Life is not just cake

Life Is Not Just Cake

“Mom, I had the weirdest dream last night. It was about cake, ” said Elayna this morning.

“Really? What happened? Cake always sounds good…”

“Well, it was good cake… but the story was weird. We were at someone’s house and they had a cake house. Cake everywhere. And we were staying there. We really liked the cake because our house wasn’t a cake house. It was an army house.”

“An army house? That seems interesting.”

“Yeah, and when they were gone we ate some of their cake. When they came back, they were so mad that we had eaten their cake. They didn’t want to share their cake. But it was awesome cake. Like the best cake. Like patisserie cake.”

{can you tell she lives in France?}

“Then, they had us over again and told us not to eat the cake. They had put more cake in their house and it was so tempting to eat it. Especially because we just have an army house and no cake.”

I’m not one for getting too wrapped up in dreams or the meaning of dreams. Honestly, I’m not sure I’ve ever really taken a dream too seriously before.

But as Elayna talked, I got this crazy spiritual picture in my head and I haven’t been able to let go of it all day.

The realization flowed through me… we do have an army house.

We have given up cake… we will soon give up more of it was we load our few belongings onto an airplane this fall. An airplane that will fly us to more change, more transition, more unknowns.

The temptation for cake is strong. The pull of cake feels overpowering at times.

But with the determination of an army squadron, we tell ourselves no cake. not now.

Knowing the weight of cake and the pull of cake, we must steadfastly remember that God has commissioned us for this army life. His army.

Life is not just cake.

Life is not just cake

Life is real. Made of more than sugar and flour. More than a few eggs and some vanilla flavoring.

Life here on earth necessitates an army life. Sometimes with army rations. And army thinking.

Yet, we live in a “Let them eat cake…” world.

As I pondered Elayna’s dream into the afternoon, I felt a burning desire within my heart to continue the fight against a cake-filled home.


Cake isn’t for now. Cake is for later, for heaven.

We live an army life now so that not only we can eat cake later, but the world can eat cake later.

Cake is for heaven. Our heavenly home will be a true cake home. It will be everything wonderful and sugary and sweet and completely perfect.

No pain. No heartache. No struggle. Just cake.

No fighting. No war. No battles. No daily push of determination to see God’s mandate to the world move forth.

Heaven will be rest and love and peace and beauty.

Life… now… is an army life. Living in an army home. Raising our girls to know that they too are in the Lord’s Army that I sang about as a little girl in Bible School.

We’ve all been given the command to go, to do… to fight for justice, fight for family, fight for the movement of the gospel into unreached places.

You can’t have your cake home and army home at the same time.

Like oil and water, one repels the other.

We don’t like to say it that way or picture it that way because frankly who doesn’t want to have their cake and eat it too?

But I can’t quite explain the deep feeling of cake verses army. No explanation to my immediate response to Elayna’s dream.

Life is not just cake

No other explanation for how deeply I want the world to have cake with our family in heaven one day. To be able to share all the wonders of heavenly cake with the nations, sitting at one grand, beautiful table together for all eternity.

And it is worth it… this push against cake.

The challenge is for me and for you. For our family and for yours.

The life lessons of dedication, singleness of purpose, disregard for worldly things… the embracing of trial and struggle teaches us things that shape us into His image. The army life works out selfishness and pride. The army life pushes us to live as Jesus did with a willingness to die so that all might understand his love. The army life forces us to look outside ourselves and see the world as Jesus sees it.

You see if we live the cake life now, if we hoard it in our homes and let it blind us to the realities of life, we may miss our chance to join in the battle, to learn the lessons and to be shaped into His image.

And because of that, others will miss it too.

We may miss our opportunity to fight in the battle, to live in the calling God has given to His church, to fix our eyes on the prize and run with endurance.

If we have cake now, we might not long for the satisfying, long-lasting, real cake of heaven. We might be so pleased with our lives here that we don’t keep our eyes on the clouds above us. We might be so wrapped up in getting more cake that we forget it isn’t meant to be eaten alone. The world is waiting for an invitation to eat with us at the King’s table.

Oh, even as I type this… I’m thinking, “Cake, Jen… really?”

Well… yes.


No cake. Not now.

For we are in the Lord’s Army.


  1. reading this today is very timely for me. your girl’s dream says so much… letting go of this world to look for the eternal promises…giving up the comfort and not understanding why… letting the idea of “strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow” marinate in my soul and mind. thanks

  2. I am literally crying as I read this because it is exactly what I have been struggling with. My family lives in Lebanon and we returned to the US to have our second baby. Because of a procedure she needs done my husband and son are heading back without us, and I have no idea how long we will have to be apart while I wait for the surgery to be scheduled, completed, and the follow up done. I have been crying for days knowing that God told us to do it this way, but wanting to have cake. Thank you so much! It is wonderful to have others out there who understand the cost of this calling, and who can help encourage us all. One day in heaven, or sooner if we ever have a visa trip in your neck of the world, I will give you the biggest hug!

    1. I will be praying that you will continue to experience His great peace in your heart through this whole process. That His grace will cover this decision and every detail would be covered by His presence. Big hugs from France!

  3. That is so great!!! The Lord is trying to tell me something. Yesterday I was reading a chapter in my book titled, I Think God Wants Me To Be a Missionary, I am reading it to see if it is a good one to recommend to those who are thinking about going into missions. Anyway, the characters in the book were discussing the inevitable and important step of giving up your worldly possessions and even your relationships in order to move to another people and reach them for Christ. How so many of us even come to our country loaded with our material possessions in crates. Ouch!
    Then I opened up the Bible to Luke where I am currently studying the life of Christ and Jesus is addressing the crowd about storing up riches on earth instead of Heaven. It will be left behind. Left to someone else when you die.
    I have been praying for ways to open up our “cake” house to ladies, whether missionaries or locals, Christian or non and am waiting on the Lord for help.
    I told Him, I am a follower, not a starter, a doer, not a visionary. I said, You start it and I will help you and work for you. LOL! He knows, he may be wanting me to step out of myself and try something new. That scares me, still. And I will be 40 in two weeks! Yikes.

    Side bar: interesting the topic is cake, cause the ladies next door keep coming and asking me to show them how to make my chocolate cake. One just told me she loves cake. So one by one I have them come and we make cake together. Now I want to find lots of yummy recipes and get tools to expand the cake making.
    Sorry this is a book. But my namesake and I are being talked to by the Spirit at the same time.
    Oh another important thing to know, NDeye next door named her baby Elena after me, so they will be excited to meet another Elayna.

    1. Oh, I love your whole insight into this! Yes, the inevitable giving up of things and relationships is a tough, very realistic part of missions. Yet, still, in perspective to those we serve on the field, we continue to have cake. I love how God uses our homes, our lives to open up doors to reach others for him.

      I can’t wait for you to teach me how to make your cake! Lol! I am no baker and cooking does not come easily to me at all. I will need a lot of help in that area! So maybe I can learn with one of the ladies you are teaching 🙂

      And Elayna will be thrilled to meet more Elayna’s!

      God Bless! Looking forward to sharing life together soon!

  4. We are getting ready to leave for Zambia in fewer than 4 months now (and we will learn the language once there…since that’s the only option), and sometimes I wonder if we are crazy to give up cake! Even if you felt silly posting this, it was encouraging to me! Eternal cake sounds pretty good!

  5. I’m a soldier in God’s army, but oh boy do I want that cake sometimes too!
    Give me the spiritual battles…and yes, that includes the fight against the flesh!

    Great thoughts!!!

    1. oh, that cake! yes… some super challenging thoughts going through my mind today for myself, for our family. Thank you for sharing your thought too!

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