What Blogging Has Taught Me About Being Flexible

Welcome  I have long been known to be a person who needs structure, routine, and boundaries.  It wasn’t until I was an adult that I realized I have anxiety and without these things, I do become quite anxious.  I know very well that life does not always go according to plan.  God has been using lots of lessons in my life to teach me to let go of control and trust Him.  By becoming more flexible, I am better able to trust Him and serve and love His people, all things I whole-heartedly want to accomplish.  Little did I know that becoming a blogger, a job where I am my own boss and more in control than ever before, would teach me important lessons in patience and flexibility.

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Food For Thought  My writing and blogging life is similar to most every other part of my life.  I keep a notebook with written plans and a calendar with scheduled post topics, recipes, and devotionals.  Writing is a lot like walking into the classroom in the fact that you have to have some idea of what you want to say and do before going in.  I can’t sit down at the computer each day with a blank mind, no more than I could walk into my former kindergarten classroom without a clue of what to teach that day.  There has to be some sort of plan or outline to make things flow and go, at least for the most part, smoothly.

Just like in that kindergarten classroom, however, things do not always go according to plan.  You can probably imagine how many recipe fails I have had in the kitchen, attempting to bring you something amazing to feed your family or entertain your next gathering.  A few times I have shared the fails with you, just to keep it real and honest here.

In all honesty, most everything tastes good, but some dishes are just plain ugly.  Or I get a decorating idea for a cake or cookies.  The plan seems simple enough, but execution is most certainly anything buy simple.  Then, there’s the matter of our food budget.  Everything I make for the blog has to fit in our family’s grocery budget.  I may plan a recipe or dessert that just requires too many extra ingredients and I have to nix the recipe, at least for a while.  And some days, I get so busy going in my story-telling or Bible study that there’s just no room for a recipe that day.

Since writing is what I do now, I try to be very structured, planning on a blog post five days per week most weeks.  But I like to have the flexibility to alter that schedule so I can keep my family as number one priority.  When I’m feeling ill, I like to allow myself time to rest and recover, a luxury I didn’t necessarily have when I was teaching.  At first, I felt the need to explain myself to my audience…why didn’t I have a recipe or why didn’t I post that day.  Now I just chalk it up to #reallife.

Like I mentioned earlier, God is very good at bringing me the lessons I need in life.  My life was spiraling out of control because I tried to have too much control.  Ironic, isn’t it?  The best and hardest lesson I may have learned in life is that all the good planning in the world won’t make everything come out perfectly.  In the past eighteen months, I have learned a lot about the balance between planning and flexibility, thanks to faith and food blogging.  I am so grateful for these lessons.  There has to be some bend, some give, or my rigid planning and scheduling will break me.  I deserve better than that, and more importantly, my family deserves better.

Today’s Scripture  When I was thinking about a scriptural base for needing to be flexible, the first thing that came to mind was the need to put my full trust and faith in God, allowing Him to determine my steps (Proverbs 16:9) and to mold me as workable clay (Isaiah 64:8).

But I also thought about the words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.  Paul’s explanation of adaptability is a guiding example for how we sometimes have to bend and flex to meet the needs of the community in order to share the gospel.  This is certainly an area I can improve on and it helps to read and contemplate on these words from the New Testament:

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 19Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings. (source: Biblica; 2018)

Triple Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cup Cookies
Only two ingredients! Refrigerated cookie dough and miniature peanut butter cups!



Today’s Recipe  So, yes, this is one of those recipes that almost didn’t make it to the blog.  These Triple Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Cup Cookies taste just fine.  But I think they are ugly.  It’s one of those simple things that just didn’t come out how I envisioned.  And it’s not even much of a recipe.  I simply took refrigerated Triple Chocolate Chunk cookie dough and placed each portion in a cup of a mini-muffin tin.  I baked for 14 minutes and removed from the oven.  I let them set for about five minutes and then pressed an unwrapped miniature Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup into the middle of each cookie “blob.”  Again, the finished result is delicious but I was so ashamed of their appearance that I refused to take them to a cookie exchange and made something else in their place.  The beauty in these cookies, however, is that your kids can help make them and they won’t mind one bit that they take on the appearance of a misshapen piece of pottery. 🙂

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