Would You Like Some Peas With Your Worcestershire Sauce (And Other Quirky Eating Habits)

Peas were my dad’s favorite vegetable.  This is funny to me because when he ate them, he drowned them in Worcestershire sauce.

So, I wonder.

psalm63-5

Photo by Wacharaphong Sakoolwongveroj; 123rf.com

Did he really like peas?

Or did he like Worcestershire sauce?

We have our own familial mealtime quirks.

I eat a little of everything, some of this and some of that until it’s all gone.

My husband eats every last bite of vegetable first.  Because he hates vegetables.  And if you eat them first, you can cover over the taste with other, more palatable foods.  Like meat.

When I set the table for dinner, I routinely place a bottle of steak sauce next to my oldest daughter’s place.  She pours it on any food containing cheese.

I like cheese.

She doesn’t.

So, we compromise.  I cook dinners with cheese.  She creates a steak sauce puddle on her plate and eats without complaining.

My middle daughter is what scientific experts would call “a picky eater.”  She refuses to eat most foods, especially potatoes.  When I get all brave and try out a new recipe, I’m sure to hear from the complaints department, namely her.

“I don’t like this.”

“How do you know if you’ve never tasted it before?”

“I have tasted it” (she licks a speck of sauce off of her fork) “and I don’t like it.”

Alrighty then.

Then there is my baby girl.  I serve up a new recipe and say, “Taste this, babe, you’re going to like it.”

So, she tastes and most of the time, she swings her ponytail around and grins at me: “You’re right!  This is the best day ever.  This is too much deliciousness.”

Sigh.  I’m so thankful for her.

And I learn from her.

The Psalmist said,

Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him (Ps. 34:8).

I think of my girl, willing to taste, and when she discovers goodness, she devours it and maybe even asks for more.

Because what good is goodness if we’re satisfied with just a taste?

How often are we unwilling to even take the taste-test challenge?  Too busy, too frantic, too frazzled, too scheduled, too independent, too hardhearted, too hardheaded…maybe it’s one of those or maybe it’s all of them, but we don’t even try.

Or maybe we taste, but after we experience God’s sweet goodness, we walk away?  We think, “That’s great and that’s enough.  It sure was good.  Maybe I’ll order that some day.”

Sometimes we’re too easily satisfied by things that don’t satisfy.

In Psalm 119, David tells us:

My soul faints with longing for your salvation,
but I have put my hope in your word (Psalm 119:81 NIV).

This is the holy hunger.

The more you eat of God’s Word, the hungrier you are for God’s Word.

When we come absolutely famished and starving into His Presence, He fills us up with Good.  All the junk we’ve been tossing down our throats in order to satisfy our souls now tastes like cardboard.

In my year of Pursuing the Presence of Christ, I learned how to say, ‘no’ last month.  This month, I’m Learning When To Say, “Yes.”

I’ve found that after saying, ‘no,’ I’ve gained a more discerning palate.

People keep asking me now that the school year has started, “What are you going to do with yourself?”

I wonder if they think I’m lounging around my house watching soap operas…..but after a week, I still haven’t found a spare moment for lounging.

Last year was frantic.  I held on tight to the reins of our home and our schedule.  I survived.

Somehow I practiced the spiritual disciplines in the midst of that.  I read the Bible through in a year, finished my Bible studies, and read my devotionals in the minivan, outside the ballet studio and in between play rehearsals and church activities.

Now, in this first week of quiet after all that noise, I found I’m starving for the Word of God, hungry for more than checking off my Bible reading plan, turning the pages of the devotional, or filling in blanks in the Bible study.

What is my first “yes” this month?  It’s not a program or an activity or a project.

It’s feeding my undernourished Spirit with my first chance to sit quiet and unrushed at His feet in far too long.

I have tasted the goodness of God.  Now I intend to clean my plate and maybe even lick off all the crumbs and drips of sauce when I’m done and ask for seconds.

I’m the sheep who has traveled through the wilderness and finally been placed in those green pastures.

Are you weary?  Rushed?  Downtrodden?  Hopeless?  Worn?  Discouraged?  Apathetic?

Come hungry to the Word of God.  Taste….feast…..and find the goodness of the Lord.

To read more about this 12-month journey of pursuing the presence of Christ, you can follow the links below!  Won’t you join me this month as I Learn When to Say, ‘Yes?’

