Following a Recipe for Dreams

I baked a batch of cupcakes last weekend with my niece Devon. 

We blended the eggs and butter and whipped up sugar and cream cheese for the frosting. We hoped that by following all of the steps outlined in the recipe that everything would turn out delectable. That the sticky batter would come together in the oven and rise into perfect puffy cupcakes. 

So when I shut the oven door and set the timer, I trusted that the oven was doing its work of baking. That the little paper cups filled with batter would in time become tiny cakes of deliciousness. 

Ready for the next stage of their life. To be topped off with frosting, of course. Not too thick or too thin, and in just the right shade of blue or pink.

Like my baking endeavors, when I begin a new project or step into a new opportunity, I envision the delightful ending. 

I try not to, but my mind automatically goes there. And when I let my mind meander ahead, dreaming of what might happen, I don’t trust the process. I want to rush it. 

I want to skip some of the hard steps in learning, growing and stretching so I can move on to enjoy the dessert that celebrates the finale. But I’ve learned that moving ahead in small steps to something new is better for me than thinking about how it’s going to end. 

Because there are always unexpected curves that can easily overwhelm me along the way.

When I started blogging, I wanted to take my own photos and not use stock photography. I admired the beautiful photographs on the pages of so many talented bloggers, wishing my pages looked like theirs. 

But I didn’t even own a camera and I knew nothing about photography. 

A friend told me to buy a point and shoot camera and just start shooting. She gave me a few Photoshop editing sessions. After a year of taking hundreds of photos, I told her I thought I was ready for a real camera. 

With her help, I bought my first digital SLR camera. (You can read about it here.) Which I needed more lessons for. And I realize now there's so much more for me to learn. 

I still set the camera to automatic, doubting that I can remember how to correctly locate the settings before the photo opportunity passes me by. But I can’t let that stop me from trying to capture a photograph.

It's the same for other dreams in my life too. 

Dreams that seem so exciting at first can't be rushed. I can't arrive at the end without starting at the beginning. I have to first gather all the ingredients I need, measure them and mix them together before I have something delightful at the end. 

So I begin to doubt. That I can do it. That I have what it takes. Soon I'm wondering if God even whispered this dream to me. 

Maybe I heard him wrong. My fears loom over me and berate me, asking what I was thinking, thinking I could do this. For whatever dream I'm following. 

But when I turn my thoughts away from myself and turn my thoughts to God, I realize that God is cheering me on. If he put it on my heart, he thinks I can do it.

And the time I spend waiting between taking the small steps forward may not be because God doesn’t want the dream for me. 

It may be because I need the time for more -- for confidence, assurance, direction or patience or any other ingredient God thinks I need to help me move toward my dream. 

To find the resolution and character strength to withstand the challenges ahead that always come with a dream. 

God doesn’t doubt I can do it. God tells me he’s not done with me yet. And something beautiful is rising and coming to life. If I can walk through the steps God has planned out for the recipe for my life.

When our cupcakes come out of the oven, I frost them and let Devon pipe flowers on them. She chooses blue to tint the icing, but too much of it turns it a muddy gray and she wants us to start over. 

So we mix up a second bowl of blue frosting and try again. The cupcakes are not perfect. They have splotches of color and looping flowers as she practices with the piping bag. But Devon thinks they are beautiful. 

After an afternoon of following the steps of measuring and mixing and baking and frosting, we enjoy the sweet, delicious ending to our day. 

And we find that it was worth the wait. 

I'm linking up with fellow God-sized dreamers today at Click the image to read their stories! 


  1. You aways talk about how your successes are God's work, you and God make a great team!

    1. Brittany,
      It's true -- he invites me to come alongside him in this amazing adventure! (with plenty of help from you!)

  2. Love this!! Thank you so much for linking up with us at God-sized Dreams!! I wish you could send a cupcake via the www. they look yummy to me!! :)

    1. Kristin,
      I love linking up with everyone at God-sized Dreams! Enjoy a virtual cupcake for now! :)

  3. Love this...and now I'm so hungry for cupcakes, too! :) Thanks so much for linking up today...blessings and happy Tuesday to you!

  4. Mel,
    Thank you so much for stopping by -- cupcakes always make a day better, right? I'm grateful for the opportunity to link up!

  5. Yum!! Yes, I'll take one too, pls! Too cute!! : ) (And the little mini cupcake stand - I have it too!! No kidding - I think I got in a Tuesday Morning store in Ormond Beach a few yrs ago...but I've never ever place a made-from scratch cupcake on it - only from a mix - so the similarities end there! ha!)

    1. Christine,
      I can't believe you have the cake stand too! Grateful that you stopped by!


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