What Feeds Your Soul?

Want to learn how to discover your talents?

I was in my mid-twenties when I began to discover that I like to be creative. I would eventually learn that this desire to create was as necessary as breathing. If I didn’t have an outlet for my creativity, if I had no way to be creative, or if I was not creative for a while, I got crabby and irritated. Now I didn’t learn this fact about myself all at once, but slowly over the years, because life is like that and has a sense of humor.

Growing up I took piano lessons. I found that I enjoyed the lessons, but even more I enjoyed just sitting and playing the piano. Especially as a teen when I was full of emotions and angst. I would go play a loud, angry and melodramatic song in a minor key. Pound. Pound. Pound. After half an hour or so, I felt much better and was now playing happy, tinkly, flowing songs.

I learned to knit when I was 5, crochet at 6, and sew at 7. And somewhere during that time embroider. Another outlet for my creativity.

Half way through my teens I told my first funny story to a group of girl friends at cheer camp. Hearing them laugh exhilarated me. It would take years, though, before I was good at telling funny stories. And years before I realized I enjoyed telling funny stories.

I married and suddenly had no piano. I felt lost, like a part of me was missing. Then my creativity took another turn. I started writing. Cooking and drawing were also turned into creative projects.

Now if someone had asked if I was creative way back then, I probably would have said no. But now I look back and see a pattern. So many things I enjoy, that I do as a hobby or when I have free time, are all creative endeavors.

Telling funny stories, which I turned into a podcast, Life as it Comes. Designing and sewing curtains for the house. Writing. Reading. Planning trips. Cooking. Painting the house or furniture. Cross stitch. Making jewelry. Taking pictures. The list goes on and on.

I have this desire to be creative, to use my God given traits and abilities to create and change things, to make the world a better place.  Being creative feeds my soul. Nourishes me and others. Brings joy.

To discover your talents and interests:

 

1. Ask questions.

What feeds your soul? Nourishes you? Makes your heart beat a little faster? What trait do you have that blesses others and the world?

2. Look at your past and current activities you enjoy.

Look at what you like to do, your hobbies, your gifts. Do you like to sky dive, paint china, teach, decorate, cook, design, travel, or sing. Make a list.

3. Don’t forget what you are leaning.

Keep notes. Thoughts will come and go.

4. Ask more questions to discover new interests, ideas, talents.

Write down things you would like to do if you had the time, money, or had lessons.

5. Evaluate what you have learned.

Do you see a pattern? Do you like to invent things? Make things pretty? Organize things? Discover things? Create things? Help people?

6. Set aside some time to do the things you enjoy. 

When we do the things that make our hearts sing, we are nurturing ourselves and taking care of ourselves. Which in turn make us happier and calmer and better able to face the daily pulls and demands of life.

Discover what makes your soul sing. Use it. Nurture it. Share it with others. Bless and inspire others. Multiply your talents.

Life is about attitude, so use it to your advantage. Use it for big things and small things. Use it to make boring and not so fun tasks more enjoyable.

I dislike cleaning bathrooms, but love the end result. One day I decided to think of ways I could make cleaning the bathrooms more creative. I can listen to a podcast or music. This brings out my creative side and stimulates future creative ideas while I am swirling a brush in the porcelain bowl. Sometimes I talk aloud and pretend I am giving a speech or telling a funny story to people.

There are all sorts of ideas and ways to do things. Harness what excites you and see if you can use it in other areas of your life.

Come on.

You can do it.

I know you can.

Join the Discussion: What feeds your soul? Makes you feel alive? What specific tasks, hobbies, or activities do you enjoy doing?

The Friendship Moment of Change

 

Female friendship can be tricky, but so worth it. 

I was reading a blog post …

 

about moving and missing old friends. I can relate to that! Been there, done that, moved 8 times. I started laughing to myself, thinking about a comment that was forming in my wrinkly gray matter. As I scrolled down to leave my thoughts, one comment caught my attention – wiped the grin from my face.

