Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

How much for that cake?

That moment the number came out of my mouth, not once, but twice, not only was my heart threatening to jump right out of my chest, but my knees were a shaking and when it was said and done I couldn’t get back to my seat fast enough. Our church was having a dessert auction to raise funds for a new boiler. I would watch the amount raised thus far each week as it was posted in the weekly bulletin.  I would calculate and do the math as best I could in my head to add the amount raised and add the amount being donated by a generous donor who had agreed to match up to half the amount the rest of us would donate.  At the time of the dessert auction, I think we had raised around $1600 total, after a few months knowing we needed a new boiler.

I’d been wrestling with God about this money thing for quite some time.  I have all the typical arguments.  Lord, I already tithe mostly with a glad heart. (insert cheesy grin here) I know the money is yours to begin with and you’re allowing me to be, or not to be a good steward with it.  I donate my time, more money where I can, I bake, I volunteer and well, you get the picture.

I love my church and the very people that reside there. They are amazing.  They just accepted me and drew me right in and every day show me what love looks like. It’s easy to do life with them.  But, now they needed a new boiler and my tax refund was here and I wanted what I wanted. I made all kinds of plans for my tax refund.  I knew I could set $1000.00 aside for “whatever,” but my auto state inspection was coming up and I knew it was going to cost around $500 to get my car fixed before I could get it inspected. That was my whole tax refund.

So I let the money sit in my account and pretended it didn’t exist.  I didn’t even add it into the balance.  But while I was pretending it didn’t exist, God was nudging me on this church boiler thing.  Yes, yes, yes, I know how much they do.  I know it will help many to stay warm, but did you know they had someone to match the donations up to half?

I thought to myself, surely there must be a better and more faster way to raise funds for a church boiler.  So I asked the church secretary if our Pastor would mind if I made a post on my Facebook page so friends and family could help if need be, or how about a GOFUNDME page?  In my mind I saw the money rolling in hand over fist and this way, the money would get raised and I could keep my tax refund.  All of it!!  (rubs hands together and laughs maniacally) Pastor agreed to the GOFUNDME page but there was some info I needed and never got.  I knew I had planted seeds and when the time for the info was to come, it would.  Well, it didn’t.  Crap!!

Here it is the day of the dessert auction.  I made an oreo cookies and cream cake and set it with the rest of the desserts.  As the dessert table filled, I spied this beautiful cake.  I just knew it had to be chocolate with peanut butter, but it was so pretty, I just knew it was store bought.  In my head I told God there was no way I was bidding on a store bought cake.  Besides, that was a lot of chocolate and I’m a white chocolate kind of girl.  Don’t get me wrong, I like chocolate but in small doses.  Put some white chocolate in front of me and look out!!

As I sat in church that day, I told God, ok, I’ll buy a dessert but you need to tell me the amount you want me to give.  So I waited.  Pastor who was sitting in the front row, made a comment….anyone who donates $1,000.00 can give me a pie in the face…or something to that effect.  I mostly heard $1,000.00.  More arguing with God.  There’s no way you mean for me to give away my (yes…my) $1,000.00 for some dessert.  You know I have plans for that money right?  So, in my head I conclude there must be another number.

After the service is over, we go out to the Fellowship hall and we have our Get Acquainted Sunday (GAS) potluck.  After we get done eating, the folks who are doing the auction get ready.  The announcer says, “and anyone who donates $1,000.00 or more can have their pick of any dessert from the table.”  Crap!!  There’s that number again only this time they said “or more.”  Fine, $1,000.00 it is.  After all, it’s not mine any ways.  Crap!!!

As the auction begins, people are bidding and taking their baked goods and I’m thinking why didn’t I give my money sooner so I didn’t have to yell out this number in front of everyone.  Gulp!!  I get up from my seat and head to the front of the room to spy the cakes.  I wasn’t up there for long when they pick out that beautiful store bought chocolate peanut butter cake and I again, in my head say, no way am I bidding on a store bought cake…and then this….we have up for bid Nina’s beautiful homemade chocolate with peanut butter cake…wait…did she just say homemade?  Crap!!

This is where my hearts starts to beat out my chest and my legs start to shake and I look over at Nina and ask if she really made the cake.  Oh yes I did.  She said yes.  Say it with me now…crap!!  A few people bid and I throw out my $1,000.00 and people were like what?!!  What did you say?  I don’t think anyone truly knew who said it, as I know I didn’t believe it.  So, I repeat, $1,000.00 and I feel my face go red. The room was a little quieter now, and I was thoroughly and utterly, embarrassed.  So, I told my friend, to keep the cake and serve it at small group the following week and went back to my seat as quick as I could.

Now, this is where it gets good.  You remember I told you, I spied that chocolate peanut butter cake and wrestled about it, over and over.  I bought the cake on Sunday.  My brother had a birthday the day before on Saturday.  Even though my friend had taken the cake home, she texted me and said maybe I could serve some of it on Tuesday night for our ladies Bible study and we could finish it on Wednesday.  I go and pick up the cake on Monday from my friend’s and bring it home and I invite my brother and his girlfriend over for dinner that night.

God is a detail guy.  Oh yes He is.  As we’re all sitting down to a dinner that almost didn’t happen, I tell my brother and his girlfriend about the cake and I ask if they had cake on his birthday.  His girlfriend replied he was supposed to have a Reese’s peanut butter cake but it didn’t happen.  What?  That’s right, on his birthday he didn’t get the chocolate peanut butter cake, but God made sure, that not only would he get that kind of cake, but it would be a $1,000.00 cake.  Crazy right?!!

Lesson learned….you cannot serve two masters.  “For the love of money is the root of all evil.”~~1 Timothy 6:10  Spend some time on that…I mean really, spend some time on that.  Folks said I took a leap of faith that day.  I say, I overcame sin that day.  Money is something that is tangible, I can see it and it makes sense.  Faith on the other hand, is the belief that what you do matters in the universe somewhere.  You don’t always see a return, and you don’t know what being crazy obedient may bring about.  But what I do know is God is faithful and that amazing well traveled cake was worth every penny and in the end, it’s not about the money, it’s about what Jesus did for me and you, the day He died on the cross for us. Priceless.

I bet you wanna know what a $1,000.00 cake looks like huh?  Here you go.  Thank you Nina Kelley for the delicious cake and the use of your picture 🙂  Maybe you can see why I thought they were store bought!! Ah-may-zing!! Nina's Cake

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