Sunday, July 15, 2012

Ukraine Bound Cookies






"I'm leaving......on a jet plane......
don't know when I'll be back again...."

It's time for me to say goodbye for a while.
The event that I work all year long for has arrived.

On Thursday, my team and I will take off for Borislav, Ukraine.
We'll be gone for 15 days.
During that time we will pour our hearts out to the Ukrainian people.

We have a women's retreat for a few days......
and I'll be teaching a three session Bible study during that event.
Then we visit lots and lots of Ukrainian homes.
Last year we made 55+ visits.
At the end of the two weeks, we sponsor a "tea" for the seniors.
And throughout the two weeks, we will be doing 
whatever we feel like God is leading us to do.

It's a very rewarding trip.
It's hard work......not a vacation......SO out of our comfort zone...
but OH SO worth it!

And just today, after talking with a very, very dear friend (♥ you, dear one)
I realized that I need a break from the cookie world and the blog world.

I've been pouring my heart and soul out  into this blog and my cookies.
Not that there is anything wrong with that in general......
but I think I've gotten a bit out of balance. : /

I think it is time for me to regroup and think about what is REALLY important.
Somehow, I don't think blog pageviews, number of comments,
number of advertisers, or number of dollars raised for Ukraine
should be at the top of the list.
And I'm sad to say that I've made those things
WAY TOO IMPORTANT.
In fact......I've made them so important, 
that I'm ready to quit with discouragement at how hard I've worked vs the lack of "pay off".

Stupid.....I know. When I read that last statement,
I see in black and white how stupid it really is.

You see.....I believe God has me going to Ukraine right now......
to remind me (again!) what REALLY matters.

It's not in raising money for a good cause.
It's not in being the best cookie decorator I can be.
It's not in "building up my blog readership". 
It's not in making a difference in the blog world.
It's not in "competing" with those super, duper cookie decorators.
It's not in how many people like my cookies and comment about them.
It's not in wracking my brain trying to come up with the most outstanding ideas for cookies.
It's not in the "wow" factor.

What REALLY matters is:
God (His glory.....His kingdom.....His Gospel.....His fame)
My Relationships (My family......my friends.....and those I'm to minister to)
My HEART (including humility, godly attitude, & selflessness).

I've been so focused on making money for Ukraine......
on becoming a Cookie "Queen"......
on building up a large blog reader base......

....that I've missed it. :(

So it's time to get life back into perspective.

I'm not sure what that means for when I return from Ukraine in a few weeks.

But somehow I know that things will be a lot different.

For now.......here's some cookies I made to commemorate the Ukraine trip.












Hopefully when I return from Ukraine and from my sabbatical......
I will have my head on straight again.

Thanks for always being here and being so supportive.
Hopefully some of you will stick around and be here when I return.

With love from me to you.

Time to go share some of that love in Ukraine..... :)

38 comments:

Sugar Beez said...

Pam, may you have safe travels! 

Susie said...

Have a fantastic trip and God bless your group and your amazing work. You are an inspiration way beyond that glaze work you do! Safe journeys.

Amanda fancy said...

pam have a safe trip and i wish you the best of luck with everything i hope you come back to us soon!
- The Fancy Lady (amanda)

Shirley Vass said...

Dear Pam,
I have read your post and agree with you completely. There comes a time when you have to look deep into your own self and decide what is really worthwhile, what you are missing in your own life. I am sure the Good Lord will guide you and give you all the wisdom you need. Your work has been remarkable, from your heart, and nobody can take that away from you. Whatever you decide to do, may God bless you always. Safe travel.

Dotty Raleigh said...

Pam, I totally get what you're saying.  I can see how keeping up this blog can be a lot of pressure - self-imposed pressure.  You're expecting more from yourself here than we are.  I hope that when you get back you can post about what you love, when you feel like doing it.  I'll be here.  I admire much more about you than just your cookie decorating and blogging skills.  Have a fabulous trip.  Come back to your life refreshed and inspired.  Sounds like an exciting new beginning.  You've freed yourself to do anything.

vicki t said...

Pam:

Have a safe journey.....you will be missed - we so love you in the "cookie world"....so just take a little break and when you come back...just stick a toe in the water - because it would not be quite as fun without you!  I feel slightly guilty for enjoying your posts so much this summer..........it is like I am an "enabler"!!  But, you have taught us all so much and rocked our worlds...so, if you come back and stand in the background, we will be just as happy.

And do you know what?  I have never "subscribed" to your blog...nope!  I always just click through a blogpost via facebook.....so I'm subscribing right now, so you MUST come back and let us know how the trip was!!

Hugs.

Vicki

http://www.facebook.com/vickisweettweets 

thepartiologist said...

