1. You expect every single aspect of the church experience to be catered to your unique needs, taste, and preferences. Of course we all see the world, and our churches, from our unique perspective of taste, past experience, and desires. Yet a church is made up of all kinds of people, and is also poised to engage with those who haven’t even shown up yet. Your church isn’t, and should be, catered to YOU specifically—and each of us has this expectation, it becomes impossible for a pastor to ‘win’ or make anyone happy. What’s the big deal, you say? The phrase “death by a thousand paper cuts” sums it up.
Currently I’m packed into a little moving box squashed between beach bags, tennis rackets, golf clubs, suitcases, and my family. There’s also a basil plant sitting between my feet—but that’s a long story. We’ve listened to every song known to man, the swish of passing cars, and the hum of a snoring pug.
And we’re almost there.
Most often, in those moments, I was just as unwilling to search for that beauty as I was worried about everything I could not control. That’s a bleak place to be, y’all. I buzzed with discontent, literally and figuratively hungry for something to fill my body with calm.
I leaned over to my husband, who had been at the church since early in the morning—we hadn’t talked yet, and gave him the look of “Oh my goodness … What happened?”
He whispered back, each word a wound to the heart. “Worst mass shooting… gay nightclub… loyal to ISIS… 50 dead... hostages…”
My heart felt like it would implode.
I was devastated—I was heartbroken.
But surprisingly, I wasn’t confused.
If you’ve spent much time on our blog or in my home, you know that Heidi Swanson is my food hero. I quickly became enamored several years ago when I borrowed her cookbook, Super Natural Every Day, from a good friend. This is still my most-used and most well-loved cookbook—and I frequently find myself navigating to Heidi’s blog when I need a new, quick food fix.
I love how Heidi takes a handful of ingredients, often ones we don’t find next to each other in a recipe, and creates magic. This recipe represents this touch well—the first time I made it I kind of shrugged my shoulders as I tossed it together, we’ll see!
That teeny, tiny little baby - born from the womb of a woman, by the seed of a man.
That teeny, tiny little baby - born from two people, connected to two people, displaced by two people.
That teeny, tiny little baby - born in her homeland country, so far away from the place she calls home.
That teeny, tiny little baby - born with just a number for her name, longing to know the goodness and gifting that could rise out of her new, “given” name.
I don’t often eat cake, but when I do, I like to eat it for breakfast. Nothing too sweet, no sugary frosting (I’m more of a butter girl). But if there’s an extra little slice leftover, I’m much more likely to enjoy it with an early morning cup of coffee than after a full dinner (isn’t that the worst time for dessert? We need to rethink this…)...