It was early 2003 when the idea came to me. My son was a tiny seed growing in my womb. Sitting in the living room of our rented farmhouse, curled up in my grandmother’s old chair, the one she handed down to me, I considered my future: the one in the workplace. “What should I do, Lord?” I prayed. I loved my career in property management. But with the anticipation of our second child my heart and mind wandered to thoughts of a different sort of work, perhaps from home? I penned the longing into my journal, seeking, I scribbled a long list of things that give me great enjoyment.
It was the one passion on my list causing my heart to puff like a batch of dough in the afternoon sun. I remember my mind tumbling with a million little thoughts, one idea leading to the next. The strategy of how-to’s and what-should’s etched on paper like some architectural draft: creating, transforming, and morphing. Until a home-baking business, of sorts, emerged. And that’s how my great cookie-baking journey began.
In the months following the Great Idea, I enrolled in a professional decorating class, trialed every sugar cookie recipe I could find, and practiced the art of decorative frosting. Simply put, I started doing stuff.
It’s funny how the path seems to narrow when you enter into a good work that aligns with your passion. While, at the time, I continued my day job managing a senior housing apartment complex, I found that it proved to be the best breeding ground for my schooling in the cookie business. You see, every day I would try a new cookie recipe, practicing my hand at decorating, and then, I would share my creation with the elderly residents I served. Little did they know, they had become my unofficial critique group.
I recall one late afternoon when a sweet lady stopped by my office, adamant that I pass along her compliments to my 5-year-old daughter for the “cute designs” on the cookie samples brought in for the day. I smiled, nodding, knowing that my 5 year old wasn’t involved in the frosting efforts. Realizing that I hadn’t quite nailed the “cute design” element, I swallowed my pride and headed back to the kitchen to refine my decorating skills. Soon enough though, I found the right sugar cookie recipe and was getting a knack for the whole process. As I started marketing myself in our small town I discovered that two miles down the road from our farmhouse an elderly man and his wife owned and operated a cookie-cutter business. Turns out he was the supplier to the confection shop I frequented in the Twin Cities. Side note: a few years later we bought land from this man and built our first home.
One never knows where the journey of pursuing a passion will lead.
Fast-forward twelve years: I’m still baking cookies, in my kitchen, from home. I’ve pursued other endeavors, oh sure. Writing and speaking just to name a few. And wherever I go, I bring cookies with me. I’ve likened the job to a flower delivery person, because no mater the season, no matter the emotional state, cookies seemingly bring joy.
I see joy on faces when a box of cookies is handed over.
I see joy in hearts when they are planning to give to another.
I see joy replace skepticism when they receive.
I consider the root of this cookie love and I’m in awe of its origin. Who knew what could grow from a tiny seed-desire within my heart? This longing to do a good work, with my family in mind; an ounce of devotion and a million pounds of butter have reshaped me in more ways than one.
We all have these ideas that excite us and passions we’d like to explore. It’s all so daring, the notion of getting started, allowing ourselves to be seen by others walking a new path. Surely, I’ve learned that the process is imperfect. Humbling, without a doubt. But I’ve been transformed by the learning-as-I-go. I’ve been richly rewarded with relationships forged along the way. All of this gives me assurance; a reminder that no matter the work, if first laid before an open heart, in quiet prayer, it shall most certainly become our good legacy fortune.
Resulting in sweet and simple…joy!