You know I'll be thinking and praying for you while you're away!  You truly inspire everyone in EVERYTHING you do and I'll be waiting for your return...!!

cookiecrazielady said...

 Thanks Dotty. You're note brought tears to my eyes. You're right......I've been expecting more from myself than readers have. :( I've always loved to decorate cookies.....and I still do. But I found myself being so stressed about doing more and more and more to get the results I thought were the answer. But they are not the answer. It's a trap. And I refuse to be in that scenario. I'll do my best to post what I love when I feel like posting. :) Thanks for your support and encouragement. It means so much to me. :) ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 Awww Vicki......you are such a tremendous encourager. Thank you. :)

I'm sending you a FB message.....so be looking for it. ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 Thanks so much, Kim. You are such a sweet, sweet friend.....and always so encouraging to me. I appreciate it. And give you a great big hug. ((((((((((((((((Kim)))))))))))))))))) ♥♥

The Sweetery Bake Shop said...

I haven't been keeping up with everything you just wrote about - no, I JUST came across your page. But as the owner of a little bakery in the US, I KNOW how consuming it can be. There are mornings that I have to be at work early enough that I don't take the time that I should to read my Bible. And my day goes SOOOOO much better when I read my Bible. I admire what you are doing - the mission trips you are making. But more than that, I admire that you have realized what you need to do to get your life back in order. Maybe - just MAYBE, when you get back, you can find a nice balance. God bless and I'll be praying for you. - Donna

cookiecrazielady said...

 Precious. Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Donna. :)

Susan Searles Schmitt said...

Pam BIG hugs and wishes for a safe and productive trip. My prayers will be with you as you travel again to the Ukraine. It is a year for change for myself and cookies as I look to expand and grow our business as I reach the milestone of turning 50. With that will come less time on FB and limiting the designs I do with CG. I don't know how you have kept up with it all and the designing of new inspirations for all of us. Be well and please keep posting about your Ukraine trips as I find it so uplifting to follow ♥

Jill FCS said...

I think sometimes we have a tendency to underestimate how much we touch people, my dear friend. Joy, Pam, it is all in the joy we feel in our heart and the joy we bring to others. I hope you are able to reclaim your joy and come back refreshed and renewed!

Michelle said...

Pam, I knew it , you do touch people in so many ways that you cannot imagine.  Safe trip .

Andrea @Cupookie said...

Safe travels to you Pam. Enjoy your trip in the Ukraine. Sometimes we need a break from ALL Social Media. It can take over at times. Maybe this trip will be just what you need to regroup. You come back with fresh mind and the social media/cookie world is on YOUR time. So many appreciate all that you do. I look forward to hearing about your amazing trip ♥

Cindy K. said...

Hi Pam, I wish you safe travels and much success with your visit to the Ukraine!

I can't tell you how much I appreciate your post on your lifestyle changes -- you motivated me to buy the book and get going on it.  I started the day after Memorial Day, and have stuck with it since.  I am feeling better.  I love not being tormented by hunger pains.  That feels so good.  As of today, I'm down two pants sizes, and you know how happy that makes me feel!

Lorna said...

Best of luck on your trip.  I enjoy reading about your travels as well as your cookie blog.  You need to do what is best for YOU .... but I sure will miss all your beautiful cookie creations and tutorials if you don't return  : ((     xoxo , Lorna

Pearse said...

Have a safe and fun Trip. proud of you for this selfless act. you will be blessed for sure. waiting eagerly for your safe  return !

Bea @ CancunCOOKIES said...

Dear Pam,
Reading your post made me feel so proud (could that be possible?)... I've always loved your COOKIES, but it is your mission that makes you stand out in this crazie world.
I pray that our Lord shows you what to do next, and how can you serve Him better. Enjoy your time in the Ukraine, and let others know Christ through you.
I love you, and look forward to hear about your trip! :)

SweetSugarBelle said...

Dotty Raleigh said...

 Glad you're feeling the encouragement from us for a change!

Joni said...

Pam,

You are such an inspiration to us, and honestly, it's not about the cookies. Truly, they are works of art, and I love the creativity you put into every single one. But your faith that shines through, the witness that you bring, interwoven within your cookie tutorials and blog posts, THAT'S the Pam I love and admire. I'm so glad I got to meet you in Louisville. God bless your mission trip, and God bless you and your family. Your cheering section is on its feet. Can you hear us?

PS - Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. Psalm 119:105.

cookiecrazielady said...

