I sat for a good long while responding to an email from a great person, a friend that everyone needs. One who knows what he wants, I love that about him. And me. I know that I, I wanted oatmeal. Side note: I’ve been doing this gluten “almost” free diet under the recommendations of of my friend who is also the best nutritionist EVER…go schedule a free consultationhere.
Let me tell you about my journey with the oatmeal. Step one, boil one cup of water. Got up from my writing to find that I had turned off the stove. Step two, turn on the stove again. Step three, REALLY boil the water. Got up to pour in the oats. Water had evaporated. Step four, repeat steps two and three. AND we’re underway.
I started thinking about my cooking adventures. Let me make you laugh.
When I was fourteen I had to give a demonstration speech. If you know me you also know my *let’s call it fascination NOT obsession* with NSYNC. Joey Fatone (the fat-one get it?? with the red hair) he was on Regis and Kelly cooking with his father. They made chicken marsala. THAT was what I was going to make. I was going to make CHICKEN MARSALA (it was their family recipe). So, Josh came over after school and together we “made” chicken marsala. Let me define “made”. The house was smokey. Not a little smokey, think the fire department probably should have come to check on us smokey. It was bad. But the chicken marsala… it was GOOD! Do you remember walking through the halls at school smelling the cookies from Home Ec class? It was like that…only not cookies, and not home ec. I got an A. But, my mom made me buy her new pans because they were pretty charred. That A was NOT as exciting as most A’s for obvious reasons.
When I was seventeen I made chicken in my apartment (I was at UTSA then). The shortest way to tell this story is that we had to sleep with the windows open for a week, probably two. Remember, I was living in San Antonio then. There was no breeze only stale hot air. Oh, and for my own sake, I should tell you that I didn’t know the chicken was expired. If I had been graded, I’m pretty sure I would have failed not just this project, but the entire class.
Skip a few years. I am now 20. I’m living with Sheree (the best roommate I have EVER had, will EVER have, and hope to someday have again…) It was family night. I made pot-roast. Todd came over, and then he said this “your roast was even more amazing then sleeping til 11 this morning.” Then, he came over again, I made spaghetti. And he came over again, I made madarin chicken. And that my friends was the beginning of a love affair with my pots and pans.
And then I made hamburgers on a george foreman grill. They were pink. I think I gave ecoli to a few of my friends. and if I didn’t that was by the grace of God. Stick to the pots and pans, that’s what that taught me.
I stopped cooking for a good long while. And when I tried to restart, I made a TERRIBLE batch of spaghetti. That was not the way to make my reappearnce into the land of yummy, satisfying treats.. Like, I actually made my friend stop eatting so I could reseason it. It was bad. That was a few years ago. Things have changed.
These are my successes:
Greek Chicken with Orzo Pasta
and SO MUCH MORE (unless people have been lying to me).. oatmeal will not be added to that list.
I wanted oatmeal this morning. That was my only desire. Seriously, my only desire…(also because I have no milk, the blender is dirty, I ran out of eggs, and that is all that was left…and some old chicken that I never cooked and refuse to for very obvious reasons–it’s cold outside!) But I really wanted oatmeal.
The whole day by day thing is where I’m living right now (out of boxes), and I LIKE IT. I like making most decisions. I want this but I don’t that. It’s empowering. And then there are the things I’m so unsure about. If I can make an outfit out of that with those jeans I wore yesterday and the shoes that don’t give me blisters…then maybe I can go to work and not come home early because I wasn’t 110% pleased with my outfit (not that anyone else would care). It’s those things that are more difficult. If I paint the dining room this color, will those curtains go, or would I need to buy new ones, and then will I need to change my accent colors/pillows? But…It’s also those things that are helping me find myself, my likes, my tolerances, and my absolutely die over it dislikes. They help me realize that things, choices do matter, even when I or others think they don’t or they won’t. But ultimately, in living day to day I need to make sure that there is purpose. If I choose that outfit that I really need to go put on because I’ll be late to work, will God be given glory because of it. I think so!! Why you ask? Well that’s easy, because I finally made a decision and am on my way to have the Spirit speak through me to my kids. And the paint colors, the curtains, I want my place to scream, comfort, warmth, and genuine kindness, because that’s how I want to show my Lord to others, in the same actions, in my attitudes and with pride of the blessings He’s given me to share with others–to tell the story of His grace.
LOOKING AT IT ONE WAY, YOU COULD SAY, “ANYTHING GOES. BECAUSE OF GOD’S IMMENSE GENEROSITY AND GRACE, WE DON’T HAVE TO DISSECT AND SCRUTINIZE EVERY ACTION TO SEE IF IT WILL PASS MUSTER.” BUT THE POINT IS NOT TO JUST GET BY. WE WANT TO LIVE WELL, BUT OUR FOREMOST EFFORTS SHOULD BE TO HELP OTHERS LIVE WELL.
1 CORINTHIANS 10:23-24 (THE MESSAGE)
There is a song by Steven Curtis Chapman “Do Everything.” It’s an awesome song and if you’re a mom, you need to hear it, no really, I will give you $1.29 so that you can buy it and listen to it when you think what you’re doing doesn’t matter. *removing myself off of soapbox now*
IT ALL MATTERS JUST AS LONG AS YOU DO EVERYTHING YOU DO TO THE GLORY OF THE ONE WHO MADE YOU,
CAUSE HE MADE YOU, TO DO EVERY LITTLE THING THAT YOU DO TO BRING A SMILE TO HIS FACE, TELL THE STORY OF GRACE WITH EVERY MOVE THAT YOU MAKE AND EVERY LITTLE THING YOU DO…
It does all matter…it really does. And how much more of a life with purpose will we or can we live knowing that it’s about bringing a smile to God’s face by helping others live well. Ahhh, it makes me excited. Because today in writing this, it’s no longer about wanting my oatmeal, it’s about wanting to bring a smile to His face. And with that, I’ve made a decision one that I’m sure I want (that alone has got to put a smile on his face). It’s the black pants with the polka dot shirt, the boots that don’t give me blisters, and the red scarf for a pop of color, a pop of passion! I’m about to go do everything to bring about some glory HALLELUJAHS…come with me.