The Quest for Contentment (and Cake)

We live in an age where contentment is rare.
For some, contentment is synonymous with settling… never wishing for bigger or better things.
I myself find it difficult to be content. I wish I could travel more, eat more, weigh less, own a kayak, have a beau, impress more, have a higher viewing count on this blog. As I dwell on these things, I find myself becoming increasingly unhappy. So many people ALREADY have and do these things; why not me?!
Unrest is a sticky trap… we are told we need more and more and more. Then and only then, will we be happy. Unfortunately “then” never arrives. The “more-est more” never satisfies. We are stuck in a perpetual ring of discontent.

“Whoa whoa whoa!” You may be saying. “If all the great minds in the world were content, where would the world be? No electricity, no great works of literature, our current mode of living would be grossly primitive!”
Allow me to clarify that contentment does not mean complacent. Furthermore… contentment is NOT the opposite of ambition.

Contentment is merely a way to RESPOND to our situations- Ambition is the fervor with which we pursue those situations.

I can be content AND have ambition! Ambition to save up for my new kayak… but also contentment, to function at peace regardless of whether I have the kayak or not. Ambition need not accompany unrest and stress. Likewise, contentment need not equal complacency and (gasp) laziness.
Unfortunately, in today’s world, contentment is a lost virtue. Some may even label it as outdated… but I KNOW that regardless of its lack of glitz and worldly appeal, those who remain content with their situations, lifestyle, possessions, will always be one step ahead of their “straining and grasping and pining away at the next best thing” friends.

Contentment is to me, a most beautiful and lovely gift… wrapped in brown paper.

Kind of like my favorite cake 🙂 It’s brown and rather homely… but I prefer it to any cake in the world. Imagine if my cake was always upset about not being red like the red velvet cake, or annoyed that it has no frosting flowers like the cakes in the stores… it would cease to be my favorite cake if I were to add these things.

So in conclusion dear friends… perhaps start your own quest for contentment. Maybe kick it off by making some cake.

Keep your head in the clouds and contentment in your heart~

HH

Content Oatmeal Cake

1C quick cooking oats                                 1 1/2 C flour
1 1/4 C boiling water                                   1 tsp baking powder
1/2 C butter                                                    1/2 tsp soda
2 eggs                                                                1/2 tsp salt
1 C brown sugar                                            1 tsp vanilla
1 C white sugar                                              1 tsp cinnamon

Pour boiling water over oats and let stand a few minutes. Combine butter, vanilla, eggs, and both sugars; add oatmeal mixture. Sift together remaining dry ingredients; add to mixture. Bake in lightly buttered rectangle cake pan at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes. While cake is still hot, pour topping (see below) over top. Run it under the broiler, long enough to slightly brown.

Topping

3/4 C brown sugar
1 C coconut
1 C nuts (I use pecans)
1/4 C milk
6 T melted butter
Vanilla (I have a heavy hand when it comes to vanilla)

Combine all ingredients, spread on cake, and proceed as directed above.

Credit for recipe goes to the Pleasant Hill Shaker Cookbook and Mrs. Alna Braun
*Next in woman of worth series: Pie Crusts and a Perfectly Lovely Legacy*

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3 thoughts on “The Quest for Contentment (and Cake)

  1. Uncontained says:

    I agree contentment is definitely a horrible trap which our society has fallen into. The mere idea of failure haunts people and the idea of going against the norm and being any form of a radical which is merely somone who goes against the norm is looked down upon. Of course I am not encouraging anyone to do something which endangers others but merely be a radical in the daily life and do something which will better the world around you. it is much like pay it forward if you take action to the few around you soon the change spreads and you have a revolution of sorts. Glad to read of someone who recognizes the importance of unlimited boundaries.
    Sincerely,
    Uncontained

  2. Verita Team says:

    Hey there,

    I heard of your blog through Ruby and have enjoyed reading all of your blog posts. Us over at the Verita Team were wondering if you would consider letting us repost (or write new posts) your thoughts on our website: http://www.veritamagazine.blogspot.com. Verita is a small, but growing, Christian, teen girl-run website that is looking for new writers and new thoughts – particularly pertaining to cooking. (Which is why I’m commenting on this post…not trying to stalk. 😉 )
    If you’re interested, can you email us at the email I’ve listed? I’d really appreciate it!
    ~ Alison for the Verita Team

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