Come to Me

I have two lovely daughters.  The memories of birthday celebrations are many and all wonderful.  One day stands out for me personally because Jesus used it to arrest my attention.  It was her 21st birthday, my baby!  I wanted everything to be just right as I always did for both girls.    The week before I had spent almost every spare moment in preparation.  Every gift was wrapped beautifully and I was proud of my handiwork.  The table was set in a lovely winter scene because she is our winter baby, born on the first day of winter.  With her birthday so close to Christmas, I had spent the last 20 years trying to make the celebration of her birth separate from our Christmas traditions.  Never was a gift wrapped in Christmas wrapping paper and still isn’t, that would never do!

That year was extra special because, with her upcoming wedding, I knew it was the last one of its kind.  The last celebration as it had always been.  The beginning of the end and the beginning of the beginning.  From now on, we would celebrate her life in different ways. 

The cake had been baked as per her request.  Each year, she always choose something different for her birthday treat and I looked forward to the challenge of completing it as requested.  Not because she was overly expectant or demanding, but rather it was a wish that I wanted to grant out of love, not an obligation.  Birthdays and holidays in our household have always been a big deal.  My motto is, “Life is an event that deserves to be celebrated!”  We make it happen! 

The day before, I baked, frosted, and decorated her cake and was pleased with the results.  I was impressed with how my planning and preparations were going to pay off for the big celebration the next day.  In reality, I had overinflated my abilities and allowed my attention to become distracted by all the pretty lights and shiny things.  

On the morning of her birthday, as is tradition, I made donuts and upon tasting the frosting realized that something was very wrong!  After testing all of the ingredients, I got to the powdered sugar and discovered the culprit!  Who knew powdered sugar could spoil?!  Then it dawned on me that I had used the same powdered sugar for her perfect birthday cake!  Everything had to be thrown out!  I decided to start all over again.  I made another batch of donuts which didn’t take too much time and was preparing to begin on a new birthday cake when my daughter walked into the kitchen.  She knew how disappointed I was and I knew she was as well. 

“Mom,” she said, “ I just want to be with you.  I would rather have you buy a cake than spend the rest of the day in the kitchen.  I would rather you be with me.”  Her words pierced my heart.  In a second I felt an odd freedom wash over me.  She released me from expectation, not hers, but my own.  It was the most loving thing she could say to me at that moment. 

I put down my apron and spent the rest of the day alongside her doing what she wanted to do going where she wanted to go.  It was a birthday we will not forget and makes a great story!   The store-bought cake was enough.  Our spending time together was the perfect gift. Walking away from the expectation was liberating. 

Jesus invites us in Matthew 11:28 to, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” (NIV) In Luke chapter 10, Mary accepted the unspoken invitation from Jesus to sit at His feet while her sister, Martha, continued her work in the kitchen.  She was distracted by all the preparations that were needed to host the perfect meal.  In verses 41 and 42, Jesus lovingly calls, “‘Martha, Martha,’ the Lord answered, ‘you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one.  Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.’”

Later that night, when it was time to light the candles and eat cake, I realized I could now fulfill for my daughter something she always wanted.  She often talked about buying a cake from the store and eating it with a fork, no slices, no plates, only a fork!  So, that’s what we did, just a store-bought cake and four forks.  This example can easily be over-spiritualized, yet had I not released my own expectations, we wouldn’t have this new memory.  Jesus will only invade where He is invited.  His sole desire is to be with you, not your expectations of who you think you should be, just you as you are at this moment.  Put down the apron and walk out of the kitchen into His presence. 

8 thoughts on “Come to Me

  1. Thank you for this reminder to give it it God. walking away from our expectations.

    Also, I didn’t know powdered sugar goes bad. Also a good reminder!


    1. I hear Jesus here… I could almost “read ahead” of what was happening because I would do this (in other ways….) over and over and over again… “One thing is needful… And it won’t be taken away…” The fact the Jesus WANTS time with us in mind blowing… It won’t be taken away..? Both here and in eternity. His Desire to be with us humbles me so… What is man that thou are mindful of him says a lot… Who am I that you are mindful of me says a lot more…


  2. It reminds me of my struggle of Mary and Martha. It took me decades to realize and embrace that time spent with people or God is more fulfilling and fruitful then everything i do in my own power to make situations perfect.


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