Christmas is a time of great anticipation, lots of fun memories, and wonderful time with family. But sometimes it can also be a time of unmet expectations: We didn’t receive the gift we asked for, the cookie decorating turned out to be a disaster, or one of the children had a complete meltdown at a relative’s home. The idyllic picture in our head just didn’t quite turn out to be reality.
We had an experience this week where all my plans went awry. Despite never attempting this with the boys before, I decided it would be super fun to make gingerbread houses. But not just any old gingerbread houses…gingerbread houses made of Rice Krispie Treats (one of our family’s favorite treats). It was going to be fantastic.
As usual, I didn’t follow the instructions (I’m not really sure it would have turned out much differently had I followed the instructions explicitly…but I guess we’ll never know). :) We didn’t have enough Rice Krispies to make 2 batches (as the recipe suggested), so I just thought I would piece the parts of the house together with toothpicks. It seemed to work at first…
But then the structure quickly began to sag. I stuck a can of cream of mushroom in the center, thinking that might help hold the top up…but it didn’t. Within 5 minutes of completion (and about 40 minutes of effort ahead of time), this is what our “gingerbread” house looked like.
After my initial disappointment, I quickly disassembled the house and slapped the front/back on a plate for the boys to decorate. It would now be a 2-dimensional gingerbread house.
They didn’t care one bit whether it was 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional.
They had a blast.
Little Brother did way more eating than decorating.
Caught ya, little stinker!
Big Brother was determined to cover every square centimeter of that Rice Krispie treat with some type of sugar confection.
It was an afternoon of smiles and laughter…despite the fact that my plans had literally crumbled to the ground.
Rather than getting frustrated that nothing was working (like I would normally do), I think God gave me a spirit of calmness and contentment. So what the “gingerbread” houses didn’t turn out like I wanted them to…my kids had just as much fun with our 2-dimensional “houses” as they would have with the real deal.
Unfortunately, I can say that I have let unmet expectations ruin my attitude in the past. I get disappointed sometimes that things aren’t picture perfect…and let the small diversions stress me out.
This feeling of peace in the midst of crumbled plans (and gingerbread houses) is foreign to me these days…I realize now just how uptight I have been! But over the next few weeks, I’m saying a special prayer for myself that God will help me to have a positive, unstressed attitude when all the plans go awry. Because they will.
“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” -1 Peter 5:7