Have you heard of an 8 braided bread before? It was new to me until I started watching The Great British Baking Show. I saw the braided bread and thought, I've made that BUT then they said it was an 8 strand braid. Oh my goodness! It was so interesting and I started looking up recipes and how to braid with eight strands.
I used my tried and true challah bread recipe and instead of the normal 3 strand braid, went to work with 8. I recorded live on Facebook. The first loaf has a much looser braid but the latter end looked much better and I was excited to try the second.
The pictures on today's blog are mine and of the my first attempt of the eight strand bread and I plan on trying this again and experimenting with some of the other braids now that I know there are such a thing, and the tutorials to help me learn. It's exciting to learn new things and be creative with food, as much as with words. I found a video that shows how to do the braid. I hope you enjoy and in case you are wondering, the bread was delicious and is a family favorite whether it has three or eight strands.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Many of you know my favorite place to write and prepare for speaking engagements is in my "cottage". If you are new, my writer's cottage is my daughter's playhouse revamped with a major upgrade. It's the perfect little getaway and work space for me and my writing.
I live in Central New York and it is March 2, 2021. Are you asking yourself, "What does the date have to do with my writer's cottage?" Good, let me tell you. The location of my cottage is in front of where the snow is pushed to allow for the driveway to remain clear. We have had SO MUCH snow this past month, unless I want to dress for a hike and climb a snowy mountain, the cottage is closed until the snow melts. Here's the deal, the snow may last until April and there are writing projects and deadlines to meet.
Life is about choices, we all have them. Here are my options when it comes to my writing: 1) Quit writing until the snow melts in April or 2) Figure out a way to organize a time and space at home to get some writing done. I chose #2.
I had an idea for a shelf to organize the coffee table of my "piles". Some people would call it clutter yet I prefer piles, lol. I shared my idea with my Dad and he made it a reality in less than forty-eight hours. He is amazing! He made a couple upgrades: tilting it back a little more and adding side panels. I hadn't thought of those and I'm thankful he did.
To the left are my notebooks and paper, followed by a few Bible translations, journals, devotionals, and the books I'm reading. Underneath is a binder with PD I'm working through, a couple portfolios with books/writing projects in progress, and my podcast log on top. To the right are my Bible highlighters. My pens, pencils, regular highlighters, ruler, sticky notes, and white out are in my organizer on the table between my favorite chair and the couch. Everything I need to be creative are at my fingertips.
On the right hand side of my coffee table has books for school and my Epicure business. Between these two organized areas are my favorite hand lotions, tissues, and fresh flowers. In the past I wasn't a fan of fresh cut flowers yet lately, they are something I look forward to seeing everyday as I relax, read, write, and recharge. It was empowering this weekend to organize our coffee table. Some people don't need things picked up to be creative yet this is how I'm wired. One of the most important things for your creativity genius to be successful, you need to know your limitations and what motivates you.
As I move into the week, I'm thankful for my Dad and his ability to understand my crazy sketches and more importantly, for his willingness to use his creative genius to make mine come to fruition. We make a great team! As you use your creative talents, if you need help or something to help your success, look around you and see who might have a talent that can help you. They might just need a reason to get creative.
What is your creative genius?
I don't know who said this quote yet when you grasp its message, you will be empowered. "Gratitude turns what we have into enough." Do you have an attitude of gratitude? Today's blog is interactive. Find a piece of paper and a pen. Make a list of all the things you HAVE, just the ones that come quickly to your mind, only take a minute or two. Don't overthink this.
Now create another list. Write down all the people, places, and things you are thankful for. Again, make it your quick list.
When you look at your list of things you have, do you believe you have enough? If you have a resounding "Yes", is your gratitude list a long one? If you find answering, "not really", is your gratitude list on the shorter side?
It's important to focus on all the things we can be thankful for each day and not on material items. If I was to do this exercise, one of the first tings I'd list that I have, is a loving family and great hubby. We have a home, heat, running water, hot water, food, vehicles, and good health. I encourage you to go back and make a list of all the things you have again, or add to your first one. What new items will you add to the list?
After you complete your lists, take time to reflect on what, and who, you are grateful for. Does this help you focus on all you have to be grateful for? I pray you are able to recognize you will always have enough when you have a heart and life full of gratitude for the big things and the little things. I'll share a truth I've learned, sometimes the special things, are the littlest of things, and the same things you'll be grateful for the most. Keep your eyes open!
What are you grateful for today?
