This cake almost destroyed me!

Last weekend was over-the-top busy. On Saturday, I went from a sound check to a three-hour rehearsal to singing at a wedding to performing in a concert. Sunday I sang at church, which was awesome but tiring, and then we had a meal with our dinner club that evening. This all came after an extremely busy week with long days.

Somehow I was maintaining my composure through the insane schedule and all the little things that went wrong, like my mic not being on at the concert for the first song and the fact I wasn’t feeling well. I was getting through everything until…this cake! Yes, a simple cake threw me over the edge. I mean totally, completely over the edge!

You see, I was asked to bake the dessert for our dinner club. The recipe they suggested was too complicated, so I was going to make my tried and true German Chocolate cake. I stopped at the store after church and got what I thought I needed and headed home after being at church for 5 ½ hours. Problem was, I couldn’t find my recipe when I got home. Was it in a cookbook? Was it in my recipe box? I thought it was in there, but I couldn’t find it. I looked EVERYWHERE! And I mean everywhere!

That’s when the meltdown started brewing.

My blood pressure was rising as I went online to find a recipe. I needed three items, so I angrily grabbed my purse and headed to the store again! The first store I went to only had two of the things I needed, so I had to go to Wal-Mart, which is never fun on a Sunday, especially with a bad attitude. I was annoyed by pretty much everyone. I finally got home and start making the cake, which was much more complicated than I originally thought. My patience was gone as I went to put the batter in the cake pans and realized I only had two cake pans…the recipe calls for three. It’s a three-layer cake! Seriously! I had already made a vow that I was absolutely, positively NOT going out for one more thing, so I used a pie tin and decided to cut the edges off to make it work. I’m creative!

At last the cake is in the oven. Now to the frosting! I go to roast the pecans for the frosting (who roasts pecans? this is stupid!) and leave them in too long and they taste a little burnt. Through gritted teeth I use them anyway. Who cares at this point!  As I’m cleaning up, I realize I’ve used a box of semi-sweet chocolate, not German sweet chocolate as the recipe called for. After all this, I’m convinced the cake will be a total disaster. Really, God!

I lose total control. I mean I get 100 percent out of control. I literally want to stand in my kitchen and scream and throw the stupid cake away! I snap at my husband for really no reason. I try to stop my mouth, but I can’t. Not once, not twice, but three separate times. I felt more anger than I’ve felt in a very long time.

I felt broken, hopeless, and utterly defeated by a stupid cake.

Obviously my meltdown had little if anything to do with my baking catastrophe. It had everything to do with me and the state of my weary soul. I was tired. I was running on empty. My soul was begging for a Sabbath, and I was “too busy” to give it one.

Monday I went to my favorite place, at the feet of Jesus, and I kept hearing over and over in my head, “Be still and know I am God.” I started weeping uncontrollably as I realized how complicated I had made my life…AGAIN!

God showed me very clearly that it’s not about striving and arriving, it’s about believing and receiving.

Believing that He loves me just as I am, tattered, broken, a beautiful mess; and then receiving His unconditional, grace-filled love.

Believing that His grace covers all the ugliness lodged deep in my soul, and receiving the forgiveness and mercy that He gives me through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Believing that I can learn from every situation I face, no matter how much I fail Him, and receiving the strength He gives me to continue my journey of faith and growth.

Believing that my self-worth does not come from baking an award winning cake, and receiving my confidence from Him alone.

By the way, we went to our dinner Sunday night and had a great time because somehow I got over myself. And the cake…it was fabulous!

God has a way of redeeming our messes!

Jill Miller is an accomplished musician who has been called the “Energizer Bunny” more times than she can remember. It’s probably because she has a zest for life that’s contagious and loves sharing how God has worked in her life. Through her music ministry, she shares her personal struggles honestly and never pretends to have all the answers or have it all together. She’s simply a friend telling her story, hoping it will touch your heart, encourage you in your struggles, and inspire you to keep moving forward and reaching for your full potential.

Copyright © 2016 Butterfly Nation, Used by permission. All rights reserved.

photo credit: wuestenigel <a href=”″>Heart traced over cinnamon powder</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>



  1. Alyce Bury January 4, 2018 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    When are you coming back to Des Moines Iowa?
    I ran the prayer room for you
    Alyce Butnett

  2. Phyllis January 4, 2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Just finished reading, “Cake.” Thank you for allowing us to see you at your best, and also at your worst. We all have experiences as you describe, and we need to see God’s grace in action. He knows our names and he never leaves us. Fotgiveness is ours when we ask for it. Thank you, God.

  3. ea. mcfarland January 4, 2018 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    I totally get it. I call it the “end of the end” of MYSELF ! Those times when I’ve fallen flat on my face, God brings me to the realization that I need Him. It is my weakest times and He shows me that’s exactly where we really find Him. Thank you God, for turning the mirror I hold up to my own face around so that I keep my heart and eyes on You. He wants to shine Himself out of my eyes to others. “Let go and let God” is a great motto to repeat when I feel at my weakest. I have a lot of learning to do.

  4. Maryanne January 4, 2018 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Jill, thanks for sharing. Its so true, sometimes when we r so caught up with doing n doing that we forgot God is in control in all situations. And we said the meanness things to our love ones. Your story has been an encouragement to me.

  5. Andee Henry January 5, 2018 at 4:29 am - Reply

    This story resonated with me. Thank you for the honesty of the cake moments. If we don’t take time to go back to the cross, I fear that cake happens to often for many of us. So, thank you for a simple reminder that we are not alone.

  6. Pat January 5, 2018 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    This message really hit home with me. I am one who always volunteers for things then wonder how I will get it done. We had a death of a 14 yr old boy in the family that died way too early and did so in a most inhuman way that in this day and age should never have happened. I certainly am feeling guilty but with the funeral looming over us tomorrow I put myself in charge of the food which means I do it all, rather with a lot of help from Heavenly Father. This child died never knowing Christ as his savior nor does his twin brother left behind that is what I need to concentrate trying to help those left behind. I am rambling. I really wanted to say thank you for this post.

  7. Sandra (Sandi) S. Martin January 5, 2018 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Thank you for your “Cake” article. I, too, can become overwhelmed too many times as I overfill my plate with “yes”, “no problem”. “I can do that or this”, or “I ;can find or make the time”. My husband, too, gets the “brunt” of my frustrations. Your statements of “and receiving the strength He gives me to continue my journey of faith and growth” and “receiving my confidence from Him alone”, are truly the encouragement I need TODAY! LOVE you and our Gracious Heavenly Father!!!

  8. Vickie January 8, 2018 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Wow! I’m not the only one who has meltdowns! Thanks for such a heart rending piece. I would love to hear you sing, but only when you are not so busy!! Here’s to you having a peaceful week.??

Leave A Comment