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  • DJ Hejtmanek

Cookie Power: Celebrating God in the Small Things

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

My husband Louis challenged me, when I was stuck and wondering what happened to my words, to write about the power of a cookie.

Ahhh, cookies. Challenge accepted.

Cookies have changed my life. Let me tell you how.

When Louis and I moved to Oklahoma to be closer to family, I accepted a job with an international Christian organization as a major gifts officer, which means I develop relationships with donors and raise funds to help people. This one-on-one aspect of fundraising was new to me, so I latched onto the wisdom of a colleague who gave this sage advice: “Determine to be good at saying thank you.”

Yes, I can do that. So, what does that look like for me? Take them a small thank you gift.

I’ve never been a good cook, and even now, Louis does most of the cooking and is a grill master. My skills are pedestrian at best and I don’t even have a holiday favorite everyone looks forward to (but me). I make a mean squash casserole, and there are always plenty of leftovers for me. I’ve never made a chocolate meringue pie and the crust didn’t get soggy.

But I needed an inexpensive way to say thank you to my donors, so I decided to give baking cookies a shot.

Over the past four and a half years, I’ve baked multiple thousands of cookies.

I experienced some challenges at first, but through sheer trial and error, (don’t ask one of my top donors about the soggy banana nut bread!), I developed a few winner recipes: chocolate chip, snickerdoodles, lemon glazed sugar cookies, and oatmeal Scotties.

The power of a cookie?

  • Opens doors – Armed with a small but powerful box of cookies, I’ve been ushered in to visit heads of major corporations. Did cookies help get that major gift? God only knows. Cookies also help draw a small crowd (think 20 or less) at the homeless shelter. “Giving a gift can open doors; it gives access to important people!” Proverbs 18:16 NLT

  • Adds enjoyment to my work – People love to see you coming when you bear the gift of food, and who doesn’t want to feel welcomed?! “And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life – this is indeed a gift from God.” Ecclesiastes 5:19 NLT

  • Delights the grands – Our five granddaughters now expect cookies when they come over. There are usually a few reserved for them, and Louis, under the glass cake dome on the granite countertop. Baking with Dovie (my grandmother name) is now a thing. *happy sigh* “If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well.” Romans 12:7 NLT

  • The pleasure of developing a skill – One of the unexpected benefits of baking has been how much I enjoy it. Louis’ mother, Alice Marie, always baked for relaxation and enjoyment, and that didn’t make sense to me. Now it does.

What does your favorite cookie look like? Taste like? Eating the perfect cookie is a delightful experience.

My favorites, because who can pick just one, combine texture and flavors for a sensory pop in the mouth. Chocolate chip needs to have ample semi-sweet chips, just the right mix of brown sugar, butter, and white sugar, to create a slightly crispy texture on the outside and a cakey, soft center.

The snickerdoodle is an exquisite ball of dough rolled in cinnamonny goodness, baked to perfection with a crispy exterior and velvety melt-in-your-mouth smoothness on the inside. I like a sharp cinnamon for a zingy bite.

But my favorite is the oatmeal Scottie, the perfect crunchy combo of oatmeal, silky and sharp butterscotch chips, with a pop of cinnamon.

You’re hungry now, right?

The power of a cookie!


Photo by our daughter Bethany Pepin of our three oldest grands!


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