Hello and Happy last-week-of-February! Last week's vacation helped restore my energy, clarity, and vision. My typical February break has a major list of things to-do for each day. This year, I spread out one a typical vacation day over the week. It was wonderful. I accomplished the important items and let go of those that weren't.
Instead of setting an alarm to bang out the lists and go to bed exhausted, I found myself sleeping hard and waking up before the alarm. The only reason I even had an alarm set was to make sure I made it to the YMCA each day. I tried new classes and benefited from extra workouts in some of my favorites. The Cricut was kept busy cutting my new logo so I can make some new swag. I hosted live cooking demos, posted new videos to my YouTube channel and on TikTok, and enjoyed time snuggled in with a good book, or two.
One book I've read each day is, A Journey to Easter. Yup, my very own devotional. You might find it odd that I'm enjoying this but to write a book is totally different than reading it for enjoyment. A Journey to Easter, is a devotional to help you draw closer to Jesus during Lent. I've shared a couple of the devotions on my Keeping it Real Cooking with Lisa Facebook page as part of my Sustenance Sunday: Live Devotionals, if you want to watch one, click here.
I also started Eat, Pray, Love and Plan B: Further thoughts on Faith for fun reads. I'm reading Badass Habits: Cultivate the Awareness, Boundaries, and Daily Upgrades You Need to Make Them Stick with my Monday evening book club. I re-listened to Uninvited and Atomic Habits. BUT the most important book I read each day...my Bible. I'm trying something new this Lent. I'm going to read a few chapters (minimum) of the New Testament each day, starting with the book of Matthew. I'm reading with my new Bible, The Passion Translation.
It's empowering to let go of the lists (for a few days, lol) and enjoy life, creating, and reading. I'm still the first-born organized and planning person yet it feels good to know I have the strength to let go and relax for a week. We all need to relax and take time to "sharpen our saws" to recharge who we are. The Friday before break I was on an emotional low and near burn out. I'm returning to school with renewed energy and determination. I pray and hope you take this necessary time too. We all deserve, and need, this time. It's taken me decades to figure it out, maybe someone reading this will be saved from years of overworking and start incorporating weekly blocks to recharge.
Will you share a great book for
7 months ago
How are you drawing closer to Jesus this Lent?
“Who is considered to be the greatest in heaven’s kingdom realm?”
Jesus called a little one to his side and said to them,
“Learn this well: Unless you dramatically change your way of thinking
nd become teachable, and learn about heaven’s kingdom realm
with the wide-eyed wonder of a child,
you will never be able to enter in.
Whoever continually humbles himself to become
like this gentle child is the greatest one in heaven’s kingdom realm.
And if you tenderly care for this little one on my behalf,
you are tenderly caring for me."Matthew 18:1-5 The Passion Translation
Her post caught my attention because she talked about a smart, young, and talented boy who started a craft page and set a goal of 100 likes. My friend asked for anyone seeing and reading her post to visit his page and "like" it, to help him reach his goal. I found this inspiring and uplifting. In a time when there is so much darkness and despair, a young boy was using his talents to create tie-dye totes to save money to do something super cool. If you want to find out what it is, you'll have to listen to the podcast.
I interviewed Jason on Monday and made sure the podcast aired yesterday, Wednesday, February 10th, on his 7th birthday. Jason's joy and excitement when he talked about making his tie-dye bags increased the energy in the room ten-fold. He was nervous and a little shy yet his charming personality shined through. There was much laughter and the smile he inspired on my face remained.
In addition to giving Jason a shout out, I want to commend his parents for raising such an inspiring, goal setting, charming, talented, and loving young man. With a world full of children like Jason, it is going to be joyous future.
It is a pleasure to help others and my hope is that after you listen to Jason's interview on my podcast, use the links below, many to choose from, you will find yourself smiling the remainder of the week also. After you listen, leave a birthday wish for Jason in the comments below and be sure to like his Facebook page.
He has a goal for 1,000 likes. Let's see if we can help him reach this goal during his birthday month. Thank you in advance!
Click to listen to Jason's Interview on one of your favorite podcast apps today.
Facebook page so you can:
*LIKE his page
*FOLLOW his page
*Check out his creations and place an order
Please take a minute and leave a note for Jason to encourage him on his endeavors...
It's an exciting week, Lent starts next week. If you aren't familiar with what Lent is, it's the days leading up to Easter. Over a year ago, I started to work on my first devotional. At that moment, I hadn't planned this devotional to be for Lent or associated with Easter.
