Our Daily Nourishment

Today’s Scripture

Welcome  We seek nourishment.  We know we must have it to function and live.  We often view nourishment strictly in a physical sense, as in food as fuel for our bodily systems.  This is important, as we must supply our physical bodies with nutrition, but nourishment goes much deeper than just the physical.  Our nourishment comes from many sources beyond food and drink.

Food For Thought  When I first began faith-family-food, my idea for a tagline was “Feed your soul, then feed your family.”  This philosophy was based in my belief that we must nourish our souls first before we can do any good in other areas of our lives, including the feeding and caring of our families.  I still believe this.  I found recently, however, that nourishment even goes deeper than feeding our souls and our physical beings.

My beloved gratitude journal helped me study this concept of nourishment further.  A prompt for one of the days was to “set aside several quiet minutes today and do something that you find nourishing…”  I knew the point of this activity was not for me to go sit down and have a plate of vegetables and a big glass of water, although these our nourishing to our physical health.  As I thought of the activities in my life that I found nourishing, I realized that I try to spend time each day, or week, nourishing eight core areas of my life.  I also have noticed, over time, that when I neglect to nourish these areas on a regular basis, I become weak, and not just physically.  Here are my eight core areas and some of the nourishment I give to each area.

1 Nourish my soul.  I accomplish this through daily personal Bible study and prayer time, and also with weekly worship services, Bible study groups, and fellowship.

2 Nourish my body.  This goes beyond what I cook and consume, although these are very important.  This includes my (almost) daily walks and stretching exercises, the hikes I try to get in as often as I can, and simply being up and moving about my house or yard doing daily tasks.

3 Nourish my mind.  Some days I play games or work puzzles.  Other days I read, both for knowledge and entertainment.  I used to feel guilty about the time I spent doing these activities but I was recently reminded by a friend that exercising our brains is just as important as exercising our bodies, especially when it comes to preventing memory loss, dementia, and other age-related issues with the mind.

4 Nourish my heart.  This nourishment comes from spending time with family and friends.  When I can spend time with my husband and daughter and truly be present in the moment, it’s not so much about the activity we’re doing, but the fact that these two people truly nourish my heart.

5 Nourish my emotional health.  Bring in the good, purge the bad, and this couldn’t be more important than with our thoughts.  I try to read or listen to something encouraging every day.  This can include listening to my local Christian radio station or favorite Christian artists on Spotify.  Sometimes this emotional nourishment is getting rid or limiting something that’s not good for me.  I have to limit my time on social media for my emotional and mental health.  My family and I have also worked on decreasing the amount of television we watch each day.

6 Nourish my social health and relationships.  This is the hardest one for me.  I don’t like to consider myself antisocial, but I have learned in recent years to be more selective with the company I keep.  At the same time, as I get older, I find myself much less tolerant of others’ behavior and get frustrated more and more easily.  But it would not be healthy if I were to become reclusive, although tempting some days.  So I have to work on my social health by reaching out to others.  I may call or text a friend or I may volunteer with my daughter’s school or a local outreach program.  I remind myself frequently that I cannot be sharing God’s message with others if I’m not connecting with others.

7 Nourish my health by keeping our home clean.  Housekeeping chores may not be my favorite way to spend time, but if I look at it as a way to nourish mine and my family’s health, it gives better motivation to get the bed sheets and towels washed, the toilets scrubbed, and the floors mopped.  By doing one or two chores a day, I am able to keep up with most of the housework without becoming overwhelmed or exhausted by the cleaning projects.

8 Nourish my creativity.  I have always craved time to be creative.  For me, it usually takes the form of painting, drawing, writing, or crafting.  But anyone can nourish their creativity by finding a hobby that encourages use of the right brain.  Yes, creativity is for everyone.  I am a person that loves structure and order, yet I embrace the freedom of a blank canvas or sketch pad.  If visual arts aren’t your “thing,” there are other ways to be creative, such as music, dance (also a great physical exercise), cooking, sewing, woodcrafts, interior decorating, even software and app design.

I have learned that nourishment is not as simple as I once thought.  Then again, we are not simple creatures.  We are not machines, we are people, with many complex systems that work together rather than independently.  Nourishing all of our systems is crucial to a full, balanced life.  Seek nourishment in all its forms and be grateful for the many ways we can care for our whole selves.

Today’s Recipe

Today seems like a good day for some classic comfort food. I also want to share another way to use our Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken from yesterday. It makes a convenient addition to other simple ingredients for this homestyle classic: Chicken Pot Pie.

Chicken Pot Pie

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked chicken (pulled, shredded, or chopped)
  • 1 15-oz box refrigerated pie crust (bottom and top crust)
  • 1 TBS butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 cup sliced carrots
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 10.5-oz can cream of chicken soup

Directions

Turn oven to 425 degrees.

Melt butter in large skillet. Add vegetables to skillet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about ten minutes.

Add chicken and peas to skillet. Stir and cook about five minutes. Add cream of chicken soup and stir to combine.

Unroll one pie crust and place in ungreased 9-inch round pie pan or other round or oval baking dish. Pour chicken and vegetable filling from skillet onto prepared crust.

Add top crust, pinching or crimping sides together as desired. Cut a few slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape. Place baking dish on rimmed baking sheet in case of spills.

Bake at 425 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Allow to rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Since I always bake my pot pie in an oval casserole dish, we more scoop out the pie, rather than slice it. It may not be pretty, but it’s so yummy!

BTW, I bake my pot pie and many cobblers, too, in my oval casseroles because I can get a bigger filling-to-crust ratio, which is what I prefer. When baking in traditional pie pans, the trick to getting clean and pretty servings is to make sure you let your pie rest for about ten minutes before cutting it.