Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Eyes through Another Lense

This year at Christmas, I encourage each of you to look at giving a little differently this year.  Instead of flooding you family members with beautiful gifts or spending large amounts of money on the newest "it" item, I challenge you to give a gift that will save a life, encourage a healthy lifestyle, and bring hope to someone in need.

Give money to the Romanian Evangelistic Medical Mission to help get orphans into safe and healthy homes.

Give a pair of shoes from TOMS Shoes to your brother so that a child who doesn't have a pair, can experience what it's like to run around outside with shoes on.

Give a goat or a blanket, in honor of your mom, to a family in need living in a third world country through World Vision.

Give money in your family's name through Blood Water Mission in order to allow people in Africa living amounst the AIDS crisis taste clean water for the first time.

Or give money in order to bring rescue and restoration to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation, and other forms of violent oppression through The International Justice Mission.

There are countless organizations out there looking for people to help, donate, and show that they want to do something in order to bring justice to our world.  I encourage you to consider stepping forward to help save lives through the gifts that you give.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The next Rachel Ray? Probably not...

Over the past couple of years, I have discovered a love and talent for cooking that I didn't know I had. Growing up I didn't help my mom cook, nor did I ask her to teach me how. It wasn't until my junior year of college that I decided that I should figure out how to since I was living on my own in an apartment and would need to cook for myself. I couldn't just walk across campus to Hubble or Olmsted anymore to get a meal, but I actually had to feed myself. After one bad attempted meal, I realized how important it was for me to figure out how to prepare a dish.

I stuck with cooking the same six things through college, but I began to expand my horizon once I moved to Wichita, bought my own house, had a real job, and felt like I was a real adult. It was time to step away from my comfort foods of pasta with red sauce and macaroni and cheese.

I gathered up as many cook books as I could get my hands on; I searched at garage sales, sale racks at Wal-Mart, and even took a few out of my mom's hands that she didn't use. I searched the web and printed recipe after recipe so that I always knew I had a variety to chose from whenever I wanted to make a meal. At first I did it because I wanted to eat healthier and was sick of having the same thing, but [especially] this past year the chore that it first was has turned into a passion.

I can't wait to cook for Matt and I most nights. Last night I made tilapia filets cooked in diced tomatoes, oregano, sautéed with orange pepper, onion, and garlic, put over rice. It was wonderful.

My shoe box full of written out and printed recipes is growing quickly. I hope to make a recipe book soon so that I no longer have to scramble through my box.

I may not be the next Iron Chef or Rachel Ray, but cooking is a form of art I will continue to pursue. Plus, seeing the smiles on people’s faces after feeding them a delicious meal brings joy to my heart!