I personally felt run down and disconnected from God, so the research and Bible readings were focused on drawing closer to God. It was through this process that I realized, there were unresolved pains associated with my sister's kidnapping on Easter Sunday, 1994.
It was while enjoying my February 2020 break that God inspired this particular book and devotional. It surprised me and was grateful for a few reasons. While traveling out of state with my daughter, knowing she would graduate with her undergrad in May and be leaving New York, the mix of emotions was overwhelming. I was excited and grieved at the same time. As I sat by the hotel pool, reading my Bible one morning, I knew God was speaking to my heart. I went back and forth with God in prayer about writing this devotional yet by lunch, I returned to my room, grabbed my wallet and walked to the nearest store to purchase paper, pens, and the items I "need" to write.
By the time my daughter returned to the hotel from interviews at potential graduate schools, I was hunkered down on my bed with a couple Bibles, multiple pads of paper, pens, pencils, white-out, and music playing.
Her face upon arrival was priceless, she asked no questions. She didn't ask my what was going on but said, "I take it you got an idea for a book." We both laughed and I realized I must have a "look" when I'm in the groove for a writing project.
We returned home recharged and prepared for the future in a way we hadn't expected. It was a blessed week and I pray you are blessed when you purchase and dive into this devotional, it starts next Tuesday.
Thank you for your encouragement and I pray you are blessed by this devotional and it draws you closer to God during this Lenten season.
Another positive, these grow quickly. I only planted them on New Year's Day and less than a month in and these flowers are almost three feet tall and brighten my day. I watered the dirt and waited. Then the stems started to bust thru. I'm in awe of their height, color, and daily changes. This is one of the positives I choose to celebrate from my isolation time. I think if I had been keeping up with normal pace, I would have missed this past weekend's growth. I encourage you to slow down and absorb God's beauty and the miracle of all that happens around you. It's a miraculous world out there when we slow down enough to enjoy it.
Are you noticing the small differences a day makes?
This past Sunday was week four, but only the third one, due to Covid knocking me down for a bit. Thankfully, I was an obedient patient. I followed doctor's orders, listened to my body, and rested. You can catch this past week's devotional below. I haven't decided if I goofed when setting up or if I was quieter than normal, but either way, next week's will be clearer.
I share a poem written by Danna Faulds, Walk Slowly. I was introduced to this poem as part of a mindfulness workshop a couple weeks ago with Liane Benedict. It spoke to me them so I printed a copy and it was buried in a pile. As I worked through the piles last Saturday I found it, read it, and it resonated with me more than it did the first time. Maybe it's because I'm coming of a period of isolation and focusing on my breath, or maybe it was the notion of each moment or day in front of us is a mystery. I read it a few times with a couple verses coming to mind: Psalm 150 and 1 Corinthians 9:24-27. As I slept Saturday, I awoke Sunday morning with this message of hope for those joining the live devotional. I hope God speaks to your heart through this short live.
The poem is from Danna Foulds book, Go In and In: Poems from the heart of Yoga.
Click here to read the poem or print a PDF for yourself.
Praise the True God inside His temple.
Praise Him beneath massive skies, under moonlit stars and rising sun.
Praise Him for His powerful acts, redeeming His people.
Praise Him for His greatness that surpasses our time and understanding.
Praise Him with the blast of trumpets high into the heavens,
and praise Him with harps and lyres
and the rhythm of the tambourines skillfully
played by those who love and fear the Eternal.
Praise Him with singing and dancing;
praise Him with flutes and strings of all kinds!
Praise Him with crashing cymbals,
loud clashing cymbals!
No one should be left out;
Let every man and every beast--
every creature that has the breath of the Lord—praise the Eternal!
Praise the Eternal!
Psalm 150 VOICE
Remember to take a breath...
Breath in peace and let go of of the harshness.
The arrival of a first edition print book to my doorstep is such an inspiration and encouragement. I'm grateful to share this enjoyment with my parents and hubby. The joy on my mother's face still comes to mind, even now. I'm sure she's smiling in heaven to know I tackled a devotional and focused it on the weeks prior to Easter.
The birth of a book starts in many places, yet through the days, weeks, months, and sometimes years of process, the initial design changes and morphs into something totally different. I'll be honest, I'm not sure an Easter devotional was in the forefront of my mind, and I hadn't considered myself qualified to write such a thing and I felt God say, "Why not you?" And with that, I went to work. I learned a lot about myself and enjoyed the journey through the Bible to write and bring you this devotional.