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, is available now!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2014 Heather King

Weekend Rerun: Back to School Lesson #1: How to Use the Bathroom

Originally posted on September 5, 2011

On the first day of preschool for my oldest daughter, her teacher leaned in to open the car door and greeted my beaming girl, who had her hair done up sweetly and her clothes picked out special.

Other children had been lifted out of the car, screaming for mom as the teacher carried them down the hallway.

Not my daughter.  She bounced out the door and practically sprinted down to the classroom.  So much for separation anxiety.

I, on the other hand, wiped away tears.

At the end of the day, I wanted a full report on all her activities.  Instead, the teacher helped her back into the car and said, “She had a good day!”

A whole two hours of her life spent without me there even to watch.

Truly, it’s the difficult goal of parenthood—to train our children so they function independently.  Teach them what they need to know now so that they succeed tomorrow.

While God never trains us for independence, He is forever building into our lives, hearts, and minds today what we will need the next day and the day after that. 

And sometimes we miss it.

Sometimes we denounce the study of God’s Word in favor of what is “practical” and “relevant” to our needs right now.  We want to learn “how to” rather than learn who God is.  We shrug off discipleship in favor of temporary spiritual programs built around a single verse or two.

Now, personal application matters.  The holy words on these pages aren’t there for amusement, or intellectual stimulation, or comfort alone.  If we read without change, we are missing all that Scripture was intended to be for us.

But, how are we to know now what will matter in our lives tomorrow?  If we seek only that which has immediate application to our lives today, here, now, in this situation, the Bible becomes nothing more than a Band-Aid for life’s boo-boos or a pocket map for our life’s journey.

To celebrate the last day of summer vacation, I sat down with my girls today and had a heart-to-heart about the beginning of school.

I looked them in the eyes made bright by excitement about school and making new friends and opening new crayons and learning new ideas . . . and I gave them the most important instructions I could think of for the year:

  1. Do not wait to go to the bathroom until it’s an emergency.
  2. Go to the bathroom before you go to the playground for recess and before you get on the bus at the end of the day.
  3. Raise your hand and ask your teacher permission to go to the restroom.
  4. Close the door behind you.
  5. Flush when you are done.
  6. Wash your hands.

To me, these seemed like essential words of wisdom.  To them, they seemed banal and unimaginative.

Just wait until they have to go to the bathroom tomorrow . . .

God so often is giving us the training we need for the future, and we in similar fashion, roll our eyes, shrug our shoulders, and avert our gaze at anything so boring, so unnecessary, so impractical.

How could David know that days spent in the fields watching boring, stinky sheep would train him to be a warrior king?

How could Moses know that a childhood in an Egyptian palace and 40 years in the wilderness moving sheep around would prepare him to be the deliverer of the Hebrew nation from 400 years of slavery and then the leader of that nomadic people for another 40 years?

How could Joseph know how years spent managing Potiphar’s house as a slave and another season managing his fellow convicts in a prison would prepare him to save the entire Egyptian nation and the surrounding countries from a 7-year famine?

How could they know?  How do you know as you read your Bible what verse you will need to whisper in the night a year from now or the passage you’ll need to cling to even a decade later?

We don’t know.  But God does.

So, we open up His Word and we dig deep.  We search passionately—not just for the solution to our current problem or the manual for our present situation—but we search for Him, God Himself, and who He is.  We sit attentive in His classroom and become the student of God’s character through the study of His Word.

The Psalmist wrote:

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.  With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.  I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word (Psalm 119:10-16).

The Psalmist was a dedicated student of Scripture and he tells us how to be the same in this passage:

  • Seek God—not what He can do for you, but God Himself, with all your heart.
  • Memorize Scripture and call it to mind during moments of temptation.
  • Give God praise.
  • Ask Him to teach you.
  • Talk to others about what you’re learning from time spent in His Word.
  • Treat God’s Word like it’s a treasure chest filled to the brim with the most magnificent jewels imaginable.
  • Spend time meditating, contemplating, and praying through the Bible and what it reveals about Him.

And more than anything else, do not neglect His word.  You’re guaranteed to need it, if not today then tomorrow.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Back to School Lessons, Part One: How to Use the Bathroom

On the first day of preschool for my oldest daughter three years ago, I drove up to the doorway.  The teacher leaned in to open the car door and greeted my beaming girl, who had her hair done up sweetly and her clothes picked out special.

