Words from the heart today … no recipe. I have had a couple of conversations with different people over the last week that has made me decide to write this post. I want to share a little about my journey with food, cooking and entertaining because I’ve come to a bit of a revelation this past year that perhaps others of you may be struggling with.
I have always loved food … as a younger person I mainly enjoyed eating it. In my early twenties I loved eating out and in my thirties I am reveling in learning how to cook everything I can imagine. But I must confess for quite a while, I didn’t believe this passion of mine was “useful” or “productive” in my life. I thought of it as something I should do only if it didn’t interfere with other, more important tasks. It was a nice skill to have, but not something that really meant anything.
I have a background in small business and for ten years I wrestled with the corporate “struggle” of holding my own in a cut throat industry as a young woman. I simply believed that I had to put my head down and bum up, stay tough and cocky and make sure no one saw my weaknesses. This was what was expected of me, right? It didn’t matter that I didn’t love what I was doing, as long as others thought I did.
My heart has changed so much from that insecure, egotistical business woman and I’ve come to realise that life is all about relationships with people and making a difference wherever I can. What I didn’t realise is that my skill with food could be a major people connector and an impactful way to make a sincere difference for people and organisations. I had a light bulb moment the day I realized that my passion for food was actually a GIFT.
And so I’ve put my foot to the floor and used my gifting wherever I could (it’s possible I have overdone it … I’ve called this my year of professional volunteering). What have I discovered? That if you’re doing what you’re truly passionate about – not for financial gain – you have an enormous capacity to do lots of it and to gain tremendous energy from blessing others with your gift. I have found opportunities to do this through school, church, friends, family and other charity work. And I’ve discovered a very exciting way to share this journey through my blog.
So can I encourage you? Whatever it is that you truly love to do, grab a bottle of red, an encouraging spouse or friend, and start brainstorming the possibilities. Take the time to plan out your priorities in life and you will discover how your passions fit into that puzzle. It may not be the time for you right now to make any changes, but having the plan in place is the most critical element. Our year abroad in France next year has been ten years in the planning. It took work to figure out how it was possible, but my passion has fallen into place within that dream and I hope for the same experience for you and yours.
With grace and gusto,