We interrupt this regularly scheduled life…

Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying “Change is the only constant in life.”  This saying has also been translated as “The only constant is change.” (source: reference.com) Can you relate?  It seems like the only thing I can depend on and plan for is that my plans are going to change.  As we go about our business, the day-to-day tasks and events that make up life, we can be sure that somewhere along the path, there will be interruptions.  The unexpected will happen.  How will you face the challenge?  How will your attitude, and more importantly, your faith, hold up?Food For Thought  I’m going to share two lists of words with you.  Each list of words will probably evoke certain emotions, but neither list is necessarily positive or negative.

List 1: Plans. Perfection. Order. Structure.  Expectations. Familiarity. Rigidity. Change. Unexpected. Interruption. Insecurity. Frustration. Newness. Anxiety. Panic. Resentment. Disappointment. Disillusionment.

List 2: Humility. Meekness. Adaptability. Flexibility. Adjustable. Resilience. Embracing. Acceptance. Growth. Teachable. Adventure. Peace. Hopeful. Faith. Trust. Belief. Better. Improvement.

For most of my life, I have lived in a cycle of the words listed in the first group.  I wanted to plan out every single detail of my life.  I wanted all of my plans to neatly fit into the spaces along my time line.  I had a vision of how my life would be, believing that if I worked hard enough and did all the “right” steps, my life would go exactly as I planned.  I was efficient, organized, orderly and structured.  I expected those around me to be all of those things as well.  And I faced disappointments over and over again.  I did not deal well with those changes and interruptions.  I would become frustrated and upset and then deal with bouts of anxiety and depression and even bitterness.  I would question God’s purpose for my life.  How could He not see that I was doing “everything right?”  Well, obviously I wasn’t doing everything right.  Time and time again I was proclaiming to God that my way was better than His way.  So this cycle continued.  Until I reached a tipping point.  I reached a point in my life last year when it was going to be God’s way or I was going to spiral downward into a depression from which I could not recover.  Unless you have experienced that place in your life personally, you may not fully grasp what I am speaking of here.  I was lucky, though.  All of the lessons and spiritual insights that had been ingrained in me the previous 38 years of life mattered at that moment.  My heart and soul and mind decided right then that there was a better way to live my life.

You may have noticed that the second list starts with the word humility.  I’ve spent a lot of time talking about being humble this week and it’s just as important today as it was in those earlier stories.  Beginning to live a life of acceptance and peace and faith starts with being humble.  I have to be humble enough to accept there is someone, in fact, a lot of someone’s, that know better than me.  I become humble in the realization that I do not always have the best plan and my structure or routine is not the only way things can be done.  This requires me to become more flexible, adaptable, accepting, and meek.  My mind and spirit become resilient as I face inevitable obstacles that come my way or plans that have to be changed.  I become teachable in these moments, allowing God to show me the BETTER path, the BETTER option, a BETTER future.  The more I allow God to show me and guide me, the stronger I grow in my faith and trust.  And over time I have come to see a true and honest improvement in my life.  Don’t get me wrong, I still find change and the unknown very scary.  I still prefer to plan ahead.  But I am less rigid, making me more accepting and loving to others, and I’m more flexible which equals less stress and panic for me.  I’ll never be a “whim” kind of girl, but I am ready to journey down the unknown path God has prepared for me.

Today’s Prayer  My Dear God, please help me to accept Your plans for me, even when I don’t understand them or feel they don’t match my own plans.  I have read Your words and know that You do not plan to harm me, but only intend for me to prosper.  I thank You for the plans You have interrupted that would not have been good for me and unintentional directions You have led me that have brought me wonderful experiences and beautiful relationships.  God, allow me to trust that You always know better than I do regarding the plans for my life.  Help me to accept that what You need from me is bigger than my own understanding.  Let me embrace Your Will, Lord, so that I may serve.  In Jesus’ Holy Name, Amen.

Today’s Scriptures  So many places in our Bible we are instructed not to worry, but to trust God and His plans.  Here are just a few verses to help me remember the importance of letting God take control of my life.

Psalm 25:12  “Who, then, is the man that fears the Lord?  He will instruct him in the way chosen for him.”

Psalm 37:5-8 “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.  Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.  Refrain from anger and  turn from wrath; do not fret–it leads only to evil.”

1 Corinthians 14:33  “For God is not a God of disorder but of peace.”

Today’s Recipe  So speaking of unpredictable and changing plans, have you ever experienced this when time to fix dinner for your family?  Ice storm hits before you can get to the grocery store?  Baby comes down sick and you spend your time cuddling and consoling, but rest of the family wants to eat?  Worked late?  Stuck in traffic?  Holding out for one more day until the paycheck comes in?  Forgot to thaw meat from the freezer?  I can identify with every one of these scenarios.  So how do you prevent meal-time melt-down?  Two key tricks: Always save your leftovers!  The only exception to this is if they are “expired.”  Don’t risk your family’s health, but we always get to our leftovers quickly, so that’s not a worry for us.  Second, don’t be afraid to get creative!  I’m going to share this recipe for a Beef and Bacon Hash, but to be perfectly honest, this dish could change every time you make it.  It’s all about whatever you have in the fridge and pantry.  One potato?  That’s all you need!  Small amounts of a few different meats?  Use ’em all up!  Random vegetables in the crisper?  Slice up whatever sounds good!  That’s how I get a substantial hash dish that’s very filling and comforting for dinner and no stress!  Feel free to sub in and out vegetables and meats for this dish according to your family’s likes and your refrigerator’s contents.  Traditional hash is going to have some type of meat, potato, and onion.  The rest is up to you!

Beef and Bacon Hash

  • 4-5 strips bacon
  • 1 large russet potato
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 zucchini, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced thin
  • 1-2 carrots sliced
  • 1-2 cups leftover roast beef, cubed
  • 1 TBS garlic and herb seasoning
  • poached or fried eggs, if desired

In large cast iron skillet, fry bacon until crisp.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Wash potato and poke all around with a fork.  Place in microwave and cook on high for 5 minutes.  Using skillet with bacon drippings, place on medium heat, adding onion and next 4 ingredients.  Cook until vegetables are golden and tender, stirring occasionally.  Remove potato from microwave to cutting board and cut into bite sized pieces, then adding to skillet.  Add beef and herb seasoning.  Stir and cook until meat has heated completely through.  Crumble bacon and add to skillet right before serving.  Serve with a poached or fried egg on top, if desired.