Last week I was in the middle of making sweets for a retirement party. The party was Friday night and I was frosting Friday morning. The trick with cake and frosting.....it needs to be as fresh as possible. I got my recipe and ingredients out and frosted 100 mini cupcakes. Now...back in the day, I would have frosted cupcakes with a knife and a bowl of frosting. It's a good thing I like watching "Cupcake Wars" because I have watched and learned a few things. I got my piping bag ready and in about 5-10 minutes, they were frosted. Just like anything in life...everything takes practice. Practice produces understanding and skill.
Psalm 111:10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it, have a good understanding. His praise endures forever.
Once I had all the cupcakes and cookies packed up, I got my children in the car and headed over to the office where I work and the site for the party. I helped put my sweets on their displays, said good bye and headed over to my friend's house. The evening was a success at the party and at my friend's house. I was flying high until I walked into my house and into my kitchen. IT. WAS. A. HOT. MESS!
Dirty dishes were ALL over the place. SIGH! I hate cleaning dishes! I love baking and cooking, but can't stand the clean up. In the mess was my favorite cooking pot. It had been sitting there for weeks. While cooking one night, I had all the ingredients for stewed apples in the pot. This is an easy dish of apples of your choice, cinnamon and water. You let the apples boil until soft and you end up with something so deliciously comforting....and bonus, no sugar added. I was cleaning my bathroom and lost track of time. I went to check on the apples and the room was hazy with smoke! RATS!!! I asked my kids why they didn't tell me there was smoke. My daughter said she thought it was steam. Sooooo while I was trying to compose myself, I now had to teach a science lesson on the difference between smoke and steam. Needless to say the apples were burnt beyond repair. I looked into the bottom of the pot and it looked like the burnt natural sugars of the apples had painted the bottom black. Oh well, I'll fill it with water and baking soda and let it sit on a warm burner....it'll come off later, or so I thought. IT. DID. NOT. BUDGE!
During the weeks to come I tried baking soda and vinegar, Barkeepers friend, Brillo pads, and paint scrappers. Some of it yielded, but not much. I even had someone ask how much did I like the pot. It's a great pot and it is my favorite after all. One day this past week, I decided to "Google" any ideas on how to clean a burnt pot. There was a Youtube video. Now at this point, I am looking for a quick solution...I'm not sure I want to watch a video, but I do. She said to pour equal parts of water and white distilled vinegar into the pot and let it slowly boil on medium heat. OK! Let's try it, what have I got to lose? (Perhaps my nose hairs....boiling vinegar stinks!) I check on it after a bit...the bubbles were definitely attaching to the burned parts...WAIT!....is that a black flake? IT IS!!! (insert happy dance) After a couple of vinegar/water sessions and a little elbow grease, my pot is clean! Yes, my pot is clean, but not with markings. The markings will always be a reminder of this ordeal.
As in our lives, we can get gunked up with the blackness of sin. When we acknowledge the Lord as our Savior, he washes our sin clean. We are clean, but we may be left with some scarring. The Lord can use our scarring as a testimony to others about his grace and mercy.
1 Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
Amanda Williams is a forty-year old wife and mother of two who can still swing her pony tail and display just a tad of sass. She is also a Jesus loving girl who realizes she is nothing without the One who saved her. Amanda has two degrees specializing in serving students with special needs and is currently working in the field of Leadership Development. She is a Christian author, speaker, blogger, and publisher who loves serving beside her husband at her local place of worship, First Baptist Church of Ocala.