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Last week sometime I put my toddler to bed and, as usual, reminded him to “lay down, close your eyes, close your lips, and go to sleep.”  And, as usual, he lay in his bed singing at the top of his lungs.  On this particular night, he serenaded us with, “Trust and Obey.”  Do you know how the chorus of that song goes?

Trust and obey for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus, than to trust and obey.

So there he was, laying in bed, DISobediently singing, “Trust and obey.”

I went to his room and *unsuccessfully* tried to explain that singing “trust and obey” was not the same as trusting and obeying.

His reply?

“I don’t want to trust and obey,  I just want to sing about it!”

Yeah, I totally get that.  I am exactly the same way.

Fast forward to Monday night of this week.  One of my children stayed up late proofreading the cookbook I promised to send out on Tuesday.  {So much for advance planning!}

I spent a lot of time over the past few weeks doing data entry, formatting, designing, editing, and writing detailed instructions for Christmas baking – all the baking we typically try to do in October and early November. As we finalized the cookbook, I realized I’ve spent a lot of time writing about baking with my kids, and not a lot of time actually baking with my kids.  Of course, they understand. I’d made a promise and we are a family of men and women who honor their word. They even worked hard along with me to help me honor my word.

But some of my words were a promise to bake with my children, to fill their childhood memories with chocolatey smiles and sugar under foot in the kitchen.  For all my talk about planning our baking for October, this year I was so busy writing about scheduling it, I didn’t schedule it.

Isn’t life a little bit like that?  We can have the greatest ideas, the best plans, and simply fail to execute them because we don’t plan to execute them? Or maybe sometimes, like my toddler, we like the idea of doing things better than actually doing them.

Well, if you’ve been following along with my efforts for A Composed Christmas, but like me have failed to schedule the baking, but really want to do it, today you can begin again.

Thinking vs. Doing

Today I wrote down my schedule for baking.  You can join our family from your own kitchen (and if you shared last week’s post on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, you’ve even got the same recipes!) or create your own schedule.

But let me encourage you in this: whatever you have decided you’d like to do – whether it’s baking or decluttering 0r calling a friend – make today the day you schedule it.  Because thinking about making the memories or the donations or the phone call is not the same as making the memories or the donations or the phone call. Singing about trusting and obeying is not the same as trusting and obeying. And life is fleeting, we need to fill it with what we actually think God is calling us to do.

I’ve scheduled one or two things to make in any one sitting – one more directed at my older kids, one we can all enjoy.  Since we have a peanut allergy, I didn’t schedule any of the peanut recipes – but you can add or substitute those if your diet allows.  And I highly recommend the Peanut Butter Fudge (p. 26).

So, for what it’s worth, here is our schedule (to which we must hold loosely, allowing God to redirect as needed):

Wednesday, October 8: Make cream centers for Cream-Filled Candies (p. 14), we’ll freeze these and coat them in December & Remarkably Easy Chocolate Fudge (p. 34)

Friday, October 10: Caramel (p. 8) & Sugar Cookies (p. 40), we’ll freeze the cookies bare & decorate closer to eating

Wednesday, October 15: Peppermint Syrup (p. 30) & start Peppermint Rock Candy (p. 28).  Also mix up Hazelnut Hot Cocoa Mix (p. 22)

Friday, October 17: Gingerbread Cookies (p. 20) again, we’ll freeze these bare to assemble later, & start Buttermints (p. 6)

Wednesday, October 22: Snickerdoodles (p. 38), we’ll just mix up the dough and freeze it to roll & bake in December, & make centers for Truffles (p. 42), which we’ll also freeze until “dipping day” in December

Friday, December 5: Roll and bake Snickerdoodles (p. 38) and build/decorate Gingerbread Cookies (p. 20) Nativity.

Saturday, December 6: Dipping Day!  Dip Truffles (p. 42), Cream-Filled Candies (p. 14), Mint-Chocolate Covered Oreos (p. 24), and Chocolate-Covered Pretzels (p. 10). Decorate Sugar Cookies with Icing (p. 40). {This is a lot for one day, but my husband will be gone all day and we’ll be preparing for our Open House later this week, so it’ll be a fun distraction on a daddy-less day and get us ready for a fun event!}

Wednesday, December 17: Make Pretzel Treats (p. 32)

Tuesday, December 23: Make Jesus’ birthday cake – Wacky Cake (p. 44)

The Give-Away:

Are you sorry you missed the chance to get a copy of this FREE cookbook?  Here’s another chance:

To get your FREE copy of Christmas Baking with Grace: Make-ahead treats to add to your Christmas traditions,  simply pick your favorite CultivateGrace.org post, share it on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest with a link to the post, and then head over to CultivateGrace.org and comment on the post (1) what you like about the post and (2) where you shared it.  I’ll send a PDF copy of the cookbook to your email address.