Tastings and Truth Telling

House tidied up, CHECK. Music playing, CHECK. Candles lit, CHECK.

Am I waiting for a date to arrive or a wedding cake tasting client? That’s when it hit me… my story has brought me here; my imperfect past, disappointing failures, and quizzical stints of random hobbies have all perfectly aligned to make me excel in this industry!

When I invite a couple into my home for a tasting, it’s less about flavors and more about gaining a better understanding of who they are and what their vision is for the big day. I make it clear that flavors can be altered and textures can be changed. They think the tasting is about the cake, but I’ll share a secret with you… it’s not. The most important thing for me is the inside scoop I get when I see how they interact with each other, the subtle glances they give each other when making a decision together, the genuine smile when I hit the nail on the head with a cake that matches their personality and style. Suddenly, this couple who I’ve never met before starts to shift from stranger to friend.  It’s now more of a relationship rather than just another baking order… and my BEST work comes out when it is for those I know and love!

It wasn’t alway this way, I used to be terrified of wedding tastings… I know, odd considering I LOVE the actual wedding day itself. I think the reason tastings scared me so much is because I was nervous of what the couple would say; it was just me, this couple I didn’t know, and their raw approval of my baking skills. How terrifying is that?! The anxiety would build and the tasting would never go the way I had imagined, due to my stupid nerves and desire to be accepted as a REAL baker.

The truth is that I graduated with a psychology degree. I didn’t go to culinary school. I didn’t spend a semester in France learning how to bake classic French desserts. No, in my eyes I was a freud. I did my best to seem professional, to look like the real deal, but was always afraid that my secret would be discovered, after all… who we perceive ourselves to be will eventually be projected onto those around us. When friends would tell me how delicious my pies were or how talented I was… I would smile and say my “thank you’s” in politeness, but would never truly accept the compliment. I knew the truth. But there was a truer truth God was waiting to reveal to me…

I am LOVING the Jenna Kutcher “Goal Digger” podcast… if you haven’t checked it out… you should definitely get on that! She is not only successful and inspiring, but authentic and true to who she is and what her WHY is.  And guess what? She felt like a fraud in the beginning too! I thought I was alone in this, but am realizing that nowadays, so many of us young entrepreneurs are excelling at careers we never went to school for. The truth is in your work, not a piece of paper saying you are now qualified to do the work. God will work everything for His glory… even my seemingly useless degree in psychology.

Who am I, and what is my WHY? My WHY is not merely baking tasty treats. Those are the lure for my WHY… and let me tell you, they work like a charm. It’s about the people, the relationships that are forged over a late-night session of milk and cookies when you’re exhausted from being up all night because the baby won’t sleep or the toilet overflowed. It’s the chance to be a good and honorable person in an industry that can take advantage of a couple at the first sound of that magic work… WEDDING (we all know that prices go up the moment that bomb is dropped). It’s the opportunity to teach a skill to someone who didn’t grow up learning how to pack brown sugar the correct way, and the deeper relationship that can stem from that. It’s not really about the baking; although, yes, the baking is important. It’s about the people, and guess what… that’s what I got a degree in… understanding people!

You see, God has tailor-made each one of us to fulfill a certain purpose. Things in my past that seemed like failures at the time circle back and peek their head through in moments of clarity. God’s truer truth for my life is much more than a psycho-wanna be-baker; although that does sound like a great working title for my memoir! His truer truth is beautiful and alway evolving me into the person He created me to be… a woman of God, a woman who is capable and kind, who’s all about family (biologically and forged through friendships), loves nature, design, whiskey, musicals, Jesus, and lives to glorify His name… oh, and has a slight obsession with trying to find the best burger joint out there… so far, Oinkster takes the cake!

I encourage you to revisit those moments or seasons that seemed pointless or disappointing in the moment… you never know when they will be redeemed.

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” -Philippians 1:6 (the Message)

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