While I was under the weather I spent too much time surfing the internet, looking at other cooking and recipe websites. I admit I got a little discouraged. There are so many food blogs out there and they are so beautiful! Gorgeous studio-quality photography, recipes that turn out delicious, beautiful foods that look so appetizing I just want to lick the food off of the screen. And the lists of ingredients… ACH! Some of the recipes out there, it would take half of my food budget for the week just to make a single meal. I admire these other writers so much, but they do intimidate me. My food is often not half as beautiful as the stuff I see on other blogs. My photos, when I remember to take them, look like they were shot by a 10-year-old. Not a 45-year old. I worry that my recipes are not as reliable, that they have too many ingredients, that they aren’t as pretty to look at, that they take too much time to prepare, that they aren’t healthy enough, that I’m not careful enough about gluten and dairy. The list goes on and on.
Especially when I’m sick, my brain gets all fuzzy and it’s far too easy to get discouraged because I’m already under the weather. Anyway, when I logged online today, to finally answer your comments, I got a nice inoculation to my pity party. I feel encouraged that what I’m doing has it’s place and that I am following God’s will for me, simply by showing up and writing about my meager style of living. The bible says that we should be “In the World, But Not Of the World.” At least I’ve always been taught that’s what is says, although when I went looking for a bible verse that said this exact thing I couldn’t find one. So I guess it’s a paraphrase, or summary of several verses that say about the same thing.
If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.–John 15:19
Anyway, being in the world, I think refers to our physical presence on the earth, living our physical lives, doing all the normal stuff like the dishes, the laundry, toting children here and there, changing diapers, preparing meals, all the general business of living.
Then being of the world, means allowing all of the bazaar modern beliefs to influence our manner of life and even more so, our spiritual life. Our physical existence is in the world, but our spiritual existence is focused on God and the Bible and not on the temporary and faddish notions of our current culture. For instance, my self-esteem comes from God, not from my ability to replicate beautiful pictures of fancy food that tempt me on the internet. My spirituality is based on the bible, not on how much better I might feel about myself if I bought myself that sexy new exercise/dance DVD of very fit, half naked people dancercising to the latest hits.
Our modern culture has some pretty messed up ideas about what our priorities should be. If I subscribed to all of the notions I see on TV, especially in women’s daytime programing and commercials, I would be a very sad puppy, because there is no way I could ever measure up to the standards they set.
I was at the Laundromat a few weeks ago, using the dryers because it had been raining for a week so I couldn’t hang any clothes up on the line, and the kids needed clean (dry) underwear. I wash 4 to 6 loads of clothes at home, then load up the car with my wet laundry and head to the Laundromat to use their driers. There’s a television there, and it was on some women’s show where a bunch of different ladies sit around and talk about the world. Well, they were touting the value of this new cosmetic product that would “Energize your eyes.” Apparently having tired, worn-out looking eyes is something I should be avoiding. I didn’t know that, so it was news to me.
I heard that statement, and I turned to my oldest son, who was there helping me fold the dry laundry, and I burst out laughing so hard I nearly had to sit down. We folded sheets together, and listened to these glamorous women talk about how important it is to have revitalized and energized eyes and how one’s eyes could age you faster than anything, and he and I laughed until we almost couldn’t breathe. Of all the priorities in the whole wide world, I’m pretty sure that Energized Eyes is about my lowest one. I’m lucky to remember to put hand cream on my face after a shower.
Then the women went on to tell me how economical it was since it was less than $200 a bottle, and that it was a real miracle worker and worth so much more than that. I thought about my $2 bottle of hand cream from the Dollar Store and looked at that tiny bottle of Eye Energizer and kept laughing.
It made me wonder who is the target audience for this show, because I am a relatively average homemaker, and it sure as heck isn’t me. Who has time to watch these shows? Who has enough money to buy Eye Energizer ointment for $200 a pop? Who is so worried about their eyes giving away their age that they want to change the appearance of their eyes to make them look more energetic? Who is so worried about the normal, natural process of aging that they feel compelled to disguise it? Who is so ashamed of being 40 or 50 or 60 or older that they want to appear 10 to 20 years younger than they actually are? What is the benefit? Will people love me more if I appear younger? Will my children respect me more? Will my chores be easier? Will it make strangers want to suddenly be my best friend? Will my peers admire me more if my eyes are more energized?
I honestly don’t know.
I am still baffled by the purpose of this product, and even more so, by the fact that half a dozen celebrities sitting around a coffee table chatting about such ridiculous notions is popular enough that a studio will pay them to do it. I’d rather sit around my own kitchen table and chat with a girlfriend or two. That seems a lot more entertaining and a lot more uplifting to my spirit. And if my spirit if uplifted, I’m pretty sure it will energize my eyes a darned sight more authentically (and affordably) than rubbing my eyes with $200 ointment.
