The first time I met Dan’s parents, Al and Roxie, I remember being so nervous! Dan and I hadn’t been dating too terribly long, but we were already serious. I was only 20 years old, but I was already in love and starting to dream about what our future could look like. I was so nervous they wouldn’t like me, however they proved my worries to be so silly. I am blessed with the best in-laws and meeting them that first weekend was an absolute dream. Al and Roxie made me feel right at home.
During that first visit it snowed. I love snow, and I started bugging Dan right away – we needed to play in the snow! So I borrowed one of Dan’s big warm sweatshirts, his Dad’s gloves and his Mom’s hat and off we went. I thought we would go out and make a snowman or something equally as cute from a Hallmark movie. There would be cute photos, and probably a video to play at some future event because we are just so stinking adorable. However after about 10 minutes I was soaked from head to toe because Dan’s idea of “playing in the snow” is really “pick up Lissa and throw her in the snow” 100 times.
This is one of my all time favorite pictures from that day. Notice the glasses I am holding? See the snow on the lenses? Still makes me laugh. It should be noted – we have never “played” in the snow again. Anyways. as you can probably imagine from looking at that photo, I was FREEZING when we went back inside. So when Roxie asked if she should make warm chocolate pudding to help warm me up, both Al and Dan immediately said yes, obviously offended that this was even a question. I had no idea what I was getting into, as I had never had homemade chocolate pudding, but I happily agreed since Al and Dan were so excited. Roxie immediately went to work on the delicious concoction and Al started making toast. Yes, you read that correctly. Buttered toast pairs perfectly with homemade chocolate pudding.
Since the first time trying warm chocolate pudding, I have been hooked. It’s not a dessert that is enjoyed often, but every time it’s served it seems like we make the best memories. Epic chocolate pudding just feels Forster to me. Seriously, cards, a table full of your favorite family members and chocolate pudding? It can’t get any better!
After getting married, I have tried to make THE chocolate pudding so many times and I have failed EVERY time. I know it sounds silly – I mean it’s just chocolate pudding – but there is just something special about this chocolate pudding. I feel like I am a pretty good cook. I have conquered many family recipes and have created our own favorites. When it comes to dessert, I can make pies, cakes, cookies, and many other delicious creations, but for some reason homemade chocolate pudding has been a struggle. It has been maddening!
The last time I attempted (and failed) to make THE chocolate pudding, I was so upset that I threw an actual fit. It wasn’t pretty and concluded with me going to bed VERY angry. (Bless Dan and his ability to put up with THAT).
I have been craving THE pudding for a long while now, but if I am being honest, I have been fearful to try to make it. It has always gone so terribly wrong and has always ended in my own disappointment. However, last night, I tried THE pudding again. The “recipe” I have isn’t really a traditional step by step guide. It’s more of a list of ingredients, with a general idea of how they go together. I mixed the milk and sugar, and let it cook until it was almost boiling as the card said. Then I mixed in the cornstarch, cocoa and more milk. I stirred for about 20 seconds waiting for it to thicken like the card said it would, but NOTHING was happening. In frustration, I considered throwing the liquid down the drain. Why is my life so hard?
I took the recipe out to Dan and, with WAY too much snark, demanded he send a text to his Mom to confirm I had it right. I mean, I followed the loose instructions perfectly, it had to be an issue with the amount of ingredients. I went back to the stove, turned up the heat and stirred hoping that some kind of magic would happen. As I was stirring and racking my mind trying to figure out what I could do… the cornstarch started to work. Right before my eyes, the pudding thickened.
After 13.5 years of marriage, I made THE chocolate pudding PERFECT. After it thickened, I added the butter and vanilla and then called everyone I knew to let them know I was officially a Forster. I had achieved the highest golden star… I had made THE pudding.
We sat down with our toast and pudding and I started to savor every bite. As I ate, I started to think about my triumph – wondering what kind of statue would be built in my honor – when it hit me. Every time I tried this recipe before, I had all the right ingredients. I mixed everything correctly. I had literally done every single step the same as I had that night, I just simply quit too soon. I never gave the cornstarch time do it’s thing. My impatience lied to me and told me that I couldn’t make it. My impatience told me I wasn’t good enough to make chocolate pudding.
I wonder how many times we do that when we are waiting for Jesus to answer our prayers. I know I have been terribly dramatic to this point, but stay with me. The Father has promised so many things to His children. His covenant with us is like the elusive chocolate pudding. As His children, we follow a lose set of “steps” to achieve the covenant. Now, of course, we don’t have to earn the things the Father has promised us, but I think that many of us think if we follow a recipe then we get what we prayed for. We read the promises He has given us. We excitedly ask Him to come through on His promises… and about 20 seconds later we are tired of waiting and we quit.
After we quit, we walk around angry and upset…because everyone else has chocolate pudding and we have NOTHING. Then we start believing lies about ourselves. We start to believe that something must be wrong with us. Maybe the Father loves them more than us. However, the reality is WE missed it because we didn’t wait.
Friends, I know this analogy is a pretty silly, but today I just wanted to encourage you to hold on. Don’t stop even if you are weary of waiting – the Father is working even when we can’t see it. I love what Habakkuk 2:1-3 says in the ESV:
I will take my stand at my watch post
and station myself on the tower,
and look out to see what he will say to me,
and what I will answer concerning my complaint.
And the Lord answered me: Write the vision;
make it plain on tablets,
so he may run who reads it.
For still the vision awaits its appointed time;
it hastens to the end—it will not lie.
If it seems slow, wait for it;
it will surely come; it will not delay.
If I am being honest, I haven’t always loved this scripture. I never could understand why something can be slow, but also not delay. However, after trying to grow our family for many many years, this scripture has taken on new meaning to me. I am standing watch – waiting with expectation because the Father has told me that His promises will come at the appointed time. His time. While we have waited a very long time, we know that the babies we have waited so long for will be born right on time.
I feel like many around me are in a season of waiting. Waiting for weddings, babies, big moves and new jobs. Friend, I just want to be the voice that reminds you today that your wait is worth it. Don’t let your impatience lie to you and tell you your worth.