Sunday, October 30, 2011

Inspiration in a Can

It's probably hard to believe, but sometimes the life of a blogger isn't as glamorous as you may think.  You're going along fine with one post idea popping into your head after another. You can hardly wait to write the next inspiring post.  Then BAM! You run right into it...THE WALL.  Writer's block extraordinaire!  And that, dear friends, is where I have been for the past couple of weeks, staring down a blank computer screen.  The well of ideas had run dry.

But this afternoon, inspiration hit and you'll never guess where I found it.  My kitchen cupboard.  I know.  Crazy, huh?  But as I opened my cupboard door to find something for lunch, inspiration was staring me in the face in its bright blue can.  How could I have missed it?  There it was.  A can of...

I'm ignoring those gagging sounds that I'm sure some of you are making (my immediate family included) because I LOVE this stuff!  And I'm not ashamed to admit it.  Aside from its delicious, overly salty flavor (even the 25% less sodium variety) Spam is packed full of wonderful childhood memories for me.

When I was growing up, my family was always on a tight budget.  Seven people on a single teacher's salary meant that my mother had to be pretty creative when it came to meals.  And she was real pro when it came to stretching a meal so there was enough for all of us because, trust me, we never had two cans of Spam at one meal!  Maybe it helped that not all of my siblings were as found of this mysterious meat product as I was.

When Mom served Spam for dinner, she would slice it and fry it up. Or if she was feeling really elegant she'd take the whole loaf, score the top of it in a diamond pattern and insert whole cloves at the point of each diamond and bake it, as if it were a cute little ham. Classy and delicious! 

We'd have fried Spam sandwiches or Spam and cheddar cheese sandwiches.  But my all time favorite recipe was, and still is, Spam spread sandwiches.  To make this delightful concoction, my mother would take a can of Spam and put it through her meat grinder along with some dill pickles and hard boiled eggs.  Then this was all mixed up with a generous helping of mayonnaise and spread on the whitest bread you could find.  Yum...makes my mouth water just thinking about it!

So this afternoon, when that brilliant blue can caught my eye, I knew what I had to do.  I put the eggs on to boil, pried that piece of meat from its can and set about making a bowlful of Spam spread.  Unfortunately, I don't have a meat grinder like my mother's, so I have to settle for a chunkier version of her spread.  But the flavor was all there!

Once my sandwich was made, there was one thing I needed to do before I could take a bite. I sent a picture text to my sister, Martha!  Her response?  "I'm jealous." Yup, good taste runs in our family!

So, sometime if you're up for it, why not try out this delicious recipe for yourself.  Just remember three things and you'll be fine.  Don't skimp on the mayo, don't use that healthy wheat bread and don't read the ingredients on the side of the can! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Enjoy the Ride...Again

This past week I experienced two things that I love.  The first was reading a post by another blogger that really nails it for me.  The second was experiencing one of those moments that only God could have orchestrated.  And the really cool thing was that it was really all part of one amazingly encouraging experience.  Here's how it all played out.

Since I have a new position at work, I'm going to be moving to another work space in a different building eventually. So I was taking a few minutes at the end of one day to sort through files and papers that have collected over the years.  In the middle of some files I came across a copy of a post from a blog I follow. I had printed it out at home and had brought it to work to share with a friend because it had really inspired me at the time.  The interesting thing is that this post was dated August 18, 2009.  Obviously, I need to clean my desk more often...or maybe not.

You see, as I read through the post again, now over two years later, I realized that this page held the exact words that I needed to hear during this time of transition and stress in my life.  Sarah, from Life in the Parsonage had no idea when she was writing about the experiences of her life in August, 2009, that her post would speak so profoundly to me, two years later.  But God knew.

There, in an unlikely corner of my desk, I found God's words of assurance and encouragement to me, penned by a blogger friend I have never met!  I love that about blogs and I love that about Him! 

With that in mind, take a couple of minutes to read Sarah's post, Enjoy the Ride.  Because this may be the exact moment in your life that you need to read it!

Monday, October 10, 2011

A Prayer for the Journey

O Christ, do not give me tasks equal to my powers,
but give me powers equal to my tasks,
for I want to be stretched by things too great for me.
I want to grow through the greatness of my tasks,
but I shall need Your help
for the growing.

E. Stanley Jones

Saturday, October 8, 2011

What Are You Seeing?

You just never know where you might stumble across words of wisdom.  It could be on a billboard, a refrigerator magnet, a popsicle stick or in a fortune cookie.  Or in my case, I found some food for thought on my calendar when I went to scribble in an upcoming engagement so I wouldn't forget it.

It's already October, and I just now noticed that each month has a pithy saying printed in the corner of each month's page.  These are the words that got me thinking today:

"What we see depends mainly on what we look for."

The veracity of that statement runs deep.  How often is the truth skewed because we are looking at it through a filter of our own making?  And how often do we miss beauty and joy because we are blinded by a lens of negativity or distrust?  To see the truth, we need to be objective and aware of how we are looking at things. And that's not always easy.

Sometimes it's easier to see the bad than it is to see the good.  But maybe that's because we have fallen into the habit of only looking for the bad.  What would happen if we changed our focus and starting looking for the good in people or in situations? I can't help but think that our vision would improve immensely as well as our attitudes.

So, my goal is to be more aware of how I look at people and circumstances and to try and focus on the good before the bad.  Oh, I'm also going to go back and read the sayings on the past nine months of my calendar!