As I was planning a meal recently for a family gathering, I found myself rummaging through some VERY old recipes in search of an appropriate dessert to enjoy on a hot summer day. Ah…four-layer delight…a refreshing, perfect palate-pleaser to complete my picnic menu. Layers…a buttery nut-laden base, a cream cheese second floor, chocolate pudding, topped with cool whip. Those simple layers got my mind a-whirling!
My life is comprised of layers, many seasons “under the sun.” Deep within my memory banks lie those childhood years, carefree years spent riding bikes with my friends, skating on our little pond until all my extremities were frozen, climbing clay mountain, and swimming in the neighborhood creek to cool off on those oppressive summer days. But that “season” quickly faded and “childish things” were put aside. A new, wonderful layer was about to be added, for a young lady who was familiar with religion, but lacking a Savior, was about to experience a life-changing encounter at the cross. My fiance and I would be embarking on a new journey, equally yoked together as believers and as best friends.
Those priceless, early years of marriage were upon us, the weekend dates, the budgeting traumas, and the kitchen disasters (and there were many)…a time of growing in our affection toward each other and in grace with our Savior, a layer of laughter, learning, and loving. But soon a new layer was upon us, for children were about to be added to the mix. Oh, the seemingly endless span of sleepless nights, crowded schedules, skinned knees, and dandelion bouquets, years of an overflowing quiver, sprinkled with the wondrous blessings, yet daunting responsibilities, of parenthood, years that I will forever treasure.
As I rejoiced in that “time to embrace…love,” and “keep” those little ones close to my side, the empty nest layer was thrust upon me long before I was prepared. Yes, the infamous female emotional meter was at full throttle, as I found myself thrilled to watch those precious gems embark on their own family adventures, proud of the adults that they had become, but at the same time saddened by the new-found quietness that now defined our home, the empty chairs at the supper table, the vacant bedrooms, and the silenced voices. But thankfully, they would return home from time to time, bringing new little bundles of joy with them. Grandchildren…certainly the most delightful of layers!
So here we are, another layer, back where we started, just two friends madly in love, walking hand-in-hand together again, still learning to lean upon each other and our Father. And although Solomon paints a somewhat pessimistic picture of old age…”keepers of the house” that tremble, “strong men” that stoop, “grinders (that) cease for they are few,” and “windows” that grow dim, old age does have its benefits, for although life is “vanity of vanities,” I can joyfully state that “this is the day which the LORD hath made,” and I WILL rejoice and be glad in it!
So as I carefully assembled my four-layer delight, I thanked my Savior for all the stages of life, for “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.” Take a moment today and thank Him for the layers of YOUR life…those special seasons that have enriched your days, and then praise Him for those layers still to come.
Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Easy Four Layer Delight: 1 cup flour; 1 stick margarine; 1 cup chopped nuts; 1 cup powdered sugar; 1 8-ounce cream cheese; small container of cool whip; 2 small packages chocolate instant pudding; 3 cups milk.
Combine flour, margarine, and chopped nuts. Pat in bottom of 9 by 13 lightly greased pan. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool completely. Mix powered sugar and cream cheese, then add 1 cup of the cool whip. Spread on top of nut layer. Mix pudding with milk, beat until thick. Spread over cream cheese layer. Put remaining cool whip on the top. I put shaved chocolate, mini chips, or chopped nuts on the top. Refrigerate. Enjoy!
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