When Layers Don’t Fit Evenly

I’ve made many a cake in my life. When the kids were younger, I ventured into the crazed area of character cakes. Making puppies, clowns and rocket ships from cut-up 13X9 cakes and assorted round layers.

Not saying it was smart. Nor necessarily pretty to look at. The attempt was made. Success is always relative to the eyes through which it’s seen.

Layer cakes have always been a particularly sore subject with me. Because I don’t measure things exactly, they never images-2come out evenly. They don’t bake in ways that allow them to fit together well. Lopsided, uneven, ugly. Not always something I’d want to use to celebrate anything.

Often the only thing available for the necessary celebration.

I’ve lived those crazy layers this last week. Where things didn’t fit together well. When the fun and festivities I’d hoped for came out looking a little skewed.

About a month and a half ago, we’d planned a huge gathering for the group of folks I work with. Huge blow-up water slides, awesome barbecue, more junk to eat than anyone should have in a lifetime. Lots of laughter and fun. Planned.

Several days before, very dear friends experienced a huge tragedy. One that affected all of us because of relationships. Because unnamed-1we’ve all lived life together for a long time. Their pain has become our pain.

The dilemma was what to do about the party. Should we have it as planned? Should we cancel? The reality of pain was such that I couldn’t ignore or deny that it affected me. And others. How can anyone party in pain?

After wise counsel, we decided to go proceed as planned. People came and laughed. Talked. Commiserated. Consoled. Encouraged. Loved on each other.

The sadness was there. Mixed with laughter. It felt odd at times. But it was what it was.

Like those crazy skewed cake layers. You deal with what you have.

Life is like that. Uneven. Plans and preparations for celebration often interrupted by sadness and pain. And yet each day dawns. Again. And life goes on.

It’s made me more aware than ever that this place isn’t home. Having been created by the God of the universe for relationship with Him, our hearts yearn for the peace and calm and beauty that can only come through Him. He has planted eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11), and it’s the only thing that will truly satisfy our longings. Our need for love and worth and hope is found in Jesus. This world? We’re aliens here. Made for more. For better. It’s not my American passport that’s so special. It’s my heavenly one.

Sharing in someone’s sadness moves me past my own desires and self-centeredness to consider the needs of others. Reminds me that life will be full of celebration and sadness. Sometimes just islands of joy in a sea of pain.

So I’ll live with uneven layers. Because even when the layers don’t match up, when you really bite into it, there will be some sweetness.




12 responses to “When Layers Don’t Fit Evenly”

  1. We “fix our hope completely on the grace to be brought to us at the revelation of Jesus Christ”.


    1. Is there any other way to do this? I don’t think so. Life will be messy as long as we’re this side of heaven. Thanks for your encouragement.


  2. well stated Dayle.


    1. Thanks, Ran. It helps to walk through this in community, in real family time. Glad we’re on the same journey together.


  3. Have to admit Dayle, can’t party in pain – but you deal with what you have – loving, encouraging, consoling others! But uneven life is like that – considering the needs of others. And I better seek HIM for some sweetness, as you suggest from Ecc. 3:11!


    1. We live in the blend of the two, don’t we? Pain and joy, never very far apart. Thanks for your encouragement, Lo.


  4. Beautifully stated. Wonderfully expressed. Saturday was a day that had different emotions at the BBQ. I was glad to be with everyone. But also aware that a great sadness had hit our community and none of were untouched. I had good conversations with Kelley outside on the grass as we watched Uriah and Bart injure that water slide over and over again with their shenanigans. Mercy. It was good to talk and process the sadness and the pain. It was also good to be with everyone in community, in family, laughing, connecting and agreeing just how good those quesadillas really were. God encourages us to rejoice with those who rejoice and mourn with those who mourn. I think what he wants most is that we just get into life with one another, however the “layers” come and that we be present for one another, in the joy and in the pain. The common theme is that whatever comes we show up for one another and do it together. Thankful for these words amazing Dayle. Love you.


    1. Oh, Mel, thanks for such gracious thoughts. That’s what this life is supposed to look like, I think. Being willing to share the load, the burden, the mountain of emotion without complaint, with hope, sometimes just showing up. You get this. I love that.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great words…”sometimes just islands of joy in a sea of pain.” Fortunately, that is usually a seasonal thing in my experience, but sometimes those seasons do drag on. “So I’ll live with uneven layers…when you bit into it there will be some sweetness.” Perfectly written wisdom! Thanks.


    1. There’s a sign in my friends’ home that says “There is always, always, always something to be thankful for.” I know I often have to be intentional about looking for it, but He’s given us so much that we don’t deserve. And when the pain comes, it does make the good even sweeter. Thanks for your kind words, Pen.


  6. Loved this Dayle. And I love cake! I hate pain and sadness and death. Maybe heaven will be like the sweetness of cake without the sadness of death and pain. Well written and I always like the way you make cool connections with life.


    1. Thanks for your encouraging words, Steverino. The reality of pain is something I’d love to avoid but know that is typically how the Lord chooses to allow me to learn–and those around me. Possibly because I’m not a good listener when things are going my way.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.