Clutter Clearing, causes Spirit Cheering.

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If you’ve been around my blog for any length of time you already know that I’m a foodie in every sense of the word. My parents think I am crazy. My father often remarks that Charlie and I are obsessed with food. (It’s true. We ARE! We are not ashamed!) It’s the first thing we talk about in the morning and the last thing we talk about at night. Our most frequent outings involve seeking out new markets and grocery stores and the most watched channel in our home is of course, The Food Network.

One of the Blessings in our life is being able to creat the Fellowship meal for Crescent Hill Baptist Church once per week. (Having grown up Catholic, I seriously think our religion missed out by not adopting this practice.) I love the fact that once per week, the people of this church meet together to share a meal and fellowship. They probably don’t stop a lot to realize this, but it’s a beautiful practice and I love witnessing it. This Wednesday we’ll return to the kitchen after having had the month of July off and we are ready! In fact, only a select few of them will know it, but we are DOUBLE ready!

Bear in mind that a church, is a church, is a church. Think about the times you have cleaned your home and have found items that you feel still have life and that someone could use? Where do you think about taking them? The church? Yup. Speaking for “THE CHURCH”; it’s always appreciated, but it can get overwhelming. (Example: Once upon a time we had a bunch of last generation Big box big screen TV’s taking up HUGE space in the basement. They still worked! WHO could fit one into a tiny apartment or afford to have it moved?)

And the church kitchen? It’s just about impossible to keep the refrigerators and freezers free of random packaged items that people drop off, afraid to throw away, certain that someone out there can use it. Our cabinets have been stuffed to overflowing with donated plastic containers, cutlery, napkins, etc. for as long as I have been there. We share the space with a school and since the first day I started cooking there, almost seven years ago, I’ve always wanted to go through and organize and clean every single cabinet. I had to wait, however, until it didn’t seem too presumptuous. (LOL!) This past Friday, six+ years into our catering, I finally decided to do it.

Friday Charlie and I cleared our schedules in order to tackle defrosting the Industrial freezer, cleaning out the refrigerator and clearing out about ten years worth of “stuff” from four very large, sprawling cabinets. Both of us worked the entire day, yet we couldn’t finish it all. Monday I went right back in there and tackled the rest and I still didn’t get 100% finished.

Oh, but what we have accomplished makes my heart sing with glee. The entire feeling of the kitchen has changed. I was so grateful when a co-worker walked in and said, “You can literally FEEL the difference in here.” It’s absolutely true!

I am a huge advocate for clearing the energy of a space simply by eliminating clutter and giving it a good old fashioned cleaning. Do you ever feel restless, irritated, or uncomfortable in your home, office, car, or in any other space? Chances are good that you’re existing within trapped energy. You may in fact be tapping into stagnant or even blocked energy, which can have an adverse affect on your spirit. (The church kitchen definitely felt stagnant to me before we cleaned and organized.)

I recently heard the greatest quote from a friend who said, “Turns out, we’re all a little like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown.” We were discussing energy and how even though we don’t see it with the naked eye; we’re constantly walking around in a cloud of particles and we’re unconsciously leaving bits and pieces wherever we may go! Think about the last time you walked into a room just after something negative had happened? You felt it, right? The same goes for starting out in a bad mood and running into someone or something that instantly lightens your spirit. We feel things long before and after we ever say a word.

Now imagine a place like the kitchen I just cleaned. Every nook and cranny had some form of something that was placed there by who knows who? Each little baggie or piece of plastic ware or roll of paper towels arrived already laden with energy. Then it was shoved into a cabinet where it co-mingled with a plethora of other things. Every time a new person used the kitchen or passed through, even more stagnant energy piled up on top. Sounds pretty gross, doesn’t it? (Go on admit it, you’re in the mood to get up and clean house now, aren’t you? ha ha.)

The entire point of my writing this out is to illustrate that if you are experiencing any type of blockage of spirit; an easy and free remedy is right in front of you: Clear your corners! (Translation: clean and organize your space!) When I am at home, I like to burn white sage throughout the house and as an exclamation point, I pull out the Holy water to Bless every room.

Go on. Give it a try.  You can thank me later.

Love,

Bobbe

 


Dearest Lord,

Thank you for the Blessing of reflection. So often lately I am presented with opportunities for growth and learning. I find myself looking back in time fully able to see where I have come from and how I have grown and changed. I strive every day to work for you whether it be ministering to others or simply to get on my knees and clean a cabinet.

Thank you for all of the beautiful people I share this Universe with, especially my family, friends, and the multitude of strangers I encounter, who stir something in my heart.  I know the stirring of my heart is your hand upon on my soul. I love you. Thank you. 

Amen.


