>How Many Cookies?


Seventy-two Cookies. April, 2011.
[May 13: I’m linking up with Ann Kroeker’s Food on Fridays. I encourage you to visit the delightfulness there. You’ll also find a link to a freebie at Arby’s! ]

The Kitchen Pharisee

I indulged in some Kitchenaid therapy the other day, baking chocolate chip cookies. Creaming butter and sugars calms my spirit; the prospect of a session at the oven, refining little scoops of dough into crispy sweet bits, felt like an opportunity for peace.

My husband Rich has the most well-developed sweet tooth I’ve ever encountered in a person older than seven. Our neighbor Jamie, who sometimes rescues our dogs from a hungry evening in the yard when our days turn unexpectedly long and keep us from home, enjoys them too. I decided to bake a double batch so I could share some cookies with Jamie and have plenty of cookies left over for Rich to enjoy.

As I baked, I wondered how many cookies my baking would yield. I’d never really counted the cookies after baking them.

It reassures me to number things, sometimes.

As I stacked cookies onto cooling racks, I broke one. I think my husband can hear a cookie breaking from the next county, as he appeared almost immediately in the kitchen.

“I’d better eat this one,” he said, “before all its flavor leaks out.” He graciously dropped in on my project throughout the afternoon to check the quality of my cookies.

Later I loaded our cookie jar and packed up a bag to share with Jamie.

I found myself counting the cookies as I worked. A passing frustration whistled through my mind as I realized that I didn’t know how many cookies Rich had eaten. I wanted a fact about these cookies; I wanted something objective, concrete, quantified, replicable to remember. Cookie evidence, that’s what I was after.

I considered asking Rich how many he’d eaten. Seventy-two cookies cooled on their racks. Had he eaten three? six? eight? I craved a firm number, an accurate detail. I pictured a ledger in my kitchen, wherein I could faithfully record yields of cookies, numbers of guests fed at our table–the facts of my kitchen.

I wanted enough cookies to share with the neighbor girl who stands in the gap when we’re away from home at doggie dinner time and enough cookies for my husband to enjoy.

If I’d baked twelve cookies, they would have been sufficient: Six for Jamie, six for the jar.

So I released my need to number the cookies. Some things can’t be counted, but we don’t need the number. We simply need to know we have enough.

Grace is like that, I think. I can’t count God’s grace for me.

But I know it’s sufficient.

9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
2 Corinthians 12:9 (NASB)