Buried Talent

Matthew 25:36 “His master replied, “well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

You have talents. Did you know that? Like, God-given, amazing talents and you’re supposed to use them. You’re supposed to use them for you, and you’re supposed to use them for me, and for your neighbor and for your mom and for that lady sitting across from you on the train. They’re not yours to hoard; God gave you them to share.

I’m am not brave. Like, I’m almost twenty-five and still afraid of the dark, not brave.

I say no to a lot of things because of my lack of bravery. I even say no to things that would further my dreams because I’m afraid of the consequences; good and bad. This blog, for instance. 

I don’t say no to people so much as I say no to God. Which is really a much bigger deal than saying no to a person. I said no to my first major in college, only to come back to it three semesters later. I said no to even thinking of applying to the college I eventually ended up at because it was over two hours away from home. I said no to applying to special ed. teaching positions because I DID NOT want to be a special ed teacher (I’m sure you can guess where that led me). I said no to writing, over and over and over. 

Do you know why?

I was scared. In every one of those instances, I lacked the bravery I needed to move forward. And in each one of those instances, God has pulled me back around to Him. 

His patience is astounding.

A book recently came out that I’ve fallen head over heels in love with. It’s called Let’s All Be Brave by the uber-talented Annie F. Downs (a book review WILL be coming soon. If you can’t wait, go buy it. You won’t be sorry.) I stumbled upon this book because of a lot of Instagram scrolling. I don’t recommend this always, but I totally judge books by their covers (not people, but actual books), and this one has a KILLER cover. Even if I thought the subject matter wasn’t something that could reach me, I would read it because I liked the cover so much. This doesn’t always work, but it has served me well a few times. I’ve probably missed out on a few seriously good books because of that, too.

Anyway, turns out this was a pretty good choice because except for eating and sleeping, I read this thing non-stop. (Perks of being a teacher on summer break). Annie writes a chapter on your talents; she references another stellar book (Freefall to Fly by Rebekah Lyons) which in turn references The Book (the Bible) and the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. 

With this parable, Jesus is basically telling his disciples about a master who gave bags of money to his servants and told them to take care of the bags while he was away. He gave the first guy five bags, the second guy two bags, and the third guy one bag. Both the first and second guy doubled their money while the master was away, and the third guy took his bag and buried it in the dirt. The master was delighted with his first two servants, and told them to come and join in his happiness. He wasn’t as pleased with the third guy, calling him lazy and wicked. Can you imagine? The thing about this parable, if you’ve never read it, is that the bags of money aren’t called that, they’re called talents. The first two guys took the talents their master had given them and DOUBLED it. The other guy buried his talent.

That stuck with me. 

I was reading another book where the author basically asked how we would feel if we got to heaven, and God asked us what we did with the gifts he gave us, and all we could say was nothing.

When I read that, I felt like I’d been punched in the gut. Writing is one of my talents, one of the gifts God has given me, and if I don’t use it, if I don’t even try to use it, what good was it for Him to give it to me in the first place?

I’ve always been a writer. And I’ve always written. Just because you’re just now reading the thoughts in my head does not mean they’re the first ones to be put onto paper (er, internet?) but it is my first time going public. I think that’s the hardest part. Knowing that it’s out there, and that basically anyone can read it, and that people might like it, some people definitely won’t, and most terrifying of all: It may lead to something great, or big, or something that pushes me outside of my comfort zone. 

And I just don’t know if I can do that.

But I know HE can do it, and I do know that I can’t keep burying my talents. 

What’s your talent? What dream has God put into your heart that right now is only a small kindling fire, but if given one small step would turn into a full blaze? 

Find it. Dig it up. Use your talents.

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What’s in a Name?

 

I’ve been hesitant to jump into blogging. A storyteller since I was able, I’ve been hard pressed to find a good reason to blog except for the facts that I have a lot of stories to tell and that I need to start somewhere if I’m going to go after this call to write. I’ve thought of about every excuse I could, not to, yet here I am.

Hello.

The longest excuse I’ve held onto is that I could not think of a witty title for my blog.

Recently, on vacation, I finally conceded: “Okay God, if writing is supposed to be a part of my life, and I don’t have any other outlets, I’ll do it. I’ll blog. But, I need a witty name.” (I do that a lot, make deals with God like he ponders my wagers).

I had a few stipulations for this title of my blog; Firstly, it needed to be clever, and secondly, It couldn’t trap me to one genre, because I don’t cook anything blog-worthy enough to have a cooking blog, and I’m not nearly crafty enough to have a DIY blog, and after spending all of my other waking hours devoted to students in the classroom, the last thing I want to write about is teaching.

So, I text my mom: “Think of a cool name for my blog. I’m just going to write about whatever I feel like writing about, and I don’t care if it’s only you that reads it, but I want a clever name and I’m not very clever.”

Her response: “Big Red Writes (insert laughing-while-crying emoji)”

Evidently she’s not very clever either. After trying to think of a variety of genre-less blog names, I felt defeated.

One morning, shortly after I put blogging back on it’s shelf, I woke up later than usual with little motivation to prep the healthy breakfast I normally make myself. I looked around to see what I could grab, and, since we had just recently gotten home from vacation, I had nothing but a Ziploc bag of homemade chocolate chip cookies sitting on the counter.

I ate 4.

For breakfast.

After I scarfed down the last one, I had an epiphany of sorts: Cookies for Breakfast had to be my blog name. Not because I often have cookies for breakfast (I don’t). And not because I’ll be writing about cookies, or breakfast, because I probably won’t (but maybe I will, sometimes). It’s because we live our daily lives trying to figure out what God’s best for us is, or what we think OUR best is for ourselves, or what we think our children’s best is for them, or…..

And sometimes, we get tired.

And sometimes, we get it wrong.

And sometimes, we do what we know we shouldn’t, we just have Cookies for Breakfast.