 Thanks Susan. You've always been such a sweet presence......always encouraging me. I appreciate that so much. I pray your new adventure takes you to where you're supposed to be. ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 Yep......joy is certainly important. Usually I have lots of it. I think it was sucked out of me. :( But I'm about to get my tank full of JOY......and then I can really get the right perspective. Thanks Jill. :) ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 Awww.....I appreciate your sweet note to me, Andrea. There's a TON of love in the cookie world. THanks for sharing some with me. :) ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 Wow Cindy K. It is wonderful to hear that sharing about my life changing experience effected you too. That's awesome. :) So glad you are doing well. Keep it up. And keep me updated. And anytime you need encouragement, let me know. :) ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 I can't imagine that I wouldn't return, Lorna. I love cookie decorating and the incredible friendships I've made in the cookie world. But I will try to find a balance between what matters.....and what should be very secondary. Thanks for your very kind words. :) ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 Such a sweet note. Thank you so much, Pearse. :) ♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 Awwww Bea.......I love you so much, dear friend. Thanks for your constant encouragement and love for me. God has certainly blessed me 100X fold with a friend like you. :) ♥♥

cookiecrazielady said...

 When I read this just a few minutes ago, Joni......it immediately brought tears to my eyes. It was a HUGE hug from God. Thank you!

It's interesting what you've said here......because this is what I've prayed about my ministry since Day 1. That it's not about the cookies......it's about the mission. It's about God and His love and His incredible grace for us. I've asked Him to make each cookie some how share that with people. And to know that you've seen that in my ministry caused me to remember those prayers I've been praying for the last 4 years. And God has obviously answered them.

Sometimes we've got to step back and see what He is doing. Thanks for being a tool to see the truth.

Thanks for being part of the cheering section. I certainly don't deserve to be treated with such kindness......but I'm grateful for your love and support. I feel it strong after reading all these comments. And I'm humbled.....

♥♥♥

Paula Kelly-Bourque said...

Pam this has got to be one of the most honest posts I've read by a *cookie blogger*.  Your cookies are fantastic, your decorating talents are wonderful but I think what people really see beyond the decorated treats is the beautiful giving spirit of the woman who so generously creates them for such a worthwhile cause.  Safe travels to the Ukraine and may you enjoy every minute and every interaction while you are there.  I am sure that this time away from your decorating and your blog will provide you with much insight and perspective.  You say that you *missed it* with respect to what really matters but I don't think you did, you may have forgotten it or let it get waylaid a little but God has seen that you haven't strayed too far and I think when you return you will know exactly what direction to take yourself in.  The love of your ministry and your faith has not been lost on this blog.  There are many ways to minister and I think your cookies are certainly delivering your message.  I do hope that you continue to share your creations with us on this site for you are an inspiration in more ways than you know.  I also hope that you share whatever is in your heart and what inspires you.  

Ali said...

Hi Pam, 
I've not commented before but wanted to say what an encouraging post! I've also been thinking about this a lot lately. Getting a balance between time spent on my own decorating cookies and time spent interacting with the world that God has created. I love decorating cookies but I need to make sure I don't spend so much time decorating cookies that I forsake relationships with others and with God. Thanks for bringing this up and helping me to realise I'm not the only one with this struggle. I pray that you can work out a way to get that balance and that your time in Ukraine is a blessing not just those you are going to serve but also to you.
Keep fighting the good fight.

Brenda Holland said...

Good for you!  Everything in its time and place.  I enjoy looking at your cookies and reading your posts, but don't check on them very often, so I hit and miss.  My own little blog is resting and was never meant to be anything other than an occasional place to post my thoughts and pictures.  You appear to have your priorities in tact and that alone speaks volumes.  But if you do come back and post any at all, you will be right there on my Google Reader waiting for me.  I would really love to hear more about your trip if you feel led to share.  I'm a cookie dabbler...nothing serious.  I am also a minister's wife, a special education teacher, a mother, daughter to an aging parent  and grandmother who also loves to bake and  make heirloom-type clothing.  What can I say?  My life is full....probably too full.  It would do me well to reset my priorities.  Thank you for the reminder.  Best wishes as you follow the Lord's plan for you.

Jackie Lee said...

So awesome that you are being obedient!  Obedience is sometimes lost, but always found in the most unusual way! 
Jackie Lee
 

Aimee said...

I'm really struggling with this myself right now.  I feel like I'm constantly going - mentally, if not physically.   I've been praying that God will show me what steps I need to take to have my priorities where He wants them to be and to be in a healthy place, spiritually, physically and mentally.  I appreciate your amazing talent but I appreciate your witness and testimony so much more!

Lilianna Juhasz said...

when you were in Boryslav did you tear down the church my grandparents built?

Lilianna Juhasz said...

why don't you spend your time preaching to the Godless in America. Ukrainian churches are so full that you can't find a place to stand while here you can hold services in a telephone booth.

 
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