I think some products are priced so high so that when we buy them we feel like we are more valuable ourselves, since we deserve such a valuable product. Like that old hair-dye commercial says “Because I’m worth it.” To me this just illustrates the screwed up values of modern society. I don’t need to spend a small fortune on ointment to prove my worth. I already know my worth. I am so valuable, and the creator of the entire universe loves me so much, that He sent His son, the only one he ever had, the only one He ever will have, down to the earth, to die, in a terrible way, so that I don’t have to. I’m so valuable, that my Creator allowed his only child to die on the cross, so that I can live with both of them in heaven, for the rest of eternity. To me, that seems a far sight more valuable than a paltry vial of $200 eye ointment. When that bottle of ointment is empty, the owner has to buy more. It’s temporary. The gift of eternal life lasts forever. There is no end to it. It can’t run out.
So anyway, I laughed at the television show with my son. I was reminded of how precious a gift I have in my faith. I looked at some fancy websites and felt sorry for myself. Then I got over my cold and remembered, my lifestyle is not glamorous. It’s not especially entertaining. The food we eat isn’t beautiful and it’s not always restaurant quality. But it does nourish us. It tastes pretty darned good for the most part. We’re not in debt, we live within our means. We have a warm, dry house, instant access to all the water we care to use, and I’m lucky enough to laugh with my children while doing simple homey chores together like folding the sheets. All in all, I’d rather have all of this, than especially expensive, and energetic eyes.
Oh, Maggie! This hit me right where I live. I am so guilty of wasting time on these websites, looking at all these fancy recipes that look and sound so good, and then running out to get numerous items that are not already in my pantry in order to make them, only to have my family turn up their nose and ask for one of the wonderful recipes of YOURS that they love so well, like your snake bites. I am glad you call this behavior what it is, SIN. We are on a strict budget and I am guilty of being wasteful of the resources God has provided. Again, thank you for the reminder.
Hee! Merrilee, it hits me where I live too, that’s why I wrote about it. 😉 And the worst is like what you said, when I buy the special ingredients, work really hard to prepare a special meal, and then the family looks at like I’m trying to torture them in strange, new ways. They’d rather have hot dogs and a bowl of rice. I think to myself, why did I bother?
I hadn’t really thought about it as being sin, but you’re right, when I deliberately misuse resources that I am responsible for, it is a sin. Not pretty to think about, but accurate.
Actually, if you are worried about “energized eyes” a very old remedy (and it works- that’s why it’s still around) is to put a couple of cold used teabags or a couple of slices of cucumber over your (closed) eyes for a few minutes. The puffiness and tired feeling will go away, and I suspect that’s all that $200 vial does, too.
LOL Muriel, great tip, and I’m sure you’re right. People are paying all that money for something they could get for free!
You have filled a very real need with your blog. There are many of us with very limited food budgets and who have food sensitivities. I think there are more that need your type of blog than need the “unlimited food budget recipe” blogs. I go to them to look for recipes for special events but for day in, day out, help-your blog is my go to spot. You have a good solid Christian base and that is worth dozens of worldly blogs. Thank you for all you do. Don’t compare yourself to others, but only to Christ.
Thanks Michelle. I wonder what reality those “unlimited food budget recipe” folks live in. It’s not the same one I do, lol. I’m happy you find my work useful. That’s what I’m aiming for. I try to keep my focus on Christ, because if I don’t, then my work falls apart at the seams. So I trust Him and do my best to stay within my means, and hopefully some good comes out it. Works for me.
Amen, Michelle! That’s what the word “Christian” means– “Christ-Like”
Those folks live in the world where there is no God but humanity and this life on earth is all there is.
In other words they don’t live in the real world at all.
Words of wisdom hon’. They Don’t live in the real world. They live in some weird fantasy world where the most important things are how things look on the outside instead of how they really are on the inside. Like Dr. Martin Luther King said, it’s about the content of our character, not the color of our skin (or the texture of our eyes). I think when our lives are based on Christ, the content of our character improves us from the inside out. I’m eternally grateful that I don’t have to live in their world. I think it would be miserable.
I’m working on my return letter. I’ve been distracted, and hearing from you again, reminds me of my priorities. Always such a pleasure when you stop by sis. Hugs & Love.
Yep. The cold, used tea bags and or the the chilled cucumber slices really do work. My great-grandmother taught me to use those when I was young enough not to need them. But it’s great to have these little gems of wisdom from some seniors (I’m in that category now!) who have been there and done that.
I wish that I could have recorded talks with Mammy but that was so long ago that personal recording equipment was non-existent. (And much too cost prohibitive if you could find it).
And, yes, Maggie, you are like a light and the Lord tells us not to hide it under a basket. He’s given you a special gift to fulfill a particular ministry and you’ll not know how many you have encouraged through your blog until we’re face to face with Jesus in eternity.
My deepest thanks to you for what the Lord has instructed you to do and enabled you to do. You are unique and very precious to the Lord, but also to those of us with whom you share your humble wisdom.
