Wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I’ve written a blog post!
This year has been crazily busy. In fact, my schedule has been so crammed with different tasks that it’s been hard to do anything other than my daily duties: sleep, eat, school and repeat. In a secular sense, this is what life is supposed to be like as a student.. right? While it’s good to be obedient and follow through my duties as a student, this kind of repetitive lifestyle is not the kind of lifestyle that God calls us to. I’ve been so busy with following through my daily agenda and my duties as a student that I forgot my first and foremost identity as a daughter of God.
I’m not saying that we should stop all our duties. But what I do mean is that while we do follow through our duties as a student, we need to remember that our FIRST identity is in God. This means centering God in our studies/work, in our daily interactions with people, in whatever actions we do… it means to simply spend time in God. Bask in His presence. Enjoy God and find our rest in Him.
As I found myself shrouding in my studies and responsibilities, the focus on my life became myself. It became about my work that needs to be completed so that I can be successful, my duties that need to be done because of my sense of responsibility, and interactions with people to fulfill my loneliness… And what was the result of this? Constant fatigue. A feeling of always feeling burnt out. A feeling of emptiness and purposelessness.
I was reminded of the fact that God truly does need to be at the center of EVERYTHING in my life. Without Him, there is no purpose to my studies/work, my relationships, my anything! This life is not for me, it’s for my Father in Heaven. The craziest irony is surrendering to Him actually means liberation. I have freedom from being a slave to the world, to success, to status, to work, to school, to fear.
So even though I have some work that needs to be done, I deliberately choose God over my fears/need to control every minute of my time.
I’ve been spending more time in prayer and QT, but something I truly enjoy doing with God is baking. When I find my rest in God by baking, I’m choosing to pursue time with Him through something I love to do over work/school. Baking is something I haven’t been able to do lately because I’ve been so busy. But I want to and I like to spend time with God in creative ways. He’s given me a natural joy and affinity for baking, so I want to use it to glorify Him! I really feel at peace while baking. I feel the presence of God working with me while I sift through the flour, measure out the sugar, mash up the bananas, pour it into the loaf pan. There’s something so calming about putting together the ingredients, placing the batter into the oven, and then waiting in anticipation and excitement for the finished result! I like to think about the different ingredients that go into my baked good and I love assembling the ingredients. Maybe this is a small fragment of what our God had in mind while He was creating us. Just as I enjoyed thinking about/putting together the components in my baked good, God relished in the creation of us. It’s absolutely astounding. Before He even created us, He knew exactly the kind of sinners we were going to be–but He still loved us and ravished in our birth. It’s weird to think about it this way, but I feel like just as I experience so much joy and excitement as I pull out the baked good from the oven–God probably looked at us with joy and excitement as He created us.
Here’s the recipe for this delicious banana bread! This is the only recipe I use now, because it’s so moist and delicious!! I’ve altered a bit of the recipe, but feel free to use the link below if you want the original recipe.
Oh, and I added pecans, dark chocolate, dried cranberries, and some pumpkin seeds!
- 1 2/3 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2/3 cups brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup coconut oil
- 3 1/2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 1/2 cups or 340 grams mashed bananas)
- 2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
With the rack in the center of the oven, preheat to 325°F. Lightly butter and flour pan(s) of choice.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.
With a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment, beat together the sugar and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
Switch to low speed and slowly drizzle in the oil, taking your time.
Add the bananas, sour cream (yogurt), and vanilla, and continue to mix on low speed just until combined.
Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. No flour streaks should be visible.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan(s) and bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours for a 9×5-inch loaf, and about 50 minutes for three 6×3-inch loaves. The loaves should be golden brown on top and the cake will spring back when you press it.
Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!