Pumpkin Cake and Passions

I love baking. The mixing, stirring, blending spices and sweets; slicing it just right, decorating, serving. My soul is nourished through the creativity, my heart is full. I could look at beautiful baked goods all day. (Okay, I could eat them all day too.) Trying new recipes is the most fun when I have willing accomplices that will taste them, and I have a few tried and true that I’ll always mix up again and again. A hobby that results in delicious things to eat? There's not much better in life.  

Writing is my other love. Journaling, sketching, putting words together with the intent of matching what’s in my heart. Harder said than done to be sure, but I can’t stop trying. They rarely line up just right, the results seem meager for the attempt. Regardless of the outcome, I’ll keep writing. Journals for myself or blogs for others, maybe a book one day. I love it. Putting all the words down on paper is so calming and freeing to one’s heart and mind. I’d don’t ever want to live without writing. Or reading. I’m a firm believer that writing and reading go hand in hand. 

Baking. Writing. These two have something in common for me. As far back as I can remember, they are the two things I’ve naturally gone to when I’m bored or stressed, and the two things I’ve gone to when I’m thriving and things are going really well. As a kid, I banged pots and pans and had flour all over the kitchen, frequently asking Mom if could bake cookies again. She always let me. One Thanksgiving, when I was 9 or 10, I forgot to put sugar in the pumpkin pies, but most of the time things turned out delicious. And writing? It’s had my heart from a young age. I hated studying English in school, but loved the creativity of words. I loved the way writing helped process life. I wrote in journals every night before bed for years. A few “books” made their way into existence. And then there were the family newspapers. My Dad would bring home big sheets of packing paper from work and my brothers and I would turn them into a newspaper with all the latest family drama. We’d design and write and story tell for hours. It was perfect. 

I was thinking today about how the things we go to repetitively are the things that reveal who we are. Deep down or on the surface, there’s something that draws us in to these activities again and again and again. I love this. These passions point us to who we were created to be. When nothing else is in the way and no one is approving or disapproving. When it’s just you and you’re looking for something to put your hands to, your most natural self emerges. I’ve found that when I’m just enjoying day to day life, content in who I am and not striving for something outside of myself, that these are the activities I find myself in. These are the ways I feel most connected to God, how I express myself, how I love people. There are seasons and life ebbs and flows, and of course other interests: yoga and nature and coffee are also staples in my life. Baking and writing, though? These two always find their way back. I’m so glad they do. I expect them to stay ’til I’m old and gray. 

I love that these things, even if forgotten for a season, always find their way back. These things, they’re pointing you in the right direction. These things, they’re a part of who you are.

What is it that keeps coming back to you? Share it in the comments. I'll be over in the kitchen trying out a new recipe for pumpkin cake!