My little girl was turning two, so we planned a small birthday celebration.
I decided on a menu, and my Mama said that she would take care of the cake.
She helped me a lot this year. The crisis with my eye was just settling down, and I wasn't able to get out very much while it was healing.
So she thought that it might be nice to order the cake - just something simple, from Stop-and-Shop, one of the local grocery stores.
We were doing a Winnie-the-Pooh theme. My daughter loves Winnie-the-Pooh, and I thought that the bright colors and cheerful characters would be just right for a 2-year-old's birthday.
We were excited as we planned out the details.
About a week before, my Mom went into Stop-and-Shop to ask about ordering a cake. The Winnie-the-Pooh-themed cake was cheerful and sweet for a child's birthday; the colors were bright - and a simple Winnie-the-Pooh plastic centerpiece would be affixed to the middle of the cake, the lady behind the counter explained. But when my Mom learned how much just a small cake would be, we re-thought the decision; my Mom lives on a tight budget and the cake would have been a significant expense for her.
But then she went back to the bakery department a few days before the birthday. She noticed a couple of plain cakes ready to be transferred to the reduced bakery rack. Then she learned that the Winnie-the-Pooh centerpiece could be bought separately from the cake.
If she came back the next morning, one of the ladies told her, she could buy a plain cake from the reduced rack and put the centerpiece on it herself.
So she bought the centerpiece. And then my Mom returned back again. Early in the morning.
But the cakes weren't on the reduced rack yet. My Mom waited and then finally asked a different woman who was working in the bakery department when they would be going out.
"I don't know what you're talking about," was the lady's huffy reply.
"But someone in the bakery department told me that these cakes would be reduced today . . . " my Mom spoke to the woman.
"Well, I don't know who told you that..."
My Mom left the store, downhearted, disappointed by what had transpired.
She told me that in the car, she brought it to the Lord, asking for forgiveness for being frustrated in her heart with the woman in the bakery department who had answered her brusquely.
As my Mom drove, she suddenly remembered that there was another Stop-and-Shop nearby--
She entered the store, headed to that Stop-and-Shop's reduced rack, and looked in amazement.
The brightly colored Winnie-the-Pooh cake sat there - without the centerpiece - and priced just under 10 dollars, in perfect condition.
Amazed, she picked it up and paid for it, rejoicing and praising the Lord all the way home.
And when we ate the cake on Sunday, it was deliciously fresh, even though it was a "reduced" cake.
My little daughter loved it; the centerpiece adorned it beautifully, and again we were reminded that -
Our Lord's hand is in the small things - He works in the minutest details of His children's lives, He answers the simple prayers of our hearts -
Meeting a woman's need -
In His perfect, all-providing way,
Down to the tiniest detail.
Because He loves His children.
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