A Lady’s Pride and her Lady Fingers

In our baking class today, the head chef taught us how to make lady fingers (a.k.a. Broas) from scratch. He emphasized the importance of piping the batter close to each other to produce more pieces of broas on the tray. When it was my turn to practice piping, one of my classmates shouted “Nic! That’s too close. You have to make larger gaps between them!” I then replied, “But, chef asked us to pipe them close to each other.”

And so, I continued to pipe.

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After doing my part, we moved on to the other steps and recipes for the other kinds of cream cakes we made. However, somehow, my heart felt very heavy. Without a doubt, I saw the pride in me as I still lingered on self-centered thoughts like “I know what I’m doing. I’m just following the chef’s instruction. I don’t need to listen to my classmate’s comments.” But, who was I kidding, right?

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Instantly, I felt a huge thug on my heart as I realized how proud I was. I went to class to learn, NOT to compete or compare myself to others. Without the grace of God and the guidance of our head chef and fellow classmates, I wouldn’t be able to work and bake efficiently and correctly. Everything that I have and everything that I am able to do is only because of the grace of God. Not even 0.1% of the glory should be given to me. I whispered a prayer to God as our instructor’s voice faded in the background. I asked for forgiveness. I asked God to renew my heart and remove every hint of pride in me.

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After I prayed, while the rest of the class was listening to the head chef, I caught a glimpse of the freshly baked lady fingers that we just made. Guess what? The ones that I piped did stick to each other! They were too close! Unfortunately, they were included in the batch of “damaged lady fingers”. Thankfully, though, they were still used inside the layers of our Tiramisu cakes. Sigh. Ahhhh! It was such a humbling moment for me to see the result of my pride.

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By the time the class finished decorating the cakes, our head chef suggested to take a group photo with the finished products. But, before he asked us to pose, he quickly shouted “Okay! We have to clean up first!” It was interesting, really. Since my first day in our Pastry Arts course, I noticed how the senior and junior chefs quickly cleaned the used utensils, tissue paper, bowls in the area while the head chef cooked and baked. There was never a time in the kitchen when the head chef prepared the baked goods in the middle of a messy table or workstation.

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When the junior and senior chefs were busy with other tasks, the head chef even initiated on cleaning his workstation. While he was waiting for the egg yolk and sugar mixture to boil, he wiped the table near it to remove crumbs or cocoa powder on it. He made sure to clean as he cooked and baked. What a humbling sight and reminder for me. Even the head chef knows how to model humility and cleanliness in the kitchen. I should definitely learn to do the same as well.

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It says in Philippians 2:3-4: “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”

Thursday Tune #34: You Carry Me by Moriah Peters

Last Friday night was one of the most refreshing evenings I’ve had recently. Aside from the fact that I was showered with raindrops, my heart was humbled and renewed after attending a workshop by Joy Mendoza. She graciously facilitated a seminar entitled “Writing Your Personal Story”. It was a humbling experience for me as I looked back on what God allowed me to go through in the past and see how He continues to use those moments for the good and for His glory.

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Out of the 80 people in the room, I only knew three: Joy (the speaker), Edric (her husband), and my friend who attended the seminar with me. However, even though we were in a room full of strangers, I easily felt at home because of the conversations that we freely shared with each other.

In between Joy’s tips and stories, she asked for volunteers to share about the outlines that they prepared during the workshop. These outlines, of course, showed the personal experiences and action steps that the participants went through or are going through right now. One of the outlines that Joy encouraged us to draft that night was about our lives before Christ, when we discovered Christ, and after experiencing Him.

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As each participant shared, my heart churned even more because these were real people who humbly opened up about their personal stories and gave God their thanks and glory that evening. Not only was I inspired to be more intentional in remembering and writing about how God has been moving in my life, but, I was also motivated to encourage and pray for the people around me — who are most probably going through tough and faith-stretching moments in their lives right now.

 

It has been six days since the workshop, but, I still can’t get it out of my mind and heart. Joy mentioned that we all have a personal story that we can share and each story is a unique account of God’s redemptive work in us. By God’s grace, through this, I hope that we will be able to share the gospel to others, encourage and comfort them, pass on a godly legacy, and ultimately give God the glory.

 

I would like to share a song with you that is very much related to what I’ve been learning from Joy’s workshop. This song “You Carry Me” by Moriah Peters reminds us of God’s sovereignty in the midst of pain, mistakes, and even loneliness. It encourages me to continue trusting in the Author of my life, who will never leave my side. I hope it gives you comfort as well.

“Through the wind and waves
Through my worst mistakes
Through the times I thought I walked alone
You were holding me
You were whispering
I will never leave you on your own”

Psalm 23:4 says: “Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for YOU ARE WITH ME, your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

 

Special thanks to the ff.:

  • Joy Mendoza – for giving to the Lord and sharing your heart and life to us.
  • Darren Soriano – for our photos with Edric and Joy and for humbly and courageously honoring God through your testimony that night.
  • OMF Literature – for organizing the workshop with the help of “Christian Writers Fellowship”.

OMF Lit Bookstore – 776 Boni Ave. Cor Pinatubo, Mandaluyong city (5314303)