Welcome to the first of my Spotlight Series. Where we get to meet Jesus loving, inspiring, and creative people.
I’m really happy to introduce you to my first guest of the series, Amanda from Maple Alps. She’s a fellow Canadian, and also married to a German speaker (Austrian to be precise), and seeks to live an intentional, simple life that glorifies God.
Today, she will give us some insight into how cultural differences impacted her life and how she is intentional in the choices she makes with her time, food and talents.
The Spotlight on: Amanda from Maple Alps
1. What are you reading right now? How did it get into your hands?
I have always loved reading and it seems that I always have something new to pick up to read. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of audio books because I have a long commute during the school year, and listening (I still make time for the physical ones, of course) to books is the only way my busy life can accommodate more of them! I am currently listening to Radical by David Platt. I actually read it a while back, but my husband, not knowing we had the book, grabbed it on audible, so it’s been fun to “read” it again.
The most recent completed book was called The Cheese Trap: How Breaking a Surprising Addiction Will Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Get Healthy by Neal D. Barnard, MD, FACC. It really inspired me on my plant-based journey. Of course, I daily read my Bible, which is a book of books and the ultimate love letter that I highly recommend!
2. You’ve traveled quite a bit! Could you share with us one cultural difference you’ve experienced that has impacted you for the better?
I do love traveling and I’m still working on my bucket list! I think growing up in a home where two different cultures were dominant helped prepare me to be open-minded about all of the different ways of life I’ve encountered. I’ve met people on my travels who didn’t seem to have a desire to embrace other cultures and instead resisted or complained. I always felt that they had somehow been robbed of a truly amazing experience because of that.
I suppose on a practical level, moving to a country and having to get used to a completely different political situation has opened my eyes to a lot of different things and has made me an advocate for things I used to take advantage of. Things like affordable healthcare or even simply recycling or knowing exactly what goes into the food we buy. Most importantly, I’ve learned that despite cultural differences, we are all human and we are all in need of a Saviour! It has made me take Jesus’ command in Matthew 28 to take the Gospel to the ends of the world more serious.
3. How do you understand the stewardship of your time and talents?
I believe that we were placed on this Earth for a purpose. That purpose is to show and tell others about Christ and His love for us! Everything that has been given to us is actually more or less on loan.
We cannot create time – we can only use it to the best of our abilities.
We do not choose our talents – instead, we can develop them to glorify God!
I think that it is really important to use our time and talents wisely. Our time is precious; our days are numbered (see Psalm 90). Once it is wasted, we can never get it back.
4. How does this look practically in your life now?
Filling my time with family and doing good and ministering to others is something I prioritize. There are so many distractions in this world that take up our time. All of the mindless entertainment (think: Netflix, video games, etc) that does more harm than good is something I believe is better off left out of our time slots!
As for talents, I try to develop them so I can reach others in different ways. For example, I play the piano for church and enjoy having people over! I also love using and developing my talents for photography and design for my blog. I also see my teaching career as a ministry (I teach in a church school) and I feel called to pour my heart and talents into that as well.
5. How do you understand food and intentionality?
I think that God gave us a design for a diet we should eat. When He placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He gave them all sorts of trees with fruit they could eat of. There was no death there. Because of this, and because I believe that our bodies are a living temple for the Holy Spirit (see 1 Corinthians 6), and for many other reasons, I have chosen to adopt a plant-based diet. I think what we put into our bodies is very important and affects our entire lives. We should not live to eat, but eat to live! Being healthy in all areas of life are important!
Thank you Amanda for your time, your thoughts and experiences!
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