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Talents

Hey, all! What a week it’s been. In hindsight it’s easy to see the blessings in it, but in real-time it’s hard not to get overwhelmed! Let’s take a recap:

Monday

Generally a scotch free day. A nice, quiet day that I worked on Falconsbane.

Monday night, I get a message from a customer, “I want to order more baked goods”. Swell. I send the nifty product and price guide. Done.

Tuesday

Order comes in. “Can I have it by Thursday?”

O. K. I can work with that. Market baking gets done on Fridays, so I can do this Thursday morning and not confuse the two separate orders. Awesome. I start prepping that, super glad I’d gone shopping Sunday afternoon, and then trundle along working on Falconsbane.

Tuesday night, prospects looking hopeful that I’ll actually get the day’s word count in, I take a break to make supper. I get a text from my fellow writers groupie: “Hey, my Havok submission was accepted” (not his exact words)

Me: Nice!

Groupie: How about yours?

Me: . . . I totally forgot about it.

I check my email (having two emails is a Bad Idea, by the way). Yes, they accepted my submission and sent the email yesterday. I’m a day late and have just a week to work on the edits and resubmit.

O. K.

Evening plans: changed.

I spent the next few hours trying to add more detail and emotion into a 1,000 word max story and send the manuscript back. Whew. I do the intake form so they can make up the contract.

WHAT

I don’t remember reading anything about that, but I’m in this far, so I forge ahead. Hit submit. Turns out I used the wrong contact email address. So I had to go back and change that and resubmit.

Five minutes later I realize I didn’t update the word count on the heading of my revised manuscript before sending it back. It’s only a two word difference, but it’s wrong. And now it’s out of my hands. Are they going to send it back? Are they going to toss it? I don’t know. By this time it’s midnight, I’m tired, I go to bed.

Wednesday

I get a call from my neighbor, saying I don’t need to come clean  her house with her today because she’s going out. Awesome. Okay. Check that off the list. I go about assembling the rolls for my customer, and goof for the second time, adding double the spice mixture to the dough. Fantastic. It is what it is, they’ll be just like they were last time. Okay. Move on.

I’m melting butter for the filling, and I have a Thought.

(For some context, I had just finished writing this one antagonist through the last section in the last book of the trilogy). My Thought was: what if I followed this guy from the very beginning, instead of just the end? That way I can have two contrasting ideas throughout the story? I can follow Roscha (and the good guys) and this dude (and the bad guys), building up to the point where they have their Confrontation and Resolution at the end.

Super. I’m already two years into this project and it’s still trying to figure out what its final form going to be. And here I thought I had the first book done last NaNo. Boy was I ever wrong.

I then proceeded to fritter the majority of the remaining afternoon on constructing a family tree (which gets super messy when you add in the cousins, aunts and uncles, second cousins, and grandaunts and uncles). It wasn’t a complete waste of time, because I understand now what a second cousin and a third cousin twice removed is, which has always perplexed me.

Thursday

I had to fill the customer order and prep a few things for the next day’s baking for the market. This involved four batches of cookies, individually wrapping a dozen pumpkin spice rolls, prepping pie crusts, making apple pie filling, assembling four pans of cinnamon rolls (and one bread), and misprinting three sheets of labels.

We ate leftovers for supper.

As a bonus, though, I was able to write up the majority of a profile for above-mentioned character. Turns out he might just maybe be a little OCD.

Friday

Baking day #2. Four different kinds of cookies, five pies (although three are wee, so they might only count as one?), four pans of cinnamon rolls, swirl bread, and I think that’s it. I was a doof and forgot to get more brown sugar earlier in the week, so I had to make some. C’est la vie.

I had to order more labels. The irony is that next week is the last week of the market. But I need labels.

Then I heard back from Havok: the contract’s ready.

SCARY.

But also exciting.

This makes it feel like a Big Deal. I had to figure out how to electronically sign it. They emailed a link showing you how to electronically sign PDFs.

I electronically signed it.

Now what? I have no idea.

By six I hadn’t started supper yet, so we took a spontaneous trip out for Mexican, and by the time we got home I hadn’t the mental capacity to try writing. I couldn’t focus on a blessed thing. So I read a book (first time all week!) and went to bed.


The games continue today, and with Thanksgiving around the corner, next week is looking like a feat as well. These are all good things, though, and I am grateful to be juggling them. It’s a blessing to have the things that I make be desirable for others, because there are times when I wonder if anything I do is worth the effort, if anyone cares, if it makes any difference at all to another person.

But it does. However small it may seem, I’ve made an impact on someone else with the gifts God has given me. A coffee shop wants the confections I take such pleasure in making. An online magazine wants a story I put my heart into. The folks at the market keep coming back to our table ─ which is awesome not only because it means there’s less to haul home, but that other people wanted the things that I made and took them home.

Praise God, for without Him none of this would be possible. He has blessed me with talents, and as His servant it is my responsibility and joy to use these things for His glory, to invest them like in the Parable of the Talents in Matthew 25.

We all have gifts, big or small, according to our abilities, and it’s up to us how we use them, whether we work at them and grow them, or bury them under the fear that they aren’t worth anything. I don’t know about you, but my favorite kinds of gifts are the ones I can use. I want to takes these gifts that have been given me and use them, to grow them, which will in turn grow me, increasing my knowledge and ability, which then may open doors for more talents, and so on and so forth.

All because I didn’t bury it. And who knows where that may lead? Who knows what impact I might have on another person because I was faithful with what had been given to me? I pray the work of my hands will bring joy and enrichment to another’s life, because I am also the work of the Lord’s hands for the purpose of bringing joy and glory and praise and service to Him.

My goal is to do what I do for the glory of the One who made me and gave me these things that I love. To make good food that others might ‘taste and see that the Lord is good’. To write stories that others might learn of grace and courage and love unshakable. To live faithfully to the Lord and get a little closer day by day, knowing that when I stumble and fall short, He is faithful to forgive and pull me back up.

So, what are your talents, and how are you using them? Who are you using them for?

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