Friday, November 18, 2011.  Cooking has never been a very exciting activity to me.  I suspect that this is mainly because I live alone.  It can be difficult to cook for one, invariably you end up wasting food or eating the same thing for 5 days.  Earlier this year I had the opportunity to cook for a family who had a newborn baby in the NICU.  Since I was cooking for people I cared about and who were experiencing a time of high anxiety and stress, I prayed for them through each step of the meal preparation process.  At the grocery store I prayed that the food I selected would bring them strength and comfort.  As I chose snacks to include for the 2 other children, I prayed that God would help these young boys understand why their parents had to give so much of their time and attention to their new brother so that they would not feel lost or neglected.  When I got home and began combining ingredients, I prayed for the day that the entire family would be together under one roof.  THAT cooking experience was enjoyably, exciting and spiritual.

I'm not sure why it took me 42 years to learn that cooking can be a spiritual practice.  Each week when I go to the grocery store I now pray for those who grew and harvested the food, those who work in the factories and bakeries who make my cereal, bread and other products, those who stock the shelves, clean the store and check out my purchases.  At home while preparing my meals, I pray that God will help me make healthy eating choices more often than not so that I will be healthy enough to be a meaningful member of my community; that the food I have chosen to prepare this day will strengthen me to lead the life that God is calling me to lead.

Since I've started thinking about my food in this way, I find that I'm making better choices, I don't dread the time I spend creating my meals, I spend more time in conscious communication with God and my life is generally fuller.

Life Simplified

Tuesday, March 1, 2011. Make the most of what life gives you. Leroy LOVES to look out the window next to my desk. Yesterday I was getting some League work done and he sat down. The blinds were closed so, being Leroy, he just looked at the blinds. Oh to be so content!

Simplify Life Challenge: The Pantry

Sunday, January 9, 2011. I actually took these pictures a week or so ago. My first challenge in simplifying and organizing was my pantry. The hard part? I don't have one! I had to "create" a pantry out of two cabinets in my kitchen. Thanks to the Container Store, my label maker and red Rubbermaid I'm good to go. I actually LOVE this system. It's easy to find everything and I can tell at a glance what I need to pick up at the grocery store.

Happy New Year!

January 1, 2011. It's (finally) a new year. I've settled on a theme, or set of themes, for the blog and I'm writing again. For the next several months I'll be writing about 3 broad categories:

My Bucket List-Not things I want to do before I die, but things I want to do before 2011 is over.

Life Simplified-Things that fall into the broad categories of living a simpler, greener, more organized,less expensive lifestyle. I've collected a series of "challenges" from other writers and I'll be working through them.

Favorite Things-Sharing some of the things I've found that make my life easier, more comfortable or just plain happier.

Not to worry, there will still be occasional posts from Leroy Earl written under the title, Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Well.

I'm not promising to past daily or even weekly but I will get into a rhythm as I figure out this new format. I've sure missed my little blog!