the years so I truly appreciate this post! I do not want my children to experience the same hardships we did as newly wed young adults, but what you said is so right …. they have to experience some hardship to rely on God. Thank you so much for this reminder!

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6 BlapherMJ June 20, 2008 at 2:24 pm

This was especially moving to me, especially today, of all days. You never know when God will speak to you through others. Thank you.

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7 Janice June 21, 2008 at 12:42 am

Wow- what a powerful post. I completely agree with you. It is better to suffer and be wise and close to God than to have an easy life and be selfish and far from Him.

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8 SarahHub June 21, 2008 at 3:07 pm

This made me tear up. While dealing with infertility before the birth of my daughter, I found solace in God. I know that he used this awful experience to bring me closer to Him. I wouldn’t want her to go through anything like I did, but I do want her to be close to Him.

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9 Lisa June 21, 2008 at 6:25 pm

What a beautiful post. It is so hard to see our children go through trials, but worth it if it brings them closer to God. And we can trust that He is in control!

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