UFC and the good chef

It’s a sunny day in Chicago.  It’s a good send-off to spring break.  My parents just dropped me off with a piece of yellow birthday cake with strawberry white chocolate frosting, Janelle (Jonathan’s newer and nicer counterpart… aka the guitar I got for Christmas and finally get to have at school. You’ll meet her later), a big suitcase with clothes that beckon spring in it, a bag that my mom has said is my Easter basket, and some groceries to repopulate my fridge.

I'll be honest: most of my pictures on here are of food.  And I'm not planning on changing that trend any time soon.

I’ll be honest: most of my pictures on here are of food. And I’m not planning on changing that trend any time soon.

I was sad to see them drive off in the little, blue car, but I’ll see them again in 7 weeks.  If the first half of the semester was any example, that will fly by.

On another note, I watched a UFC fight last night.  Well, not really. I mean, it was on a big screen nearby the hot tub where I was soaking with my mom, so I saw part of it.  I can’t imagine why anyone would want to spend their life getting beaten to a pulp/beating other people to a pulp, but that’s what those guys do.

I bet you never thought we’d be talking about UFC on my blog.  Just keeping things interesting, folks.  Ready for an even bigger shocker?  Sometimes, I feel like I’m a sub-par UFC fighter.  The type that go out for a fight, gets a couple good punches in, and it all goes downhill from there.  Sometimes I feel like I battle Life, and Life beats me to a pulp.

Well, not quite to a pulp.  Life just gives us all some bruises sometimes.  I’m sure you get that.  (They make for good conversation)  My pastor mentioned this verse this morning: “ We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.  We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-10)

I love thinking that God can be glorified in my successes, but it’s even more remarkable that He can be revealed to other people through the times when I’m pressed down or perplexed.  Naturally, I thought of all the great foods that you have to press in order to make them good.  You’ve got to knead bread dough, dig your knuckles in really deep.  You mash potatoes.  It’s a good thing that they’re inanimate.

You beat cookie dough.  You boil pasta.

Goodness, cooking is violent.  But the end product can be beautiful if the process is done by someone who knows what they’re doing.  And it can give real joy to people, both in the process and in the product.  (I’m not equating a good piece of cake with the joy of knowing Jesus.  That’s on a whole nuther level.)

Jesus is a good chef.  (chef, shepherd, just about the same thing)

That, dear friends, gives hope.

Little cuts.

Over the past two weeks I have injured myself (minorly) about a gazillion times. Every time I do it, I want to kick myself because it was easily avoidable, but that would inflicted more pain, so I don’t.
I gashed my ankle while shaving. If you’ve never done this, then when I tell you that I spent half an hour lying on my bathroom floor pressing tissues on my ankle and trying to elevate it above my heart, you won’t understand why. Ankles bleed. A lot.
I also cut myself with a carrot peeler. Then reopened the wound the next day when I was using excessive force to make a lump of clay into a ball in the art room. (I wanted to throw a clay pot on the wheel, but if you’re bleeding, that’s not a good idea. Blood in clay, clay in wound. Yuck.)
I hit my finger on the side of the glaze cabinet in the art room, which also bled.
I brought my knee down hard on the corner of my bedframe. Instant bruise, also a small cut with a minor amount of blood. (have I ever mentioned my disgust with blood/tendency to faint at it on here?)
Scraped my leg with a window. I know that doesn’t seem like it would work unless I was climbing out the window, but it worked. We were cleaning them, and in order to clean these windows, you have to take them out of the frames.
Also scraped my arm on some unknown object last Thursday. It left a scrape.
Then, to top it all off, I dropped a full Nalgene on two of my middle toes on my right foot a couple days ago.
As you can tell, I am one of the most coordinated individuals in the world. Also, I have a sort of battered body right now with many scrapes and bruises. All gained from my stupidity or lack of gracefulness. And I have probably missed a few of the hurtful incidents.
It’s yet another image that displays my imperfection (surprising how many of those there are, isn’t it?), and it makes me think about how scarred and bruised my heart is. How that isn’t visible. Not like I’m dying from heartache here; I haven’t had anything drastically hurt me or leave me broken, and I know that Jesus heals the little scars everyday.
But I can’t see other people’s heart scars. I can’t see the wounds that have been inflicted. I can’t see the emotional effects of the times they’ve inflicted pain on themselves. Yet they have little cuts and bruises too, just like my collection from the past couple weeks.
Something I need to be more mindful of. People are fragile; handle with care.