The whole purpose of Cookie Baking Nights is to mentor my nieces and nephews from childhood into adulthood (to have a voice in their lives via a relationship). Once they become teenagers and school and friend activities increase, the lure of Cookie Baking Nights decreases, but my purpose remains the same, so I have to get creative.
I can see in my niece, Emily, that this little lamb is going to need the gospel message and a little extra care to maneuver through the teenage years (I said to Emily a couple weeks ago: "Do you think we're going to survive these teenage years?" Her casual reply: "Hard to say." My reply: "Who do you think will crack first, me or you?" Her reply: "Probably you."--let's pray she isn't right--seriously people, pray).
We have discovered a common bond, an interest in cooking. We're taking her years of cookie baking experience and moving into the realm of meal making. She made a list of meals she would like to learn how to make and a few nights a month we've been providing Greg (aka our guinea pig) with our gourmet feasts.
The night we made chicken lo mein
and chocolate chip cookies (old habits die hard)
the night we made beef and broccoli
and cream cheese wontons
(Are you sensing a culinary theme? My Dad-Larry started her on Chinese food at a very early age and she's loved it ever since).
I thank God for the opportunity to have relationships with my family members, and I lean ever so heavily into His sovereignty, grace, and all-encompassing love for His children during such endeavors.