Lifting hearts to God in thanks and praise.

Black Forest memories

I poured the batter into cupcake molds for Ravinia.

Suddenly the smell took me back.

“Grandma and I used to go out for Black Forest cake when I was in High School,” I told her.
There was a patisserie in our town that made the best cheesecake (with ricotta) and the ultimate Black Forest cake. Sometimes we would go there after school…and then not eat much dinner.

All of a sudden I was with my mom in my mind. And thinking of summers we used to spend in her trailer, her second home at Camp of the Woods. Baking, of course, among other things. In my mind, I walked around there. I remembered the last time I was there, 2010, and how things had changed so much. I thought about how my body relaxes in joy in that place.

And then I thought of our recent trip to Oregon for my neice’s wedding. I looked at pictures and remembered how I loved the “real” trees.

Ravinia saw pines everywhere she looked.

I wondered, in my memory state of mind, what it is that gives me joy.

If I were to live doing just the things that gave me joy, what would they be?

I thought, I love praising God, and I love praying for people.
Right away Monica’s post came to mind, about the fires raging in Colorado and I prayed, for her and for parents of friends here, and for those I didn’t know, who may be losing their homes or just not knowing.

I remembered when the fires ranged here, and thought about what Monica had said. I remembered the feelings of gratitude for prayers of others in the midst of the waiting, the aftermath, and the recovery period. I prayed from my memory.

The forests were black here. Skeleton black trees, although the holly oak (to me, unreal) trees around here that people credited for protecting their homes were still mostly green, with a few burned branches.

Ravinia has been taking cupcakes to Youth Group at church on Wednesday nights for almost a year now, working her way through the Martha Stewart Cupcakes book. I haven’t always been sure that it was worth the money for extravagant ingredients. But a bite of one of those Black Forest cupcakes tonight set my heart and mind at rest.

She is growing and learning.
She is offering her talent to the world.

I am growing and learning as a mom,
and I too am offering my talents in joy: in thanks and praise.

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