After being away for about 2 months, I am back. And to be honest, I have missed writing. However, I think I overthink things and feel as though what I write has to be perfect, but why? This canvas has truly been a place that I decided was a good place for me to pour out my thoughts, sometimes with vulnerability, and well, share it with others. Sometimes, my thoughts don’t come up and out perfectly, so why would they need to be perfect here? So here we are.

Our wall that made up of windows = window wall

It’s a Monday morning – almost noon – while I’m writing this, in my beautiful piso here in Spain (which was one of those “it’s only crazy until it happens” stories – you can read in my other blog). Our “window wall” is allowing the natural light to invade our house, but without the warmth of the sun. The clouds haven’t quite decided to allow the sun to “come out and play” at all, so I’m forced to be in sweat pants AND warm socks to keep from “freezing”. My only hope is that the sun will come out at some point to begin to dry our hanging clothes.

The hubs is next to me playing his game on the computer as I choose to be disciplined and write & sip on my coffee (yes, He still makes me coffee EVERY morning). We actually get to have a Monday together today because today is a “bridge” – the 6th and the 8th of December are both Holidays here in Spain. Since I have another day at home with the hubs, I’ll be sure to take advantage of this time together and hang out with him as well – which will most likely mean playing some games! We both are big on games (board games, computer games, as well as some card games). I think my biggest challenge of today will be not eating the rest of the pecan shortbread cookies I made yesterday – here’s to overcoming!

Here I go talking about food. A couple of weeks ago it was asked of me, “What is it about you and food?”, and well, honestly, my response was something like, “I like it”. Ha, I mean, that’s a super simple response, but there really is something more to it than just “I like it”.

God saw all that He had made, and it was very good.

Genesis 1: 31a

In the first book of the Bible, Genesis, we get a beautiful story and picture of the Creator creating the heavens and the earth. It goes through the first 7 days of creating, where the 7th day was His day of rest. What I love is how after each day’s work of creating, He saw that it was good. God looked at what He created, and saw that it was good. He liked what He created. After creating what we call nature and animals, God created mankind in His image and likeness – where we too can experience what He experiences.

Air Fryer Chicken Wings

I am fully aware that I am NOT The Creator, but I AM a child of the Creator. Like most little kids want to be “just like their mommy and/or daddy”, I want to be just like my Daddy. One way that I have found this type of feeling is through the use of food.

With food, I have been able to create delicious experiences, not only for my husband and myself, but especially for others. That really sounds weird to type, or even read (I’m sorry), but it is really what I feel like it has become – delicious experiences. The before, the during, and the after of each food is an experience in itself.

This is how it happens…

Many times I’d be sitting here thinking about how I would like to try to make something because I’ve seen something pop up on my feeds (yes, most of my feeds are filled with food items whether it be on IG, FB, or even Tiktok [especially TikTok]) or on Netflix (friends if you have not watched “Nailed it” on Netflix – GET IT TOGETHER!). Sometimes it’s a request that someone may have asked of me, to make a something for them. Other times, it happens because I have a “small group” to attend, or some sort of event that requires a food item. So either I’ll get to work looking for recipes (I haven’t quite gotten to the point of exploring on my own, so I tend to start with a base recipe and tweak it to make it my own) to try something new, OR I’ll return to my repeated recipes.

Our first Thanksgiving meal in our first place together. Messy process, but tasty products.

Then comes the creating process – which I absolutely enjoy. It’s the time when things get the MESSIEST! If you’ve ever been in/near a kitchen where I am baking, you already know the situation. Unfortunately, I do not have a picture of a kitchen “during the process”, but take my word for it – it gets messy. One of my favorite baking partners, my cousin Trinity, and I have named ourselves the Messy Bakers, because it just is what it is. My philosophy in “creating” is:

“the messier the process, the tastier the product”.

With that being said, during the messy process, I enjoy talking with God through it all. Sometimes, our conversations stem around the fact that I really have no idea what in the world I’m doing, but I trust Him to make it come out GREAT. Many times, I will pray for the person, or the people that will partake in the creation. I’ve found that in the “creating process”, it’s a great time to talk with the Creator because I mean, He knows everything there is to know about creating. It amazes me sometimes how beautiful and delicious many of my creations turn out, especially in seeing how messy the creating process can be. It’s just like God to make a masterpiece out of my mess. I also like to pray that said person would feel God’s love and embrace with every bite.

Then it comes time to give away the finished product. I love that I can do this with open hands, and not clutched fist. I mean, don’t get me wrong, there are MANY things that I’ve created, that I’ve thought, “man, I’d love to have more of that”, but it is so much more rewarding giving it away and seeing the response of the others. Jesus said it Himself:

It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Acts 20: 35
Sister and I made over 70 cookies to give away for a Thanksgiving dinner here in Spain. AlMa stands for Ale & Maiya. Alma also means soul, because we put our heart and soul into everything we make.

I now have a better understanding of my grandma Shirley. She was the lady who loved to feed people. If you ever came over to the house and she was there, she was offering you something to eat, even after you just arrived to our house after eating. She was also known for her baked goods – she loved making cakes to give away to others just to bless them. It was her way of expressing her love for others as well. And this is where I found myself.

Prepping boxes at our food bank here

I love blessing people with something so simple. We eat food everyday, and all the time. There are people who eat just because it is in front of them, and others who eat to survive. I want to be a blessing for both extremes. God has given me a gift, and I simply want to use this gift to share His love with other people. In everything I do, I try to do to the best of my ability, with ALL of my love so that people will feel God’s presence in receiving.

I love being a reminder of a nostalgic moment. You know, sometimes when you eat something, it reminds you of a place, person, a moment you had that really blessed you – yea, I love being on the other end of that.

I love that with food, I have the opportunity to do MANY things that I LOVE to do:

The hubs’s infamous deep dish pizza
  • the main being blessing others. Creating with food is such a tangible way that I can use “what I have” do bless others. I enjoy receiving requests for cookies or some type of “dessert of choice” to provide for a dinner party (that I may not even be attending) or an event. Not just because it says that I created something good, but it’s a moment where I get to GIVE what I have.
  • getting to teach. I am a teacher, and many times in creating with food, I get to do so with other people (lately, this has been with my “sister-friend” Ale or my husband). I’ve enjoyed seeing both my “sister” and my husband grow in the kitchen – not just in their comfort level around the kitchen, but also in their product. When I can see someone go from not doing something at all, to actually making good efforts, that SCREAMS success to me.
  • being like the Creator. Creating food is not the same as creating the heavens and the earth, I am aware, but it is a way that I get to create. It gives me an opportunity to relate to my heavenly Father in a different way, seeing something that I created and seeing that it was good.
  • bringing people together. There is something about sharing a meal with other people. Sitting at the table with others, sharing a meal, tears down walls. It has a way of taking off the title “stranger” from someone. It’s a good way to “Meet No Strangers”.

So what is it with me and food? Food is good and I like it. I like how it brings people together. Food is one of the ways I express God’s love to others. Food is one of the ways I am using “what’s in my hand”, to make a difference in someone’s life. All I have is all I need.

I’ve learned…I don’t need to wait for certain things to happen, I just need to be open to using what I have in order for things to happen through me.

My encouragement to you…Even if all you have are your words, you have more than enough for God to use you to make a difference in someone’s life.