girl and her grandma making cookies

Overwhelmed? A Parable: Making Cookies with Grandma

One day I walked into my mother’s house to pick up my daughter who had been visiting Grandma. 

I passed the visiting room on the left and entered the family room where I could see the kitchen where my mother tends to be. 

I saw my 4 year old daughter sitting on the countertop facing away.  Grandma caught my eye and shook her head, signaling me to not interrupt. 

You see, my daughter was making cookies with Grandma, and Grandma did not want me to ruin the moment.  I retreated back into the visiting room where my dad and others were and began joined the conversation.

After a while, my daughter and Grandma came walking into the visiting room, my daughter carrying a large plate of cookies, and Grandma, in her sing-song voice saying, “Look what your little girl made!”

Now, bear with me, as I go over this delightful experience with a spiritual psychologist’s brain. 

With significant revelation, I found many important eternal principles in this experience. This became an especially important set of revelations when I realized that it was similar to what I experience as a therapist who works to serve as a tool in the hands of God. 

It is not uncommon for clients to leave my office having the feeling of freshly baked cookies.

I used to take credit for that. 

Then I realized that God was allowing me to feel the same thing that Grandma was allowing my
daughter to feel. 

“Look what Maurice made!” 

As I look at my experience as a therapist, I feel more and more like a little girl sitting on a  counter-top making cookies with Grandma. 

I started to ask some questions…

Why is Grandma giving the little girl credit for making the cookies when we all know that Grandma did all the work?

Because she wants the little one to grow in confidence.  Grandma doesn’t need an ego boost, she knows what she is capable of, but the little one could use a surge of energy that will keep her motivated to learn more and achieve more.

Does Grandma really need the little girls help in order to make cookies?

No, and God doesn’t really need our help. 

This includes raising children (many children were orphaned at a young age and became great people anyway), doing therapy (God worked with the hearts and minds of people way before therapists were invented), etc. 

At times, I have to remember that if I died, God would empower others to both survive and thrive.

girl making cookies

What does the little girl need to bring to the kitchen in order to make it a successful experience?

Almost nothing.

A desire to help.  A desire to enjoy Grandma’s company.  A bit of enthusiasm.

In fact, it is probably easier for Grandma to make cookies by herself than it is to do so with the little one.

What if the little girl does it wrong?

This is probably more than likely.  She may put too much of this or too little of that.

Do such mistakes ruin it for Grandma?

Grandma has all power in the situation.  There is no mistake the little one can make that is unrepairable for Grandma. 

As long as the little one keeps trying to get it right and will work with Grandma, as long as the little girl can relax and plug along with a decent attitude, the story will have a happy ending.

And my most insightful question after observing how irrelevant I was feeling based on the answers to the questions above,

“Why doesn’t Grandma just make cookies by herself?”

All who have made cookies instinctually know the answer to this question.  “Where is the fun in that?” 

It has been my experience with God that he prefers to work on things with us.  He likes working with us, His children. He enjoys helping us to learn things as we go. 

He doesn’t mind compensating for our weaknesses and cleaning up our messes when we enthusiastically work with Him!

I don’t know if I have the words to describe what this feels like at a therapist.

I can often feel Him sitting next to me in my office.  Remember that feeling of slight anxiety you have as you watch you little one crack an egg for the first time?  I can sense His slight anxiety as

I try new things as a therapist.  It is as if he has both hands near the bowl, ready to catch it if I spill. 

I see him (behind my back), adding a little more flour because I didn’t put quite enough in. 

I see Him wiping up the sugar that I spilled when lifting the scoop out of the sugar bag.

I even see Him smile while giving me a soft rebuke when I pop a few chocolate chips into my mouth instead of into the batter.

There are several scriptures on this topic, including Alma 26:12:

“Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things: yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever.”

Please take a close look at your life and your overwhelm. 

An added revelation on this topic included God getting a little firm with me. 

“Maurice, stop acting like the whole world is going to fall apart if you don’t…….  This is my earth, not yours

It was running just fine before you were born, and it will run just fine after you die.  I can do everything without you, but it is more enjoyable to do it with you.  Even if you do just a little more than a dead person would do, sometimes that is enough.  I can do the rest.”

It took a little practice, but notwithstanding the significant responsibilities I now have, as long as I remember that I am just a little girl on the counter top, as long as I remember to bring my enthusiasm and desire, in time I will be able to enjoy sharing one more plate of warm, delicious cookies with my friends.

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