Thank you and praise the Lord for your ministry to us.
Merilee is so right. wasting precious resources on unhealthy foods and trying to “keep up with the Joneses” is poor stewardship.
As far as the SIN aspect goes, my hubby says that SIN is an acrostic for SELF INDULGENT NATURE.
I love that, Self Indulgent Nature, hee! That is so incredibly true. Thanks for your kind words Frankie. I wish I had the ability to record some of the things I learned from loved ones who have now passed on. The wisdom they held, and the perspective they carried, it’s a blessing to have the memories we do. 🙂 God Bless. 🙂
I’m still chuckling after reading this, almost a week ago. I can tell you this much, I have EARNED every line, wrinkle, gray hair and as my children called them when small (very close veins), that I have, I raised 6, (let them all live) :D, sent two through college, worked a full time job, and am now helping with my grand son who has cerebal palsy. If I don’t have the right to have “tired” eyes, I don’t know who does. There are many more like me out there as well. Our society in general has become much too obsessed with “looking younger” when in fact every line and wrinkle shows me a face, that has lived life well, maybe hard…but well. It’s sad the money we waste, on such temporary things. Oh..and if you do get puffy, tired eyes..go to the drugstore, and get a new tube of Prep H (no kidding ladies, models in the 60’s used this for puffy eyes), it works and doesn’t cost $200!
ROTFL Karoline. Yes, I have to agree. I have tried Prep H too. I heard about it somewhere and then gave it a try and it definitely works. A whole lot cheaper too. I agree that society is a lot more worried about outside appearances than is sensible. Outer beauty is transitory, but inner-beauty lasts forever. Thanks for the feedback, and the tip.
Have ben re-reading some of the blog conversations and they are just as much fun today as they were when they were first shred.
You are so right. I was almost 38 when I was saved and I have a lot of comparison between the two lifestyles. I know I lived all those years and the term “lost” certainly is adequate. It truly was a “lost” existence. I’m amazed I could have lasted that long. How many times the Lord pulled from the brink of eternity because of severe life threatening circumstances is nothing short of miraculous. At once point in time I was given by the medical staff at the hospital a less than 10% survival chance, and if I had lived I would have been a vegetable because of some of the serious conditions of the medical problem causing all the adverse symptoms.
No, it wasn’t drugs. It was undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes and I was in DKA the last stage before death in diabetes. I was in a coma for 8 days. All because of a pompous doctor who told me I was so tired and thin (about 98 lbs. then) because I was single and I was burning the candle at both ends. (Phooey…I couldn’t even light the candle much less burn it at both ends. He told me if I’d just get married and settle down I’d feel much better. That was 9 yrs. before I was saved.
Not long after I was saved I heard a Wesleyan lay preacher say that for the unbeliever this life is the only heaven he’ll know and for the believer this life is the only hell we’ll know. I thought that was quite profound, as well as being so very true.
Keep up the great work, Maggie, because we need and appreciate your insight and encouragement.
late commenting here but I enjoyed this post so much. I thought I would pass on a fabulous “face cream” recipe from my great grandma that gives you beautiful skin at any age and is cheap and chemical free. Buy a lemon or 2 from the grocery store juice them into a measuring cup and pour an equal amount of glycerin into the measuring cup; pour this into a BPA free plastic squeeze bottle. Every night after washing your face preferably with a mild exfoliant (baking soda is great) shake the bottle well and pour a little in your hand and apply to your face, neck and declotage. Wake up to beautiful glowing soft skin with less wrinkles. My great grandmother used this on her face till she died at 93 with very few wrinkles. I think it has to do with all the vitamin c in the lemon juice and the fact that glycerin attracts moisture to you face. One bottle of glycerin will last you forever and a lemon is about 33 cents where I live, if you wanted to be extravegent you could buy an organic lemon. Most good health food stores sell glycerin most drug stores where I live no longer carry it. Take that $200 dollar eye cream.
I use the lemon glycerin combination on my hands arms and legs at night too it works wonders and might even beat your dollar store hand cream price wise. My hands get very dry during the day and they are always super moisturized the next morning. Your skin will feel a little sticky from the glycerin and lemon juice may cause a slight sting but it doesn’t last long. Hope this helps out someone on a tiny budget who still needs good skincare.
Anna, what a wonderful idea, I have lemons in the fridge and glycerin in the medicine chest, ok..gonna energize my wrinkles tonight:), thanks so much for the tip!
Just re-read the above posts and I had a laugh even after all this time. Haven’t tried the lemon juice/glycerin recipe. And when I read Anna say that the mixture was a little sticky, I remember years ago saying if you wanted kitty fur soft hands wear plain white cotton gloves to bed, and if you couldn’t find those then use a pair of clean white socks that fit just a little bit snug. Put the gloves/socks on your hands after applying the mixture . Your hands will hydrate in the gloves/socks during the night and you’ll save the bed linen.