Our Past Influences Our Future

Welcome  We’ve all heard the wisdom of leaving the past behind you and not looking ahead with anxious hearts.  There’s even the classic line, “yesterday is history and tomorrow is a mystery.”  And while I agree that being present in the moment is good for our souls and our families, we cannot neglect either the past or the future.  Without a doubt, both the past and future impacts what we do right now.  Sometimes it does us good to reflect on both.

Food For Thought  Darkness from our past will always surface, especially if we tend to avoid facing reality.  Today’s society loves a “good, juicy story,” so our downfall will be others’ entertainment.  I know from experience that you cannot always depend on others for support through these falls.  People who claim to be your friends will throw you under the bus in a heartbeat.

It can be really hard to make a comeback from these types of falls.  But in these painful memories of the not-so-distant past, I have learned to depend on God more than people, and that’s the better choice.  I’m not even trying to speak ill of people here, either.  Just as my mistakes and falls are a result of my human imperfections, so too are the people who seek to save their own neck or use my story as a source of juicy gossip.  We are all human and we all have weaknesses.

Reflecting on my past leads me to depend less on people, which has its own downfalls.  At the same time, nothing else would have taught me the valuable lessons I have to work on in my future.  Those experiences shape who I want to be and who I know I DON’T want to be.  Some of our most painful pasts can lead us to a future of hope and faith, spiritual places where we would not have arrived, had it not been for the series of events leading us there.

These lessons helped me truly see that I can trust and believe God, when He tells me in scripture that He loves and accepts me, flaws, shortcomings, imperfections, and all my past mistakes.  My future self can now be free from insecurities and fear because I take my weaknesses and struggles before Him, believing He can and will help me.  This is freedom!  This is my future self living in emotional and spiritual freedom because of the influences of past lessons and hardships.  I can praise God for every chapter of my story!

Today’s Scripture  This is grace we’re talking about here!  Grace is God accepting us and extending mercy to us even with all of our mistakes and failures.  I can never be perfect, and while other human-kind may be a little less forgiving of that fact, God extend His grace to me anyway.  He continues to love and bless me. Yes, our past does influence our future, and isn’t it wonderful that God’s grace covers them both?

Today’s Recipe  There’s no doubt that when it comes to my cooking, my past definitely influences what I prepare for my family.  I come from a long line of amazing women who could cook, bake, can, preserve, and mix up just about any dish your hearts could desire.  This influence, though, is heavy in frugality and stretching the grocery dollar as much as possible.  There’s also a lot of creative leftovers and taking simple dishes and giving them a little something “extra” to make them spectacular at the dinner table.

My mom’s cooking was, and is, amazing!  And she encourages you to eat!  I’m pretty sure that has heavily influenced my love of food.  My mom prepared breakfast almost every morning, packed our lunches, fixed nightly dinners (eating out was very rare!), and there was always a little something sweet for dessert.  There’s no doubt my family loves dessert, whether warm-from-the-oven cookies, fresh fruit pies, or creamy puddings.  I remember the first time she made Hot Fudge Pudding Cake.  She took the simplest ingredients we had on hand and made this truly decadent dessert, topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, of course!  I want to share this warm and gooey family recipe with you today.

Hot Fudge Pudding Cake


  • 1 1/2 cups AP flour
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 TBS baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 1/4 cups boiling water
  • vanilla ice cream, for serving


In large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt.

Add milk, vegetable oil, and vanilla to bowl. Stir until combined. Spread mixture in the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan. Set oven to 350 degrees.

Add brown sugar and remaining cocoa powder to the mixing bowl. Stir boiling water into the mixture. Carefully pour over the top of the cake layer in the prepared pan. Do not stir!

Carefully place pan in 350 degree oven. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven to cooling rack. Allow to set 30 minutes before serving.

To serve, spoon cake into bowls. There will be a fudgy pudding layer on the bottom of the cake, but it is cooked through. Be sure to top the cake with some of this yummy goodness! Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.