When God Says “Wait”

My parents and I ate dinner two nights ago and my dad randomly shared an observation he had over the past few months. He told me and my mom that he noticed how God has been answering my prayer requests and heart’s desires lately. He mentioned that when I prayed for a dog more than 4 years ago, God provided thru a family friend and we had our first dog: a fluffy, golden brown 4-year old Pomeranian named Copper. Also, he remembered how I prayed for certain gadgets before and by God’s grace, He again provided those a few months ago. It was interesting and ironic because by the time God gave our family the things that I prayed for, I wasn’t thinking about them anymore. After praying about them, somehow, God helped me surrender those things to Him and focus on Him instead. I am grateful for His grace.

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That random conversation with my parents was a timely encouragement for me because I’ve been praying about specific things lately. And somehow, I’ve felt like God wasn’t as “active” as He was in answering my prayers this time compared to my previous moments with Him. But, after talking to God that night, He reminded me of Kerrie Robert’s song “Seek Your Face” which talks about one’s desire to seek God (know who He is) and not focus on what He can give to us or what we ask from Him. It spoke to my heart because there would be times when I would feel unmotivated and discouraged to pray for specific things because of unanswered prayers or “delays”. However, by His grace, I am encouraged to see God for who He is in my life. He is my peace, my provider, and my Lord. Reminding myself of who He is helps me seek Him and His Word more, have faith in Him, and trust that He does want me to experience His best for me no matter what.

Manila Bay
Manila Bay

Despite the challenging moments that I have while I wait on the Lord, I really appreciate the fact that He uses those moments to help me get to know Him more. I remember commuting via MRT last week and while I was waiting for the next train to arrive (which took 20 minutes), God encouraged me to spend that time to talk to Him instead. Also, just this morning, I woke up at 3:30 am because of an intense dream that I had. It was about one of my prayer requests. I immediately got my journal and wrote to God. It was comforting to know that as I pray for and wait on God, I know that I can always count on Him to hear me out even in the wee hours of the morning. After praying, I closed the lights and went back to sleep with a hopeful heart. If it is God’s will and if He thinks it will be for the best, by His grace, He will provide for me. He will make a way.

From my journal
From my journal

The morning after the random conversation that I had with my parents, my sister and I walked our two dogs (Copper and Clue). While I was preparing their meals and fresh water, I remembered how we started training Clue to wait during their meal time. Clue, our 2-year old Schnauzer, was graciously given to us by a family friend as well. When we first had him, we noticed how quickly he eats his food. Before the food even touches his bowl, he would immediately eat the pellets, which was quite frustrating for us.

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So, for the past months, we’ve been doing our best to train Him to wait whenever we put food in his bowl. Sometimes, he does wait. Sometimes, he tries his best to. Haha. But, I have noticed some improvement in him lately. Whenever we put food in his bowl, we call his name and say the word “Wait.” Every time we do this, he always quickly looks at his food first and then looks at our eyes while drooling. It’s funny, really. It’s like we play a staring contest every meal time. And whenever he does wait, he waits for our go signal (the word “Okay!”) before gobbling up his food.

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Every time I give Clue a bowl of dog food, I am reminded of what I should do while I wait on the Lord. Clue continuously looks at his master while he drools and waits for his food. It just shows how Clue really desires to eat his food, but at the same time, knows that his master desires for him to learn how to wait too. Ever since Clue’s first day at home, the only thing he cared about during meal time was his precious bowl of dog food. But now, it’s encouraging to see him pause and take time to wait on his master before digging in.

 

God has been teaching me to wait on Him these past few weeks and although it has been a rollercoaster ride for me lately, I am grateful for the privilege of praying specifically, trusting completely, and waiting on Him who knows better than me.

“I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living.
14 Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord.”

-Psalm 27:13-14

Clue and Copper
Clue and Copper

Encourage yourself one treat at a time. :)

When the Chocolate Bits Don’t Melt

I have always wanted to bake. When I was 7 years old, I remember wishing that our old, broken oven at home would miraculously work. However, fixing the oven was not our family’s priority at that time. Years later, after our first house burned down, a couple gave us an oven! How cool was that? I really thank God for people with generous and sincere hearts. YAY! I felt all giddy inside when the oven finally arrived at our house! As soon as I could, I baked my very first treat: Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I know a lot of people who really want to learn how to cook and/or bake. If you are interested and you actually want to bake from scratch for the first time, I would suggest that you make chocolate chip cookies! I know that others would agree with me when I say that it is a simple yet awesome recipe. But before I share the recipe, I want to write about some of the reasons why I like baking Chocolate Chip cookies.

3 REASONS WHY I LIKE BAKING CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES:

1. I can easily customize the cookies (I guess, in general, cookies can easily be customized :P)

Even without cookie cutters, I have tried making cookies (in different sizes) that are shaped like hearts, Mickey Mouse, Alphabet letters, smiley faces, and others. As much as I enjoy eating these delicious treats, I love being able to creatively play with the appearance of the cookies.

2. I love its interesting history.

Based on research, there are actually two versions of the history of the Chocolate Chip cookie. However, in this blog, I want to focus on the history mentioned in the website: www.thenibble.com.