A female reader told how a close friendship had abruptly and painfully ended 20 years ago. She had been so hurt that she had never attempted to make another friend. She ended by saying, maybe it was time to reach out again.

Twenty years? Approximately1/4 of her life spent avoiding friendships.

 

Shock and grief engulfed me …

 

I tried to imagine the pain that had shut her off. Wanted to hug her and cry with her and tell her that yes, enough time had passed. I wanted to encourage her to surrender her pain to God and take a that scary leap of faith and reach out and from a friendship. Maybe two or three. I wanted to tell her that yes, friendships with others are messy and can hurt, but they can also be so wonderful, nurturing, and exhilarating. They fill a void in our soul that craves face-to-face connection with another human.

I left a comment. She needed more, but how does one reach across the internet and hug another or really connect to a soul so that one-on-one bonding and healing takes place?

Her comment haunted me. In the wee hours of darkness. During routine tasks that make up so much of life. After tea with a friend. While preparing a talk about women and friendships. Multiple times her comment ran through my mind and I wondered about the gaps and silences in her brief words. I thought about the joy and love she had missed, both in giving to another and receiving from another. The comradery she had forgone.

I couldn’t solve her problem. Fix her past. Heal her heart. But I could learn from her.

 

I committed to spending more time
nurturing and pursuing my friendships …

 

Life passes quickly and I did not want to one day regret that I had chosen aloneness, the easier, the less emotional, the no-hurts, the comfortable, and myself over relationships with others. I did not want to choose finishing my to-do list, chasing a clean house, or focusing on work or play to the exclusion of participating in community with other women. I did not want to lie dying in bed wishing someone would come and hold my hand for my last few hours, but have no kindred spirits to call.

I recommitted to the importance of girlfriends. 

 

            “Friendship begins in that moment when one person says to another.
What! You too? I thought I was the only One.”
– C.S. Lewis –

 

I don’t know where you are in life with your friendships. But I know a good friend is a treasure. A deep friendship takes time, and more time. Vulnerability is good for friendships. Humility is a necessary ingredient.  I know that sometimes the person you think will be your new BF sizzles into nothing, and the woman who you think you have nothing in common with can become your new best friend.

We can come up with a lot of excuses related to friendships. Lack of time. Don’t need one. Don’t want to commit. Women can be mean. Lack of self-esteem. Past hurts. But excuses are just excuses. They never move us closer to a goal; they never solve a problem or fill a need.

So, no more excuses!

 

            “You can’t stay in your corner of the forest waiting for others to come
to you. You have to go to them sometimes.”
– A.A. Milne –

 

God designed us to live in community with others, even if it is loud, messy, and full of surprises.

One thing I know for certain. I want to live in a community of other women. Laugh with sisters of Christ. Love messy women like myself. Because friendships grow and change each of us for the better.


Need ideas for your girlfriend dates? See When Was Your Last Playdate? 

This post first appeared on Life Letter Café as a guest post.

Life as it Comes #29 | Hiding Things

Hiding Things

A humorous podcast about life.Now I am not usually in the habit of hiding things on purpose in our house, except Christmas gifts and chocolate, but in our house anything in the fridge seems to be available for free range. If I buy a some ingredient for a special dinner, announcing to everyone not to eat it, I have a 50% chance that it will still be there when I need it.

 

 

Listen to this story podcast by clicking one of the triangles on either of the players below.

 

Join the Discussion: What kinds of things do you hide deliberately or accidentally at your house?

Need another smile or story? Listen to earlier episodes here . . .

If you enjoyed this episode, consider sharing it with a friend. Or leave a review on Stitcher, iTunes, or Google Play. A sentence or two is fine. Thanks.


Linking up at Jennifer Dukes Lee (#tellhisstory); and Holley Gerth (#coffeeforyourheart)

Description: This funny episode is especially for mothers who sometimes hide things in the house deliberately or accidentally. Listen for a laugh and for encouragement.