I write because…

I’m a learner at heart.

As I read and write…I learn about myself, about God, about others, about life.

When I write, I want to capture a moment, a feeling, a piece of truth staring me down, and share that with whoever is listening.

And just maybe, sometimes, the words might strike a cord with someone else’s heart like they did with mine. They might bring up a question, bring them back to a moment, touch them, make them feel alive, let us share life.

Because when I feel deeply, the words are part of the story and what I see.  I don’t want the moment to go unnoticed, to slip away.  So, I capture the memory in the words that portray beautiful truth.  And when this happens, how can I not share the painting?

As life truly is a work of art made up of brush strokes that move us along in the journey.  So, I splash words on paper to evoke inspiration, encouragement, freedom, and the simple every day moments.

Good writing changes me, deepens me, makes my eyes go big and sometimes makes them green with tears.  And good writing itself makes me want to write to stir up the paint to make something beautiful that expresses the abundant life in Christ.

Why do you write?

Strengths!

If you happened to stop by last Friday, you’ll remember that I wrote about some God-sized dreaming and a challenge to step out on a journey.  I’m still plodding along and letting God use each day as a way to get to know myself and Him.  Today’s post talked about strengths.  Ohhhh, yes, some of us cringe at the thought of revealing those at risk of sounding…prideful.  Myself included. I don’t like to run around spouting off my strengths. Before going there, read yesterday’s post and then take a look at this:

Strength: a personal characteristic that can be used on behalf of God in service to others.

and then this:

Service – Does it help me serve God and others?

Time – Has it been present throughout much of my life?

Relationships – Do others see this?

Energy – Do I feel energized when I’m living this way?

Natural – Does this come naturally to me most of the time? OR do I know God has intentionally developed this in me even though it doesn’t?

Glory – Does God ultimately get the glory from it?

Trials – Even in hard times, does it usually come through somehow?

Heart – Does this really feel like a core part of who I am?

Takes on a fresh, new feeling doesn’t it? Because, really, God designed us in unique, strong ways so that we can fulfill His purposes. Check out the post for a list of strengths and take a minute to reflect with God on your own.

As for me…some of my strengths include thoughtful, calm, and hardworking.

What about you?

White Chocolate Deliciousness

I spent the night baking!  Finally!  I haven’t been in the mood to bake for so long and I definitely missed it.  I am so glad and my heart is happy that this part of me can be expressed with joy instead of sadness/heartache at remembering times of baking with others.  I love baking, baking with people and giving food to others. I made some brownies for those who watched Titanic and then I made banana bread with white chocolate and brown sugar from the States (woot! the brown sugar here is different…and you can’t get white chocolate in “chip” form here).  I included the recipe for the banana bread below since I think it’s the best and super delicious especially with white chocolate chips.  Enjoy!  Any recipes that you recommend?

Banana Bread

5 T butter

½ cup sugar

½ cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1 large egg, 2 egg whites or egg replacer works fabulously!

1 t. whites

1 t. vanilla

1 ½ cup mashed bananas

1 ¾ cup flour

1 t. soda

½ t. salt

¼ t. baking powder

½ cup heavy cream or soy milk

NOTE: These are REALLY good with white chocolate and many people like them with chocolate too, but I like white chocolate.  Estimate how much you want in there.

  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Spray the bottom of the loaf pans (2 reg. or 4 small).
  2. Beat butter in a large bowl on medium speed until light and fluffy.  Add sugar and brown sugar.  Beat well.  Add egg, egg whites, and vanilla.  Beat until well blended.  Add mashed bananas.  Beat on high 30 sec.
  3. Combine flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder.  Add this flour mixture to butter mixture alternately w/cream.  End with flour mixture.
  4. Pour the batter evenly into the loaf pan.  Bake until brown, toothpick inserted in center will come out clean.  Baking times: Larger Loaf pan—1 hour 15 minutes.  Smaller Loaf pan—45 minutes.  (I don’t know if I buy these times…each oven is different and I usually find it needs more time.  Just stick a knife in it and when it comes out clean then it’s ready!!).
  5. Cool on wire rack in pan.  Remove from pan after 10 minutes.  Cool completely on wire rack.  (Nah, go ahead and eat some after the first 10 minutes…YUM!)

Talent

“If your career path doesn’t seems to match your heart’s longing, it may be you have a skill that doesn’t match your passion.  You were good at something, so it seemed obvious that is what you should do.” p.60

Throughout my life, I assumed that whatever I performed well equated to something that I should do.  Furthermore, if I did not do something well then I needed to spend extra time on that in order to get better.  For example, I can write e-mails no problem.  I can do math no problem.  But, do they give me energy? Do they engage my passions? Am I fueled and fulfilled by these activities? Usually, not.  I’m in the process of redefining my definition of “what I should do.”

“–what are you to embrace? This is a question of passion and compassion.” p. 27

“When you don’t know what’s really important, you treat everything the same.” p. 78

What are my non-negotiables? Am I making decisions based on these?

“If you want to reinvent yourself, you have to know who are you and who you long to be and not violate that on the journey.” p. 82

“When you live a life of love, you are not bound to who are you but to who you will become.” 85

I am on a journey moving away from who I used to be and straining toward who I want to become.

“If you don’t lock into the life God has called you to live, you will find yourself pulled and torn by everyone else’s desire and expectation for your life.” 137

“If you haven’t defined who you are at the core, you will find yourself making choices that lead you down a path you would never have chosen if you could have thought more clearly.” p. 145