Monday, September 2, 2019

Devotionals for the Heart: Cooking


Cooking up some love
A devotional by Jessica Brodie

When I was younger, I didn’t know how to cook, nor did I want to learn. I had it in my head that as a strong, independent, intelligent “career woman” I just needed to know enough to get by, enough to eat healthily on a regular basis. If I needed fine dining, I could go to a restaurant, thank you very much.

That thinking changed as the years passed. The first time my sister came to visit, I was excited and wanted to do something special for her, so I hauled out my grandma’s old Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. How hard could it be?

It turned out not to be so hard, but also kind of fun, too.

I started pulling out that cookbook at other times, too—a homemade instead of a store-bought treat for my office potluck, a yummy appetizer for my friend’s Super Bowl party, a special dessert for Thanksgiving. One year I was tight on funds at Christmas, so I decided to make homemade biscotti cookies as presents. It was hard but deliciously worth it.

When I had kids, cooking became not just something I needed to do so they could stay alive. It became a way I could love them and care for them. If they were sick, I could fix them their favorite meal as a way to comfort or cheer them. When my son was diagnosed with severe food allergies, I didn’t panic. I just figured out how to cook things without his allergens. Easy peasy.

I’ve hosted my share of family Thanksgivings and dinner parties, I eat at home 99% of the time, and I still love my Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book. But I’m no master chef, nor do I ever want to be. Most nights, we get by on leftovers. And I get frustrated if anything I cook takes longer to prep than twenty minutes. Who has time for that?

But I’ve come to understand that cooking for others is a way I can love them. It has nothing to do with my so-called status as a career woman, wife, woman, or mom. It’s a sweet act of service I can do, a loving gift, and an investment of time all rolled into one. Plus, it saves money!

As the apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians, serve with a cheerful heart.

“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ” (Colossians 3:23-24 NLT).

And as he wrote the Corinthians, “So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT).

Whatever we offer in love—whether that’s a meal, a handcrafted piece of furniture, a piece of writing or other artwork, a sermon, or a good word of advice to a friend—remember that we are reflecting the love of God with it.

As Jesus Himself said, “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father” (Matthew 5:14-16 NLT).

Bon appetit!

~*~
Author Bio: 


Jessica Brodie is an award-winning Christian novelist, journalist, editor, blogger, and writing coach and the recipient of the 2018 American Christian Fiction Writers Genesis Award for her novel, The Memory Garden


She is also the editor of the South Carolina United Methodist Advocate, the oldest newspaper in Methodism, and a member of the Wholly Loved Ministries team.

Learn more about her fiction and read her faith blog at http://jessicabrodie.com/shiningthelight.

19 comments:

  1. Love this Jessica! Yes, whatever we are doing, we have the ability to show God's love. Cooking, smiling, watching the world... we can show God's love. Have a blessed day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You, too, Melissa! It's really neat all the opportunities we have. Even those that seem "small" have a big impact.

      Delete
  2. Thanks for sharing this. Without the ideas of doing it as unto the Lord and as a means of showing love to others, it is just pure drudgery. Attitude plus action is everything.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, you are absolutely right, Dottie! Thank you for the reminder!! Loving others definitely isn't drudgery, no matter what it involves.

      Delete
  3. Enjoyed reading about your journey. We are amazed that the simplicity of life is so enriching.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Cleo! As I've gotten older, I've realized simplicity is so beautiful and can offer so many glimpses into the holy.

      Delete
  4. I love cooking for others and also learned as an adult. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Candice!! Yay to another adult cooking learner!

      Delete
  5. Love this, Jessica! You sound like quite the cook, because it comes from the heart. I also possess that same cook book, along with Betty Crocker's Cookbook, both of which were bridal gifts...34 years ago! While I don't refer to them as much as I used to, they are my go-to resource for a basic dish I'm not sure about, and a great pie crust I use for homemade pies. This devotion provides a powerful recipe for our labor in the Lord and service to Him: Do everything out of love and for the glory of God.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amen, Karen!! It's all for the glory of God! I've found a big way I can love God is by loving others, and it feels so good to do that.

      Delete
  6. I was reminded of Romans 12:13, "Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality."
    I love to cook for my family, too but find it especially sweet when we include others. I haven't done that in a while - thanks for the push!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Beth!! This week I'm getting to host some hurricane evacuee family members, so it's been fun getting to love on them via my kitchen. ;-)

      Delete
  7. I love cooking! Whether it's for my husband every night (and he knows my love language--PRAISE) or for holidays or parties, it's a joy to watch people enjoy food I prepared just for them. And related to that, I take just as much in joy shopping for groceries to prepare those meals. It's part of the anticipation. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, Linda, you are so right.. the anticipation is a glorious feeling!!! Thank you so much for this. God bless you!

      Delete
  8. I only recently learned to enjoy cooking. I dreaded it when I worked all day and then had to prepare something for the family. Now, we the freedom of retirement, I enjoy it much more and make things with love instead of with dread

    ReplyDelete
  9. Awesome Post Sister! The gift of being able to serve a delicious cooked meal is truly a blessing for all involved! Especially in Jesus Name... Great Post as always God Bless You and Yours!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hi Jessica. I think, for some, their sweet act of service is to stay OUT of the kitchen!...even with the help of B H & G. Or, I suppose, those at the table can eat for the glory of God. That might work. 🙃 But, seriously, this is a heartwarming post. There is much we can do that shows our love, and when it's not our thing, our love shines even more. God bless your cooking.

    ReplyDelete