Boiling it all down

Today I am cooking tomatoes. I had a ton in my fridge from my CSA that were in the use it or loose it stage. So I cut them up and threw them in a pot with some onion. They will serve as the base for pasta and pizza sauces, and more importantly they will not go to waste.

This is making me think about life. There are apparently a lot of life lessons we can learn from our refrigerators (sounds like another post for another day). Today, my fridge is overwhelmingly full. I have okra, cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, leafy lettuce, apples, more okra, onions, more tomatoes, and that is just the plant-based foods.

Sounds a lot like my life, full of good things, so why does it feel so overwhelming?

With the stuff in my fridge, I am sure I could find gourmet recipes that would accentuate the individual flavors of each ingredient…but I don’t have time for that. I can’t cook like a chef for every meal. If I did, I wouldn’t have time to speak to my husband, play with my kids, work, check homework, keep the family calendar moving. So when my fridge is overflowing, I throw things into a pot and boil them down.

I tend to think that my only options are total attention to everything in my life, or throwing things out because I just can’t juggle it all. Sometimes it is true that things have to go. Our family made a practice this summer of giving away extra produce so it wasn’t wasted. Pairing things down is a good practice, but simplifying does not always mean tossing aside what is important to us.

It doesn’t take a recipe or tons of time to throw things in a pot and let them simmer. Certain aspects of life can actually get better and richer with a little time to sit and stew. There are other ingredients in my fridge that need their own special recipes, that is where I have to prioritize. What needs my time and resources right now? What can I put on the back burner?

Right now on the front burner of my life:
-My Husband
-My Kids
-Local Ministry
-Keeping the Schedule Moving Forward
-Close Friendships
-Running & Training for a Half Marathon

Right now on the back burner of my life:
-Sewing/Crafting Projects
-Performance Singing
-Deep Study of Anything
-Yoga
-Leadership in Broader Organizations

The back burner list is not gone forever, it is simmering. I will come back to those items, and they will taste so much better when I can devote my full attention to them!

Letting our priorities direct our focus, that’s refreshing!

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