A Baking Soda Kind of Life
By Brooke Keith
My grandmother, Jack, was a wonderful, Southern cook. Before my hands could reach the stovetop, I remember sitting my tiny chin atop her kitchen table and watching as she whipped up the yummiest recipes from what seemed like thin air.
I remember how she let me don her apron, how she let me lick the spoon and how my grandfather always got the biggest slice of dessert. But most of all, I remember how she loved him . . . how she must have worked for so many years perfecting that chocolate cake recipe that my grandpa always raved about.
Naturally, when my husband and I first started out, I dreamed of doing all those wifely things that she did so well. The hot slices of apple pie delivered porch-side, the warm layers of chocolate icing piled atop a Sunday afternoon cake.
Our first night in our new home, I remember pulling my grandmother’s recipe book from my drawer. It was worn and faded, but I could still make out every hand written ingredient jotted down oh, so many years ago.
“Hmm . . . apple turnovers . . .” I thought. “No. That won’t do.” “Angel Food Cake,” I said to myself, but that would never suffice. Then, there it was. Covered in a smear of fudge icing perhaps left over from her very first attempt at her famous recipe, there it was. Chocolate Cake. Just what I was looking for. The perfect symbol of a seventy year marriage in the making . . . a love letter converted into confectionary perfection.
Without another thought, I dashed to the fridge to grab the milk and the eggs. I rushed to the pantry to pull out the flour and the sugar. “Hmm . . . baking soda.” I thought. “I don’t have any of that . . . but what could it hurt? It’s just a teaspoon.”
One hour and one horribly tasting, hard-as-a-rock chocolate cake later, I just couldn’t figure out where I’d gone wrong. Now, most of you skilled cooks were probably rolling your eyes three paragraphs ago, but I have to admit, up until recently, I had attempted my grandmother’s chocolate cake recipe a whopping nineteen times without that one small ingredient.
Ten years and umpteen stomach aches later, I’ve finally realized (much to my husband’s taste buds delight) that when a recipe calls for baking soda, a little goes a LONG delicious way. As I watched my husband, and our now three children, gulp down that chocolate cake, God spoke to my heart. “Life is a lot like baking soda. A little Jesus goes a long way.”
Perhaps in the recipe of your own life you’ve wondered what Jesus can do. Maybe you’ve piled your bowl full of things you thought would make your life sweeter and you just don’t see how a dash of Him could make any difference. Well, friend, I’m here to tell you, a little Jesus goes a long way. Don’t believe me? Just sprinkle a little grace on your life, I promise you, you’ll find your spirit lifted (Psalm 30:1) and anxiously waiting to lick the bowl clean.
Psalm 34:8 invites us to "Taste and see that the Lord is good.” And if you have a queasy stomach, afraid of what that first bite may bring, just ask the taste testers of my first nineteen cakes . . . a baking soda kind of life is the only way to live.
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Brooke Keith is the author of many books for children and a long time writer for many well-loved ministries around the world. She is a wife of one very amazing man and a mom to their five equally amazing kids. But most of all, Brooke is a girl head over heels for her Savior and finds His love far too wonderful to keep to herself. When Brooke is not busy searching for her toddlers missing shoe you can find her on her blog.
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