A Sunday of Chocolate Cake and Choking Smoke




It’s a quiet Sunday afternoon and I have just sat down for a well-needed cup of chamomile tea. The wind is howling outside, despite the lovely beautiful sunshine that is filtering through the kitchen window panes. My geraniums are in full bloom, sitting cheerily on the windowsill, their tiny pink blossoms searching for that glorious sunshine illuminating our naked, February brown earth outdoors.

“Love requires sacrifice and self giving.
It is a glad and voluntary submitting of ourselves first to God
and then to those with whom we have to live.
A glad and voluntary ‘yes’ to the conditions we meet on our journey to Christ,
because these are the conditions that He wants us to share with Him.
Events are the sacraments of the will of God.”

-Elisabth Elliot

A quiet Sunday … well, that is a relative term. Earlier this morning, (as in 3 a.m.) Lazarus, our two year old son, woke up not feeling well. The rest of the morning was spent between his crib and cuddling him in the rocking chair in his nursery, located in the room across the hallway, and  back to the chubby baby Loyal, cuddled warm in our bed, who decided to nurse and cry in his sleep. Sleepy eyed and groggy, the coffee was a lovely morning treat once I stumbled downstairs. We decided that I would stay home with the little boys while daddy took the older girls to church this morning. With Lazarus, still pajama-clad and quite fussy this morning, and Loyal, needing me in ways that babies do …  it was a somewhat quieter with most of the family missing. Between babies, I still managed to make lunch, refill cleaning bottles with a thieves oil blend (recipe listed below, if this is of interest) and bake a Sunday afternoon chocolate cake. [After reading this book, I decided that every Sunday deserves a cake – or at least, a special dessert of some kind. So today, it was chocolate cake.]

It was not long before the back door swing open, the screen door slammed {oh, that poor screen door is now fully falling off the hinges, worn with great wear and tear} as the rest of the family returned from church. Noisy, excited and with empty stomachs but full of chatter, the girls excitedly piled into the kitchen.  Questions of “How was church?” and “What did you learn?” were followed with quick answers and their own question of “What’s for lunch?”


My husband quickly kissed me goodbye, while I balanced the baby on my hip. He explained he needed to return to work in town and was not able to stay home for the rest of the day. My two old year started to whimper – he was feeling so poorly and needed more rest.  Since it’s only February and still chilly outside, my considerate husband decided to start up the woodstove to keep the house warm. Unfortunately, this Sunday was a very, very windy day – the kind of day where you cannot even bother hanging laundry on the line or sending the children out to play … the winds blustered and blew outside, forcing all the smoke from the freshly lit fire back into the house. Within minutes, billows and billows of choking smoke filled the rooms quickly as we tried to eat our lunch in a hurry and get upstairs where the air was cleaner … I threw open the windows and doors to air out the main floor of the house (at this point, my husband was already gone to work) and rushed back to the kitchen only to find my two year old “sick”  on the kitchen floor… all at the same time as the smoke alarms decided to rudely go off, screeching their horrid sounds,  thus waking the baby, who began to fuss and cry from his bassinet.

It was a moment of true, motherhood  chaos.

I swiftly announced it was outside time  – despite the wind that would could more than likely blow a toddler down the driveway – and the cake was postponed until the sick boy was snuggled into his bed for naps…  out came the homemade thieves cleaner, windows were opened wider and the prayers sent up to Heaven much faster.


I am learning – day by day – and not always so swiftly – to start praying whenever I feel frustrated or upset in these motherhood moments. Or as someone once told me, begin singing – and then your lips will be filled with praise instead of complaining.


The lingering smells of chocolate cake and chalky smoke is still hanging in the air, but tomorrow is a new day – I will throw the windows wide open and let the fresh breeze blow through this old house. Great is His faithfulness.

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed,
because his compassions fail not.
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.”

Lamentations 3:21-21




Homemade Thieves Oil Blend

1 tbs. Clove Essential Oil

1 tbs. Lemon Essential Oil

2 ½ tsp. Cinnamon Bark Essential Oil

2 tsp. Eucalyptus Essential Oil

2 tsp. Rosemary Essential Oil

To use: 6-12 drops for one 1 oz. of carrier oil.

February 27, 2018 - 3:15 pm

Sue Well! What a day. Ive had some similar, although not with so many children to add to the mix, and sometimes i did ok, and not so good other times. I like your idea of singing “thru” it. I’ll try to remember that next time, if i can just get my flesh to obey! 😉

February 27, 2018 - 11:54 am

Gigi Oh, please don’t bow to me! I have had so many moments of not handing it well. I’ve been parenting for 14 years now and am STILL learning. It’s amazing how our sinful nature is so strong at times.
By the way, I hope you are LOVING your first year as a momma! What fun and joy you must be having!!

February 27, 2018 - 11:16 am

Samantha Gillian, I can’t imagine how you handled all that alone while your hubby had to head off to work. I can feel the pressure of the moment while reading your story. It’s amazing how God’s grace grows with our circumstance. I can feel overwhelmed like I am at the end of myself with only one baby, and yet if I had 8 I would somehow manage to hold it all together, as I do now. God is good! I never considered a wood stove would put smoke into the home on a windy day – that does sound very inconvenient. Our two fireplaces in our home are sadly shut down but I really long for a nice warm fire. I bow to you – you’re an amazing mama to hold it all together and exhibit grace and gentleness amongst chaos.

February 27, 2018 - 7:07 am

Gigi Oh, I know – those sweet baby cheeks! Babyhood is so fleeting! I hope you can snuggle all your sweet ones today and enjoy being a mother. 🙂

February 27, 2018 - 12:40 am

Misty Oh, my goodness! Your sweet baby love is precious. My youngest just turned a year old, and I have been trying really hard to drink in as much baby goodness as possible, for I know it will not last long.