Of all of the desserts in the world, I doubt a lot of people would claim lemon bars as their favorite indulgence. It is usually more along the lines of some quintuple-chocolate-gooey-fudge-melt-your-face-off thing or a deep-fried-extra-sugar-cinnamon concoction as opposed to this divine little bar. I am the first to admit that it is not my usual idea of a sweet finish to my meal but they exist and every time the ingredients happen to find their way into my mixer and stumble into my oven, I am delightfully surprised. Lemon bars are not given enough credit. They simultaneously have the ability to make such a bold lemony statement while gently quieting your spirit as they whisk you away to some back country road on a porch swing in the summer with some sweet tea in a mason jar. Yeah. They have that kind of power. These coconut lemon bars do that. I took them first two weeks ago to my school and every last crumb was consumed. I was shocked. I am not really sure why. I mean, it is typical to bring my treats to school and come home with empty pans, but it had usually always happens with the assumption that it was because it included chocolate or caramel or one of the usual crowd-pleasers. I have a list of rules, you see, as to how I select my recipes. This list is full of things that I should consider or not consider to assure consumption of my creation. I need to be cautious about going to experimental because my reputation is at stake. This particular recipe I chose was not only a lemon bar, but it had coconut so I considered it the ultimate underdog of desserts. I was not expecting a win.
Much like my lengthy list of fail-safe rules for recipe selection, most girls have rules for a fail-safe future husband and future happily-ever-after. Sometimes though, as girls in dream land, we try to imagine the recipe to the perfect man, what he will be like, what the future will hold, how he will propose, etc... We plan every detail of our fantasy wedding and the romantic honeymoon to follow. This often happens years before we ever are even old enough to consider the m-word. We plan for a chocolate-caramel-guaranteed-crowd-pleasing life recipe that we can safely say will create an agreeable future for us. We think we know what it is that we need then along comes the lemon coconut bar and we find the perfect sweet ending in the unexpected. It's what was never imagined but as the taste hits your tongue you immediately know that nothing has a greater sense of home. Everything comes together.
Last night, I was asked to be Mrs. Taylor. For years I have prayed for a man who loved God first and me second, who could equip me and encourage me to serve Him for the rest of my days with passion and vision. I had many scenarios of the type of man God might choose for me but the end result is a man who superceded any scenario I imagined for myself. I am sitting here replaying the game night we had last night. As each card from the deck fell from my friends' hands in our favorite game called dobe sensei, I was shocked. First with Taryn playing Will, and then You Marry Me, Kirsten? falling down from 4 more of my friends' cards finally leading my eyes to Greg who was down on one knee with a ring in hand. I could have never predicted this path for my life. I do know however, in faith, that this future is more fitting for the purpose God has placed on my life than I could have ever crafted for myself.
Though it is no surprise to God, when you finally begin to seek after His will rather than attempt to manipulate His will to fit what you think will bring success, success is actually achieved (along with your ability to live and serve according to His plan). Today I am praising God for that. Today I get to say that God has blessed me with a generous, loyal, faithful, loving man; a man after God's heart that will not only love me well but gets to be my help mate as we go out into the world and do noble things for the good of all. Like the lemon bar, I will enjoy every last morsel of this unexpected surprise. (And for those of you who are wondering, I will allow someone else to make my cake so I don't go all cray-cray on the big day.)
"The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the LORD." Proverbs 18:22