• The Poplar Family

Eat the Cake

Updated: Apr 15, 2021

Two became one. Then one became four. Now we are eight. Bananas, right? Our oldest son who was four in this photo is now 22, and our oldest daughter who was two, is now 20. Back then, we dreamed of doing so much of the stuff we do now. Now, we often long for the simplicity we knew then.

My days consisted of watching episodes of Dragon Tales, preparing PB & J sandwiches, and driving our son back and forth to a Mom's Morning Out that we could barely afford. My husband was in college full-time, worked for Coca Cola, RPS, did research for Tennessee State University, and owned a T-shirt business. I was a stay at home mom, made jewelry, and filled journals with poetry and deferred dreams.

The T-shirt Melvin is wearing was one that he printed displaying the triquetra symbol. Some say the three points signify the three stages of life: life, death and rebirth. In case you are wondering why I'm sharing all this randomness it's because I want you to know that your past, present, and future are as interconnected as the symbol on that shirt.

Time is limited. So don't waste it being consumed with other people's thoughts. When I look back at this photo, I don't reflect on Trinity's sweet kissy cheeks, Lil Melvin's cuteness, or Melvin trying his hardest to look sexy . . . All I see is the hint of sadness in my eyes.

Perhaps you are wondering why. Why would someone with such a hard working handsome husband and super cute kids be sad? I was too consumed with what someone else thought of me to appreciate what my husband, kids, and most importantly, my Creator thought of me. I had no clue how fast time would fly. Here I am, two decades later and I’m just learning to "eat the cake."

We had a neighbor who would judge me, my marriage, my parenting methods. Her words would echo in my mind long after we spoke. Prior to meeting her, I'm sure all the things she highlighted existed, but they didn't cause me to be insecure until she pointed them out.

After conversations with her I often felt fat, frustrated, forgotten, and pretty much like I was failing at everything. One day I confided in my older brother how her opinions were consuming my thoughts and he told me to tell her to "eat the cake."

I was like “what in the world is this boy talking about?" He explained, "Sometimes people come into your life and they want to know all your ingredients, others, simply eat the cake. If someone is more interested in dissecting you rather than connecting with you, tell them they can either "eat the cake" or "sthu."

Don’t be like me. Don’t wait until two decades later to eat the cake. Start surrounding yourselves with cake connoisseurs. True cake lovers will celebrate you as they discover the ingredients in your mix. Culinary critics will compromise the integrity of how you bake when they keep opening the oven to check and see if you are done.

Matthew 7:5 MSG

Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults—unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor.

Time is limited. So don't waste it being consumed with other people's thoughts.
Eat the cake!

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