“Two scoops of vanilla in a cone,” he said without hesitation.
I paused before placing my order. I hadn’t even had a chance to read over the newest flavors… much less peruse the glass case and sample the flavors with those mini pink spoons! That’s half the fun!
I was shaking my head thinking, “VANILLA? Are you serious; with all these choices? Was this really going to be a lasting relationship?”
It was one of our first dates.
So as to not scare him off, I decided on something rather simple… but NOT vanilla.
After all, as I told him later, “Vanilla’s not really even a flavor.”
We agreed to disagree.
The funny thing is just the other day I was having a conversation with one of my friends about life’s trials and how God can use those to strengthen us and eventually to help others.
I told her that I always felt embarrassed that I didn’t have an amazing testimony; no fascinating story, no recovery from an addiction, no rescue from trauma or a sordid past.
I described myself as just plain “vanilla” and felt like I was worth less because I was, well… unremarkable.
Not that I wished for the pain of such memories.
I was blessed, and I am thankful for parents that raised me in a sheltered, Christian home where I was kept safe from harm.
But sometimes I still feel boring and lacking when other people tell of the amazing things God has done for them and my victories seem to pale in comparison.
Amazingly, our enemy, satan, still prowls around seeking to devour us any way he can. (I Peter 5:8)
I hear people speak about recovering from some great tragedy and yet he pounces on them with guilt or shame and makes them feel that they are unworthy to God.
But those of us who are “vanilla,” he tells us we are of no value to God because we have “no story” to share.
How can it be that if you are vanilla… or flavored… God has no purpose for you?
Both of those are lies straight from the father of all lies. (John 8:44)
God has a specific plan for each us as individuals, a flavor that we are to add, and to mix into the recipe of life. We were not fashioned to be “the same.” He never planned it that way.
Who would want to cook if there weren’t spices in our cupboard?
How bland would our food taste if we didn’t add a mixture of flavorings and spices.
So what if I happen to be “vanilla?”
I see vanilla as an ingredient in almost every recipe for things I like to bake… cookies, brownies, cakes.
I dated a guy who did not hestitate when ordering his vanilla ice cream and enjoyed every bit of it, even to the point of argument, as to whether it was a flavor or not.
I’ve changed my mind! Vanilla IS a flavor!
According to Wikipedia:
Vanilla is a flavor derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, flat-leaved vanilla. The word vanilla, derived from the diminutive of the Spanish word vaina, simply translates as little pod.
And I DO add value to the kingdom of God. I will “…live a life worthy of His call,” and I will ask that, “He give (me) the power to accomplish all the good things (my) faith prompt (me) to do.” (2 Thessalonians 1:11)
And where is my “Vanilla Date” now?
Twenty-six years later, we are still together.
He is still happy to end an evening on the couch with a couple scoops of Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla. While he has given up the cone and prefers it straight from a glass, I love my man! He knows what he likes and his tastes are simple.
And he likes… and loves, the “vanilla” me!
Then the name of our Lord Jesus will be honored because of the way you live, and you will be honored along with him. This is all made possible because of the grace of our God and Lord, Jesus Christ.
2 Thessalonians 1:12