Welcome Oh dear, my fellow bloggers have all just cringed or closed out of the post. Hear me out, though, because I really have been pondering this question lately. I wonder if other bloggers, especially Christian bloggers, ever feel the same way. I also have a Frugal Friday recipe to close out the week. Please note: This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon affiliate, I receive a small commission when you click on one of my Amazon product links and make a qualifying purchase. There is no additional cost to you and helps keep this site free for your use and free from pop-ups. Thank you.
Today’s Scripture James 3:14 “If you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t boast and deny the truth.”
Food For Thought This verse was one of the first passages I practiced verse mapping with and that, my friends, is a powerful tool. When diving deep into the meaning of the words, applying it personally, and focusing on contextual elements, it really makes you think. While working with this verse, my mind kept being drawn to my desire, my ambition, to become a successful writer and blogger. When I first started on this journey over a year ago, I was quick to boast about my new path being “divinely inspired.” I boldly confessed how I wanted to reach others and share the good news of Jesus while giving busy people convenient, real-life recipes. I optimistically said things like, “People will come for the food, and stay for the scripture and encouragement.” I always have lofty visions for my goals and dreams! About nine months into my journey, not seeing the results I expected, I started feeling a little bitterness. And envy…how are all of the other bloggers doing it? What secrets do they know that I do not? Did I completely misunderstand God’s direction for me?
My husband and I hash out this conversation at least once a week. Here’s the truth, though. If it weren’t for the fact that I feel incredibly guilty about not bringing in more income right now, I wouldn’t care how much traffic I get or how much “success” I might achieve. I just like writing. I like communicating positive news to others through social media. I like telling my stories. I like giving tips and tricks and helpful hints to others. But these aren’t the only things I like. I like setting my own hours and having a flexible schedule around my daughter’s school and activities. I like working from the comfort of my home. I like not having a commute. I like having time to run errands and clean the house and get the yard work done, without sacrificing every hour of the weekend. I like being able to work around the days when I don’t feel good or experiencing health issues. I like having time for hobbies. When I add up all of those little perks, it makes me question if my ambition to be a blogger and writer is more a selfish choice than an act to do good. Is this a common feeling? Am I overanalyzing my choices again? Am I just being impatient with God’s timing?
These questions come into play because I still feel like God has brought me to this path for a reason. I see, hear, and experience it again and again, whether it’s through a church sermon titled “Tell Your Story,” or the odd little ways we keep getting income from refunds, rebates, yard sales, and odd jobs. I always have, and always will believe that when something is God-inspired, the provision to make it happen will come to be, no matter what.
From the start, my husband has done nothing but encourage me. He wisely states, “You can be paid in other ways than just money.” Compliments are a great thing, and the idea that I may have helped someone, whether it’s in the form of quick recipes for a busy new mom or words of encouragement to someone having a tough day, is quite rewarding. Even with my husband’s encouragement and support, I can’t help but wonder if I’m putting more pressure on him than I should be.
We’re not destitute by any means. We always have enough to cover our bills each month, along with giving and a little “wiggle room.” But in the past couple of months we’ve had things like car repairs and tree damage and a water heater blow-out that have forced us to pause and reevaluate our budget and savings plan. We’ve determined this isn’t a good year to take a big vacation and some home repairs we wanted to start have had to go on hold. So teetering on the fine line between having more than we need and that selfish desire for more, I find myself wondering if the writing career just isn’t meant for me. Then it comes to the question, am I putting too much emphasis on money and “things”? Or am I more focused on my own happiness than the needs of my family? These are real struggles, friends!
So, is my desire to continue working from home with little to no income entirely selfish? Honestly, that’s going to have to be something established through my daily communications with God. He and I are really the only ones who can possibly know the desires and motives in my heart and mind behind my actions and choices. And today is a great day to trust His guidance and blessing!
Today’s Recipe One of the easiest ways we’ve cut down the budget is becoming more frugal grocery shoppers. We check the weekly sale ads, buy store brands, and eat less meat. And we don’t waste anything! Sometimes we want to stretch the groceries a few more days until that next paycheck comes in. Then it’s time to play “Pantry Raid” or “Empty the Fridge.” I go through the pantry or fridge and pull out things that are “almost” gone and combine them. This works especially well with pasta, rice, grains, and beans.
Our recipe today combines a couple of my favorite Frugal Friday tips. First of all, this is a meatless dish, so that automatically makes it more thrifty, and healthier, too! Second, it’s a clean out the fridge dinner, which makes it flexible for what you have on hand and uses up little bits and pieces that may be hanging out in the pantry or fridge.
Make those veggies last longer, eliminating waste and saving money, with these great products from Amazon:
“Empty the Fridge” Veggie and Cheese Pasta
- 1 TBS olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 tsp dried herbs (any or combination of basil, oregano, herbs de province, thyme, etc.)
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 1 1/2 to 3 cups soft vegetables (any or combination of peppers, corn, peas, mushrooms, spinach, chard, or other leafy greens)
- 16-oz box dried pasta
- 1 1/2 to 3 cups hard vegetables (any or combination of squash, carrots, celery, broccoli, or cauliflower)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups leftover cheese, grated or shredded (any or combination of mozzarella, parmesan, cheddar, Colby jack, feta, etc.)
- 1 TBS aromatics (any or combination of sliced green onions, lemon zest, crushed red pepper flakes, dill, chives, etc.)
Heat oil in medium skillet. Add onion to hot oil and sweat. Add dried herbs, garlic, and soft vegetables and cook through. Bring a large pot of water to boil; add pasta, hard vegetables, and salt. Cook until pasta is al dente and drain. Add the cooked vegetables from the skillet to the pot of pasta and other vegetables. Stir in cheeses and aromatics. Serve with garlic bread, if desired.