I apologize now for the possibly long post! I have so much on my heart that I feel led to blog about today!!!
Advent and Food:
I am sure I am not the only one, though I do feel it sometimes, that is constantly tempted on the way home from work to "just give in, get take out/fast food/prepared dinner!" And honestly, I don't know if it's more of a temptation in the single life than in family life, but I'm not sure because I've yet to be (obviousy) on that side of the fence. All I can say for certain is, God always blesses me big time when I say, "NO" to that temptation. Tonight, I came home, opened a can of diced tomatoes, pureed them, spiced it and heated it up and combined with my angel hair pasta. Had half for dinner, and put half in the fridge...to find the Chicken Breasts that I had thawed out for dinner. Oops! But remember, I said God blessed me! I decided to rummage through my cabinets and get creative...saltine crackers, crumbled up with poultry seasoning, garlic and herbs provence (a French spice mix I think), dipped the chicken in egg and the "breadcrumbs". I put them in a glass dish with a can of peas, a can of sliced potatoes and some cut up carrots, drizzled with olive oil and baked for an 1 hour and 30 minutes on 375! (1 hour covered with foil, 1/2 hour uncovered at end) Dinner tomorrow, lunch and dinner on Thursday!
I've also decided as part of my Advent journey to continue doing things like this. No eating out (except if really needed for lunch at work) and no going to the grocery store until I absolutely have no more food!
Food in General
As an Italian and a blessed person, there was always plenty of food in the house. In this environment, I developed the "there is nothing to eat in this house" bad habit. I would open the fridge or pantry, see nothing I really desired, and made this statement, walking away. I can not believe that this has lasted all the way to now! Especially after being to Haiti! People die in Haiti daily from malnutrition. And I look at a fridge that may "only" have container full of eggs and say "Eh, nothing in there, should go to the store". Right now, I have eggs, mayonaisse, carrots, my lunch for tomorrow, 2 left over pancakes, butter, grated cheese, ketchup, steak sauce. I can make egg salad (because I have a stove/pots/clean water to boil eggs), I can have carrots as a snack, pancakes or eggs for breakfast. I have bread, 7 boxes of pasta (some half used), and the list goes on. I really do not think I will need to go to the grocery store until Christmas. How could I have ever thought of this as nothing to eat?
Conversion of the Day
Many of you out there may know of "Conversion Diary" a popular blog out there that I read. This is not related. But today I am having a conversion. Regarding the two previous topics. Advent, food, and the idea of mission. I have so much, and I've talked about blessing, but I do. And I often take that for granted. I know this must sound familiar to someone out there. Having what we don't always want and wanting for what we don't always need is a major American conflict. I found myself today, in my simple kitchen, preparing dinner and then another meal for the week, falling in love with my vocation. My vocation as a woman. I felt united to all those single women who long for marriage, yet slave over meals anyway. I felt united to those with families, who are pulled in the direction of their spouse, kids, other duties, yet slave over meals anyway. Today, for the first time, I was...I just was a single woman. Who could cook, clean, and have a glass of wine in the quiet. Not wanting for marriage, not disillusioned to think that having a husband or kids would make me cooking any easier, just being who I am in the moment.
So what does all this have to do with mission? Well, the reason I made this blog was because I felt God calling me to be a missionary yet it wasn't exactly time for me to go anywhere. Today I realized that my mission in the moment right now, is to live out my vocation as a single person, with a commitment to not wasting food. Offering up those moments when I want the "quick fix" of the drive through or take out. Offering up those moments cleaning up the spills in the kitchen or washing the dishes. Offering up the moments when I am not completely out of food, but out of what seems to me to be sensible ingredients! Offering up my desires for certain foods, laying down my wants. All of this helps to teach me how to be a missionary abroad. I will leave you with the commonly quoted phrase, "It all starts in the home".