You have to face the muffins

Gently fold the ingredients together

I burned the muffins.

I was making them for an event at church I was hosting the next morning, and I left them in slightly too long or I didn’t set the timer right, and they came out a bit crispy. I could barely even scrap them out of the pan.

And I lost it. Flew off the proverbial handle.

Bake until golden

I’d already been having  a tough day. I was feeling down and hadn’t been very productive, and my whole idea in using the afternoon to make muffins was that it might cheer me up to do something creative, to perform an act of service for someone else. Like make muffins for my mom’s group! Yay!

But then the muffins burned, and I felt furious.

I wanted to throw the entire muffin tin (both of them) out the window, but I had to settle for throwing a hotpad behind the refrigerator (yup) and cursing the muffins. I got about halfway through scraping my first batch out of the tin before I realized I need a timeout.

Let cool for 5 minutes

I went and sat on the bathroom floor. I left the muffins — half in the tin and half out, toasty on the bottom, extra-golden on top — and I walked away.

It wasn’t really the muffins that were upsetting me; it was the rest of my day. It was the parts of my heart that were hurting and asking for attention. It could have been anything that set me off — traffic, an annoying stranger, dirty laundry, rain clouds — but this day it happened to be burnt muffins.

Hearts will not be ignored.

So I sat there on the faded gray bathmat and I prayed. Then I just sat some more. I waited until I was ready to go face the muffins. Because, really, they had to be faced.

They were my mess, and nobody else was going to soak those pans and scrub them. Nobody else was going to sort through the muffins and decide which ones were still edible. I had to finish what I’d started, hurting heart or not.

Eventually, I got up and went back to the kitchen.

– – –

In the end, 15 of my 24 muffins were salvageable — an acceptable, if discouraging, outcome. But it was particularly those burnt ones that reminded me of a simple, but valuable, lesson.

You have to self care before you fly off the handle. If you forget, you need to let cool 5 (or 15… or 50) minutes and then go face the muffins.

That’s just the way the cookie crumbles.

When have you learned painful lessons about patience and self care? Have you ever had trouble facing the muffins?

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4 Comments

Filed under Spirituality

4 responses to “You have to face the muffins

  1. Amy

    Just yesterday I was talking with a colleague who has had to return to the States because he mom’s had brain surgery and it’s been a very complicated and messy situation. I was telling her something along the same lines … yes, she’s there to help her mom, but if she doesn’t do a few small things for herself, she is going to burnout or explode or do some serious damage to her soul. You probably learned more from burnt muffins than if it had all gone well … I kind of hate that!

    • Haha, yes. I feel like self care is a lesson I keep learning over and over… I hope your friend finds space, time and resources to tend to her soul — perhaps before any muffins even get involved.

  2. Tim

    Haha. I can empathize. I was not having the best of days today, then I read this and it made me smile. 😉

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