I think it is just human nature to measure yourself in terms of activity and achievements. And by human nature, I mean sinful nature. It’s all about doing, doing, doing. Who does the most, who does it best, who has the most awards. It’s prevalent in our society and it’s seen everywhere. We have award shows for everything, contests for even more, everyone striving to do the most and be the best.
There is one important question that we forget to ask ourselves, though. Who are we working for?
As a stay-at-home mom, I often feel like I’m not doing enough for the Lord. There are people preaching, spreading the gospel, going overseas, planting churches. I stay home and change diapers.
This leaves me feeling like I’m not enough. Like I don’t have enough to show for myself. Like I haven’t proven myself to God. But I forget that I don’t actually have to. Not that I ever could. We are imperfect and flawed and we could win every award known to man and still never measure up to the perfection of the Lord.
I was reading in my devotional recently that God doesn’t count our accomplishments. Sure, they are nice. And if we have goals, we should go for them. As long as it is all in alignment with God’s will for our lives. But even if we never get that promotion, or never win that award, or never plant a church in a far off jungle to a cannibalistic tribe and narrowly escape death in doing so, we can still work for the Lord.
The Lord counts our good works not as a number of accomplishments we have reached, but by the fruits listed in Galatians 5:22-23. The fruits of our labor, the ones that are important to the Lord, are those that are going to glorify Him the most, like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. If you stay at home with children all day, you know how hard some of those fruits are to come by. But in cultivating them through our daily activities, even menial ones, we are giving our children a Godly example of how we should go into all of our work, with a cheerful attitude and a happy heart. These represent Christ’s true love and bring Him the greatest joy.
So mama’s, keep on keeping on. And make a cheesecake.
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
¾ cup (1½ sticks) unsalted butter
1¾ cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp salt
1 cup flour
1½ cups of finely ground chocolate graham crackers, or other chocolate cookie
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅛ tsp salt
3 (8-oz) packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
4 tbsp (½ stick) unsalted butter
¼ cup heavy cream
½ tsp vanilla
1 tbsp powdered sugar
For the Brownies:
- Preheat oven to 350°. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Grease foil and set aside.
- Melt the chocolate and butter in a large microwaveable bowl on HIGH for 2 mins. or until the butter is melted. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Stir in the sugar. Blend in the eggs and vanilla. Add the flour and salt and mix well. Spread the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Be careful not to overbake!
- Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove brownies from the pan using the foil handles. Once completely cool, cut the brownies into 3/4 – to 1-inch squares. Set aside.
For the crumb crust:
- Stir together the ingredients and press into the bottom and 1 inch up side of a buttered 10″ springform pan. Fill right away or chill for up to 2 hours.
For the Cheesecake:
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Beat together the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy.
- Add eggs, 1 at a time, then the vanilla, mixing well after each addition.
- Fold the brownie cubes into the mixture very gently and pour into prepared crust.
- Place the springform pan into a shallow baking pan (to catch drips) and bake in the middle of the oven for 45 minutes, or until cake is set 3 inches from the edge but still slightly wobbly in the center when gently shaken.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely.
For the Ganache Glaze:
- Place the finely chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Scald the butter and cream together in a saucepan or in the microwave on HIGH for 1 minute and pour the cream mixture over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.
- Whisk in the vanilla, then the powdered sugar until smooth.
- Spread over the cheesecake while the ganache is still warm and chill until ready to serve.