As mentioned, we’re taking a slight detour from our Revived Hope On Location. If you haven’t noticed, whenever I write these posts, it’s about more than the subject. Everything I think about brings up a nostalgic moment in my life, for which I’m grateful, and as always, the Lord presents a little inspiration as well. I hope you enjoy the journey about fun facts, fond memories, and faith nuggets
Today, instead of going to an actual location, we’ll talk cookies. When I wrote about a French Bakery in Revived Hope, I didn’t have one in mind. However, I was thinking of Albertson’s Grocery Store in another scene when Todd, Melanie’s neighbor, references a grocery store bakery. I had this big chain in mind because they have the most delicious store-baked cookies! When I don’t have time to bake for a function, I pick up a bag, and they go on a platter. Seriously.
Now, I’m not bragging, but my husband loves my homemade chocolate chip cookies better than any other. He even says the new “Crumbles” in town doesn’t compare. But that’s debatable by many in the family. Before I went gluten-free (which makes me so sad, and I’ve tried everything), I loved baking. When watching a movie with my husband, I’d whip up a batch of cookies as easily as throwing a bag of popcorn in the microwave…almost.
I think the secret is in the preparation. Any cookie recipe I use comes out great if I follow my strict regime. Let me know if you want the secret. It works every time…with wheat flour. Not almond, coconut, oat, or Cup-for-cup. Nothing feels as good as working with the powdery, smooth white stuff. How I miss it, and so does hubby. So, I made up a batch for this blog and him—no oat flour or garbanzo beans today.
Do you have a favorite recipe?
No French Bakery
Anyway, where I live, there isn’t a Bakery, French or otherwise, that I’m aware of that beats Albertson’s Store Baked Cookies. Although, Scratch Bakery, is a favorite of mine. But not french. I go there for their gluten-free cookies, which are better than my GF. So, the aforementioned French bakery in Revived Hope goes elusively unnamed, and in reality, doesn’t exist.
In Washington, where one of my sons and his family live, I love the famous Dutch Bakery, but obviously, it’s not French.
Just the word, French makes everything sound so romantic, and I guess I should have researched it more because I’m not so sure they make chocolate chip cookies. When I first drafted Revived Hope, there was an authentic French bakery in town that I often frequented. Sadly, his business closed. But now that I think of it, he didn’t make chocolate chip cookies anyway.
But it’s the idea of cookies as comfort that sets the scene or two. Right?
Sweets make us feel good…in moderation!
Setting aside health and eating disorders, and by no means discounting them, there’s something about sweets that makes us feel good, isn’t there? Years ago, we used to host an all-church 4th of July party because our backyard had the best view of the city fireworks. We dubbed it a dessert potluck. The first year, there were way too many fruit platters, so one person suggested we clarify that fruit is not dessert. The following year, when I asked our Pastor, Rick Warren, to bless the food, he looked at all the decadence and said, “You can’t ask the Lord to bless this. It’s a sin!” Joking, of course.
Anyway, I guess it’s the sugar high that makes us feel good, but after that, comes the crash. Now here’s the segue. Whether for comfort, consolation, or celebration, only Jesus provides that “feel good” without the crash.
Throughout Revived Hope, Melanie gets hit pretty hard with mounting trials, and one evening, after her shop is vandalized, she’s at the end of her rope, and it’s all she can do to pull herself together.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18,
But it’s through her neighbor, Todd, that God comes to the rescue. He brings cookies! Although Melanie is not one to use food to console herself, the cookies break the ice. Soon they share a tiny faith moment, talking about their respective churches.
That’s what I do. Mentioning church is my segue. Whenever I talk to a stranger, and I feel God’s nudge, I pray for an opening to share His love. Somehow just mentioning church guides my conversation. “I have a friend at church that works there too.” or “My church had an event at that park.” Sometimes it opens the door and occasionally it shuts it.
But it’s a non-threatening way for me to approach the subject of God’s love. I don’t often wear crosses or Jesus t-shirts, and I’m not at all knocking those that do. In fact, I gave my cousin a Jesus saying t-shirt last Christmas and told her she could use it for a nightshirt if she wanted. She frowned at me and said, “I’m not hiding Him, and I’m wearing this so everyone will know!” I should have known. I dedicated my first novel, Shattered Guilt, to her, a woman of faith, but she passed away suddenly before the book was published. I’ll never forget her encouraging words of faith in some of my dark days. She didn’t need a segue, she had the gift of boldness.
After that scene with Todd, Melanie’s trials by no means disappear, but she’s able to face the night much better than before. Isn’t that when we seem to struggle with our difficulties the most?
Even after a rough day, if it ends with spending a little time with another believer, and we share mutual encouragement in the Lord, I rest easier. Much like Melanie. Friends and cookies work wonders! The problems are still there, but their grip is not so tight. We need community, and God uses it to help us lift one another, and to draw us closer to Him. He is the source of peace and comfort.
That’s it for this post. I hope you enjoyed a little detour from our Revived Hope on Location, and if you’re inspired to make some chocolate chip cookies, please take a picture and post it in the comments on my Facebook Reader’s Group. Link below. I’d also love to hear about your favorite bakeries as well.
Today, I’m offering a $10 Amazon Gift Card and an eBook version of Revived Hope and Shattered Guilt for today’s giveaway. Just click on the link below to enter your email. Remember, you can always unsubscribe from my newsletter at any time. I hope to see you tomorrow for Revived Hope On Location. More fun facts, fond memories, and a faith nugget are coming your way.