I can’t remember the first time I cooked with my Grandma, or Grammy as I called her. That’s probably because I don’t have any memories where it wasn’t happening. My Grammy cultivated my love for the kitchen, always willing to let me experiment and grow. I recall one time where she let me pick the menu for our tea date. I picked 5 recipes to make, one being a cold pear soup with crème fraiche. Y’all, I was 7. What person in their right mind encourages a seven-year-old to make a cold pear soup? My Grammy.
She encouraged me in so many ways, she was my cheerleader and biggest fan. She even was the one to help convince my mom that full-time ministry was the right choice for me.
I had a very special relationship with my Grammy. I even got to live with her for the last part of her life. Grammy fell down her steps just before Christmas last year, that started her month long stay in the hospital and declining health. She couldn't live alone anymore, so instead of sending her to assisted living, I chose to move in with her.
The decision was not easy, in fact it kicked off one of the hardest seasons of my life as a Christian. During those six months I had to learn to lean on God in ways that I never had to before.
They say when you have kids you learn how selfish you really are. Well, I didn’t have a kid but I did have a Grammy. I had to make sure she ate right, slept, didn’t fall down. I had to shop for groceries and drive her to appointments. I cooked and cleaned. And I realized the depths of my selfishness.
There were days when I would come home at four in the afternoon praying she would have already gone to bed so that I could avoid awkward small talk and explanations of my every whereabouts.
My selfishness screamed at me. God was yelling in my face to stop and look around. To remember his word to love my neighbor. To remember that he specifically called us to care for the less fortunate.
He was constantly reminding me that love was not selfish. Love was dirty and messy and didn't care if it was inconvenient.
It was hard to love my Grammy sometimes. It was hard to push my selfishness aside. And to be honest, it didn't happen nearly as often as it should have.
I often loved my Grammy just enough. I did what she asked of me, I picked up her favorite kind of dip when I was at the store. But rarely did I go out of my way, out of my selfishness to love her.
While I was living with her, I made a cake for a small group at my church and brought back the leftovers for her.
I came up stairs the next morning to find her eating Green Cake for breakfast. “Oh Ang, this is the best cake I’ve ever eaten! I love this!”
“Thanks Gram” I callously replied rushing out the door, late for a morning coffee appointment.
I came back around noon and saw she grabbed another piece to eat for lunch. And then when I went to make dinner for myself I noticed the cake was gone.
My Grammy, who barely ate anything, had polished off nearly a whole cake in just a day. The next morning when I asked her about it, she again affirmed “It was my favorite cake I’ve ever eaten! I love anything pistachio! Can you please make it again soon?”
I never again made that cake for my Grammy, she passed away suddenly in October. She had asked a few more times, and even asked if I would bring it to her birthday, but I just never got around to it. It was always too inconvenient. Too hard. I was always too selfish.
When we are focused on our own selves and ignore the hurt and dying world around us we miss opportunities. We miss out on blessing people and loving them the way Jesus did.
God calls us to love at the expense of our selves. The most loving thing we can do for someone is not to serve them Green Cake, but rather to show them the One who is a servant. The best way we can love people is to point them to Jesus, to share his entirely unselfish love for them.
But maybe you can also make them a cake?
Green Cake (Pistachio Cake)
1 18.25oz box of white or yellow cake mix
2 3.4oz boxes of instant pistachio pudding
1 cup club soda
½ cup vegetable or canola oil
Powdered Sugar for dusting.
Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
Prepare a bundt pan by spraying with non-stick spray and lightly dusting with powdered sugar. This gives it a yummy crunchy outside.
Mix all your ingredients except for the powdered sugar together and mix for about 5 minutes until smooth and lighter in color.
Spread batter evenly in pan and bake for 40-50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Let cake cool for 5-10 minutes and then turn out onto a plate. It will release easier if you flip the cake while it is still warm.
Dust with powdered sugar and serve with unselfish love.
Angi loves Jesus, coffee, baseball and baking cakes. She is a missionary to college students and can't think of anything she'd rather do to serve God. Angi first met the Lord while climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa but really understood His love and grace as a freshman in college. Her heart is to invest in college students in the same way that many others invested in her. You can find her blogging over at Stuff Angi Does where she tells stories about Jesus, college students, and life. You can also find her on facebook, twitter, pintrest and instagram.
Who do you know that would be encouraged by this? Please share with them.
Sharing this article over at these awesome blogs.