A Little Cupcake Story

A Little Cupcake Story

Once upon a time there lived a young woman. She was often insecure and often afraid and continually questioned her decisions and ideas and dreams. She was also chosen and loved and made beautiful by her King but she usually forgot that part. 

One day a friend called and asked if she would be willing to make cupcakes for a party. “Of course!” she said, planning to just toss some cupcakes in the oven and maybe make some powdered sugar frosting to top them with. Until she heard the news.

She was not the only one making cupcakes.

The other woman who was making cupcakes was slim and gorgeous and everyone knew she was capable of creating perfect masterpieces in the kitchen.

The girl froze and wanted to cry. I will be measured and found wanting, she thought, I can’t do anything perfectly. It was just cupcakes but it was also something far, far deeper. It was her wild insecurities and her unchecked fears and her secret stumbling pride.

So she made plans. Elaborate plans. She bought piping tools and store-bought icing. She searched Pinterest and studied cake decorating blog posts. She would create perfect cupcakes. How hard could it be?

The day for cupcake making arrived and she put her supplies on the table.

As she began mixing the batter a knock sounded at the door. It was a friend with two little girls who had sparkly blue eyes and hopeful smiles. They wanted to spend the afternoon.

IMG_8904How could she do anything but invite them in? When she loved children so desperately? When nothing made her heart sing more than teaching little darlings about life and God and beauty?

The six-year-old wanted to do the piping.

The two-year-old wanted to put the candies on top.

All the young woman’s best laid plans fell into crumbles like the ones that littered her floor. But there, with icing smeared on her cheek and handfuls of candies disappearing into tiny mouths, she heard her Father speak. His voice seemed to swirl through the crazy mismatched cupcakes:

“Perfection” is found in doing what I created you to do.

She was not made to bring flawless cupcakes to parties. She was made to dance with dollies in her kitchen with icing dripping off noses and words whispering soft that God loved and created and made beauty, even with messy mismatched cupcakes. 

Even in young women who struggle with insecurities, fear, and pride.

Even in me.

 

 

Tell me, friend, how does this parable apply to your life? Is there a place where you are struggling with insecurities? Fear? Pride? Cupcake decorating? ;) Are you blogging, writing, livingthe way that God created you to? Because if you are, oh, dear ones, if you are– then you’ve found perfection. 

 

Natasha Metzler

Natasha lives and writes from a dairy farm in Northern New York. Life hasn't gone according to plan but the heartache sings of redemption. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com

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5 Reasons to Write What is Real {not just what sells}

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I was all set, fixed right up with a shiny-new email list powered through mailchimp.com. Now I just had to figure out what to giveaway (like the experts tell us) to convince people to part with their email addresses so that my platform could grow.

I thought about writing a mini ebook on meal planning. I could picture this beautiful cover:

mock-cover @allume

Except people would probably be a little bit disappointed when they read my meal planning advice:

1. Open cupboard. 2. Pull out some type of starch (bread, pasta, potatoes, squash, beans). 3. Open fridge. 4. Pull out some type of meat and two vegetables. 5. Cook. 6. In four hours, repeat process.

Okay. Scrap that idea.

I thought about writing a book about scheduling. Oh, it would be glorious! I could create these beautiful printouts except, well, I probably wouldn’t have time for all that since I’m the worst scheduler ever.

Oooh, cleaning! Cleaning books go over really well. But then I looked over at the chair piled high with papers and books. Bad, bad idea.

My shiny-new email list sat for some time. Oh, I sent out a few fluttering newsletters. Ten faithful followers took the time to open and read them. (Dear, dear, people.) 

Then a neighbor and friend asked if I would be willing to speak at a women’s banquet about my book Pain Redeemed. It’s not a fun book, you know. There aren’t any pretty printables and there certainly aren’t 6 easy steps to anything in it. People haven’t lined up on my blog (hilarious word picture there, just in case you missed it) to purchase a copy.

It’s a book about pain. A book where I peel back the layers of my heart and brutally, honestly, share about my walk through infertility. It’s the book that God called me to write last year. The one I faithfully wrote and self-published because I knew that I needed to share the story now, while I was still clawing my way through the darkness.

And when I stood there, in front of 120 women from my in-real-life community, and shared about where God was in the middle of my sorrow, as we cried together and connected, I knew. I knew exactly what I was suppose to write and give away.

Dying of Thirst at the Side of a WellSo I sat down and wrote a really long poem, then wrapped it all up into a mini ebook.

It isn’t going to go viral, folks. I know that.

But I want to give my readers something real. Something of me. And this is me. 

Here are five reasons for you write what is real about YOU:

  • Real = Lasting

When you sit down and create something out of who you are (not just what is pretty or sells well) it will last. In your life. In the lives of those who read it. {and I’ll add in right here: if who you are is someone who creates awesome meal-planning lists– write a book about it! I’d love to read it. And if you need a cover, we can tweak this one up for you. :)}

  • Any decent writer can create “what sells” but only you can write the real things from your heart

I’m the only one who can share about my journey through infertility. It might not be popular, but I know from personal experience that it can be profoundly moving to the one who needs it. 