Other children had been lifted out of the car by the expert educator, as they screamed for mom and hung their heads low in sorrow at the separation.

Not my daughter.  She bounced out the door and practically sprinted down the hallway to the classroom.  So much for separation anxiety.

I, on the other hand, wiped away tears.  For two hours, I would not know what she was doing or whether she needed me.

At the end of the day, I wanted a full report on all her activities.  Instead, the teacher helped her back into the car and said, “She had a good day!”

A whole two hours of her life spent without me there even to watch.

Truly, it’s the difficult goal of parenthood—to train our children so they function independently.  Teach them what they need to know now so that they succeed tomorrow.

While God never trains us for independence, He is forever building into our lives, hearts and minds today what we will need the next day and the day after that. 

And sometimes we miss it.

So often recently, I have heard people denounce the study of God’s Word in favor of what is “practical” and “relevant,” what’s meaningful to them right now rather than digging in deep to the Scripture.  We want to learn “how to” rather than learn who God is.  We shrug off discipleship in favor of temporary spiritual programs built around a single verse or two.

Now, personal application matters.  The holy words on these pages aren’t there for amusement, or intellectual stimulation, or comfort alone.  If we read without change, we are missing it.  We are missing all that Scripture was intended to be for us.

But, how are we to know now what will matter in our lives tomorrow?  If we seek only that which has immediate application to our lives today, here, now, in this situation, the Bible becomes nothing more than a Band-Aid for life’s boo-boos or a pocket map for our life’s journey.

To celebrate the last day of summer vacation, I sat down with my girls today and had a heart-to-heart about the beginning of school.  (I know some of you have already started the school year, but for us it begins tomorrow).

I looked them in the eyes in all their bright-eyed excitement about school and making new friends and opening new crayons and learning new ideas . . . and I gave them the most important instructions I could think of for the year:

  1. Do not wait to go to the bathroom until it’s an emergency.
  2. Go to the bathroom before you go to the playground for recess and before you get on the bus at the end of the day.
  3. Raise your hand and ask your teacher permission to go to the restroom.
  4. Close the door behind you.
  5. Flush when you are done.
  6. Wash your hands.

To me, these seemed like essential words of wisdom.  To them, they seemed banal and unimaginative.

Just wait until they have to go to the bathroom tomorrow . . .

God so often is giving us the training we need for the future, and we in similar fashion, roll our eyes, shrug our shoulders, and avert our gaze at anything so boring, so unnecessary, so impractical.

How could David know that days spent in the fields watching boring, stinky sheep would train him to be a warrior king?

How could Moses know that a childhood in an Egyptian palace and 40 years in the wilderness moving sheep around would prepare him to be the deliverer of the Hebrew nation from 400 years of slavery and then the leader of that nomadic people for another 40 years?

How could Joseph know how years spent managing Potiphar’s house as a slave and another season managing his fellow convicts while wrongfully imprisoned would prepare him to save the entire Egyptian nation and the surrounding countries from a 7-year famine?

How could they know?  How do you know as you sit with your Bible before you what verse you will need to whisper in the night a year from now or the passage you’ll need to cling to even a decade later?

We don’t know.  But God does.

So, we open up His Word and we dig deep.  We search passionately—not just for the solution to our current problem or the manual for our present situation—but we search for Him, God Himself, and who He is.  We sit attentive in His classroom and become the student of God’s character through the study of His Word.

The Psalmist wrote:

I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands.  I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.  Praise be to you, Lord; teach me your decrees.  With my lips I recount all the laws that come from your mouth.  I rejoice in following your statutes as one rejoices in great riches.  I meditate on your precepts and consider your ways.  I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word (Psalm 119:10-16).

The Psalmist was a dedicated student of Scripture and he tells us how to be the same in this passage.  He tells us:

  • Seek God—not what He can do for you, but God Himself, with all your heart.
  • Memorize Scripture and call it to mind during moments of temptation.
  • Give God praise.
  • Ask Him to teach you.
  • Talk to others about what you’re learning from time spent in His Word.
  • Treat God’s Word like it’s a treasure chest filled to the brim with the most magnificent jewels imaginable.
  • Spend time meditating, contemplating, and praying through the Bible and what it reveals about Him.

And more than anything else, do not neglect His word.  You’re guaranteed to need it, if not today then tomorrow.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.