What I’ve Learned from Gingerbread

There is a museum near me that has a Gingerbread Gallery every year during the Christmas season. I love to bake and create and the prizes offered were very inviting. It seemed like a fun challenge so a couple of years ago I sent in my entry form and started creating.

That first year I decided to enter a cathedral. It was large (too large) and complete with stained glass windows.

It was coming down to the wire when I added the roof and catastrophe struck.

I had no more cathedral and nothing to enter. I was done…and very disappointed.

Last year I created something less grandiose. My goal was to finish, not necessarily to win. The creation was my interpretation of the Erie Canal Lock near where my father grew up. He and his brothers used to take vegetables and eggs from their farm to meet the boats that came through the lock traveling across New York State.

While I was working on the creation I talked with my uncle about his memories and heard stories about my dad and his brothers when he was little. That time was precious.

I finished that one and I thought it looked pretty good…until I got it to the competition. Others that were entered were created by professionals who were much more experienced with gingerbread than I. But I did finish and along the way had some great family time and made some special memories.

A few weeks ago I opened my e-mail to the invitation to participate in this year’s gallery. Did I want to enter again knowing that my skills aren’t at the levels of others and I am not likely to win anything from the competition? Is it worth the time and frustrations that come along with the competition?

My answer was, “yes”. I would enter. I would do my best with the time I had and my skill level. And I would have fun. The goal for this year was to create something that would make people smile and brighten their day. Soon the Candy Cane Carnival was born.

 

I am pleased with what I created and while it will most likely not take any prizes I feel like I accomplished my goal. And I had fun.

Through the creation process there were times I wanted to quit. I became frustrated and once I smashed a little gingerbread person on the table just to make myself feel better. But I didn’t give up.

The writer of Hebrews talks about perseverance and not giving up when we’re running a race.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.   Hebrews 12:1-3

 

So what have I learned from gingerbread?

  • I’ve learned that you don’t know what you’re capable of until you give something a try.
  • I’ve learned that time spent with loved ones learning about family and sharing laughs and love can be worth much more than any monetary prize.
  • I’ve learned that perseverance does always pay off…even if the only reward is the satisfaction of a job well done.

The race you’re running right now may be much bigger than gingerbread. It might be something very serious and painful. I encourage you to not give up. Keep running and keep fighting the fight. Lean on God and lean on others who He puts in your path to help you along the way.

God is bigger than any race or any struggle. Believe that He walks beside you and holds you up when you can’t take another step. And you will make it.

He promises.

What lessons have you learned in unexpected places? Share them with us below.

blessings and peace to you as you learn!

Paula

 

 

Wonderful Writing Women!

A couple of years ago I met a woman at church who was starting a writers’ group at her home. I have always enjoyed writing and had dreamed of perhaps publishing someday to share my writing with others. So off to the first meeting I went.

The ladies who met that night all came from varying backgrounds and had different writing talents. But one thing was certain; we all love to write and want to share that love with others.

Meeting most months we grew to know each other more deeply and began to challenge each other in our writing and in stepping out of our comfort zones. We critique and compliment, always with love and the best interest of each other.

Just as Proverbs 27:17 says:

As iron sharpens iron,
    so one person sharpens another.  

At an early meeting one of the gals said that she really felt like we would all become published before too long. In the last year that dream came true for a few of us!

Last night we met for a celebration!

I can say without a doubt that if I had not met these women and been blessed by this writers’ group I would not have published my first book this Christmas.

Thanks, ladies for your love, encouragement and inspiration. I love you all so much!!

The words of this Proverb could have been penned for this group,:

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
    and the pleasantness of a friend
    springs from their heartfelt advice.

Proverbs 27:9

 

So if you find yourself near Delta Lake in Central NY on the first Monday of the month you may hear a lot of commotion coming from a nearby home. Don’t worry, it’s just us, laughing, carrying on, and carrying out the messages we have been given.

In whatever brings you joy, I hope you will seek out others who share your passion. Encourage each other and push each other to be all that you can be. And laugh a lot!

Along the way I am certain you will find another peace in life’s puzzle.

Paula

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT!!

It’s November 1st and my 1st book is published!!!

I’m so excited to share with you my Christmas devotional:

Christmas is coming!

Do these words fill you with joyful anticipation

…or dread at the thought of approaching chaos and clutter?

On December 31st do you wonder what happened instead of wondering at Christ’s birth?

I invite you to cherish Christmas as never before. Journey back in time as you get to know those who were there, and bring new meaning to your own holiday.

Cherish This Christmas helps each of us discover our unique role during this precious time of year as we get to know the One whom we celebrate differently…maybe a little better.

This year let’s cut through the chaos and choose to

Cherish This Christmas!

Cherish This Christmas is available:

I hope you’ll take a look, and share with your friends and family!  Thanks for being a part of this big adventure with me!!

 

blessings and peace…

Paula