Cake Baking

Written by Lucy – a future graduate wife

For our anniversary, I cooked a simple but tasty dinner. I had some time before my husband, Grant, came home, so I was just idly looking through our kitchen cabinets and found a box of cake mix. I had never made a cake—ridiculous, but true. I looked at the box and thought, How hard can it be?

So I mixed the few ingredients together, got out my spring form cake pan, and dug up the cake stand wedding gift we never used. As I checked on the timer and peeked into the oven, I thought, This looks and smells really good. Maybe I can pull this off!

For whatever reason [perhaps I neglected to grease the non-stick pan…] the beautiful cake I pulled out of the oven would not free itself from the container.

It stuck.

And stuck.

And stuck.

By the time I finally scraped the majority of what was formerly known as the cake from the “non-stick” pan, it existed as a heap—a mound of yellow goodness—on the overly adorned cake stand. Ridiculous.

It was not pretty. In fact, it was quite ugly. Trying to ice it only made matters worse.

I was figuring out what to do next when Grant walked in and—much to my surprise and pleasure—began to laugh hysterically! It was perfect. Laughter is salve to the soul. Having never made a cake before he lovingly assured me, “It’s the most beautiful cake you’ve ever made me.”

It tasted like a cake—moist, warm, sweet, and thick. We savored every bite as we ate it in hand fulls through giggles and globs of icing standing barefoot in the kitchen together. Delicious.

This whole cake-making process is such a reflection of our lives together.

As we embark on our own graduate journey, we have this awesome adventurous idea of something. In a moment of spontaneity, we set out with determination, learning as we go. Then something ridiculous happens that—if we were other people in another marriage, perhaps—would ruin the whole thing.

It does not look pretty.

It does not turn out the way we thought.

But we laugh.

We have fun through the process. We enjoy it together. And it still tastes just as good—if not better.

Because appreciating the un-perfect, the disappointing, and the minor flaws in our graduate journey is somehow more beautiful than we ever could have planned or made for ourselves.

You see, with us, God has this delightful sense of humor that blesses us in the midst of perceived failure, and as a result, we trust Him more, we love each other more, and we laugh a whole lot more along the way. I hope our journey reflects that.

That cake was some of the best I’ve ever had. And, for what it’s worth, the best I’ve ever made.

In your graduate wife journey, what are some things you have learned to laugh through?

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4 thoughts on “Cake Baking

  1. I’m a mom of three grown kids, not a graduate student, but this seems like a pretty good prescription for a life well lived. I also remember my grandmother describing her first cake-baking efforts: she’d bake one, it would fail, she’d throw it in a ditch outside her house and start all over again. Seventy five years later, she was still laughing about it.

  2. Lucy, thanks so much for sharing this. I must say…there have been many times this past year that I have wanted to cry, but ended up on the floor in laughter, and probably a lot of time that I have ended up in tears but should have been laughing. Recently, we were headed out to an afternoon birthday party and since we live in England it was of course raining. Not the misty, quick rain, but a full on downpour. Since we don’t have a car, we began dressing ourselves and our daughter in rain gear to travel by bike. By the time we were dressed, our daughter could hardly walk due to so much gear, I was covered from head to toe in black plastic and we were running 25 minutes late. Oh…if only we had a car I kept thinking….if only it wasn’t raining all the time….if only our lives looked a little bit differently right now. Haha, much to my surprise in the midst of the rustling of rubber my husband started laughing and couldn’t stop. I fought it….I really wanted to be upset about this and wanted to sulk and be angry. I couldn’t help myself and we ended up having the best laugh together. Although, my poor daughter still wasn’t so happy to be bundled in rain gear. :) Thanks for this imagery you shared in your post and this reminder that life isn’t perfect, but so much better.

  3. Thanks for the reminder! In the process of visa applications, plane tickets and moving…it’s good to have a reminder to laugh along the way as things inevitably don’t go as planned. Thank goodness God is more powerful than the UK Border Agency, I’ll try to remember to laugh when things go awry :)

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