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.
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.
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