Wednesday, June 27, 2012

a sweet lesson

About two weeks ago my Co-Chair Chris and I planned to do Cupcake Wars as an activity in our Singles Ward for Family Home Evening. We were both really excited for the activity and, at the same time, we were really busy the week before the event was going to take place. On Sunday as Chris announced the activity, a few people asked if they could bring anything. I told one person "maybe some candy would be nice, if you could" and to the rest I really just said "no, I think we'll be alright". As I thought more about it, I kind of became prideful in wanting to plan the entire event on my own. I thought "oh! we'll have tons of cupcakes, and candies, and themes for the groups...." (Hmm, what is wrong with you Grace? You don't have the time to do that). As I walked into the kitchen to clean up the Munch n' Mingle food after church, Sister Porter, the bishop's sweet wife, asked if there was anything she could do to help. I quickly gave her the same response as the previous inquirer "Sister Porter, it would be awesome if you could maybe bring some candies to decorate the cupcakes." She replied, "Absolutely," and that was that.

Now set the stage for Monday evening. This is most likely my second or third Monday at my summer job, I am exhausted and my hair is jutting out from my head every which way (I don't mean to complain, but it was!). I find 25 minutes after work to run with Kendrick to Christmas Tree Shoppes and what do I find? Umm, some animal crackers, a packet of gummy tarantulas, and some JuJuBees. Basically, nothing. But me, being the stubborn optimist that I usually am, was convinced that these three things would be enough for the entire ward to create a mass of cupcake creations. Wrong. But we move on.

Chris, Kendrick, and I arrive at the church with 8 dozen cupcakes and 8 cans of frosting, along with our "goodies" from Christmas Tree Shoppes (for those of you who don't know what that is, it's a kind of more-than-a-dollar dollar store -- they have everything). As Chris and I were putting our animal crackers and odd gummy novelties into styrofoam bowls, our friend Nikki made an AWESOME sign to put up in the gym. Once we were finished, I'd say we had enough bowls for each group to have 4, so 24 bowls. Pretty good, right? Not quite.

As I was worrying "Will this be good enough? Will people think this is a cool activity? Do we have enough cupcakes?", Sister Porter, Bishop Porter, and their daughter Rachel Porter walk in with bags and bags and BAGS of candy and fun things to decorate the cupcakes. And we're not talkin' more animal crackers, we're talking Reese's Pieces, Gummy Bears, M&Ms -- the works. Chris and I could not believe our eyes. I felt so blessed to be supported by Sister Porter and her family. It was just a speechless moment as we rushed to fill more bowls - eventually each team was allowed 11 bowls. That is 7 more for each team than we had originally planned!

It wasn't until after the event, when I was back at Wellesley, that I realized the lesson that this moment had taught me. When we do our best, and even when we don't, the Savior makes up the rest. He provides us with the mercy, strength, and hope that create a surplus of spiritual resources for all of us. All I did was my best, and I thought that what I had literally "brought to the table" was enough. And just like that, Sister Porter, Bishop Porter, and their family showed all of us, and especially me, that the Lord has so many blessings in store for us that our so much greater than we could ever imagine. We must continue to be better a little each day. When we do this, we are promised blessings - which sometimes may even come as Gummy Bears or Resse's Pieces.

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