I don’t know about you, but I’m the kind of girl who quickly embraces things I love with a fervent dedication. I like to think it’s because I’m loyal and passionate, but some might call me obsessed.
When I was little, it was Anne of Green Gables all the way…I watched the movie every day, had Anne of Green Gables birthday parties, tried to incorporate Anne and her friends into every make believe game, and my best friend Meg and I always called each other Anne and Diana…to this day we refer to one another as kindred spirits. (Of course I get to be Anne though, because I have red hair)
Middle school was marked by many phases…a closeted love for the Spice Girls, a fervent dedication to Steve Madden shoes, and a consistent date with AOL IM each night from 8:00-10:00. But the middle school phase that surpasses them all was my Evita phase.
I saw the movie three times in theaters, memorized every lyric in the soundtrack, danced around the kitchen with Meg and my sister Laura to “A New Argentina”, cried if I thought about her dying because it was “too soon for her to go”, and convinced myself (and anyone who would listen) that Madonna was robbed because she didn’t get nominated for an Oscar. (Looking back on that now, I think it was just God allowing me to plant seeds in Meg’s heart that eventually led her to move to Argentina…I was just being His vessel. Meg, you’re welcome!)
I’d like to hope my phases have toned down a bit, but I would be lying if I told you I wasn’t in a Julia Child phase right now. Yes, after seeing the movie, I invested in a Le Creuset cast iron pot, and my family was nice enough to give me the movie, the cookbook, and some beautiful french ramekins for Christmas. I also can’t deny that I enjoy imitating Meryl Streep imitate Julia. Bon Appetit!
The cookbook was back-ordered (apparently everyone else is in a Julia phase right now as well) so when it finally came last week, Bernie and I were ready to cook!
For our first meal, we opted for a simple roasted chicken. The cast of characters: butter (of course), salt, and olive oil. That’s it! No rosemary and garlic encrusted rub, no orange zest citrus marinade, just butter, salt, and olive oil. Julia, I must confess, I doubted you. Throughout the ninety minute roasting period, I was tempted to throw in a dash of this or that, but somehow we managed to resist. The result? Pure foodie heaven.
Each bite was full or flavor and cooked to perfection. The simple ingredients enhanced the flavor of the chicken, so the finished product was a simple, but savory dish.
As I sat there, I began thinking about how often in our faith we think that more is always better, when that’s not always the case. I find myself easily caught up in doing, and I miss out on just being in God’s presence. It’s not always about the Bible studies, church committees, service projects, accountability coffees, and fellowship dinners (though these can all be great things).
I think there are times we need to be reminded to scale back to the basics and trust that even though it might appear simple, the results can be sweet and powerful.
Remember Martha and Mary in Luke 10? Jesus comes to visit their home and Martha is so busy with the preparations, that she misses out on just being with Him. Mary on the other hand, chooses to sit with Him and hang on His every word. When Martha confesses her frustration about Mary to Jesus he gently replies:
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (verse 41)
It’s so easy to caught up in life’s daily demands that we miss out on being. Today, let’s scale back the ingredients of our to do list and get back to basics. Let’s allow ourselves the freedom to simply rest in the Lord’s presence and be captivated by His words.