food blogging – I dig it.

I have a huge blog roll on the side of my blog. There are way more blogs than I even read, actually, but I have frequented each of them from time to time, so I thought I’d share them, and also list them all so I don’t forget them.

For anyone who might be out of the loop, food blogging is a huge trend right now; it’s probably even bigger than I realize. The term basically describes a blog that centers around cooking, recipes and photography. I’ve found that food blogs inspire me to cook and find recipes in a much easier fashion than searching recipe websites like allrecipes.com or epicurious. Most of the time, a food blogger is someone who enjoys cooking and understands ingredients well, which, to me, means that if I find a recipe on a food blog, it will be more straightforward and less touch-and-go than a recipe that I might find somewhere randomly on the Internet. Food blogs can greatly range in their individual scope; some are more gourmet, some are geared toward people with particular diets, and some have their distinction in the blogger’s ethnicity or locale.

I’ve really enjoyed being exposed to food blogging because it’s helped me learn a lot about cooking in a pretty short time. I also have embarked on trying to cook with whole, real foods since getting married and it’s been wonderful to find blogs of people who already do it, since I can learn from them and be exposed to new things incrementally. If this food blogging thing sounds like something you’re interested in, I would recommend clicking on a few links on the side of my blog and checking them out!

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pay it forward Jesus-style

The current disaster in Haiti calls out to my heart and reminds me that God wants us to give to others and share our lives with them. Jesus was sent to share God’s love and die for us, being that we are completely broken and fully deserving death.

It’s interesting to realize that Jesus’ love was a new kind of love; this love was completely selfless. He died for our own good, and He had nothing to gain. I have been reflecting on this for the past few weeks, believing that God has laid it on my heart. It is easy to view our lives as a series of inputs and outputs, believing that “I input ________, therefore I will receive _______.” Even in Christian circles this idea is enforced, though it is not what Jesus taught. For the purpose of an example, I will use money: I grew up believing that if I gave 10% of my income (tithe) to God, it was a) what I was supposed to do, and b) a way to get blessed by God. This all sounds okay and logical until one realizes that the love of God is supposed to fuel all that we do (Luke 10:27), and that His love is all about serving someone else, not getting something out of it (Phil. 2:3). Therefore, a tithe is an offering to God, all about realizing that we can do nothing to save ourselves from our own wickedness, but that by giving everything we have to God, we can ensure that He lives and works in us and through us. (And the 10% guideline is probably debatable/not as important as we think)

God reaches out to us in His mercy; if we really are to let His mercy extend through us, then we must give when we see need. I struggle sometimes with knowing if God is “telling” me to give, but really, it’s not so confusing as that. It says in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall be shown mercy.” When Christ returns, will He find the fruit of His Spirit on the Earth? I want to be one who propagates the manifestation of His Kingdom, and this can only happen by stepping out in faith – in this case, trusting Him and giving with a sincere heart, knowing that I have already been blessed beyond earthly physical measures through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus.

a couple links:

Crisis Response International – being that I share many of their values, I’m considering donating to this organization; they’re a non-profit based in Kansas City, MO. You can read more about them on their site

The Kelly’s Adoption Blog – these are good friends of mine and Willy’s who serve at the International House of Prayer. Read their post “Redemption;” it inspired my thinking on selfless servanthood

de-sugaring time

I have something to admit: I eat way too much sugar. I will even go so far as to say that I have been gluttonous this holiday season. And the rest of the winter so far. And this past fall, too.

I think the problem is my hankering for sweets. I have made more cookies in my married life than I ever did before; but you know what’s funny? Willy doesn’t even like sweets that much. I think I mostly make them for me. But it needs to stop. Because frankly, my pants don’t fit as well anymore, and I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to sugar.
A day or two before New Year’s Eve, I decided that I needed to try not to eat sugar for the whole month of January. And I have to confess… well, I’ve already slipped up and eaten some sugar. But I have been good about a couple things, and I’m going to try to stick with these and work on eliminating even more sugar things: I haven’t had any soda, candy or baked goods. Frankly, the holidays facilitate the consumption of all three, but being at home means that I won’t buy them (at least not the soda or candy) and that I have more control of what I’m eating.
I think the hardest thing for me is not wanting to snack, and mostly I like snacking on sweet things. But I’m realizing I just need to snack on healthier things (and also try not to munch if I’m not actually hungry). Today’s snacks: fruit and popcorn. We got a great popcorn popper from Willy’s parents for Christmas (thanks Stacy and Marlon!) which I think will be very helpful. Anyway, I could use some good snack ideas, if anybody has any. I am used to snacks like nuts, fruit, veggies and such, but I’m think some kind of homemade snack bar would be yummy.
I hope you and yours are doing well, and not suffering from post-holiday waistline enlargement as I am. 🙂