Answering God’s Calls

answering God's call
God calls us to use our talents to reach people all over the world and spread His good news of love and grace.

Welcome  There’s a call for you.  It’s God.  He wants to show you the way to go.  Are you ready?  Let’s listen.  And just to make sure we’re ready to go where he leads, let’s have an energizing wake-up call breakfast-Baked Apple Pecan French Toast with Cinnamon Pecan Streusel.

Food For Thought  For all of my young life, I had wanted to be a teacher.  I really didn’t even consider any other options.  When I was old enough to understand about using our talents and having a calling in life, I felt even more certain that my purpose on this earth was to teach young children.  As I went through my undergraduate work and molded my career in education, I felt I was serving on God’s mission field.  I chose to work in more challenging environments and with some challenging students, including nine years in special education and two years in an inner-city school district.  It wasn’t easy, but I felt I was doing my mission.  But then the education profession got much tougher, for reasons I won’t go into right now, and those challenging environments and students became even more challenging.  My first struggles started after I had my daughter.  I didn’t want to go back to work, I wanted to stay home with her, and as she grew, I began to resent that I spent more time taking care of other people’s children than my own.  But our little family persevered and I kept teaching, and I did have some amazing students and was blessed with many successes in my profession.  But then came a lot of big changes, and many of them I really was not on board with for my very young learners.  I tried to fight for what I felt was right, but even when we are working as service to God, we can only fight for so long before we become exhausted in body, mind, and spirit.  Going back to school last school year felt like walking to a death sentence for me, and yes I know how dramatic that sounds, but the deep depression and anxiety I was feeling made it feel like just that.  I wanted to change jobs, do something different, but felt I had absolutely no other abilities or talents whatsoever.  The only jobs I have ever had involved working with children, and even though I hold teaching certificates in four areas, it was all still teaching.  If you have read my post Making Spiritual Lemonade, you know I finally reached my limit this past winter and turned in my resignation.  But where did this leave me?  I told a very dear friend that I was feeling completely lost, I thought God had meant for me to teach, and that I was fulfilling my purpose on earth.  I told her that I had no purpose now.  Luckily, she is much wiser than I am and could offer me a different perspective.  She said, “God meant for you to teach these 18 years and you did serve him and many families along the way.  God now has a different purpose for you.  He knows this isn’t the right place for you anymore, and if you pray about it, He will show you where you need to be.”  This is the call I’m talking about.  I prayed, and listened, and God gave me a call.

Now wouldn’t it be easier if we literally got a call on our phone, God’s name shows up on the caller id so we know it’s not a trick or scam, and he speaks in very clear directions: Go do this and this is how to do it.  That would be really nice!  Instead, we have to watch for little signs and feel the gentle nudges for God to guide us.  In my case, a person that spends a lot of time cooking and baking and a lot of time reading blogs, starts to have an idea develop.  God’s letting me know that he’s not finished with me yet.  What if I used my knowledge of recipes, enjoyment of writing, and my desire to encourage and uplift others as my new mission?  Blogging, baby!  I literally can reach people all over the world with my words.  And what if people showed up for the food, but stayed for the scriptures and words of encouragement?  What if someone finds my blog because they’re looking for a recipe, but then gets their Bible out again, after not reading it for a long while?  There’s no doubt that God’s plan can work in many different ways.  So I basically had to rethink my whole view of how God calls people to use their talents.   I’ve had to break out of the comfort of routine and learn an entirely new skill set.  I’ve had to deal with my own doubts and skepticism from others.  Just because God’s call is the right call, doesn’t make it an easy call.  But I want to serve, I pray for God’s guidance, and I work to make the most of my new calling.  This quote seems particularly relevant, I believe it’s from Joyce Meyer, “One of the main reasons people don’t enjoy their lives is they don’t follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.”  And above all, God’s will is that we spread His good news about His love for us and His saving grace.

Today’s Scriptures I use these verses when I’m struggling to know what to do next.  It is a very important lesson for me to learn to let God make the plans for my life and for me to follow his directions and guidance, even if it doesn’t make sense for me right now.

Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”

Jeremiah 29:11-12 “For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”

Mark 16:15 “He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”

John 15:16 “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit-fruit that will last.  Then the father will give you whatever you ask in my name.”

  • Baked Apple Pecan French Toast with Cinnamon Pecan Streusel
    Layered cinnamon raisin bread, apple custard, and pecans baked up into a delicious french toast brunch dish.

    Today’s Recipe Wake-Up Call Breakfast-Baked Apple Pecan French Toast with Cinnamon Pecan Streusel

  • This recipe is great to make the night before a brunch or large family breakfast.  You can let the french toast chill over night, then bake in the morning while you prepare the coffee and sides.
  • Ingredients-
  • 1 pound loaf cinnamon raisin bread
  • 7 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 can apple pie filling
  • 1 cup chopped pecans, divided
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Spray 9×13 pan with cooking spray.  Layer bread slices in pan.  In large bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, salt and vanilla.  Stir in apples and 1/2 cup pecans.  Pour this mixture over the bread, making sure all of your bread has some of the mixture.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 2 hours, or overnight.  When ready to bake, heat oven to 350 degrees.  While oven heats mix up streusel topping by combining softened butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.  Bake french toast for 30 minutes.  Sprinkle streusel topping on french toast and continue baking 10-15 more minutes.  It’s done when a knife goes in the middle and comes out clean.  Allow to stand 10 minutes before serving.