Chocolate is an amazing gift of God to mankind! I don't suppose there's a scripture saying that, but it is one of the awesome things he has given to us. My family knows of my love of chocolate so my birthday cake has always been a variation of chocolate of some kind. Usually a chocolate cake with chocolate icing and some sort of chocolate ice cream as well. This year, they made a brownie instead of a cake which was even better (see the recipe on Anna's site here). Somehow the richer the chocolate the better! Topping it with chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup and dark chocolate chips was perfect - Thanks again! :)
Knowing my weakness for and great desire for chocolate, some may wonder why I don't weigh 300+ pounds. If given the choice, I would always prefer to eat chocolate. I have always had a desire for candy that seems to be stronger that the desire others have for something sweet. Somehow, I have always had a hard time not eating more candy than was healthy. Moderation is good, but somehow the few pieces of candy always had a tendency to turn into more and more until most of the bag was gone. I think it's gotten a little easier for me in the last few years, but it's still a struggle. I've found that for me it's good to put some artificial boundaries in place. Last year, one of my new years resolutions was to buy no candy in town that I would consume in town (unless it was to be shared with someone else). Candy for a car trip was fine, but not candy just to eat here. One other exception was for candy from the snack machine at work. I decided I would only buy that if I was working overtime and only if I had extra change.
Those simple rules were easy for me to remember. I no longer had to battle in my mind about whether or not I should buy a candy bar when shopping. I had already decided that I would not do so. Somehow an external legalistic rule helps me in cases like this. I also chose to never make cookies or other deserts unless most of it was to be shared with friends, neighbors or church potlucks. Making deserts for those potlucks becomes more fun when that's the only time you "get" to eat deserts.
In some ways I think my external rule is a lot like some of the rules the pharisees made. The problems with legalistic rules like mine (and those of the pharisees) is when the rules get confused with the reason for the rules.
My rules were made for me so that I don't have to decide each time I shop if I should buy some candy. I know my weakness to eat what I purchase so I know that for me personally, to buy it usually means I will eat it way too fast. I suppose I could have made my rule a little different and decided to work on self-restraint at home by making certain I bought chocolate and then had the willpower not to eat it! But anyways, I decided that the battle would remain at the store.
Now my rule doesn't make me better. It's not even a rule that I always follow (in fact it's not one I am following this year). It's also not a rule that everyone should follow. For many people, the "rule" is completely unnecessary since not everyone struggles with a pull toward candy. I guess it's somewhat odd to write about a rule you don't even always follow, but it just seemed to go along with my love of Chocolate. Do you ever make rules for yourselves?