When You Don’t Get What You Ask For
She meant it as a joke. I wanted an apron for Christmas, so my mother-in-law folded her mother’s old home-sewn kitchen smock into a box and wrapped it. I laughed—then quickly stuffed it in a drawer.
A few weeks later, I was rolling pizza dough and collecting more flour on my sweater than on the bread board. In a moment of desperation, I grabbed the old apron and threw it over my head. That night for dinner, my husband and I devoured the best darn pizza we’d ever tasted.
Coincidence? I couldn’t know for sure. So I wore the apron again to bake a cake, then muffins, then tuna noodle casserole.
That was ten years ago. I’ve been wearing it ever since.
At first the apron was purely functional. It soaked up smudges of olive oil and melted chocolate, hiding every stain behind its ugly flower print. But after a while, I grew fond of the apron’s fit. It was cozy, flexible, feminine. The pleats hugged my bulging belly through two pregnancies, as if protecting my babies from pudding spills and frosting mishaps. Now sometimes, after I pull the last batch of cookies from the oven, I forget to take the apron off. My husband comes home from work to find it still tied around my waist.
Once upon a time, I thought I wanted a sleek new apron from Williams-Sonoma. Instead, what I received was acceptance into a line of comfort food cooks with their handwritten recipes and their love kneaded into every loaf.
That’s such a better gift.
Have you ever prayed for a heart’s desire and wondered why God gave you heartache instead? Maybe what you got was actually the better deal. Sometimes it just takes a while to discover blessings in disguise.
Jesus replied, “You don’t understand now what I am doing, but someday you will” (John 13:7, NLT).
This Christmas season, may we all find joy in disappointment, and an ugly apron under the tree.
Becky Kopitzke lives in chilly Wisconsin with her husband and two daughters. She is the author of The SuperMom Myth: Conquering the Dirty Villains of Motherhood (Shiloh Run Press). On her devotional blog, www.beckykopitzke.com, Becky offers weekly encouragement for fellow imperfect women, pointing our weaknesses, blessings, and victories to God.