My hope is to have others to add to the collection. I've started a new series, the Keeping It Real with Lisa Series, A Journey to Easter is book 1. As this new year, 2021, begins, I am encouraged for the opportunity to continue to stretch myself as I trust and follow God's lead. If you are looking for a new devotional, then maybe give mine a try this year. The readers who helped throughout the process assure me it is worth your investment of time and money. May you be blessed and draw closer to God as you read, reflect, and share with others this Lenten season.
To order the print version, click here.
To order the Kindle version, click here.
Do you prefer Kindle or to hold a print book?
If you like one more
than another, why?
Is there a type of book you
prefer in print over Kindle?
Would you like to help spread the word on my new release?
There are a few ways to do this.
1) When your copy arrives, will you upload a picture of you and your book to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or your social media of choice? Tag me so I can share in the excitement. Use a hashtag or two: #onesistersjourney, #keepingitreal, #lisambuske, #JourneytoEaster.
2) Write a review on Amazon.com
3) Write a review on Goodreads
4) Share with your friends and family.
Thank you in advance for helping me get the word out.
Lent is a great time to renew your relationship with God and prepare your heart for Jesus' resurrection.
On Sunday, January 10, 2021, I did an impromptu Facebook Live on my Keeping it Real Cooking with Lisa. This time, it wasn't to prepare a meal, although I did make homemade bread yet this wasn't the focus. Instead of sharing Epicure, food, and recipes...I shared my faith and a virtual devotional.
Below are the first two weeks of my live devotionals from my Keeping it Real Cooking with Lisa. I hope you'll take time to check them out. The first week I encouraged people to share their thoughts if they enjoyed the devotional. There weren't many comments during the live or in public posts yet the private messages offered words of appreciation, encouragement, and requests to do this again. This past Sunday I moved the live devotional to a more comfortable setting, hoping it offered a more relaxing atmosphere for people to listen, reflect, and pray.
While we wait for a return to healthy gatherings, I pray my "Sustenance Sunday" LIVE events on Facebook offer you encouragement, hope, and inspiration to brighten your day and carry you through the week. This past Sunday I recorded my Sustenance Sunday while recording my podcast, at the same time. It was fun. If you like what you hear on the video, you can listen to the remainder on my podcast by clicking here.
May you have a wonderful weekend and hopefully
you can join me live on for this weekend's
Sustenance Sunday LIVE Devotional
You work hard and deserve time to relax, to create, to share allow the creative genius within you to escape. Your brain may work a little harder yet it's more relaxing when you are doing something you enjoy.
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.
If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides,
so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 4:10-11
Are you making time to use your
creative gifting and talents?
When is the last time you CREATED something
for the pure joy of creating?
This devotional starts on the Tuesday prior to Ash Wednesday. Lent starts on February 17th this year, so you still have plenty of time to order your copy. If you don't want to wait, you can download it via Kindle and have it at your fingertips in minutes.
I've received photos from readers who received their copies and I was so excited, and jealous. It always overjoys me to see my readers post pictures on social media and private message me pictures with them and my books. The only reason I have a little envy this time, I haven't received my author copies yet. They are scheduled to be delivered next week. God is so good, I already have some of them sold to people who want a signed copy.
If you would like to order through me for a signed copy, I can accept payment via Paypal, Venmo, and credit card. I don't know the shipping rates yet until I have my books and can take them to the post office to have them weighed. Once I have those, I will share. Thank you for your continued support, encouragement and prayers. I pray you order my Lenten devotional for yourself and one or two for a friend or two, or three. Those that have received it started to read and said they couldn't wait or put it down, this is a compliment above all compliments. Click here or on the cover above to purchase your copy today.www.amazon.com/Journey-Easter-Lisa-M-Buske/dp/B08RGTG3HD
Who are you ordering a devotional for today?
I read this quote from Winnie the Pooh and it reminded me of this conversation. Winnie the Pooh has it figured out! When you feel overwhelmed and like giving up.
You are BRAVER!
You are STRONGER!
You are SMARTER!
YOU CAN DO THIS! Regardless of how long the pandemic lasts...you can do this!
How does this quote encourage & inspire you?
