abundant blessings

lately, i have been very aware and impressed with God’s provision and blessings in my life.  last night’s French night festivities were no exception.  even as i write this, i am enjoying a dinner consisting of leftover brie, crackers and French wine.

a couple months ago, my roommate and i hosted Greekstravaganza, a dinner party focusing on Mediterranean food.  about 11 people came and were so thrilled with the evening that we decided to do that again, this time focusing on French food.  our challenge: Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon.  we had no idea that this would equal 4 1/2 hours in the kitchen, “slaving over a hot stove,” so to speak.  but it was actually really rewarding, and Megan and i were a great team.

the ingredients:

and of course, the French fav:

the chefs, me and my lovely roommate, Megan (sorry, i look a bit like Aunt Jemima, but i just got out of the shower…):

and now….drum roll please….the finished product:

while we were waiting for sauteing, and brown-braising, and simmering, we had a bit of time to do some decorating.  if you can’t see it, i put my fav French soccer player, Zidane, and a pic of his infamous head-butt.

and then our lovely guests arrived, followed by a wonderful night of eating and conversation.  truly a blessing to have such a wonderful community!

on a different note, i was looking through pictures of myself that spanned several years.  if you’re like me, your eyes, when looking at pictures of yourself, go right to your perceived “problem areas,” for me, my midsection.  i looked at these pictures, dating back all the way to high school, and in each one, my “problem areas” all looked the same.  it didn’t matter if i was in a bad place in life and overeating, or a really good place and just finished a 1/2 marathon.  my body was the same.

i was processing this with my roommate, how we are so focused and spend so much time and energy obsessing over such areas and how we can make them better/different/prettier, etc.  i began to go through the catalog of women i admire and noticed that i do not take in their “flaws”…i see them as they are, but the thought that generally registers is just how beautiful they are, not how much extra their mid-section has or if their thighs are too big or their face covered in bumps.  they are just adorable to me, and i enjoy being in their presence.

the questions then began to surface…what if i embraced this about myself?  the last thing i want is to look back in 30 years and wonder why i spent so much time and energy worrying about how i looked when i could have been running more marathons/writing a book/climbing the Grand Canyon, etc.  how would my life look different if i saw myself as beautiful?

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