“Let all things be done decently and in order.” 1 Corinthians 14:40

 

Confessions of a Spiritual Foodie.

I have a confession to make.

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I have a confession to make. As much as I adore cooking and sharing my recipes, there is something I adore sharing more and that’s who I am on the inside. Every time I come to this blog and post a recipe, I am pleased, but I have a secret sense of guilt because I’m not doing what I truly want to do. I go away asking myself what I really want to say and then I end up talking to God about it every morning on my drive to work. Quite a while ago I put a filter on myself for a stupid reason.

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I became worried that if I wrote about who I truly am on the inside, I might offend someone. How stupid is that?

This morning on my drive to work, I had a profound sense of knowing that it’s time to take off that ridiculous filter.  Undoubtedly this is coming as a result of a thousand and one walks around the Sanctuary where I work, talking to God and trying to be silent enough to hear what is said to me.

For the past four weeks I’ve been working hard on my self image and that includes being on a very strict keto diet. I joined a secret group of good friends who are also doing the keto way of life and with discipline and their support, I’m starting to feel a little more like myself each week. Yeah. It might surprise a lot of people to know that I’ve not been happy with myself for years. I am finally weary enough of saying, “I used to “insert whatever thing of the past I no longer am, no longer look like, or no longer do“.

It’s over.

The question, “What have you got to offer the world” comes to my heart a lot. The answer is always the same. I can lead almost anyone to a greater sense of spirituality and faith in God. So what am I doing turning this blog into an exclusively FOOD blog when I have so much more to offer the world?

At my workplace, which happens to be a Baptist Church (I am a practicing Catholic), the most frequent phrase I hear from members of the church is, “I have no idea how you do all that you do.” I usually smile and say, “me either”, but the truth is that I know perfectly well how I do what I do. My strength comes from my unwavering faith and constant communication with God. Period. (Don’t start unsubscribing yet. I am still going to post recipes!)

I can’t recall there ever being a time in my life when I didn’t have a lifeline connected to the Holy Spirit. I used to share this part of my life openly. The reason I did so was because it helped cement things in my heart and the bonus prize was that others would read and relate to it. Although it seems foreign to me, there are tons of people out there who are reluctant to share what’s going on in their hearts. Sometimes through sharing what’s in mine, the by-product is that it gives others courage and validation to really look at what’s taking place in their own.

Today my heart is calling upon me to post this blog. It’s been sitting in my drafts folder for over a month waiting for me to make my move.

Before I do here is my prayer for today:

Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my unwavering trust in You. It is amazing to me that the You would take time to listen to me and to care about what I say, but time and time again it’s been proven to me that it’s true. I ask that through my sharing, others may experience Your profound love, support and guidance, just as I do on a daily basis. Help us all to see with open eyes and to feel with understanding hearts, that You are a living presence among us and that we are to turn to You for guidance when needed. 

Thank you for all of Your Blessings, especially the ones we don’t readily recognize or understand.

Amen


Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.

 

 

 

Bittersweet Blessings.

I count myself as pretty Blessed among my friends and family because although my parents are in their upper 80’s, they are both still here and both in reasonably good health. There are times when they might need assistance doing certain things and when the occasion arises, I like to try to help. Having had a rocky relationship with them “back in the day” and even sometimes in the present; I still want to do what I can for them while they are here.

Sometimes I am asked why I do it and my response is simple, “They aren’t going to be here much longer. I want to know I did my best to love them well while they are here.”

Yesterday my Dad needed some help getting to the new location of the Driver’s License Bureau. It happens to be in my neighborhood, so I offered to drive him. Then we received word that one of my parent’s old dear friends had passed and that the celebration of his life would be held yesterday at the country club where our family practically lived my entire life. I knew Dad wouldn’t feel comfortable going by himself, so I offered to drop by and take him to both places.

Bear in mind I really am a creature of habit and practically a social recluse. Charlie and I have carved out a peaceful routine that works for us. We laugh at ourselves frequently for excitedly making plans to go somewhere new or to some social event and then at the very last second we look at each other, shrug our shoulders and say, “Naaaaaaah. I don’t reaaaaaaally wanna go, do you?” Nope. And then we stay home. (99.5% of the time, this is the exact scenario.)

The prospect of having to make small talk makes me recoil with intimidation, so I was sort of dreading going to the Country Club. Add to this the fact that I knew I would be seeing people who hadn’t seen me in almost forty years. I have been over weight off and on for a lot of years and whenever I think about seeing people from my past I become very insecure. (Translation: I used to have a very high level of confidence regarding my appearance! In fact, one might argue correctly that long ago my entire sense of self was wrapped up in the package of my outward appearance.)

All morning long I wrestled with the same feelings of dread that a person goes through when he/she is about to take and important test. Then I arrived to pick up my Dad at 3:00 PM.

