How To Take Pinterest Worthy Photographs. How To Dress Like a Boss Lady. How To Write Epic Blog Posts. How To Achieve a Bikini Body by Summer. How To Get a Million Likes on Social Media. How To Rock Your Next Yard Sale. How To Make a Stellar Drip Cake. How To Raise Responsible Children. How To Be the Perfect Wife. How To Have a Magazine Worthy Home Even if You Have Kids. How To Make Time For Your Self While Accomplishing all of these How To Lists. How To Live Your Life So Every One Thinks You Have It Together and Your Life is Perfect and Wonderful.
Do any of these titles sound familiar? Several of them are real. Of course I added a few at the end that are completely made up in order to make a point. The thing is, we are being bombarded with how-to posts and instructions seemingly non-stop these days, thanks to platforms like Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and Google Plus. There has never been an era that has had answers at their fingertips like we do. But here’s what’s going on. We are being subjected constantly to other people’s ideas of how we should do things, everything from what to wear to how to run our household. Tips and tricks are useful, but there is a risk involved if we are constantly depending on others to tell us how to live every aspect of our lives.
Food For Thought When I decided last year I wanted to become a blogger and work from home I read so many how-to’s for getting started. Many of them were quite helpful, especially since I had very little experience in starting my own website or how to market my own writing. As I am trying to branch out into other forms of writing media, I still seek out some of these how-to articles. What I’ve noticed in the past year, however, is a sense of overwhelming panic when I read too many of these articles. The more how-to’s I read, the more I second guess my own choices and decisions. I was having a lot of thoughts of, “Oh, no, I’m doing it wrong.” Not so fast, newbie blogger!
Here’s the deal. I want to stay true to myself and my beliefs, no matter what the how-to directions are telling me to do. I want to do what works for me and my family, even if it’s not the current trend. I have found there to be a significant difference between real life and “internet land.” Anyone can make themselves sound like an expert. Anyone can present their ideas as “the ultimate” in whatever it is their promoting. I may even decide I want to try it your way. Or I may not. It’s okay, though, because I’m going to stay true to myself.
Staying true to myself is not easy, yet extremely important, in the line of work I’m pursuing. I told my husband as I was starting out that faith-family-food would not be for everyone. People that love recipes and cooking may be put off by the spiritual aspect of my blog. People that enjoy the devotionals and scriptures may find it distracting or inappropriate that I include recipes or craft projects in each post. I’ve been rejected from some sponsors and blogging groups for these reasons. But it’s not just about me and my interests. When I prayed to God last year for direction after quitting my teaching job, I was given a very clear message and it was “faith, family, food.” I’ve prayed for direction since that original message and I’m still given signs that keep me on this same path. So if I’m going to stay true to my belief that God will give me guidance, and true to my own interests, as well. I will continue to run my website and blog the way I see best for me. I still want input and feedback from my audience. I still don’t know everything about the business or technical side of things, so I will continue to seek development and growth in these areas. I will read and write and learn as much as I can from others’ writings, too. But the last thing I want to be is “just another blogger.” I don’t necessarily want my page or blog to look like everyone else’s pages. I have a message to share and a somewhat unique way to get it out there. I have faith that God will continue to lead me where He needs me. And there’s no how-to for that kind of faith!
Today’s Scripture There is nothing wrong with trying to improve ourselves or even seeking out a better way to do something. But if we are going to imitate anyone’s how-to’s, in needs to be those of Jesus.
1 Corinthians 11:1-2 “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ. I praise you for remembering me in everything and for holding to the teachings, just as I passed them on to you.”
1 John 2:6 “Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.”
Today’s recipe is a meatless casserole using the convenience of frozen and refrigerated products. This is Ravioli Florentine, so it’s got a healthy dose of spinach in there, plus lots of yummy cheese. The key is to thaw and drain your spinach ahead of time to prevent a soggy casserole. This dish is easy to assemble and once you get it in the oven, it’s hands-off, leaving you with time for those evening chores or, even better, family time!
Ravioli Florentine (serves 6-8)
- 1 22-25 oz pkg frozen cheese ravioli
- 1 10 oz pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained, and squeezed dry
- 1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
- 1 8 oz container cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
Turn oven to 350 degrees and spray 9×13 glass dish with nonstick spray. In a medium bowl, stir together the ricotta, cottage, and parmesan cheeses. Add pepper and garlic powder and combine; set aside. Layer half the frozen ravioli on the bottom of the dish. Layer half the spinach on top of the ravioli. Spread half the ricotta mixture on top of the spinach. Sprinkle 1 cup of mozzarella over the ricotta. Repeat these layers one more time. Bake at 350, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Pairs well with a Caesar salad and garlic bread.