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A Zest For Something

We don’t get out very much.  This became even more apparent to me when I was stuck in the middle of a conversation revolving around the most recent films to hit theaters.  The women were chatting it up about The Blind Side, It’s Complicated and a host of other grown up movie treats.  Subsequently they turned in my direction, as to not exclude me from the conversation, and asked if I had seen anything good lately.  If Chipmunks – The Squeakquel counted then, yes indeed, I’d seen something good.  Real good because, for an hour-and-a-half, my three chipmunks’ eyes were glued to the movie screen.


Date nights don’t materialize too often, or as often as Joel and I would like them to.  And when we do get a night out to ourselves we, more often than not, choose to go somewhere conducive to talking and looking at each other, rather than a movie.  It would have to be a pretty good film for us to spend twenty bucks on something that will gobble up one of our rare and precious date nights.  One such movie that I was willing to sacrifice coffee and conversation for was Julie and Julia, which came out late summer, early fall.  Sadly, for me, our schedule was too packed, and we never got a chance to see it.  So, when asked what DVD I might like to find in my stocking for Christmas, I didn’t hesitate to say, Julie and Julia.  And Santa was good to me.


We watched it on a Saturday night.  I remember this detail as I had made minestrone soup in my crock-pot for dinner, and hailed myself as a gourmet genius for producing such a tasty and flavorful meal.  However, as I watched the ladies in the film cut, pour, mix, marinade, stuff and wait, I realized that my idea of cooking was a little less complicated.  I’m a throw-it-all-in-one-dish-and-cook-for-thirty-minutes type gourmette.  I don’t like anything that takes hours, days or weeks to prepare.  In fact, the truth be told, I don’t really like to cook – plain and simple.  I’m not very good at it either.  Seriously.  If you want to know how to kill a dead chicken, just ask me.  My technique is both flawless and consistent.  I believe this is why the crock-pot is my favorite kitchen appliance (besides the dishwasher and coffee maker, of course).  So, while I wasn’t inspired to run out and buy Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking”, I was deeply impressed by both women’s passion for food and cooking, and where that passion took them.


The movie challenged me to take a critical look at myself and ask, “What am I passionate about?”  What is it that motivates me to get up in the morning (besides coffee), and what am I willing to face the ups and downs, the growing pains and the dry and empty days for?  Some things are just a given: my love and devotion for God, my husband and children.  Still, there’s got to be more to this time I spend on earth than serving God, loving my husband and raising a family.  And I don’t believe this feeling to be selfish either.  I need to have a zest for something.


My ponderings brought me to writing.  I love to write.  Now whether or not I’ve got the chops to actually write a book that will be purchased by more than just my immediate family, I have yet to see.  Time will tell.  I started my blog for the simple purpose of honing my craft.  If people like what they read then I’m moving in the right direction.  If it stinks, then I need to find a new passion…and quick.  There are days when I honestly wonder if all this work is worth it.  I wonder if I’m really making much of a dent in my dream to be a published author some day. 


There was one scene in the movie that spoke volumes to me.  Julia Child entered cooking school in France.  They were chopping onions.  She was slow…slower than my crock-pot.  While the other students had completed the task, and done exceptionally well at it, she was only half way through her onion.  Rather than throw in the towel and surmise that cooking was not in the cards for her, she went home and started chopping – lots and lots and lots of onions – until her skills had surpassed those of her classmates.  If Julia Child had to actually work at her technique, what makes me any different?  She didn’t start out as the shining star in her class, but as her passion led the way, her name became synonymous with French cooking.


Mine may not be the most widely read blog on the internet (in fact, I can tell you with great certainty that it is not), but I’m going to take my bag of onions and keep chopping until I’ve perfected this skill.  Until I have reached my dream and realized the passion within my heart.  I can’t say that I’ll be cooking up Beef Bourguignon anytime soon ever, but I will be cooking up all kinds of thoughts and words, paragraphs and stories that will, I pray, one day waft through the aisles of Barnes and Noble like the succulent aroma of Coq au Vin or Choux de Bruxelles a la Milanaise.


What are you passionate about?  What dreams keep you up at night?  What are you willing to chop to perfection or “pound into submission” (to steal a line from Julie and Julia)?  What will be your Beef Bourguignon?  I urge you to find that thing – your zest for something – and give it everything you’ve got!


Let’s not waste another second hoping and wishing.  Let’s get out there and chop our onions.  Let’s seize our zest for something and see what rich flavors we can all bring to the table. 


Bon Appetite, my friends!

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9 Responses to “A Zest For Something”

  1. Lee Butler says:

    Hi Amy,
    Loved reading this – stirred my heart.
    As I have entered this season of my life, leaving child rearing behind I have many questions. What now? What does God have for me to do? What is my passion?
    Reading your post inspired me. I have had a burning desire to write my “story”. We as a society have given up passing on to future generations what God has done through our own lives. There are so many truths to tell of God’s faithfulness that my children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and if the Lord tarries, beyond them- need to know.
    Bill and I have struggled in searching out our own “family trees”. So many blank spaces of time. My heart is to leave them with more then “bits and pieces”.
    Thank you Amy for stirring my heart :)
    Blessings, Lee

  2. Amy says:

    Thanks Lee! I think each season of our lives opens up a new opportunity to reach out and discover a new passion. God is never finished with us!

  3. sister sheri says:

    I have heard so much about this movie… I might need to see it! I too hate cooking… and doubt my passion will show up there!

  4. elizabeth says:

    Amy, As you have experienced, living out our passions does not come over night. My passion has been for over 25 years to embrace the music industry and work to give musicians a platform. I told God if He gave me children I would give them music. My experience and passions deepened over the years and experience was in the music industry. At times frustrated with God as to why I would be running events and promoting products and services. I guess God knew I needed about 25 years of practice. Today, as I live out my passions in music I can look back on the season’s of training that I did not even know I would need, but are proving to be most valuable. Enjoy the limitations of this season, as young children do contribute to the passions no matter what they are. Blessings as you practice with each blog entree, each journal entree, and each thought unprocessed and sribbled on the side of a coloring page of one of your little sillies.

  5. Cat says:

    I have enjoyed what you have ‘cooked’ up so far and I look forword to your next and future posts. I can usually relate, having small children myself, you always make my laugh and THINK. Thank you and keep it coming!!

  6. Amy says:

    Thanks Cat! :)

  7. Amy says:

    It’s a great movie, Sheri – even Joel liked it!

  8. Amy says:

    Interestingly enough, I have found that being a mom has been the spring board for my pursuit of passion. I thought being a wife and a mom was all I ever wanted, but even still felt a void when that dream had come true. God has much, much more for all of us…beyond what we can imagine.

  9. [...] I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again, and again, and again (you get the picture); writing is my passion, and that is why I have this silly, little blog.   I am also passionate about working and [...]

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