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Knowledge, inspiration, and encouragement from a Christian perspective is my goal. I post a weekly commentary, which could be about world events or the events of my week. Other days I might share stories, recipes, homemaking tips, book reviews, political talk, biblical truth, or other blogs and websites I like. This blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

HOBBIES AND HAPPINESS

On Friday I spent hours messing my kitchen, trying to create a winning chocolate cake for the Gratz Fair. I dropped batter on the floor and tracked it everywhere. I had flour in my hair and chocolate stains on my jeans.

From a monetary perspective, my creative attempt was a waste of time. Even if I had won first place (I didn't come close) the prize money wouldn't have covered the cost of the ingredients and the gas it took to get it there. But I didn't do it for money.

I love to bake. My grandmother baked pies for a living, and after spending hours on just one cake, I have a new appreciation for the amount of work she put into her craft. Anyone who thinks owning a bakery would be an easy job is dreaming.

But work can also be fun. There's a lot of creativity involved in baking. First I had to come up with a recipe idea. Then I added some special touches to make it unique. My favorite part is the icing and decorating the finished cake. I used fresh mint leaves from our front yard and pressed them into the cake around clusters of fresh raspberries. After almost giving up when things kept going wrong, I was happy with the results. Icing and well-placed decoration can hide all kinds of flaws, even a lopsided cake.

Lately, I've been discovering hobbies I never considered before-- photography, journaling, and baking. It's amazing how much joy these activities bring to my life. I wonder why I never bothered before. It makes me realize how important it is to have hobbies.

I remember a time in my twenties when I felt so dissatisfied with life. I don't remember having a single hobby. Could there be a connection between hobbies and happiness? There might be. Are you making time for those unpaid activities you love to do?

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