Lessons learned while making chocolate chip pancakes with my 2 year old daughter, Emily.


I woke up yesterday feeling like myself again.  This first trimester has been barely….bearable.  I haven’t been able to accomplish much except for napping every afternoon and feeling sick all day.  I have to admit, what made it difficult was I began to ween myself off anti-depressants (see past post) because of the pregnancy.  So I wasn’t much fun to be around.  My body is finally adjusting to all the changes and my friend’s prayers have been answered. 

I AM BACK!  I’m feeling like myself again!  Energetic, happy, and inspired. 

At 7:30am I turned on my favorite classic rock radio station, put Emily up on a step stool, and started making chocolate chip pancakes with her. She loves to throw egg shells in the sink and help mommy stir.  She makes a mess, but it’s nothing that can’t be cleaned up.  She  shook her little bootie side to side like her mommy to the music especially when a Rolling Stones song came on. It must have been a site to see.  Mother and Daughter in pajamas dancing in the kitchen early in the morning having chocolate for breakfast.  It was a special day.  Just Because. 

I kept her occupied by giving her a tiny little bowl of chocolate chips while the pancakes baked on the griddle.  She savored each little chocolate chip one at a time like it was a precious commodity that was going extinct.  She calls it just “choco”  She would put a chip in her mouth….and mutter…”mmmm mmmm mmmm”….and shake her body back and forth out of joy…while continue to dance to the music. 

She helped me “flip-flip” the pancakes clapping and saying “yay mommy!” each time I successfully turned over a half-baked pancake.  And once the pancakes were done, she took her “wake up daddy” job very seriously…loudly running upstairs screaming “DAAAAAAAADY…..UP UP UP…..READY!” 

Emily is always full of joy…except when I took the “choco chips” away and tried to get her eat the chocolate chip pancakes.  You would have thought that I was making her eat brussel sprouts for breakfast!  When I put warm gooey chocolate chip pancakes with a pad of butter melting on top and dressed with real maple syrup oozing over the side of her little Emily size stack of pancakes.  She should have clapped and giggled and got even more excited!  She had eaten all of her individual “choco chips” and wanted more….and couldn’t possibly comprehend that a gooey pancake with “choco chips” inside could  have tasted any better. 

She couldn’t see past the goodness of the little “choco chip”. 

Emily threw a fit, rolled on the floor, kicked her legs, and pounded her fists while Greg and I savored each bite of such a special treat.  Meanwhile trying to coax her back to the table to try a bite of the pancakes. 

 “NOOOOO…..CHIPY!!!!”  she cried.  We laughed.  I figured it would last about 3 minutes and she’d come to her senses.  I was wrong.  She never did.  She never took a bite of the chocolate chip pancakes forsaking them for the safety of what she knew, the “choco chips”.  She couldn’t see past them. 

I thought, oh no she’s like me.  I so often hold on so tight to the things that I know are safe and good and okay….because the unknown experience is so much more threatening and scary.  What if I don’t like it?  What if hurts? 

What if I miss out? 

What are we missing out on in life when we refuse to move past what we know is good and try something new? 

I felt like I understood what God feels like when he gives us a slight glimpse of how good life can be by just a little taste…than wanting us to be bold and take a step towards him where we can have more of just a little taste of goodness and joy, we can have the whole meal.  But, we refuse to take a bite.

As I took the time and effort to cook this special meal and make it fun, I couldn’t help but be sad that Emily didn’t eat it.  I took this little special ingredient that she savored and made it better with pancakes and butter and syrup.

What little special ingredient has God given you a taste of…and wanting to give you more of in a bolder and bigger way?  

“But it’s so good, He says to you.  It’s even better than what you have now.  I know it’s new and different.  But, I’m not going to let you fall.  You won’t get hurt.  It’s for the best.  Just try it!”     

We all have chance to start over and try something new.  Now is a good time to step out there.  It’s the start of Spring.  It’s Easter.  The symbolism of rebirth and renewal is all around us.  From the Daffodils that surprisingly popped up in our backyard (planted by the previous owners) to the exciting expectation of a new baby that God is knitting in my womb at this moment.  

What newness is God bringing into your life?  What else does He want to do with you?  Have you ever thought about letting Him in more?  Talking to Him more?  Really….I mean really having a personal relationship with Him.  Something beyond what’s attached to the written prayer and scripture verse you read out-loud at church in unison.  Your own prayer.  Your own time with Him.  Your own bible in hand. 

It’s time to move beyond the basic ingredient of believing and sit down to the table and eat the whole meal.

I love you,