This is a memory I won’t forget. After I had been there for a few minutes talking with my Mom, my Dad appeared all dressed to go. The man is 87 years old, yet when he stepped into the room, he was styled from head to toe looking as modern as any other person on the planet right down to his socks! He and my Mom giggled telling me that she had recently bought the pants he was wearing and hadn’t realized she was picking up, “the skinny leg” variety. It looked so good on Dad it made my heart smile. (My Dad has fought getting old his entire life. At almost 88 next month, it persists.) I was struck by how adorable he looked. It made me feel so good. He was dressed up to go out with ME, regardless of the occasion. (Sniffle. So sweet. I wish I had taken a photo, but that memory will stay with me forever more.)

Our trip to the License Bureau went off without a hitch and soon enough we were walking across the parking lot of the country club. This was a walk both of us had taken separately and collectively hundreds of thousands of times. This time, however, my Dad reached for my hand and we walked up the stairs together to pay respects to a dear friend and his family. It was a bittersweet feeling. This was a place that was a second home to us from birth until my early thirties. My Dad spent nearly every day there playing golf. (He reminded me on the trip over there that he and his buddies used to play on New Year”s Eve no matter what the weather.) I spent my youth in the pool and at the snack bar and then when my daughter was born, we were there together daily during the summers. This is the place we celebrated every special occasion; birthdays, weddings, Anniversary’s, Funerals, out of town guests, and of course, the Kentucky Derby and Breeders Cup!

We were both unprepared for the wash of feelings that hit us at the door. The first thing I noticed was a giant portrait of my Dad’s old good friend, Pee Wee Reese. Dad and I walked over to it and then noticed they had created an entire area dedicated to him. It was fun looking at the art and then peering out the window to see the pool area that had meant so much to me. Then we walked through the archway into the bar to pay our respects the family. The son of my Dad’s friend is a person I ran in the same circles with in high school and his wife graduated with me. It was so good to see them both and to hug them and just spend a few moments together. Looking around, it didn’t take long for Dad and I to come to the unspoken realization that he wouldn’t be seeing many of his old friends. They have all passed on or are in too ill health to socialize.

Trying to take the focus off of that fact, I took his hand and suggested we sneak around the club to see what it was like now. And so we did. What we found were a few changes named for other passed on men who were his best golfing buddies. We stopped in the bar and searched the wall for the plaque with his name on it for when he was the 1980 Club Champion. When I found it, I couldn’t help but reflect that in 1980 I was a Sophomore; probably the same year I started actively socializing in high school.

How did we get here, so far along in life? Gosh, it’s gone by so fast.

We took a few more steps out to the veranda to watch the golfers coming in. I knew Dad was probably remembering all of the times he’d played that course. The screaming elephant in both of our hearts was knowing he would not be playing that course again and that this is a place now predicated by the words, “used to”. I don’t have adequate words to paint what was in our hearts at that moment. I just have gratitude that we experienced it together.

On the way out we ran into two more of my high school friends and I got to hug their necks and say hello. Then I hugged my friend, who’d just lost his father and I told him from my heart, that I love him and although the occasion absolutely sucked, I was so happy to see he and his wife. I meant that. His Dad was important to me and by proxy, that made me always think of him as “brother”. I told him that too. It came out easily.

The drive home was filled with small talk and memories of days gone by. As he was getting out of the car, my Dad took my hand, and with tears in his eyes and told me how much it meant to him that I had suggested we go and that I took the time to come pick him up and Chauffeur him to and from. He said he was glad we were present there, “together”. I was too.

Having worked together for over thirty years, my Dad and I haven’t always seen eye to eye. There was even a time when we didn’t speak to or see one another for three years. Though it was emotionally hard, I count this day as a Supreme Blessing. I cried all the way home thanking God that love honestly does transcend all.

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PS- That photo up there was taken when I was just twenty years old. Dad and I were in San Diego attending a business meeting.


My Dear Lord,

Things pass so quickly here on this earth. While we are busy going about the tasks of our daily lives, please help us to remember to look up and to savor where we are in life. Far too often things happen in a flash and then we are left looking back lamenting and wishing we’d stopped before it was too late. Help us to cultivate the relationships we may be taking for granted and to communicate our feelings to those who may not realize how important they are to us. 

Thank you for allowing me precious time with my parents. Help us all to make the time to go the extra mile for our precious loved ones, even when to do so, requires supreme effort and extra energy. The are always unexpected Blessings there.

Thank you for the life you have given me. Thank you for the dear friends I’ve made along the way. Thank you for helping me speak the words that have long been hidden in my heart.

May we all be better vessels of your love and light today and always.

Amen


“Let all that you do be done in love.”  1 Corinthians 16:14