I believe that everything is connected.
Food. Family. Friends. Love. Celebration. Beauty. Art. Music. Words. It’s all part of this epic design, this life God has given me. The masterpiece God has orchestrated in all of us.
I grew up in a home that encouraged my sense of creativity and my desire to find beauty in my surroundings. My sisters and I would excitedly decorate the house for the fall season as early as Labor Day, and we listened to Christmas music year round. We eagerly devoured any baked good made with pumpkin and love, and if it was found in the American Girl cookbooks, we probably made it.
It wasn’t specifically about holidays, home economics, a particular season, or food. It was all that and more. I went to college and earned my degree in visual art but in the process learned so much more about what art is and how it expresses itself in our lives. During those years I began to channel my creativity into the kitchen, and a new passion arose as I discovered my adventurous side with food.
Of course, those years also brought on 40 excess pounds, and after graduation I put my appreciation for good food and cooking to further use in shedding the extra weight that so greatly increased my risk for deadly diseases later in life. I found art in something else, and that’s in shaping the human body. I will never have the same body that I’d have if I could sculpt my own “ideal,” but I have discovered the body that God created for me and meant for me to have through eating and living fully and intentionally, taking care to nourish it appropriately, but never depriving myself of the important things in life. After all, if I don’t take care of my body, how can I ensure that I will be around long enough to be there for my children, grandchildren, and the people I meet as I grow older? This body may not be perfect by the world’s standards, but this body can keep up with youngsters, climb several flights of stairs multiple times a day, somehow not get so sick during the height of a record-breaking allergy season as it did the year before (when my eating and sleeping habits were more or less junk), and in a few weeks, it will run (jog) its first official 5K race. And as a result of the changes in my lifestyle, my body functions more efficiently, and my lipid profile this week attested to that.
You see, I believe food serves several purposes. I believe it was given to us to sustain us and fuel our bodies. I believe that your health is first and foremost affected by what you expose your body to, primarily what you eat. I believe it is important to treat your body with respect by keeping it strong and healthy. I also believe that food was given to us for pleasure. The Bible talks about the Wedding Feast of the Lamb in heaven, but in heaven we will all have perfect bodies and not need food for fuel. Food will be solely for pleasure and celebration! Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I believe food was meant to bring people together. To break bread together with others. To nourish not only our bodies but our relationships and our love. When Christ had something important to say, it was usually over a meal. Feeding the 5,000, or his Last Supper, or performing his first miracle by turning water to wine. All of the Jewish feast days he would have observed. It can be argued that sitting down and supping with others is a sacred practice.
Additionally, many of us have a certain dish that immediately transports us back to fond memories. I eat Pace Picante sauce and am instantly reminded of holidays at my grandmother’s house when my cousin, Danny, and I would dominate the entire bowl of Pace before dinner was ever served (Mamaw would be so mad!). Pumpkin cookies and sparkling grape juice reminds me of Pride and Prejudice and giggly conversations about skittles with friends in my dorm rooms in Davis hall.
(It’s only sparkling grape juice, I swear!)
Food draws me back to the most poignant moments in my life. They may not have been conventionally important. I didn’t make any major life decisions at these times, or do anything radical. I was just living and loving. Sharing and giving. Celebrating the things that make life worthwhile. The simple things, such as good food and good company. Like art, they aren’t the moments that are necessary for survival, but they are the difference between surviving and truly living.
“So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31
I truly believe that eating can be worship, just as living, singing, painting, and writing can be worship. I believe that the phrase, “the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach” is significantly more profound than we understand. When we sit down together and break bread with one another, share our gifts, our talents, our service, our nourishment, our thoughts, open our minds and our hearts, laugh together, breath in our surroundings together, magic happens. Worship happens. And God sits there at the table, feasting, laughing, and loving with us.
And this blog is where I share my art. My recipes and creations. The joy I share with others. So come, join me at my table.
This entry is in participation of the FoodBuzz Project Food Blog event. For more information, click here!