Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Start at the Very Beginning

Plus ten points if you sang the title of this post in your head.

A long time ago, my mom suggested that I make manicotti. I didn't have much cooking experience at the time, but clueless as to what I was getting myself into, I agreed.  We went to Kroger and bought the box of pasta. Since we aren't Italian and don't have a family recipe, we read the ingredients and procedures list from the back of the blue Barilla box.

After unloading the groceries from the back of the car, my mom gave me the ingredients and told me to have at it.  I remember reading the instructions, boiling the pasta, mixing the cheeses, putting them into a large plastic bag with a hole cut in the corner, and layering each and every piece.  It probably took me two hours at least to finish, and the end result was much closer to lasagna than manicotti.  I overcooked my pasta, and they split down the middle.  I remember it was delicious.

I read this blog post about manicotti and the comforting effect that it has on the author. I was feeling nostalgic, so I decided I needed to make some for myself.  Like old times, it took way longer than it should have to finish it up, and my pasta ripped.  I don't really care though.  It makes me think of times gone past--where my love for food started to first develop.

My heart is so full right now.

Recipe from Yummy Books.

I cheated and used frozen spinach and jarred marinara.  It turns out wonderfully either way. 

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On Waiting and Trust

I know things have been quiet around here lately, and I am sorry for that.  I've had some thoughts about my blog and have come to the realization that (duh) quality > quantity.

Another thing that I have been thinking about is waiting.  Gosh, is there anything so hard? We live in a world obsessed with "now" and "in the moment." You know what I'm about to say next: Patience is a virtue.  That might be the hardest thing to deal with.

God has taught me so many lessons involving trust and patience recently.  And when I say "taught," I really mean "thrust upon." That's the way it usually goes, isn't it? If you think about it, no one really wants to learn that lesson.  I know that I sometimes live in a constant mindset of I have to do this on my own and This is what I want, and I think that now is exactly when I need it.  

As I was getting William's breakfast ready the other morning, his reaction to the situation really shocked me.  It's funny how young children can teach such important lessons to us just because they are humans in the newest, rawest form.  They don't have filters, so we get to see human nature at its finest!

Every morning after a diaper change, I sit William into his chair and get his bottle out.  Every morning, he reaches his arms out and cries out in desire for his breakfast.  I fill the bottle, shake the contents, and grab a bib from the cabinet.  I see how he looks at me.  The look of Are you really going to feed me this morning? is always in his eyes.  He shouts nervously as I wrap the bib around his neck.  When the bottle finally touches his lips, he calms down and everything is right again.

Although I am an adult who no longer has to rely on people to feed me, I got such a clear picture of how I feel all the time. I see what I want, and I go after it.  When I can't reach it or it isn't coming to me, I inwardly (sometimes vocally) cry out in frustration. (I should mention that I'm talking about desires of my heart, not jars of Nutella in the grocery store, although that could be a perfectly reasonable response to that situation.) I think to myself, What am I doing wrong? Why is this not happening like I want? Then it hits me. 
"Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you." -1 Peter 5:7 
"But now, this is what the LORD says-- he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.'"-

Isaiah 43:1

Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes we are blinded by what we want.  We don't see the things we need.  Just like William, who needs a bib to keep from ruining his clothes, I have been introduced to people recently who God used to show me things that I really needed to see.  I was so caught up in thinking about what I wanted that He just came and gave me a kick in the right direction.  

This past Sunday's sermon was (in my mind) written for me.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  If you have an extra half hour (hello commute to work!) please download this and listen to it.  You can find it here