Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Piped Icing

by Cathy Baker

{ Day 21 } 

Lovely, isn’t it? 

Everything about my birthday cake exceeded my expectations, minus one thing. Do you see it in the picture? 


McFarlan’s Bakery, Hendersonville NC

When we picked up the cake at McFarlan’s Bakery (which is awesome!) they peeled back the box top, especially proud of the beautifully fall-themed design they’d created for me. 

We were all delighted until Brian said,”It’s beautiful…except her name isn’t Cindy.”

We all laughed but they felt terrible about the mistaken name and wanted to fix it. I insisted I knew my name and it was perfectly fine. (I also thought of this post idea so I wasn’t about to ruin it by having them correct it!) 

I had a flashback to my childhood when both
grandmothers would sometimes do what felt like a roll call when trying to get my
attention. They called out at least three other names of people in our family before getting to mine. (Oh, how I miss this!)

In the big scheme of things, though, aren’t you thankful God doesn’t mistake us for anyone else? When He calls our name, He gets it right the first time for He is keenly aware of every detail concerning our lives:

To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3

O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You
know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from
afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with
all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether. You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me.  Psalm 139

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? And not one of them will fall to
the ground apart from your Father. But even the hairs of your head are
all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many
sparrows. Matthew 10:29-31

Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by your name; You are Mine. Isaiah 43:1

Birthday getaway in Saluda, NC

Our God never skips a beat. We’ll never catch Him calling us by another sheep’s name or confusing our strengths/weaknesses with a sibling-in-Christ. It’s almost as if each of us is His “only” child.

The LORD formed us, chose us, redeemed us, and He calls us by name

Staying in Step with the Spirit: We draw near to God with a grateful heart, confident in His knowledge of us, and His love for us. How could such knowledge escape our praise? 

Heavenly Father, everything within us bows at Your name. We praise You for choosing to be a Father we can draw near to, not one that shuns us when we fall. Thank You for being such an intimate heavenly Father.

{ Day 15 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Paper Bookmark
{ Day 16 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start
{ Day 17 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Spontaneous Service
{ Day 18 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 3
{ Sunday } 

Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Mini-Getaway

by Cathy Baker 

{ Day 20 } 

When’s the last time you packed an overnight bag, loaded up your car and escaped for a mini-getaway?

Chimney Rock, NC

Brian and I did just that this past weekend as we wound our way up the mountains to celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary (which is actually today!) Our first couple of days were spent walking the bustling streets of Hendersonville and Chimney Rock, sipping down handcrafted coffee, and scoping out new antique stores. 

We also stopped by Justus Orchard, where we were greeted with a waft of winesap apples and all the fixins. Let’s just say two freshly fried turnovers and a dozen warm apple cider doughnuts (a first for us!) hitched a ride on our way back to Saluda that afternoon. Unfortunately, I have a feeling they’ll continue to hitch a ride with me for weeks to come.

(For those visiting the NC area: Dozens of orchards are scattered throughout Henderson County but Justus Orchard is a fun experience for the entire family. Children can ride in mini-trains pulled by tractors through the orchards, pet the Alpacas, and go in search of the perfect pumpkin.)

On Saturday, however, things shifted to a slower pace. Brian went to a record show for most of the day while I snuggled beneath the rafters of the side porch that hug the Blackberry Cottage. You know, nothing settles the soul quite like watching crisp winds invite the leaves to dance and seeing many accept, bowing gracefully to its direction. 

There, surrounded only by God’s handiwork, 
His voice found no competition.

Staying in Step with the Spirit: Whether it’s a few hours or a day, when we intentionally shift life into a slower gear via new surroundings we are breathing life into both our senses and our souls, enabling us to hear the Spirit’s whispers more clearly. 

Heavenly Father, thank You for those times when we can exhale busyness, noise, soul clutter and all other things clamoring for our attention. Help us to catch every quiet moment, hour, or day for Your glory. 

“Not all those who wander are lost.” 

 J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

{ Day 15 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Paper Bookmark
{ Day 16 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via A Fresh Start
{ Day 17 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via Spontaneous Service
{ Day 18 } Staying in Step with the Spirit Via God’s Creation, Wk. 3
{ Sunday } 

The Best Gift Was No Surprise At All

Gifts of all types abounded during our long weekend getaway:

  • Time with the hubster. We enjoy each others company even more twenty-two years later.
  • The cabin. Shiny hardwood floors, bright, clean, quiet, and equipped with a flip-switch fireplace, an oversize comfy chair, and the perfect reading lamp (yes, this is an important detail!)
  • The back porch. Views of a well-grazed pasture, kaleidoscopic-colored leaves, and a pure white peacock that made this 50 year-old heart skip a beat when it flew off the back roof (Did I mention I was standing directly beneath the roof at the time?)
  • Newly discovered yummy places to eat. Visiting the Flat Rock or Hendersonville area? These two places are a must: Mean Mr. Mustard’s Cafe (BEST grits ever!) and Flat Rock Village Bakery (fresh pizza made with fresh herbs and sauces).
  • Quiet time. Our yearly ritual on this particular getaway is to spend a half day to ourselves. Brian usually heads up to Asheville to check out vinyl record collections while I stay at the cabin soaking in the scenery via pen and paper.

This year, because of the big 5-0, my anniversary/birthday gift from Brian is a dining room makeover. While antique shopping on Friday, I ran across the “perfect” corner cabinet at Architectural Warehouse in Tryon. Well, perfect in every sense of the word — except financially. It would’ve eaten up the entire budget for the room, so we headed back up the mountain to settle in for the night. I was disappointed but realistic. The Craig’s List search continued.

The next morning, however, when we returned home, I walked through the front door to find this sitting in the corner of my dining room:


Instead of heading to Asheville Saturday morning (as he’d said), Brian drove in the opposite direction, purchased my cabinet, and delivered it to our home almost an hour away, making it back to Flat Rock in time for our anniversary dinner.

The gift itself was the best surprise ever — but the fact that Brian would go to that much trouble and give up his fun day for me came as no surprise at all. He is truly the kindest and most selfless person I know—just one of a trillion+ reasons why I am still head-over-heels with this man twenty-two years later. Thank you, honey!

Also, a tremendous thanks to those of you who called, emailed, texted, sent cards, and wished me a “Happy Birthday!” via Facebook. You have no idea how much your thoughtfulness meant to me. More importantly, how much you mean to me.


“I thank my God every time I remember you.” Philippians 1:3
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