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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cupcake Faith

Hyundai, Glamour Magazine, and JuiceBoxJungle sponsored me to write this post about a poignant parenting moment that could possibly be put to the big screen by an A-list Hollywood star, like this short film Kate Hudson did. You can enter the contest, too by clicking here.

Have you ever dreamed of having part of your life portrayed on the big-screen? Honestly, I don't think I have. I don't feel like I have stories dramatic enough--and maybe that's a good thing! The life of a stay-at-home mom doesn't feel very glamorous most days, and that's okay. But there probably are parenting moments in all of our lives that might be funny enough or touching enough to be worth a short film.

One poignant moment that came to mind was H's third birthday. We made cupcakes that day to celebrate, and she was helping me decorate them. She suddenly looked up at me and said, "Mommy, I want to share my birthday cupcakes with the poor." To be completely honest, it felt almost like I'd been hit in the stomach. I tried to overcome my surprise, and after a brief pause, I tried to say that while it was a nice thought, I just didn't think it would be possible. I came up with all sorts of lame excuses in my mind--how uncomfortable would that be? I don't personally know any poor people. There aren't even that many cupcakes, just one batch--not nearly enough to share with a whole shelter. Plus, these were homemade cupcakes and who would take them not knowing what was in them? (from the teacher in me, where school treats were supposed to be store-bought). "Oh. Okay," she responded, and she let it go. But God didn't.

As we continued frosting the cupcakes, the pit in my stomach grew bigger and bigger. I realized I had responded selfishly. What was I trying to teach my daughter? She had been learning at church that we should share with the poor, and was trying in her three-year-old way to make that a reality. She was trying to live out her faith, and at the first opportunity, here I was, standing in the way of her sweet, growing spirit. I said I wanted to cultivate a life of generosity in our family, but was I going to walk the talk? Even if it was uncomfortable or embarrassing?

We finished decorating and she went off to lick and wash the frosting off her hands. I sighed. I almost started crying. I took a deep breath. I got out the phone book and called our local homeless shelter. I feebly tried to explain the situation to the receptionist who answered.

"Hi, um. . . it's my daughter's third birthday, and we just finished making a batch of homemade cupcakes. She had the idea that she'd like to share some of them with someone less fortunate. We only have an extra dozen or so, but could we maybe drop them off to brighten someone's day?"

"Sure, come on over!" she replied with enthusiasm. I again asked if it was okay that they were homemade, and she said no problem. Okay, I thought. Now I have no excuses. I took a deep breath again and called H over.

I sat down on the kitchen chair and pulled her up onto my lap. I said, "remember you had the idea to share your birthday cupcakes with the poor? Well, I called the homeless shelter and they said we could bring them over. Would you still like to do that?"

She brightened immediately, "Oh yes! Do you think they will like them? Do you think they will help someone who is sad feel a little better?"

"I'm sure they will, honey, and I'm so proud of you for being willing to share. I'm sorry I said no at first."

H and I drove over to drop off the cupcakes that afternoon, and something changed in me. Almost four years later, she probably doesn't even remember this story, but I don't think I will ever forget it. There's nothing like being humbled by your child's generosity; having it come smashing into your own heart of selfishness and pride. Something as simple as cupcakes, child-like faith, and obedience can change your heart if you let it.


Kim said...

Isn't it funny how their perspective can just drop you to your knees? I spend so much time trying to teach my son, but his you faith and selflessness end up teaching me so many things.
Great story!!

Kerri S said...

LOVE this story, Jessica. Thanks for sharing it.

Anonymous said...


I just wanted to know that I subscribe to your blog via google-reader.... mostly i just read from afar but today I had to stop by and say thank you for sharing such an awesome story with everyone!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

Amy K said...

What a great memory! It's such a blessing to hear how they put their faith into action at such a young age. Thanks for sharing!

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