Welcome I bet you’ve heard the expression, “You can’t have your cake and eat it, too.” This is a popular figure of speech in the English language, which literally translates to the philosophy that your cake cannot remain in your possession once you have eaten it. I had never really thought about it from that angle. I had always thought that if I went and got a piece of cake, I could just as easily eat that same piece of cake. But once I do, then I don’t have the cake anymore. Thus, I cannot have it AND eat it. Confused, yet?
Really, when we use this expression, we are implying that you cannot have something “both ways.” We often say this when we are trying to convince someone they should not have two incompatible things. For example, I might be trying to convince myself that I cannot be thin and fit while continuing to eat mountains of sweet treats. Yeah, I have that conversation with myself a lot! This saying basically comes down to making sacrifices, prioritizing wants, and the willingness to sacrifice something in order to acquire a different desire. I must sacrifice possession of my piece of cake if I want to actually eat it. Another example, this time with finances, may be that I cannot continue to shop for clothes or home furnishings while trying to increase savings for a larger purchase, such as a new car or nice vacation. If it is not possible for me to get both positive outcomes, then I have some decision-making to do.
Food For Thought I’ve been thinking about this expression a lot lately. When I quit my teaching job last year, I knew there would be some sacrifices, on everyone’s part. Since this decision mostly allows me to have my desired outcome, I should be the one making most of the sacrifices, right? Many of the sacrifices I didn’t think I’d mind, and I really don’t. Sure, I miss my massages and getting my hair done, but those things are as important to me as others. Things like week-long hiking trips in the mountains are a little harder for me to give up and it’s not just giving up what I want, but also what my family wants. Then there’s the long-range plans and dreams that my husband and I had for moving, that have now been shoved to the back burner. I just fear that some things that stay on the back burner for too long eventually just “evaporate” into thin air, never to be seen, or dreamt of again.
Here is my reality, though. I like that I don’t have to get up early every day to go out in the “real” working world. I like spending my days at home, working on my writing and spending time with family. I like that I don’t have to “fit in” grocery shopping and household errands. I like that I’m not scrambling to get my daughter to all of her school and extra-curricular activities. I like being able to make plans that don’t revolve around a teacher’s packed school year calendar. Later this week I get to join my daughter and her class on a field trip and there was no worry about getting time off or writing out those dreaded sub plans. Our family’s weekends are jam-packed for April and May and I can easily work around all those important events for family and friends. It’s quite refreshing, if I’m being completely honest! Those things are enjoyable to me and the “cake” I most desire right now. But with this new slice of heavenly cake, comes the fact that we have no second income. At least not yet 🙂 And let’s face it, doing many of the things we enjoy, like long vacations, requires money. So I had the “having cake and eating it too” conversation with my husband recently. I told him that I don’t necessarily want any other job right now, because I like what I’m doing. But I still wish we could have our vacations and plan for that cabin in the mountains “someday.” Basically, I want to “have my cake, and eat it, too.” I want to stay home and not “work.” (Be careful how you use that phrase around me, though, I work pretty hard at my writing most days.) I want my move to the mountains and my log cabin home. I want to enjoy hikes and spending time outside and doing the things I love.
Life doesn’t really work like that for most people, though, does it? If we want things, we have to work for them, earn them, if you will. That’s the philosophy we’re trying to teach our daughter anyway. The world doesn’t owe me anything. I don’t necessarily get everything I want, simply for the fact that I want it. I have to decide what I want most and what I’m willing to work for. Life doesn’t guarantee us all our hearts’ desires. Actually, God doesn’t guarantee us all our hearts’ desires, either, despite the fact we try to manipulate the words of Psalm 37:4 to say the contrary. God will actually bless us with what we need (Philippians 4:19)and he will help us receive the desires of our heart when we delight in Him and commit our ways to Him (Psalm 37:5) and His Will (John 9:31). We all have to make some sacrifices and we all have to prioritize what we want most, with our time and money. Ideally, we will align those wants with God’s Word and direction for us. So, for now, I’m sacrificing the long vacations and the move. But I can tell you that right now, I am thankful that we have plenty to meet all our needs, even if some of our wants have to go on hold. So, for now, I’ll hold on to my slice of mountain-life cake, dreaming of the day I may get to have my cake, and eat it too!
Today’s Scripture John 9:31(ESV) “We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him.”
Today’s Recipes It’s Two-For-Tuesday and how can I talk about eating cake and not include cake recipes? Today, I have two variations of mug cakes. Now, there are so many recipes for mug cakes out there, but these are a couple of experimentations I did this week.
If you’re looking for vegan, whole 30, gluten-free, free-range, organic, THM, Paleo, Keto, or whatever other trends are out there right now…well, you probably better look elsewhere. I’m sure you already have! I don’t check ingredient or requirement lists to see if they fit any of these popular diet plans right now. I’m just looking for easy ways to cut some calories, sugars, or carbohydrates, saving our family a little here and there. I’m not jumping on anybody’s bandwagon or trying to steal the thunder from those who have taken mug cakes to a healthier level. I’m not using vegan protein powder or flax eggs. I’m not using coconut flour or coconut oil. I’m not using agave syrup or dairy-free chocolate chips. I’m just trying to make some yummy snacks that make me feel a little less guilty. So here we have Chocolate Covered Strawberry Mug Cake and Dark Chocolate Mug Cake.
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Mug Cake (1 serving)
- 1/2 large ripe banana
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 TBS cocoa powder
- 2 packets Splenda, or other sugar substitute
- 5 whole, frozen strawberries
In large, microwave-safe mug, mash half banana with fork. Add egg, cocoa, and Splenda, stirring together with fork until combined. Add whole strawberries to mug, pushing down into batter slightly. Microwave on high 1 minute. Continue to microwave at 15-second intervals until strawberries are soft and cake is tender.
Dark Chocolate Mug Cake (1 serving)
- 1/2 large ripe banana
- 2 TBS creamy peanut butter
- 2 TBS cocoa powder
- 2 packets Splenda, or other sugar substitute
- 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips, or 1-1.5 oz. chopped dark chocolate
In large, microwave-safe mug, mash banana with fork. Add peanut butter, cocoa, and Splenda, stirring together with fork until combined. Add dark chocolate to mug, pushing down into batter slightly. Microwave on high for 1 minute and 15 seconds. If this is too dark for you, you can reduce the cocoa powder to 1 tablespoon.