Sunday, April 24, 2011
The parable of the Easter cupcakes.
On Friday, I was itching for a good Easter project--with all of the intensity that a drug addict itches for crack, I imagine. As is typically my style, I neglected Easter all together until 48 hours before the actual holiday; at which time I entered into a bunny-themed binge that included the making of these baked goods, the dying of Easter eggs, the completion of the Easter basket re-do of '11, the stuffing and general presentation of the filled Easter baskets...and ending, at 2 A.M. on Easter morning, with the sewing of two little girl's Easter skirts.
I do not recommend this method. It has appeared to make me a diabetic, aged me 12+ years, and fueled my growing hatred of holidays that inspire crafting. You know, everything Jesus desired for me when he died on the cross.
As it turns out, Friday's cupcakes were pretty cute, and were realistically do-able for the chickens. It did not require the ability to ice evenly (a struggle for my desire for visual proportion and balance in children's projects), as the coconut covered uneven icing. I helped stick the licorice in for the basket handles, but otherwise, it was all their work. Well, minus the felt bunny ears. That was me.
Now. Let me show you what these pretty little cupcakes cost me.
I realize that this picture fails to account for the layer of sticky that covered every surface of my kitchen for 24 hours (who am I kidding, I mean FOREVER. Sticky FOREVER). And the bits of coconut that I will find, months from now. Or the icing stalactites on the ceiling. And this is only my counter top after the cake baking--but you are hella crazy if you think I am going to pick up a camera while my children are wielding large spoonfuls of icing. Photographing the mess in progress would render me unable to scream my constant, all-encouraging-holiday-craft-mantra:
"STOP. Put it down. DOWN. Do not lick the cupcake. STOP. Do not lick the spoon. Do not put icing in your sister's hair. NO. STOP. PUT. IT. DOWN."
I mean, it takes an INTENSE amount of vigilance and rules to produce an Easter-themed baked good. And the mess. Oh. The. Mess.
I fight the mess A LOT. Mainly because I'm not *great* at cleaning. But my attitude, in general, consistently relies upon the amount of mess and clean-up associated with any given project. Which, let's face it, has made me a mostly raging B, and has led to a general life theme that I could categorize as "frustrating", because EVERYTHING is messy. For example: My kids can decide to draw on a completely clean kitchen table--and within 7 minutes, the floor is covered in paper bits and MAGICALLY, a glass of milk has spilled on something/ everything.
Rule #4,982 of having children: Milk spills on everything, at every minute, of every day. If I lived in a dry, dry desert, milk would still appear simply to spill and ruin my life on a daily basis. Prepare accordingly.
I can choose not to take on the projects, but let's be craft-geek honest here--creativity feeds my soul and I would eat Mod Podge if it wasn't toxic. I LOVES it. I love making pretty. I love wrapping things in cellophane. I *heart* grosgrain ribbon.
That deep, deep, fulfilling, creative love? It comes with HUGE amounts of mess and work. They cannot be separated, they feed the same fire in my very soul. The chaos that, in turn, breeds something so purposeful. Something whimsical. Something beautiful.
Do you know that the things you do on a daily basis tell a story? The things I sew, projects I take on, the crafts I make? The kids I am raising? The decisions I make? My relationships? All of them tell the same story, of the thing that takes shape from the uncertain chaos, that makes the mess worth all the effort.
Daily, it is cupcakes and Easter skirts. A clean house. Non-milk spilling children.
Eternally, it is heaven.
Today, we are celebrating Easter. The Savior who rose to make a gigantic MESS absolutely BEAUTIFUL. You cannot separate what is sticky and ugly and painful and hard from the perfect and beautiful love of Christ. They feed the very same fire, the single event that shapes the chaos into something so stunning and purposeful.
Without the cross, it's just a disaster. The sticky without the cupcake.
Every single day of history, every detail, tells THIS exact same story. Of lives made beautiful. By the very work that started on this day we celebrate.
Happy Easter, Friends.