Did you set fitness goals for 2021? If so, the secret to your success is to have fun. Saturday used to be the only day I could sleep in and then I tried a total body workout class at the YMCA. Oh my goodness, it was so fun. Is it a challenge? Yes. Do I hate it at times? Yes. Do I love more than I hate it? Yes! It is so fun. Half the fun is in the challenge, the other half comes from the instructor and the others in the class. (In case you are wondering, masks are worn and we are more than 6 feet apart and class size is limited.) In addition to this class I tried yoga and although I don't love it, and I'm not very good at, but it is fun.
Are you wondering how activities that are challenging, difficult, and, that I'm not veryy good at, are fun? It's your mindset! I always feel better after exercising and getting a workout it. I sleep better and smile more. The friendships made are blessings I count. Even when exercising at home with weights or DVD, I find the fun. When I fall out of the yoga pose, I laugh. When my abs or thighs burn, I laugh. Fitness can be fun when you look at it as an opportunity to feel better, smile, and laugh. Why wait?
What are you doing to make fitness fun?
The desire and inspiration to write wasn't interrupted yet the time and ability to feed this hunger was. Like most of you, I didn't let the pandemic stop me, it only created a pause. Although every free moment was spent to learn how to teach and assist the teachers from home, when inspiration and ideas came to mind, I jotted them down.
As the school year wound down, my to-do list geared up for the summer. I opted to forgo the writers' conference and played it safe, staying put and enjoy the last few weeks with our daughter before she moved. While many relaxed and recharged poolside, I logged hours at my writer's cottage. I completed my first devotional, for Easter, and met the deadlines I set for myself. The long-range goal, a January 23, 2021 release. I'm happy to say, this goal was achieved ahead of schedule.
In addition to A Journey to Easter (available on Amazon now), I started a women's Bible study, an Advent Bible Study, and organized the notes for the sequel to Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey. My productivity slowed in August and nearly hit a wall this past Fall. My ability to balance school and writing has been less than successful, with few writing deadlines met. The weekend after Thanksgiving was spent sewing to relax and a few hours in the writer's cottage to get in the groove.
My next goal is to readjust my writing deadlines and goals, understanding that my eyes and brain can only handle so much computer time after getting home from school. As I look forward to 2021 and future book releases, I know God is leading the way. After praying, reflecting, and listening I understand the deadlines were MINE, not God's. Over the next few weeks I plan to dedicate time to pray and listen for God's lead on what He is calling me to write and the timeline He has, not me.
What goals and deadlines have you set for 2021?
Journey to Easter is available in both print and on Kindle. The devotional begins the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and concludes on the Monday after Easter. It was so much fun to write this book and when I realized Easter Sunday was April 4, I knew God had orchestrated it all. My sister disappeared on April 3, Easter Sunday, 1994. This is the closest Easter has been this anniversary in years. I don't remember exactly when I recognized the date of Easter but I remember crying. There were tears of joy, sadness, and gratefulness.
For more than a decade I couldn't celebrate Easter because I blamed God for my sister's kidnapping. In 2011 when God called, and inspired, me to write Where's Heidi? One Sister's Journey, I never thought devotional writing was something I could, or would do. This is one of the coolest things about God. He sees the depth of pain AND the depths of our healing and victory we have, and experience, through our relationship with Him. May He be glorified through this devotional and may others come to have a closer relationship with Him.
As I stayed at various hotels early in 2020, my heart was heavy with the knowledge of my daughter's upcoming graduation from undergrad and the 99% likelihood of attending grad school out of state. It was during these interview weeks and weekends that this devotional was birthed. There was a pharmacy near by and I walked over, spent about $50 and purchased "the" right pens and paper to start writing this devotional. Every moment that my daughter wasn't in the hotel was spent reading my Bible, researching, praying, crying, and repeating this process until the only thing that helped my eyes was a shower or soaking in the hot tub.
I look forward to sharing more about the writing of this book and how it came to be over the next few weeks. The idea was birthed in a hotel room but the real work started once we returned home. In less than a week from returning to New York, COVID-19 shut the state down and I found myself at home with a lot of time. Do not misunderstand me, I'm not thankful for the pandemic yet I'm grateful to God for opening my heart, my passion to write, and having a project I could work on while secured in our home for months.
I hope you'll take time to check out this new book, my first devotional. You can purchase it on Amazon.com. I usually check with our local book store but haven't done this yet, so for now, it can be purchased online. If you want a signed copy, I'll post when my author copies arrive and you can purchase from me directly using Venmo or PayPal. Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. May God be glorified and my readers be blessed as they come to know Jesus better and on a personal level.
God is good and all the time...God is good.
I'm grateful to share this new release with all of you!
Thank you and may God bless you!
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