  • It requires more than your own strength

For me, to write about one of the subjects I mentioned would be simple. I could just design lovely printables to go with my 6 easy steps to whatever. But it wouldn’t require much of God in the process because it wouldn’t be tapping into who I really am. When I write real, I am forced to depend on Christ. I’d be too afraid to press publish otherwise.

  • Your readers will keep coming back

If you write real, readers will keep returning. They’ll read a little sample and then come to your blog and keep coming back. Maybe it will only be 10 faithful followers at first. But ten who return are better than 10,000 who take your freebie and then disappear.

  • It’s honest

I have at least 3 speaking engagements coming up this year, and possibly more, all based on my book. What if I had written a book on a subject I didn’t really care about? What if I had created something that didn’t interest me or mesh with who I was in real life? Ouch. 

Last year at Allume, Kat Lee shared a session on Blogging as a Ministry. She told a story about something her soccer coach told her when she offered to switch positions with another girl. He gently turned her down and said,

I really need someone in that spot who knows her position and isn’t going to constantly chase after the ball.

Play your position. Write what God calls you to. Faithfully, consistently. Don’t run around and chase after what looks shiny or fun.

We are all given passions and stories. If your passion is cleaning, then write about cleaning! If your story involves meal-planning or scheduling then write about it. If, like me, you have a story that scrapes raw don’t hide your real-story to tell one that sells better. 

Don’t waste your time on things that aren’t really a part of who you are. Because who you are is enough story and passion in itself. God created you. Write the words He has inscribed into your DNA. Be you. 

still striving to write as real as possible,

Natasha

Natasha Metzler

Natasha lives and writes from a dairy farm in Northern New York. Life hasn't gone according to plan but the heartache sings of redemption. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com

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Confessions of a Twitter Adolescent

Confessions of a Twitter Adolescent @allume

 

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I’m not very birdlike.
I mean, seriously, the only feathers I have are safely tucked away in my down-comforter.

When my Mastermind Group decided to discuss our Twitter presence last year, I had to go dust off my account and click that “forgot password” button.

I decided to really work hard at establishing this so-called Twitter presence, which was a great ambition but completely comical since I didn’t have any idea what I was doing. All those # and @ signs meant so little to me. In fact, they mostly annoyed me. I would try to read someone’s status and BAM #@?! Which immediately made me think that all these tweeters really needed to watch their mouths. I mean, it was great that they substituted symbols instead of writing out the actual words, but seriously guys, learn to talk proper. Errr, tweet.

The good news for anyone else who is still sitting there cross-eyed from all the hashtags and @ symbols, you do eventually learn to read around them.

#TwitterAdolescent

 

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I have this friend, Mandy, who is like, the awesomest tweeter ever. (Yes, I understand that “awesomest” isn’t a word, but you have to know Mandy.) I love reading her tweets. I love it when she goes to a conference and is constantly sharing tidbits of wisdom. (Hello, I pretty much stalked her Twitter feed during Allume last year. It was almost like being there!)

And I’ve thought (many times) “Oh, to be a grown-up tweeter like her!”

But, the thing is, I probably won’t ever be. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t see myself getting one in the near future. I don’t carry my laptop around with me (mainly because the battery dies in like 2.03 seconds). And, honestly, my farming life isn’t set up for being able to type out 140 character comments at the drop of a hat. (Well, I guess I could but then my phone would permanently smell like manure, which doesn’t seem like a good option.)

But I have learned to use Twitter.

confessions of a Twitter adolescent

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Oh, I don’t follow rules very well. And sometimes weeks or months go by with only my blog post tweets going up. (I know, I know. That is way bad. I’m pretty sure it’s supposed to be like 20-80. 20% your promotion and 80% promoting other people or creating witty one-liners or asking thoughtful questions, or, well, something like that. Forgive me, dear followers. I’m not really as conceited as it may appear.)

And I tried to join a Twitter party once. Uhm. Yeah. That was a nightmare. We’ll just leave it at that.

I’ve come to a valuable place though. I’ve realized that I’m human.
And some humans can tweet pretty birdlike but I just don’t have that talent.

I try. I join in the game. But when my “tweets” come out sounding like an adolescent teenage prank, it’s okay.

I’ve learned to use buffer to spread things out (which is great because otherwise once a month my followers would have to wade through a whole slew of my favorite blog posts from around the web).

I’ve learned to do a little “chirp” now and then, asking questions, throwing out a Bible verse or two that helped me through my day and might help someone else.

And when I completely forget that Twitter even exists for three weeks at a time? That’s okay too.

Now it’s time for your confessions. Are you a Twitter baby? (i.e. you read this post and said, “Uhm… so, what’s Twitter?”) Or an adolescent like me? Maybe you’re all grown up? (If so, drop this novice a few tips, would ya?) 

Confessions of a Twitter Adolescent

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#stillalittlebitconfused,

@natashametzler

Natasha Metzler

Natasha lives and writes from a dairy farm in Northern New York. Life hasn't gone according to plan but the heartache sings of redemption. You can find her blogging at natashametzler.com

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