Believe it or not, the Chocolate Chip cookie recipe happened by accident!

The inventor of the recipe, Mrs. Ruth Wakefield, a proprietor of Toll House Inn in Massachusetts, originally wanted to add regular baker’s chocolate in her butter cookie dough. However, she didn’t have any and so, she decided to include chopped up bits of her bar of Nestle Semi-Sweet Chocolate instead. She was actually hoping that the chocolate bits would melt, but after baking them, they retained their shape in the cookie dough. The cookies became a hit so much that the company, Nestle, made a deal with Mrs. Wakefield. She eventually gave her chocolate chip cookie recipe to Nestle and received free Nestle chocolate for life! We can actually see the Toll House recipe printed on the bags of Nestle Toll House Real Semi-Sweet Chocolate.

The chocolate chip cookie recipe remains to be a famous cookie recipe around the world. That kind of cookie continues to be a delicious treat for any occasion. Moreover, different bakers and food companies even tried to make their versions of it, through the years, and we can see those cookies being sold in the market now.

3. I am humbled and encouraged.

Why do I say so?

Well, while reading its history, I wondered if Mrs. Wakefield got discouraged when she found out that the chocolate bits did not melt after baking. What if, instead of tasting and sharing them to others, she just threw the cookies away because things did not go the way as planned?

You see, she originally wanted to let the bits melt in the dough, and I’m guessing that that was her idea of making the best batch of cookies at that moment. However, I think that God did not allow the bits to melt in the process for a very special reason – to encourage us today. Hehe.

She ended up tasting and sharing the cookies to others. She maximized the opportunity that she had even if what she originally planned did not happen. In the end, the recipe was successful, especially because of the numerous benefits that she had and the fact that the whole world is still able to enjoy such treats!

I was reminded that there are times when I definitely get discouraged and disappointed when things don’t happen the way I want them to. For example, when a certain company decided not to push through with my job application, I was deeply crushed because I desired to work for that company so much. I was tempted to complain and get angry at God because He allowed it to happen. There were even moments where I would just lie down on my bed, stare at the ceiling, and want to give up on my job hunting.

However, God spoke to my heart and He reminded me that even in difficult situations, I can still be comforted by the fact that His ways and thoughts are higher than mine. Sometimes, what I think is best for me may not really be the best for me at that time. And instead of pushing my way, I’m learning to surrender what I desire to God and trust that He definitely knows better than I.

He also encouraged me that I can be secure in His love for me, even if I don’t like what is happening in my life. Because He loves me very much, He definitely would only want what is best for me.

Isaiah 55:8-9

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the LORD.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Mrs. Wakefield did not allow herself to get discouraged when her plan did not happen, when the chocolate bits did not melt in her cookie dough. She just decided to make good use of her situation and share the cookies to others.

I want to do that too. I want to maximize what God has given me right now and make good use of it even if “the chocolate bits do not melt” in my life too.

Clearly, God allowed “Mrs. Wakefield’s accident” to happen so we can enjoy chocolate chip cookies today!

As of now, I still am not employed. However, God continues to encourage me to still be faithful to Him and to do my part as I wait on Him and His best job for me.

Whatever you are going through right now, I hope that you too are encouraged to persevere still; to hope in our God who is able to do anything more than we can ever imagine; to believe that He does not make mistakes, that His word is flawless, that He knows better than us, and that His perfect love will always be enough for us each day.

“I’m not gonna worry. I know that You got me right inside the palm of your hand.Each and every moment, what’s good and what gets broken, happens just the way that You plan. But You’re here. You’re real. I know I can trust You.”

–Kari Jobe

Nestle Toll House’s Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 to 2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup chopped nuts

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F
  2. Sift and stir flour, baking soda and fine salt in small bowl.
  3. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy.
  4. Add eggs to the sugar and butter mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Gradually beat in flour mixture.
  6. Stir in chocolate morsels and nuts (I usually use sliced almonds).
  7. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

 


TIPS/NOTES:

1. Make sure not to over bake the cookies.

I did this a lot of times before. :( haha. I left the cookies in the oven until they were golden brown (as specified), however, when I got them out and let them cool, they ended up being hard, super crispy, and they had a darker shade of golden brown. :P So for the next batches that I made, I removed them from the oven a little earlier (even if they looked a bit pale) and they actually tasted great after they were cooled! When you remove the pan/sheet from the oven, the cookies will still actually continue to bake a bit since the sheet is still hot.

2. To make CHEWY cookies:

Follow the given recipe and change the proportions of the two kinds of sugar. Use ½ cup of granulated sugar and 1 cup of brown sugar.

3. To make CRISPY cookies: 

Follow the given recipe and change the quantities of butter and granulated sugar. Use 2 and a half sticks of butter and 1 and 1/4 cups of granulated sugar.

4. Effects of white sugar and brown sugar.

According to Shirley O. Corriher’s book: Bakewise (2008), high quantities of table sugar make crisp cookies. On the other hand, low quantities of it make cookies moist. In addition, brown sugar will make cookies more moist as it helps absorb moisture from the atmosphere.

5. If your butter is still hard.

You can soften it up by cutting it into cubes and letting it sit at room temperature.

Encourage yourself one treat at a time! :)